Reader’s links for July 1, 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

121 Replies to “Reader’s links for July 1, 2020”

  1. Europe Suspends PIA From Flying To Continent For 6 Months; LAC Standoff; More| India First
    3,633 views
    •Jun 30, 2020

  2. MEMRI – Pakistani PM: The Whole World Cursed Us Even Though We Fought Alongside America in the War on Terror

    Pakistani PM Imran Khan said in a June 25, 2020 address at the Pakistani National Assembly that no other country that sided with and fought alongside America in the War on Terror has been cursed like Pakistan has been.

    He said that Pakistan is even openly held responsible for America’s failures in Afghanistan. In addition, PM Khan referred to the “shameful incident” of the Osama Bin Laden raid, in which he said the Americans caused “Bin Laden’s “martyrdom.”

    He said that America had killed Bin Laden without telling the Pakistani government and that Pakistan was subsequently cursed by the whole world even though 70,000 Pakistanis had died in the War on Terror for the sake of American lives.

    He also bemoaned the drone attacks that took place in Pakistan following the Bin Laden raid. PM Khan’s address aired on Public News

  3. MEMRI – London Shiite Scholar: “Aryanist” Churchill and the British Are Guilty of Same Crimes as the Nazis

    In an interview that was posted on the YouTube channel of AhlulBayt Islamic Mission (AIM) on June 19, 2020, under the title “The Black Struggle for Justice in the USA,” London Shiite Islamic scholar and activist Ahmed Haneef said that certain historical figures are idolized today even if their views regarding non-white people were “worse than the [views of the] Nazis.”

    Haneef gave the example of Winston Churchill, who he said had an “Aryanist” and “supremacist-type” ideology that is minimized today because Churchill had defended Britain against the Nazis in World War II. Haneef explained that while Churchill had been fighting the Nazis in Europe, he and his ilk were committing the exact same crimes in Africa, India, the U.S., and the Americas.

  4. Sebastian Kurz Accused Erdogan of Stoking Tensions in Europe After Turkish Clashes with Kurds (breitbart, Jul 1, 2020)
    https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/07/01/sebastian-kurz-accused-erdogan-stoking-tensions-europe-turkish-clashes-kurds/

    “Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has accused Turkey of sowing strife in Europe after members of the far-right Turkish Grey Wolves clashed with Kurdish leftists and their Antifa allies in Vienna.

    Chancellor Kurz summoned the Turkish ambassador to Austria on Monday and told the press “that there must be an end to Turkey trying to influence the people here in Austria and instrumentalising them for their conflicts”.

    “I don’t expect a lot of support from Turkey,” he said, Austrian tabloid Kronen Zeitung reports.

    “Because I know exactly what Turkey is trying to do here: namely to use Turks in Europe to sow strife and to create moods here and there above all for Turkey’s own interests,” Chancellor Kurz added.

    “These conflicts are imported from Turkey,” Kurz said and went on to note: “If you need street fights, you should do it in Turkey, but there is no place for it in Austria.”

    The comments come just days after members of the far-right Turkish Grey Wolves, an ultra-nationalist group, clashed with Kurdish supporters of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), and the Kurds’ Antifa allies in the heavily migrant-populated Favoriten district of Vienna.

    The conflict began last Wednesday when members of the Grey Wolves interrupted a Kurdish women’s association meeting. Clashes between the far-right and far-left extremist groups continued for several days after. Eleven people have so far been arrested in connection with the violence and seven police officers injured.

    The PKK, along with its symbols and flags, were banned in Austria in February of last year. While some symbols of the Grey Wolves are now forbidden, as well, the far-right group is not proscribed outright.

    Over the weekend, Chancellor Kurz announced a “zero-tolerance” policy saying: “We will not allow conflicts to be carried from Turkey to Austria and to be carried out violently on our streets.”

    The Turkish Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, said that “demonstrations have been held in Vienna by the PKK terrorist organisation and its supporters for a few days”.”

    Clashes between Grey Wolves and PKK supporters have been seen in Germany in the past, as well. In 2016, the two groups clashed in the city of Duisburg and both Turks and Kurds briefly fought one another in central Vienna in August of that year.

  5. Rep. Bass On Police Reform Bill: Even If We Got Every Thing We Want ‘Still Not Enough’ | MSNBC

  6. Illegal Alien Accused of Murdering 22 Elderly Americans Gets Trial Delayed

    The murder trial against an accused illegal alien serial killer in Texas is set to be delayed beyond its April 2021 scheduled date due to the Chinese coronavirus crisis.

