Reader’s links for April 3, 2020

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 must use it while we can.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

127 Replies to “Reader’s links for April 3, 2020”

  1. A prominent sports journalist criticized Robert Kraft for being “friends” with President Donald Trump after the New England Patriots owner helped facilitate the transport of much-needed medical supplies amid the coronavirus.

    Kraft arranged for the team plane to transport 1.2 million masks from China to Massachusetts, where one of the largest outbreaks of the coronavirus has been met with a shortfall of personal protection equipment.

    https://pluralist.com/jemele-hill-robert-kraft/49999/?fbclid=IwAR33XxrALM2YTa-I1qmfn2Uzb9P7yKdwGlK237AYgEsKhSEhKIn0uNYjF3E

  2. Immigrant Guest Worker Visas Program Suspended After Tucker Carlson Segment
    By Brian Trusdell | Apr 3, 2020

    The Department of Homeland Security suspended its issuance of nonimmigrant guest worker visas on Thursday, one day after Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson criticized the program.

    Also on Thursday, the Department of Labor said weekly unemployment claims jumped to 6.6 million.

    “To clear up various misreporting – DHS’s rule on the H-2B cap is on hold pending review due to present economic circumstances,” Homeland Security said in a tweet just after noon Thursday. “No additional H-2B visas will be released until further notice. Per the statute, H-2B allocations are set in consultation with @USDOL.”

    https://pluralist.com/tucker-carlson-visas/

  3. Homeless Take Over SF Hotels — Liberal Law Says They Might Have Right to Stay Forever
    By REUTERS | Apr 3, 2020

    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The coronavirus crisis is beginning to do something the city of San Francisco has been unable to accomplish for years – move homeless people off the streets and into shelters, including some of the city’s now-empty hotels.

    Faced with the prospect the virus could rip through the nearly 10,000 people who live on the streets or in shelters, city officials are securing 4,500 rooms for those who need to self-quarantine. The rooms would also be for homeless residents who need to isolate themselves and cannot be sent back into the community without risking infecting others.

    The hotels may additionally house high-risk individuals among the 19,000 people living in single-room occupancy buildings with shared kitchens and bathrooms who similarly cannot self-isolate.

    https://pluralist.com/san-francisco-homeless-hotels/

  4. Violence Erupts in Italian Supermarket After Argument over Masks (breitbart, Apr 3, 2020)
    https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/04/03/violence-erupts-italian-supermarket-argument-masks/

    “A brawl broke out in a supermarket in the Italian commune of Casoria this week when two men began arguing about wearing medical masks while waiting to pay for their goods.

    Footage of the fight went viral across Italian social media which showed a man refusing to put on a mask while lining up to pay for items at the supermarket and getting violent after screaming at other patrons demanding he wear a protective mask to stop the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus.

    When the man began slapping and punching, other patrons also became involved, with the brawl spilling out into a supermarket aisle. Eventually, employees were able to come between the persons involved and stop the violence, Il Giornale reports.

    Tensions have been running high in Italy since the leftist coalition government headed by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced a nationwide lockdown last month.

    The incident in Casoria is not the first case of violence since the lockdown measures were enacted.

    In the city of Novara, a North African migrant became violent with a 60-year-old Italian man who asked him to respect social distancing measures and became even more angered when shop employees became involved in the confrontation.

    Just days later in Arezzo, a baker and her customers were also attacked by a migrant who became angered when asked to wait outside for his turn to purchase items.

    “The bad news was when he started to wreak havoc. He ran his hands over the shelves and threw everything on the ground, smashing what happened to be within his range: tins, glass jars, beer bottles. An uncontrollable fury,” the baker told a local newspaper.

    Italy’s neighbour Austria, meanwhile, has enacted measures to not only keep goods flowing to supermarket shelves by calling in the armed forces to aid in warehouses but recently passed new measures making wearing masks mandatory when entering a supermarket.”

  5. Thousands of Prostitutes Are Left Homeless in Germany as Brothels Shut Down Amid Pandemic – Report

    Prostitution is considered to be a legal activity in Germany, with many sex workers classified as self-employed. However, as the coronavirus pandemic has shut down many non-essential businesses in the country, including adult-entertainment establishments, some foreign prostitutes have found themselves in a difficult situation.

    Thousands of foreign sex workers have been abandoned on the streets in Germany after the coronavirus pandemic prompted authorities to shut down brothels and other non-essential businesses across the country in order to contain the virus’ spread, Reuters reported citing data from the Association for Erotic and Sexual Services Providers.

    Around 80% of the 100,000 to 200,000 prostitutes in Germany are foreigners from Bulgaria, Poland, Romania or Ukraine, the representative of the association Susanne Bleier Wilp said. Many of these workers did not manage to make it home in time before the borders shut down and were left homeless, with no income or place to stay.

    “We’re talking about 3-4% who are the most vulnerable in the industry. They came here with nothing hoping to earn some money. Now they are staying with friends or living on the street. A lucky few are staying in the brothels”, Wilp explained.
    Sex workers are classified as self-employed in Germany, where prostitution has been legal for more than a decade, but few are aware of their rights. Even if they pay taxes and are theoretically entitled to unemployment benefits from the government’s fund set up to help freelancers during the health crisis, they still find the current situation catastrophic.

    “The coronavirus has been a disaster for me”, a prostitute from Poland known to her clients as Nicole told Reuters. “I have had no income since mid-March and no place to sleep”.
    Nicole is hoping to get unemployment benefits from the German government, if the Job Center accepts her tax returns.

