Contributor’s Links post for March 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

131 Replies to “Contributor’s Links post for March 14, 2019”

  1. VICE NEWS – Contrapoints Is De-Radicalizing Young, Right-Wing Men

    The far right is the dominant political community on YouTube.

    It’s a flourishing world of men’s rights activists, libertarians, anti-feminist atheists, and white nationalists.

    There are whole channels dedicated to showing “social justice warriors” getting “owned” by various conservative provocateurs.

    And this has gone largely unanswered by the left.

    Enter Natalie Wynn, who’s trying to de-radicalize this part of YouTube with an unexpected mix of philosophy and elaborate costumes.

    And she’s making some headway.

  2. Georgia: Woman arrested for building ‘KILL LISTS’ of servicemembers for Muslim terror group #ISIS

    Federal prosecutors in New York announced charges Tuesday against a woman accused of recruiting cyber supporters to an online group that published “kill lists” on behalf of the Islamic State. Kim Anh Vo conspired to provide material support to the designated foreign terrorist organization Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, commonly referred to as ISIS.

  3. Breaking: Transcript Reveals Dirty Cop Robert Mueller DID NOT Investigate Peter Strzok’s Vow to Stop Trump

    The Inspector General report released in June 2018 revealed a previously hidden, extremely damning text message from Peter Strzok to Lisa Page.

    The Trump-hating agent sent his mistress a text message saying “we’ll stop” Trump from becoming President.

    This text message from Strzok was sent to Page 9 days after “Crossfire Hurricane” was opened and 6 days before the “insurance policy” text.

  4. UK: Article 50 extension ‘final betrayal of whole sorry story’ – UKIP leader

    Supporters of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) protested outside the House of Commons in London on Thursday as parliament voted on whether to seek an extension of Article 50, delaying Brexit.

    Footage shows protesters with signs saying “Just Leave.”

    “If Parliament asks for an extension of Article 50, then it will be the final betrayal of this whole sorry story, and we’ll know that they’ve got no intention whatsoever of honouring their pledge,” said UKIP leader Gerard Batten.

    Parliament voted against the possibility of leaving without a deal on Wednesday, but the government has been unable to find a deal which would satisfy the House and EU negotiators.

    As the Brexit deadline of March 29 approached, the House voted on Thursday to seek an extension until June 30th.

    • BBC – MPs vote to seek delay to Brexit –

      MPs have voted by 413 to 202 – a majority of 211 – for Prime Minister Theresa May to ask the EU for a delay to Brexit.

      It means the UK may not now leave on 29 March as previously planned.

      Mrs May says Brexit could be delayed by three months, to 30 June, if MPs back her deal in a vote next week.

      If they reject her deal again then she says she will seek a longer extension – but any delay has to be agreed by the 27 other EU member states.

    • “Recollect, Gentlemen, what was my situation. Recollect that my family was ruined and myself destroyed, merely because it was Mr Perceval’s pleasure that justice should not be granted; sheltering himself behind the imagined security of his station, and trampling upon law and right in the belief that no retribution could reach him. I demand only my right, and not a favour; I demand what is the birthright and privilege of every Englishman.

      Gentlemen, when a minister sets himself above the laws, as Mr Perceval did, he does it as his own personal risk. If this were not so, the mere will of the minister would become the law, and what would then become of your liberties?

      I trust that this serious lesson will operate as a warning to all future ministers, and that they will henceforth do the thing that is right, for if the upper ranks of society are permitted to act wrong with impunity, the inferior ramifications will soon become wholly corrupted.

      Gentlemen, my life is in your hands, I rely confidently in your justice.”

      Bellingham was hanged in public three days later. René Martin Pillet, a Frenchman who wrote an account of his ten years in England, described the sentiment of the crowd at the execution:[4]

      “Farewell poor man, you owe satisfaction to the offended laws of your country, but God bless you! you have rendered an important service to your country, you have taught ministers that they should do justice, and grant audience when it is asked of them.”

  5. Note: I do not know if this story is in any way related to our focus, but if it is…

    SPENCER, NE — Officials say a dam in north central Nebraska has been compromised.

    Authorities with the National Weather Service and the Nebraska State Patrol say the dam was compromised sometime after five P-M Wednesday. This video shows the Niobrara River pouring through gaping holes in part of the dam.

    Mandatory evacuations are underway in communities downstream of the dam in Boyd and Knox Counties. Reports say the swelling river has taken out the bridge next to the dam on Highway 281, the Highway 11 bridge south of Butte, and the Redbird bridge south of the Niobrara in Holt County.

  6. EU presidential hopeful Manfred Weber behind push to keep Central European University in Budapest

    Weber applies Bavarian political and financial power in bid to help anchor the university in Europe and safeguard it against political interference in the future

    German MEP Manfred Weber hopes three professorships in partnership with Technical University of Munich (TUM) and jointly funded by car maker BMW and the Bavarian government, will help Central European University keep a stronger foothold in Hungary, in the face of the political row over its status that has lasted for over two years.

    TUM has offered to set up three professorships at the CEU in Budapest, in close collaboration with CEU and an unnamed “US American top-level university”. Two of these professorships with be financed directly by the Bavarian government, while the other will be sponsored by BMW.

    “We presently envisage international study programs that would award Hungarian, German, and US degrees,” a TUM spokesman told Science|Business. “The professorships are intended to cover technological aspects of political sciences,” the spokesman said. “It is in the interest of academia that CEU can further develop in Budapest as an east European metropolis.”

    In a statement published on Thursday, CEU said the deal opens the possibility of reversing its ousting from Hungary, but warned that efforts would be pointless without a legally binding commitment from the Hungarian government that CEU can continue to offer US-accredited degrees from its campus in Budapest.

    “No partnership between CEU and TUM is possible without definitive legal certainty about the long-term status of CEU in Hungary,” the university said.

    While the deal does not solve CEU’s problem, Weber hopes it will help anchor the university in Europe and be a safeguard against potential political interference in the future. “We appreciate the proposals from [TUM] regarding a possible collaboration with the CEU,” Weber said in a tweet during a visit to Budapest on Tuesday. “It is now up to them to discuss and implement a common strategy,” he said.

    According to TUM, the details are soon to be discussed in Munich with CEU president and rector Michael Ignatieff.

    Weber is the European People’s Party (EPP) frontrunner in the upcoming EU elections, hoping to become the next president of the European Commission. To achieve that, Weber needs the support of Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orbàn, but academics in Hungary and across Europe have repeatedly called upon him to oust Orbàn and his party from the EPP.

    Academics are disappointed with the tepid reaction from Brussels after CEU was forced by the Hungarian government to move 80 per cent of its courses to Vienna. CEU is no longer able to offer US accredited degrees in Hungary, after a law was passed in 2017 requiring foreign universities to have campuses in their home countries.

    Ignatieff has previously said that despite many declarations of support, “no leverage has been exerted on the Hungarian government from the outside.”

    The Bavarian deal is seen as another exercise in political gymnastics from Weber, who is relying on his political smarts and the influence of Bavarian companies in Hungary to win the EU elections, while attempting to defuse criticism of his failing to do more to safeguard CEU’s future in Budapest. “We expect the Hungarian government to provide a viable legal ground for CEU in Budapest,” Weber said.

