Reader’s Links for July 3, 2020

Daily Links Post graphic

Each day at just after midnight Eastern, a post like this one is created for contributors and readers of this site to upload news links and video links on the issues that concern this site. Most notably, Islam and its effects on Classical Civilization, and various forms of leftism from Soviet era communism, to postmodernism and all the flavours of galloping statism and totalitarianism such as Nazism and Fascism which are increasingly snuffing out the classical liberalism which created our near, miraculous civilization the West has been building since the time of Socrates.

This document was written around the time this site was created, for those who wish to understand what this site is about. And while our understanding of the world and events has grown since then, the basic ideas remain sound and true to the purpose.

So please post all links, thoughts and ideas that you feel will benefit the readers of this site to the comments under this post each day. And thank you all for your contributions.

This is the new Samizdat. We must use it while we can.

About Eeyore

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

75 Replies to “Reader’s Links for July 3, 2020”

  1. Shower-thought:

    As I have been listening/reading statements from various police chiefs whose budgets had been slashed due to calls to defund the police, I could not help but notice a pattern: the units being defunded more than any others are the special victims units and the organized crime units.

    The special victims units have, during President Trump’s time in power, been dismantling vast pedophile rings, mostly made up of either DNC supporters (human smugglers) or the DNC elite (think Epstein and both the Clinton’s frequent trips on the Lolita Express).

    The organized crime units have been – over the last 3-or-so-years – been working to bring about racketeering cases against the DNC and their allies.

    Yet these are the two police units most cancelled under pressure from BLM and their allies and their useful idiots.

    Is this just an innocent co-incidence?

    Thoughts, please…

    • I don’t live in the USA but I imagine the cocaine cartels are influencing both the DNC and the Republican Party just as they influence politics in Mexico.
      Think about it, must be the biggest industry in the US…

  2. President Trump is getting ready to strike. Lord Conrad Black with Sebastian Gorka on AMERICA First

    • We Canadians should be ASHAMED that we allow Imam Mazin Abdul-Adhim, living in London, Ontario to openly call Canadian soldiers “war criminals” and this freak is not arrested for sedition.

      Tax dollars spent on:
      the government of Canada will commit 1.2 BILLION dollars over the next 5 years to address the challenges BY THOUSANDS OF ASYLUM SEEKERS WHO HAVE WALKED ACROSS THE BORDER. The illegals Justine Trudeau invited into Canada.

      The Government of Canada will be earmarking 45 MILLION dollars for an Anti-Racism Strategy

      The government of Canada gave The National Council of Canadian Muslims and Islamic Relief 23 MILLION dollars.
      Imam Mazin Abdul-Adhim says “We Muslims owe Canada nothing”.

      Montreal kicks in 1 MILLION dollars for De-radicalization Center.

      Martin Luther King said “To ignore evil is to become accomplice to it”.

    video – 30 secs
    Joe Biden’s allies are doing everything they can to Defund the Police.

    • CBC – Manitoba town reeve ‘shocked’ over armed man’s arrest at Rideau Hall

      Corey Hurren was identified as the Canadian Armed Forces member from Bowsman, Man., who was arrested in Ottawa. Police say he was armed and had gained access to the grounds at Rideau Hall early Thursday morning.


      Served with the Royal Canadian Artillery

      He’s known for his “Ring of Fire” jalapeno garlic sausage brand, which his Facebook page says is a must-have for “hot and spicy fans.”

      The Swan Valley Star and Times reported in 2018 that Hurren’s “ring of garlic sausage with a considerable kick” was hard to find at the Co-op grocery store where he’s the in-house meat expert.

      A LinkedIn page under Hurren’s name notes he grew up on a farm in the Swan River Valley and worked in different parts of the meat and livestock industry for more than 20 years before starting Grindhouse Fine Foods.

      The page says he studied computer and information sciences at Brandon University and Red River College in Manitoba.

      A Facebook post from the Bowsman Lions Club said Hurren served with the Royal Canadian Artillery in the late 1990s in Yorkton, Sask.

    • global news Military reservist Corey Hurren facing 22 charges in armed Rideau Hall incident

      Hurren has been charged with the following offences:

      4 counts of careless use, storage and handling of a firearm
      4 counts of contravention of transport regulation of a firearm
      4 counts of possession of a weapon for dangerous purpose
      1 count of possession of a restricted firearm, knowing its possession is unauthorized
      1 count of possession of prohibited device, knowing its possession is unauthorized
      1 count of possession at unauthorized place
      4 counts of unauthorized possession in motor vehicle
      2 counts of possession of prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition
      1 count of uttering threats

      Hurren remains in custody following a bail hearing on Friday. He is expected to appear in court again on July 17.


      CBC – CAF member arrested on Rideau Hall grounds faces 22 charges, including multiple firearm violations

      CBC News Manitoba also reported that roughly an hour before Hurren entered the Rideau Hall grounds, a Facebook page associated with his business posted a meme of a big outdoor party that supposedly would occur after the lockdown.

      The post directs people to look up “Event 201” — a worldwide pandemic preparedness exercise run last year that conspiracy theorists now use to suggest Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is behind COVID-19.

      toronto star –Manitoba man faces 22 charges after intruder storms Rideau Hall grounds

      […]In March, just as the COVID-19 lockdowns began, the Grindhouse Instagram account featured a post about “going down the rabbit hole” into QAnon conspiracy theories.

      QAnon is an American conspiracy group focused on a supposed “deep state” conspiracy against U.S. President Donald Trump that boasts a worldwide following.

      Dozens of QAnon signs were spotted at a far-right rally held on Parliament Hill the day before the Rideau Hall attack.

      “Has anyone else been following ‘Q’ and the ‘White Rabbit’ down the rabbit hole and how this all relates the Corona virus (sic)/COVID-19 situation?” reads a March 27 post on Grindhouse Fine Foods’ Instagram account.

      “Lots of coincidences in all these ‘Q’ posts if this turns out to be a ‘nothingburger’.”

      Attached to the post were a series of hashtags, referencing debunked conspiracy theories.

      The Star reported Thursday that another COVID-19 conspiracy meme was posted to a Facebook account associated with Hurren just minutes before the truck crashed through the gates at Rideau Hall.

      […]Hurren’s social media posts suggested anxiety about the pandemic. He recently started following a number of survivalist accounts on Instagram, and appeared to worry about the future of his business. “I am not sure what will be left of our economy, industries, and businesses when this all ends,” he wrote on Facebook.


    everyone in the country without permanent resident status must be regularized and given permanent resident status immediately. This includes all low-waged residents including migrant workers, study permit holders, refugee claimants, people who were ordered deported as failed refugees, people who lost their status because of exclusions for criminality, people who overstayed their visas, and who entered Canada without a permit.
    All people who come to Canada in the future must have permanent resident status on arrival

    • BREITBART –Duckworth to Block Promotions for 1,123 Military Officers Unless Esper Promotes Vindman

      Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) announced Thursday that she would block the promotions of 1,123 senior military officers until Defense Secretary Mark Esper promises that he will promote Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who is believed to have communicated with the “whistleblower” that sparked Trump’s impeachment.

