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 must use it while we can.
euro pravda – Sri Lankan movement seeks to reduce communal violence through dialogue
Survey shows most Sri Lankans don’t have any friends in communities outside their own, group tells The World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue in the Azerbaijani capital Baku
Joe Biden’s despicable lie about a tragedy reveals a man lacking character and moral fiber
By Michael Dorstewitz May 8, 2019
Although former Vice President Joe Biden is enjoying a lot of wind behind his sails since he announced his third presidential run, eventually his ship will hit the doldrums. A half-century in public office always turns up a few skeletons.
Many of them are already well-known. But there’s one from decades back that demonstrates more about the Biden character — or rather lack of it — than anything else, and could be his campaign’s death knell.
In late 1972, Biden had just been elected to represent Delaware in the U.S. Senate, and Christmas season was approaching. His first wife, Neilia Hunter Biden, drove off in search of the perfect family Christmas tree. She took their three children, sons Hunter and Beau, and daughter Naomi, with her.
They never made it. Their car was struck by an oncoming truck, and both Neilia and Naomi were killed. Although police found the truck driver blameless, the event haunted him until his own death 27 years later.
Pelosi claims Congress is a ‘superior’ — not coequal — branch of government
Brooke Singman, Fox News May 9, 2019
[Ed. – And yet Nadler thinks the Trump administration is a threat to our system of governance.]
Pelosi claims Congress is a ‘superior branch’ of government, as clash with White House intensifies
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday declared that Congress is a “superior branch” of government, as the clash between congressional Democrats and the Trump administration over closely held documents intensifies.
During an interview with Robert Costa for Washington Post Live, Pelosi, D-Calif., was asked whether Congress is functioning as a coequal branch of government.
“I think we’re a superior branch, quite frankly,” Pelosi said. “We have the power to make the law and the president enforces the law. So we have a big role. We’re closest to the people and we have a big role to play.”
Despite Pelosi’s opinion, the U.S. Constitution, in its first three articles, defines three distinct branches of government: legislative, executive and judicial. The separation of powers also creates a system of checks and balances to ensure all three branches are coequal.
Pelosi’s comments, though, come amid a battle between the White House and Congress over sensitive material—including files detailing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and President Trump’s tax returns.
The House Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed several Trump administration officials, including former White House Counsel Don McGahn, who featured prominently in the section of Mueller’s report on obstruction of justice. The White House has blocked McGahn from testifying before the committee and from turning over documents responsive to that subpoena, instead saying the committee should direct future requests for those documents to the White House.
Erdogan: EU ‘Doomed to Failure’ Without Turkey’s Full-Fledged Membership in Bloc (sputniknews, May 9, 2019)
ANKARA (Sputnik) – EU efforts to ensure its values are doomed to “failure” without Turkey’s full-fledged membership in the bloc, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday.
“Turkey will continue its efforts to join the European Union, despite the actions of those who are trying to force it out of the European community. Without Turkey’s full-fledged membership, all EU efforts to ensure its declared values are doomed to failure. The European Union needs Turkey more than Turkey needs the bloc,” Erdogan said at a meeting of the group on the implementation of reforms in Ankara.
According to him, Turkey has fulfilled 66 out of 72 criteria put forward by the European Union as a condition for the introduction of a visa-free regime, and further steps will be taken in the near future to fulfill the remaining six criteria.
The Turkish leader added that a revised agreement on the customs union between Turkey and the European Union is in the interests of both Ankara and the bloc.
The bilateral talks stalled in 2016 following an attempted coup in Turkey, which was suppressed by the authorities, who introduced a state of emergency in the country and proceeded to purges of tens of thousands of people accused of being involved in the coup. The European Union condemned the Turkish authorities’ tough measures toward the opposition, including mass detentions, which became another stumbling block in the accession talks.
In 1963, Turkey signed an agreement with the European Economic Community, the European Union’s predecessor. In 1987, Ankara filed an application to become an official member of the bloc, however, the negotiations between the two sides did not begin until 2005.”
The Turk wants to control the southern route of invaders to Europe. The great wave from across the Med, Africa via Libya. Staggering numbers.
You can tell an enemy-sourced report if it lavishes boo-hoos over conditions in Tripoli. If it demands ceasefires and negotiations.
Both sides are mercenaries in a proxy war. That “UN-recognized govt of Libya” – MB/al-Q, IS, et al. – has to be defeated.
Italy and France are on opposite sides: _Very_ narrow perspective. Each wants control over the oil, all in the eastern region firmly controlled by Haftar.
the gateway pundit – Former Obama WH Comms Director: “I Hope” House Democrats Break the Rules in Order to Take Down President Trump (VIDEO)
Former White House Comms Director Jen Psaki said Wednesday that she hopes the House Democrats break the rules to take down the Trump Administration.
