Reader’s Links for August 13, 2020

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

60 Replies to “Reader’s Links for August 13, 2020”

  1. Live blog: Protesters in Belarus plan to block roadways
    ?????? ????12:12 pm, August 12, 2020
    Recent events and what to expect:
    Belarus is witnessing its fourth day of mass protests, following Sunday’s presidential election. Since the weekend, police have arrested thousands of people in cities across the country. Most of the unrest has been in Minsk.
    President Alexander Lukashenko (Alyaksandr Lukashenka) has continued to insult demonstrators in public statements, while riot police have violently attacked protesters, sometimes even after they’ve been arrested.
    Large groups of women assembled in Minsk and other Belarusian cities and demanded an end to the government’s political repressions.
    Opposition groups have announced on Telegram a campaign to block major roadways.
    11 hours ago
    The fourth day of protests, in brief
    — On the fourth day of demonstrations, protesters planned to start blocking roadways, or so opposition Telegram channels announced. In reality, this didn?t actually happen: either protesters didn?t get the memo or they were simply afraid. Instead, drivers in Minsk drove very slowly and braked often, causing a minor traffic jam, but not city-wide road closures. Some protesters also tried to block pedestrian crossings in Minsk, but this didn?t last long.

    — Once again, the protests in Minsk were localized in different neighborhoods: people took to the streets near their homes, stood off to the side of the road, and applauded. Compared to previous days there were very few arrests.

    — There were hardly any road closures in other Belarusian cities either — only the road to Grodno was blocked briefly.

    — During the day, women?s rallies took place in cities across the country — the participants wore white and formed human chains in solidarity with protesters injured by police.

    — Throughout the day videos surfaced online of military personnel and police officers (including one on active duty), who urged their colleagues to stop using force against the protesters; they threw their uniforms in the trash and burned their documents. The videos appeared on opposition Telegram channels; the individuals in them have yet to be identified.

    — Several Belarusian TV presenters announced their resignations today. Some, more explicitly than others, said they were resigning due to the violence against protesters.

    11 hours ago
    Anesthesiologist Bogdan Shilnikvosky, who participated in today?s protest outside of the medical school on Dzerzhinsky Avenue in Minsk, has been arrested. His friend described his arrest to as follows:

    «We were getting ready to leave by car. Bogdan asked to stop to say goodbye to the guys. He got out of the car, and went up to our colleagues and theirs cars. At this point a minibus and car pulled out in front of us. People in civilian clothes and masks ran out of it. The guys were laid face down on the ground. They used batons. Then they came over to me and asked who I was waiting for and if I knew anyone. I said I knew [sic], they pulled me from the car, dragged me away, and laid me down next to [the others]. I couldn?t see what happened next. They searched the car. When they let me get up, Bogdan was gone. His colleagues [told me] they took him away, saying that he was the organizer of all of this.»

    Earlier, Belarusian Health Ministry Vladimir Karanik, who came to the rally, said that it was «clearly an orchestrated event.»

    12 hours ago
    Here?s what Belarusian state TV is saying about the demonstrations
    1. They would be worse if riot police weren?t doing their jobs

    2. If the protests continue, «we will lose our normal lives»

    «Riots in Belarus: who is calling people to the barricades and what for? The real situation!»

    12 hours ago
    Nasha Niva reports that you can hear people chanting «Leave!» from the property of a prison colony in Babruysk. What?s happening inside remains unknown. You can listen to an audio recording here.

    12 hours ago
    Police officials in Belarus have arrested two men in Minsk who were allegedly making Molotov cocktails «to use against law enforcement officers at mass events.»

    12 hours ago
    Typical scenes from Minsk tonight.

    13 hours ago
    Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich warns of civil war:
    Belarusian author and Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich has called on President Lukashenko to resign from office. «Get out before it?s too late! Before you throw people into a terrible abyss — the abyss of civil war! Get out!» she said in an interview with the U.S. public broadcaster Radio Freedom.

    14 hours ago
    All gone. A clean-up crew in Moscow has cleared all the flowers, candles, and cards left outside the Belarusian embassy to honor anti-government protesters. In Minsk, city workers did the same thing at memorial sites erected where a demonstrator was killed earlier this week.

    14 hours ago
    For some reason, police officers in Moscow decided to trample the flowers and candles left outside the Belarusian embassy in support of protesters against Alexander Lukashenko.

    14 hours ago
    The opposition Telegram channel NEXTA Live has published a video from a police officer who identifies himself as Ivan Kolos, where he calls on his colleagues to cease all violence against protesters and «return power to the people.» Records show that there is a police officer by this name who serves in the city of Gomel.

    14 hours ago
    10-p.m. (Minsk time) update
    Earlier in the day, opposition protesters announced plans to block major roadways throughout the country, but protesters have failed to do this, so far. Police officers quickly arrest any demonstrators who walk into road intersections. For the most part, protesters in the capital have assembled along roads but not in the street. The same has been true in other cities.
    The police fired at the windows of private residences in Minsk. In at least one case, someone threw a stone or a piece of concrete at an officer.
    In two separate incidents, motorists tried to ram police officers. The driver in Minsk was arrested but the man behind the wheel in Baranovichi escaped. No officers were killed.
    Several TV news anchors have resigned from state television networks in protest.
    14 hours ago
    According to the Belarusian Interior Ministry, someone in the city of Baranovichi tried to ram a police officer with a car. The authorities stopped the vehicle, but the driver managed to escape.

    14 hours ago
    Using pump-action firearms, Belarusian riot police have started shooting non-lethal ammunition at people cheering protesters from their balconies. Journalists previously reported that police officers fired stun grenades and rubber bullets at residences along the routes of some demonstrations.

  2. Thousands stage flower protest in Belarus as EU weighs sanctions

    MINSK (Reuters) – Protesters formed human chains and marched through the streets of Belarus carrying flowers on Wednesday in anger at a crackdown by strongman President Alexander Lukashenko that has prompted the European Union to consider new sanctions against Minsk.

    Women take part in a demonstration against police violence during the recent rallies of opposition supporters following the presidential election in Minsk, Belarus August 12, 2020. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko
    Security forces have clashed with protesters for three consecutive nights after Lukashenko claimed a landslide re-election victory in a vote on Sunday that his opponents say was rigged. Police have detained around 6,000 people.

    Lukashenko has sought better relations with the West amid strained relations with traditional ally Russia. Brussels lifted sanctions, imposed over Lukashenko’s human rights record, in 2016, but will weigh new measures this week.

    Lithuania, Poland and Latvia jointly offered to mediate between Lukashenko and the protesters, and threatened sanctions at a European or national level if the offer was declined.

