Reader’s Links for May 26, 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

120 Replies to “Reader’s Links for May 26, 2020”

  1. Support for China Falls Dramatically in European, Indian Polls

    by Lawrence Kadish

    A soon to be released international survey finds that when the COVID-19 virus finally burns itself out its biggest victim may be the very country that launched the pandemic —China.

    Bluster, bullying, and propaganda launched by China’s leadership to subdue international criticism of their handling of COVID-19 is only stoking the anger among nations as diverse as the U.K., Germany and India, according to data revealed during a comprehensive poll conducted by the firm McLaughlin & Associates.

    They may not embrace the White House on any given issue but when it comes to China, a large and significant number of those polled in this global COVID-19 survey would now support economic sanctions, confronting China’s strategy to achieve global dominance by controlling worldwide access to technology, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, and more.

    What can only be described as a diplomatic earthquake is the emerging political fault line along China’s southern border with India.

    The McLaughlin poll found that a majority of voters in the world’s largest democracy, some 54%, believe China hid key COVID-19 details, resulting in more damage by the pandemic, and 78% believe China knowingly kept data from the international community.

    • But Josep Borrell is an even more rabid communist than Mogherini, the beast he replaces as Foreign Minister. The fact the he was chosen says too much about the trend of the EU.
      Borrell will go for China, like the odious Matteo Renzi who gift-wrapped Italy for the Chinese predator.

    • And Greece has sold choice, strategic ports and infrastructure to the Dragon. Our NATO facilities are totally compromised there.
      Nato is bust. So is Five Eyes.
      China’s cocky because it’s already inside the wire.

  2. Brazil police raid Rio governor’s official residence over virus funds

    Brazilian police raid the official residence of Wilson Witzel, the governor of Rio de Janeiro, as part of an investigation into the misappropriation of funds allocated to field hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic.

  3. Trump rails against mail-in voting: ‘We are not going to destroy this country’

    President Trump slammed Governor Newsom claiming he is ‘handing ballots out to everyone on the street.” Trump goes on to say voter fraud is a big issue.

    • Twitter fact checks Trump’s tweet, citing CNN and Washington Post as sources

      Twitter implemented ‘fact checking’ on President Trumps tweet on mail-in voting;

  4. WH defends Trump’s Scarborough conspiracy tweets

    White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany is defending President Donald Trump’s promotion of a baseless conspiracy theory suggesting MSNBC “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough murdered a woman who accidentally died in his office two decades ago.

  5. Russia Sent Warplanes to Back Mercenaries in Libya: US Military

    “Russia recently sent fighter jets to Libya to support Russian mercenaries fighting for strongman Khalifa Haftar, the U.S. military command for Africa (Africom) said Tuesday, in a major escalation in the long-running conflict.

    The military fighter aircraft left Russia and first stopped in Syria where they “were repainted to camouflage their Russian origin” before arriving in Libya, said Stuttgart-based Africom.

    The U.S. military did not specify when exactly the jets arrived, only saying that it was “recently.”

    The announcement comes a day after Libya’s U.N.-recognised government said hundreds of Russian mercenaries backing rival military commander Haftar had been evacuated from combat zones south of the capital Tripoli.

    The retreat follows a series of setbacks for Haftar’s years-long offensive to seize the capital from the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA). The Kremlin has always denied involvement in the conflict.

    But United Nations experts said in a report last month that the Wagner Group, a shadowy Russian paramilitary organization seen as close to President Vladimir Putin, had sent fighters to back Haftar.

    “For too long, Russia has denied the full extent of its involvement in the ongoing Libyan conflict. Well, there is no denying it now,” said U.S. Army General Stephen Townsend in the Africom statement. “Russia is clearly trying to tip the scales in its favour in Libya,” he added.

    “Just like I saw them doing in Syria, they are expanding their military footprint in Africa using government-supported mercenary groups like Wagner.” He described the Russian warplanes deployed to Libya as “fourth-generation jet fighters”.

    Oil-rich Libya plunged into conflict after the ouster and killing of veteran dictator Moamer Kadhafi in a 2011 NATO-backed uprising, with rival administrations and militias vying for power.