    So far, she was left homeless after the brothel where she was renting a room and accepting clients has been shut down.
    Last month, the German government closed all non-essential businesses like cafes, restaurants, clubs and brothels in order to contain the spread of coronavirus. More than 84,000 people have been infected with the virus in Germany so far, according to data provided by Johns Hopkins University, and almost 22,500 people have already recovered from the illness.

    https://sputniknews.com/europe/202004031078817766-thousands-of-prostitutes-are-left-homeless-in-germany-as-brothels-shut-down-amid-pandemic-report/

  6. The Belgian government may have destroyed millions of respiratory masks in order to make room for incoming refugees, according to reports.

    A massive stockpile of personal protective equipment (PPE) was hauled out of buildings so they could be repurposed for ‘refugee resettlement,’ a retired official has revealed.

    Maggie De Block, Belgium’s Public Health Minister, has claimed the masks were disposed of because they were expired and in bad condition, SCEPTR reports.

    However, Marc Caekebeke, who once oversaw the reserve supplies of PPE, has challenged De Block’s assertions, saying most of the masks were in working order despite being slightly past their technical expiration date.

    https://europe.infowars.com/belgium-destroyed-millions-of-masks-to-make-room-for-refugees-report/

  7. Nevada Governor Sisolak Found Hoarding Coronavirus Treatment Drug

    ust about a week after the Trump hating Democrat Governor of Nevada limited the ability for physicians to prescribe Hydroxychloroquine to treat Corona virus, news broke that Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak’s own Department of Corrections has been hoarding the drug for prisoners.

    Sisolak claimed that he was doing so to prevent the hoarding of the medicine, despite the fact that you could only obtain it through a prescription.

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/04/nevada-governor-sisolak-found-hoarding-coronavirus-treatment-drug/?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=the-gateway-pundit&utm_campaign=dailyam&utm_content=daily

  8. GENEVA, April 2, 2020 — China was appointed on Wednesday to a United Nations Human Rights Council panel where it will play a key role in picking the world body’s human rights investigators — including global monitors on freedom of speech, health, enforced disappearances, and arbitrary detention — in a move that has sparked protest by international human rights activists.

    “Allowing China’s oppressive and inhumane regime to choose the world investigators on freedom of speech, arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances is like making a pyromaniac into the town fire chief,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a non-governmental human rights organization based in Geneva that closely monitors the 47-nation UN Human Rights Council, and a leader in speaking out at the UN for victims in China.

    “It’s absurd and immoral for the UN to allow China’s oppressive government a key role in selecting officials who shape international human rights standards and report on violations worldwide,” said Neuer.

    https://unwatch.org/china-joins-u-n-human-rights-panel-will-help-pick-experts-on-free-speech-health-arbitrary-detention/

  9. Coronavirus Is About To Explode In Mexico. It’s Time To Secure The Border

    Two weeks ago I warned that Mexico was dangerously unprepared for a coronavirus outbreak and that once it hit, it would spread quickly, overwhelming a weak and corrupt Mexican state and a woefully inadequate health-care system. Despite warnings from health officials that an outbreak was inevitable, the Mexican government had done almost nothing to prepare and refused to take the threat seriously.

    Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador repeatedly dismissed the need for caution, urging Mexicans to go shopping and eat out. He even took his own advice, staging large campaign-style rallies, kissing babies, embracing supporters, and saying things like, “You have to hug, nothing is going to happen.”

    Well, now something is happening. On Monday, Mexico declared a state of emergency as the number of confirmed cases exceeded 1,000, with at least 28 deaths and counting. The number of actual cases is no doubt far higher (by Tuesday, the total was more than 1,200) but because Mexico has not scaled up testing like other countries have, and appears to have little capacity to do so, we don’t really know the extent of the outbreak. Experts estimate only about 10,000 people have been tested so far nationwide—one of the lowest testing rates in the world.

    https://thefederalist.com/2020/04/02/coronavirus-is-about-to-explode-in-mexico-its-time-to-secure-the-border/

    • I wish I knew if the virus is going to slow down or stop during the summer, there are indications saying both yes and no.

  10. (Richard: You can add China to the list of the nations that may be falling apart, they are bigger and were in better shape when the virus hit (they were in bad shape but much getter then Iran and Venezuela) but with the rest of the word not buying near as much as normal combined with the food shortage that the CCP has to pay to replace they were and still are in bad shape and getting worse daily.)

    Our Enemies May be Falling Apart

    Meanwhile they are killing their own people.
    April 3, 2020
    Michael Ledeen

    Joel Gehrke at the Washington Examiner dusts off his crystal ball, and tells us that:

    Iran’s theocratic regime could crumble under the pressure of the coronavirus outbreak that has spread through elite ranks and the broader population alike, according to the European Union’s top diplomat.

    “…countries like Venezuela or Iran may well collapse without our support,” EU High Representative Josep Borrell wrote in a recent bulletin to European colleagues. “This means we should ensure they have access to IMF assistance. And with Iran, we need to make sure that legitimate humanitarian trade can proceed despite US sanctions.”

    It’s hard to conceive of the mechanism by which Venezuela and/or Iran would “crumble,” but we get Borrell’s point. Both countries are in terrible shape, and the whole situation could well get out of control.