    Billy Chemirmir, 47 years old, is facing the death penalty for two elderly women he allegedly murdered, 81-year-old Lu Thi Harris in March 2018 and 91-year-old Phyllis Payne in 2016.

    This week, Chemirmir’s attorney confirmed to the Dallas Morning News that the murder trial will likely be delayed due to the crisis — noting that most trials have been delayed.

    The trial delay has also meant a delay in the ongoing investigations around Chemirmir’s alleged victims. Family members for five of the victims are still waiting for their loved ones’ death certificates to be relabeled from “natural causes” to “homicide.”

    In criminal court, prosecutors say Chemirmir is responsible for at least 14 murders of elderly Americans in the Dallas area. In civil lawsuits, Chemirmir has been accused of an additional eight murders of elderly Americans. Prosecutors say Chemirmir would smother his victims to death and steal property from them.

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/06/30/illegal-alien-accused-of-murdering-22-elderly-americans-gets-trial-delayed/

  7. Note: I think that BasedPoland has misunderstood the situation: this appears to me to be an attack on an LGBTQ+ minority and the police do not arrest her so much as try to get her out of danger – though the video cuts off, so I don’t know for sure.

    BasedPoland
    @BasedPoland
    ·
    13h
    Algerian migrant men start harassing and beating a French woman… Police quickly arrive and arrest… the woman?

    https://twitter.com/BasedPoland/status/1278241665128464384

  8. Germany: Enough remdesivir anti-COVID medicine in country despite US buy-up, says HealthMin

    The German Health Ministry commented on reports that the United States has bought up all stocks for the next three months of the anti-coronavirus drug remdesivir, leaving no products left for the rest of the world, during a press conference in Berlin on Wednesday.

    “The federal government has secured at an earlier stage remdesivir for therapy for coronavirus patients,” said German Health Ministry spokesperson Oliver Ewald.

    “At the moment, since we have a favourable situation with regards to the pandemic development (in Germany), and the medical intensive care, we have enough reserves,” he added.

    The company behind the drug, Geliad, is under obligation to provide the EU with an appropriate amount of the medicine, according to the current agreement, Ewald added.

    Government spokespeople meanwhile declared Berlin had decided to open its external borders from July 2 only for eight countries where the pandemic situation is similar to that in Germany, and where data is reliable.

    For three other countries, including China, there will be a possibility to lift restrictions in case of an agreement for these countries to issue the same rules.

  9. Turkey: 11 detained over tweets dealing with leader’s family

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — At least 11 people were detained in Turkey for social media postings that allegedly insulted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s daughter and son-in-law after they announced the birth of their fourth child on Twitter, police said Wednesday.

    Erdogan vowed to tighten the Turkish government’s control of social media following the tweets directed at his family members. He said his government plans legislation that would force social media companies to establish a legal presence in Turkey, meaning they could be held financially accountable and answerable to Turkish courts.

    “Do you see why we oppose social media like YouTube, Twitter, Netflix, et cetera.?” Erdogan told members of his party in a televised address, referring to the allegedly insulting tweets. “It is imperative that these channels are brought under control.”

    “Turkey is not a banana republic,” Erdogan said. “We will snub those who snub this country’s executive and judicial bodies.”

    Police said at least 11 people were detained for social media postings dealing with Erdogan’s daughter, his son-in-law, who is the government minister in charge of Turkey’s economy, and the couple’s newborn son.

    Many Turks, including opposition politicians, rallied in support of the president’s family and condemned the insults, some of which reportedly questioned the baby’s paternity.

    However, Erdogan’s comments sparked protests on social media. with the hashtag “Don’tTouchMySocialMedia” in Turkish becoming a top trending topic on Twitter.

    Meral Aksener, the leader of the opposition Good Party, mocked Erdogan on Twitter, saying she would be upset with the Turkish leader if he were to shut down Netflix before the final season of the show “Dark.” Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP, tweeted a jokey response: “Be careful Ms. Meral, he’ll now give you a spoiler out of anger.”

    Although Erdogan’s comments came days after the reported insults on social media, his government has long been considering amendments that would enable it to keep social media giants such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube under check by forcing them to remove content or risk facing heavy fines and restricted access to their platforms.

    Critics fear the move is aimed at further limiting the Turkish public’s ability to access independent news outlets in an environment dominated by pro-government media.

