Reader’s Links for May 23, 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

82 Replies to “Reader’s Links for May 23, 2020”

  1. Ex-Border Chief Warns of ‘Major Threat’ to UK as Councils ‘Overwhelmed’ by Child Migrant Surge (sputniknews, May 22, 2020)

    “The United Kingdom claims that it is seeing record levels of illegal migrants crossing the English Channel from France, many of whom are children traveling alone. Local authorities suggest that they are having difficulty taking care of the surging numbers of people, and have appealed to government for support.

    Global border security consultant and a former director general of the UK Border Force, Tony Smith, on Friday warned that an ongoing migrant crisis is becoming a “major threat” at the UK border.

    Smith, 67, stated that the current arrangement of bringing people intercepted in the English Channel to the UK would not end what he characterized as a crisis, and criticised London for not doing enough to prevent illegal immigrants from entering the country by boat.

    “This was declared a critical incident by the Home Secretary last year”, Smith said.
    “In my experience,” he stated, “critical incidents are declared in order to put out the fire […] with a task force and that when the fire’s put out we return to business as normal”.

    Smith asserted that the crisis was “too enduring” to be a critical incident and that illegal migration is “becoming a major threat” at the UK border.

    “This is all driven by money and smugglers. You need to send a very, very clear message that that’s not going to work”, he said.

    On the same day, a former Border Force chief, Henry Bolton, called for an “Australian-style Border Patrol” which would have powers of arrest and be trained to remove illegal migrants from their boats before returning them to France.

    ?While Smith argues for a more heavy-handed approach to deter illegal migrants, some local authorities suggest that social services could become “overwhelmed” by an increasing number of solo child migrants arriving into the country illegally.

    Kent County Council leader, Roger Gough, on Friday called on Home Secretary Priti Patel to “prevent a crisis escalating into something unmanageable and unsafe”.

    Gough said that the number of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) had reached levels not experienced since the 2015 European migrant crisis.

    UASC arrivals fall under the care of the country council, and Gough, who heads the Tory-led body, warned that it soon would not be able to meet the legal requirement to “safely care for new arrivals”.

    Gough suggested that the transfer system be overhauled and replaced with more funding from the Home Office, spreading the responsibility onto other councils.

    Bridget Chapman, of Kent Refugee Action Network, a charity that offers assistance to lone child asylum-seekers, backed the council leaders’ demand for a new system.

    “Whether children are dispersed around the country using a revamped national transfer scheme, or stay in Kent, they will need properly funded services in order to thrive and integrate”, she said.

    Relocations must be conducted in a “timely manner”, if they take place at all, she added.

    “Before the scheme broke down in 2018 children were often waiting months to be transferred, meaning that they made friends and built networks and relationships before being uprooted again”.

    473 children aged under 18 are currently in the council’s care. 928 of the arrivals have turned 18 since reaching the UK, but remain under the protection of the local authority.

    The Immigration Services Union is concerned that children arriving by boat could be trafficked into slavery, as total arrivals from across the English Channel in small boats has hit record levels, with over 600 migrants arriving in May.

    The Home Office said that the government takes the “welfare of unaccompanied children very seriously” and finds local authorities, including Kent, contributing to the “cost of looking after unaccompanied children and those who leave care”.

    This comes as the Home Office launches an initiative to remove illegal migrants in the UK who have crossed the English Channel. Operation Sillath is one such response to the rising numbers of people said to be crossing from France.

    Under existing EU legislation known as the Dublin Convention, an EU country can return an asylum seeker to another member state if they were identified by fingerprint, have claimed asylum, or spent a period of time in the first country.”

  2. Bad News from the Patriotic German Opposition
    Hey guys, I want to report to you about the current state of the AfD and why they could not manage to profit politically from the restrictive measures that Germany has imposed on the public, so far.

    • Most of the ordinary Chinese people are very superstitious, this is why the books like “Unrestricted Warfare” will put a lot of numerology in for the ordinary Chinese. These are the 100 names that Bannon talks about, the more things like this the more of the Chinese people decide that the CCP has lost the mandate of heaven and will soon lose the power to lose China.