      Her office called the move “unprecedented” but said it came in response to reports of “political interference in military matters” by Trump — the commander in chief.

      The statement said Trump “may be seeking” to retaliate against Vindman for testifying against him. During the impeachment hearings, Vindman testified that he was listening to the call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and later talked about it to others — including an intelligence official believed to be the whistleblower.

      Vindman notably showed up for his testimony in a military uniform that he was not required to wear. An Army spokesman confirmed that Vindman was only required to abide by the dress code of the NSC, where he wore civilian attire. The left praised Vindman as a hero.[…]

      […]The statement also accused Trump of insisting on “honoring traitors” who raised arms against the union to “maintain their ability to enslave and kill Black Americans” — a reference to Trump opposing renaming military bases named after Confederate military leaders.

      Her statement came on the same day the Atlantic reported that 2020 Democrat nominee Joe Biden is vetting Duckworth as a potential running mate.


      Senator Duckworth joins MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow to discuss her hold on senior military promotions

    • Duckworth Slams Trump’s Inaction on Russia Bounty Report

      Duckworth said Trump, “went right on placing Russian interests ahead of American lives.”

  5. RT- Erdogan plans to convert Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia into mosque

    Yet again, the ancient pearl of Byzantine heritage, once an Orthodox Christian cathedral, is at the center of a political row as Turkey’s president proposes turning it into a mosque.
    The decision’s on hold for now, but the country’s main administrative body is expected to decide on the building’s status in 15 days – even though UNESCO has warned that changing the status of a World Heritage Site without its permission is illegal.

    • al jazeera – Turkey’s Hagia Sophia and the battle to reconvert it to a mosque

      Turkey’s highest court is set to decide the status of the Hagia Sophia.

      The government wants to reopen it as a mosque, a decision that is adding to tensions with neighbouring Greece and the Orthodox Church.

      It was the biggest Christian cathedral in the world for nearly 1,000 years, and is considered the pinnacle of Byzantine architecture.

    • Deutsche Pravda – How Hagia Sophia became Turkey’s latest political battleground

      President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants to turn Istanbul’s world-famous tourist site into a mosque. He is trying to score points with Turkish voters, but his plans have encountered considerable resistance.

      Hagia Sophia is the symbol of Istanbul and Turkey’s most popular tourist attraction. Every year, millions of visitors take in its gigantic brick dome and elaborate frescoes, which have earned the building UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site status.

      But Hagia Sophia is more than just an architectural masterpiece: It has always been a political symbol, as well. The monumental structure was built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian in the sixth century A.D.

      When the Ottomans conquered Constantinople in 1453, Sultan Mehmed II immediately converted the cathedral into a mosque.

      The founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, utilized the church for another act with symbolic significance: In 1935 he turned Hagia Sophia into a museum, which conveyed the message that modern Turkey was a secular country.

      Now, the current Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is also planning on making symbolic capital out of the building, which is situated in Istanbul’s central Fatih district.

      For many of Erdogan’s voters, who tend to have nationalist-Islamist sympathies, Hagia Sophia symbolizes the conquest of Christian Constantinople by the Ottomans, and the superiority of the Islamic world.

      President Erdogan appears unfazed by objections, recently telling the Greek Orthodox community in Turkey: “You say to us: ‘Please don’t turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque.’ Do you mean Turkey should bow to your will? We await the decision of the Council of State. After that, the necessary steps will be taken.”

      Erdogan’s initiative is seen as an attempt to swing the Turkish electorate back behind the AKP. The majority of polls indicate that the party has lost significant support of late. As a result, Erdogan has in recent months been pushing to galvanize nationalist sentiment among the populace.

  6. BBC – David Starkey criticised over slavery comments

    The TV historian and author told an online show hosted by the conservative commentator Darren Grimes that slavery was not genocide because of the survival of “so many damn blacks”.

    […]” the college said in a statement on Thursday. “Dr David Starkey’s recent comments on slavery are indefensible.”

    They added: “The matter of Dr Starkey’s honorary fellowship will be considered by the Governing Body at its meeting next Wednesday.”

    The Mary Rose Trust said it was “appalled” by Starkey’s comments, adding on Thursday evening they had accepted his resignation.

    Starkey made the offensive remarks in an episode of Grimes’s YouTube show Reasoned, entitled “Dr David Starkey: Black Lives Matter Aims To Delegitimate British History”.

    The show’s host tweeted on Thursday: “I reject in the strongest possible terms what Dr Starkey said in that clip and so very wish I’d caught it at the time. I am still learning the ropes, I will be much more alert to challenging this kind of thing in future.”

    He also claimed that the Black Lives Matter protests, following the death of George Floyd, had been characterised by “violence” and “victimhood”.

    He described cancel culture and the pulling down of statues as “deranged”.


    David Starkey:

    ‘You cannot decolonise the curriculum because you, BLM, are wholly& entirely a product of white colonisation. You are not culturally black Africans. You would die in seconds if you were dumped in Black Africa because you wouldn’t know how to cope.’


    “Slavery was not genocide, otherwise there wouldn’t be so many damn blacks in Africa or in Britain would there?”

    David Starkey, one of the most widely known popular ‘historians’ in the UK who has been a regular fixture on TV and other media for decades.


    • the guardian – David Starkey dropped by publisher and university after racist remarks

      HarperCollins will no longer publish the historian and Canterbury Christ Church University terminates his role after he said ‘slavery was not genocide’

      HarperCollins has dropped David Starkey as an author, saying that the racist views the bestselling historian expressed in a recent interview were “abhorrent”.

      On Thursday, Starkey told the rightwing commentator Darren Grimes that “slavery was not genocide, otherwise there wouldn’t be so many damn blacks in Africa or in Britain would there? You know, an awful lot of them survived.”

      Following widespread condemnation – former chancellor Sajid Javid described the comments as racist and “a reminder of the appalling views that still exist” in Britain, while the historian David Olusoga said they were “truly disgusting” – HarperCollins UK said it would not be publishing any further books by Starkey.

      […]Canterbury Christ Church University also terminated Starkey’s role as visiting professor, saying his comments were “completely unacceptable”.

      Prof Rama Thirunamachandran, vice-chancellor of Canterbury Christ Church University, apologised to staff and students at the university in Kent who have been offended and upset by the “appalling” comments.

      He said: “Widely reported comments by historian David Starkey during a recent online interview are, in our view, completely unacceptable and do not reflect the values of our university and community.”

      This is not the first time Starkey has been criticised for his remarks on race. Following the summer riots in 2011, he told BBC Newsnight that “a substantial amount of the chavs have become black. The whites have become black; a particular sort of violent destructive, nihilistic gangster culture has become the fashion.”