These left-wing authoritarians don’t even try to hide their lawlessness anymore.
“Nadler is — I hope he’s not following the rules — yes the legal rules, but we need to be more rule-breakers on the Democratic side and not play by the game that has always been played because we are dealing with Donald Trump,” Psaki said to CNN’s Jake Tapper on Wednesday.
And Nadler did just that on Wednesday.
President Trump on Wednesday asserted executive privilege over the full, unredacted version of Mueller’s report and the House Dems voted to hold AG Barr in contempt of Congress for refusing to give Congress the full report and underlying grand jury material.
Nadler and the Dems voted to hold Barr in contempt for following the law. This is the current state of affairs in this country.
The Dem-controlled Judiciary Committee chaired by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), held a vote Wednesday morning and voted on party lines — 22 Dems to 12 Republicans.
The Justice Department hit back at Nadler and the Dems in statement Wednesday afternoon.
The DOJ argued that AG Barr made “extraordinary efforts to provide Congress” with information related to Mueller’s report, however the attorney general was not going to break the law.
The Democrat party is a cabal of lawless officials who are now targeting the Trump Administration for following the law.
One of the major problems we in the US face is that the political class (mainly on the left but to an extend all across the spectrum) think they are above the law and that they can break the law anytime they want. Look at the way the Dems are moving to protect the crooked cops and other bureaucrats that illegally used the US government to spy on the political campaign of the opposition party. Is this going to be the norm?
Open incitement to commit a crime,how enlightened and progressive.when you have cut down all of the trees,who then will stand against the wind that blows?
Khan’s London: 14-Year-Old Boy Stabbed in Back and Head (breitbart, May 9, 2019)
“A 14-year-old boy was stabbed repeatedly, including in the back and the head, according to witnesses, in south London in broad daylight.
The youth was attacked on Wednesday at 5:30pm on Gloucester Road, Croydon, near Selhurst Railway Station. Police discovered him lying on the street, giving him first aid until paramedics arrived. His injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.
A suspect was reportedly seen running away from the scene shortly afterwards, and police are appealing for witnesses…”
A Looming Crisis in the Mideast
by Ahmed Charai
May 9, 2019 at 7:00 am
After raining down some 600 rockets that killed four Israelis this past week, the Netanyahu government responded with overwhelming force, deploying jet fighters to carry out multiple air strikes, killing 23 Gaza residents including a pregnant woman, according to Palestinian Authority officials. (The pregnant women and her child, however, are now confirmed as having been killed by a Palestinian rocket that feel short.)
And, so, the cycle of violence makes another cruel revolution. What makes the events of the past week different from earlier rockets-and-retaliation episodes? The reaction of Arab intellectuals and other thought leaders in Muslim world.
Consider the tweet of Dr. Turki Al-Hamad, a well-known Saudi author and thinker. He tweeted: “It’s a repeating loop: rockets [are fired] from Gaza into Israel, Israel bombs [Gaza], someone or other mediates, the fighting stops – and the common Palestinian folks pay the price. This is ‘resistance,’ my friend. Iran and Turkey are in trouble, and the Palestinians are paying the price.”
Note his use of scare quotes around resistance and his willingness to blame Iran and Turkey, two Muslim-majority nations, instead of the Jewish state. This marks a real rhetorical change.
The Middle East Anti-Peace Movement
by Khaled Abu Toameh
May 9, 2019 at 5:00 am
Ibrahim al-Karaki, the mayor of the Jordanian city of Al-Karak, 87 miles to south of Amman, with a view to the Dead Sea, is under attack for hosting Israeli (Jewish) tourists during the Jewish Passover holiday. His critics have accused him of promoting normalization with the “Israeli enemy” and are demanding his resignation.
Although Jordan has a peace treaty with Israel, many Jordanians remain opposed to any form of normalization with Israelis. The same applies to Egypt, the second Arab country that has a peace treaty with Israel and where the “anti-normalization” camp remains one of the strongest in the Arab world.
Al-Karaki is reported to have helped the Israelis cross a valley that is closed to tourists. His other “crimes” include feeding the Israeli tourists and presenting them with plaques of appreciation from the city.
Because of these “crimes,” the mayor has been facing a massive wave of condemnations from angry Jordanians accusing him of engaging in normalization with the “Zionist enemy.”
Bibi’s enthusiasm over the budding friendships with Gulfies has to be an act. They’re all faking it.
It turns my stomach.