    U.N. rights boss decries crackdown in Belarus, says 6,000 detained
    A former Soviet collective farm manager, the 65-year-old Lukashenko has ruled Belarus for more than a quarter of a century but faces increasing anger over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, a sluggish economy and human rights.

    Women dressed in white formed a human chain outside a covered food market in the capital Minsk, holding flowers in the air and chanting slogans, while a crowd also gathered outside a prison where protesters were being kept.

    “I cannot leave my children at night but I can come during the daytime and say my piece,” said Minsk resident Yelena. “They have stolen not just my vote but 26 years of my life. Yes, I think so, and this regime must go away.”

    The Belarusian interior ministry said 51 protesters and 14 police officers had been injured in clashes on Tuesday night.

    In Brest, a city in southwestern Belarus on the Polish border, police fired live rounds after some protesters it said were armed with metal bars ignored warning shots fired in the air, the ministry said. One person was injured.

    Lukashenko has accused the protesters of being in cahoots with foreign backers from Russia and elsewhere to topple his government, and compared them to criminal gangs.

    “The core of all these so-called protesters today comprises people with a criminal history and the unemployed,” he said at a government meeting on Wednesday.

    Belarusian authorities earlier tied opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s husband to a plot by suspected Russian mercenaries to destabilise the country ahead of the election. She denied the allegation in an interview with Reuters.

    In Tuesday night’s clashes, security forces beat some of the protesters, sometimes dragging people out of cars before attacking them.

    United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet condemned the detention of 6,000 people, “including bystanders, as well as minors, suggesting a trend of massive arrests in clear violation of international human rights standards”.

    Some of the detainees were lined up in a row on state television this week, looking subdued and promising not to engage in revolutionary activities.

    State media also broadcast footage of a van in Minsk with Russian number plates saying it was packed with ammunition and tents.

    Tracked down by Reuters, Valdemar Grubov, the van’s owner, said he was a film producer and that the vehicle contained only his own personal effects.

    He said he had been unable to retrieve the van due to COVID-19 restrictions and was not involved in any alleged foreign plot.

    Tsikhanouskaya, a 37-year-old former English teacher who took on Lukashenko in the vote, has fled to neighbouring Lithuania to join her children there. She urged her compatriots not to oppose the police and to avoid putting their lives in danger.

    But the protests continued into the evening on Wednesday as thousands took to the streets of the capital.

    “We are scared but what else can we do? We are not being aggressive. We are women standing here who also have a voice,” said Minsk resident Zhenya. “We are scared of being arrested but we want to be heard.”

  3. Priti Patel Brings in Draconian Powers to Detain ‘Hostile State Actors’ at UK Ports on ‘Hunch’ (sputniknews, Aug 13, 2020)

    “British national Dawn Sturgess died in 2018 from alleged poisoning by the ‘Novichok’ nerve agent four months after the attack on former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal. Russia has denied any involvement in the poisoning, and Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov have maintained they were civilians who came to Salisbury as tourists.

    The UK Border Force, police and MI5 has been given new powers to stop, search and detain people suspected of being engaged in “hostile state activity.”

    Home Secretary Priti Patel said on Thursday, 13 August: “The threat posed to the UK from hostile state activity is growing and ever changing. These new powers send a very clear message to those involved in it that this government has zero tolerance for those acting against British interests.”

    ?The House of Commons and House of Lords’ Joint Committee on Human Rights, in scrutinising the new powers, said: “The definition of ‘hostile act’ is extremely wide and there is no threshold test required before a person is detained and examined. Individual officers could simply act on a ‘hunch’. This is not in itself inadequate, but it is nevertheless troubling given the breadth of the power.”

    Ms Patel made no mention of another aspect of the new measures – the power to seize and make copies of materials including “journalistic, legally privileged, human tissue and commercial material held in confidence”.

    In 2013 Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald’s boyfriend David Miranda was arrested at Heathrow airport while the reporter was investigating the Edward Snowden affair. He was detained for nine hours but his mobile phone, laptop, camera, memory sticks, DVDs and games consoles were all confiscated.

    Under Schedule 7 to the Terrorism Act 2000 officers have been allowed to stop, question, search and detain a person at a UK port or at the Northern Ireland border “to determine whether they are or have been involved in terrorism”.

    Under Schedule 3 of the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019 this same power now extends to anyone perceived as “hostile state actors.”

    The new measures are said to be partly in response to the alleged attempted assassination of former Russian agent Sergei Skripal in 2018…”

  4. Turkish Spy Planes Violate Greek Airspace Dozens of Times (breitbart, Aug 13, 2020)

    “Tensions between Turkey and Greece remain at a high, with the Turkish regime allegedly repeatedly violating Greek airspace this week with CN-235 spy planes.

    Greece accused Turkey of 45 violations of Greek airspace on Tuesday, 35 of which were said to have been conducted by C-235 spy planes flying into the north-east, central, and southern Aegean sea. Turkish fighter jets also encroached on Greek airspace.

    According to a report from Greek newspaper Proto Thema, in at least three cases, Greek fighter jets managed to intercept the Turkish aircraft.

    Greece and Turkey continue to have rocky relations as the Turkish research vessel Oruc Reis remains in the Mediterranean, escorted by an estimated 10 Turkish naval warships…”

  5. French Cop to No-Go Zone Residents: Just Move, or Go Vigilante (breitbart, Aug 13, 2020)

    “A police officer has told residents in the no-go zone of Montpellier that if they are sick of violence and verbal abuse from local youths, they should either move or adopt the vigilante methods used in Corsica and handle their own problems…”

  6. Greece: Coastguard Deters Migrant Boat by Firing Warning Shots (breitbart, Aug 13, 2020)

    “The Greek coastguard fired warning shots near a boat full of migrants near Rhodes this week, deterring the migrants from reaching the island.

    The coastguard on patrol in the area is said to have “fired warning shots at a safe section of the boat” which contained an unknown number of migrants. The warning shots quickly deterred the migrants who slowed their speed and then returned to the Turkish coast.

    Turkish officials stated, according to a report from Greek newspaper Kathimerini, that Greek officials had left by the time they came on the scene. They claimed three migrants, two Turks and a Syrian, had been injured by rubber bullets and were then taken to a nearby hospital.

    While Greece has seen some success in turning around migrant boasts headed for their territory from Turkey, the United Kingdom has been unable to deter the increasing numbers of boats headed to its shores from France…”

  7. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia donated 500,000 riyals to establish an Islamic Center in Toronto and 880,000 riyals to establish an Islamic Center in Quebec. The Kingdom has also financially supported mosques in Calgary and Ottawa…..