      Dr David Starkey: Black Lives Matter Aims To Delegitimate British History

  7. Germany: “Europe must take on more global responsibility” – Merkel as German EU presidency begins

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave a speech at the German Bundesrat in Berlin on Friday, talking about the challenges Europe is faced with during Germany’s six-month-long EU Council Presidency which has started a few days ago.

    “Europe must take on more global responsibility in the world,” declared the chancellor, who also stressed that European cohesion was more necessary than ever before as “the coronavirus pandemic has also revealed the fragility of the European project.”

    Merkel stated that “China is an economic competitor and at the same time a strategic partner” is both an economic competitor and strategic partner, and emphasised that to “represent our European interests against China effectively, Europe has to speak unitedly with one voice.”

    The chancellor also mentioned the recent passage of a new national security law in Hong Kong, saying that talks with China would include discussions on “the rule of law, human rights and Hong Kong’s future,” adding that there was a “concern that the principle ‘one country, two systems’ has been more and more undermined.”

    Merkel explained what she regards as the three big challenges for the future, apart from the pandemic, for Germany’s presidency term: climate protection, digital revolution and European global responsibility.

    “It’s worth standing cohesively for our European concept. it’s worth keeping our Europe together. That’s what I stand for,” she added.

    Germany’s six-month presidency of the Council of the European Union started on July 1.

  8. sky news – St Paul’s Islamic State terror plotter jailed

    A West London mother who converted to Islam has been jailed for life for plotting to blow up St Paul’s Cathedral during Easter celebrations.

    Safiyya Shaikh,36, also planned to plant a bomb in a nearby hotel and then blow herself up in a suicide attack on the London Underground.

  9. I was driving through Vancouver June 26 and saw some palestine protestors and flags,
    looked it up on my dashcam:

    Looked up and found a news posting for it:

    For over an hour on June 26th, the intersection of Broadway and Clark in Vancouver became a “little piece of Palestine”. At the peak of rush hour, committed activists with great signs and Palestinian flags took first to the 4 corners of the intersection and then formed a block-long human chain of #NoAnnexation messages. Most noteworthy was the reaction from both the passing cars and pedestrians in the area. The honks and waves from vehicles, be they buses, trucks or cars, was overwhelming and far exceeded previous levels of support in past years. Folks going by on foot stopped to talk and show solidarity. People in Vancouver, and all across Canada, are clearly on-board with Palestinian rights; the disconnect from the Canadian government and major political parties not only misrepresents the public sentiment, it is shameful!

    Let the herd shaming begin…. “It would be tragic if Africa chose not to take part, at all levels, in clinical trials of a Covid-19 vaccine — or any medical treatment that could save lives.” Protests Against COVID Vaccine Show Fear.

    video – 1 min 34 secs

  12. Israeli F-35s & Cyberattack Behind Explosions at Iran’s Military Complex, Nuclear Site, Media Claims (sputniknews, Jul 3, 2020)

    “On Thursday, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation said that the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility “is operating as usual”, since the reactor was not damaged in an explosion and there were no casualties following the incident.

    The Kuwaiti daily al-Jarida has quoted an unnamed “senior” source as saying that Israel was allegedly behind last week’s explosion at Iran’s Parchin military complex and Thursday’s blast at the Natanz nuclear site in the Islamic Republic. Israeli government officials have not commented on the matter yet.

    The Jewish state has repeatedly accused Iran of supporting “terrorist” groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas, and of waging proxy wars in countries such as Syria which could pose a threat to Israel’s security. Tehran, which refuses to recognise Israel’s right to exist, denies the charges, saying that there are only Iranian military advisers in Syria.

    The source claimed that the Parchin incident was the result of an air strike conducted by Israeli F-35 stealth fighters, while the Natanz explosion was caused by an Israeli cyberattack against the uranium enrichment plant.

    According to the source, the blasts resulted in Iran losing more than 80 percent of its UF6 (uranium hexafluoride gas) reserves, something that may significantly slow down Tehran’s enrichment drive.

    The claims came after The New York Times reported, citing an unnamed Middle East intelligence official, that the Natanz blast was caused by an “explosive device planted inside the facility”.

    The official asserted that the explosion destroyed “much of the aboveground parts” of the Natanz facility, where cutting-edge uranium enrichment centrifuges had been placed before being put into operation.

    This followed Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi confirming the blast, which occurred on Thursday morning, adding that the Natanz plant “is operating as usual” because the reactor was not damaged and there were no casualties.
    Kamalvandi also noted that there has been no pollution at the site, as there was no nuclear material at the plant.

    The Natanz incident took place six days after a blast near the Parchin military complex located about 30 kilometres (18 miles) from the Iranian capital Tehran. Iranian authorities insisted that the explosion was a result of “leaking gas tanks”, in what came amid reports about satellite photographs showing that the blast occurred at a nearby missile production facility.

    The Natanz plant, in turn, remains Iran’s primary uranium processing facility, located 270 kilometres (155 miles) south of Tehran.

    The two explosions came after Tehran began moving away from its uranium enrichment commitments in May 2019, in retaliation for the Trump administration’s decision in 2018 to unilaterally withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and to reinstate crippling sanctions against the Islamic Republic,

    Despite its promise to suspend JCPOA obligations, Tehran has repeatedly stressed that it has no goal of manufacturing nuclear weapons, and that its uranium enrichment programme is purely peaceful.”

  13. Yemen’s Houthis Target Saudi Najran Airport, King Khalid Air Base, Reports Say (sputniknews, Jul 3, 2020)

    “The Islamic movement, which operates in Yemen, has promised to step up their campaign against Saudi forces until the coalition lifts the blockade of the country’s northern provinces and stops bombing the area.

    The Houthis have targeted Najran Airport and the King Khalid Air Base with multiple drones, Reuters reported, citing a tweet by the movement.

    Earlier today, the Saudi-led coalition stated that it had intercepted and destroyed four explosive-laden drones launched by the military group in the direction of Saudi Arabia.

    Of them, three drones were destroyed in Yemeni airspace, Col. Turki al-Maliki, the Arab coalition’s spokesman said, as quoted by the official Saudi Press Agency.

    The alliance’s forces will take all necessary measures to protect civilian facilities and the peaceful population according to humanitarian law, the spokesman added.

    Late on Thursday, the Houthi-run Al Masirah broadcaster reported that the coalition had conducted over 30 intensive airstrikes on the Yemeni provinces of Marib, Sanaa, Hajjah, and Al Jawf.

    The Houthi movement has repeatedly targeted the kingdom’s military positions and facilities by launching drones at them.

    On 23 June, the Saudi-led military coalition involved in the Yemeni civil war said that it had intercepted explosive-laden drones launched from Yemen against Saudi civilian targets. Prior to this, the Houthi movement stated that it had hit the Defence Ministry, the King Salman Air Base, and military facilities in Riyadh, Jazan, and Najran.

