Contributor’s Links post for February 21, 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

121 Replies to “Contributor’s Links post for February 21, 2019”

  1. Turkey: Uniting an “Army of Islam” to Defeat Just One Country

    by Uzay Bulut
    February 21, 2019 at 4:30 am

    Istanbul recently hosted the second “International Islamic Union Congress,” sponsored mainly by the Strategic Research Center for Defenders of Justice (ASSAM), which is headed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s chief military advisor, Adnan Tanriverdi, a retired lieutenant general and an Islamist .

    At the conference, Tanriverdi delivered a speech detailing the inner workings of the “Islamic Confederal State” that ASSAM aims to establish with 61 Muslim countries. In his address, Tanriverdi said that a “rapid deployment force” should be created. Judging by an article Tanriverdi penned in 2009, the purpose of this joint Islamic force is to defeat Israel, which “should be made to get engaged [in war] and the length of the war should be extended.”

    “If Israel has to call all of its reserve soldiers to duty,” he explained, “there will be no one left at home or in their businesses. It cannot continue like that for a long time.”

    Tanriverdi also suggested how this could be accomplished:

  2. Hungarian Govt: ISIS Jihadists Returning to EU ‘By the Hundreds’, ‘This Must Be Stopped’ (breitbart, Feb 21, 2019)

    “Hungarian foreign minister Péter Szijjártó has warned that the European Union is pushing for more immigration at a time when radical Islamic extremists are returning from the ruins of the Islamic State caliphate “by the hundreds”, and this “must be stopped”.

    Speaking following a meeting of the Budapest Process forum in Istanbul, Turkey, the Fidesz statesman said that mass migration posed “extreme risks” to national security and public safety in Europe — but that the representatives of the European Commission, the EU’s unelected governing executive, “did their best to highlight how good migration is for Europe” during the conference.

    Hungary and the rest of the Visegrad bloc of Central European countries, joined by the national populist governments of Austria and Italy, declined to sign the meeting’s closing statements and action plan on the grounds that they believed it would exacerbate migration trends, noting: “These countries do not at all accept the position that migration is good and it should be promoted.”

    He further noted the “alarming” arrest of former Islamic State members in Bosnia-Herzegovina and North Macedonia, in a pocket of European territory just between the European Union’s south-east member-states and the bloc’s heartland.

    Szijjártó warned that such people are returning to Europe “by the hundreds” now their physical caliphate has been all but annihilated, and “This must be stopped.”…”

    • He talked about how the original new deal didn’t stop the Great Depression, what he didn’t say is that the original New Deal sucked so much money out of the hands of the people that they couldn’t buy enough to pull the US out of the Depression. The Great Depression didn’t end until after WWII when tax cuts gave the public enough money to stimulate the economy, a fact that most libs will never accept.

  3. Turkey Condemns European Parliament Committee Call to Suspend Accession (tasnimnews, Feb 21, 2019)

    “TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Turkey criticized on Thursday as “unacceptable” a vote by the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee calling for the suspension of EU accession negotiations with it.

    The Foreign Affairs Committee called on the European Commission and member states on Wednesday to formally suspend EU accession negotiations with Turkey, citing disregard for human rights and civil liberties, influence on the judiciary, and disputes over territory with Cyprus and other neighbors.

    “It is absolutely unacceptable that the non-binding, advisory draft report is calling for a total suspension of our accession talks to the EU,” Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement, Reuters reported.

    “We expect the necessary corrections to be made and the final report to be more realistic, impartial and encouraging. Only such a report will be taken into consideration by our country.”

    Turkey says EU membership remains one of its top strategic goals even though the accession talks, formally launched in 2004, have been stalled for years. Some EU leaders and officials have called for them to be ended.

    “My expectation is that in two weeks a large majority of the EP will vote for the suspension of accession talks w/ Turkey, as EP Foreign Affairs (committee) did today,” Kati Piri, EU Rapporteur on Turkey, said in a tweet on Wednesday, referring to the European Parliament.

    In October, President Tayyip Erdogan said he would consider putting Turkey’s long-stalled bid to join the European Union to a referendum, signaling exasperation with a process he says has been waylaid by prejudice against Muslims.