  3. Suicide killing more in California than coronavirus warn doctors as they target lockdown (express, May 23, 2020)

    “DOCTORS in Northern California say there have been more deaths from suicide than from Covid-19 during the pandemic crisis.

    “The numbers are unprecedented,” Dr. Michael deBoisblanc of John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, California. He spoke to ABC about the hike in the number of deaths by suicide, and explained that he has seen a “year’s worth of suicides” in the last four weeks alone.

    Dr DeBoisblanc said he thinks California authorities should lift the lockdown and allow people to return to their normal activities.

    “Personally, I think it’s time,” he said. “I think, originally, this was put in place to flatten the curve and to make sure hospitals have the resources to take care of COVID patients.

    “We have the current resources to do that, and our other community health is suffering.”…”

  4. Dangerous inmate, 44, is on the run after escaping from prison in New South Wales (dailymail, May 23, 2020)

    “A NSW inmate is on the run after escaping from a minimum-security prison in the Northern Tablelands region.

    Police say Selim Sensoy, 44, was reported missing from Glen Innes Correctional Centre about midday on Saturday.

    He was last seen wearing his prison greens at 10am.

    He is described as being of Mediterranean or Middle Eastern appearance, between 175 and 185 cm tall, with a medium build, brown eyes and grey hair.

    Police have warned the public not to approach Sensoy but instead call triple-zero immediately if they see him.”

  5. Pakistani Grooming Gang Rapists Should Be Deported as a ‘Matter of Urgency’ Says MP (breitbart, May 23, 2020)

    “Three Pakistani grooming gang members should be deported as a “matter of urgency” said a local MP, after it was revealed that they remain at large in the town in which they preyed on young white girls.

    The Member of Parliament for Heywood and Middleton, Chris Clarkson, wrote to Home Secretary Priti Patel, calling on the Home Office to deport Qari Abdul Rauf, Abdul Aziz, and Adil Khan — three men that were convicted of a series of sexual abuse charges in connection with the Rochdale grooming gang scandal.

    “I am sure you will recognise the obvious distress and serious concern that this raises in my constituency and the wider community and share my disgust that these people have been allowed to stay not just in this country, but in the community whose trust they so wickedly abused,” Clarkson said in comments quoted by Rochdale Online.

    “Please could I ask you, as a matter of urgency, to see what steps can be taken to remove these individuals from our country and give decent, law-abiding people in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale confidence that their justice system is working for them,” he added.

    The three predators held dual citizenship in Pakistan and the United Kingdom, but had their British citizenship revoked following their convictions despite after a series of taxpayer-funded appeals against the move — clearing the way for them to be deported from the country.

    Despite promises from then-Home Secretary Theresa May and her left-liberal successor Amber Rudd that the Pakistani men would be deported, however, there are now no indications that the government has made any efforts to follow through, leaving them free to again roam the streets of Rochdale — where they occasionally run into their victims.

    One of the victims of the grooming gang reported seeing Adil Khan in a Rochdale supermarket.

    Khan was sentenced to only eight years in prison for his heinous crimes, and was released years early on licence automatically, in line with Britain’s weak criminal justice legislation.

    “Oh my God, he’s been in Asda. I’ve never been so scared in all my life. I feel like my heart just stopped beating,” the victim reportedly told a friend.

    “She walked into an aisle and was face-to-face with him. He had a seven or eight-year-old child with him. How can he have a child in his care? She just left her trolley and ran out in tears and called me,” said Maggie Oliver, the detective-turned-whistleblower who shed light on police failures to investigate primarily Muslim, Pakistani-heritage grooming gangs over fears that they would be accused of “racism”.

    On February 20th the MP for Rochdale, Tony Lloyd, wrote to Justice Secretary Robert Buckland, informing him that there are “strong rumours… that some of these men are either living in or sometimes visit Rochdale, and that on at least one occasion a victim has come into contact with their former abuser.”

    Mr Loyd demanded that the government rectify the “frankly deplorable” situation.