U.S. revokes citizenship of Portland largest mosque’s imam
By Pamela Geller – on May 8, 2019
The largest mosque in Portland. Think of the implications. Monitor the mosques and stop jihad immigration. Catastrophe is not a matter of if but when. The Oregonian laments “The revocation of Kariye’s U.S. citizenship falls at the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.” Sick. National media ignored the story.
The U.S. government has revoked the U.S. citizenship of the former imam of Portland’s largest mosque after he arrived in Somaliland last week.
Mohamed Sheikh Abdirahman Kariye is on the government’s no-fly list, but the government arranged for him to travel back to his homeland after reaching a settlement with Kariye in January.
Under the deal, Kariye agreed not to challenge an order revoking his citizenship and acknowledged having provided false information to immigration officials in July 1997 when he had applied for U.S. naturalization.
Muslim Migrant Discovered To Have Beheaded 20 People For Islamic State
Hungary detains Syrian Islamic State member accused of killings
By Reuters, May 7, 2019:BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Hungarian authorities detained a Syrian man on Friday accused of taking part in beheadings in Syria as a member of Islamic State, Budapest prosecutors and the European judicial co-operation agency Eurojust said.
The 27-year-old man, identified by Hungarian authorities as F. Hassan, is suspected of executing about 20 people in 2016, all family members of a person in Homs city who refused to join Islamic State, Hungarian prosecutors said.
“In a rapid intervention, coordinated by Eurojust, the Hungarian authorities have arrested a high-profile target suspected of committing terrorist activities in Syria, linked to the so-called Islamic State,” Eurojust said in a statement.
Pope Rejects ‘Excessive Demand for Sovereignty’, Pushes Idea of Global Authority
Pope Rejects ‘Excessive Demand for Sovereignty’, Pushes Idea of Global Authorit
By: Benjamin Gill and Steve Warren, CBN, May 6, 2019:
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Pope Francis is pushing for steps toward global authority that supersedes the rights of individual countries, all with the goal of pursuing “the common good” on issues like climate change and immigration.
“When a supranational common good is clearly identified, it is necessary to have a special authority legally and concordantly constituted capable of facilitating its implementation. We think of the great contemporary challenges of climate change, new forms of slavery and peace,” he told members of the Pontifical Academy.
“Pope Francis is pushing for steps toward global authority that supersedes the rights of individual countries, all with the goal of pursuing “the common good” on issues like climate change and immigration.”
“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”
Just another commie bastard vampire.
Wogs for thee,but not for me.
Left Wing Digital Media COLLAPSING, VICE Investment TOTAL LOSS
40 New Arrests in Rotherham
Deutsche Pravda – Mother’s Day fail: German supermarket slammed for sexist ad
Men’s rights activists are predictably out in force against Edeka’s new ad, but the piece has feminists worried too.
Edeka says the use of tired gender tropes was a way to say thank you to mothers.
It finishes with the punchline: “Mum, thank you for not being dad” and images of a loving mother caring for her daughter while the father chows down on what look like Doritos.
Islamic State claims attack on DR Congo military base near Kamango (thedefensepost, May 9, 2019)
“Islamic State claimed that fighters from its Central Africa Province affiliate attacked a military base in Bunduguya in Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern North Kivu province, near the border with Uganda, the third ISIS-claimed attack in three weeks.
In statement released on Wednesday, ISIS said ISCAP fighters on Tuesday, May 7 clashed with Congolese soldiers, “injuring a number of them” while others fled.” It said “various munitions” had been captured…”
Now they stir up Africa to drown us in a tidal wave of parasitic negroes,the Chinese have already opened the door in Italy with “belt and road”,salvini should never have let them in,spain is yet to declare,but it is already big buddies with morocco ,so it is just a matter of what flavour of wogs that you want.
And Italy is supporting the jihadis in Tripoli, the so-called UN-recognized govt. The side that’s guaranteed to pour sub-Saharan Africans across the Med. Hypocrisy too thick to shovel.
US airstrike kills 13 Somalia ISIS fighters, AFRICOM says (thedefensepost, May 9, 2019)
“A U.S. airstrike in has killed 13 Islamic State fighters in northern Somalia, U.S. Africa Command said Thursday.
The Wednesday, May 8 airstrike targeted an ISIS encampment in the Golis mountains, the Thursday press release said.
“We are supporting our Somali and AMISOM partners with increased, mature intelligence sharing,” said Rear Admiral Heidi Berg, U.S. Africa Command director of intelligence…”
We’ve got a Somali terrorist sitting in Congress.
So much for your increased, mature intelligence sharing.
Kenya court jails British terror suspect Jermaine Grant for possessing explosives (thedefensepost, May 9, 2019)
“A Kenyan court on Thursday, May 9 sentenced British terror suspect Jermaine Grant to four years prison for possessing bomb-making materials, charges the accused extremist has long denied.