    Some commentators read this as a warning. They see Borrell warning of the collapse of countries like Iran and Venezuela unless his European colleagues provide emergency aid. So the Borrells of Europe and the United States are calling for their compatriots in the West to rescue Khamenei and Maduro.

    https://cms.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2020/03/our-enemies-may-be-falling-apart-michael-ledeen

  11. City of Ottawa: not letting people in retirement homes wear masks, hoards them instead

    Despite having an inventory of 1200 N95 masks, PSW’s in (city owned) long term care facilities are told they will not be distributed.

    If there’s a suspected case of covid-19, why would they not be used? What’sthe city saving them for?

    https://www.reddit.com/r/ottawa/comments/fug3ul/long_term_care_workers_told_not_to_wear_n95_masks/

    You would think that people in retirement homes who need assistance ought to be the ones being protected from infection by their Personal Service Workers (PSW) ALWAYS wearing a mask, because this CCP virus tears through the retirement residences like wildfire, but, no. This is from a comment on this thread:

    I’m a PSW working for a provincial care provider. We’re trained to use the N95 mask, but because of shortages we’ll only use them for suspected or confirmed cases of the virus. If one of my residents isn’t symptomatic, I won’t be wearing one.

  12. Hiu Kit David Chong knew what it took to get into USC.

    He worked in the university’s admissions office as an assistant director focused on graduate students from China. He himself had attended USC as a business school student, according to his lawyer.

    “He’s a big booster of USC,” said attorney Stanley Friedman. “He thinks it’s a great school for the local youth and also for international students.”

    USC does not return the compliment, instead calling Chong a “rogue former employee” who federal prosecutors say defrauded the school by helping mediocre Chinese students cheat their way into USC.

    https://laist.com/2020/04/02/usc-cheating-ex-admissions-officer-chinese-nationals.php

  13. Basic security: Trump moves to close battered, cartel-punched hole to America’s south
    By J.E. Dyer April 2, 2020

    Note: See the links appendix at the end of the text. – J.E.]

    The reaction on Wednesday to the Trump administration’s announcement of a surge against drug cartels in Central America ranged from bemused to cynical. Many Americans seemed surprised by such a priority in the midst of a virus pandemic. Others – the most cynical – saw it as merely an attempt at distraction.

    A few, like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), appeared to recognize the move’s connection to the larger strategic situation in the Western hemisphere, in which Venezuela is a red-carpet-laying path of least resistance for Russia, China, Iran, and Hezbollah, the latter a major global player in narco-terrorism.

    https://libertyunyielding.com/2020/04/02/basic-security-trump-moves-to-close-battered-cartel-punched-hole-to-americas-south/

  14. WASHINGTON — Anyone meeting President Trump or Vice President Pence will now be subjected to rapid COVID-19 tests to prevent the leaders from becoming infected with the virus, the White House said Friday.

    Starting immediately, people expected to be in close approximately with either Trump or Pence will be given a the test to “to evaluate for pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic carriers,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said.

    “As the Physician to the President and White House Operations continue to protect the health and safety of the President and Vice President, starting today anyone who is expected to be in close proximity to either of them will be administered a COVID-19 test to evaluate for pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic carriers status to limit inadvertent transmission,” Deere said.

    https://nypost.com/2020/04/03/people-meeting-trump-pence-will-now-be-given-rapid-covid-19-test/?utm_source=reddit.com

  15. Progressive organizations, many backed by billionaire activist George Soros, are at the front lines of a campaign advocating for a “vote by mail” system in the upcoming presidential election, citing fears that the Chinese coronavirus pandemic makes it too dangerous to vote in person.

    President Donald Trump warned that voting by mail would hurt the Republican Party, lambasting Democrat proposals for more money in the coronavirus stimulus bill to fund absentee and vote-by-mail options.

    “The things they had in there were crazy,” Trump said. “They had things – levels of voting that, if you ever agreed to it, you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”

    Analysts have posited that such proposals help the Democratic Party. Republicans specifically fear the prospect of voter fraud, since mail-in voting would be much harder to authenticate.

    Soros’s Open Society Foundations have long sought to change the way Americans vote, also funding groups looking to expand the use of electronic and online voting systems nationwide.

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/04/03/george-soros-groups-pushing-democrat-scheme-mail-voting/

  16. Mandating a True Great Depression
    Fear and madness in formerly free America.

    Another Thursday in the formerly free United States of America. Now, we live in the terrified, scared, locked-down shadow of that America. The streets are empty. In Beverly Hills, Persians walk down the middle of the streets begging to be run over considering that so many rich kids here have Ferraris and McLarens. Women run by with their ponytails swinging in the breeze. But people are in a state of terror. Out of their minds with fear. Police give citations for walking in groups of more than two (that’s in LA, not Beverly Hills). The worst of it is the Ministry of Fear that is the combo of government and cable news — injecting dread into the national bloodstream.

    I have stopped watching the news and its constant poisoning us with fear. Our civil liberties are just a memory and all because of a virus that’s very bad but not as bad as heart disease or cancer.

    As I write this, there are roughly 240,000 reported infections with COVID-19 in the USA. The “experts” have said there are 10 times as many infections as are reported. So there might be 2.5 million infections. The great majority have no meaningful symptoms. About two out of 100 lose their lives, and every one is a tragedy. So are serious symptoms. You do not want to be on a ventilator.