    Justice Secretary Buckland replied: “I do very much appreciate how distressing it will have been for the victims of these appalling offences to see or hear of the offenders living back in their area. Under current legislation, the powers of the National Probation Service cease when the sentence ends, and this is the case for a number of those who were convicted for the offences in Rochdale.”

    Buckland gave no indication that Boris Johnson’s government has any plans to amend the relevant legislation so predators cannot return to the communities where they abused their victims.”

  6. German Police Confronted by 200 No-Go Zone Residents While Making Arrest (breitbart, May 23, 2020)

    “A mob of around 200 people attempted to interfere with German police in the Marxloh no-go zone of the city of Duisburg as they were trying to arrest an 18-year-old.

    The incident took place on Tuesday evening when the officers attempted to enforce an arrest warrant against the young adult, but would not specify what the exact charges were.

    The suspect spotted the officers and initially fled into a house. When officers followed and attempted to arrest him, he fought back. A group of other residents also came into the house and tried to stop the police from making the arrest, Die Welt reports.

    After threatening the locals with pepper spray, a mob of around 200 people, many of them said to be linked to organised, migration-background criminal clans, surrounded the house. Officers called for reinforcements, and it eventually took 36 of them to get the teen in custody.

    German politicians have labelled the Marxloh area of Duisburg a no-go zone for several years due to its high level of crime and unemployment. The area also boasts a high population of migrants and migration-background residents, with 64 per cent having foreign roots.

    In 2018, German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted that there were several no-go zones across Germany and that it was the duty of the authorities to keep Germans safe because “the state has the monopoly of power”.

    “That means, for example, that there are no-go areas… where no-one dares to go,” Merkel confessed, adding: “One has to call them by their name and do something about them.”

    While the mainstream media has long claimed that no-go zones do not exist in Europe at all, such areas have become problems for police trying to enforce laws and maintain order in multicultural societies.

    In France, for example, there has in recent weeks been a wave of anti-police attacks and riots in no-go zones, some of which have gone on for multiple nights despite national coronavirus lockdown measures.

    The most recent rioting took place in the commune of Argenteuil this week following the death of a local motorcyclist and saw police attacked and cars set on fire.”

  7. Xi makes high-stakes power play in move to subdue Hong Kong

    HONG KONG (Reuters) – For Chinese leader Xi Jinping it is a high-stakes power play. His move to impose tough national security laws on Hong Kong risks reigniting pro-democracy protests that plunged the city into chaos last year, increasing tensions in an already fraught relationship with the United States and undermining Hong Kong’s status as a global financial hub.

    In the aftermath of the protests, Beijing appears determined to stamp out any renewed rebellion against the Communist Party’s authority over the former British colony. China’s largely rubber-stamp parliament, the National People’s Congress, is preparing to circumvent the city’s lawmaking body, the Legislative Council, in drafting the new laws. The fear among many in Hong Kong is that China intends to criminalize existing freedoms, including criticism of the central government and its policies. It is the latest and biggest step in a concerted effort by Beijing to assert control over Hong Kong and its 7.4 million people.

  8. Criticising ‘meddling’, Beijing says HK security laws won’t harm investors

    HONG KONG (Reuters) – China’s foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong hit back on Saturday at “meddling” countries and said proposed national security laws would not harm the interests of foreign investors in the city.

    The security legislation, which could see Chinese intelligence agencies set up bases in Hong Kong, has sent chills through the business and diplomatic communities.
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    U.S. government officials have said the legislation would end the Chinese-ruled city’s autonomy and would be bad for both Hong Kong’s and China’s economies. They said it could jeopardise the territory’s special status in U.S. law, which has helped it maintain its position as a global financial centre.

    Britain has said it is deeply concerned by the proposed security laws which it said would undermine the “one country, two systems” principle agreed when Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

    Bankers and headhunters said it could lead to money and talent leaving the city. Hong Kong stocks slumped 5.6% on Friday.