    The conflict worsened when Haftar — who is also backed by Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia — launched an offensive on Tripoli in April 2019.

    Africom said Russia’s actions risked prolonging the conflict and exacerbating “casualties and human suffering on both sides.” If confirmed, Russia’s fighter jet deployment would constitute another violation of a much-abused 2011 U.N. arms embargo.

    World leaders agreed in January to uphold the embargo and stop meddling in the conflict that has dragged in major regional rivals. But the U.N. has repeatedly warned that both sides have continued to receive arms and fighters.”

  6. UN experts call on governments to protect rights of migrants during pandemic

    “UN human rights experts on Tuesday called on states to protect the rights of migrants and their families, regardless of their migration status, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “The labor rights of migrant workers globally, especially of those in essential sectors, must be guaranteed and measures taken to protect their health,” said Can Unver who chairs the UN Committee on Migrant Workers, and Felipe González Morales, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants.

    “Thousands of migrants are currently stranded at borders all across the globe, in Asia, Africa, the Americas, or at sea at the shores of Europe,” the experts said, announcing the publication online of a key joint Guidance Note on the Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Human Rights of Migrants.

    In their 17 Guidelines to governments, the experts urge states to ensure the rights and the continuity of procedures for persons in need of international protection, including access to their territories, and urge them to continue search and rescue operations for persons in distress at sea.

    “Governments must guarantee access to social services for migrants and their families, who in some countries show the highest levels of contagions and deaths from COVID-19,” they said.

    The experts added, “Migrants who are in an irregular situation or undocumented face even greater vulnerability. They work in unstable jobs – usually without benefits or the right to unemployment benefits — and in some cases have been left out of the social assistance measures implemented by States, despite the significant economic contributions to society of migrants. Within this context, we call on governments to promote the regularization of migrants in an irregular situation.”

    The UN Committee and the Special Rapporteur called on governments worldwide “to integrate migrant workers into national COVID-19 prevention and response plans and policies, which are gender, age and diversity responsive, and respect their right to health”.

    In their Guidance Note, the experts also urge States to include migrants and their families in economic recovery policies, taking into account the need for the recovery of remittance flows.

    “We want to alert the world that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the ability of migrants to work has already led to a global drop in the remittances sent to their families in their countries of origin, whose survival depends on them, as well as to countries where remittances are one of the main sources of income for their economies. Families literally are struggling for their own survival.

    “Governments must implement mechanisms to review the use of immigration detention with a view to reducing their populations to the lowest possible level, and immediately release families with children and unaccompanied or separated children from immigration detention facilities to non-custodial and community based alternatives with full access to rights and services,” the experts concluded. — WAM”

  7. 3 women injured after Houthi projectile hit Saudi border village in Jazan

    “Three women were injured by shrapnel of a projectile fired by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia from Yemen toward a bordering village in Jazan, the General Directorate of Civil Defense said in a statement on Tuesday carried by Saudi Press Agency.”

  8. France’s Determination to End Free Speech

    by Judith Bergman
    May 26, 2020 at 5:00 am

    On May 13, the French parliament adopted a law that requires online platforms such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat[1] to remove reported “hateful content” within 24 hours and “terrorist content” within one hour. Failure to do so could result in exorbitant fines of up to €1.25 million or 4% of the platform’s global revenue in cases of repeated failure to remove the content.

    The scope of online content deemed “hateful” under what is known as the “Avia law” (after the lawmaker who proposed it) is, as is common in European hate speech laws, very broadly demarcated and includes “incitement to hatred, or discriminatory insult, on the grounds of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or disability”.

    The French law was directly inspired by Germany’s controversial NetzDG law, adopted in in October 2017, and it is explicitly mentioned in the introduction to the Avia law.

    “This law proposal aims to combat the spread of hate speech on the internet,” it is stated in the introduction to the Avia law.

  9. Iran: The Ayatollah, Amid Coronavirus, Calls for Jihad Against the Jewish State

    Instead of concentrating on assisting and improving the living standards of its citizens, the ruling mullahs of Iran seem to be prioritizing the advancement of their anti-Semitic agenda.

    Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei recently called Israel a “cancerous tumor to be destroyed,” promised “to support any nation or group that fights Israel,” and urged the Palestinian militant groups to cooperate more closely with each other and “expand the field of jihad in all Palestinian lands.”

    The Iranian regime has, since its Islamic revolution of 1979, been among the world’s leading sponsors of terrorist organizations that target Israel. Some of the leaders of terrorist groups have surprisingly admitted that Tehran is their military and financial lifeline and that their survival depends on Iran.

    Ismail Haniyeh, for instance, the head of Hamas’s political bureau, recently praised the Iranian regime for being its foremost financial and military supporter. He pointed out in a video speech on May 20:

  10. Iraqi Shia militias call for terror attacks in Saudi Arabia

    “Two Iranian-backed Shia militias in Iraq have called for terrorist attacks to be conducted in Saudi Arabia, raising concerns about the increased targeting of Saudi government, civilian and industrial facilities.

    The spokesmen for the Kata’ib Hezbollah and Al-Nujaba Movement militias released statements on Saturday urging “Jihadi operations” within the Kingdom. Kata’ib Hezbollah spokesman Abu Ali Al-Askari said that, “You won’t be safe from the cells of the treachery and the hypocrisy of ‘the rest of the malicious tree’ unless Jihadi operations are transferred to Saudi Arabia.”

    Both groups fall under the umbrella of the Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU), an Iranian-backed assortment of mainly Shia militias which supplement and effectively fight alongside the Iraqi armed forces.

    In recent years, Kata’ib Hezbollah has been particularly controversial, with the group being suspected of conducting an attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil pipelines last year and being designated by the United States as a terrorist group…”

  11. Authorities in China Underreporting CCP Virus Cases: Leaked Documents

    The Jilin provincial government in northeastern China is underreporting the number of CCP virus-diagnosed patients, leaked internal documents recently obtained by The Epoch Times reveal.

    And on one recent occasion, the National Health Commission diluted the figures further.

  12. American Muslims demand answers over police killing of ‘mentally ill’ Sudanese-American man

    “American Muslims are demanding answers after the killing of a Sudanese-American man in the southeastern US state of Georgia, earlier this month.

    Forty-seven-year-old Yassin Mohamed was shot and killed on 9 May by a sheriff’s deputy, after allegedly throwing rocks at law enforcement officers.

    The incident was one of several encounters Mohamed had with law enforcement officers in the 24 hours leading to his death, causing many to question whether he was suffering from a mental illness.

    “We’re unclear as to the mental state of Mr Mohamed, and until the culmination of the investigation we won’t know for sure,” Murtaza Khwaja, the legal and policy director for the Council on American Islamic Relations in Georgia, was quoted by Al Jazeera as saying.

    “What we do know is that law enforcement is treating this a mental health crisis,” Khwaja added.

    In one incident, Mohamed was restrained by police officers and medical workers and taken to a hospital. Mohamed reportedly refused treatment.

    A report filed by one police officer regarng his interaction with Mohamed noted that he was experiencing a “mental episode”, according to All On Georgia.

    In another run in with law enforcement, Mohamed attacked a police officer with a plastic pipe.
    “I’d like to stress that Mr Mohamed was subdued by law enforcement without the use of lethal force,” Khwaja said, referring to the attack with the pipe.

    The fact that deadly force was not used in this earlier instance “illustrates the very point that far too often goes ignored, police officers choose to resort to lethal force when there are many other alternatives at their disposal”, he added.

    It was during Mohamed’s seventh incident with police officers that he was shot and killed…”

  13. UN condemns use of IEDs against civilians in Libya

    “The United Nations has deplored the “grotesque” use of improvised explosive devices against civilians in Libya’s capital Tripoli, the scene of more than a year of deadly fighting.

    The UN mission in Libya said it “strongly condemns these acts, which serve no military objective, provoke extreme fear among the population, and violate the rights of innocent civilians who must be protected under international humanitarian law.”

    In a statement released late on Monday, it voiced alarm about reports that residents of the Ain Zara and Salaheddin districts in southern Tripoli had been killed or wounded by IEDs placed in or near their homes.