    A top Republican People’s Party legislator, Ozgur Ozel, accused Erdogan of acting in anger after the president’s videoconference with a group of students last week received more than 300,000 “dislikes” on YouTube, where the event was streamed live.

    “Instead of acting in anger and (bringing) measures that will turn the country into China, North Korea and Russia, ethical measures should be introduced with the participation of all parties,” Ozel said.

    Thousands of websites already remain blocked in Turkey. In January, the government lifted a more than two-year ban on Wikipedia after Turkey’s top court declared it unconstitutional. Turkey halted access to the online encyclopedia after it refused to remove content the government deemed offensive.

    The Turkish government has also banned YouTube and Twitter in the past.

    Last month, Turkey criticized Twitter after the company announced it had taken down more than 7,000 fake accounts it said were created to increase support for Erdogan’s ruling party.

    https://apnews.com/0c908d2880d2a296aed1051fa4ca8d24

    • Erdo?an vows to take strict measures against social media platforms
      https://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/president-erdogan-vows-social-media-controls-156189

      “President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an has vowed he will take strict measures against social media platforms following insults directed at his daughter and son-in-law after they announced the birth of their fourth child on Twitter.

      The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will take a step for bill for stringent control over these platforms, he said, speaking at his party’s provincial heads meeting via videoconference on July 1.

      “We are working on a legal regulation. This kind of media does not suit this nation, this country,” he said.

      “As soon as we will bring it [bill] to our parliament, we want social media channels to be completely removed and controlled. I hope to deal with this issue before the legislative period ends,” Erdo?an said.

      The government is determined to introduce legislation that would force social media companies to establish a legal presence in Turkey, he said, noting that the requirement would mean they could be held financially accountable and forced to respond to Turkish court decisions.

      “Do you see why we oppose social media like YouTube, Twitter, Netflix, and so on?’’ Erdo?an said.

      “Turkey is not a banana republic. We will snub those who snub this country’s executive and judicial bodies,” he stated.

      “We will chase those who attack a baby that had just opened his eyes to the world and his family over the values they think they represent,” Erdo?an said, referring to an insult directed at his daughter Esra Albayrak and his son-in-law, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak upon their announcement of their newborn baby.

      In the meantime, Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said on July 1 that some social media platforms pave the way for offenses such as sexual harassment, gambling, fraud and making terrorist propaganda.

      “The said social media platforms do not contribute to the protection of our citizen’s rights, on issues our laws deem as crimes and lay the groundwork for the commitment of these offenses, despite all our warnings,” Altun said in a written statement.

      Altun also said that the president’s remarks were being taken out of context, adding the companies were asked to open offices in Turkey.

      “It is a futile effort to try presenting our president’s approach as repressive and prohibitionist,” Altun said.

      The AKP has long been considering amendments that would enable it to keep social media giants such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube under check by forcing them to remove content or risk facing heavy fines and restricted access to their platforms.

      The AKP has carried out work in April for further measures on social network platforms under an omnibus bill as part of the struggle against the novel coronavirus but dropped the relevant article before it came to parliament’s agenda.”

  10. France’s Foreign Minister Says New Sanctions on Turkey Possible
    https://english.aawsat.com/home/article/2365396/frances-foreign-minister-says-new-sanctions-turkey-possible

    “France’s foreign minister said on Wednesday that European Union foreign ministers would meet on July 13 to discuss Turkey and said new sanctions on Ankara could be considered.

    “At our request there will be a meeting of EU foreign ministers on July 13 solely on the Turkish question,” Jean-Yves Le Drian told a parliamentary hearing.

    “Sanctions have already been taken on Turkey by the EU over Turkey’s drilling in the Cyprus economic zone. Other sanctions may be envisaged.”

    Ties between NATO allies France and Turkey have soured in recent weeks over Libya, northern Syria and drilling in the eastern Mediterranean.

    French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday accused Turkey of massively importing extremists into Libya, labeling Ankara’s intervention “criminal”.

    Turkey has intervened decisively in recent weeks in Libya, providing air support, weapons and allied fighters from Syria to help the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) repel a year-long assault by the Libyan National Army (LNA).”

  11. Erdogan Vows Social Media Controls after Insults to Family
    https://english.aawsat.com/home/article/2364886/erdogan-vows-social-media-controls-after-insults-family

    “Turkey’s president vowed Wednesday to tighten government control over social media following alleged insults directed at his daughter and son-in-law when they announced the birth of their fourth child on Twitter.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told members of his party in a televised address that his government is determined to introduce legislation that would force social media companies to establish a legal presence in Turkey. The requirement would mean they could be held financially accountable and forced to respond to Turkish court decisions.