    German car makers are among the most influential foreign investors in Hungary. BMW alone is planning to build a new car factory worth €1 billion near the eastern city of Debrecen.

    • Associated Press – Hungarian PM Orban apologizes for insulting EU allies

      BRUSSELS — Hungary’s prime minister has apologized for calling some of his allies in the European Parliament “useful idiots,” but continues to face demands that he and his right-wing Fidesz party be expelled from the political group.

      Prime Minister Viktor Orban sent apologetic letters to the leaders of 13 parties belonging to the European People’s Party who have called for his ouster from the group, which has 49 parties altogether. Those wanting him ousted say Orban’s fierce anti-migrant stance does not fit with the EPP’s general centrist political bent.

      In the letter sent to Wouter Beke, leader of Belgium’s Dutch-speaking Christian Democrats, Orban attributed the “useful idiots” insult to Lenin, saying he meant “to criticize a certain policy and not certain politicians.”

      “I would herby like to express my apologies, if you found my quote personally offensive,” Orban wrote, while also noting that his Fidesz party and Beke’s have “serious disagreements … on the issue of migration, the protection of Christian culture and the future of Europe.”

      Beke, however, said Thursday that while he accepted the apology, Orban’s views on European values and migration still had no place in the Christian Democratic family and his party has not changed its mind on expelling Fidesz from the EPP.

      A decision on the expulsion is expected Wednesday at an EPP political assembly.

      EPP leader Manfred Weber met Tuesday with Orban in Budapest, but said the talks had not resolved the issues that could lead to the expulsion of Fidesz.

      Weber has also urged Orban to end an ad campaign targeting European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the EU — which Fidesz said it would do — and guarantee the continued operations in Budapest of Central European University, which was founded by Hungarian-American financier George Soros.

      CEU is one of Hungary’s top universities, but announced last year that it would move its programs issuing U.S.-accredited diplomas to Vienna from the coming academic year after Orban refused to guarantee its full operations in Budapest, where it has been since 1993.

      Weber met with CEU rector and president Michael Ignatieff during his Tuesday visit to Budapest and revealed a plan involving the Technical University of Munich and German automaker BMW that could allow CEU to comply with amendments to Hungary’s law on higher education.

      Ignatieff hailed Weber’s initiative — “and the possibility it opens of reversing CEU’s ouster from Budapest” — with reservations. He called on Orban to make “an authoritative political commitment” and provide long-term legal assurances that would allow CEU to stay in Budapest.

  7. Burkina Faso rights group says military ‘executed’ dozens during counter-terror operation (thedefensepost, Mar 14, 2019)

    “A Burkina Faso rights group on Thursday, March 14 accused the military of carrying out the “summary execution” of at least 60 people during a counter-terror operation last month.

    On February 4, the Burkinabe army said it had “neutralised 146 terrorists” following an attack that killed 14 civilians near the country’s northern border with Mali.

    But an investigation by the Burkinabé Movement for Human and Peoples’ Rights (MBDHP) found no evidence of any fighting in the area.

    “We were able to confirm on the ground that there were cases of summary executions of at least 60 people out of the 146,” MBDHP’s president Chrysogone Zougmore told a press conference.

    Most of the fatalities were from the nomadic Fulani herding community, the group said, citing relatives and locals it had interviewed…”

  8. IRGC Holds Massive Drone Exercise over Persian Gulf (tasnimnews, Mar 14, 2019)

    “TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Squadrons of unmanned aerial vehicles flown by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps attended a large-scale war game over the Persian Gulf on Thursday to practice an assault operation.

    In the combat and assault drill, codenamed ‘Ela Beit ul-Muqaddas-1’ (Towards al-Quds), the IRGC Aerospace Force flew tens of military drones toward a target on a tiny island in the Persian Gulf.

    The strike aircraft, including 50 Iranian versions of the US RQ-170 Sentinel stealth drones, took off from bases as far as a thousand kilometers away from the operation zone to bomb the target.

    During the war game, attended by IRGC Lieutenant Commander Brigadier General Hossein Salami and Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the 50 Iranian RQ-170 drones and a number of other combat and assault pilotless planes raided a spot on Bani Farur Island in Iran’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf.

    All the aircraft in the war game successfully bombed the target at the same time.

    In comments on the sidelines of the drill, Commander of the Khatam al-Anbia Headquarters Major General Gholam Ali Rashid said the large-scale war game with such a high number of homegrown drones, some of which have reached the target zone from far distances for a precise air raid, should humiliate the US.

    In separate remarks, Brigadier General Hajizadeh said the presence of squadrons of drones in the airspace of a small area heralds the rise of new air power in Iran.

    He said the drones, belonging to the IRGC units in the provinces of Khuzestan, Bushehr, Fars and Hormozgan, launched the simultaneous air raid on the target on the Bani Farur Island.

    The IRGC also employed a number of drones similar to the American MQ-1 Predator, the general noted, describing such a breakthrough as a slap in the face of the US and a reminder that the huge US military spending in the region produces such results.

    In December, the IRGC Ground Force launched massive military drills in southern parts of Iran.

    Iran’s Armed Forces hold routine military exercises throughout the year.

    Iranian officials have repeatedly underscored that the country will not hesitate to strengthen its military capabilities, including its missile power, which are entirely meant for defense, and that Iran’s defense capabilities will be never subject to negotiations.

    Back in February last year, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei called for efforts to maintain and boost Iran’s defense capabilities, hitting back at the enemies for disputing the country’s missile program.

    “Without a moment of hesitation, the country must move to acquire whatever is necessary for defense, even if the whole world is opposed to it,” Ayatollah Khamenei said on February 18, 2018.”

  9. Iran Dismisses US Human Rights Report (tasnimnews, Mar 14, 2019)

    “Iran’s Foreign Ministry rejected allegations of human rights violation raised by the US State Department in its annual report, saying the US government itself is the biggest violator of human rights.

    In a statement on Thursday, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi categorically rejected the annual human rights report on Iran released by the US Department of State.

    “The US government has been the biggest violator of the Iranian nation’s human rights and has taken every measure in violation of the rights of Iranian citizens by imposing illegal, unilateral and transboundary sanctions,” Qassemi stated.

    He said the US is pointing the finger of blame at others while it has a dark record of violation of human rights and has been repeatedly criticized by international organizations and figures for it.

    The spokesman slammed as “politically-motivated, biased, and wrong” the interpretations and analyses on Iran cited in the US State Department’s report, stressing that the US, with such a dark and indefensible record of violation of human rights, is in no position to comment about Iran’s human rights situation.

    He also deplored Washington’s unilateral policies in defiance of international regulations, its instrumental use of human rights for undermining the stability and security of independent states, its flagrant support for the Zionist regime’s atrocities against Palestinians, and its arbitrary arrest of journalists, adding that US arms sales to its Middle East allies have destabilized the region and aggravated the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen.”

  10. Ayatollah Khamenei: Iran Can Inflict Heaviest Defeat on US (tasnimnews, Mar 14, 2019)

    “Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei explicated 11 approaches to dealing with challenges facing the country, stressing that maximal mobilization of Iran’s forces and potential would make the US suffer the biggest defeat of its history.

    In a meeting with members of the Assembly of Experts in Tehran on Thursday, Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized the necessity for maximum mobilization of forces to counter the enemy’s all-out onslaught.