Grant, who is accused by Kenyan authorities of ties to East Africa militant group Al-Shabaab, is already serving a separate nine-year sentence on forgery charges.
The Muslim convert was arrested in Mombasa in December 2011 by police who allegedly found chemicals, batteries and switches in his possession…”
China Says Will Defend Firms against Growing US Pressure on Iran (tasnimnews, May 9, 2019)
“China on Thursday slammed a new set of unilateral US sanctions targeting Iran’s metal, mining and oil sectors, saying it will defend Chinese companies’ rights in the face of Washington’s embargoes…”
Iran Slams Fresh US Sanctions (tasnimnews, May 9, 2019)
“The Iranian Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the latest US sanctions targeting Iran’s export of industrial metals…”
Yemeni Forces Fire Ballistic Missile on Saudi Positions in Najran (tasnimnews, May 9, 2019)
“The Yemeni army and popular military forces fired a ballistic missile at a Saudi military position in the kingdom’s southern region of Najran…”
Israel Helped Thwart Possible Iranian Attack on U.S. Interests in Gulf
Israeli intelligence services reportedly tipped off the United States on an impending Iranian attack on “U.S. interests in the Gulf,” senior Israeli officials told Channel 13.
Israel shared the information with the White House prior to National Security Adviser John Bolton warning Iran on Sunday night that the U.S. would respond with “unrelenting force” to any attacks on American personnel or installations in the Middle East.
“The officials said intelligence gathered by Israel, primarily by the Mossad intelligence agency, is understood to be part of the reason for Bolton’s announcement,” according to Channel 13.
The outlet reported that Israeli officials shared the intelligence with their American counterparts a few weeks ago during discussions between delegations led by Bolton and Israel’s National Security Adviser, Meir Ben-Shabbat.
The Israeli official noted that, “It is still unclear to us what the Iranians are trying to do and how they are planning to do it,” but he stressed that it was clear the threat was against a U.S. target in the Gulf or U.S. allies, like Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates.
Reports: Somalia arrests UAE spy network (memo, May 9, 2019)
“Somali authorities are reported to have arrested a spy network working for the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Only Twitter users report the news, quoting a local intelligence source.
Earlier this year, Somali Foreign Minister Ahmed Issa Awad said that his country’s relations with the UAE are not at the level they should.
In an interview with the Anadolu Agency, Awad explained that relations between the two countries have improved since the outbreak of the political crisis between them in mid-2018.
In April last year, Somali security forces seized some $9.6 million from a private plane which had landed from Abu Dhabi. The UAE said the funds were needed to pay the salaries of Somali soldiers, however Somalia believes the money is being used to buy power in the country and an investigation was launched to locate where the funds came from and their intended use.
The UAE’s foreign ministry condemned Somali authorities for seizing the privately registered aircraft at Mogadishu International Airport which had some 47 Emirati officers on board at the time of the incident.
A month earlier, Somalia rejected a UAE port deal with Ethiopia and the self-declared state of Somaliland, claiming that it undermines its unity, sovereignty and constitution.”
Oman ratifies defence agreement with UK (memo, May 9, 2019)
“Oman’s Sultan Qaboos has issued a decree approving the sultanate’s recent joint defence agreement with the UK, the official Oman News Agency (ONA) reported yesterday.
On 21 February, the UK and Oman signed a joint defence agreement, with the aim “to activate joint military actions to ensure the security and stability of the two countries [Oman and Britain], and to pave the way for more military cooperation and joint exercises.”
In a statement, Britain said at the time that the agreement was “signifying Britain’s commitment to security in the Gulf for years to come.”
Under the agreement, the UK will develop the Duqm Port in Muscat and will build a military force in a recently-established Omani-British Joint Training Area, dubbed “Saif Sareea 3”. The joint agreement will allow the UK to use those facilities for many years. In exchange, Britain will send £3 billion ($3.9 billion) for the Gulf region’s security for ten years.
On 5 October 2018, Saif Sareea 3 drills were launched in Oman with the participation of 5,500 British soldiers after a 17-year hiatus.”
We are back,boys,where is mad mitch?
Iraqi military to arm residents of 50 Mosul villages (memo, May 9, 2019)
“The Iraqi military on Thursday announced plans to arm residents of 50 villages near the city of Mosul, provincial capital of the northern Nineveh province, Anadolu Agency reported.
“Following a meeting with local tribal chiefs, the army chief-of-staff decided to arm residents of 50 villages near Mosul to allow them to defend themselves against possible terrorist attacks,” Brigadier-General Najm al-Jabouri, head of the army’s Nineveh Operations Command, said in a statement.