    “This grotesque transformation and deterioration of the conflict, (which) has occurred while families were seeking the safety and comfort of their homes for the Eid holiday, demonstrates deliberate targeting of innocent civilians.” the statement read…”

  14. ‘No one should be left to die’: Fighting to protect refugees in Europe amid Covid-19

    “”This is the time we have to show humanity to everyone, regardless of what papers they’ve got. No one should be left to die from this virus because of their migrant status”.
    This is the hope of Philippa and Ruby, two of the people behind the campaign group ‘Demands From a Pandemic’. “If there’s ever a time to change things it seems like it’s now”.

    The Covid-19 pandemic has made already bad conditions for asylum-seekers in Europe’s refugee camps untenable. With groups mobilising across Europe to demand an evacuation of the camps, The New Arab spoke to three organisations about their strategies.

    Building solidarity

    ‘Demands From a Pandemic’ groups exist in Denmark, France, the UK and Ireland. “It’s a really simple idea: we organise simultaneous banner drops out of people’s homes across the country with slogans that raise the profile of the struggles of people in various forms of imprisonment,” Philippa told The New Arab.

    They organise through small groups who already work supporting refugees, migrants and detainees to “link up the local struggles and make clear that a lot of these demands are connected,” says Ruby.

    The Covid-19 pandemic has made already bad conditions for asylum-seekers in Europe’s refugee camps untenable
    It is also a creative solution to difficulties in demonstrating under lockdown. “Because of this virus, normal protesting has become very difficult,” says Cyan from the German solidarity group Coloured Rain.

    The banners capitalise on the solidarity that can be found between people’s experiences of lockdown and the experience that those detained live through every day.

    “For a lot of people this is the first time that they can’t go and see their family on their birthday, or attend a funeral. As somebody with a European passport it might be the first time that the borders of Europe are shut to you: there’s an opening there for feelings of solidarity,” says Philippa. “Although obviously life in the camps and detention centres is much worse”.

    Rose Aitchison is a young person living in Glasgow who has been moved by the banners. “The windows in my local area are plastered with demands for an end to detention centres, evacuation of the camps, and papers for all. In times like these where we can’t come together physically, these remind us of what’s important, and of the strength in a community’s solidarity.”

    The banner campaigns have also allowed the similarities between different local issues – such as the situation for asylum seekers in Glasgow and of those suffering under Direct Provision in Ireland – to become apparent.

    Protest in the camps

    Every Wednesday, groups of residents of the infamous Moria camp in Lesbos have been protesting at the gates. The first , on 22 April, was led by French-speaking African asylum seekers, and was joined by many members of the Afghan community in the following weeks.

    No one should be left to die from this virus because of their migrant status
    They do not fear the effects of such a gathering in the same way as their counterparts in Germany and the UK because in the camps, social distancing is not possible.

    Meanwhile detainees in the pre-removal centre in Moria – known as the ‘Moria prison’ – attempted a hunger strike. The prison is a holding centre for those who have violated asylum rules (for example, by leaving Lesbos before their interview) or who have been deemed to have a low likelihood of success due to their country of origin.

    A large number of inmates went on hunger strike to demand their release in order to avoid the catastrophic consequences of the spread of the virus in the prison, where they remain indefinitely until deportations are resumed.

    “All the prisons in the world have released prisoners. We have decided to choose between death and freedom,” their statement read. However, the protest was put down by force within the week and the prisoners remain.

    Marinblue and Cyan, from Coloured Rain, are employing similar strategies in solidarity. “Our group began the hunger strike on the 29th of April,” they said. “Hearing about the Moria hunger strikers made us more determined, because they are not able to do it. Together, we will be heard”.