    A spokesperson of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in Hong Kong said in a statement the city’s high degree of autonomy “will remain unch

  9. South America a new COVID epicenter, Africa reaches 100,000 cases

    GENEVA (Reuters) – South America has become a new epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic with Brazil hardest-hit, while cases are rising in some African countries that so far have a relatively low death toll, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.

    “The COVID-19 pandemic today reached a milestone in Africa, with more than 100,000 confirmed cases. The virus has now spread to every country in the continent since the first case was confirmed in the region 14 weeks ago,” the WHO said in a statement, noting there were 3,100 confirmed deaths on the vast continent.

    Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, who is from Botswana, said: “For now COVID-19 has made a soft landfall in Africa, and the continent has been spared the high numbers of deaths which have devastated other regions of the world.”

  10. Russia reports 9,434 new coronavirus infections

    MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia said on Saturday that 9,434 new cases of the novel coronavirus had been reported in the last 24 hours, pushing its nationwide tally to 335,882.

    The country’s coronavirus crisis response centre reported 139 new fatalities after a record of 150 deaths the day before, bringing the death toll to 3,388.

  11. Grenell tweet on Kislyak-Flynn transcripts suggests interesting scenario for what the FBI was doing
    By J.E. Dyer May 23, 2020

    In the last article on this topic, we looked at how unlikely it is that the well-synchronized story of James Comey, Andrew McCabe, and the FBI leakers from early 2017 is actually true. My own assessment is that the FBI is indeed the agency that reported the Kislyak-Flynn phone calls to the other Obamagate principals. But it’s very improbable that the FBI had to go hunt the phone calls down, in response to a community-wide appeal inserted in the presidential daily briefing (PDB) on 30 December 2016.

    There’s really no scenario in which that claim makes sense. But it especially doesn’t make sense given that the FBI obviously had to have the contents of the phone calls in order to know – as claimed from the beginning – that Kislyak and Flynn discussed sanctions. You can’t glean that from metadata about the phone calls. You have to have the voices talking to each other.

    There is actually a scenario in which it’s conceivable that the FBI discovered the calls had occurred, and then went back and exploited the audio. It’s not technically impossible. But it’s also not a good scenario for the FBI – not in the sense of strict lawfulness, and dotting i’s and crossing t’s.

    Let’s briefly inspect a couple of scenarios, so that we have a common framework of understanding

  12. Grenell tweet on Kislyak-Flynn transcripts suggests interesting scenario for what the FBI was doing – Liberty Unyielding
    J.E. Dyer
    15-19 minutes

    Once the state of the art. “Three Days of the Condor” trailer, Paramount, YouTube

    In the last article on this topic, we looked at how unlikely it is that the well-synchronized story of James Comey, Andrew McCabe, and the FBI leakers from early 2017 is actually true. My own assessment is that the FBI is indeed the agency that reported the Kislyak-Flynn phone calls to the other Obamagate principals. But it’s very improbable that the FBI had to go hunt the phone calls down, in response to a community-wide appeal inserted in the presidential daily briefing (PDB) on 30 December 2016.

    There’s really no scenario in which that claim makes sense. But it especially doesn’t make sense given that the FBI obviously had to have the contents of the phone calls in order to know – as claimed from the beginning – that Kislyak and Flynn discussed sanctions. You can’t glean that from metadata about the phone calls. You have to have the voices talking to each other.

  13. Supporters of Spain’s far-right Vox party stage protest in Madrid

    Supporters of Spain’s far-right Vox party plan to stage a protest in Madrid, to call upon the political leadership to get the city’s economy restarted soon and in order to save jobs.

    • Spain: Leader of Hogar Social arrested during anti-govt protest near PSOE headquarters

      Leader of the far-right group Hogar Social Madrid, Melisa Dominguez was arrested in Madrid on Friday, during a protest against the government of Pedro Sanchez in front of the headquarters of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE).

      According to police sources, Dominguez’s arrest occurred when protesters were asked by the police to remove two signs that read “900,000 people without receiving the ERTE” and “Tens of thousands of deaths.”

      Dominguez was seen being arrested, with protesters confronting the police. The participants of the pot-banging protest were also seen carrying Spanish flags, including those from the times of Franco dictatorship.

