Reader’s Links for June 12, 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

103 Replies to “Reader’s Links for June 12, 2020”

  1. Turkey Arrests Opposition Journalist on Espionage Charges

    “A Turkish court has jailed a prominent opposition journalist from an online news outlet pending trial on “military and political espionage”, the state-run Anadolu news agency said on Friday.

    Muyesser Yildiz, the Ankara news editor for the OdaTV online news portal, was detained on Monday. She was formally arrested on Thursday following her questioning.

    Ismail Dukel, Ankara representative of broadcaster TELE1, who was also detained along with Yildiz and questioned, was released, Anadolu said. An army sergeant detained with them was also jailed, it said without elaborating.

    OdaTV, an online news outlet, has been critical of President Tayyip Erdogan’s government. Turkey ranks among the top jailers of journalists across the world.

    Since a failed coup attempt in July 2016, Ankara has cracked down on suspected members of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen’s network, which it accuses of orchestrating the putsch. More than 77,000 people have been jailed and some 150,000 civil servants, military personnel, and others have been sacked or suspended.

    Critics say Erdogan has used the failed coup as a pretext to clamp down on dissent and strengthen his grip on power, a charge Ankara denies. It says the measures are necessary to safeguard national security.”

  2. Lebanese Central Bank to Inject Dollars after Night of Protests

    “Lebanon’s money changers said the central bank agreed Friday to inject fresh dollars into the market to prop up the national currency a day after protesters poured into the streets over the rising dollar price.

    The protests, which degenerated into attacks on several bank branches, and the tumbling of the currency prompted an emergency cabinet meeting Friday.

    Prime Minister Hassan Diab chaired the meeting, also attended by Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh and representatives of the country’s money changers.

    Mahmoud Halawa, head of the money changers union, said Salameh promised to inject a sufficient amount of dollars into the market for importers and regular citizens.

    Security forces would also crack down on the black market or any money changers selling above a set rate of 3,940 to the dollar, Halawa said.

    It was not clear whether there are enough dollars available to stop the local currency depreciation. Halawa said fresh dollars would mostly come from money transfer bureaus.

    Despite previous efforts to control the currency depreciation, the Lebanese pound sold for more than 6,000 to the dollar Thursday on the black market, down from 4,000 in recent days. The pound had maintained a fixed rate of 1,500 to the dollar for nearly 30 years.

    The central bank late Thursday hit out at “baseless” information on social media of “exchange rates at levels far from reality, which mislead citizens”.

    The currency crash comes during a historic economic and financial crisis facing the country and appeared to reflect the growing shortage of foreign currency.

    It also signaled panic over new US sanctions that will affect Syria in the coming days and a lack of trust in the government’s management of the crisis.

    Experts say the cabinet would like to see Salameh removed from the position he has held since 1993.

    Protesters accuse Salame of having encouraged a policy of increasing state borrowing over the decades that they say benefited only the country’s banking and political elite.”

  3. Saudi Arabia at forefront in fight against terror, says Prince Farhan at Sahel Alliance conference

    “Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Faisal Bin Farhan participated in a virtual conference on Friday hosted by France of international ministers to support the security, political and development efforts for the Sahel countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.

    The conference brought together defense and foreign ministers of a number of countries in a bid to launch the revamped G5 Alliance.

    During the conversation, Prince Farhan drew the attention participants to the plight of an important part of the world reeling the scourge of terrorism, stressing that the Kingdom is at the forefront of nations fighting terrorism.

    He said that the Kingdom believes in the importance of adopting a comprehensive approach within the framework of international law with an aim to eliminate terrorism, save the lives of innocent people and maintain countries’ sovereignty, security and stability.

    The foreign minister said that Saudi Arabia has contributed $10 million to establishing the UN center to combat terrorism, which provides UN member states with great help, including the countries of the Sahel region, in this respect.

    Based on the Kingdom’s historic relations with the member states of the Sahel Coalition and believing in the significant role played by such a grouping, in fighting terrorism, the Kingdom is coordinating and sharing data and information to combat terrorism, with all member states of the coalition, he stated.

    He added that the Kingdom is also keen to provide the G5 countries of the Sahel with technical backup and support in combating terrorism and its funding sources.

    The Minister concluded by reasserting that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will spare no effort to support all nations, in the war against terrorism and extremism.”