    The demands of the different groups differ in their specificities, but the same message recurs:

    Safe housing for everybody! Rehouse people from camps and detention centres into adequate and safe accommodation! Stop ongoing and new evictions of people from UK Home Office accommodation – Demands from a Pandemic
    Establish resettlement programs for people, whose lives are in danger due to lack of basic hygienic supplies and medical care in the Greek island camp! – Coloured Rain
    Immediate action from all Member States to decongest the Aegean Islands of Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros through fair relocation of asylum seekers across European countries for the sake of universal human rights and in accordance with obligations set out under Art 78(3) of the TFEU and the 2001 Directive on Temporary Protection – Europe Must Act

    Pressuring municipalities

    Whilst the actions of groups like ‘Demands From a Pandemic’ seek to build solidarity amongst communities more generally, the group Europe Must Act focuses on municipalities as a way to force the EU to act.

    This is the time we have to show humanity to everyone, regardless of what papers they’ve got
    “We decided that the only way to get long lasting change was to channel our demands at the highest level,” Campaigns Co-ordinator Kirsty told The New Arab. “The only way to be noticed was to raise the voices of those living, volunteering and working in the Aegean and to encourage European people to speak out against the conditions”.

    They began by writing an Open Letter to the EU Commission and EU Parliament demanding a decongestion of the Aegean Islands and fair reception, relocation and integration of people. It was signed by 100,000 people, over 160 NGOs and 10 MEPs.

    “After a meeting with Ylva Johansson (EU Commissioner of Home Affairs), we realised that, in order to ensure positive change, we require representation at the municipal level… If the pressure comes from the city level, this will be raised up to the national level and so on to the EU level where the compassionate change can be enacted”.

    So far, they have had success: the city of Landau in Germany has pledged to take in 50 refugees in response to the campaign.

    Everything still to play for

    It appears then that amongst the chaos there is everything to play for, especially as the Greek government seizes this moment of rupture to accelerate plans to transform camps into “closed controlled centres”. They have also rolled out plans to build more “pre-return detention facilities” like the Moria prison. As Ruby remembers, “a few weeks before the lockdown there were riots against this stuff”.

    “It’s been shown that there can be huge change overnight if governments want to, they can do it. It’s like trying to grasp at things in all this chaos; things that you’d never think would happen have been happening overnight,” Philippa adds. “If there’s ever a time to get really angry, it’s now.””

    video – 17 mins 22 secs
    Author and political analyst Linda Goudsmit outlines some of the pseudo-humanitarian hoaxes that have been used by world-government advocates to undermine American freedom on the road to a New World Order. Alex Newman

  16. Trump says wants full Afghanistan pullout but hasn’t set target date

    “U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday renewed his desire for a full military withdrawal from Afghanistan but added that he had not set a target date, amid speculation he might make ending America’s longest war part of his re-election campaign.

    “We’re there 19 years and, yeah, I think that’s enough… We can always go back if we want to,” Trump told a White House news conference.

    Asked if the Thanksgiving holiday on Nov. 26 was a target, Trump said: “No. I have no target. But as soon as (is) reasonable. Over a period of time but as soon as reasonable.””

  17. Suspected Islamist militia kills at least 17 in northeastern Congo

    “Suspected Islamist fighters killed at least 17 people in an early morning raid on a village in northeastern Congo on Monday, a local civil society leader and a monitoring organisation said, the latest attack in a recent surge in violence.

    At around 5 a.m. local time the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), who claim a loose affiliation with the Islamic State group, attacked the village of Makutano in Ituri province, around 100 km southwest of the city of Bunia, said Gili Gotabo, a civil society leader in Irumu territory.

    “They fired several shots in the air. When the population was fleeing, they captured some people and cut them up with machetes,” he said.

    Kivu Security Tracker (KST), a research initiative that maps unrest in the region, confirmed the attack and put the death toll at 17, although Gotabo said many more were killed.

    Local authorities declined to comment.

    The ADF have killed hundreds of people since late October last year when the army began an operation to oust them from their bases near the Ugandan border. The fighting has hampered efforts to end an Ebola epidemic.

    While the insurgents, who are originally from Uganda, have pledged allegiance to Islamic State and the group has endorsed some attacks by the ADF, researchers say there is no evidence of close collaboration.

    Following two months of relative quiet, the area has seen a rise in violent ADF attacks in the last three weeks, KST said in a statement to Reuters.

    “It’s not entirely clear yet why this surge is taking place. It is very clear, however, that the ADF hasn’t been dismantled at any point,” it said.