      On its Twitter page, Hogar Social Madrid claimed that several protesters had been fined.

  14. PICTURED: Syrian-born college student, 20, who was shot dead as he carried out ‘terrorist-related’ attack at Texas naval base and had ‘previously voiced support on social media for hardline Islamic clerics’ (dailymail, May 22, 2020)

    “The suspect who was shot dead as he carried out Thursday’s ‘terrorism-related’ attack on a Texas naval air base has been identified by the FBI as a 20-year-old Syrian-born college student.

    According to investigators, Adam Salim Alsahli opened fire at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi in an attack that wounded one sailor, a member of the base security force, but no one other than the assailant was killed.

    A group that monitors online activity of jihadists has since claimed that Alsahli voiced support for hardline Islamic clerics on social media prior to the thwarted attack.

    Alsahli lived in Corpus Christi and had been a business major at a local community college. A law enforcement official familiar with the investigation said Alsahli was a native of Syria who held US citizenship.

    Del Mar College provided a photo to the Associated Press on Friday showing Alsahli as pictured on his student identification card.

    The gunman tried to speed through a security gate at the base at 6.15am, opening fire and wounding the sailor. But she was able to roll over and hit a switch that raised a barrier, preventing Alsahli from getting onto the base, the officials said.

    Other security personnel then opened fire on the attacker, killing him…”

  15. How the Corpus Christi Jihadi Attacker Entered the United States

    A new national security vulnerability

    The Syria-born attacker killed Thursday morning during an apparent jihad-inspired attack on a Texas naval air station was neither a resettled refugee nor an asylum-seeker who slipped through security vetting. Instead, CIS has learned that he fell under an immigration category unusual for foreign-born extremists who have attacked inside the United States.

    Adam Alsahli, 20 at the time of his death Thursday, was already a U.S. citizen when he moved from the Middle East to Corpus Christi, Texas, in 2014 with his mother (and likely several siblings) at the height of the Syrian civil war, by virtue of his father’s American citizenship, according to two sources familiar with the family’s immigration status. The attacker’s 75-year-old father, Salim Alsahli, became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1984, the sources told CIS, and subsequently seems to have sired a family back in Syria that included Adam Alsahli’s birth in 1999.

    Although his children and their mother were born in and resided in the Middle East, the father’s U.S. citizenship conferred U.S. citizenship on Adam Alsahli, since he properly registered a declaration at a U.S. embassy or consulate office overseas. That apparently happened with Adam Alsahli because by the age of three, in the year 2002, he was granted an American passport that was repeatedly renewed over the years, sources said.

    In 2014, at the height of the civil war inside Syria, Adam and at least his mother moved to the United States. The mother is currently a legal permanent resident who has a pending application for U.S. citizenship, the sources said.

    With an American citizen father anchored inside the United States, Adam Alsahli, his siblings, and their mother would not have entered any refugee resettlement pipeline, nor would they have had to apply for asylum, processes that would have required fairly extensive security vetting. Adam Alsahli, then about 15 years old, would have been moved right to the front of the line with almost no security vetting; likely the same would have been true of his mother and siblings.

    Little is known at this point about Alsahli’s interest in Islamic extremist theology or connections to foreign groups, as the FBI continues an investigation. Nor is it yet known where the family was living prior to entering the United States in 2014.

    At about 6:15 a.m. Thursday, Alsahli drove a vehicle up to the gate of the naval air station near Corpus Christi, exited, and began firing shots at military personnel. One round hit the bullet-proof vest of a sailor guarding the gate, which drew a response from other armed sailors, who killed Alsahli.

    One well-placed source told CIS that Alsahli drove up to the gate wearing an Arab head-wrap garment and blaring Arabic language music from a vehicle stereo. Arabic-language writings were found inside the vehicle. Although these details could not be independently confirmed, the FBI stated at a press conference later Thursday that Alsahli’s attack was “terrorism-related”. A linkedIn page for Adam Alsahi of Corpus Christ contains only one bit of biographical information, which is that he is a “student at Umm Al-Qura University” in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

    A Previously Undetected Security Vulnerability?