    There is a branch of the Muslim World League in Canada, an institution controlled by Saudi Arabia, with branches throughout the world that support the propagation of the Wahhabism (political Islam) through construction of Islamic centres and mosques.

    Many Imams in Canada in attended Islamic UniversitIes Dar Al Uloom in India, Islamic University in Pakistan, Umm Al-Qura University in Saudi Arabia, and Al-Azhar in Egypt.

    Abu Bakr Shikawa, leader of Boko Haram, graduated from Al-Azhar University, Egypt.
    “The Blind Sheik”, Dr. Omar Abdul Rahman, was a professor at Al-Azhar University.

    The Muslim Student Association at York University states that “ innovations in religious matters or modernization will not be acceptable, as Islam is a way of life for all times and places and hence is not subject to being outdated or needing reform”.

    In 2006, Sheikh Omar Soufyane, Al Sunnah Mosque, Montreal, sermon discussed the Middle East crisis and the Imam called for God to kill all the enemy of Islam to the last.

    While the West was sleeping and planting the seed of Islamophobia.

    • Did the same in Russia’s near-abroad, made freaky Wahhabis out of Soviet-tamed, nominal tards: Have at it in dar-al harb, just don’t act up in the Kingdom.

      That brought Beslan, Grozney, the Black Widows of Chechnya. And plenty more up till today, but without an RT or Sputnik, we’ll never know.

      Putin’s got score to settle with them, slowly burning for decades. And he’s far from the only Russian who feels that way.

  8. Here is a classic firehose piece. I include it in its entirety because in it ZH includes all referenced links. It offers insight into Soros’s thinking while simultaneously providing Soros the opportunity to plant the seeds of dissent that make him largely responsible for the very problems he identifies, and exploits, herein:

  9. Stabbing of peace in a park in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands. One brave young woman intervenes:

    The victim, who was also hit with a bike chain, sustained an arterial bleeding but survived. Articles, in Dutch:

    This happened a few days after the fatal stabbing on the pier in beach resort Scheveningen, and the fatal stabbing of a 15yo girl in Rotterdam:

    Apeldoorn itself has seen some violence recenlty, mainly shootings. This is going to be a stabby and shooty summer.

  10. CNN – Chelsea Clinton fights misinformation on vaccine safety

    While some families in the US are concerned about the potential effects of taking a vaccine, others are exploiting fears by spreading misinformation online.

    CNN’s Elizabeth Cohen speaks with vaccine advocate Chelsea Clinton about the battle for facts.

  11. Brussels makes masks mandatory across the city

    Dept FakeX 6 hours ago

    .....Wash you Hands......Apply Barrier Cream.....Wear Gloves.....Wear Mask......Keep you Distance........Follow the Arrows
    > > > > > > Get in Line....Rat on your Neighbors......Get Tracked by Phone.......It's the New Twisted Sick Normal.....Wait for your Orders
    .....Conform.....Comply......Obey........Are you liking the New Twisted Sick Normal?

  12. France: Investigation underway after fire at Lyon’s mosque

    An investigation is underway after a fire broke out at a mosque in the second district of Lyon Perrache overnight on Thursday.

    The fire broke out at Essalem mosque just before 2 am (Midnight GMT) causing damage inside the building as well as breaking glass and damaging the front door.

    Footage shows the aftermath of the fire with several men trying to repair the door.

    According to reports, no one was at the site when the fire broke out and no one was injured.

    “I strongly condemn the burning of the Essalem Mosque in Lyon’s 2nd arrondissement – which according to initial evidence – is of criminal origin. Thank you to the firefighters and police for their rapid intervention,” tweeted mayor of the second district of Lyon Pierre Oliver.

    + comments on the YT page

  13. Young adult should have larger role in political decision making: WHO on International Youth Day

    World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus takes questions from young people on International Youth Day.

    The theme this year is “Youth Engagement for Global Action.”

    The idea is to recognize young people around the world demonstrating their resilience, collective action and creativity in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • WHO “Young adults should have a larger role in political decision making”. Commonala Harris said kids between 18 and 24 are just stupid.

      • They’re not kids, just superannuated Young Pioneers or Red Guards.
        They’re military-age, may as well be in the PLA. Rank-&-file don’t realize they’re following orders of enemy operatives.

  14. Migrant Who Raped Child over 100 Times Avoids Deportation from Sweden (breitbart, Aug 13, 2020)

    “A Swedish court of appeal has overruled the deportation order of a migrant convicted for raping a child more than 100 times.

    The migrant man was initially convicted of rape and sexual abuse against children and sentenced to 12 years, with the child he abused being just ten years old when the three-year-long abuse began.

    The appeals court has ruled that while the man is guilty of raping the child, his case did not meet the requirements of exceptional reasons to deport him from the country as the previous court had ruled. The prosecutor in the case has appealed the new decision and has demanded the man be deported.

    According to a press release from the public prosecutor’s office, the man has lived in Sweden for around 22 years, which was given as the reason he should not be expelled.

    Earlier this week in Kristinehamn, another migrant, a Syrian, was arrested in connection to a rape case. However, due to the fact he became a citizen just months before, he is also unlikely to ever be deported.

    Charlie Weimers, a member of the populist Sweden Democrats, commented on the case, saying: “This shows why the legislation needs to be amended so that a much longer period is required before someone can obtain citizenship. And also why a decision on citizenship should be provisional for the first five years.”

    Earlier this month the Göta Court of Appeal overturned the child rape conviction of another migrant, an Afghan national. The court stated that there was not enough evidence to say without a doubt the migrant knew the girl he had sex with was only 13.

    The ruling came despite the fact the migrant had ordered a bus ticket for the girl and put in her correct age. He claimed he put the age to get a discount on the pass and that it was mere coincidence that it happened to be her true age.

    As a result of the ruling, this migrant also avoided deportation.”

  15. Mohamed Zin Elaabdin Elhosary Mahmoud

    26 y o

    BBC – France sends jets and ships to tense east Mediterranean

    France is deploying two Rafale fighter jets and a naval frigate in the eastern Mediterranean because of tensions between Greece and Turkey.

    French President Emmanuel Macron has urged Turkey to halt oil and gas exploration in disputed waters in the area. A Turkish survey ship began such a mission on Monday, angering Greece.

    Mr Macron told Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis that the French military would monitor the situation.

    The area is rich in untapped energy.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the only solution in the Mediterranean was dialogue and that his country was not chasing adventure.

    “If we act with common sense and reason, we can find a win-win solution that meets everyone’s interests,” he said.