    “The enemies, namely the US and Zionists, have today mobilize all their facilities and capabilities against the Iranian nation, while (other) Westerners and Europeans are also somehow showing hostility towards Iran on the sidelines,” the Leader warned.

    As regards the US plan to impose the harshest ever sanctions on Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei said, “They have launched a maximal onslaught against Iran, but if we carry out a maximal mobilization of facilities and capabilities (as well), we will inflict the heaviest defeat in the US history on that country, by God’s grace.”

    “Our real enemy is the US, and we won’t make a mistake in recognizing our enemy,” the Leader underscored, stating that the country should behave in such a way that the adversaries would not even think about imposing sanctions or taking military action against Iran.

    Ayatollah Khamenei further clarified 11 ways of dealing with the challenges Iran is facing, stressing that addressing the problems should be “active”, not “passive” and based only on complaints and inaction.

    The Leader also called on the authorities to opt for “creative” rather than “reflective” method of confrontation with the enemies, and to be “hopeful” and courageous in resolving the problems instead of being “desperate” and fearful.

    Ayatollah Khamenei then urged a “prudent” versus a naive and ignorant approach, stressing that the policy of defining the opportunities and threats should be inclusive, not one-sided.

    Having a knowledge of the realities on the ground instead of ignoring the facts was another necessary issue that Ayatollah Khamenei underlined in coping with the challenges.

    A confrontation with the threats must come with resourcefulness and a control on feelings, not with an emotional approach, the Leader added, stressing the need for observing the religious norms and limitations.

    The Leader also touched on the proverb ‘once bitten, twice shy’, stressing that past experiences should be taken into account in confronting with the challenges.

    “We have considerable experience of the way Americans and Europeans behaved, but the latest experience with the JCPOA and the commitments that Americans should have undertaken but reneged on is before our very eyes, and such experiences must be used in confronting with the US and the opposing front,” the Leader stated.

    In remarks in December 2018, Ayatollah Khamenei highlighted the Iranian nation’s resolve in standing against the US plots over the past decades, saying Washington has been trying to regain control of Iran like the pre-Revolution era and create the same situation that it has established in certain weak regional countries who have been derided as cows milked by the US.

    Iran’s archenemies are mired in moral and political corruption, Ayatollah Khamenei said, adding, “If you want to see the real image of the US, look at the current US president and government officials, as these people have now revealed the usual ugly and despicable face of the US politicians overtly and brazenly.”

    The Leader also cautioned Iranian officials against the unending US plots, saying the Zionists and the regional reactionaries aid and abet the US hostile ploys against the Iranian nation.”

  11. Turkey Arrests 14 Foreign Nationals Who Crossed Syrian, Iraqi Border (aawsat, Mar 14, 2019)

    “Some 14 foreign nationals with ties to the ISIS terrorist organization were captured Wednesday in Ankara in a campaign conducted by counter-terrorism and intelligence units.

    Simultaneously, a number of raids were carried out, leading to arrests and the confiscation of digital data and documents.

    According to security sources, preliminary investigations indicated that the detainees had entered Turkey illegally across the border with Syria and Iraq, and communicated with ISIS cells inside the country.

    The investigation also revealed that the detainees, whose nationalities were not revealed, were active in the ranks of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and will be deported to their countries, which is the procedure followed in Turkey when it comes ISIS supporters willing to join to the fight in Syria.

    In the same context, a Danish terrorist listed with a red notice on Interpol’s most wanted list has been captured in northwestern Turkey’s Bursa province, Anadolu Agency said Wednesday.

    The Counter-terrorism Branch of the Bursa Security Directorate and Intelligence Units arrested a terrorist woman identified as A.A.M., who had participated in ISIS activities in Syria and illegally crossed the border in Turkey.

    Reports said the terrorist was holding Danish citizenship and of Lebanese origin, and had been sought by the Interpol. A fake Danish passport was also seized in the terrorist’s house.

    More than 300 people have lost their lives in ISIS-claimed attacks in Turkey between 2015-2017. Security campaigns continue throughout Turkey in search for sleeper cells of the group.

    During the past years, Turkey suffered terrorist and armed attacks in Ankara, Istanbul and other regions – ISIS claimed responsibility for most of them. The last of them was Reina nightclub in Istanbul on new year’s eve in 2017 and the attack killed 39 and wounded 56.”

  12. Australia PM Says Won’t Risk Lives Returning ISIS Members (aawsat, Mar 14, 2019)

    “Australia’s prime minister said on Thursday he won’t put officials in danger by retrieving extremists from the Middle East after an Australian ISIS widow asked to bring her children home from a Syrian refugee camp.

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s response came after the Australian Broadcasting Corp. interviewed the woman in one of the refugee camps in northern Syria where she has lived with her toddler son and malnourished 6-month-old daughter since they fled the Syrian village of Baghouz where ISIS has been making its last stand.

    ABC said the 24-year-old woman refused to confirm her identity and wore a veil during the interview, but it identified her Thursday as Zehra Duman.

    The woman said her daughter needs hospital treatment and she wanted to bring her back to Australia.

    Morrison said Australians who take their families to war zones to fight with ISIS had to take responsibility for their actions.

    “I’m not going to put any Australian at risk to try to extract people from those situations,” he told reporters.

    Opposition leader Bill Shorten, whom opinion polls suggest will likely be prime minister after the May elections, said his party would work constructively with the government on repatriating Australian children from Syria without “political point-scoring.”

    “We’ll work it through. Do you separate kids from their parents? Who’s going to look after them?” Shorten said to reporters.”

  13. US rights report calls out ‘environment of impunity’ in Saudi Arabia (memo, Mar 14, 2019)

    “A US State Department report on human rights for 2018 acknowledged that government agents carried out the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul, Turkey, but it’s failure to mention Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) in relation to his death, is likely to be viewed as an ongoing balancing act to appease Donald Trump. The US president has continued to back the de facto ruler despite the conclusion of his own intelligence community who believe that MBS had authorised the killing.

    Saudi King Salman has pledged to hold all individuals involved accountable, regardless of position or rank, however, Riyadh’s performance on human rights, mentioned in the report, throws serious doubt in its promise to bring the killers of Khashoggi to justice. The State Department found that in a number of cases the government did not punish officials accused of committing human rights abuses, which they believed contributed to an “environment of impunity”.

    The annual report is submitted to Congress by the Department of State. It claims to place a moral restraint on US trade with autocrats by requiring American foreign and trade policy to take into account the countries’ performance on human rights before doing business.

    The close ties enjoyed by despots and autocrats in the Middle East with the US suggest that human rights have not been a consideration in its policy. Saudi Arabia is one of several states singled out for its abysmal human rights record. The report found that “many of those executed during the year had been convicted in trials that did not meet international minimum fair trial standards; those sentenced to death are often convicted solely on the basis of ‘confessions’ obtained under torture; denied legal representation in trials which are held in secret.”

    Details of enforced disappearances carried out by or on behalf of government authorities were featured in the report as well as examples of torture and mistreatment of detainees by law enforcement officers. Torture techniques employed by Saudi security officials include: sexual harassment while in detention at Dhahban Prison near Jeddah; electric shocks, whipping and “forced kissing”.