    “Do you see why we oppose social media like YouTube, Twitter, Netflix, et cetera.?” Erdogan asked in reference to the alleged insults of his family members. “It is imperative that these channels are brought under control.”

    Erdogan said: “Turkey is not a banana republic. We will snub those who snub this country’s executive and judicial bodies.”

    Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said a number of social media users were detained overnight for tweets that allegedly insulted Erdogan’s daughter, his son-in-law, who is the government minister in charge of Turkey’s economy, and the couple’s newborn son.

    Many Turks rallied in support of the president’s family and condemned the insults, including opposition politicians.

    Although Erdogan’s comments came days after the reported insults on social media, his government has long been considering amendments that would enable it to keep social media giants such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube under check by forcing them to remove content or risk facing heavy fines and restricted access to their platforms.

    Critics fear the move is aimed at further limiting the Turkish public’s ability to access independent news outlets in an environment dominated by pro-government media.

    Turkey has blocked access to thousands of websites. In January, the government lifted a more than two-year ban on Wikipedia after Turkey’s top court ruled the block was unconstitutional. Turkey had halted access to the online encyclopedia after it refused to remove content the government deemed to be offensive.”

  12. Shariah law is compatible with gender equality: Prince Khalid
    https://saudigazette.com.sa/article/594945/SAUDI-ARABIA/Shariah-law-is-compatible-with-gender-equality-Prince-Khalid

    “The Shariah (Islamic) law does not contradict equality between men and women, the Kingdom’s ambassador to Britain has said. “Gender equality is not counter to Shariah law. Shariah law is often misunderstood.

    It is adaptable, and if you look throughout the history of Islam, things have adapted based on the circumstances that people are in,” Prince Khalid Bin Bandar said during an interview with British news website UnHerd published on Tuesday.

    The prestigious UnHerd was founded in 2017. It is edited by former Daily Telegraph and Independent journalist Sally Chatterton.

    Saudi Arabia, Prince Khalid said, is moving in a positive direction when it comes to establishing gender equality.

    “The development and the change that has happened in the society of Saudi Arabia has been dramatic over the last hundred years… We’ve moved from a very, very different place a hundred years ago to where we are today and we’re continuing to develop,” he said.

    “I firmly believe that Saudi Arabia is moving positively in the right direction… And we’ve opened up a lot in the last four or five years.”

    The Saudi ambassador highlighted the fact that allowing women to drive is one of the positive changes in the Kingdom: “You’ve seen the changes in the last three years, women driving for instance.”

    He also stressed that Saudi Arabia is not looking to more “Westernized”: “It’s about developing what is right for us.”

    Religion, the ambassador said, was “at the heart” of the Saudi identity and he highlighted how religion is “part of daily life” in the Kingdom: “Going to the mosque isn’t something you do once a week, you do it every day.”

    Talkin g about the Saudi culture, the envoy said: “The foundation of Saudi society is so different — it’s not agrarian, it’s not about landholdings, it’s a Bedouin nomadic society and that produces a totally different set of ideals for a culture”.

    On changes in Saudi society, the ambassador sounded pragmatic. “My grandfather used to go to work on horseback; my father flew fast jets; and a cousin of mine was the first Arab in space. And that’s in three generations. And God knows the gap between that and my children and the world they grow up in.

    “We want to be living in the future. We live in such a fast-paced world today that catching up is no longer good enough. You have to move twice as fast as the person in front of you.”

    According to a World Bank report in January, Saudi Arabia made the biggest progress globally toward gender equality since 2017.”

  13. Dubai Police bust 20 gangs, arrest dozens of fraudsters
    https://saudigazette.com.sa/article/594999/World/Mena/Dubai-Police-bust-20-gangs-arrest-dozens-of-fraudsters

    “Dubai police on Wednesday busted 20 African gangs for committing blackmailing and cyber extortion crimes as well as fraudulent activities against social media users as part of its operation “Shadow”.

    Revealing the details of the operation, Maj. Gen. Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant Commander-in-Chief for Criminal Investigation Affairs at Dubai Police, said the force has recently arrested a married couple who deceived social media users by posing as a recruitment agency for domestic helpers.

    Al Mansouri attributed the success of both operations to the efforts and professionalism of the General Department of Criminal Investigations (CID) who utilized the latest technologies at the Criminal Data Analysis Centre of Dubai Police.