    There are also tensions around Cyprus over rival exploration rights. The Republic of Cyprus and Greece do not accept any such rights for Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus in the region.

    France is also at odds with Turkey over the crisis in Libya. Turkey has sent military support to the UN-recognised government in Tripoli, while France, Russia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates support the forces of Gen Khalifa Haftar. Russia and the UAE are Gen Haftar’s main arms suppliers.

    France already has a helicopter-carrier, Tonnerre, heading to Beirut with aid to ease the city’s suffering after the devastating 4 August port explosion.

    The French frigate La Fayette has been on exercises with the Greek navy and is staying in the area. The Rafale jets were in Cyprus for an exercise and are now relocating to Souda, on the Greek island of Crete.

    Mr Macron tweeted: “I have decided to strengthen the French military presence temporarily in the Mediterranean, in co-operation with Greece and other European partners.

    “The eastern Mediterranean situation is worrying. Turkey’s unilateral decisions concerning oil exploration are provoking tensions. Those tensions must end, to enable calm dialogue between countries which are neighbours and allies in Nato.”

    France to bolster Mediterranean military presence over Turkish gas exploration in disputed waters

    France will increase its military presence in the eastern Mediterranean, President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday, calling on Turkey to halt oil and gas exploration in disputed waters, an act that has heightened tensions with Greece.

    The French leader voiced concern over “unilateral” exploration by Turkey in a call with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Macron’s office said in a statement. It added that prospecting should “cease in order to allow a peaceful dialogue” between the neighbouring NATO members.

    The standoff deepened this week with the arrival of Turkish seismic research vessel Oruc Reis in a disputed area of the Mediterranean, accompanied by warships.

    The French armed forces ministry said on Thursday that France will send two Rafale fighter jets and the naval frigate ‘Lafayette’ to the eastern Mediterranean as part of plans to increase its military presence in the region.

    The country will “temporarily reinforce” its military presence, Macron’s statement said, to “monitor the situation in the region and mark its determination to uphold international law.”

    Greece’s prime minister warmly thanked France on Thursday for its pledge to boost its military presence in the eastern Mediterranean.

    Mitsotakis tweeted that Macron is “a true friend of Greece and also a fervent protector of European values and international law.”

    Turkey and Greece are at loggerheads over competing claims to natural gas reserves, brought into sharp focus by the attempts of EU member Cyprus to explore for gas in the eastern Mediterranean over Turkey’s strong objections.

    Macron called last month for EU sanctions against Turkey for what he described as “violations” of Greek and Cypriot sovereignty over their territorial waters. Relations between Paris and Ankara have also frayed over the conflict in Libya.

    Later on Wednesday, Erdogan said that he would discuss the issue with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President of the European Council Charles Michel, in an attempt to defuse tensions.

    Erdogan told a meeting of his ruling party’s provincial leaders that he wanted to resolve the emerging crisis “through dialogue and negotiations”, accusing Athens of harbouring “ill-will”.

    “We have always sought a solution to problems with Greece at the table. We don’t want to infringe on others’ rights but we won’t allow another country to infringe [upon] ours,” he said.

    This comes after tensions flared between Greece and Turkey in late July after Erdogan provoked worldwide outrage with his controversial move to transform Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia, formerly a Christian church and later a museum, into a mosque.

    • An extended relative of my Belarus friend says she has reports of relatives being stricken by pneumonia then testing positive to Corona. The doctors were ordered to NOT report the corona connection. My take away is that the communists cannot admit to less-than-perfect health care or health defenses because it reflects badly on the party, which obviously holds power, whereas western governments being moved by their own Marxist deep states and Marxist acolytes try their best to exaggerate the virus in order to spread chaos and fear, with the end result being insurgence. Funny that. Watch that HBO show Belarus to see this in action.

  16. Biden knew ‘damn well’ about spying on Trump campaign: Rep Nunes

    Rep. Devin Nunes, R-CA, reacts to FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo’s exclusive interview with Trump and weighs in on former President Obama and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden reportedly spying on Trump’s campaign in 2016.

  17. Turkey detains IS suspect planning attack on police (abcnews, Aug 13, 2020)

    “Turkish police have detained a suspected Islamic State group militant who was allegedly planning to attack a police station, Turkey’s state-run news agency reported Thursday.

    Anadolu Agency agency reported that the suspect, identified by the initials M.A., was held in an operation in the district of Inegol in northwestern Bursa province. Police seized a suicide vest and other explosive material, according to the report.

    The suspect was being monitored by police following five separate arson attacks on businesses in Inegol in the past two months, Anadolu reported.

    Anadolu said the suspect had entered Turkey illegally two years ago and had carried out acts on behalf of the I.S. group in Syria between 2017 and 2018.

    Turkey has suffered a string of attacks by Islamic State militants over the last five years, including an attack at an Istanbul nightclub during New Year celebrations in the early hours of 2017. The attack killed 39 people, most of them foreigners.”

  18. Egyptian lawyer: Senior Brotherhood leader dies in prison (abcnews, Aug 13, 2020)

    “A senior leader of Egypt’s outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group died of a heart attack on Thursday in a Cairo prison where he had been serving a 25-year sentence, his lawyer said.

    The attorney, Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsoud, said Essam el-Erian, 66, had been behind bars since 2013, following the military overthrow of Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, who hailed from the Brotherhood’s ranks.

    After Morsi’s ouster, Egyptian authorities designated the Brotherhood as a terrorist group, imprisoned thousands of its leaders and members and cracked down heavily on dissent. Morsi also died while in custody — he collapsed in court while standing trial last year.

    El-Erian is not the first Muslim Brotherhood leader to die behind bars. Last year, ousted President Morsi collapsed in court while standing trial. The U.N. rights experts said then that Morsi was denied medical care, lost vision in one eye and suffered recurrent diabetic comas, concluding that the conditions he endured “could amount to a state-sanctioned arbitrary killing”.

    Like many Muslim Brotherhood leaders, el-Erian stood several trials and faced a plethora of terror-related charges. In 2018, a Cairo Court ordered his execution along with tens of Muslim Brotherhood members who were convicted of staging an armed sit-in, vandalizing public property, as well on counts related to the killing of a policemen and an Egyptian citizen.

    El-Erian’s lawyer had appealed the verdict.”

  19. An Arabic-language newspaper distributed in the Greater Toronto Area, al-Meshwar, August 7 edition contains a half-page editorial by editor-in-chief, Nazih Khatatba, concluding that “the Beirut disaster cannot be anything but the result of a planned Israeli / American act of direct implementation or via their local proxies. In the event, Israel is responsible for the detonation, Hezbollah can do nothing but respond with an attack of the same level as the crime………..