  4. Saudi Arabia’s embassy reports suspicious activity on its email accounts

    “Saudi Arabia’s Embassy in the United States on Friday urged news organizations to verify the authenticity of the correspondence before publishing any purported information or statements attributable to it.

    The embassy put out a statement on its official twitter handle saying: “The Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington would like to alert all news organizations about suspicious activity around certain embassy email accounts,” the tweet read.

    “We ask news organizations that received emails from embassy officials in recent days to verify the authenticity of the correspondence before publishing any purported information or statements attributable to the embassy. We are taking steps to rectify the situation.””

  5. Turkey tests military flights to Libya amid reports of establishing bases

    “Turkey’s military conducted an eight-hour long air drill to the Libyan coast on Thursday to show that it could rapidly and easily deploy several F-16s and early warning aircraft to the country if needed, a Turkish official told Middle East Eye.

    In a separate formal announcement, Turkey’s military reported that its air force and navy jointly conducted “Open Sea Training” in the Eastern Mediterranean, with 17 aircraft involved having taken off from the city of Eskisehir. Eight frigates and corvettes also joined the drill.

    “The activity was conducted in international waters, in a route totalling a 2,000km round trip,” a second Turkish official told MEE. The drill, which was commanded by the military headquarters back in Turkey, also included airtankers and C-130 military cargo planes.

    Meanwhile, Turkish media reported that Ankara will establish two military bases in Libya as part of its security cooperation with the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA)…”

  6. Arab League: ‘GNA is legitimate, its agreements with Turkey are legal’

    “The Assistant Secretary-General of the Arab League Ambassador Hossam Zaki described the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) as “legitimate” and the agreements in force between Ankara and Tripoli as “legal”.

    Ankara supports the internationally-recognised GNA in the face of General Khalifa Haftar’s militias, backed by Arab and European countries, which the government forces have been fighting for years, for legitimacy and power in the oil-rich country.

    Zaki shared in an interview with an Egyptian television channel on Wednesday evening, that the GNA is legitimate in line with the Skhirat Agreement, of which Egypt was also a part.

    According to Zaki, it is the: “Accredited government for the Arab League, the African Union and the United Nations,” adding that the agreements signed between the GNA and Turkey are also valid.

    The Libyan army, which is affiliated with the GNA, succeeded in liberating the capital of Tripoli, and the cities of Tarhuna and Bani Walid (180 kilometres southeast of Tripoli).

    Last week, GNA forces launched Operation Path of Victory to liberate the cities and towns of eastern and central Libya, most importantly, Sirte and Al-Jafra.

    Zaki explained that: “The Arab League is discussing now how the parties to the Libyan conflict can summon their political will, and try to sit at the negotiating table to discuss the future of this country.”

    He added that the Arab League: “Is aware of the difficulties ahead. The political will, if not absent, is at a minimum on both sides.””

  7. Iran rejects UN report that arms ‘of Iranian origin’ used in Saudi attacks

    “Iran on Friday rejected a United Nations report that said cruise missiles used in attacks on oil facilities and an airport in Saudi Arabia last year were of “Iranian origin”, saying it had been drawn up under US and Saudi influence.

    In the report, seen by Reuters on Thursday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also told the Security Council that several items in US seizures of weapons and related materiel in November 2019 and February 2020 were “of Iranian origin”.

    Iran’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by state media that “Iran denies allegations by the UN Secretariat that appear to have been made under political pressure from the US and Saudi regimes”.

    “Interestingly, the … report comes at a time when the United States is working to draft a dangerous resolution to extend an arms embargo against Iran,” the statement said…”

  8. The Iraq Report: Iran’s economic woes frustrate Shia militias

    “Pro-Iran Shia militias in Iraq are beginning to feel a squeeze on their finances as their benefactor’s economy is ravaged by American sanctions and one of the worst coronavirus infection rates in the Middle East.

    Without an effective bridge between the disparate Shia factions in Iraq and a key player within Iran, as represented by the late Qassem Soleimani who was killed earlier this year, Shia militants are beginning to show signs of discontent…”

  9. Defence budget up by 11.9% amid tensions with India

    “The federal government on Friday proposed an 11.9 per cent increase in the defence budget despite the earlier announcement that military spending would remain unchanged in view of the grave economic situation compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The budget document shows that the defence outlay for 2020-21 would be Rs1,289 billion as compared to Rs1,152 billion earmarked for the ongoing fiscal year. The increase, however, is 5% if compared with the revised spending of Rs1,227 billion in 2019-20.