    The redeployment of army units further north as well as moral and financial fatigue may have given the ADF more space to operate, it added.”

  18. Egypt, France warn against foreign intervention in Libya: Egyptian foreign ministry,-France-warn-against-foreign-intervention-in.aspx

    “Egypt and France both warn against the consequences of foreign intervention in Libya, a statement by the Egyptian foreign ministry read on Tuesday, as Cairo intensifies communication with other countries to stress its rejection of foreign interference in the war-torn country.

    According to the Egyptian statement, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry received a phone call from his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian to discuss bilateral ties and issues of common interest.

    They discussed the latest developments in Libya and the means to reach a comprehensive political reconciliation to restore security and stability and eliminate terrorism.

    The two ministers also exchanged viewpoints on developments related to the Palestinian issue, reiterating the necessity of working swiftly to resume peace talks under a two-state framework.

    The statement stressed the importance of creating a suitable climate for the resumption of peace negotiations away from any unilateral procedures that would hinder the desired peace and stability.

    They also discussed developments related to the disputed Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

    The statement added that the two ministers discussed bilateral ties in various fields, including economic cooperation, and the necessity of continued efforts to increase cooperation between the two countries.

    Shoukry and Le Drian agreed on the necessity of close coordination and consultations between Cairo and Paris on all issues of mutual interest in the coming period, the statement said.

    The phone call is part of intensive communications between Egypt and its international partners to discuss ongoing developments in Libya after the recent escalation which saw the Government of National Accord (GNA) take significant military action against the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Khalifa Haftar.

    Egypt President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on Monday spoke to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis by phone, the pair stressing their rejection of any foreign interference in Libya.

    Last week, Shoukry discussed with his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio the importance of reaching a comprehensive agreement in the country.

    Egypt, the UAE and Russia are backing Haftar, while Turkey supports the GNA.

    El-Sisi said last week that Cairo will never show tolerance for terrorist organisations or the parties supporting them, in remarks on Libya.”

  19. ‘Expensive rubbish’ taught in the ADF’s new Gender Peace and Security course

    Sky News host Chris Smith says the new Gender Peace and Security course which the Australian Defence force may require all recruits to complete was “total rubbish”.

    The Daily Telegraph is reporting “the Australian Defence Force is calling for personnel to go on a $12,000 Gender Peace and Security course that will draw on ‘feminist theorising’ and make them ‘gender sensitive, gender inclusive and gender responsive’”.

    The course will be run by two feminist professors from Monash University who allegedly believe masculinist policies are to blame for numerous political problems.

    Adoni Media Managing Director Leisa Goddard said while there had been issues in the Defence Force when it came to the treatment of women, these issues could be solved, and far more cheaply, if the army were to abide by the principle of “respect”.

    Mr Smith pointed out Gender Peace and Security was not the same as sexual discrimination.

  20. Italy’s ‘Green Corridor’ Brings Back Moroccan Farm Workers

    “Amid a workforce shortage due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Italy has opened “green corridors” for non-EU agricultural laborers, including many Moroccan farm workers, who had a long-standing work contract with Italian firms. The move comes as an attempt to help harvest the country’s summer crops.

    On Thursday, May 21 the initiative’s first charter flight from Casablanca, which was carrying 124 Moroccan farm workers, arrived in the Italian city of Pescara via a so-called “green corridor.”

    Another flight landed on Friday, May 22 with the same number of workers and a third flight is scheduled in the coming days, all departing from Casablanca.

    The workers will be sent with four coaches from Pescara directly to their housing, where they will be quarantined, in order to respect all social distancing measures before they start working at their respective employers’ farms…”

  21. Turkey ‘neutralizes’ 4 PKK terrorists in northern Iraq

    “Turkish jets “neutralized” at least four PKK terrorists in northern Iraq, the Defense Ministry said on May 25.

    The terrorists were “neutralized” in Hakurk region after they were detected by reconnaissance and surveillance activities, the ministry said on Twitter.

    Turkish authorities use the term “neutralized” to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.

    The country’s anti-terror operations continue without letup, the ministry said.