  20. Iraq Seeks Arab Help to Push Turkish Troops Out

    “Iraq has urged its Arab allies to help persuade Turkey to withdraw its troops from Iraqi territory, where they have been raiding Kurdish militant positions, the foreign ministry said Thursday.

    Its comments come two days after a Turkish drone strike killed two high-ranking Iraqi officers in the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, amid heightened tensions between Ankara and Baghdad.

    On Wednesday the Iraqi foreign ministry for the third time summoned Turkey’s envoy to Baghdad to protest against the strike, which it denounced as a “flagrant aggression” and a violation of its sovereignty.

    On Thursday, Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein said he had contacted his Egyptian, Jordanian, Saudi, and Kuwaiti counterparts as well as the Arab League to seek their diplomatic support in confronting Ankara.

    Hussein said he pleaded for “major Arab efforts to avoid dangerous developments” and for “a united position to force Turkey to pull out its troops who have infiltrated into Iraq,” the ministry said.

    Turkey in mid-June launched a cross-border operation against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), blacklisted as a terrorist group by Ankara and its Western allies.

    The PKK has waged an insurgency against Ankara since 1984 and has long used the rugged terrain of northern Iraq as a rear base to wage attacks on Turkey.

    Over the past 25 years, Turkey has set up a dozen military positions inside Iraqi territory to fight the PKK.

    On Thursday Turkey’s ambassador to Baghdad Fatih Yildiz issued a statement accusing Iraq of “turning a blind eye to the presence of PKK terrorists on its soil.”

    Kurdish sources say efforts to persuade Turkey to withdraw its forces will not be easy, as Ankara is determined to stay put.

    Authorities in the autonomous Kurdish region, dominated by the Democratic Party of Kurdistan (KDP), see the PKK as rivals but have never been able to uproot them from their northern Iraqi bases.

    At least five civilians have been killed in northern Iraq since the start of the latest Turkish campaign, according to local officials. Ankara has reported the death of two of its soldiers, and the PKK and its allies the deaths of 10 fighters and supporters.”

  21. Jihadists Seize Key Port in Gas-Rich Northern Mozambique

    “Islamist militants occupied a key port in gas-rich northern Mozambique on Wednesday following days of attacks claimed by an Islamic State-affiliated group, a military source and local media said.

    “The port of Mocimboa da Praia was captured by the terrorists at dawn,” the Moz24Horas website reported, while a military source told AFP that the small town and its port had “fallen.”

    The assault is the latest in an intensifying insurgency in the country’s north since 2017 which has killed more than 1,000 people and complicated plans to develop its offshore gas reserves.

    Mozambique’s defense forces (FDS) confirmed that “terrorists” had launched “sequenced attacks” on several villages surrounding the port over the past week in an attempt to occupy the town.

    “At the moment, there are ongoing actions to neutralize the terrorists that are using populations in the affected areas as shields,” the FDS said in a statement.

    Mocimboa da Praia lies less than 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of Afungi peninsula where a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility, one of Africa’s biggest single investment projects, is located.

    The port is currently a major traffic hub for the gas project…”

  22. US Using UN Security Council to Destroy It: Zarif

    “TEHRAN (Tasnim) – What Iran– the target of a vicious and indiscriminate sanctions regime—has seen from the current US administration is quite straightforward: there is no grand vision for an alternative global community, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote in an article.

    “…having failed to collapse Resolution 2231 after over two years of the most brutal ‘maximum pressure’ ever imposed on a nation–including depriving ordinary Iranians of access to medicines and medical equipment amid the deadliest pandemic the world has seen in many decades–the US now hopes to abuse its mal-interpretation of the provisions of the same resolution it abandoned in 2018 to finally destroy it. This deeply malicious US behavior is evident throughout the UN, where it seeks to use the UN itself to effectively destroy the world body,” Zarif wrote in the article, which first appeared on Iran Daily online.

    Following is the full text of the article:

    What we in Iran–the target of a vicious and indiscriminate sanctions regime—have seen from the current US administration is quite straightforward: there is no grand vision for an alternative global community. The US’ fickleness and unpredictability have nothing to do with masterful implementation of game theory. Rather whether it comes to its (mis)management of COVID-19 at home or its undermining of peace and stability abroad, the current regime in Washington has no real plan except to frontally assault those who stand by the rule of law.

    The US handling of UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed–and is inseparable from—the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, is a case in point.

    In July 2015, Iran, the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany signed a landmark agreement to satisfy any concerns over the exclusively peaceful nature of our nuclear program while relieving the Iranian people of inhumane and unjust sanctions. As part of the JCPOA, the US and other signatories also jointly co-sponsored UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which embraces the nuclear deal–and to which its full 90 pages are attached, thus enshrining the accord into international law. However, in May of 2018 the US administration declared that it had unilaterally opted for “ceasing participation” in the JCPOA. Since then, Iran and the rest of the international community have been left in the extraordinary position of watching the US become the first government in UN history that not just violates a binding resolution it itself sponsored, but also punishes those governments and companies that uphold international law by implementing its provisions. As I warned the Security Council last month, this status quo is neither desirable nor sustainable. We are thus at a crossroads.

    The US administration’s disinformation campaign—including false and forged claims regarding a regional consensus—about the consequences of the remaining signatories to the JCPOA upholding the deal’s provisions—including normalizing Iran’s defense cooperation with the world in October–is a ruse to disguise its real, more malevolent motivations: having failed to collapse Resolution 2231 after over two years of the most brutal “maximum pressure” ever imposed on a nation–including depriving ordinary Iranians of access to medicines and medical equipment amid the deadliest pandemic the world has seen in many decades–the US now hopes to abuse its mal-interpretation of the provisions of the same resolution it abandoned in 2018 to finally destroy it. This deeply malicious US behavior is evident throughout the UN, where it seeks to use the UN itself to effectively destroy the world body.

    There are several key issues and consequences to consider in this equation.

    First and foremost, one may wonder why or how the collapse of a single UN Security Council resolution on a niche subject relates to the bigger picture. It does, for most notably it would be a generational setback for the cause of multilateralism should the Security Council be bullied into torpedoing its own resolution. Unless all powers respect the principles which the Council was created to embody, it cannot perform its duties, nor can any nation acknowledge its authority.

    We should not forget that the same US regime has fatuously also withdrawn from the WHO amid the worst global pandemic, but now seeks to lead the WHO reform process, to the chagrin of its closest Western allies.