    Moral restrain is also lacking in US relations with Egypt. The report expressed “concerns over government limitations on association, assembly”. It said that government restrain on free expression “severely constrained broad participation in the political process”. Restrictions on freedom of peaceful assembly, association, and expression, were described as having a “negative effect on the political climate surrounding the elections”.

    Amongst the human rights issues mentioned in the report included: “unlawful or arbitrary killings by the government or its agents and terrorist groups; forced disappearances; torture; arbitrary detention; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention; political prisoners; arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy; undue restrictions on free expression, the press, and the internet, including censorship, site blocking, and criminal libel; substantial interference with the rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of association, including government control over registration and financing of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs); restrictions on political participation.”

    Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi is accused of failing to “comprehensively investigate allegations of human rights abuses, including most incidents of violence by security forces, contributing to an environment of impunity”. Government or its agents are said to have “committed arbitrary or unlawful killings, including incidents that occurred while making arrests or holding persons in custody or during disputes with civilians.”

    There has been no progress in holding those responsible for state violence after 2013, including the deaths of hundreds of civilians during the 2013 dispersals of the sit-ins at Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square in Cairo and Nahda Square in Giza. Instead the parliament “approved a law giving the president authority to immunize military commanders against prosecution for crimes committed between February 19, 2011 (suspension of the 1971 constitution) and January 23, 2012 (the seating of parliament) and between July 3, 2013 (suspension of the 2012 constitution) and January 1, 2016 (seating of the current parliament). They also have future immunity against prosecution for any crimes that may occur during the suspension of the present constitution and in the absence of a parliament”.”

  14. Bahrain sentences 167 people to prison in crackdown on dissent (memo, Mar 14, 2019)

    “A Bahraini court sentenced 167 people arrested in 2017 at a sit-in outside the home of Bahrain’s leading Shia Muslim cleric to between six months and 10 years in prison at a trial in late February, court documents and lawyers said, Reuters reports.

    Protesters had gathered at the home of Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim fearing that he could be deported after the authorities revoked his citizenship as part of a crackdown on Shi’ite activists, who accuse the Sunni-ruled kingdom of discriminating against them. In a raid on the sit-in, security forces killed five people and arrested hundreds more.

    Court documents obtained by Reuters showed that at the sentencing on Feb. 27, the High Criminal Court handed 56 of the defendants 10-year prison terms. The majority received one-year terms. The court acquitted four people. The documents did not specify the charges but a government spokesperson said in a statement sent to Reuters those convicted were found guilty for the “abduction and torture of innocent citizens and attacks on police officers”.

    Two lawyers involved in the case said they had filed an appeal.

    The defendants, who were detained for six months before being released on bail in late 2017, were not in court for the sentencing.

    “None of the defendants came to the court when the sentences were announced because they feared being arrested,” one lawyer, who declined to be named, said.

    Mass trials became commonplace in Bahrain following a failed uprising in 2011 that was led by members of the Shi’ite majority. Scores of people are imprisoned including leading opposition figures and human rights activists. Many others have fled abroad.

    Former members of the disbanded opposition group al-Wefaq, which was close to Qassim, said on a Twitter account they run under the group’s name that the defendants were innocent and described the May 2017 raid as a “brutal, bloody attack”.

    Atrocious Torture
    Many of Bahrain’s Shi’ites say they are deprived of jobs and government services and treated as second-class citizens in the country of 1.5 million, which is home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet.

    Since the 2011 uprising, the Gulf island has seen sporadic clashes between protesters and security forces, who have been targeted by several bomb attacks.

    In a statement on Thursday, the Bahraini government denied having targeted Shi’ite activists, saying individual rights are protected and “ethnic backgrounds are never taken into account in any circumstance in Bahrain”.

    The statement said police showed up at Qassim’s home following “complaints from members of the public of widespread intimidation, including the kidnap and torture of citizens for reporting crimes and attempting to remove illegal barricades”.

    “During the operation, the individuals attacked police officers with firebombs, axes, knives and metal rods,” the statement added.

    A US State Department human rights report released on Wednesday noted that authorities were still investigating the “circumstances surrounding the death of five protesters during a May 2017 security operation to clear protesters outside the house of Shia cleric Isa Qassim”.

    The London-based Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) said the majority of those arrested have been subjected to “the most atrocious torture”.

    “This is a massively unfair trial which has passed completely unnoticed … this trial is a textbook example of the culture of impunity that prevails in Bahrain,” said Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, Director of Advocacy at BIRD.

    The authorities have denied accusations of torture.”

  15. Interpol issues red notices for 20 Khashoggi murder suspects (alaraby, Mar 14, 2019)

    “Interpol has issued a red notice for 20 Saudi suspects in the murder of US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi upon Turkey’s request, the Daily Sabah reported.

    The suspects are accused of being members of the execution team who returned to the kingdom after murdering Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October. The interpol notice flags them for arrest around the world.

    The red notices were requested on November 15 and December 21 and issued on March 1, said the Turkish Justice Ministry.

    The notice was issued as part of Turkey’s investigation into the murder. The remains of Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, have not been found.

    Turkish police believe that the body of Khashoggi may have been cut up and then burned in the Saudi consulate wood floor furnace.

    Saudi Arabia reiterated its rejection of calls for an independent international investigation into the killing of Khashoggi on Thursday, telling the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that it was taking all the “measures required for us to resolve this heinous crime”.

    The CIA and Turkish intelligence believe bin Salman ordered an operation to kill Khashoggi. In a conversation intercepted by American intelligence agencies, Prince Mohammad is accused of telling a top aide that he would kill Khashoggi with “a bullet” if he didn’t return to Saudi Arabia, willingly or by force.

    Saudi Arabia has faced heightened scrutiny after the killing of Khashoggi put the country’s human rights record in the limelight.”

  16. Mystery infections traced to blood-shedding religious ritual (gulfnews, Mar 14, 2019)

    “Add self-flagellation to the list of ways to get a dangerous viral blood infection.

    Researchers said on Wednesday that they were initially puzzled how 10 British men had become infected with a little-known virus, because the men hadn’t taken risks usually associated with the infection.

    But then investigators learnt they had participated in blood-shedding religious rituals — cutting or whipping themselves — in Iraq, Pakistan, India and the United Kingdom.

    “There have been suggestions that you might spread infections through this route, but it has never been described before” in a published medical study, said Dr. Divya Dhasmana of St. Mary’s Hospital in London.

    She is one of the authors of the study released Wednesday in a journal published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    The men were infected with human T-cell leukaemia virus type 1. Most people infected with the virus never develop symptoms, but some develop terrible illnesses, like a deadly blood cancer or a debilitating nervous system condition.

    HTLV-1 spreads through breastfeeding, sex, blood transfusion and sharing of needles. Experts have estimated that up to 10 million people worldwide are infected, though it is considered relatively rare in the United States and United Kingdom.

    None of the men in the study had symptoms. They were diagnosed through tests that preceded blood donations or in vitro fertilisation procedures, tests that are not routinely performed in other settings.

    They came to the attention of researchers at St. Mary’s Hospital, which is a referral Centre in England for HTLV-1 cases. The mystery was solved when Dhasmana noticed scars on the back of one man, leading to questions that revealed all 10 men had participated in religious self-flagellation.

    One ritual involves striking the forehead with a knife and then passing it along to other men. Another involves striking the back with a chain of blades or other bladed implement.