    Yemen has been engulfed in an armed conflict between government forces led by President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Houthi movement for several years. The Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against the Houthis at Hadi’s request since March 2015. Despite a peace accord signed in Stockholm in 2018, the tensions have not decreased.”

  14. ‘Absolute Farce’: Prosecutions Against Brits Who Fought Alongside YPG Dropped (sputniknews, Jul 3, 2020)

    “Several other British people who joined the group have been arrested and questioned by counterterror police, with some having their passports and phones seized, but faced no further action. As of July 2020, eight British volunteers – seven men and one woman – have been killed in action while fighting with the group.

    UK prosecutors have dropped terror charges against a British Army veteran who travelled to Syria in 2017 to volunteer with Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) fighters against Daesh*.

    Ex-paratrooper Daniel Burke fought with the Kurds for until June 2018, and no action was taken upon his return, but he was subsequently prosecuted after allegedly attempting to return to support the YPG against an invasion by Turkish-led forces in 2019. He served in the Army’s Parachute Regiment 2007-2009.

    “I’m not a terrorist, you know I’m not a terrorist. I’ve done nothing but fight for this country. This is a f**king joke,” he told police upon arrest.

    He was remanded in prison ahead of a trial due to take place in October, amid concerns over the coronavirus pandemic – but charges of preparing acts of terrorism and supporting terrorism were dropped 3rd July.

    A barrister told the Old Bailey the Crown Prosecution Service was presenting no evidence against Mr Burke, or two others originally charged in a separate case.

    Paul and Sam Newey – the father and brother of another individual who fought with the YPG – were prosecuted for terror offences in the first case of its kind. Paul Newey was accused of funding terrorism by sending £150 to his son, while his 19-year-old son was accused of helping his brother.

    ?Daniel Newey, who remains in Syria, joined the YPG while the group was backed by the US-led coalition to expunge Daesh from of its Syrian territories in 2017.

    He returned to Britain in 2018 but travelled to Syria again the next year after Turkey launched an offensive against Kurdish-held territory in October.

    Simon Davis, for the prosecution, said the case had been “reviewed” after defence lawyers provided an expert report and documents alleging an abuse of process.

    “In advance of this hearing, the prosecution notified all parties of their intention to offer no evidence against all the defendants. It’s the responsibility of the prosecution to review matters continuously and as the case has developed, the prosecution has concluded that there is now insufficient evidence to sustain a reasonable prospect of conviction,” he added.

    Asked for an explanation by the judge, Davis said he hadn’t been instructed to give further detail but the decision had been “made after careful thought and consideration”.

    Presiding judge Justice Sweeney formally entered not-guilty verdicts for every count against all three defendants and that Paul and Sam Newey be paid £100 each for their travel costs to court.

    Andrew Hall QC, representing Burke, said he’d been detained since December 2019 and deserved a “detailed explanation” of why the case against him was dropped.

    “The court is entitled to know, Burke is entitled to know and the public who have funded these long and expensive proceedings would no doubt like to know,” he added.

    Richard Thomas, representing Paul Newey, said the family had been “vilified in this country, called terrorists and been threatened”, and as a result were “entitled to an explanation”, given the “very serious charges”.

    Sweeney called for submissions in writing from the prosecution and defence ahead of another hearing 10th July.

    Paul Newey told The Independent his life had been an “absolute nightmare” since he and his son were arrested by counter-terror police in December.

    “It’s been a total farce, the police and CPS need to be ashamed for even bringing the case. [My son] is still in Syria. I haven’t been able to speak to him to see if he’s OK and what he’s going through. They are the latest in a string of failed prosecutions against people who supported the YPG. The case is complete joke and a waste of everybody’s time. Nobody supporting the YPG is going to be a danger to the British public, they’re fighting for a cause they believe in to protect people. How are they terrorists?” he fulminated.

    Former volunteer Aidan James was jailed November 2019 for attending a training camp operated by the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Iraq but was acquitted by a jury for the same offence at a YPG camp.

    The CPS initially charged him with preparing acts of terrorism by travelling to Syria to join the YPG but a judge found he’d “no case to answer”.

    Justice Edis noted the Kurdish group was “supporting the policy of the UK and other allies” by fighting Daesh and was backed by RAF airstrikes, and told the Old Bailey fighting alongside the YPG “was not terrorism at all” under current laws.

    * Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS/Islamic State) a terrorist group banned in Russia”

  15. Migrant Transport NGO Brings More Coronavirus Positive Migrants to Italy (breitbart, Jul 3, 2020)

    “The migrant transport NGO Mediterranea Saving Humans has brought another 43 migrants to Italy from North Africa, and eight have so far tested positive for the Wuhan coronavirus.

    The migrants were brought to the Sicilian town of Augusta by the NGO’s vessel the Ionian Sea. Local authorities tested them for the Chinese virus, and the governor of Sicily Nello Musumeci announced the results on Thursday.

    “Of the 43 immigrants landed in Augusta, eight tested positive for coronavirus. They are in Noto and not on a ship in the bay as the Sicilian government had asked; the state says that the ship is too expensive,” Musumeci said, according to Il Giornale.

    He went on to add: “Why was the quarantine on the mainland? Why does nobody inform us about the real conditions of the camps in Libya? These are questions that Rome has a duty to answer.”

    Mediterranea Saving Humans confirmed the eight cases of coronavirus. They released a statement saying: “The crew of the Ionian Sea ship is now at anchor in the port of Augusta, already in quarantine.”

    The incident is the second time a migrant transport NGO has brought migrants infected with the coronavirus to Italy in recent weeks. Last month, the NGO Sea-Watch brought a total of 209 migrants to Italy, 28 of which later tested positive for the virus.

    Several migrant transport NGOs have resumed activities in the last few weeks including SOS Mediterranee, a French NGO that is said to have picked up 180 migrants in the last several days and will also be heading to Italy soon.

    In April, a doctor working for Sea-Eye made it clear she believed picking up migrants and bringing them to Europe was more important than the risks of coronavirus. She said: “Facing people who run away from torture, coronavirus takes second place. I think we all accepted the risk.”

    Italians on the island of Lampedusa, meanwhile, voted to stop migrant landings and want to close a local migrant camp as their island continues to see fresh flows of migrants.”

  16. Female Muslim Convert Who Plotted to Blow up St Paul’s Cathedral Smiles and Salutes ISIS as She Is Jailed (breitbart, Jul 3, 2020)

    “A Muslim convert who is believed to be the UK’s first female suicide bomb plotter has been jailed for planning to “blow St Paul’s Cathedral to the ground” and “kill as many people as possible”.

    Safiyya Amira Shaikh, 37, who professed support for Islamic State, was sentenced at the Old Bailey on Friday to life imprisonment with a minimum incarceration term of 14 years.