    Brigadier Jamal Al Jallaf, Director of CID at Dubai Police, revealed that they had received a reliable tip-off about some African gangs who lured men by posting and sharing photos of girls on social media platforms and via e-mails.

    “When the victim arrives at the specified address, he would find a different girl than the one he had chatted with online” Al Jallaf said.

    “The gang would threaten victims and take their belongings including mobile phones and credit cards after they take pictures of the men in indecent positions and threaten to post their videos online and share it with the victims’ contacts if they report the matter to the authorities. The victims would end up sharing their mobile phone passcodes and credit card security pins, and paying huge amounts to avoid being defamed online and among their family members”, he added.

    Lt. Col. Abdullah Mohammed, head of Criminal Investigation Department at Dubai Police, said a team was formed immediately upon receiving the tip-off, and a thorough plan was set up to apprehend the 47 African suspects — 10 women and 37 men. He confirmed that comprehensive investigations have led to the arrest of suspects in Dubai and in a nearby emirate, and they that had been renting flats under fake IDs so they won’t get caught.

    Brigadier Jamal Al Jallaf revealed another fraud case involving a married couple, of an Arab nationality, who claimed that they could bring domestic helpers into the country despite the shutdown of airports imposed by the recently completed National Sterilization Program. He noted that 46 people had fallen victims to the online fraudsters who lured victims with expedited procedures for only AED 3,000 in recruitment fees.

    “During the National Sterilization Program, the Smart Police Station (SPS) received several reports against anonymous for defrauding victims and posing as representatives of a labor recruitment agency promising victims with domestic helpers,” the director of CID explained.

    “Task teams were formed to investigate the reports and track down the suspects with the aid of available digital forensics tools,” “Soon after, our investigation teams gathered the necessary information and pinned down the married fraudsters,” Brig. Al Jallaf continued.

    “The couple confessed to their crimes and revealed that they had been scamming families across the emirates by exploiting the suspension of labor recruitment during the National Sterilization Program and taking advantage of people’s need for help during the quarantine period,” he concluded.

    The Dubai Police General HQ has called upon members of the public to remain vigilant when using social media platforms and not to fall prey to online cybercriminals and scammers. — WAM”

  14. Saudi dissident sues Twitter over spying campaign and account suspension
    https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/saudi-dissident-sues-twitter-over-account-suspension-and-espionage-campaign

    “A prominent Saudi dissident filed a lawsuit against Twitter, accusing the social media giant of failing to protect his account from being hacked and refusing to reinstate an account suspended since 2018.

    In a legal action filed earlier this week on behalf of Ali al-Ahmed, Twitter was accused of “turning a blind eye” to wrongdoings within the company and violating its contractual obligations when Ahmed created a social media account.

    The suit alleges that from August 2013 to December 2015, two Saudi spies infiltrated the company and “accessed the company’s information on an array of Saudi dissidents including Mr Al-Ahmed”.

    Last year, Ahmad Abouammo and Ali Alzabarah were charged by the US Justice Department with being Saudi spies, accused of accessing the data of more than 6,000 Twitter users and sharing the information with Saudi officials.

    The latest suit accuses Twitter of failing to protect Ahmed’s account from being hacked and claims the company’s refusal to reinstate one of his suspended accounts was because of Saudi funding.

    In the past decade, Twitter has received substantial financial investment from Saudi Arabia, beginning in 2011 when Saudi Prince al-Waleed bin Talal purchased $300m worth of Twitter stock…”

  15. Perilous crossings from North Africa to Europe swell as economic gloom sets in
    https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/coronavirus-maghreb-migrants-increase-europe

    “For years, residents of the Maghreb have seen hopeful people from across Africa attempt to make the perilous crossing to Europe from their shores. Now, many of them are making the same journey.

    This year has brought coronavirus lockdowns and dwindling economic prospects to Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. With opportunities fast fading, its youth have begun to look north and across the Mediterranean.

    According to the United Nations, attempts to reach the Italian coast from Tunisia alone jumped by 150 percent in the first four months of 2020, compared with the same period last year.

    North Africa is one of the main global migratory routes. Both North and sub-Saharan Africans have used the coastline to attempt to reach Europe, often with devastating results.

    Over 18,000 people have drowned or disappeared in the Mediterranean Sea while trying to reach Europe since 2014, according to the UN’s International Organisation for Migration.

    Between 2016 and 2017, Libya was the main point of transit towards Europe, accounting for more than 90 percent of arrivals in Italy. However, due to EU and Italian efforts in the country since 2017, the number of those making the sea crossings from Libya have decreased. As a result, migration flows have been diverted to the southern and maritime borders of other Maghreb states.