    But we have 340 million people at least in America. That’s an infection rate (assuming 10 times reported cases) of roughly 5/7 of 1 percent. The death rate is too low to be readily calculated. But it’s far less than what we got with the swine flu 10 years ago, and no one said a word about curtailing civil liberties over that. It’s very far less than the effects of smoking, but I can buy cigarettes with no problem and buy alcohol — which is deadly and advertised on TV — with ease.

    https://spectator.org/mandating-a-true-great-depression/?utm_source=American+Spectator+Emails&utm_campaign=52716c583b-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_04_03_02_54&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_797a38d487-52716c583b-104523669

    • It could go that way. But then, as governments are using this opportunity to replace reason, (modernism or Greek thought) with Neo-Marxism and even Marxist-Leninist thought, all we might get are powerful and highly paid Ph.Ds in Feminism and other sub-disciplines extracted from Marxism and their treasonous think-tanks like The Frankfurt School and Fabian Society, Runnymede and a hundred other Civilizational saboteurs, setting policy for us all.

      And that is why the US has a second amendment.

      • Yup things to do list:

        1. Pray

        2. Target Practice

        3. Buy more ammo, much more then I shot in practice.You buy the cheap ammo for target practice and save the good stuff for social occasions.

  17. Houthi Leader, 32 Coup Officials Face Charges Punishable by Death
    https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/2214421/houthi-leader-32-coup-officials-face-charges-punishable-death

    “A criminal court in Yemen’s interim capital Aden on Thursday held the first hearing of a trial in absentia involving 32 top Houthi members, who mounted a coup against the internationally-recognized government, sources from the legitimacy said.

    On trial is Houthi leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi and 31 other militants, including his uncle Abdulkarim al-Houthi, the head of the coup government, Abdul Aziz bin Habtor, and Mahdi Al-Mashat, who was appointed by the Houthis as defense minister.

    While Yemeni activists expressed wide satisfaction with the judicial action, they said it came “very late”.

    The indictment said the named Houthi officials constitute the first batch of the group’s leaders, indicating that further indictments will bring into trial other high-ranking militia members.

    The defendants face eight charges, including national treason, endangering the independence of Yemen and plotting a coup against the president and the government.

    The next hearing was set for July 2020.

    Under Yemeni criminal law, accused Houthi leaders face death sentences if the court upholds the indictment.

    Yemeni Minister of Endowments and Guidance Ahmad Attiyah, in a tweet, said that the move to try the Houthi leaders in Aden reflects the will of 30 million Yemenis.

    “This great patriotic act to prosecute the worst coup that happened historically does not require witnesses. The crimes of these elements are witnessed in every inch of Yemeni territories,” he added.

    The pro-Iran Houthi group had used its judiciary in Sanaa, Hodeidah, and other areas of its control to issue hundreds of illegal death sentences against legitimate government leaders, army members, lawmakers, activists, and political opponents.”

  18. SR100,000 fine, 5-year jail for transmitting coronavirus infection
    http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/591484/SAUDI-ARABIA/SR100000-fine-5-year-jail-for-transmitting-coronavirus-infection

    “People infected with coronavirus who fail to comply with the precautionary guidelines and instructions issued by the health authorities and end up infecting others will be subject to hefty fines, Saudi Press Agency reported on Friday citing a stern warning from the Public Prosecution.

    The Public Prosecution has asserted that the any failure to comply with the coronavirus guidelines will attract a fine up to SR100,000 and a five-year jail term, or one of these two penalties. It added that this does not exclude the victim demanding compensation.

    Article 1 of the Regulation on Protection from Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) stipulates that a person suffering from AIDS is forbidden from violating the preventative guidelines. He is also banned from practicing any activity that may transmit the infection to others.

    As for the coronavirus pandemic, since the cause of infection is more closely related to the rapid spread of the virus, it calls for a harsher penalty for any violation.

    The Public Prosecution added that the Ministry of Health and other public health authorities refer the violation, resulting from breaching the rules of the abovementioned article, to Public Prosecution to consider filing a case at the competent court.”

  19. Coronavirus: BBC begins broadcasting weekly Islamic sermons as mosques remain shut
    https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/coronavirus-bbc-muslim-prayers-local-radio

    “The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has begun airing Islamic reflections and prayers on 14 local radio stations as mosques remain shut amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    According to local media reports, every Friday at 5:50am, a different imam will lead the broadcast, reciting a verse from the Quran or a saying from the Prophet Muhammad, then translate it and talk about its relevance, followed by a minute of prayer.

    “Local radio is all about connecting communities and we hope these weekly reflections will go some way to helping Muslims feel a sense of community while they are isolating,” said Chris Burns, the head of BBC Local Radio.

    The British government ordered all places of worship closed on 23 March, as part of its measures aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.

    Days before the announcement, more than 375 mosques and prayer facilities suspended congregational activities, according to the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB).

    “Safeguarding all of our communities is paramount, and it’s reassuring so many mosques and prayer facilities have heeded this advice in trying their best to minimise the spread of the coronavirus,” Harun Khan, secretary general of the MCB, said last month.

    Many of Britain’s mosques hold thousands of worshippers at a time, including the East London Mosque, which has capacity for 7,000, London Central Mosque with more than 5,000 and Birmingham Central Mosque, which regularly hosts 2,500 worshippers or more for weekly Friday prayer services.

    Several mosques and Muslim communities have tried fill the void of the closure by using virtual means to engage in spiritual practices, though the lack of physical connection has been hard to replace.