    Born Michelle Ramsden, the single mother from Hayes was seen leaving court in a black hijab, smiling at the press while raising her finger in a salute associated with the Islamic State terror group, according to Sky News.

    The convicted terrorist, who had converted to Islam in 2007, had plotted to bomb St Paul’s Cathedral on Easter. She had also planned to bomb a nearby hotel and then blow herself up on the London underground in a suicide attack.

    In February, she pleaded guilty to one count of preparation of terrorist acts and one count of dissemination of terrorist publications.

    A habitual drug-user, she was known to authorities, having been cautioned for theft and given a community order for burglary in 2013, then was arrested in 2015 for heroin possession.

    Shaikh had come up on MI5’s radar after she had been examined by the government’s antiextremism programme Prevent three times between August 2016 and September 2017. The British domestic intelligence agency then placed her on a watch list with 3,000 other active or potential terrorists.

    Evidence shown to the court revealed that Ms Shaikh had been in contact with the members of the British proscribed terror group Al Muhajiroun, headed by the infamous Islamist radical preacher, Anjem Choudary. She had also been sent extremist content by her contacts and sought it out on YouTube.

    She was not just a passive consumer of extremist culture but was the administrator for a jihadist Telegram chat channel “GreenB1rds” where Muslim extremists discussed committing acts of terror in the name of Islamic State. Scotland Yard described how she had shared on the channel videos of ISIS terrorists executing people and “horrific terrorist propaganda posters and videos, some of which she created herself”. The judge even said that her posts might have influenced terror attacks around the world.

    Her terror plans were foiled when she started to discuss her jihadist endeavours with who she thought were fellow Islamic State supporters, but were undercover officers part of a joint Metropolitan Police and MI5 operation.

    The sting saw two undercover officers pretend to prepare to help the woman build bombs which she wanted to plant under the dome of the seventeenth-century Anglican cathedral in London.

    Assessing whether the female jihadist was sincere about her endeavours, one undercover officer said: “…if you don’t want to do jihad that’s ok.”

    The court heard that Ms Shaikh was insistent in committing deadly acts of terror, responding: “No brother I want so much. I want to kill a lot. I would like to do church, somewhere historical.

    “Put bomb with detonator then shoot ’til killed — what I always wanted. A day like Christmas or Easter good, kill more.

    “I always send threats. But I want [to] make threats real.”

    On September 8th, 2019, Shaikh was caught undertaking a “hostile reconnaissance mission”, walking into St Paul’s Cathedral in a burqa to scope out the location, taking pictures of underneath the dome which she sent to the undercover officer via WhatsApp, indicating that that was where she wanted to set off a bomb.

    On September 22nd, she met with another undercover officer, disguised as the wife of Shaikh’s coconspirator, and handed over two pink bags which she thought would be filled with explosives and returned to her. On October 10th, she was arrested.

    Ms Shaikh’s defence team claimed that their client had experienced “doubts” over committing the act of terror. However, the 37-year-old had said in a telephone conversation with a friend last week while in jail, which she knew would have been recorded: “I didn’t get cold feet yeah… I was ready to go through with it… I wasn’t having doubts.””

  17. 33 villagers killed in attacks in central Mali this week (abcnews, Jul 3, 2020)

    “Armed men who identified themselves as jihadists attacked farming villages in Mali’s central Mopti region this week, killing at least 33 people and wounding at least five, local officials said Friday.

    The attackers arrived on motorcycles Wednesday, killing men who were returning from their fields in the villages of Gouari, Djimdo, Pangadougou and Dialaikanda, according to Moulaye Guindo, the mayor of Bankass, the capital of the area.

    He said 15 were killed in Djimdo, 16 in Gouari and two in Pangadougou.

    No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but they bear the mark of the Fulani armed groups who have been targeting Dogon farmers they accuse of being allied with militias close to the government. The Dogon farmers have been responsible for attacks on Fulani villages in the same area.

    “This attack will cause a psychosis and I am afraid that the villagers of this whole area will not go farming this year,” Guindo warned.

    Intercommunal violence in central Mali has been complicated by the presence of jihadist groups linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group. Many accuse the Fulani of being close to the al-Qaida-linked militants, which Fulani leaders have denied, while Dogon community members are considered to be supportive of the Malian army.”

  18. Iraq sets up border posts to try to prevent Turkish advance (abcnews, Jul 3, 2020)

    “Iraqi troops were enforcing positions along the border with Turkey, officials said Friday, to prevent Turkish forces from advancing deeper into Iraqi territory after two weeks of airstrikes as Ankara continues to target Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq.

    Security officials said Ankara has established at least a dozen posts inside Iraqi territory as part of a military campaign to rout members of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, or PKK, who Turkey says have safe havens in northern Iraq. The airborne-and-land campaign, dubbed “Operation Claw-Tiger,” began June 17 when Turkey airlifted troops into northern Iraq.

    Since then, at least six Iraqi civilians have been killed as Turkish jets pound PKK targets, and several villages in Iraq’s northern Kurdish region have been evacuated.

    The invading Turkish troops set up posts in the Zakho district in northern province of Dohuk, about 15 kilometers (9 miles) inside Iraqi territory, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the military operations.

    Zerevan Musa, mayor of Darkar, said there were five Turkish posts close to his town, including two on the nearby Mt. Khankiri. He said Turkish airstrikes have hit Sharanish and Banka villages in the area.

    “We demand from both sides, the Turkish government and the PKK, to keep their fight away from us,” said Qadir Sharanshi, a resident from Sharanshi village. He said his village has been hit several times.

    Iraqi border guards erected two posts along the Khankiri range, said Brig. Delir Zebari, commander of the First Brigade of the Iraqi Border Guards, tasked with securing a 245-kilometer (153-mile) stretch of border territory.

    Speaking from the brigade base, he told The Associated Press that his troops’ task is to “eliminate attacks on civilians in the area.”

    Turkey regularly carries out air and ground attacks against the PKK in northern Iraq. It says neither the Iraqi government nor the regional Iraqi Kurdish administration have taken measures to combat the group. The recent incursion into Iraqi territory has drawn condemnation from Baghdad, which has summoned Ankara’s ambassador to Iraq twice since the campaign was launched.

    Turkey maintains that until the Iraqi government take actions against the PKK, it will continue to target the Kurdish group, considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union for its decades-long insurgency within Turkey.

    Turkey’s latest campaign poses a dilemma for the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, which relies on Turkey for oil exports through a pipeline running from Iraq’s Kirkuk province to the Turkish port of Ceyhan.

    Kaiwan Kawa, a 30-year-old store owner displaced with his family from the area, said a Turkish airstrike last month struck his mini market in the village of Kuna Masi in Sulaymaniyah province. The airstrike targeted a pickup truck with PKK members who had stopped by his store to buy some eggs. At least one of the fighters was killed, his body torn to pieces, Kawa said.