Earlier Thursday, five people — from the same family — were killed near Mosul in an attack by the Daesh terrorist group, according to the Defence Ministry.
The terrorists attacked the home of a district governor in ??the village of Al-Lazzagah, killing him and four members of his family.
In late 2017, Baghdad declared that Daesh’s military presence in Iraq had been eradicated following a three-year war between the terrorist group and the army.
The latter, however, continues to carry out frequent operations against Daesh “sleeper cells” which it says remain active in certain parts of the country.”
Tripoli government suspends operations of 40 firms including Total (memo, May 9, 2019)
“Libya’s internationally recognised government has suspended the operations of 40 foreign firms including French oil firm Total, a government official said on Thursday, Reuters has reported.
The ministry said that the firms’ licences had expired, according to a decree that appeared online, and whose authenticity was confirmed by an official in the ministry.
Total is a major oil player in Libya, which pumps more than 1 million barrels of oil a day.
Ties between Tripoli, home to the internationally recognised government, and France have been strained because Paris has ties to Tripoli as well as Khalifa Haftar, a commander whose troops have been trying to take the capital in a month-long battle.
Last month, the Tripoli-based interior ministry suspended security cooperation with France, accusing Paris of backing Haftar…”
The govt in Tripoli doesn’t have the power to suspend anything. Total is the biggest firm by far; France is supporting Haftar.
And all the oil is in Haftar territory.
Cracking down on takfiri clerics during Ramadan (ahram, May 9, 2019)
“MPs this week demanded the Ministry of Awqaf (Religious Endowments) exert stricter control on mosques during the holy month of Ramadan.
Hussein Abu Gad, a member of the Future of Homeland Party, warned that extremist and takfiri clerics affiliated with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and other radical Islamist movements would seek to use the fasting month of Ramadan to infiltrate mosques and spread their perverted version of Islam.
“We need stricter control to prevent radical clerics from insinuating themselves, particularly in secluded and rural districts,” said Abu Gad.
Abu Gad also recommended that mosques not be allowed to overdo the use of loudspeakers.
“It is good that the Ministry of Awqaf has instructed mosques that the use of loudspeakers be confined to the calls to prayer (azan),” said Abu Gad.
“Unfortunately, in spite of these instructions most mosques insist on using loudspeakers during the taraweeh prayers [post-Ishaa prayers which are performed during Ramadan]. Even internal loudspeakers should be restricted to performing the evening, taraweeh and dawn prayers.”
A week ahead of Ramadan Minister of Awqaf Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa said strict instructions had been sent to mosques to use loudspeakers only during the call to prayer…”
UN Food Report Reveals Hunger on the Rise Near East and North Africa (moroccoworldnews, May 9, 2019)
“Hunger in the Near East and North Africa (NENA) region continues to worsen in a trend that has been seen since 2011, according to a report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The rise of hunger in the region is primarily due to the region’s ongoing conflicts, reports the FAO. While those five conflict countries have seen an increase in undernourishment to 26%, the rate has remained relatively low (5%) in countries which aren’t experiencing conflict.
Two-thirds of hungry people in the region, making up 34 million people, live in countries affected by conflict. The remaining 18 million hungry are not in conflict stricken countries, but experience the region-wide ramification of those conflicts.
“Conflicts and civil instability have long-lasting impacts on the food and nutrition security of both affected and surrounding countries in the region,” said Abdessalem Ould Ahmed, the Assistant Director-General and NENA Representative of the FAO.
The rise in conflicts and the failure of countries to adequately invest in structural reform policy threaten the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which includes the goal of Zero Hunger, the elimination of hunger and malnutrition by 2030.
In addition to malnutrition, the region faces the issue of obesity, which put pressure on countries health systems and economies. The report recommends that, in order to combat obesity, countries work to raise public awareness and ensure access to nutritious food.
Key in the report”s recommended solutions is the need to invest in rural transformation. According to the FAO, improvements in hunger-management, food security, and nutrition are positively associated with rural transformation.
Rural transformation specifically refers to support for sustainable practices, better infrastructure in rural areas, and the reduction of food insecurity and poverty. The need for proactive policy is especially necessary as 40% of the population in the NENA region live in rural areas.
“Countries that are not in conflict and have gone furthest in transforming rural areas in a sustainable way… have achieved better food security and nutrition outcomes than those in conflict or with lower levels of rural transformation,” said Ould Ahmed.
One such country is Morocco…”
Coca-Cola is set to launch a new logo in Norway dedicated to Muslims during the holy month known as Ramadan. The campaign will feature advertising posters with the familiar Coke logo surrounded by a crescent moon
This in a country being overrun with moslem violence. Mind numbing stupidity.