    One man said that when he did it, the blades being passed around were soaked in a bucket containing an over-the-counter antiseptic solution. But that is inadequate to prevent spread of HTLV-1, Dhasmana said.

    The practice of whipping or cutting oneself has been practised among different religious groups, most notably by Shiite Muslims on the holy day Ashoura. Usually only men do it, and it’s controversial even within religious communities.

    Dhasmana said: “Our message is not ‘Don’t do it.’ Our message is ‘If you do it, don’t share equipment.’””

    • These primitive retards ,with their backwards mental deficiency will infect us all with their filthy diseases,they have a morbid fixation with blood,and just why we should allow this scum to walk our streets spraying infected blood all over the place is a mystery known only to the twisted commies who allow them to do it.

  17. Egypt legalises status of 165 churches, service buildings (ahram, Mar 14, 2019)–churches,-service-build.aspx

    “Egypt’s cabinet has legalised the status of 165 churches and church service buildings in Egypt, the official state gazette reported on Thursday.

    A committee assigned in 2017 with reviewing the status of unlicensed churches has so far legalised 783 churches and church service buildings.

    The committee is headed by the prime minister and includes the ministers of defence, housing, local development, legal and parliamentary affairs, justice and antiquities.

    The committee also includes three representatives from the General Intelligence Service, the Administrative Control Authority, and interior ministry’s national security department, and a representative of each Christian sect in Egypt.

    Egypt passed a law in 2016 easing regulations on church building.”

  18. US Report Lists Violence on Women, Corruption As Concerns in Morocco (moroccoworldnews, Mar 14, 2019)

    “The US State Department has issued its annual report on Morocco’s Human Rights Practices for 2018, summarizing both positive and negative performances in human rights in Morocco.

    The report includes seven sections: Integrity of the person, civil liberties, freedom to participate in politics, corruption, investigation of human rights abuses, societal abuses, and worker rights. Morocco faces challenges with regard to freedom of speech and the press, corruption, migration, sexual assault, and child labor, according to the report.

    While corruption is punishable, the government “did not implement the law effectively.”

    The report said that “there were reports of government corruption in the executive, judicial, and legislative branches during the year.”

    The report noted that there is an imbalance in dealing with corruption to “reduce its occurence.”

    Quoting the Ministry of Justice, the report said that 134 public officials faced corruption charges in 2018, but only 13 were convicted and 121 investigated.

    The 2018 World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index ranked Morocco 70th in the world for absence of corruption, dropping from 59th place the previous year.

    Despite the low ranking, Morocco’s anti-corruption performance has steadily improved compared to previous years. The improvement is largely due to the adoption of the access to information law in February 2018.

    The passing of the law enabled Moroccan citizens to file complaints if they were denied transparency or access to information. While the law was only implemented this week, public administrations have a full year before they are required to answer information requests.

    Women anti-discrimination law lacks clarity

    Like many observers and feminists, the report also noted the loopholes in Law 103-13 against gender discrimination implemented on September 12, 2018.

    The report also acknowledged that an act such as spousal rape is still “not a crime.”

    It also remarked that the “impact of the new law was not yet clear by year’s end.”

    Morocco’s High Commission for Planning (HCP) said in its latest report that young Moroccan women still experience violence. Sixty-three percent of women had experienced violence in 2009.

    Law 103-13 Eliminating Violence Against Women criminalizes sexual harassment and assault in public spaces as well as cybercrime.

    “The law does not specifically define domestic violence against women and minors, but the general prohibitions of the criminal code address such violence,” according to the department’s report.

    Child marriage, child abuse still exist

    While the report did not provide statistics for child abuse, exploitation, and marriage, it mentioned briefly the challenges facing children in Morocco.

    The department took notes from reports from human rights NGOs and media, which claim widespread child abuse in Morocco.

    “Prosecutions were extremely rare,” the human rights report commented.

    Morocco has a high rate of underage marriage. The report noted that “parents, with the informed consent of the minor, may secure a waiver from a judge for underage marriage.”

    In addition, “The judiciary approved the vast majority of petitions for underage marriage.”

    In Morocco the legal age for marriage is 18. However, HCP shared worrisome information about child marriage, especially in rural areas.

    HCP estimated that45,789 Moroccan girls 18 and under are married.

    “The girls remain the majority of the victims of child marriage, representing 94.8 percent (45,786 girls) of married minors,” warned the report.

    Freedom of speech, internet, and peaceful assembly

    In the section about freedom of expression, the State Department provided background about the popular Hirak movement in the Al Hoceima province, in which hundreds of people were arrested in 2016-2017. The protests condemned social disparities in the region.

    In reference to the Hirak, the report recalled that the government prosecuted a defense lawyer for Hirak protesters, Abdessadek Bouchtaoui. Bouchtaoui received a 20-month prison sentence and an MAD 500 fine for insulting officials and representatives of authority while on duty. He was also prosecuted for inciting people on Facebook to participate in unauthorized protests.

    For freedom of peaceful assembly, the report recalled the sentences given to 53 members of the Hirak, including Nasser Zefzafi, who is facing a sentence of 20 years in prison.

    According to the Moroccan Ministry of Justice, security services arrested 578 persons in crimes related to the Hirak protests, “of whom 306 were sentenced, 204 pardoned, 39 acquitted of all charges, and 29 were awaiting trial as of November,” said the report.”

  19. Morocco’s BCIJ Dismantles 6-Member Terror Cell, Includes 1 Former Inmate (moroccoworldnews, Mar 14, 2019)

    “Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ) dismantled a six-member terror cell on Thursday morning in several cities around the Casablanca area, including Mohammedia, just east of Casablanca; El Jadida, 100 kilometers west of Casablanca on the Atlantic coast; Sidi Bennour, 80 kilometers inland from El Jadida; and Marrakech.

    A statement from the Ministry of the Interior announced that BCIJ carried out the arrest in collaboration with the General Directorate of Territorial Surveillance (DGST).

    The ministry said that the six radicalized suspects were aged 27 to 40. One of the suspects had spent time in prison after police arrested him for having links with ISIS terrorists active in Libya.

    A preliminary investigation found the suspect had pledged allegiance to ISIS.

    The ministry added that the suspect was plotting terror attacks across Morocco.

    Police placed all suspects into custody for further investigations…”

  20. How Morocco Deals with Terrorist Returnees, Other Islamic Radicals (moroccoworldnews, Mar 14, 2019)

    “Ilan Berman, vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council, has explored Morocco’s strategies in dealing with repatriated Islamic radicals and the “major concern” they pose for the country.

    In his analysis, Berman emphasized Morocco’s dual approach to the problem of radical returnees: “Isolation and rehabilitation.”

    Morocco is aware that imprisonment does not always solve problems, especially not ones related to Islamic radicals and their dangerous ideology.

    Morocco’s restorative justice
    For this, the country has sought to use restorative justice for terrorist offenders who can still be rehabilitated.

    One example of the country’s new approach in criminal justice is the musalaha (reconciliation) program focusing on the rehabilitation of terrorist offenders, the participation of the victim and the reconciliation of both parties.

    It is also a reconciliation with “the offender’s religion, Islam, and society as a whole,” said Berman.

    In addition, Morocco has established a prison system that separates Islamic extremists from other “ordinary” criminals to prevent their radical ideologies from affecting other prisoners.