    Kawa’s wife, Payman Talib, 31, lost a leg in the bombing while their 6-year-old son, Hezhwan, had shrapnel wounds to the head. Doctors say it’s too dangerous to remove the shrapnel.

    Kawa said he had opened the shop just a month before. Now he can never go back.

    “I will always carry the fear in my heart,” he said. “It will never be the same.””

  19. Turkey convicts 4 human rights activists of terror charges (abcnews, Jul 3, 2020)

    “A Turkish court on Friday convicted Amnesty International’s former Turkey chairman, Taner Kilic, of membership in a terror organization and sentenced him to more than six years in prison.

    The court also convicted three other human rights activists — Gunal Kursun, Idil Eser and Ozlem Dalkiran — of charges of aiding a terror group, sentencing them to two years and one month each. Seven other activists, including German citizen Peter Steudtner and Swede Ali Gharavi, were acquitted of the charges.

    Ten of the activists were detained in a police raid in July 2017 while attending a digital security training workshop on Buyukada island, off Istanbul. The 11th activist, Kilic, was detained separately a month earlier in the city of Izmir.

    Ten defendants were charged with aiding terrorist organizations, including the network led by a U.S.-based cleric, which the Turkish government blames for the 2016 coup attempt and has designated as a terror group.

    Kilic was accused of membership in cleric Fethullah Gulen’s network. Gulen denies allegations that he engineered the coup attempt.

    Their trial heightened concerns about Turkey’s treatment of human rights defenders and helped sour Turkey’s relations with European nations, notably Germany.

    Amnesty International condemned the ruling as a “crushing blow for human rights and for justice” in Turkey.

    “Today, we have borne witness to a travesty of justice of spectacular proportions,” said Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International’s Turkey researcher who observed the hearing. “The court’s verdict defies logic and exposes this three-year trial as the politically motivated attempt to silence independent voices.”

    The four convicted activists, who were released from jail pending the outcome, were expected to appeal the verdict. All 11 defendants maintained their innocence throughout the trial.

    Gardner said: “This case has been a litmus test for the Turkish justice system. As such, it is tragic to see the part it has played and continues to play in criminalizing the act of standing up for human rights.””

    video – 59 mins 39 secs
    Shellenberger is on the show to talk about his “controversial” new book “Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All.” The book destroys the climate alarmist narrative that the world is coming to an end and that wind and solar are the future of energy in the United States. He also discusses how climate alarmism has become the new secular religion that he once observed, and his journey to the side of reason, science, and realism.

  21. I’m speechless..

    Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid statue branded ‘racist fish’

    Denmark woke up on Friday to the words “racist fish” scrawled across the base of the “Little Mermaid,” the bronze statue honoring Hans Christian Andersen’s famous fairy tale that perches on a rock in the sea off a pier in Copenhagen.

    Police said it had not yet identified the perpetrators. The 107-year-old sculpture, which is visited by 1 million tourists each year, has been vandalized before, including by anti-whaling campaigners and pro-democracy activists, twice suffering decapitation.

    “We consider it vandalism and have started an investigation,” a spokesman for the Copenhagen police said.

    Protesters with the Black Lives Matter movement around the world have in recent months rallied against statues of historical figures who played a role in racist oppression, such as slave traders and colonialists.
    The Little Mermaid has not been part of this debate, but last year a Disney live-action remake of the 1989 animated film of the same name was the subject of controversy after African American actress Halle Bailey was cast in the central role.

    “I am having a hard time seeing what is particularly racist in the fairy tale ‘The Little Mermaid,’” Ane Grum-Schwensen, a researcher at the H.C. Andersen Center at University of Southern Denmark, told local news wire Ritzau.

    Also here:

  22. BBC – Coronavirus: How ‘immunity passports’ could create an antibody elite

    Governments around the world are testing citizens for coronavirus antibodies, to work out whether people have had the deadly Covid-19 disease.

    Some countries are setting up so-called “immunity passports” and others may follow suit.

    The idea is that a passport would certify that you have had coronavirus and will not carry or contract the disease again, opening up a way out of lockdown restrictions for the holder.

    But is this theory correct? And will it create a group of antibody-carrying elite who can date, travel and work as they wish, while others are still limited by health precautions?

    ‘I know I’m clear, we should meet!’

    Pam Evans, from Aberdeen, has just had a rude awakening to the new reality of internet dating. She says that a man who was interested in meeting her took a novel approach.

    “I had one guy at the weekend: ‘I’ve just been tested last week for Covid so I know I’m clear, we should meet up’ And I said: ‘Oh no, absolutely not’… he became just absolutely abusive straight away.”

    Pam’s hopeful date was trying to take advantage of his apparent negative coronavirus test result as a reason to break lockdown rules to visit her.

    Is this a sign of how those who get a certificate stating they’ve already had coronavirus might use their privileged position in society?

    In New York, people are using antibody tests – showing that they have been exposed to the virus and have recovered – as a way of suggesting they are safe to date.

    They are photographing positive test results to use as a kind of improvised “Covid-immunity passport”.

    If you have antibodies, the theory goes, you will not get the disease again.

    Dating aside, what if we could decide who is safe to return to work or get on an aircraft? For those people. the Covid-19 lockdown could be over.

    ‘Immunity passports’

    The idea behind immunity passports, is that of a certificate confirming that you have had Covid-19. It could be used to enter places that those people without one are barred from.

    To get one, you’d have to test positive for antibodies created after exposure to the virus.

    Estonia is building an “immunity passport” system, and Chile is also planning what it calls a “release certificate”, following such principles.

    Tavvet Hinrikus, co-founder of the money exchange firm TransferWise, helped in the development of Estonia’s phone app-based system.

    “There are areas where I think it’s a no-brainer we should use this, like… who takes care of our elders; can I go and see my parents?

    “If immunity as a concept exists, then I think people who have immunity should be cleared to work with elders, or the same for frontline workers,” he says.

    Other apps are being developed to display antibody – and potentially immunity – status. One example is Onfido. Its co-founder, Husayn Kasai, says some US hotel chains are now accepting immunity passports via an app.

    “It’s predominately for guests who want to access some of the services, be it the spa or the gym, where social distancing isn’t an option.”

    Antibody elite

    But could there be a sinister aspect: the potential for a supposedly Covid-immune elite to develop?

    Robert West, professor of health, psychology and behavioural science at University College London (UCL), fears a “divisive society”.

    “You can imagine a situation where if you can get hold of some sort of certification, it will open up doors for you that wouldn’t be open to people who can’t have that certification.

    “It could create a multi-tier society and increase levels of discrimination and inequity.” Prof West also warns that the entire premise of immunity might be on shaky ground.

    “It wouldn’t be based on solid scientific foundation. It would be based on a probability that you may or may not be susceptible [to coronavirus] yourself or may or may not be in a position to pass the virus onto other people.

    “It would be to the detriment of sectors of society, really being driven by commercial pressures.”