    If the US is allowed to continue on this path, the world will slide backwards toward a ‘might makes right’ standard. And while this may sound appealing to Cold Warriors looking for new targets, even that standard has its limits. For both superpowers of the past century witnessed the unraveling of their international influence in their military defeat in Afghanistan, a country with a GDP that is 14 times smaller than Apple Inc.’s annual revenue.

    We have also seen in past years how the US administration has—in parallel with its assault on international institutions and accords—sought to supplant international law with its own domestic laws. In practice, this has meant that it is now the US Treasury and not European national governments which decides with whom European companies can do business—be it under Resolution 2231 or their own North Stream gas lifeline.

    While it has so far primarily been the US that has sought to expand the jurisdiction of its domestic laws, there is nothing to suggest that it will retain a monopoly on it. With the opening of this Pandora’s box and with complacency on the part of some national governments, it is not difficult to imagine a future where ordinary citizens and private enterprises alike may end up having to contend with the extra-territorial application of multiple and growing series of domestic laws—debilitating international travel, trade and investment in a retrograde step for our globalized world.

    Thus, the international community in general–and the UN Security Council in particular—face an important decision: do we maintain respect for the rule of law, or do we return to the law of the jungle?

    While Iran has proven its resilience and decisive response to coercive bullying, I am confident that—in the next few critical weeks and months—members of the Security Council will refute the campaign struggle of a beleaguered US administration to turn what was the diplomatic achievement of the 21st Century into an exercise in futility, and in the process annihilate what is left of multilateralism and international law.”

  23. IRGC Chief Vows ‘Harsh Revenge’ for Gen. Soleimani’s Assassination

    “Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Major General Hossein Salami vowed “harsh revenge” on those responsible for the assassination of former IRGC Quds Force Commander Lt. General Qassem Soleimani.

    “Our enemies should know that nowhere is safe for them,” General Salami said on Thursday, during a ceremony marking the 14th anniversary of Lebanon’s historic victory in the 33-day war of 2006 against Israel.

    “With the assassination of Hajj Qassem, they (the enemies) created a permanent source of danger and revenge for themselves. Sooner or later, there will be a revenge for his death and certainly it will be harsh,” he added.

    The Iranian General and his companions were assassinated in a US airstrike near Baghdad airport on January 3, as General Soleimani was on an official visit to the Iraqi capital.

    In late July, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said Iran will never forget Washington’s assassination of General Soleimani and will definitely deliver a “counterblow” to the United States.

    “The Islamic Republic of Iran will never forget this issue and will definitely deal the counterblow to the Americans,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a meeting with visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi in Tehran.

    “They killed your guest at your own home and unequivocally admitted the atrocity. This is no small matter,” the Leader told the Iraqi premier.”

  24. Enemies Unable to Halt Iran’s Progress: President Rouhani

    “Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the launch of major national development projects amid sanctions and the coronavirus crisis conveys the message of power and strength to the enemies.

    “The enemies are not able to dissuade the Iranian nation from (continuing on) the path of prosperity and development,” Rouhani said on Thursday while inaugurating major water projects in border areas in the western provinces of Ilam and Kermanshah via video links.

    Through their economic pressures, the enemies assumed that Iran will kneel down before them, the president said, adding that inauguration of such projects will send the message of power to the US, Zionists and reactionary states in the region.

    The president went on to say that the weekly launches of major projects prove that the country is on the path of production and development.

    The US has ratcheted up pressure on Iran since May 2018 after withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and imposing sanctions on the country.”

  25. Coalition Downs Armed Drone, 2 Ballistic Missiles Launched by Houthis

    “The Coalition to Support Legitimacy in Yemen said Thursday that it intercepted and downed an armed drone and two ballistic missiles launched by Houthi militias towards Saudi Arabia.

    In a statement, Coalition spokesman Col. Turki al-Malki said the joint forces were able to down the drone and destroy the ballistic missiles launched by the Iran-backed group to target civilians in Khamis Mushait.

    He accused the terrorist militias of violating the international humanitarian law and of threatening regional and international security.

    Malki also said that the Houthis have thwarted efforts to reach a comprehensive political solution in Yemen.

    He reiterated that the command of the Coalition’s joint forces would continue to take the necessary measures to deal with the terrorist aggression of the Houthis in line with the international humanitarian law.”

  26. HRW: Yemen’s Houthis kill, expel Ethiopian migrants

    “A report released today by Human Rights Watch (HRW) has shed light on the plight of Ethiopian migrants in northern Yemen who have been forcibly expelled in their thousands by Houthi forces under the pretext of COVID-19 measures.

    Dozens are also believed to have been killed, with many fleeing to the Saudi border, only to be faced with shots fired at them by Saudi border guards, who killed several more. Hundreds of survivors are believed to have escaped to a mountainous border area, according to the report.

    HRW heard that after some days without food or water, Saudi officials allowed hundreds to enter the kingdom but then arbitrarily detained them in “unsanitary and abusive facilities” with no means to legally challenge their detention. Hundreds of Ethiopian migrants, including children could still be stranded in the mountainous border region.

    Based on interviews with 19 migrants in June and July, it was revealed to HRW that on or around 16 April, “Houthi fighters in green military uniforms”, rounded up thousands of Ethiopians from an unofficial migrant settlement in Al-Ghar in the Saada province. They were then driven to the Saudi border, those who tried to flee were fired at. Witnesses said the Houthi fighters alleged that the migrants were “coronavirus carriers” and had to vacate Al-Ghar.

    “The lethal disregard Houthi and Saudi forces have shown civilians during Yemen’s armed conflict was replayed in April with Ethiopian migrants at the Yemen-Saudi border,” said Nadia Hardman, HRW’s refugee and migrant rights researcher.

    “United Nations agencies need to step in to address the immediate threats to the Ethiopian migrants and press for accountability for those responsible for the killings and other abuses.”

    HRW has urged the Houthi authorities to investigate and bring to justice the commanders and fighters responsible for the killing and forcible expulsion against the Ethiopian migrants. It has also called on the Saudi government to carry out its own investigations into the unlawful firing on the migrants by border guards. It has also asked the Saudis to release children and pregnant and nursing women who are held at the detention centres.

    “Hundreds if not thousands of Ethiopian migrants are now languishing in squalid detention centers in Saudi Arabia or remain stranded at the border,” Hardman said. “The United Nations needs to work with the Saudis and Ethiopians to assist in the voluntary return of Ethiopians in detention or still stranded at the border.””

  27. Libya: ‘55 killed by mines planted by Haftar’s militia’

    “The Libyan Ministry of Defence has said that at least 55 people are known to have been killed by landmines planted by the militia loyal to rebel Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar. A further 107 people have been wounded by the mines.