    PKK terrorists often take shelter in northern Iraq to plan cross-border terrorist attacks in Turkey.

    In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.”

  22. Syria: ISIS mass grave found in Raqqa, media

    “A mass grave with at least 100 bodies, probably victims of ISIS, were discovered in northern Syria near Raqqa, which was the ‘capital’ of the ‘Islamic State’ in the war-torn country from 2014 until 2017.

    Rome-born Jesuit priest Father Paolo Dall’Oglio was reported missing in the area in July 2013. Many suspect that the priest was kidnapped and killed by ISIS. Dall’Oglio is still missing and some reports over the years have claimed that he was killed while others say he is still alive and held by his abductors.

    According to local sources in Raqqa and Syrian media reports, dozens of bodies have so far been found in the mass grave in the area of Tell Zidan. The remains belong to victims aged 25 to 35, according to the reports. Up to 200 people could be buried in the grave, according to excavation workers quoted by the outlets. Over the past few years the bodies of at least 6,000 people killed before and during ISIS’s rule were discovered in mass graves in the area of Raqqa.”

  23. Jeff – May 26, 2020
    1:41:30 – The Masks – Combat Veteran
    1:57:53 – Teacher – New Rules – Kids must wear masks all day long.
    1:59:57 – Dr. Judy & Kent

  24. global news – Coronavirus outbreak: Military teams raise concerns over conditions at Ontario long-term care homes

  25. Canada outspends Ireland, Norway in new pledging on Venezuelan refugee crisis

    OTTAWA — Canada outbid its two rivals for the United Nations Security Council at Tuesday’s international pledging conference to help South American countries coping with the Venezuelan refugee crisis and COVID-19.

    Canada increased its support for the cause by $27 million, compared with a $1.5-million pledge by Ireland and Norway’s $6.7 million.

    The pledges were broadcast during a three-and-a-half-hour password-protected video conference, where each country’s representatives talked in turn about the importance of the cause. Millions of Venezuelans have fled into neighbouring nations, away from the repressive government of President Nicolas Maduro.

    Patrick Haughey, the humanitarian director of Irish Aid, said on the broadcast that the “solidarity and generosity of neighbouring countries who continue to offer refuge to Venezuelan people in their time of need” was commendable. “But it is not for them alone to address this crisis.”

    He said that Ireland’s $1.5-million pledge was in addition to the $45 million it had already contributed in “core support” to international agencies dealing with the crisis.

    It was a rare victory for Canada in an international spending metric: its bid for a temporary seat on the UN’s powerful Security Council is regularly criticized by experts who point out that Norway and Ireland both spend far more, per capita, on international development.

    The two European countries also deploy more peacekeepers to UN missions than Canada, another area that is seen as crucial in showing a commitment to the UN.

    All three countries are competing for two non-permanent seats on the council, for a two-year term starting next year. The UN General Assembly is to vote on the matter next month.

    The Trudeau government has touted its post-pandemic international leadership on a variety of fronts as its campaign for the council. It says Canada will be a key player in the post-COVID-19 reconstruction of the world, which will include spurring economic recover yin rich and poor countries alike.

    International Development Minister Karina Gould announced the additional Canadian contribution, which brings Canada’s spending on the humanitarian crisis in its Western Hemisphere neighbourhood to $80 million over the past two years.

    “We would be doing it whether we were in the race for the Security Council or not,” Gould said in an interview.

    “In the context of the UN Security Council, what it demonstrates is Canada is a leader when it comes to responding to international crises but also when it comes to providing innovative solutions and innovative ideas in terms of how we can get broader support for these regional crises,” she added.

    “We’ve been a strong partner for countries in the region and that’s exactly what we would keep doing, and it’s the kind of action countries can expect from us on the security council.”

    The European Union and Spain hosted the conference, seeking to alleviate the strain on countries such as Colombia, Peru and Ecuador that have borne the brunt of the second-worst refugee crisis on the planet.

    Canada has agreed to host the next pledging conference expected for early next year.

    The health and education systems of Venezuela’s neighbouring countries are under increasing strain as they absorb five million refugees while coping with COVID-19.