    Since 9/11, American homeland security authorities have closely tracked the methods by which foreign-born attackers and plotters have entered the country and have enhanced security vetting and fraud prevention. But Islamic extremists continue to get past vetting in refugee resettlement and asylum and visa application processes, such as the so-called “fiancée visa” that enabled one of the 2015 San Bernardino, Calif., attackers to enter the country. In April of this year, for instance, the FBI arrested a Pakistani medical doctor on terrorism charges who had gone to work for the Mayo clinic on an H-1B visa granted in 2018.

    In December 2019, a Royal Saudi Air Force pilot trainee — participating in an American program to provide training to the military personnel of allied countries — murdered three American service personnel and wounded eight others in an attack on a Pensacola, Fla., air base. In a press conference this week, Attorney General William Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray announced investigative findings that the pilot trainee, Mohammed Alshamrani, was an active member of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula who maintained regular contact with the terrorist group even while training at the base.

    Family immigration of the sort that Alsalhi and his mother used to enter is subject to minimal security vetting. Foreign nationals with conferred or “retained” U.S. citizenship, particularly if they were driven from a foreign war, are fast-tracked in like any American citizen caught up in a troubled area, according to CIS’s Jessica Vaughan, a former consular officer.

    But Vaughan sees the retained citizenship rules as a vulnerability that has not been sufficiently recognized, when individuals holding American passports have no meaningful connection to the United States. While security checks may have found nothing on Alsahli at 15 years of age at the time he moved to Texas, older people with citizenship retention rights also build lives in foreign countries and then move to the United States.

    “This is definitely a vulnerability in our system; we can’t really deny entry to a U.S. citizen,” Vaughan said. “But over many years, mainly to accommodate the families of American expatriates, there has been an erosion of citizenship retention requirements, and erosion of the notion that a U.S. citizen should have some meaningful ties with this country, especially if they’re spending their lives outside of the country.

    “This is an example of why we need to be more careful and have stricter retention requirements, and that should also apply to the children of birth tourists. There are tens of thousands of people around the world, many living in areas hostile to the United States, who are U.S. citizens, but for whom that citizenship is just a matter of convenience, without any understanding or affinity at all for our country.”


  16. ‘Many, Many Others’ Affected by Obama-Era Surveillance, Says Former CBS Reporter Sharyl Attkisson

    Four years after the intelligence community began to surveil some of President Donald Trump’s campaign officials, details of what that surveillance entailed are still emerging. The Justice Department is still waiting on U.S. Attorney John Durham to finish investigating. The president this month even assigned it a new nickname: “Obamagate.”

    For many observers, the idea that the intelligence community would flout certain rules in order to investigate American citizens is news. But for former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson, “Obamagate” is just the latest development in a nearly decade-long battle.

    “I would say I may not be one of the first victims, but I am one of the first people who was able to identify myself as a target of illegal spying under the Obama administration,” Attkisson told Mediaite in an interview this week. “I believe many, many others were spied on but do not know. It was only thanks to help from intelligence contacts that I even learned that government agents were spying on me. Otherwise, I never suspected it or would have known.”

  17. The End of Hong Kong as We Know It?

    “The arms of tyranny have reached Hong Kong,” declared pro-democracy lawmaker Ted Hui. The Chinese government has taken advantage of the quiet streets of Hong Kong — just months ago filled with hundreds of thousands of protestors — to push an extensive national security law for Hong Kong through parliament. Critics say this overreach by the Beijing marks the end of the freedom and autonomy that has enabled Hong Kong to thrive.

    Last year, pro-democracy protestors made international headlines for their fierce defense of Hong Kong’s autonomy from mainland China over an extradition bill which would have allowed its citizens to be extradited to China.

    Hong Kong currently operates under a unique “one country, two systems” policy agreed upon before the British returned Hong Kong to China in 1997. The city has flourished thanks to its freedom and because it has evaded the tight grip of the Chinese Communist Party.