    “Human rights violations and arrests of journalists occur on an almost daily basis while democracy and the rule of law in the country are undermined further,” European Parliament member Marietje Schaake said in a statement.

    “This, in combination with the constitutional changes has made Turkey’s accession to the European Union impossible at this stage. The message of the Parliament today is crystal clear. We attach consequences to Erdogan’s authoritarian grip on power.””

  4. Iran: Infiltration to Missile Program Thwarted (aawsat, Feb 21, 2019)

    “Commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, said on Wednesday that Iran has thwarted an attempt to infiltrate its missile program through a range of indigenous equipment and spare parts.

    IRGC news agencies also quoted Hajizadeh denying recent claims made by US officials that Washington has managed to sabotage Tehran’s missile program, describing them as “a very big lie”.

    While Hajizadeh did not elaborate on the nature of the equipment and spare parts that the “enemy” used in trying to penetrate the program, he pointed out that the threat “turned into an opportunity after detecting the plot.”

    Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said relations with the United States had rarely been so bad.

    “The struggle between Iran and America is currently at a maximum. America has employed all its power against us,” Rouhani was quoted as saying in a cabinet meeting by the state broadcaster IRIB, as reported by Reuters.

    “The US pressures on firms and banks to halt business with Iran is one hundred percent a terrorist act,” he said.

    The Iranian president stressed that his country was ready for cooperation and interaction with the world, “but the states doing business with us must be careful not to pursue excessive demands, because the Iranian nation does not retreat from its principles and does not favor such demands when it comes to outstanding issues involving its national interests.”

    Commenting on the recent US-organized conference in Warsaw, Poland, Rouhani said that Washington’s attempts to persuade other countries to oppose the nuclear deal had led to “a humiliating political defeat” for the US at the UN Security Council.”

  5. Saudi Top Prosecutor: We Have Taken Many Measures against Terrorism, Money Laundering (aawsat, Feb 21, 2019)

    “Saudi Arabia plays a vital role in the fight against terrorism at the international level, asserted Public Prosecutor Saud al-Muajab, referring to the measures taken by Riyadh domestically with the recently issued law on combating crimes and their financing.

    The Kingdom also adopted measures and procedures to organize charitable work through the supervision of charities and their revenues.

    The prosecutor revealed measures taken by the Kingdom to combat terrorist financing and money laundering including the establishment of a permanent committee to combat money laundering. The committee’s membership includes a number of government agencies concerned with the assessment of risks arising from money laundering crimes…”

  6. Uighurs call on MBS to condemn persecution of Muslim minority during China visit (mee, Feb 21, 2019)

    “History will judge Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) for staying silent in the face of China’s harsh treatment of millions of Uighur Muslims in the country’s Xinjiang province.

    That’s the message Omer Kanat, director of the Uyghur Human Rights Project, a leading Uighur rights organisation in the United States, wants to send to MBS as the de facto Saudi leader embarks on a two-day visit to Beijing this week.

    “As the Communist Party bulldozes mosques and removes the crescent and star from the mosques left standing, all Muslim leaders need to ask hard questions,” Kanat told Middle East Eye on Thursday.

    “Further silence from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Muslim-majority states will invite allegations of acquiescence with Chinese rights violations against the Uighurs and history will judge these actions.”…”

  7. UAE signs deals to buy $5.4bn in arms amid global outrage over Yemen war (mee, Feb 21, 2019)

    “The United Arab Emirates signed contracts to buy more than $5.4bn worth of arms and military equipment during an exhibition for weapons manufacturers in Abu Dhabi this week, despite ongoing calls to end the war in Yemen, where the UAE is playing a major role.

    The UAE’s official news agency WAM reported on Thursday that the deals were secured with companies from countries around the world, including the United States, China, Russia, France and the UK, at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX).

    The UAE also awarded contracts to domestic weapon manufacturers during the five-day event, which concludes on Friday, WAM said…”

  8. Turkey reinforces military observation posts in Syria’s Idlib (mee, Feb 21, 2019)

    “Turkish forces in Syria’s opposition-held Idlib province are reinforcing 12 ceasefire observation stations following recent attacks by Russian and Syrian government forces around the towns of Maaret al-Noman and Khan Sheikhoun.