    Between 16 and 17 prisons house terrorist prisoners. They are classified in three categories: Religious extremists, terrorist financiers, and those specialized in ideological mobilization.

    Berman notes that prisoners who were involved in influencing and mobilizing people to adopt radical ideologies are the most dangerous of the three.

    Moroccan prisons currently house 800 Islamic radicals.

    “In this way, officials in Rabat hope to ‘quarantine’ extremists and stop their ideas from infecting those convicted of other crimes,” according to Berman.

    More than 1,600 Moroccan jihadists
    There are more than 1,600 Moroccan jihadists fighting with extremists in the conflict zones of Syria and Iraq, according to the 2017 estimates of the Moroccan Ministry of the Interior.

    In 2015, Morocco officially made mobilization to join ISIS a crime under the counter-terrorism provisions of the Penal Code, announcing a new security service, the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ).

    The country’s security bodies, the BCIJ, the General Directorate for National Security (DGSN), and the General Directorate for Territorial Surveillance (DGST) all collaborate in fighting terrorism.

    Ever since 2015, Morocco’s crackdown on terrorist cells and terrorist financiers has increased and strengthened both nationally and internationally. The country cooperates with international intelligence agencies, often assisting Spain in tracking terrorists of Moroccan origin radicalized abroad.

    Whether Morocco’s approach succeeds in dealing with the threats of terrorism and jihad returnees remains to be seen.

    Successes in the field of counter-terrorism, however, is a “valuable lesson for other regional countries that have the same problem,” Berman concludes.

    Repatriation of 8 jihadists
    On Sunday, March 10, Morocco repatriated, “on humanitarian grounds,” eight Moroccans involved in terrorism in Syria.

    The decision was part of the Moroccan authorities’ contributions to international efforts to fight terrorism.

    For its part, the US State Department expressed appreciation for Morocco’s decision, which it described as the “best solution to prevent” terrorists from returning to the battlefield.

    “Morocco is a highly capable partner in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, and we appreciate its commitment to countering terrorism,” the US Department stated.”

    • Live coverage: Christchurch mosque shootings, ‘active shooter’ situation evolving

      + videos

      * A witness inside the Christchurch mosque said a man came in with an automatic rifle and shot people
      * Witnesses said they heard “a bunch of shots” on Deans Ave. The road was cordoned off about 2.20pm
      * Eyewitnesses reported several have been killed, though officials have not confirmed this
      * Stuff understands the emergency department at Christchurch Hospital had been cleared out. Hospital staff were expecting about 40 to 50 injured people
      * A roadblock has been set up at the Aldwins Rd and Linwood Ave intersection
      * About 20 armed police are clearing buildings in Linwood, across from Eastgate Mall


      Witness saw wife lying dead on footpath
      A man, who would not give his name, said he was praying in the mosque when he heard the shooting started.
      He managed to escape, but outside saw his wife lying dead on the footpath.
      “My wife is dead,” he said, waling. Head supported by other Muslim men who prayed for him.
      Another man said he saw children being shot.
      Dozens of people were shot by a man wearing military uniform, who emptied at least two magazines.
      “There were bodies all over me.”
      A resident on Freyberg St said she heard “hundreds” of shots and it was “terrifying”.A man, who would not give his name, said he was praying in the mosque when he heard the shooting started.
      He managed to escape, but outside saw his wife lying dead on the footpath.
      “My wife is dead,” he said, wailing. Head supported by other Muslim men who prayed for him.
      Another man said he saw children being shot.
      Dozens of people were shot by a man wearing military uniform, who emptied at least two magazines.
      “There were bodies all over me.”

      more :

    • DAILY MAIL – ‘Bodies all over me’: Gunman dressed in military-style clothing livestreams mass shooting in packed Christchurch mosque ‘killing several people’ as the city is placed in lockdown

      Witnesses reported hearing 50 shots and police are responding to the incident
      Bangladesh cricket team were inside mosque at the time of the shooting
      Witnesses have said they saw ‘blood everywhere’ and people seriously injured
      There are reports of another shooting outside Christchurch Hospital

      At least one gunman has opened fire at a mosque in New Zealand, shooting at children and reportedly killing dozens of people.

      Witnesses reported hearing 50 shots and police are responding to the incident at Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch on the country’s South Island.

      Police have urged people near the area to stay indoors and report suspicious behaviour, describing the incident as ‘critical’.

      One of the gunmen is believed to have live-streamed the mass shooting inside the Al Noor Mosque, which happened about 1.30pm as Friday prayers were underway.

      There are also reports of another shooting outside Christchurch Hospital and that a bomb was found in a car three kilometres from the mosque.

      Mohammed Jama, the former president of the Muslim Association of Canterbury, said a man with a gun entered the Christchurch Mosque about 1.40pm local time on Friday.

      A man inside the mosque at the time of the shooting said there ‘bodies all over me’.

      Witnesses inside the mosque reported seeing 15 people being shot, including children.

      A man who escaped the mosque during the shooting said he saw his wife lying dead on the footpath.

      ‘My wife is dead,’ he said while wailing.

      Witness Ahmad Al-Mahmoud described one of the shooters as being white, with blond hair and wearing a helmet and bulletproof vest.

      The gunman entered and opened fire while hundreds of people were inside the packed mosque for Friday prayers.

      The mosque has capacity to hold more than 300 people.

      The Bangladesh cricket team – who are currently on tour in New Zealand – were inside the mosque praying at the time of the shooting and were forced to flee for their lives, ESPN reported.

      A witness told Radio New Zealand he heard shots fired and saw ‘blood everywhere’.

      Mr Jama said four people were injured and that he saw two people lying on the ground. He did not know if they were alive or dead, Stuff reported.

      There may have been more than one shooter inside the mosque, the New Zealand Herald reported.

      A man inside the mosque said he ran behind the building when he heard gunfire, One News reported.

      He said he saw people lying on the ground in pools of blood.

      A woman told the Christchurch Star she lay down in her car as four or five men came running towards her before hearing gunfire moments later.

      The gunman’s rifle and magazines reportedly had the names of other shooters who had killed people at mosques written on them.

      A bomb was found in a car three kilometres from the scene of the shooting, The Guardian reported.

      Another witness said people had to smash windows to escape the mosque.

      A second gunman was reportedly seen near another mosque in Linwood and an armed police presence is there.

      Twenty armed police officers cleared areas in the suburb of Linwood, and led about five men with their hands on their heads out of a building in the area.

      Police Commissioner Mike Bush said the shooting was a ‘serious and evolving situation with an active shooter’.

      ‘Police are responding with its full capability to manage the situation, but the risk environment remains extremely high,’ he said.

      ‘Police recommend that residents across Christchurch remain off the streets and indoors until further notice. Christchurch schools will be locked down until further notice.

      ‘Police thanks the public for their cooperation and will provide further updates to keep residents informed.’

      The shooting happened near Cathedral Square where thousands of children were protesting for climate change action.

      The protesting children have been told to go home to ensure their safety.

      Police officers were also seen at sports ground Hagley Park and at Christchurch Hospital.

      New Zealand Police said armed officers have been deployed in the area.

      A business owner near the mosque said a man who fled the area told him the shooting happened inside.

      A witness said they heard at least 50 gunshots and saw people lying on the ground.