    Part of the excess defence spending in the ongoing fiscal year has been attributed to the continued tensions between Pakistan and India. Relations between the two countries have been spiralling downwards ever since the Pulwama attack in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir in February 2019.

    The two countries were on the brink of war when India sent its fighter jets inside Pakistan following the Pulwama attack. The Indian incursion invited a tit-for-tat response from Pakistan.

    The Pakistan Air Force jets locked several targets inside India but dropped the missiles in empty spaces in order to show that Pakistan had the will and capacity to hit back…”

  10. 2 terrorists ‘neutralized’ in southeast Turkey

    “Two armed PKK terrorists were neutralized in an air-backed operation in southeastern Turkey, the Interior Ministry announced early Saturday.

    The ministry said the terrorists were struck as part of domestic security operations and a large cache of ammunition and survival equipment was confiscated. Operations in the region are underway, it added.

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

  11. Turkey responds to Twitter’s move to suspend accounts

    “A top Turkish official on Friday slammed Twitter’s decision to suspend thousands of accounts from Turkey, calling it an attempt to smear the government.

    Twitter announced overnight the suspension of over 7,000 accounts from Turkey.

    “The company’s allegations that those accounts were “fake” profiles designed to support the president and that they were single-handedly managed by a central authority are untrue,” Fahrettin Altun, Turkey’s communication director, said in a statement.

    He said documents Twitter cited to support its decision were illogical, biased and politically motivated.

    “That a US-based company would seek to legitimize its decisions with reference to a report, which was authored by certain individuals peddling their ideological views as scientific data, is a scandal of historic proportions,” he said.

    Altun stressed that the company’s move to compile a number of unrelated social media accounts under a single category and its attempt to smear the Turkish government were unacceptable.

    “This arbitrary act, hidden behind the smokescreen of transparency and freedom of expression, has demonstrated yet again that Twitter is no mere social media company, but a propaganda machine with certain political and ideological inclinations, which does not refrain from smearing users and stakeholders that it deems to be incompatible with those views,” he said.

    Altun said Twitter attempts to portray Turkey in a certain light and is eager to promote propaganda by anti-Turkey elements such as PKK and FETO.

    “We would like to remind this company of the eventual fate of a number of organizations, which attempted to take similar steps in the past.

    “The Government of Turkey will under no circumstances tolerate any form of forgery, manipulations or disinformation, and it will continue to work to promote the truth, free thinking and digital awareness at home and all around the world,” Altun said.”

  12. Turkey: FETO infiltrated US missions

    “Turkey’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said Friday that members of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) had not only infiltrated Turkish institutions but also US missions in the country.

    His comments came a day after a Turkish court sentenced Metin Topaz, a US Consulate employee, to eight years and nine months in prison on charges of helping FETO, the terror group behind the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey.

    Shortly after the court’s decision, the US embassy questioned the decision, saying its observers “have seen no credible evidence to support this conviction and hope it will swiftly be overturned.”

    In response, Hami Aksoy said Turkey anxiously observes how the US has become a safe haven for members of FETO.

    “Essentially, Metin Topuz is not the only FETO affiliated person working in the US representative offices in our country. Also, Arif Yalcin, who was expelled from the Turkish Military Academy after the July 15 coup attempt and started to work in the US Embassy in October 2018, was arrested due to his links with FETO/PDY and transferred to the Silivri Prison,” he said.

    Aksoy said Turkey’s repeated requests for extradition of FETO members in the US, including its ringleader, have fallen on deaf ears.

    “This situation reveals the insensitive approach of the US to FETO terror group. Due to this approach of the US, we anxiously observe how the US has become a safe haven for members of the FETO terror group,” he said.

    Stressing the importance of the rule of law principle in Turkey, Aksoy said the Turkish judiciary is independent.

    Aksoy said Turkey will resolutely continue its fight against FETO, which has attacked the national unity and constitutional order of the country, on the basis of principles of universal law.

    He also said that Turkey’s allies, which see themselves as the harbinger of democracy, freedom and rule of law, ignore these fundamental principles when it comes to terror groups that attack Turkey.

    Lastly, he said Topuz has the right to appeal to the high court against the court decision within seven days.

    According to the indictment, Topuz had been accused of having contacts with Zekeriya Oz, a key FETO fugitive, as well as former police chiefs and soldiers affiliated with the terrorist group and aiding in their activities.