    Trucks belonging to the Turkish military have been carrying four-metre cement blocks into southern areas of Idlib such as Tell Touqan, Sarmin, Morek, Zawiya, Ishtabraq and Zaytan.

    A Turkish military official, speaking on condition of anonymity due to government protocol, told Middle East Eye that strengthening the observation stations wasn’t a new commitment and had been ongoing for a while…”

  9. $400 billion climate investment plan for Sahel region (alaraby, Feb 21, 2019)

    “Heads of state of 17 countries in the Sahel region of Africa will hold a summit on Monday in Niamey to approve a climate investment plan worth $400 billion over 12 years, the Niger government said on Wednesday.

    The “ambitious” plan for the period 2018-2030 will involve “17 nations from the Atlantic Ocean to the Horn of Africa” and will represent the “translation (into actions) of our nations’ commitments through the Paris agreement on climate change”, Environment Minister Almoustapha Garba told reporters.

    The $400 billion (350 billion euro) plan focuses on six projects aiming to limit greenhouse gas emissions and to help people adapt to climate change, he added.

    The 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change aims to limit global temperature rises to well below two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit).

    The Sahel, home to more than 500 million people, is considered especially vulnerable to climate change.

    In many parts of the region, climate shocks have resulted in recurring droughts with devastating impacts on the region’s already vulnerable populations.

    Regional and international leaders have linked global warming to conflicts and food insecurity in the Sahel and warned of an ecological disaster caused by diminishing water resources.”

  10. Trump blocks sale of F-35 jets to Turkey over increasing relations with Russia (memo, Feb 21, 2019)

    “US President Donald Trump has signed a bill blocking the sale of F-35 jets to Turkey due to its persistence in purchasing the Russian S-400 missile defence system.

    The transfer of the fighter jets was originally planned for March, but will not go ahead until US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defence Patrick M. Shanahan deliver an update to US Congress regarding Turkey’s S-400 purchase.

    Turkey originally aimed to gain 100 F-35 jets within the coming years, and was delivered two in June last year with two more due this year. The transfer, however, will now be blocked until November.

    Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 missile defence system – Russia’s most advanced long-range anti-aircraft missile system – has unsettled the US, which claimed that the system and the jets are not compatible. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, however, asserted in January that “the S-400 agreement is already a finished deal…We can deal with the United States for the Patriot, but if it’s about the S-400, no.”

    The US had set a deadline of 15 February for Turkey to cancel the purchase of the S-400 system, or the sale of the US Patriot missile system would be halted. Turkey refused to make the deadline, however, and last week, US Vice President Mike Pence spoke out against Turkey’s purchase of the system, stating that “we will not stand idly by while NATO allies purchase weapons from our adversaries…We cannot ensure the defence of the West if our allies grow dependent on the East.”

    Turkey was a prominent contributor to the production of the F-35 fighter jet, as its defence industry took an active role in making parts for the jets through companies such as Alp Aviation, AYESAS, Kale Aviation, Kale Pratt & Whitney and Turkish Aerospace Industries. The country has not yet been provided with its desired number of jets, despite being part of the F-35 program since 1999.”

  11. At least 59 ‘bandits’ killed in NW Nigeria: security sources, resident (ahram, Feb 21, 2019)–bandits-killed-in-NW-Nigeria-security-so.aspx

    “At least 59 “bandits” were killed by a civilian defence force when they attacked a village in northwest Nigeria, security officials and locals told AFP on Thursday.

    “We killed 59 of the bandits and we lost seven men in the fight, which lasted for almost four hours,” Bube Shehu, a resident of Danjibga village, said of the clashes on Wednesday.

    Local reports said the death toll could be even higher, after a local government official said 15 other bandits were killed in the nearby village of Danmarke.

    Shehu’s account was backed by a military officer in the state but there was no immediate corroboration from police.

    The worsening security situation in the northwest — President Muhammadu Buhari’s strongest regional support base — is one of a number of challenges to his re-election, as voters go to the polls on Saturday.

    Farming and herding communities in the region have suffered increasing attacks from criminal gangs who raid villages, steal cattle and kidnap for ransom.

    The local official in Danmarke said villagers were frustrated at the lack of protection from security forces and had been forced to take matters into their own hands.

    “It is high time people stand up against criminals who attack their villages instead of succumbing to them,” he said on condition of anonymity.