Saudi Arabia offers ‘green card’ residency to foreign skilled professionals, investors (tribune, May 9, 2019)
“In an attempt to attract foreign skilled professionals and investors, Saudi Arab has abolished decades-old Kafala system under which a migrant worker’s immigration status is legally bound to an individual employer or sponsor (kafeel) during the contract period.
The kingdom’s Shoura Council on Wednesday approved a “green card”-style residency scheme, reported Arab News.
The authorised draft of the new Privileged Iqama system will offer a raft of benefits to highly skilled expatriates and owners of capital funds. Unlike the existing iqama system, such residents would not require a Saudi sponsor or employer.
The benefits on offer include the ability to recruit of workers; ownership of property and transport; employment in the private sector, commerce and industry; freedom of movement and exit from the kingdom and return; and the use of designated queues at airports.
Under the system, which requires a guarantee of specific fees, there are two categories: An extended iqama and a temporary one.
Eligible expatriates must have a valid passport with a credit report, a health report and no criminal record.”
SC dismisses plea seeking halt to drone strikes (tribune, May 9, 2019)
“The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday upheld an earlier verdict by the Peshawar High Court (PHC) and dismissed a petition filed to halt US drone strikes in Pakistani territory.
The petition was dismissed by a three-member bench, led by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, which stated that such issues are overseen by the government.
“Innocent people are killed in the drone strikes,” said the petitioner’s lawyer. The chief justice said that the drone strikes have now stopped.
The last suspected US drone strike in Pakistan occurred in December 2017 along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
The apex court further added that the Ministry of Defence and the government can approach the US on the issue as the court can not ask the US to halt such attacks.
The PHC had earlier forwarded the issue to the defence ministry.
A petition had been filed in the SC by Raja Saad Sultan challenging the decision of the PHC for stopping of US-led drone strikes.
A diplomatic row broke out between Islamabad and Washington last year in January, over the a US drone strike in Kurram Agency with both sides publicly rejecting each other’s claims on the actual target.
Reports claimed that the drone targeted a commander from the Haqqani network and his two accomplices in the Kurram Agency. But Pakistan was quick to challenge the reports, insisting that the predator strike actually hit the Afghan refugee camp.
In an unusual move, the US embassy issued a statement, calling Pakistan’s assertion as ‘false’.
That prompted Pakistan to issue a second rebuttal in as many days but this time it came from the army, that gave more insight into the drone strike.”
4,000 terrorism cases pending in ATCs (tribune, May 9, 2019)
“Around 4,000 cases of terrorism are pending in the country’s 73 Anti-Terrorism Courts (ATCs).
The ATCs were established under the ATA, 1997 for speedy trial of cases pertaining to terrorism, sectarian and targeted killings, extortion and kidnapping for ransom.
An ATC is legally bound to decide a case within seven days after indictment.
According to the data available with the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan (LJCP), 3,909 cases were pending in 73 ATCs until December 31, 2018 while 2,972 cases were only sub judice in 32 ATCs of Sindh.
In Punjab, 1,313 terrorism cases were instituted last year and now the number has decreased to 421.
In Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 634 cases were filed in 13 ATCs and now 159 cases are pending.
Likewise, 306 cases are pending in nine ATCs of Blochistan.
Four hundred and forty-eight cases were instituted in Balochistan last year. Only 51 cases were pending in two ATCs of the federal capital till December 31, 2018. One hundred and seventy cases were filed in Islamabad last year.
It is learnt that on average, 29.2 cases are being decided per month in all ATCs.
It is also learnt that same data was presented before Police Reforms Committee (PRC) meeting, which was chaired by Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa on Monday.
The meeting was attended by the inspector generals of police from Sindh, Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Islamabad, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir and the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan (LJCP) secretary.
Insiders revealed that the committee noted that one of the main reasons about the acquittal of suspects in terrorism cases was that witnesses did not step forward to record their statements.
The committee resolved to provide protection to witnesses in such matters.
Likewise, it was emphasised that modern technology would be used to collect evidences in ATC cases. Likewise, ATC judges and staff would also be imparted training.
The committee also urged the Balochistan government to establish a forensic lab. Interestingly, there was no forensic lab in the province.
Earlier, the PRC in its report on the effectiveness of the criminal justice system noted that there was a need for an effective victim and witness protection programme under the act, instead of the status quo position of leaving it to the provinces.
The police and the courts should also be empowered to “take all necessary steps” to ensure that the victims, witnesses, judges, investigation officers and prosecutors were effectively protected during and after terrorism trials.