    Still, the impact of the closure will be even more impactful during the holy month of Ramadan, which is set to begin in the third week of April.

    Harry Farley, a journalist with BBC Radio 4, responded to criticism of the announcement by pointing out that the BBC already broadcasts Christian services every Sunday.

    “And to those complaining about/questioning this, just a reminder that a Christian service is broadcast each Sunday at 8am on all 39 BBC local radio stations,” he tweeted.

    The number of Covid-19 cases in the UK increased to 38,168 on Friday, with the death toll reaching 3,605.

    In the country’s fight to combat the virus, Muslim doctors and health-care professsionals have been among the first to die on the front lines.

    Areema Nasreen, a 36-year-old nurse, became the latest Muslim fatality in the UK, joining five others who have lost their lives in the fight against the disease.”

  20. US Patriot deployment breaches Iraq’s sovereignty, says lawmaker
    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200403-us-patriot-deployment-breaches-iraqs-sovereignty-says-lawmaker/

    “A member of the Iraqi parliament’s security and defence committee has condemned the deployment of Patriot missile defence systems at bases hosting US forces in the country, saying they are a breach of Iraq’s sovereignty.

    “The decision about the withdrawal of foreign forces, including US troops, is not reversible as it represents the Iraqi nation’s will to respond to Washington’s crimes in Iraq, its flagrant intervention in the country’s domestic affairs in addition to its repeated targeting of Hashd Al-Sha’abi forces [Popular Mobilisation Forces] and its leaders,” Karim Alawi told Al-Maalomah news agency in an interview yesterday.

    “According to the available information, the US-built Patriot missile was installed in three military bases where American forces are stationed. This runs counter to the sovereignty of Iraq,” he explained.

    One of the US bases which received the Patriot system was the Ain Al-Assad airbase located in the western Anbar province and was targeted by retaliatory missile strikes from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in response to the assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani at the beginning of the year, which also killed a top commander in the PMF, Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis.

    On 5 January, the Iraqi parliament voted in favour of a resolution calling on foreign forces to withdraw from the country. Whilst there has been some reduction in troop presence in recent days, there has also been redeployments from smaller bases. Kataib Hezbollah which forms part of the PMF set a 15 March deadline on US troops to withdraw from Iraq and there has been an increase in rocket attacks against US targets. Last month two Americans and a British Army medic were killed in a rocket attack outside Baghdad, leading to US airstrikes against five weapon storage sites linked to the group. However, a new resistance faction – known as Usbat Al-Tha’ireen (League of Revolutionaries) – claimed responsibility and has vowed further attacks against US forces.

    Yesterday they released drone footage which allegedly showed they were able to hover over the US embassy in Baghdad; a precursor to being able to carry out strikes against it.

    This comes amid heightened tensions between the US and the resistance factions which are considered part of the Iraqi armed forces, some of whom have close ties to Iran. US President Trump hinted on Wednesday that Iran may be planning sneak attacks against US forces and vowed there would be a strong retaliation. Last week the New York Times reported that the Pentagon had ordered a secret directive, which called on US military commanders to prepare for military action against Kataib Hezbollah.

    Iran has responded to Trump’s statements with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif taking to Twitter cautioning people not to be misled again by “warmongers”, adding that Iran has friends not proxies. “Iran starts no wars, but teaches lessons to those who do”.”

  21. 28-year-old Turkish singer Helin Bolek dies following hunger strike over government treatment
    https://english.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2020/4/3/turkish-band-member-dies-following-prolonged-hunger-strike

    “A member of a popular folk music group that is banned in Turkey has died on the 288th day of a hunger strike protesting the government’s treatment of the band, according to a post on the group’s Twitter account.

    Grup Yorum said singer Helin Bolek died Friday at a home in Istanbul where she had been staging the hunger strike to force the government to reverse its treatment of the band and its members. She was 28.

    Grup Yorum, known for its protest songs, is a folk collective with rotating band members. It has been banned from performing since 2016 while some band members have been jailed.

    The government accuses Grup Yorum of links to the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front, or DHKP/C.

    The militant group is designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

    Bolek and fellow band member, Ibrahim Gokcek, had embarked on a hunger strike while in prison to press the government to lift the ban and free detained band members. They were released in November.

    The two were demanding that Grup Yorum be allowed to resume concerts, that jailed band members be released and that lawsuits against the group be dropped.

    Two Grup Yorum band members, including Gokcek’s wife, remain in prison.

    Bolek and Gokcek were forcibly hospitalised on March 11 but discharged a week later after they refused treatment, the Ankara-based Human Rights Association, or IHD, said.

    IHD said a delegation of human rights activists met with Turkey’s deputy interior minister last month to seek a solution that would end the hunger strike.

    The government refused to “assess” the demands until the protest was called off, the association said.

    Zulfu Livanelli, a popular Turkish singer and songwriter who sang with Grup Yorum during one of their 2012 concerts, expressed sadness over Bolek’s death on Twitter, saying “ the struggle to prevent hunger strikes from not resulting in death has unfortunately failed.”

    Hunger strikers in Turkey traditionally refuse food but consume liquids that prolong their protests.

    Agencies contributed to this report.”

  22. Federal, provincial govts decide to quarantine tableeghi jamaat members
    https://tribune.com.pk/story/2189990/1-federal-provincial-govts-decide-quarantine-tableeghi-jamaat-members/

    “The federal and the provincial government on Friday decided to quarantine all tableeghi jamaat members, in the mosques where they preach, as a precautionary measure to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

    A comprehensive policy has been framed by the authorities concerned to send the tableeghi jamat members to their respective homes after the quarantine period ends.