    Danjibga is a commercial hub 35 kilometres (just over 20 miles) south of the state capial Gusau and has been repeatedly attacked.

    The attacks have led to a mass exodus of residents to the town of Tsafe and even across into Buhari’s home state of Katsina, which neighbours Zamfara.

    Earlier this month bandits killed 26 people when they raided seven villages in the Mada district, according to the police.

    Last July, Amnesty International said Zamfara state was “at the mercy” of armed bandits who had killed at least 371 people in the first six months of 2018.

    In December an influential traditional chief in the state urged authourities to allow vigilantes carry assault rifles to defend themselves against bandits.

    Last month, information minister Lai Mohammed claimed that bandits were mobilised to carry out attacks and “provoke massive chaos before, during and after the elections”.

    Security is an election issue, given Buhari’s pledge in 2015 to improve safety across the country, not least end Boko Haram’s Islamist insurgency.”

  12. Royal Gendarmerie Crashes Same-Sex Moroccan Wedding in Marrakech (moroccoworldnews, Feb 21, 2019)

    “Rabat – On the night of Saturday, February 16, two Moroccan men aged 24 and 26 held a wedding ceremony in a remote resort in the ochre city, Marrakech, until the Royal Gendarmerie interrupted.

    The wedding, attended by Middle Eastern businessmen and other LGBTQ Moroccans, took place in a luxurious tourist complex in Saada, a rural town near Marrakech.

    The wedding organizers reportedly asked guests to switch off their phones during the ceremony to avoid the leaking of photos or videos of the wedding.

    The gendarmerie, with the help of some local residents who had reported the wedding, chased and arrested eight guests. Others managed to escape the scene by car.

    Same-sex marriage is illegal under Article 489 of the Moroccan Penal Code, which criminalizes “lewd or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex.” It is punishable by 6 months to 3 years’ imprisonment and a fine of MAD 120 to 1,200.

    Although same-sex marriage is legal in several parts of the world, including the US, Australia, and Canada, merely being a member of the LGBTQ community in Morocco and other generally conservative societies is largely rejected.”

  13. Energy Minister: Morocco to Become China–Africa Partnership Hub (moroccoworldnews, Feb 21, 2019)

    “Morocco is becoming a hub for a partnership between Morocco, China, and other African countries, said Minister of Energy, Mines, and Sustainable Development Aziz Rabbah on Wednesday in Rabat.

    Rabbah spoke to Maghreb Arab Press (MAP) at the 20th Mines-Rabat Enterprises Forum, the theme of which is “Morocco: A promoter of Chinese-African partnership.”

    Morocco can act as a link between China and the rest of Africa thanks to major reforms and partnerships under Morocco’s Africa policy, he stressed.

    Because of Morocco’s successful model, which has yielded some positive results on both the African and international levels, Morocco could stand as a strategic hub for trade and investment between Africa and China, Rabbah asserted…”

  14. Human smuggling bid foiled at new Islamabad airport (tribune, Feb 21, 2019)

    “Immigration officials claim to have foiled a human smuggling attempt at the new Islamabad International Airport.

    The immigration officers of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) at the Islamabad International Airport (IIA) told Daily Express that while checking a China-bound flight of a private airline, a woman, SS*, told officers that she was being trafficked.

    She told officers that her parents had allegedly sold her to a Chinese man, who was accompanying her, for a sum of Rs400,000. After that, the Chinese man, who apparently runs a marriage bureau in the federal capital, had snatched her travel documents.
    She expressed the fear that the man may sell her to clients once in China.

    SS* told the officers that her parents had previously attempted to sell her to an Arab man in Qatar but law enforcers there had deported her.

    At this, the FIA stopped the two from boarding the plane and travelling out of the country and handed them over to their human smuggling cell in Islamabad for further investigations…”

  15. Pakistan bans Hafiz Saeed’s charities, hints at action against group blamed for Pulwama attack (tribune, Feb 21, 2019)

    “Pakistan on Thursday dropped a clear hint at taking action against a banned group blamed for the Pulwama suicide attack as the country outlawed two charities run by Hafiz Saeed who India alleges had masterminded the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

    The move to ban Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation — the two organisations that India believes are front for the banned Laskhar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the hint of possible action against Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) came during a meeting of the high-powered National Security Committee (NSC).