    He was also accused of four other crimes, including attempting to topple the Turkish government and espionage, but was acquitted on those charges due to lack of evidence. The court ruled for the continuation of his detention.

    FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated July 15, 2016, foiled coup in Turkey, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

    Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.”

  13. UN urges Greece to investigate refugee push-backs

    “UNHCR on Friday urged Greece to investigate incidents in which migrants and asylum seekers were reportedly pushed back towards Turkey after arriving in Greek territory or waters. The UN agency called for an ”urgent” inquiry into several alleged incidents that were reported by the media, many of which were confirmed by NGos and direct accounts, according to a statement issued in Geneva. ”The Hellenic Coast Guard has shown exceptional dedication and courage to save countless refugee and migrant lives at sea.

    However, the present allegations go against Greece’s international obligations and can expose people to grave danger,” the statement said.

    Of particular concern are reports by international media and footage showing the use of floating rescue equipment to expel migrants towards the eastern Aegean Sea, the organization said. ”Some 3,000 asylum seekers arrived in Greece by land and sea since the start of March, a precipitous drop from previous months and compared to previous years.

    Yet, the number of reported pushbacks, particularly at sea, has been rising,” UNHCR said, adding that ”Greece has the legitimate right to control its borders and manage irregular migration while respecting international human rights and refugee protection standards. Controls and practices must guarantee the rights of asylum seekers and they should not be turned away at Greece’s borders.””

  14. Martha gets into heated argument with Washington Rep over ‘autonomous zone’

    Martha MacCallum challenges Rep. Denny Heck, R-WA, over the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone accusing him of ‘minimizing the issue’.

  15. AFP – Bolsonaro tells Brazilians to film hospitals

    Rio de Janeiro (AFP) – Critics slammed Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro Friday after he called on supporters to film videos inside their local hospitals to prove they have not been overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic.

    The far-right leader urged his backers Thursday to “find a way to get inside and film” to see whether intensive care units are in fact struggling, as state and local health authorities have reported in areas hit hard by COVID-19.

    “Lots of people are doing that already, but more people need to,” he said in his weekly live address on Facebook.

    “The information we have — I could be wrong, but… no one has died due to a lack of ventilators or intensive care beds. Maybe one case here or there.”

    He said his administration would pass such videos to the police and intelligence services.

    Bolsonaro, who has famously compared the virus to a “little flu,” regularly questions information on the pandemic from public health officials and the mainstream media.

    Even as the virus has surged in Brazil, which now has the second-highest caseload in the world after the United States, he has railed against lockdown measures in various states, arguing business closures and stay-at-home orders are needlessly wrecking the economy.

    Opponents accuse the president of making the health crisis worse.

    “The president is recklessly putting lives at risk when he asks his supporters to invade hospitals,” said left-wing lawmaker Paulo Fernando dos Santos.

    Bolsonaro should instead “just read the bulletins published by state authorities with the hospital occupancy rates,” the governor of Maranhao state, Flavio Dino, wrote on Twitter.

    “If he wants to visit our hospitals, I’ll show him myself.”

    According to official figures, intensive care units in numerous states across Brazil have registered occupancy rates of more than 95 percent during the pandemic, though the figure has fallen recently in some of those hardest hit.

    The World Health Organization — which Bolsonaro has threatened to quit, accusing it of “ideological bias” in its handling of the pandemic — said the situation in Brazil’s hospitals remained “critical” in some areas.

    While the health system is “still coping,” the situation in Brazil “is of concern,” WHO emergencies director Mike Ryan told journalists in Geneva.

    • CNBC – Seattle protesters set up ‘autonomous zone’ — Here’s what it’s like

      “…. one of the things this president will never understand….”

    • Associated Press Seattle mayor, Trump spar publicly over protesters

      …. protesters have created a festival-like scene

  16. CBC – Gay men, trans women banned from donating plasma for COVID-19 trials

    A possible treatment for those suffering from COVID-19 has brought renewed scrutiny to Canada’s blood donation ban for men who have sex with men. Clinical trials to study whether convalescent plasma can help fight COVID-19 are underway.

    But this country’s controversial blood donation policy means men and trans women aren’t allowed to donate blood, if they’ve had a sexual encounter with a man in the last three months. Power & Politics speaks to NDP MP Randall Garrison and human rights advocate Christopher Karas.

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