    Pro-democracy activist do not want their city to look like the Chinese mainland, which suffers from countless human rights and religious freedom violations. In contrast, Hong Kong has operated with a high degree of economic, political, and religious freedom — freedoms most Hong Kongers refuse to relinquish without a fight.

    Pro-democracy protestors ultimately succeeded in killing the extradition bill last year, and their momentum scares Beijing. The freedom-loving people of Hong Kong are proving difficult to control for the Chinese Communist Party. So much so that Beijing is unveiling a new legislative plan to control them.

  18. Father Tortured After Son Exposes CCP’s Crimes | CCP Virus | COVID-19 | Coronavirus | EEP Virus
    •Premiered 54 minutes ago

  19. Schumer trying to ‘divert attention’ on hydroxycholorquine: VA secretary

    Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie tells ‘America’s News HQ’ the VA will continue to prescribe hydroxycholorquine to veterans.

  20. Key Players Tell Different Stories of Obama White House Discussion About Flynn
    •May 22, 2020

  21. US OKs New Arms Sale to UAE despite Evidence It Violated Last One: Report

    “The Trump administration has cleared the UAE of wrongdoing and approved a possible sale of thousands of armored vehicles to the Persian Gulf state, US government officials said, despite evidence it made unauthorized transfers of American military hardware to militants in Yemen.

    A CNN investigation in February last year revealed that both American allies, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, had given US-made equipment to al Qaeda-linked militants, Salafi militias, and other fighting factions in Yemen, despite their agreements with Washington.

    Under those agreements, the UAE and Saudi Arabia were legally required to receive permission to transfer equipment to other parties, but that permission was never obtained, the US Department of Defense said at the time. Emirati officials denied they were in violation at the time, while the Saudis did not respond to requests for comment.

    In the wake of the report, the US government launched its own investigation — which included dispatching teams to the UAE and Saudi Arabia — and put further deliveries of US hardware to the UAE on hold pending the results of that inquiry.

    Two US officials with knowledge of the joint State Department and Pentagon investigation told CNN it took over a year to complete because of what one source described as delaying tactics by the UAE.

    While the probe concluded earlier this year, its findings have not been made public. But multiple government officials on both sides of the aisle and within the administration said that the UAE has now been cleared.

    The State Department has told some leaders in Congress that it is “satisfied no actual transfers were made,” and has “made sure the UAE fully appreciates the letter of their agreements” with the US, another source with knowledge of the investigation said.

    With that assurance, the lawmakers gave their blessing to a new proposed sale of US military hardware to the UAE, the source said.

    On May 7, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced that the Pentagon had approved the proposed sale of up to 4,569 surplus US-made Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles to the UAE for an estimated cost of $556 million. The sale would serve the US national interest by helping to support the security of “an important regional partner,” the DSCA news release said.

    But a lack of transparency over the findings of the US investigation has raised questions about the propriety of the Trump administration’s decision to approve the proposed sale of MRAPs to the UAE, given the evidence of past unauthorized transfers and bipartisan Congressional opposition to several proposed arms sales last year. It also comes as Pompeo has been accused of pressuring officials to find ways to justify arms sales to Saudi.

    In a statement last week, the UAE would not confirm or deny whether it had been cleared but said its “armed forces confirmed to the US government its continued adherence to the terms and conditions” of the arms sales.

    The Pentagon said it could not comment on the investigation or subsequent conversations with Congress, and directed CNN to the State Department for further comment.

    The State Department confirmed that its investigation had concluded. “We believe that the UAE now has a better understanding of its EUM (End User Monitoring) obligations,” an official said, without providing further details.

    But some US government officials said they were concerned that the UAE was cleared of wrongdoing and that this contentious move was made while Congress was focused on the current coronavirus crisis. Two administration officials were willing to be quoted but asked not to be named due to fears of retribution.

    “Look, the arms sales thing is really key for Trump personally and it’s been a real point of contention with Congress, even Republicans have been pushing back,” said one senior official with knowledge of the issue. “The Emirates is a key ally and we believe that this sale is in the US national interest. This felt like a good time to push this through.”