    India blames the LeT for being behind the deadly rampage by gunmen in its financial capital of Mumbai on November 9, 2008 that had left over 160 people dead. Delhi also claims that Maulana Masood Azhar, chief of JeM, the group that purportedly claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack, is based in Pakistan.

    Presided over by Prime Minister Imran, the NSC meeting was attended by key federal ministers, three services chiefs as well as heads of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI).

    Soon after the meeting that lasted over three hours, the interior ministry issued a statement in which it said that the NSC reviewed the National Action Plan (NAP) in detail.

    “It was decided during the meeting to accelerate action against the proscribed organisations,” it added. “It was further decided that Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Falah-e- Insaniat Foundation be notified as proscribed organisations by the ministry of interior.”

    The JeM was banned in 2002 by then military ruler General Pervez Musharraf. The reference to expediting action against proscribed organisations suggested that Pakistani authorities would act against the JeM.

    The decision is seen as significant and could be aimed at defusing tensions with India, although the NSC stated in “unequivocal terms that the state of Pakistan is not involved in any way, means or form in the Pulwama incident” which it said “was conceived, planned and executed indigenously”.”

  16. Turkey set to begin oil and gas drilling off Cyprus (hurriyetdailynews, Feb 21, 2019)

    “Turkey is about to start offshore drilling with two vessels around the island of Cyprus, Turkish foreign minister said on Feb. 21.

    “Let those who come to the region from far away, and their companies, see that nothing can be done in that region without us. Nothing at all can be done in the Mediterranean without Turkey, we will not allow that,” Mevlüt Çavu?o?lu told at an event gathering business people in Turkey’s western Ayd?n province.

    The natural resources in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean Seas as well as Cyprus are “strategic goals and national issues” for Turkey.

    About Turkey-Russia relations, Çavu?o?lu said although Western countries criticized Turkey’s good relations with Russia, “most of those NATO member countries have better relations with Russia.”

    The minister described Western countries’ view on Turkey-Russia ties as “double standard.”

    “Today we are supplying 50 percent of our gas need from Russia. Some of the European countries are providing 80-90 percent [of it]. This is the reason why [U.S. President Donald] Trump has been recently criticizing Germany. It is okay when you take it, but it turns out to be a problem when Turkey builds strategic relations or Turkish Stream,” he said.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island’s Turks and Ankara’s intervention as a guarantor power.

    It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including the collapse of a 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the U.K.

    Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, saying Turkish Cypriots also have rights to the resources in the area.

    Turkey launched its first drillship in the east Mediterranean on Oct. 31, 2018. The drillship “Fatih” (Conquerer in English) —named after Ottoman Sultan Mehmed, who conquered Istanbul— began exploratory drilling off Antalya in the east of the unilaterally declared Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Cyprus.”

  17. Greta Thunberg urges EU to double carbon reduction targets

    Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who has inspired children worldwide to boycott classes, urges the European Union to double its ambition to cut greenhouse gases in order to save the planet.

  18. Some 220 irregular migrants held across Turkey (aa, Feb 21, 2019)

    “At least 220 irregular migrants were held across Turkey, security sources said on Thursday.

    In the eastern Van province, bordering Iran, gendarmerie forces rounded up 41 irregular migrants who entered Turkey illegally, said a security source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

    Security forces arrested two alleged human smugglers.

    In another operation, 46 migrants in a rubber boat were held by the Turkish Coast Guard in the Aegean Sea off the coast of Izmir province.

    Separately, security forces arrested 44 others in a rubber boat off the coast of Kusadasi in the Aegean Aydin province.

    Some 13 irregular migrants — Palestinian, Syrian, Yemeni nationals — were held by the Turkish Coast Guard in the Aegean Sea off the coast of Mugla province.

    Security forces also arrested one over human smuggling.

    In the southern Hatay province, 11 migrants who illegally entered Turkey were held by security forces at the border with Syria.

    One alleged human smuggler arrested in operation.

    In the northwestern Balikesir province, gendarmerie forces rounded up 37 irregular migrants during regular patrols.

    Some 28 irregular migrants in a rubber boat were held by the Turkish Coast Guard off the coast off northwestern Edirne province.