These steps could involve image and voice distortion, closed sessions, and any other measures considered necessary and expedient in the interest of justice and the protection of witnesses.
The PRC report reveals that a study carried out in K-P for 2015, 2016, and 2017 indicated that, on average, 48 per cent of cases filed by the police under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) and sent to the ATCs were eventually discharged or dismissed by the courts.
Another study highlighted some of the deficiencies of the investigating officers posted in the K-P Counter Terrorism Department (CTD). Most of the investigation officers (IO) posted in the K-P CTD had not received any specialised training in dealing with terrorism investigations of cases, indicating a serious gap in police training programmes in K-P.
Moreover, an overwhelming number of IOs were not even aware of the investigation-related provisions of the Fair Trial Act, which prescribes the legal procedure for IOs to wiretap and intercept terrorists’ communications in a manner that the information is admissible in court.
Another study was carried out by a police officer to identify the reasons for acquittal in terrorism cases in Punjab between 1990 and 2009. The study analysed 178 acquittal judgements and broadly identified three reasons – defects in the FIR, flawed investigations, and prosecution problems.
A similar study carried out by another police officer on cases registered under the ATA in Punjab points out the frequent application of ATA to crimes such as gang rape, and mass murder, which, strictly speaking, do not usually fulfil the definition of terrorism.
In fact, the study highlighted that between 2005 and 2011, only 4.6 per cent of cases registered under the ATA in Punjab involved explosives or suicide bombers, the most recognisable form of terrorism.
The same research also indicated that the average conviction rate in ATA cases in Punjab courts during the same period was only 14 per cent.
The PRC notes that after the CJP formed it to give recommendations to the Law and Justice Commission for Police Reforms, a quick survey was conducted. The provincial CTDs were asked to share the latest conviction figures in terrorism cases. It was found that the conviction rate improved in Punjab, going up to 61 per cent in 2016 and 2017, while in K-P it was just 30 per cent, and in Sindh it had gone down to an abysmally low four per cent.
The committee notes that there needs to be a significant improvement in the conviction rate in all the provinces, while also calling on Punjab to share the best practices employed to improve its conviction rate.”
Salvini says he won’t assign port to Navy ship after migrant rescue (ansa, May 9, 2019)
“Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said Thursday that he will refuse to assign a port for a Navy ship to dock in after it rescued dozens of migrants in waters off Libya. “There is a Navy ship that picked up 40 immigrants in Libyan waters. I won’t give it a port,” said the League leader, who has spearheaded the government’s tough stance of closing ports to vessels that have rescued migrants. “Why in Libyan waters? Yesterday a Libyan coast guard patrol saved over 200 migrants and took them back.
“We either all work in the same direction or we don’t because you can’t have a interior minister who closes the ports and someone else who picks up migrants.
“It’s true that some issues need to be clarified within the government”.
Salvini also said Premier Giuseppe Conte’s coalition government will run into trouble if it does not introduce tax cuts soon.
The League leader wants the executive to accelerate on its pledge to bring in a two-tier flat tax on income. “The government has a problem if it wastes time on taxes and on cutting bureaucracy,” Salvini said on the fringes of a rally in Pesaro.
He suggested that the League’s coalition partner, the 5-Star Movement (M5S), may be backtracking on some pledges.
“The League is ready, but if someone has changed their mind about taxes, (regional) autonomy, immigration (they should say),” Salvini said.”
Man arrested for slitting wife’s throat (ansa, May 9, 2019)
“A man was arrested Thursday for slitting his wife’s throat near Piacenza on Wednesday.
Abdelkrim Foukahi, a 41-year-old Moroccan stopped at a motorway service station in Veneto Wednesday afternoon, is accused of murdering his wife, Damia El Essali. She was found in a pool of blood in their home at Borgonovo near Piacenza on Wednesday morning.
The man, who was missing with their two children aged two and four for several hours, was tracked down thanks to his car number plate which showed up at an A4 motorway entry point. The man has been taken to a prison in Venice.
Carabinieri carried out the arrest on a warrant from Piacenza prosecutors.”
Berlin park’s ‘drug dealing zones’ spark outrage (thelocall, May 9, 2019)
“The manager of Berlin’s notorious Görlitzer Park has come under fire after creating zones for drug dealers to conduct their business. Amid harsh political criticism, the dealers say they have few other options.
Berlin government authorities have strongly criticized the plan as an ‘open invitation to break the law’.
Authorities have long considered drug dealing in Berlin’s Görlitzer Park to be a problem. Police raids are frequent but efforts to curb the sale of illicit substances have largely failed.
Cengiz Demirci, the newly appointed park manager’s ‘solution’ to the issue has drawn criticism from the Berlin government, who argue that the move “supports organized drug trafficking”.