    Prof West envisages a point where people with recent antibody certificates would be able to work with vulnerable patients in healthcare roles, or that firms might use their workers’ immunity passports as a way of competing with other companies.

    But he believes there’s not enough evidence to show that having antibodies is a reliable way to tell how likely you are to catch or pass on the virus.

    ‘She’s OK, she has antibodies’

    The air travel sector has been hit particularly hit hard by the pandemic and John Holland-Kaye, chief executive of Europe’s busiest airport, London Heathrow, wants all countries to recognise antibody certificates.

    “What you really need [is to know that] your health passport… is going to be accepted in the country you are going to, and you’ll be allowed to return home safely without having any kind of quarantine.”

    Carmel Shachar, of the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School in the US, fears that people may actually try to catch Covid-19.

    A scenario she worries about is: “If you want to go back to work, you’re going to have to contract a deadly disease, one that we don’t actually want you to have, from a public health point of view or from an individual point of view.”

    She also worries about privacy. “If my employer can demand medical information about me, have I had Covid, do I have antibodies – are they allowed to do so? If they have that information, are they allowed to share it?”

    The commercial benefits of publicising this information for certain industries are obvious, Ms Shachar believes. “If I work at a restaurant, can my employer tell every customer who walks in the door: ‘Oh don’t worry, she’s OK because she has antibodies’?”

    Ms Shachar thinks known immunity could be of significant benefit. “You might say, for healthcare workers working with Covid patients, or nursing facility workers… we do want to see immunity.”

    She says that people really want to get back to how things were before the pandemic, or a “new normal” that is close to it, and are prepared to make compromises.

    Testing questions

    Getting to that “new normal” as quickly as possible is the target for governments around the globe, Many find antibody-testing the entire population a tantalising idea where infection rates are high.

    In Germany, the country’s disease control and prevention agency, the Robert Koch Institute, is conducting large-scale random antibody testing.

    But questions remain about the accuracy of some of these tests. Research published in May by the US-based Covid-19 Testing Project found that 12 antibody tests were accurate between 81-100% of the time.

    While the US Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned that some antibody tests could incorrectly state you had antibodies – up to half the time. Meaning those who’d never had Covid-19 could mistakenly think they had immunity, and might then act riskily because of this false sense of security.

    And even if the test correctly identifies that you have antibodies, does that mean you are actually immune? The World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed its doubts.

    In the UK, for example, concerns were voiced by 14 senior academics in a letter published in the British Medical Journal at the end of June, saying that antibody tests for UK healthcare staff were being rolled out without “adequate assessment”.

    Back in Aberdeen, Pam is similarly unconvinced by the antibody testing argument.

    “We don’t know how long this immunity could last for. We don’t know if it is 100% right if you’ve had those symptoms. There’s no harm in meeting somebody and sitting and having a coffee in a park,” she says.

    “I’m not someone who’ll kiss on the first date anyway. So to me, having that two metres apart means that a guy can’t lunge on you for once!”

  23. Rescued migrants attempt suicide on board Ocean Viking

    State of emergency declared on board migrant rescue vessel due to ‘acute mental distress’ among survivors.

    Six migrants have attempted suicide on board the rescue vessel Ocean Viking, prompting a state of emergency to be declared.

    SOS Mediterranee, which operates the Ocean Viking, said in a statement on Friday that two migrants jumped overboard and were rescued from the sea again, while three others were stopped before they jumped off the ship.

    It reported that another rescued migrant tried to kill himself on board.

    The move to declare a state of emergency was taken after suicide attempts and “acute mental distress”, the statement said, adding that “the safety of the 180 survivors and the crew on board can no longer be guaranteed”.

    “This is an unprecedented step triggered first and foremost by the rapid deterioration of the mental health of some of the survivors on board, particularly among a group of 44 people that the crew requested a medical evacuation for today, without any positive outcome so far,” the statement said.

    “The 44 people who we requested assistance for are in a state of acute mental distress, expressed intentions to inflict harm both on themselves and on others, including members of the crew, and expressed suicidal ideas.”

    The vessel currently has 180 survivors on board after carrying out three rescues following resumption in its search-and-rescue operation on June 22.

    Among the survivors are 25 minors – 17 of whom are unaccompanied – as well as two women, including one who is five-months pregnant.

    “Several survivors complain of decreased appetite, insomnia, and mental distress regarding what they have been through, mainly in Libya.”

    more :
    Deutsche Pravda – Aid ship declares emergency after 6 migrants attempt suicide

    One person attempted to hang himself while others tried to jump into open waters. The Ocean Viking has been stuck south of Sicily after requests to dock at seven ports rejected or ignored.

    Early on Friday, one person tried to hang himself, while others exhibit “signs of extreme mental fatigue, depression and acute agitation which has erupted into several physical fights among the survivors on deck,” SOS Mediterranee said.

    The organization said two migrants jumped overboard in an apparent suicide attempt, before being rescued, and that three others were stopped before they jumped.

    Two other passengers had begun a hunger strike, the group said.

    more :

  24. Pirates Kidnap Nine on Norwegian Oil Ship off Nigeria

    “Pirates attacked a Norwegian vessel off the coast of Nigeria on Thursday and kidnapped nine Nigerian nationals onboard, the ship’s Norwegian owner BW Offshore said.

    The Sendje Berge, an offshore support vessel for the oil and gas industry, came under attack at 03:20 GMT, BW Offshore said in a filing to the Oslo Stock Exchange.

    There has been no news on the nine Nigerians since they were taken, but nobody remaining on board the ship had been hurt, according to the statement.

    At the time of the attack, the Sendje Berge was working at the Okwori oilfield on behalf of China’s Addax Petroleum.

    The Gulf of Guinea, which includes the Nigerian coast, has in recent years been the scene of a growing number of attacks by pirates who loot ships or kidnap crews or passengers for ransom.”

  25. Arab Coalition Downs 4 Booby-Trapped Houthi Drones Fired at Saudi Arabia

    “The Saudi-led Arab coalition downed on Friday four booby-trapped drones flown by the Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen towards Saudi Arabia.

    Coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki said three of the aircraft were destroyed in Yemeni airspace.

    He hailed the high competency of the joint forces in confronting and deterring such threats by monitoring and destroying them directly after they are launched from Houthi-held regions.

    Malki stressed that the coalition is taking all necessary measures to protect civilians in line with international humanitarian law.”

  26. Syrian and Russian aircraft monitored at Libyan airbase operated by the UAE

    “Air traffic monitoring websites have reported the arrival of cargo planes from Russia and Syria at a Libyan airbase operated by the United Arab Emirates. The reports coincide with accusations made by a former UN envoy that the international body is being hypocritical in its handling of the Libyan crisis…”

  27. HAPPENING NOW – Mount Rushmore where President Trump is due to speak in less than three hours.

    PROTESTORS removed or slit tires on vans less than one mile from venue, will not back down, and more are joining in. They’re physically blocking the entrance to Mt Rushmore.