    According to a senior government official, present during the meeting in which the decision was taken, all governments would coordinate and cooperate with each other in the execution of this plan.

    Test samples would be taken from the mosques where the tableeghi jamaat members will reside; the source said adding that local administration would be responsible for providing ration and other amenities.

    According to data compiled by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Government, approximately 4,000 people from other provinces are part of the various missionary movements in the province excluding foreigners.

    Adviser to K-P Chief Minister on Information Ajmal Wazir said that the government has the utmost respect for the religious mission movements. “Our first priority is their safety and return,” he added

    The adviser also assured that rations and other necessary facilities would be provided to the mosques.

    He further said that the decision was taken amid the lockdown in the country to limit the spread of the virus…”

  23. Pakistan stop Friday prayer congregations to avert virus spike
    https://tribune.com.pk/story/2190344/3-pakistan-stop-friday-prayer-congregations-avert-virus-spike/

    “Police enforced a strict lockdown across the country to prevent people from going to mosques to offer Friday prayer and fuel a rise in coronavirus infection, officials said, after failing to prevent large congregations last week.

    Health experts have warned of an epidemic in South Asia, home to a fifth of the world’s population, that could easily overwhelm its weak public health systems.

    But authorities in Pakistan and Bangladesh, another Muslim majority nation, and even India have struggled to persuade conservative religious groups to maintain social distancing in order to curb the spread of the virus…”

  24. (Richard: This doesn’t look good, it may be just panic but the panic may be justified. If a second wave of the virus is hitting China the supply of food and other essential items will get smaller then it currently is.)

    Panic-Buying Erupts Across China, Prompting Food Shortage Concerns

    In multiple cities across China, locals have emptied store shelves, stockpiling rice and cooking oil as fears of food shortages accelerate.
    ADVERTISING

    Mr. Li, a resident of Ezhou, a city in Hubei Province, told the Chinese-language Epoch Times that locals have been rushing to buy rice for the past two days. It’s the same scene in other cities in Hubei, including Wuhan, Huanggang, and Yichang, according to social media and Chinese media reports.

    Officials have stepped in to try to ease the panic. On March 31, the market regulation bureau of the municipal government in Ezhou urged, in a statement on its Weibo account, that people shouldn’t frantically buy up supplies, and assured that the city has abundant rice and oil for all its residents for a year. Weibo is a Twitter-like social media platform.

    https://www.theepochtimes.com/food-supplies-in-china-under-scrutiny-as-panic-buying-abrupts-across-country_3295736.html?utm_source=Epoch+Times+Newsletters&utm_campaign=0bbea86e14-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_04_02_06_31&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_4fba358ecf-0bbea86e14-242193805#comment_open

  25. State must take lenient view of criticism: Supreme Court
    https://tribune.com.pk/story/2190368/1-state-must-take-lenient-view-criticism-supreme-court/

    “The apex court has said the freedom of speech is the most cherished right, guaranteed under the Constitution, and that the state must take a benign view of dissent and criticism by citizens.

    “The state must be benign upon dissent and criticism of its citizens, no matter how crudely articulated or misplaced, on the issues of desecration of the right to life during war through opinions, though subjective, nonetheless, actuated by personal anguish,” said a two-page order.

    Through the order authored by Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed, the court granted bail to the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) activist Alamgir Khan alias Alamgir Wazir, who was arrested on December 1, 2019 for allegedly delivering an incendiary speech during a protest in Lahore.

    Later, Punjab Police registered an FIR against him under Sections 124-A, 290, 291 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 read with Section 16 of the Maintenance of Public Order 1960 and Section 6 of the Punjab Sound Systems (Regulations) Act 2015.

    During hearing of the bail petition, the prosecution presented transcript of Wazir’s speech to argue that the accused not only disrupted the public life on a thoroughfare in a metropolis but also incited sedition to the public at large and his release would be prejudicial to peace, security and tranquility.

    Counsel for the petitioner, however, contended that the petitioner, hailing from the South Waziristan tribal district is an errant youth, emotionally devastated by colossal loss of lives of his clan including that of his father at the hands of the Taliban insurgents and his outburst cannot be viewed as seditious.

    Later in its order, the SC noted that said freedom of speech is a most cherished right, guaranteed under the Constitution.

    “It is certainly subject to reasonable restrictions within the contemplation of Article 19 thereof; whether in his outburst, mentioned in the transcript, the petitioner contravened the stipulated restrictions, is a question to be best settled by the trial court, having regard to the totality of the impugned discourse, after conclusion of evidence,” it said.

    The apex court, however, held that petitioner is a student and his days of incarceration are serving no useful purpose to the prosecution.

    “[Therefore], the criminal petition is converted into appeal and same is allowed; the petitioner shall be released upon furnishing bond in the sum of Rs100,000 with one surety in the like to the satisfaction of the learned trial court/duty magistrate,” the order said.”

  26. Heavy blow inflicted on YPG/PKK terrorists in March
    https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/heavy-blow-inflicted-on-ypg-pkk-terrorists-in-march/1791063

    “With successful operations of security forces in March, Turkey inflicted heavy blows on the YPG/PKK terror group — which has killed tens of thousands of people in its decades-long terror campaign, including infants, children, women, teachers, and doctors.