Demirci – along with some of the dealers themselves – have argued that government policy means they have few other options to turn to.
A practical safety issue?
Demirci was recently appointed as the first ever manager of the central Berlin park.
He began sectioning off areas using pink paint earlier in the week, arguing that creating zones was a practical necessity so that visitors to the park would not be bothered while the dealers conducted their activities.
Demirci said the demarcations would also keep greater distance between the dealers. Disagreements between different groups of dealers have led to violent confrontations in the past.
Demirci told the RBB-Abendschau that the demarcations were a step towards improving order and safety in the park, although it was not the best available solution.
He suggested allowing the dealers to work legally would tackle the issue. “Then 90 percent of the activity would stop here immediately,” he said.
Many of the dealers in the park are of African, particularly West African, origin. While some are here illegally, others are in the process of having their asylum claims considered – during which they are denied permission to work.
‘Nobody wants to work here’
The feeling on the ground in the park largely mirrors that of the park manager.
The Local visited Görlitzer Park on Thursday morning after the zones were created. Some men who self-identified as having previously dealt drugs in the park, suggested that the move was merely paying lip service to the actual problem.
Moses told The Local that he wasn’t allowed to work due to his visa, giving him few other options.
“I don’t want to be here. But what do I do?” he said. “I’m waiting. Nobody here wants to be working here.”
One man from The Gambia who declined to provide his name said that allocating specific space for dealers to operate – and for park visitors to walk freely – would do little.
“What will the paint do?” he said. “I can paint the ground. This week they (police) come (again) but next week there’s nothing here.”
Another man, from Senegal, laughed at the CDU’s suggestions that the painted lines would turn Görli into a “drug market”.
He suggested people could already get what they wanted from the park.
“Görli is a Späti (kiosk),” he said. “Görli is already a supermarket. We can paint and put up the signs but it’s already a supermarket.”
‘An open invitation to break the law’
Burkard Dregger and Kurt Wansner, of the CDU party, strongly criticized the move to paint zones for drug dealers.
Dregger, a spokesperson for the interior ministry, released a statement saying that the park manager was encouraging illegal activity.
“The demarcations in Görli by the park manager are an open invitation to break the law and a betrayal of the (local) residents,” he said.
“With the allocation practice, the district office is now officially converting Görlitzer Park into a drug market. It supports organized crime drug trafficking.”
Wansner, the member for Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, concurred.
“It is completely absurd and unacceptable for the district to promote drug sales and consumption in Görlitzer Park with its park managers,” he said.
“(The demarcations) torpedo all efforts to get the drug problem under control there.”
‘The park manager must provide solutions’
The Local contacted the district of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, which employs the park manager, to shed some light on the demarcation.
A spokesperson provided a statement to reaffirm that while the park manager is charged with finding solutions to any problems that may arise, he had not gained approval or coordinated with the office with regard to the markings.
“It is the task of the park manager to find solutions to the conflicts in Görlitzer Park within the scope of his possibilities.”
“The approach with the coloured markings on the sidewalks, however, is not coordinated with the district office and (the markings) will be well considered and discussed by the relevant committees.”
A decades-old problem
The news that drug dealers are operating in Görlitzer Park is nothing new. Recent efforts to tackle the problem have been largely ineffective.
Police spokesman Benjamin Jendro said that the problem was one of political will. The only way to truly fix the issue was through political will and an increase in the police presence.
“Unfortunately, we see in recent years that nobody really wants to get Görlitzer Park drug-free and thus crime-free.””
Where is the rape zone?
Seven Kings mosque in London on LOCKDOWN after ‘shot fired’ during Ramadan prayers (express, May 9, 2019)
“A LONDON mosque is on lockdown after a shot was fired during Ramadan prayers on Thursday.
Police confirmed a large police presence will remain close to the Seven Kings mosque, on High Road, Ilford for the remainder of the night. The horror gun threat is alleged to have happened at the mosque during Ramadan prayers. The Metropolitan Police confirmed a “firearm” weapon had been discharged late on Thursday night.
On Twitter, the Met added: “Officers are at the scene of a firearm discharge on High Road in Seven Kings.
“There are no reported injuries.
“A large police presence will remain in the area overnight.”
People on Twitter claim the mosque has been on lockdown following the alleged shooting…”
DAILY MAIL – Gunman opens fire outside mosque after being chased out by worshippers during Ramadan prayers in east London
Police said there was a ‘firearm discharge’ at the Seven Kings Mosque in Ilford
Onlookers said a gunman entered the religious building before being chased out
He fired a gun once during Ramadan prayers, according to bystanders
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