    All the migrants were referred to provincial migration directorates.

    Turkey has been a main route for irregular migrants trying to cross to Europe, especially since 2011, the start of the Syrian civil war.

    Over 265,000 irregular migrants were held in Turkey in 2018, according to the Interior Ministry. “

  19. Man who hit passerby with bar cleared due to schizophrenia (ansa, Feb 21, 2019)

    “A 32-year-old Cameroon man who hit a Serbian waiting for a Milan tram over the head with an iron bar three times in January last year was cleared of attempted murder Thursday after a judge said he was suffering a psychotic episode due to schizophrenia.

    Franklin Njuakeh was said to have been suffering from “complete mental infirmity” because of his schizophrenia, a court heard.

    The victim has partially lost his hearing.”

  20. Diciotti migrants file for damages against Italy (ansa, Feb 21, 2019)

    “A law firm has filed a suit in the Rome civil court against Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini on behalf of 41 migrants who were rescued at sea and brought aboard the ship Diciotti, sources at the interior ministry said.

    In the lawsuit, the migrants are asking for damages between 42,000 and 71,000 euros for having been forced to remain aboard the ship for several days. Sources at the interior ministry said 16 of the 41 migrants in the lawsuit have a birthdate listed as January 1.

    After the migrants disembarked from the Diciotti, they took refuge at structures run by the Baobab Experience refugee association.(ANSAmed).”

  21. Greta Thunberg to EU’s Juncker: “We started to clean up your mess, stop sweeping mess under carpet”

    16 years old climate activist Greta Thunberg has given a rousing speech at an EU event in Brussels.

    The teenager opened a European Commission event in front of President Jean-Claude Juncker where she told politicians to stop ‘sweeping their mess under the carpet for our generation to clean up’.

    Greta, from Sweden, defended the hundreds of thousands of children who took part in global school strikes saying: ‘If you say we are wasting valuable lesson time, let me remind you, our political leaders have wasted decades through denial and inaction and since our time is running out we have started to take action.’

    Today, Greta Thunberg is joining Belgian students who are skipping classes for the seventh Thursday in a row to march through Brussels to draw more attention to fighting climate change.

    The 16-year-old Thunberg said youngsters are being forced to skip school and protest because adults are not addressing climate issues quickly enough.

    She told the European Economic and Social Committee plenary session that “we are school striking because we have done our homework” on the dangers facing the Earth.

    Thunberg has become her generation’s voice on climate change after inspiring students around the world to go on strike to express their anger and angst over global warming.

    • Climate activist Greta Thunberg’s press conference in Brussels (21st February 2019)

      This morning, Swedish young climate activist Greta Thunberg, 16, has once again given a rousing speech on the climate crisis to defend schoolchildren who went on strike last week.

      The teenager opened a European Commission event in front of President Jean-Claude Juncker where she told politicians to stop ‘sweeping their mess under the carpet for our generation to clean up’.

      Greta, from Sweden, defended the hundreds of thousands of children who took part in global school strikes saying: ‘If you say we are wasting valuable lesson time, let me remind you, our political leaders have wasted decades through denial and inaction and since our time is running out we have started to take action.’

  22. Denmark to deport four for attack on Turkish embassy (thelocal, Feb 21, 2019)

    “A Molotov cocktail attack on the Turkish Embassy in Copenhagen last year has resulted in deportation sentences for four convicted in connection with the crime.

    The four men were convicted at Copenhagen City Court on Wednesday morning for attacking the Turkish Embassy with petrol bombs in March 2018.

    The men, aged 19, 22, 23 and 24, were found guilty of having thrown several Molotov cocktails at the building in the Østerbro neighbourhood.

    Three were given prison sentences of one year and nine months, while a one year, six month-long custodial sentence was given to the fourth.

    All four will be deported from Denmark and given 12-year bans from entering the country.

    Several people attending the trial broke into tears as the sentences were read out, Ritzau reports.

    All four men are part of Copenhagen’s Kurdish community, the news agency writes.

    The attack took place on March 19th last year. Charges were announced in November.

    One of the men has previously said that he had planned to celebrate Kurdish New Year, but cancelled those plans after hearing of the operation by Turkish military forces in Afrin, a Kurdish canton in northwestern Syria.