    Of the victims, said the ministry, 64 were specialists in mine clearance while the rest were civilians. The data was recorded between 22 May and 9 August this year.

    On 13 July, the UN warned of the dangers arising from mines and explosives planted by Haftar’s militia south of Tripoli and in Sirte.

    Haftar is supported by some Arab and European countries. He has been trying to take control of Libya’s capital, Tripoli, since April last year. However, his militia has suffered setbacks recently, as the Libyan Army loyal to the Government of National Accord has liberated the whole area administered by the capital, the cities of Tarhuna and Bani Walid, as well as the cities on the western coast, Al-Watiya Air Base and towns in the Western Mountain district.”

  28. Turkey accuses Greece of ‘oppressing Muslim minority’

    “Turkey yesterday accused Greece of “systematically closing Turkish minority schools” in the country’s Western Thrace region.

    “Athens’ practice of temporary suspending minority schools in Western Thrace – a region where around 150,000 Muslim Turkish minority have resided for the past 25 years is a part of Greece’s assimilation and oppression efforts against Muslims,” Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hami Aksoy, said in a statement.

    Such oppressive policies, Aksoy added, “have been carried out for decades against the Turkish minority in Western Thrace.”

    “For 25 years, Greece has been systematically shutting down schools belonging to the Turkish minority on the pretext of austerity measures and insufficient enrollment,” Askoy pointed out.

    The Turkish official noted that Greece had “recently closed eight schools belonging to the Turkish minority in Western Thrace,” explaining that the number of minority schools had declined over the past few decades from 231 to 115.

    Criticising the European Union (EU)’s stance, Askoy described the group as “a mere spectator to the systematic violation of human rights in a member country.”

    He called on Athens to cease what he described “using pretexts to violate the education rights of minority children,” pointing to the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne.

    Greece and Turkey have had strained relations for decades, with occasional flare-ups. There was a sharp exchange of words earlier this year when thousands of migrants tried to force their way into Greece from Turkey.

    They also disagree over ethnically partitioned Cyprus, and Greece is angry over a Turkish-Libyan deal carving out maritime boundaries that skim the southern Greek island of Crete an area in which Turkey has begun hydrocarbon exploration”

  29. Egypt-Greece maritime deal will bring stability to Eastern Mediterranean: Sisi, Greek PM

    “Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said a maritime demarcation deal signed recently between both countries will contribute to achieving security and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

    Egypt and Greece signed an agreement last week establishing an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) between the two countries for oil and gas drilling rights.

    The deal came amid rising tensions in the East Mediterranean region after a similar agreement between Turkey and Libya’s Tripoli-based government maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean Sea was signed last year. The accord was decried by Egypt, Greece and Cyprus as illegal, a violation of international law and an infringement on their economic rights

    During the telephone conversation, El-Sisi and Mitsotakis said the deal would “consolidate the correct foundations and rules for the demarcation process and contribute to achieving security and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean region,” Egyptian presidency spokesman Bassam Rady said in a statement late on Wednesday.

    The two leaders added that the deal “enables Egypt and Greece to utilise their natural resources in the interests of the peoples” of the two countries,” the spokesman added.

    They hailed the deal as a “historic landmark for bilateral relations.”

    The pair also discussed regional issues of common interests including developments in the oil-rich region and agreed to intensify coordination in this regard.

    Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said last week the deal is the absolute opposite of the “illegitimate and legally unfounded” maritime agreement signed between Turkey and the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli in late 2019.

    Earlier this month, Egypt, a close ally Greece and Cyprus, said a seismic survey carried out by Turkey from 21 July to 2 August in the eastern Mediterranean represented a “violation and an attack on sovereign rights” and overlaps with Egypt’s exclusive economic zone.

    Earlier this week, Turkey said it will issue gas exploration and drilling licenses in the eastern Mediterranean this month, further heightening tensions with Greece, which said it would seek an emergency EU meeting to address the issue.

    On Monday, Turkey sent an exploration vessel into a disputed area of the eastern Mediterranean south of the Greek island of Kastellorizo.

    France announced on Wednesday it will increase its military presence in the east Mediterranean, calling on Turkey to halt oil and gas exploration in disputed waters that has heightened tensions with Greece.

    Last Month, French President Emmanuel Macron called for EU sanctions against Turkey for “violations” of Greek and Cypriot waters.”

  30. ‘France for Uighurs’: MEP Condemns Zara, Lacoste, Other Industry Giants

    “Member of the European Parliament Raphael Glucksmann has launched a social media campaign titled “France for Uighurs” to denounce global fashion companies that are involved in human rights abuse scandals in China, such as Zara and Lacoste.

    The French MEP launched the campaign in June after a report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) revealed that some 80,000 Uighurs, a Muslim minority in northwestern China, are forced into labor for the benefit of global fashion companies.

    The institute identified 27 factories where the Uighurs are working away from their homes in Xinjiang. The factories ASPI says are abusing Uighurs supply 83 international companies, including Adidas, Nike, Puma, Lacoste, Zara, Tommy Hilfiger, and Calvin Klein.

    Warnings of human rights abuses against Uighurs have been ongoing since 2014. However, their media coverage only intensified in the last couple of years after leaked footage showed hundreds of Uighurs being transferred from their homes to allegedly forced labor and organ harvesting programs.

    In response to the videos, the Chinese government claimed the groups were taken to “voluntary educational centers.” The Uighurs then “graduate” from the centers and begin “training” in factories, according to China’s official narrative.

    The “France for Uighurs” campaign is currently targeting all the companies accused of benefiting from the Uighurs’ forced labor.

    “Three million Muslim Uighurs are imprisoned and tortured in China. Not for what they do, but for what they are,” reads the slogan Glucksmann picked for his campaign, which has so far garnered over 200,000 sympathizers.

    Companies’ reaction
    As part of the campaign, the MEP contacted Zara and Lacoste, among other companies, and asked them to cut their ties with all the Chinese suppliers that are forcing Uighurs into labor.

    While Adidas and Lacoste have responded positively to the requests and pledged to stop their commercial ties with the Chinese suppliers, other companies, such as Zara, denied dealing with factories that are allegedly abusing Uighurs.

    Meanwhile, Nike replied with “ambiguous” answers and refused to provide any proof that they are not part of a forced labor scheme. After receiving Nike’s response, the MEP highlighted the importance of a legislative framework to enforce a corporate duty of care.

    After the campaign went viral, some companies, such as Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, contacted Glucksmann before he reached out to them, pledging to cut ties with their suppliers in the next 12 months.

    With international organizations growingly pressuring businesses, it remains to be seen how the movement will affect trade relations between China and the rest of the world.”