    Taking over from Italy, Spain became the main point of arrival in 2018, with an increase of departures to the country from Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco, where in 2019 authorities stopped 30,000 people from illegally crossing and busted 60 migrant trafficking networks.

    While a significant number of sub-Saharan migrants make the transitory route through Morocco and Algeria, the majority of those departing Tunisia are Tunisians themselves.

    In early June, over 50 mainly sub-Saharan African migrants, a third of whom were women and children, drowned near the Kerkennah Islands in one of Tunisia’s worst drowning incidents since last year.

    Algerians on the move
    Similarly, authorities have arrested 1,433 people that were trying to depart illegally from Algeria’s shores in the first five months of 2020 – more than three times the number compared with 2019 – according to recent figures released by the defence ministry.

    With the coronavirus outbreak hitting Algeria in March, growing numbers of Algerians are still attempting entry into Europe. Despite the monthly numbers of detentions dropping dramatically from 828 in January to 16 in March, Algerians risk breaking a 2009 law that imposes a six-month prison sentence for migrants intercepted at sea.

    The popular protest movement that started in February last year was successful in toppling longtime president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the only leader large swathes of the population had known in their lifetime. The historical moment was a boost of hope for the country’s youth.

    But amid an ongoing crackdown against the protest movement and freedom of expression overseen by current President Abdelmadjid Tebboune – whose legitimacy is still questioned by Algerians – a crashing economy and depleting foreign currency coffers, people’s frustrations are pushing them to risk potential death in the pursuit of a better life.

    “Since the beginning of the year, a combination of factors has influenced the increase in arrivals from North Africa [such as] the economic slowdown triggered by the pandemic in the region but also national crises with the deterioration of the situation in [neighbouring] Libya and long-lasting political tensions in Algeria,” Camille Le Coz, a policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute Europe, told Middle East Eye.

    Despite curfews still in place and border closures preventing citizens from flying to or returning from Europe in some parts of North Africa, the ever-present severity in the lack of economic opportunities for the region’s youth has made people more determined to find better prospects in Europe – regardless of the high cases of Covid-19 and anti-immigrant sentiments in many European countries.

    “[Tunisia and Algeria] were struggling economically even before Covid, and new governments in both have promised extensive economic reforms but have had little chance to actually begin to enact these,” Chloe Teevan, a political analyst focused on political and economic developments in North Africa, told MEE.

    “Covid-19 has thus majorly affected young people’s employment and livelihoods as the informal sector was virtually shut down, and all those young people who had worked in the sector were forced to stay home through the long weeks of confinement.”

    Tunisia unrest
    In Tunisia, ongoing protests in the turbulent south, particularly in Tataouine, demanding the government invest millions in the region’s development and provide jobs to the unemployed have remained unaddressed despite taking place amid the same economic factors that ignited the Arab Spring in 2011.

    While Tunisia is largely viewed as a success story compared to its counterparts who also experienced change brought on by mass demonstrations during the Arab Spring, the prevalence of corruption in the country, polarising politics, security threats from neighbouring Libya and the pandemic’s damaging effects on its key tourism sector have made the situation difficult for Tunisians.

    The situation is even worse for the country’s estimated 75,000 migrants, whose poor living conditions make them particularly susceptible to the coronavirus.

    “As of June 2020, a third of all African migrants arriving in Europe via Italy and Spain came from Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria,” Le Coz said.

    “This trend confirms once again that the migrants reaching European shores are not coming from the poorest countries in Africa.”

    EU-North Africa partnership
    The migration crisis of the mid-2010s has been cemented as the dominant issue in EU-North Africa cooperation.

    Since 2011, the EU has been intent on establishing a structured dialogue on migration, mobility, and security with the aim of helping partner countries in the south to strengthen their management capacity.

    In the last couple of years, EU governments have prioritised border control and outsourcing of responsibility for migrants and asylum seekers to other countries. The move, however, has allowed little progress in ensuring safe and legal channels for migrants to enter the EU, or preventing them from being locked up in detention centres in deplorable conditions.

    Whilst cooperation between Maghreb states and the EU has been largely positive, there is still room for improvement in some of the EU’s propositions.

    In 2018, Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia rejected EU plans for “regional disembarkation platforms” outside of Europe for reasons that included the costs of hosting migrants on their own soil and concerns the platform would impede upon their sovereignties.