    He then travelled to a Kurdish meeting place in Valby near Copenhagen, where he met the other three men.

    They were driving in Copenhagen when they came upon the idea to throw petrol bombs at the embassy. A total of seven Molotov cocktails were thrown.”

  23. Denmark’s parliament passes ‘paradigm change’ asylum bill (thelocal, Feb 21, 2019)

    “New legislation providing for what has been described by its proponents as a ‘paradigm shift’ in Denmark’s refugee and asylum policy was passed by parliament on Thursday.

    The government, the Danish People’s Party and the Social Democrats all voted in favour of the legislation, which has been the subject of criticism by humanitarian organisations.

    A key aspect of the bill is its shift in focus from integration to future repatriation in Denmark’s approach to those who seek refuge in the country, including UN quota refugees and others who do not have permanent status.

    Minister for Immigration and Integration Inger Støjberg said that she did not know how many refugees would be sent to home countries as a result of the new legislation.

    “We expect a tangible effect. But this is obviously not something we can put a figure on,” she said in parliament.

    The Social Democrats, the largest opposition party, voted in favour of the bill despite having stated they did not agree with parts of it, such as a reduction in a social welfare benefit, integrationsydelsen, which people granted asylum are given.

    Mattias Tesfaye, who is the party’s spokesperson for immigration, said he supported the general concept of moving towards a temporary status for all refugees.

    “People will be given the more honest message that their stay in Denmark is temporary,” Tesfaye said.

    Other opposition parties were critical of the new rules.

    “The essence of this is about making life harder and more unpleasant for people who have come here to escape Assad’s barrel bombs and the sex slavery and terror of Islamic State,” Red-Green Alliance spokesperson Pelle Dragsted said.

    Støjberg compared disagreement between opposition parties over asylum and refugees to an “abyss”.

    “It is utterly clear that, if there is a (left wing) majority after the (general) election [to be held no later than June this year, ed.], then immigration will become a battlefield and risks sinking into chaos,” the minister said.

    The ‘paradigm shift’ is a term used to describe government and Danish People’s Party policy and law changes which have sought to reduce the number of refugees who remain in Denmark permanently. Around 90 percent currently do so after being given asylum, Ritzau writes.

    Refugees should be sent home when conditions in their countries of origin are deemed safe enough for this to occur, according to the policy.”

  24. Several Swedish airport workers linked to criminal gangs: police report (thelocal, Feb 21, 2019)

    “Several people working at Sweden’s biggest airport have direct or indirect links to some of the country’s most notorious criminal networks, a leaked police report showed on Thursday.

    In the classified report, which was sent to a number of customs officials in September, police stated that “several individuals with criminal links” worked at strategic positions at Stockholm’s Arlanda airport.

    This included staff responsible for security checks, the runways and baggage handling services.

    According to the report, obtained by Swedish tabloid Kvällsposten, there is evidence to suggest that some of the country’s most notorious criminal gangs, including Hells Angels, are involved, and that they may use their inside connections to facilitate drugs- and arms-smuggling operations. Some of the airport staff were also said to be connected to radicalized groups.

    At least ten people working in the security check section alone were identified as having either direct or indirect connections to either criminal groups, criminal individuals, or to be on the police watchlist themselves.

    Two of these individuals were fired in 2017, with one of them let go explicitly due to security reasons.

    The police listed several instances where crimes had been committed with the help of airport staff. They noted for example the case of a cash-smuggler who was able to pass through security despite the X-ray check, as well as a baggage handler who was convicted of drug smuggling.

    The report also criticized the airport’s passport controls as inadequate, along with Arlanda’s camera surveillance systems.

    And it also said that the airport is vulnerable to terror threats, warning: “The lack of continuous training can lead to the risk indicators of terror travellers or human trafficking not being used as an operational tool.”

    Earlier this year, it was revealed that people who were staying in Sweden illegally had worked as cleaners in the police section of the airport.

    Stockholm’s international Arlanda airport is the largest in the country, with around 25 million travellers passing through it each year.”

  25. Leaving Syria, many Islamic State members to transit Turkey (DW, Feb 21, 2019)

    “Regional leaders will soon need to discuss how Turkey will deal with an influx of former Islamic State fighters attempting to transit the country on their way back to their homelands from neighboring Syria and Iraq.