    A total of 111 terrorists, including group’s senior members, were neutralized as part of counter-terrorism efforts of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and National Intelligence Organization (MIT) to thwart attacks seeking to disturb the peace and unity of the country.

    On March 9, two terrorists — who have been in the organization for over 20 years — were caught by gendarmerie forces in eastern Van province, bordering Iran.

    The terrorists, known to be personal bodyguards of YPG/PKK ringleaders Murat Karayilan and Cemil Bayik, said in their testimony that panic grew among the organization as a result of Turkey’s operations, and executions were performed within the terrorist organization.

    Notably, the same day, Halide Tari, a senior terrorist who goes with the codename of Ayten Amed, was neutralized in the Qandil region of northern Iraq. Tari joined the terror group in 1990, and was responsible for coordination of YPG/PKK’s mobile forces.

    On March 10, five senior terrorists were neutralized in the Qandil region following airstrikes conducted in collaboration with the air forces and intelligence organizations.

    On March 11, Siya Munzur and Duygu Karayel, two terrorists of the YPG/PKK, laid down their weapons, and surrendered to security forces when they were persuaded by the gendarmerie forces in southeastern Mardin province.

    On March 30, Nazife Bilen, member of the so-called top-level KCK leadership committee/executive council — which plays a decision-making role — was neutralized.

    Terrorists continue to flee as a result of successful operations conducted within and outside of Turkey, and their morale is low, according to testimonies of its members, with many attempting to flee the organization.

    As of March 2019, a total of 67 terrorists surrendered to security forces.

    Meanwhile, for over 210 days, dozens of parents of terrorists have been staging a sit-in protest outside the offices of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), a party accused by the Turkish government of having links to the YPG/PKK terror group.

    In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and EU — has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.”

  27. Turkey ‘neutralizes’ 4 YPG/PKK terrorists in NW Syria
    https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/turkey-neutralizes-4-ypg-pkk-terrorists-in-nw-syria/1791146

    “Turkish security forces “neutralized” four YPG/PKK terrorists in northwestern Syria, the National Defense Ministry said on Friday.

    “Four PKK/YPG terrorists, who were attempting to infiltrate the Operation Peace Spring zone, were neutralized in successful operation by our heroic commandos,” the ministry announced in a tweet.

    Turkish authorities often use the word “neutralize” to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.

    The ministry added that the security operations will continue without letup.

    Since 2016, Turkey has launched a trio of successful anti-terrorist operations across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable peaceful settlement by locals: Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018), and Peace Spring (2019).

    In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU — has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.”

  28. Turkey slams Greece on EU-Turkey refugee-deal letter
    https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/turkey-slams-greece-on-eu-turkey-refugee-deal-letter/1791815

    “Turkey blasted Greece’s prime minister Friday after he sent a letter to European leaders urging a reduction in financial support to Ankara amid a refugee crisis.

    Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement that Kyriakos Mitsotakis sent letters to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron that proposed giving financial support to Turkey in direct proportion to a reduction of refugees to Europe.

    “Greece’s inhuman and embarrassing treatment of the refugees who came to its doorstep before the eyes of the whole world is still in memory,” according to the statement.

    The ministry described Greece’s financial support suggestion as “extremely distorted and immoral.”

    Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said Ankara has spent $40 billion on 4 million asylum seekers.

    A 2016 deal between Turkey and the EU was reached to stop irregular refugee flows and improve the conditions of Syrian refugees in Turkey.

    The EU pledged €6 billion ($6.5 billion) in aid for refugees but has transferred less than half of that, according to Turkey.

    According to Ankara, the EU also backed away from political commitments as part of the deal, including visa liberalization for Turkish citizens traveling to Europe, opening new chapters for Turkey joining the Union accession process and negotiations on upgrading the EU-Turkey Customs Union.”

  29. As Lockdown Measures in China Ease, Travelers Without Symptoms Spread Virus Further

    After Chinese authorities in the virus epicenter of Hubei province lifted social distancing rules, more than three million people traveled out of the region in the past seven days, according to an April 1 announcement.

    Several people became infected after coming into contact with citizens from Hubei, raising concerns that asymptomatic carriers from Hubei could spread the virus and cause another big outbreak.

    https://www.theepochtimes.com/as-lockdown-measures-in-china-ease-travelers-without-symptoms-spread-virus-further_3294401.html?utm_source=Epoch+Times+Newsletters&utm_campaign=0bbea86e14-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_04_02_06_31&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_4fba358ecf-0bbea86e14-242193805

  30. Coronavirus: Turkey urged to release ill dissidents, HRW
    http://www.ansamed.info/ansamed/en/news/sections/politics/2020/04/03/coronavirus-turkey-urged-to-release-ill-dissidents-hrw_7b7ce701-3c14-4ead-8d32-3592765a810a.html

    “A draft law proposed by the government majority in Turkey for a large amnesty to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading in jails is a ”step in the right direction” but it excludes thousands of people sentenced to jail for terrorism, including those whose lives are at risk from the virus, the head of Human Right Watch for Europe and Asia Hugh Williamson said.

    The move would release 90,000 detainees, almost a third of the total prison population. Williamson urged Turkey not to exclude dissident politicians and journalists, who are often charged under anti-terrorism laws.