    Right Side Broadcasting Network are the only ones on site at the moment.

  28. Iran threatens retaliation after what it calls possible cyber attack on nuclear site

    “Iran will retaliate against any country that carries out cyber attacks on its nuclear sites, the head of civilian defence said, after a fire at its Natanz plant which some Iranian officials said may have been caused by cyber sabotage, Reuters reports.

    The Natanz uranium-enrichment site, much of which is underground, is one of several Iranian facilities monitored by inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear watchdog.

    Iran’s top security body said on Friday that the cause of the “incident” at the nuclear site had been determined, but “due to security considerations” it would be announced at a convenient time.

    Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation initially reported an “incident” had occurred early on Thursday at Natanz, located in the desert in the central province of Isfahan…”

  29. Major Iraq military operation launched north of Baghdad

    “Baghdad Operations Command yesterday announced the implementation of a major Iraqi military security operation north of the capital.

    The Security Media Cell said in a statement reported by the Iraqi News Agency (INA) that “under the leadership of the Prime Minister and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and with the supervision of the Joint Operations Command, the Baghdad Operations Command has begun the implementation of a major military security operation in north Baghdad.”…”

  30. Syrian regime soldiers killed, injured in rebel attack near Damascus

    “Several members of the regime’s “Military Security” branch have been killed and injured in an explosion targeting a checkpoint near Damascus.

    The blast happened in the town of Saqba in the eastern Ghouta area near the Syrian capital, which was under rebel control until 2018.

    The Qasioun Brigade rebel group took responsibility for the attack, which was carried out with an improvised explosive device (IED). The Syrian websites which reported the news said the exact number of killed and injured could not be determined…”

  31. Yemen’s Houthis threaten to target military sites in Saudi Arabia in response to new strikes

    “Yemen’s Houthi rebels have threatened to target government and military sites inside Saudi Arabia in response to a major military operation launched on Thursday by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen against the Houthis.

    The Houthis’ military spokesman, Brigadier Yahya Al-Sari’, told the Yemeni rebels’ TV station Al-Masirah late on Thursday evening that Yemen “had been under comprehensive attack since March 2015 and the [Houthi] armed forces are capable of defending Yemen.”

    “Our capabilities are better today than they were in the past, and we haven’t used all our power, capacities, and capabilities yet, and the enemy should realize this,” he added…”

  32. Berlin drops derogatory name for metro station after protests

    “Berlin’s public transport company BVG said it would rename a city centre metro station that has become notorious for bearing a name based on a derogatory word for Black people.

    The announcement comes amid a worldwide reckoning with buried legacies of racism and colonial crimes underpinning many western societies that was sparked by the death in the United States of George Floyd, a Black man, at the hands of a police officer…”

  33. Egypt condemns Turkish aggression against Iraqi sovereignty

    “Egypt has condemned the continuing Turkish violations of Iraq’s sovereignty under the pretext of preserving its national security, the foreign minister said on Friday.

    The foreign ministry said that the continuation of this unacceptable approach could undermine regional peace and security, as those aggressive practices expose the status quo that Ankara seeks to impose on all.

    “This proves what Egypt has repeatedly said, that Turkey is a major source of instability in the region,” read the statement.

    The statement asserted that Egypt stands in solidarity with Iraq in the face of “these provocative acts” and it calls on all parties to respect Iraqi sovereignty and avoid tangling the country in any harmful regional conflicts.

    Turkish forces have advanced deeper into Iraqi territory in the past couple of days after two weeks of airstrikes, as Ankara continues to target Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq.”

  34. French Universities Require 15 Times Higher Fees From Moroccan Students

    “Moroccan students wishing to enroll in French universities and higher education establishments for the 2020-2021 academic year will have to pay unprecedentedly high registration fees, after the French Council of State approved a controversial increase.

    In a decree issued on Wednesday, July 1, the French Council of State — the legal institution with the highest jurisdiction in the country — approved a proposal that increases registration fees for non-European students, including Moroccans.

    According to the new law, Moroccan students wishing to pursue a licentiate degree — the EU equivalent of a bachelor’s degree — in France will have to pay €2,770. Compared to the current fee of €170, the new price represents a 1,529% increase.

    Meanwhile, students wishing to study for a master’s or doctorate will have to pay €3,770, compared to the current fees of €243 (+1,451%) and €380 (+892%), respectively.

    Former French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe first introduced the increased fees on November 19, 2018, as part of a new higher education strategy called “Choose France.” According to the former PM’s proposal, the strategy’s main objective is making France more attractive to international students and to increase the visibility of the French higher education system abroad.

    French universities strongly opposed the decision and only a few decided to adopt the new fees during the 2019-2020 academic year. At the start of the year, many French universities announced their intention to keep the original registration fees. The higher education institutions also made use of a 2013 decree that allows French universities to exempt up to 10% of their registered students from fees, through mainly exempting non-European students who face higher fees.

    However, after the Council of State issued its final decision, universities will be forced to adopt the new fees.

    According to the Council of State, requiring foreign students to pay more is not opposed to the “constitutional requirement of free education,” aimed at ensuring equal access.

    In response to the complaints from students and universities, the Council of State explained that the “average annual cost” of training provided in French universities ranges between €9,660 and €10,210 for students.

    The new registration fees represent almost 30% of the cost of the training provided for licentiate degrees and 40% of that of masters. Therefore, the new fees are much lower than the training costs, preserving the free education requirement, the Council of State argued.

    The judicial institution also mentioned the financial aids and grants allocated to non-European students to justify the increased fees, explaining that a large percentage of incoming students benefit from total or partial grants.

    “The registration fees … do not prevent access to education, given in particular grants and exemptions for students,” the decree said.

    On average, every year approximately 40,000 Moroccan students study in France, with the vast majority leaving Morocco right after high school. The number represents 5.53% of foreign students who pursue higher education in the country.

    While France has been for several decades the main foreign destination for higher education for Moroccan students, it remains to be seen how the new regulations will affect Moroccans’ educational decisions in the upcoming years.”

  35. Turkey neutralized 128 terrorists in June: Interior ministry

    “This June security forces in Turkey neutralized at least 128 terrorists, a government official said on July 3.

    Turkish Interior Ministry spokesman Ismail Çatakl? told a monthly press briefing that the neutralized terrorists included nine terrorists on the ministry wanted list, including six in the orange category and three in the gray category.

    The wanted list is divided into five color-coded categories, with red as the most wanted, followed by blue, green, orange and gray.

    Çatakl? also noted that in the first six months of 2020, a total of 562 terrorists were “neutralized.”

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

    “The results we achieved during this period, when the number of terrorists in rural areas fell to around 400, shows our determination in the fight against terrorism,” he added.

    The affiliations of the neutralized terrorists were not given, but in decades of Turkish anti-terror operations, the PKK and YPG/PKK have remained the chief threat.

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

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