    Turkey’s government has repeatedly been criticized for the way that it has permitted fighters for the Islamic State, al-Qaida, the Nusra Front and similar terror organizations to transit the country relatively freely en route to Syria ever since the beginning of the civil war nearly eight years ago.

    “They will also use Turkey in order to leave Syria,” Metin Gurcan, a security researcher at the Istanbul Policy Center (IPC), told DW. That, he said, is why it is important for the Turkish and EU security services to work together.

    “Getting across the country will become extremely expensive for them,” Gurcan said. “Ankara needs to make sure that as few fighters as possible settle in Turkey.” He emphasized that it was vital that this topic be addressed by the international parties active in Syria’s civil war.

    ‘An important point’

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly claimed that Turkey is fighting more than one terrorist organization in Syria: the Islamic State and the US-allied Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG, who were instrumental against IS in the region. In addition, he has said that Turkish police carry out frequent raids on potential IS members. There are no official figures on the number of suspects arrested.

    In Turkey, the battle against IS and its former fighters is taking place in part before the courts. In 2014, IS carried out the first of its 13 attacks in Turkey in the central Anatolian town of Nigde. Three people died, and another eight were wounded. Nine attackers were found guilty, including Benjamin Xu, from Germany, Cendrim Ramadani, from Switzerland, and Muhammed Zakiri, from Macedonia.

    “Back then, the attackers were not convicted of ‘membership in a terrorist organization,'” said Ali Cil, one of the attorneys for the victims. “We objected to this at the time, but our objection wasn’t sustained.”

    Cil said there were also irregularities at the hearing. For example, the accused didn’t appear in court in person; instead, they participated by video conference. He said the defendants’ invoking of this right had had a negative effect on the adjudication process. “The accused didn’t answer any of the judge’s questions — not even when they were asked their names,” he said. “Just once, one of them shouted ‘God is the greatest’ (Allahu Akbar).”

    Cooperation with IS?

    IS carried out one of its bloodiest attacks on October 10, 2015, in Ankara, when a suicide bomber at a peace demonstration killed 102 people.

    The lawyer Sevinc Hocaoglu represented the relatives of one of the victims. She said she and her colleagues only had limited access to the files. “For the most part, the investigations were withheld from us,” Hocaoglu said. “They didn’t reveal the network IS had built up in Turkey. The trials were only half-heartedly conducted. That’s still the case.”

    The lawyer is making serious accusations. At the time, Hocaoglu said, there were IS offshoots in the Turkish city of Gaziantep, on the border with Syria. “There was no secret as to where IS had its cells, and it was also clear who was going in and out,” she said. “If the court had taken the camera footage into consideration, it wouldn’t have been a problem to track IS in Gaziantep. But that wasn’t done.”

    Hocaoglu said recordings of telephone calls had proved that some of the convicted IS fighters had had contact with law enforcement. “How were these members of IS able to travel in and out of Turkey?” she said. “What was the role of the law enforcement officers? There was no further investigation into any of that.”

    The IPC’s Gurcan said the topic of how to deal with former IS fighters must to be seen in a wider context. IS and groups like it have lost control of land they had taken in Syria, but, he said, the organization continues to have members in Iraq and Syria, where it remains a “social phenomenon.”

    Unlike the terrorist organization al-Qaida, which summoned only fighters, IS had called on members to bring their families, as well, to the “caliphate” they were meant to help establish. “What will become of the wives who stay behind — and the children?” Gurcan said.”

  26. India to cut water to Pakistan as Kashmir conflict escalates (DW, Feb 21, 2019)

    “The move has come amid rising tensions in Kashmir after an attack on an Indian military post. Pakistan’s PM Khan separately authorized his military to “respond decisively” to any “aggression” by India.

    India’s infrastructure minister, Nitin Gadkari, announced on Twitter on Thursday that his country had “decided to stop our share of water which used to flow to Pakistan.”

    The announcement came as tensions between India and neighboring Pakistan continued to soar in the wake of a deadly terror attack in the disputed Kashmir region last Thursday.

    India blames Pakistan for the attack, which killed 40 paramilitary soldiers, whereas Pakistan denies any involvement…”

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