    A second senior official familiar with the deal was much more concerned about the approval of the potential MRAP sales at the present time.

    “We had real issues getting cooperation from them (the Emirates) on our investigation,” the official said. “Their sense was that they didn’t feel they’d done anything wrong, which doesn’t really bode well for future compliance, but the message we got from the top was Trump wants this done and now is a good time to push through.”

    The National Security Council did not respond to a request for comment.

    Congress and the Trump administration have been at loggerheads over the issue of US arms sales, with rare bipartisan unity shown in efforts to rein in the White House.

    Elizabeth Warren and Chris Murphy, two Democratic senators who have led the push to stop arms sales to the UAE and Saudi Arabia, slammed the May 7 decision and called on the administration to make the findings of its investigation public…”

  22. Iranian Air Force Commander Says New Homegrown Aircraft to Be Unveiled

    “Iran plans to unveil new domestically-produced planes in the near future, an Air Force commander said.

    Brigadier General Mohammad Zalbeigi, the commander of Shahid Lashgari Airbase in Tehran, said the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) is progressing with the same pace as other countries despite the sanctions.

    “We have had considerable progress in designing various types of aircraft, thanks to the efforts of the IRIAF personnel and knowledge-based companies,” he said in an interview, Press TV reported.

    “God willing, we will witness the designing and production of aircraft built at the IRIAF in the near future, he said, vowing that the new aircraft will be unveiled soon.

    He referred to the Iranian-made fighter jet Kowsar as one of the examples of this progress…”

  23. Qatar Offers Turkey $10Bn to Curb Lira’s Collapse

    “Turkey’s Central Bank has received $10 billion from a currency swap agreement it secured with Qatar on Wednesday, according to the bank’s analytical balance sheet on Friday.

    The bank announced on Wednesday it struck a deal to increase its currency-swap agreement with Qatar to $15 billion from five billion dollars, providing some much-needed foreign funding to reinforce its depleted reserves and shore up the Turkish lira.

    Ankara had urgently appealed to Qatar and China about expanding existing swap lines, and to the United Kingdom and Japan about possibly establishing them.

    As Turkey ran down its hard currency buffers this year, it lobbied Group of 20 nations to be included in swap lines like those the US has extended to other emerging economies.

    The government has been on ongoing negotiations with G20 nations since April 10, without reaching any solution.

    So far unable to reach arrangements with the central banks of G-20 nations, Turkey resorted to Qatar.

    The agreement between both countries was concluded in 2018, when the lira lost 40 percent of its value.

    Analysts attributed the swap negotiation crisis between the Turkish central bank and other central banks to the Turkish central bank’s lack of independence.

    The US Federal Reserve has refused to negotiate with the Turkish Central Bank due to Erdogan’s continued interference in the bank’s policies.

    President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond Thomas Barkin earlier stated that the Federal Reserve had swapped lines with countries that have a relationship of “mutual trust” with the United States and the highest credit standards.

    It has opened the taps for central banks in 14 countries to access dollars. These are Australia, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico, Singapore, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and New Zealand, Canada, England, Japan, Switzerland, and the European Central Bank.

    In this context, Turkey’s Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) has announced it would exempt Euroclear Bank and Clearstream Banking from recently-imposed limits on lenders’ lira transactions with foreign financial institutions.

    This step is aimed at protecting the clearing of lira-denominated bonds and Sukuk and ensuring Turkish lira securities are traded efficiently, the BDDK noted.

    The country’s 12-month foreign debt obligations are $168 billion, with about half due by August, while disappearing tourism income has inflated its monthly current account deficit to nearly $5 billion.

    Last week, the Central Bank lowered its one-week repo rate by 50 base points, in line with market expectation.

    A statement said the bank’s Monetary Policy Committee had decided to reduce the policy from 8.75 percent to 8.25 percent.

    Since the beginning of this year, the bank has cut the rate by a total of 375 basis points.

    In 2019, the bank reduced the rate gradually by 1,200 basis points to 12 percent from 24 percent.”

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