      Another witness said he saw a car chasing two people from outside the mosque along Deans Avenue.

      He said the people in the car began shooting at the two people.

      Christchurch Boys’ and Girls’ high schools have both been placed into lockdown.

      Parents of students at Christchurch Girls’ High School were sent a text message telling them the lockdown was ‘not an exercise’.

      New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has cancelled her planned events for Friday afternoon in light of the shooting.

      The Canterbury District Health Board has activated its mass casualty plan and the city council has placed its central city buildings into lockdown.

      Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will speak to media at 4pm local time.

      More to come

      • The alleged gunmen did not think big enough, grenades would have been useful,but more effective would have been a nuke on mecca during the the kiwis will have to undergo weeks of self abasement,while the commies shower the wogs with millions of dollars,lick their arses and elevate all wogs to the position of saints.It is only terrorism when we do it,when the wogs do it,it is freedom fighting.

    • the gateway pundit – Christchurch Shooter “Brenton Tarrant” Posted Anti-Muslim Tweets, Photos with Ammo Before MASS KILLING

      There was a shooting at a Christchurch mosque in New Zealand on Friday afternoon.

      Several people were murdered.
      Hospitals were expecting 40-50 victims.
      The witnesses describe a man in military uniform is responsible for the shooting.

      It was facebooked!!!

      Shooter “Brenton Tarrant” posted several tweets before the shooting of his ammo.
      He marked his ammo with victims of past Muslim attacks.

    • zero hedge : Multiple Fatalities In New Zealand Mosque Shootings; Gunman Posted Plans On Social Media, Livestreamed Attack

      Now there are reports of three shooters, with one in custody.

      Radio NZ has confirmed two shootings, one at the Masjid Al Noor Mosque next to Hagley Park, and at the Linwood Masjid Mosque in the suburb of Linwood.

      The gunman posted photos of his shooting gear on Twitter prior to the shooting.

      more :

      AP – The Latest: 2nd mosque shooting reported in New Zealand

      New Zealand media say a shooting has occurred in a second mosque in the city of Christchurch.

      No details were immediately available.

      Earlier Friday afternoon, police had urged people to stay indoors as authorities responded to a shooting at the Masjid Al Noor mosque.

      A neighbor described mass casualties inside the mosque and said he saw the gunman flee.

    • DAILY MAIL – At least 27 dead as gunman believed to be a 28-year-old Australian opens fire in packed Christchurch mosque and livestreams the horrific slaughter – as more bodies are found at a second mosque

      Witnesses reported hearing 50 shots from his semi-automatic shotgun at Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch
      The gunman live-streamed the mass shooting inside the Al Noor Mosque, which happened about 1.30pm
      Witnesses have said they saw ‘blood everywhere’ and multiple people were reportedly killed in the massacre
      One of the gunman live-streamed the mass shooting inside the mosque firing at dozens as they tried to flee
      DAILY MAIL – ‘Let’s get this party started’: Chilling 17-minute video shows ‘Australian white supremacist’ mosque shooter, 28, dressed in combat fatigues calmly shoot dozens of worshippers during Friday prayers

      Shooter walked into the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch and fired multiple shots
      Emptied numerous magazines into worshippers as the huddled or tried to run
      Well over 100 shots were fired in the video streamed live to his Facebook
      He drove to the mosque blaring folk music with at least six rifles in his car

      A white supremacist shooter is believed to have filmed himself gunning down dozens of worshippers at a mosque in New Zealand while streaming the massacre online.

      The gunman, who called himself Brenton Tarrant on Twitter, entered the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch about 1.30pm on Friday during afternoon prayers and opened fire.

    “The 20th century was rich with examples of socialists not named Adolf using Jews as scapegoats for the failures of their economic programs.”

  22. European Parliament’s vote to halt accession process ‘meaningless, worthless’: Turkey (hurriyetdailynews, Mar 14, 2019)

    “The European Parliament’s vote to suspend EU accession process drew criticism from the Turkish government officials, who marked the move as “worthless” and “meaningless”.

    Turkey’s justice minister said on March 14 that the European Parliament’s vote is biased and will go down in history as an example of Europe’s alienation from its own values.

    Speaking at an event hosted by the ministry, Abdulhamit Gül said the report is “worthless” for Turkey.

    On March 13, the European Parliament voted against Turkey’s EU accession negotiations and called on the European countries to formally suspend the process.

    The vote to suspend Turkey’s EU accession process is “meaningless”, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement on March 13.

    “European Parliament’s stance against Turkey should be to promote ties, interaction and dialogue between Turkey and EU,” the ministry said.

    “Turkey expects the new European Parliament, to be formed after the elections in May, will adopt a constructive approach to the Turkey-EU relations in the upcoming period, take qualified and objective decisions and boost Turkey’s EU integration process,” the ministry added.

    Turkish Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee head Volkan Bozk?r also condemned the decision, describing it as “groundless” and said the European Parliament has showed its “bias and prejudice” against Turkey.

    “EP again proved with this decision that they are far from constructive path. Turkey’s negotiation and accession process is beneficial for both Turkey and the EU.

    “Turkey’s deep-rooted and multidimensional relations with the EU contributed and is still contributing to the EU in many aspects,” Bozk?r said.

    Turkish presidential spokesman ?brahim Kal?n also slammed the vote as “null and void” for Turkey.

    “The decision voted by the European Parliament, which is non-binding, unilateral and away from the objectivity, is null and void for us,” he said in a statement.

    “The content of the European Parliament’s 2018 Turkey report is an attempt to axe the process of increased joint efforts to gain a new momentum in Turkey-EU relations,” Kal?n said.

    He also said far-right political movements in Europe disclosed the prejudiced attitude against Turkey with a report which contains “baseless claims” that do not reflect reality.

    Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesman also criticized the vote.

    “This disrespectful decision shows European Parliament’s far-right ideological tendency,” Ömer Çelik wrote on Twitter.

    Çelik said the European Parliament was far away from making supportive decisions to democratic development and accused the European Parliament of looking through “the narrow window of the far-right.”

    EP report on Turkey

    On March 13, the European Parliament voted against Turkey’s EU accession negotiations and called on the European countries to formally suspend the process.

    A total of 370 members of the EP voted in favor of the decision to suspend Turkey’s EU negotiations while 109 voted against and 143 abstained from voting.

    The 2018 Commission Report on Turkey had been prepared by Rapporteur Kati Piri and voted in the European Parliament’s Committee for Foreign Affairs on Feb. 21.

    The non-binding advisory report, however, also praised Turkey’s efforts in hosting refugees.

    “Turkey hosts the largest refugee population in the world, with more than 3 million registered refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan,” the report noted.

    The report noted that visa liberalization is of great importance for Turkish citizens, particularly for students, academics, business representatives and people with family ties in EU Member States.

    The report expressed its firm condemnation of the return to violence on the part of the illegal PKK and recalled that the group has been on the EU list of terrorist organizations since 2002. The PKK is also listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey and the United States.

    Turkey applied for EU membership in 1987 and accession talks began in 2005. But negotiations stalled in 2007 due to the objections of the Greek Cypriot administration on the divided island of Cyprus as well as opposition from Germany and France.”