    Colombia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Claudia Blum said her country has welcomed 1.8 million Venezuelan refugees, giving them access to health care and allowing children to attend public schools. But the demand on its public systems is going to grow with the Venezuelan refugee count expected to increase to 6.5 million by year’s end, including 2.4 million people in Colombia.

    “Our country has welcomed them with a spirit of solidarity,” said Blum, noting that 370,000 Venezuelan children are enrolled in Colombian public schools, and 800,000 migrants have been treated in its health-care system.

    “Colombian agencies are addressing great challenges in providing social services to this population. However, my country cannot cover the cost of assisting the great number of Venezuelan migrants alone, particularly under the COVID-19 emergency.”

    Rema Jamous Imseis, the UN refugee agency’s Canadian representative, said the pandemic has created obstacles to helping refugees because of closed borders and physical distancing measures.

    “The support is welcomed because we have needs that existed as a result of the Venezuela displacement crisis which predate COVID but, as you can imagine, those needs have been greatly exacerbated by the pandemic. Our funding remains critically low.”

    • CBC – Canada pledges $27M to help Venezuelan refugees weather pandemic

      Canada will provide $27 million to help millions of Venezuelan refugees and migrants fleeing their country during a global pandemic that has put new strains on the international community’s ability to respond to the South American nation’s economic and political crisis.

      International Development Minister Karina Gould made the announcement Tuesday during the online International Donors Conference in Solidarity with Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants in Latin America and the Caribbean.

      The pledging conference was convened by the European Union and Spain, with the support of Canada, Norway, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). It received pledges amounting to $2.79 billion US, including $653 million US in grants.

      Five million refugees

      The conference, which brought together over 40 countries, sought to mobilize aid for one of the largest external displacement crises in the world.

      The UN estimates that more than five million have fled Venezuela’s ongoing political unrest and economic collapse to seek safety and protection across the world. Around 80 per cent of them are being hosted by countries across Latin America and the Caribbean.

      The pandemic is making their plight even more desperate. According to UN officials, Venezuelan refugees and migrants now face multiple challenges, including the loss of daily incomes needed to cover basic needs such as shelter, food and health care.

      “As the world is grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot forget about ongoing humanitarian crises,” Gould said in a statement. “The situation in Venezuela and for over five million Venezuelan refugees and migrants is extremely dire.”

      ‘A ray of hope’
      Migrants and refugees are especially vulnerable to the impact of COVID-19 because of their limited access to health care and paid work, and the heightened risks they face of abuse and exploitation, she added.

      UNHCR and the IOM welcomed Canada’s contribution and those from other donors, saying they offered “a ray of hope to many families who have lost everything they had.”

      “These contributions will make a real difference to the lives of refugees and migrants from Venezuela, who have been extremely hard-hit by the pandemic,” said UNHCR-IOM Joint Special Representative Eduardo Stein.

      “Countries in the region have responded to this unprecedented displacement with remarkable solidarity and hospitality, while facing significant challenges to their own economies and the social fabric of their societies.”

      As the pandemic continues to spread through Latin America, many refugees and migrants from Venezuela could be left out of health and social welfare programs, especially those in irregular situations, said Stein.

      Michael Messenger, president and CEO of World Vision Canada, said Canada’s pledge came at a critical time.

      “COVID-19 is making the world’s largest displacement crisis significantly more complicated,” Messenger said.

      The situation will likely continue to deteriorate for millions of migrants who, in addition to being displaced from their homes, already face malnutrition and shortages of clean water and basic hygiene, he added.

      “We’re particularly worried about women, girls and boys who are at even greater risk of violence, abuse and exploitation,” Messenger said.

      A coalition of regional humanitarian organizations across 17 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean launched a fundraising appeal last November, saying it needed over $1.4 billion to respond to the Venezuela crisis. Barely a tenth of that amount had been raised prior to Tuesday’s pledging conference.

      “The humanitarian response for Venezuela was already underfunded, and that’s why these pledges are needed now more than ever,” Messenger said.

      Mike Lake, Conservative Party shadow minister for international development, could not be reached for comment in time for publication.

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