    Among them, the NGO noted, is former Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtas, who suffers from heart problems and who had suffered other health months in recent months. The text of the amnesty, presented by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AKP and the allied MHP nationalists, arrived in the constitutional committee of the parliament on Friday, where it will be debated prior to arriving in the chamber next week for the vote. At the moment excluded from the draft law will be those sentenced for terrorism, drug, violence against women and children, sexual abuse, and premeditated murder.

    Opposition groups support the initiative but have asked for political dissidents, intellectuals and journalists that have been detained to be included, including writer Ahmet Altan and the philanthropist and activist Osman Kavala.”

  31. VOA – Banning Consumption of Wildlife in Asia Difficult, Despite COVID Pandemic

    Scientists say COVID-19 likely originated through ‘animal to human’ transmission at a wild animal market in Wuhan, China.

    New studies by the Global Virome Project, a worldwide effort to increase preparedness for pandemics, indicate the world can expect about five new animal-borne pathogens to infect humans each year, creating a sense of urgency to curb the wild animal trade.

  32. the sun – UK – HOLY SMOKE Idiots ‘BURNING 5G masts’ after conspiracy that ‘radiation sparked coronavirus’ is spread by celebs

    CONSPIRACY nuts are reportedly setting phone masts alight and targeting engineers after a bizarre claim 5G “radiation” caused the deadly coronavirus spread.

    The theory originated last month after a video filmed at a US health conference claimed Africa was not as affected by the disease because it is “not a 5G region”.

    The myth was quickly debunked after the World Health Organisation confirmed there were thousands of Covid-19 cases in Africa.

    The government has also confirmed there is “no evidence to suggest that 5G has anything to do with Covid-19”.

    Celebs have been slammed for sharing the conspiracy theory, including Jason Gardiner and Callum Best, who posted similar claims that 5G can impact the immune system.

    But the claims have still been doing the rounds on WhatsApp via a lengthy voice note – with phone masts now being set alight in the UK.

    Engineers are now also being targeted with social media users encouraging each other to destroy the masts in a Stop 5G Facebook group.

    Police and fire crews were scrambled to one inferno in Birmingham last night when a 70ft mast erupted in flames.

    The cause of the fire is still being investigated but both emergency service was able to confirm the fire was deliberate at this stage.

    Hundreds of people have commented on shocking videos of the blaze posted on the Facebook group.

    One person wrote: “Good needs to be done everywhere evil domination is coming”.

    Another said: “It is time to act now. Any 5g tower in your area burn it down! Collect people and stand and fight this. Act now before it’s too late!”

    Others have posted pictures of masts near their homes, with users urging them to “destroy” it.

    While one person in a separate group is keeping a “league” table for cities setting the masts on fire.

    The group has now been forced to warn users not to attack engineers.

    A post at the top of the site reads: “We have been notified by certain members of the public that some individuals in this group have decided to target telecoms workers, as they believe and claim them to be ‘criminals and genocidists’.

    “You know who you are. If you continue to conduct yourselves like this you will be banned from this group.”

    The 5G coronavirus theory thought to have gained popularity last month when a YouTube video supporting the claims was heavily criticised for spreading bogus information during a very real crisis.

    Those working in the sector say there is “quite a big collective” trying to stop 5G from being rolled out across the UK.

    One telecoms engineer, who didn’t wish to be named, said: “There are Facebook groups posting videos of the masts being set on fire and people encouraging others to do the same.

    “Wuhan was a test bed for the 5G rollout but is a dumbfounded connection.”

    Mobile UK, who represent networks EE, 02, Three and Vodafone, confirmed to The Sun Online some workers had been abused over the false claims.

    They said in a statement: “During this challenging situation, it is concerning that certain groups are using the COVID-19 pandemic to spread false rumours and theories about the safety of 5G technologies.

    “More worryingly some people are also abusing our key workers and making threats to damage infrastructure under the pretence of claims about 5G.

    “This is not acceptable and only impacts on our ability as an industry to maintain the resilience and operational capacity of the networks to support mass home working and critical connectivity to the emergency services, vulnerable consumers and hospitals.

    “The theories are baseless and are not grounded in accepted scientific theory.

    “The mobile industry is putting 100% of its effort into ensuring that the UK remains connected and our workers and the mobile operators have rightly been recognised by the Government as key to the national effort.”

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/11320198/coronavirus-5g-conspiracy-theory-masts/

    ====================================

    • Progressive pandemic response: Release diabetic sex offenders

      Meanwhile, people are being threatened with jail for going outside without permission.

  33. Sky News – ‘You start with such high hopes’: Inside Italy hospital at epicentre of virus outbreak

    In Bergamo, which is close to the Alps, it’s thought fatalities could be double previous estimates. The reason – because so many elderly patients died untested at home.

    The outbreak was first detected in the town of Alzano Lombardo, where filmmaker Francesca Tosarelli has been documenting the struggle facing hospital staff and grieving families who have been unable to say goodbye properly to their loved ones.

  34. the gateway pundit – WHOA! Dr. Fauci in 2017: President Trump Will Be Challenged By a “Surprise Global Disease Outbreak” (VIDEO)

    Back in 2017 at forum on pandemic preparedness at Georgetown University Dr. Fauci made an interesting statement. Fauci told the audience the Trump administration will not only be challenged by ongoing global health threats such as influenza and HIV, but also a surprise disease outbreak.

    more :

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/04/whoa-dr-fauci-2017-president-trump-will-challenged-surprise-global-disease-outbreak-video/

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