    • ‘EP’s Turkey report prepared by extremist politicians’ (aa, Mar 14, 2019)

      “The European Parliament report passed this week urging the suspension of Turkey’s EU accession process was prepared under the helm of “racist and extremist politicians,” said Turkey’s parliament speaker on Thursday.

      The EP report was “biased, unfair and, unfounded,” Mustafa Sentop told Anadolu Agency in Morocco’s capital Rabat, where he attended an Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) parliamentary meeting.

      On Wednesday, the European Parliament voted against Turkey’s EU accession negotiations and called on European countries to formally suspend the process.

      “Turkey has shown its sincerity regarding its EU [membership process] and stability in its goals. It’s also saddening for the EU, as this decision came just a very short time before the start of [resumed] negotiations,” Sentop said, referring to a Turkey-EU Association Council meeting on Friday, the first in four years.

      The EU faces an “identity crisis,” he added.

      “After the U.K.’s decision to leave the bloc, the EU has suffered a great deal of damage within the framework of its political dimensions. Many EU member states are discussing whether or not they will remain together,” Sentop said.

      On Wednesday, the report to suspend Turkey’s EU negotiations passed by a vote of 370-109, with 143 abstentions.

      The 2018 Commission Report on Turkey, prepared by Rapporteur Kati Piri, passed the EP’s Foreign Affairs Committee last month.

      The non-binding advisory report drew criticism from Turkey.

      Turkey applied for EU membership in 1987, and accession talks began in 2005.

      But negotiations stalled in 2007 due to the objections of the Greek Cypriot administration on the divided island of Cyprus as well as opposition from Germany and France.”

  23. 60,000 Turkish medical personnel subjected to violence in last 5 years: Report (hurriyetdailynews, Mar 14, 2019)

    “Some 60,000 Turkish medical personnel have been subjected to violence in the last five years, according to a report based on complaints medics made on an emergency hotline.

    “According to data provided by the Health Ministry, on average 33 violence cases against medical personnel happen in one day. Those working in healthcare fields are being subjected to violence 16 times more than those working in other fields,” the report, prepared by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Tekin Bingöl for March 14 Doctor’s Day, said.

    One reason behind the cause of the rise in violence against doctors is the “Health Transformation Program,” which sees patients as customers, according to the report.

    While some 18,000 doctors were subjected to “physical violence” in the last five years, the remaining 42,000 encountered “verbal abuse,” according to the report.

    “There are 144,827 doctors, 27,853 of whom work at private hospitals in Turkey. When taking Turkey’s 80 million population into consideration, one doctor has to care for 568 patients. This figure [one doctor] is really low when compared to OECD countries,” the deputy said.

    “In Turkey, for every 17 doctors, there are approximately 10,000 patients, while this figure is 30 doctors in OECD countries,” the report said, adding that Turkey is on the bottom of the list of the number of patients per doctor together with South Africa and Indonesia.

    The report stated that a Turkish doctor conducts 3,316 physical examinations a year, and many of these patients check-in from emergency services.

    “While emergency service application rate is five to six percent in other countries with a normal health system, in our country this figure is around 30 percent due to health policies,” the deputy added in the report.

    Another issue that the doctors in Turkey are grappling with is working hours, the report stressed.

    “The Article 99 of the Civil Servant Law stipulates that the weekly working hour is 40. But no upper limit is defined for doctors in public service,” it said.

    “Violence in the health industry has become so widespread that high school students do not want to become doctors. There is the issue of more than 30 violence cases happening in a day on average and this is intimidating students,” Sinan Ad?yaman, the head of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB), told daily Hürriyet.

    “New graduates try to choose [medicine specialization] fields in which intensive care and deaths are minimal,” he added.”

  24. New Zealand: Gunman opens fire at Christchurch mosque (DW, Mar 15, 2019)

    “Police in Christchurch are responding to a mass shooting at a mosque, with local media reporting at least one dead. Authorities have warned that the situation remains dangerous and have asked residents to stay indoors.

    Police in the city of Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island responded to a shooting at a local mosque on Friday.

    “A serious and evolving situation is occurring in Christchurch with an active shooter,” said Police Commissioner Mike Bush.

    Bush added that the risk for residents remained high and said that schools were on lockdown until further notice.

    A witness told Radio New Zealand that “there was blood everywhere.”

    Witness: Dozens of shots

    Another witness said he saw a man dressed in black enter the Masjid Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch and heard dozens of shots before fleeing. He added that he he thought saw several dead on the scene.

    Police have not commented on casualties, but the New Zealand Herald reported that at least one person had been killed.

    Later on Friday, local media also reported an active shooter at a second Christchurch mosque.

    More to follow…”

  25. French court rejects request to drop rape charges against Islamic scholar Ramadan (france24, Mar 14, 2019)

    “The Paris Court of Appeals on Thursday rejected Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan’s request that two rape charges against him be dropped.

    The 56-year-old Swiss academic spent nine months in custody last year on the allegations before winning conditional release in November.

    Thursday’s ruling upheld a decision last summer by judges who deemed the request “premature”.

    Ramadan denies charges that he raped two women in French hotel rooms, the first in Lyon in 2009 and the second in Paris in 2012. One accuser is a disabled woman identified in media reports as “Christelle” and the other is a feminist activist, Henda Ayari. After initially denying physical contact with his accusers, the scholar admitted to having consensual sex with both women.

    Ramadan, a married father of four whose grandfather founded Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, was a professor at Oxford University until he was forced to take leave when the rape allegations surfaced at the height of the “Me Too” movement late last year.”

    • “Swiss”, right, where are his Lederhosen?

      I’ll never understand why universities hire such 3rd world filth, such absolute trash. He caused problems and was eventually fired everywhere he went. Over ties with extremists of course (he’s MB, like his father and grandfather, duh), antisemitism, and lately the rape charges. He gets hired immediately in another country, and starts doing the same sh!t.
      He worked at Rotterdam university after he was kicked out of Paris for example. They hired him because he “builds bridges”, all he does is publish pro-MB propaganda, spew taqiya and denounce proper arabist scholars as “occidentalist” and “islamophobe”.
      This would be like Middle-Eastern universities recruit grand wizzards from the KKK, absolutely ridiculous. Shame on Oxford U!

  26. UK: Tommy Robinson appears on court in harassment suit against Cambridgeshire police

    Former leader of the English Defence League (EDL) Tommy Robinson gave a series of statements as he was leaving Peterborough Crown Court on Thursday, as his trial against Cambridgeshire Police continues.

    Robinson, appearing in court under his real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, accused the police of harassing him, after officers removed him from a Cambridge pub claiming that he was with a group of ‘risk’ fans, in the presence of his children.

    “I think you’ll hear from a Luton lead intel officer today, on football hooligans, and I’m pretty sure he’ll confirm every point I’m making. I’m not a danger, I’m not a threat. I’m zero risk in football,” said Robinson.

    Footage of the event that took place on August 2016 has been deleted, the court was told just before the lunch break.

    “I’m hoping that the judge gives faith to the British public that what they witnessed in that video – because that video has had millions of views, tens of thousands of comments – many people who don’t like me have commented on that video that it’s disgusting policing. It’s clear that I wasn’t a threat to anyone or a danger to anyone,” he added.

    Robinson also claimed that Cambridgeshire police offered him out of court settlements, which he later turned down. “I want an apology,” said Robinson.

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