  31. Slovak police detain dozens of illegal migrants across the country

    “In the latest sign that the coronavirus pandemic has not discouraged migrants from trying to enter the European Union. Slovak police announced on Wednesday that they had detained dozens of migrants in various parts of the country in recent days.

    Later that day, officers arrested another 30 migrants from Syria in the vicinity of the town of Malacky in the west of the country, according to Czech news portal

    A few days ago, a police patrol in the Rusovce district of Bratislava also stopped a car with a German registration number that was transporting four Afghans aged 17 to 30.

    “The foreigners did not have documents and planned to get to Germany,” the Slovak police said.

    The group of Afghans reached Slovakia via Serbia and Hungary.

    “The driver was promised a reward of €6,000,” the Slovak police added.

    The investigation was taken over by the National Anti-Migration Unit of the Bureau of Border and Foreign Police. If the crime of smuggling is confirmed, the driver could face seven to ten years in prison.

    Between the villages of Baškovce and Hor?a in the Sobrance district in eastern Slovakia, five people from Afghanistan and four people from Bangladesh were detained without travel documents.

    “Police found out that one of the Bangladeshis was removed from Slovakia a year ago for three years. A motion has been submitted to take him into custody. The others were administratively removed and given a ban on entry into the territory of Slovakia and all member states of the Union for three years,” the police announced.

    At the border with Ukraine, Slovak police also detained citizens of Belarus and Georgia.

    “They crossed the border illegally and were administratively removed. Authorities also imposed a ban on them on entering the member states of the European Union for three years,” said the Slovak police, adding that migrants were handed over to the Ukrainian police.”

  32. Ireland: Arson attack near Dublin linked to dispute between rival African gangs

    “On Sunday, Dublin Fire Services were called to a fire caused by an apparent arson attack at a house linked to a dispute between rival African gangs operating in Ireland’s capital city.

    The fire broke out in Chapel Grove, Balbriggan, in Fingal County. As media reported, the arson attack happened following a series of altercations between African youth groups.

    Although authorities have yet to examine the cause of the blaze, according to residents, the fire was started by an incendiary device thrown into the garden shed, according to The Burkean.

    Footage posted online also shows groups of dark-skinned individuals being chased by police.

    From the outside, the house appeared to be gutted and the neighboring property suffered serious damage as well.

    The parish has dealt with violence among mainly African gangs for a long period of time. The epicenter of the disputes is the Castlemill Shopping Centre, which is close to where the fire occurred.

    Fianna Fáil TD Darragh O’Brien said that “gang violence” is overwhelming the area and that they are participating in “stabbings and arson attacks” and that “a shopping centre was effectively taken over at the weekend”. On the Adrian Kennedy Show, he said that locals had had enough and that the levels of violence are concerning.

    Local Gardaí, the Irish police service, have been unsuccessful in dealing with the African gangs, which regularly engage in street brawls.

    Just a day before the fire, Gardaí received a call about fights outside Castlemill Shopping center involving about 30 youths of mainly African origin. Police had to even deploy its helicopter to help officers on the ground.

    Many residents have also been exposed to harassment by the gangs while shopping at local stores.

    Furthermore, according to locals, narcotic crimes related to the African gangs has been on the rise in the area.

    Even though the mainstream media has tried to portray Balbriggan as the model for multicultural Ireland, the town had recorded rising crime. In December 2017, locals protested against the out of control crime.

    According to data from 2016, 11 percent of the town is of African origin, most of them being under the age of 25.”

  33. Libyan migrant faces 3 years in prison for stabbing Belgian priest who offered him coffee and a shower

    “An unnamed North African asylum seeker who stabbed 70-year-old priest Jos Vanderlee with a knife now risks three years in prison.

    The attack occurred in the Saint Servaas Church in Lanaken, Belgium, and dates back to July 31, 2016, however, it was only last week that the asylum seeker began appearing in criminal court for the crime, reports Dutch news portal Het Laatste Nieuws.

    The defendant, who only had his initials of A.D. released to the public, is well-known to the police for previous criminal acts. He is believed to be from Libya.

    On the Sunday in 2016, the asylum seeker went to ask for help at the Saint Servaas Church where Vanderlee resides.

    “He spoke both a mix of French and English and asked for ‘aid’,” said Vanderlee.

    The priest also provided him with bread and a bottle of water, at which point the asylum seeker left.

    A few hours later, however, he knocked at Vanderlee’s door again.

    “He then asked if he could take a shower and then get a cup of coffee.”

    Vanderlee had his doubts, but eventually decided to let the asylum seeker in. He allowed the man to take a shower inside his house.

    Once out of the shower, the man asked Vanderlee for money, which Vanderlee denied him.

    While the priest was making coffee for the asylum seeker, the man took out a knife and attacked the priest from behind…”

  34. US Seizes Four Iranian Tankers, Now En Route to Houston – Report—report/

    “US officials told the Wall Street Journal on Thursday that the US had seized four Iranian tankers on the high seas allegedly loaded with Iranian petroleum in violation of US sanctions. The four vessels are now en route to Houston, Texas, a major petroleum port.

    According to the WSJ report, the tankers Luna, Pandi, Bering and Bella were all seized without the use of military force in recent days. The effort was reportedly motivated by the arrival of five Iranian fuel tankers in Venezuela earlier this year, which delivered 1.5 million barrels of gasoline to the country, which is similarly placed under restrictive economic sanctions by the United States.

    Two of the ships just seized, the Bering and the Bella, were previously intimidated into canceling their shipments to Venezuela in the aftermath of the flotilla. Both ships are registered in Liberia but owned by Greek shippers.
    The seizure was enabled by a civil-forfeiture complaint filed by US prosecutors in July, which initially aimed to seize Iranian tankers bound for Venezuela, but also encompassed future shipments elsewhere.

    On August 10, Pakistan seized an Iranian tanker in the port of Karachi at the behest of the US government, but as the name of the tanker was never reported, it’s unclear if it is one of the four now en route to Houston.

    The Trump administration began imposing strangling economic sanctions on Tehran beginning in August 2018, with the goal of reducing Iranian oil exports to zero, but also chipping away at other Iranian industries as well. US President Donald Trump claimed Iran had been violating the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, an eight-party deal in which Iran agreed to restrictive rules about its use of nuclear power and storage of refined uranium in exchange for the lowering of longstanding economic sanctions.

    However, no other countries party to the deal found fault with Iran’s behavior and some initially pledged to continue trading with Iran, but the threat of US sanctions against them as well has slowly deprived Tehran of customers for petroleum, its single largest export.”

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