    North African governments have continually pointed to the fact that their migration challenges mirror those faced by EU states, including issues such as local reluctance of embracing migrants, racism, and added pressure on already stretched public services and finances.

    Further financial and logistical assistance from the EU in order to better secure their borders and reduce migrant inflows is the more favoured position of all Maghreb states, who, at times, have not always seen eye to eye with EU policies.

    Algeria is the least engaged with the EU on border management and has shown little interest in changing its stance. Between 2013 and 2014, when the EU concluded mobility partnerships with Morocco and Tunisia, both Algeria and Egypt refused to adopt the EU instrument.

    Although the EU has been successful in decreasing the numbers of migrants reaching its shores since 2018, refugees and migrants still continue to drown in the Mediterranean, and as the situation worsens with the pandemic, drowning incidents may increase.”

  16. Iraq: Remains of 600 bodies discovered in mass grave
    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200701-iraq-remains-of-600-bodies-discovered-in-mass-grave/

    “A mass grave containing the remains of 600 corpses has been discovered in northern Iraq, authorities revealed yesterday.

    A brief statement issued by the Directorate of Martyrs of the Nineveh Governorate said the mass grave was found in Al-Kesk area, located between the cities of Mosul and the district of Tal Afar, Nineveh Governorate, containing the remains of 600 corpses.

    When the Iraqi authorities recovered the city of Mosul from Daesh in late 2017, they discovered dozens of mass graves, in which the terrorist organisation buried those it had executed.

    Daesh continues to carry out attacks in the area in spite of the government’s declaration of victory over the terror group.

    In recent months, attacks by suspected Daesh militants have increased, particularly in the region between the Kirkuk, Salahuddin and Diyala governorates, known as the “Triangle of Death”.”

  17. Turkey to put Saudi suspects of Khashoggi murder on trial in absentia
    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200701-turkey-to-put-saudi-suspects-of-khashoggi-murder-on-trial-in-absentia/

    “Turkey is to hold a trial for those suspected of murdering Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in absentia tomorrow, according to his fiancée.

    Khashoggi, who had close ties to the Saudi royal family before becoming critical of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and his policies, was assassinated in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul on 2 October 2018 while attaining paperwork for his marriage to Hatice Cengiz.

    Following his murder, which drew international outrage, an investigation was conducted and it was discovered through CCTV footage that a team of Saudi hitmen had been deployed from the kingdom in order to prepare for the assassination. Audio recordings also reportedly found that it was the Crown prince himself who had directed the operation via a telephone call.

    Around 20 suspects made up the hit team, including prominent Saudi government officials such as the deputy intelligence chief Ahmed Al-Assiri and the royal court’s media chief Saud Al-Qahtani who is thought to have led the operation. All were charged with “deliberately and monstrously killing, causing torment.”

    Turkey’s trial in absentia comes half a year after Saudi Arabia held its own trial in December last year, in which it sentenced five to death but released major operatives such as Al-Qahtani and the Saudi consul Mohammed Al-Otaibi. The ruling by the kingdom’s prosecutor was widely criticised and was seen as an insincere and unfair trial.

    When Turkey then requested access to the investigation’s files, Saudi Arabia refused to hand them over, resulting in the Turkish public prosecutor’s indictment of the 20 suspects in March this year.

    The trial tomorrow will reportedly open at Istanbul’s main court Ça?layan at 10am local time (07:00 GMT), and Cengiz stated that she “will also be there”. The UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, is also expected to also attend.

    If the suspects of Khashoggi’s assassination are convicted, they will face a sentence of life imprisonment.”

  18. Turkey’s navy commander visits Libya amid ongoing tension
    https://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkeys-navy-commander-visits-libya-amid-ongoing-tension-156180

    “Turkey’s Naval Forces Commander Admiral Adnan Özbal paid a visit to Tripoli for talks with the military brass of the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) of Libya, Anadolu Agency reported late June 30.

    Turkey’s navy commander’s visit follows a high-level Turkish delegation’s talks in Tripoli where the two sides have agreed to deepen the ongoing military and security cooperation in line with a deal signed in late 2019.

    Admiral Özbal held talks with Chief of General Staff Mohammad al-Sharif at Abu Sitta Naval base in Tripoli. No statements have been made after the talks.

    Turkey stands with GNA Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj in his efforts to protect the internationally recognized government against General Khalifa Haftar’s forces backed by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Russia and France.

    With the Turkish support, the GNA dispersed Haftar’s troops off Tripoli and started an offensive to increase its control in the country. The GNA is now in a military offensive to capture Sirte, a strategic location in eastern Libya.”

  19. Turkey deports 9 Belgian foreign fighters
    https://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-deports-9-belgian-foreign-fighters-156181

    “The Turkish Interior Ministry on July 1 said at least 9 foreign terrorist fighters with Belgian citizenship were deported.

    According to a written statement by the ministry, the country’s extradition of foreign terrorist fighters continues, while the total number of the expelled rose to 338 with the recent deportation.

    As of Nov. 11, 2019, a total of 338 foreign terrorist fighters, with 113 of them carrying EU, U.S. and Australian citizenships, were expelled from Turkey.”

  20. Prosecutor appeals sentence of African convicted of rape in Czechia
    https://rmx.news/article/article/prosecutor-appeals-sentence-of-african-convicted-of-rape-in-czechia

    “The public prosecutor has appealed against the verdict of a district court, which sentenced a Libyan man to two years in prison for raping a minor and stealing her mobile phone.

    Public prosecutor V?ra Šípalová is pushing for a tougher sentence. She explained that she decided to appeal the decision because she originally proposed a higher sentence of three years in prison.

    It is not yet clear whether the defense team will also appeal. According to Halka Lacinová, President of the District Court in Litom??ice, the deadline for filing an appeal has not yet expired for the defendant´s team.

    The case will now be handed over to the regional court.

    The accused, Abdallah Ibrahim Diallo, did not confess to raping the 15-year-old girl last June near the village of Lukavec in the north of the Czech Republic. During the trial, he even said he did not remember committing the crime.

    However, according to Judge Alexandra Šetková, there was irrefutable evidence, including the testimony of the victim and witnesses. Besides, Diallo had the girl’s stolen phone in his possession.

    The Libyan migrant arrived in the Czech Republic from Germany, where he unsuccessfully applied for asylum. Although experts have confirmed that he suffers from schizophrenia, they also pointed out that his control and cognitive abilities at the time of the crime were not non-existent but only in a reduced state. The District Court then recommended treatment in a psychiatric hospital.

    Initially, no psychiatric report was requested. Doubts about the defendant’s mental state arose due to his strange behavior in custody and during the trial.”

  21. Confederate statue removed in Richmond amid cheers

    A massive statue of Gen. Stonewall Jackson was removed from Richmond, Virginia’s famed Monument Avenue amid cheers Wednesday afternoon, hours after the city’s mayor gave the order to take down all Confederate monuments on city land.

  22. Tucker: What holiday should be canceled next?

    The rage mob comes for Christopher Columbus and two Republican senators want to abolish Columbus Day.

  23. channel 4 – Safety fears over 85 million masks and respirators

    In May, this programme revealed that 200 million items of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the UK stockpile had expired by the time Covid-19 was declared a pandemic.


  24. Captagon: Italy seizes €1bn of amphetamines ‘made to fund IS’
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-53254879

    Italian police have seized what they believe is a world-record haul of 14 tonnes of amphetamines they suspect were made in Syria to finance the jihadist group Islamic State (IS).

    About 84 million counterfeit Captagon pills worth an estimated €1bn ($1.1bn; £0.9bn) were found in containers at the port of Salerno.

    They were hidden inside large drums of paper and gear wheels.

    Officers are looking into whether local Camorra crime groups are involved.

    Captagon is a brand name for the synthetic stimulant fenethylline. It was originally used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, but many countries banned it during the 1980s because of its addictive properties.

    Now, counterfeit Captagon is reportedly one of the most popular drugs among affluent youths in the Middle East, particularly in Gulf Arab states.

    The drug has also been consumed by combatants in the civil war in Syria, including IS militants, who value its ability to inhibit fear and ward off tiredness.

    Syria is believed to be the biggest producer and exporter of counterfeit Captagon.

    A Naples police statement said IS – which once controlled large swathes of Syria and is thought to still have thousands of members operating inside the country – was suspected of making large quantities of the drug in areas where it exerted influence “in order to quickly accumulate substantial funding”.

    The pills seized in Salerno were sufficient to satisfy the entire European market, and it was likely that a “consortium” of criminal groups would have been involved in their distribution across the continent.

    “The hypothesis is that during the [coronavirus] lockdown… production and distribution of synthetic drugs in Europe has practically stopped,” the statement added.

    “Many smugglers, even in consortiums, have turned to Syria where production, however, does not seem to have slowed down.”

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