Reader’s Links for October 6, 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

127 Replies to “Reader’s Links for October 6, 2020”

  1. Busdriver attacked in muslim area (Nieuw-West) of Amsterdam. Attacker bit him and stomped on his head.
    VIDEO (low quality unfortunately):

    The comment inserted in the video is street language, a mix of dutch, arabic, turkish and carribean languages (I think in this case, papiamento).

    Article in Dutch:

  2. Azerbaijani unit shelled in Mataghis, retreat. Armenia claims 200 were KIA

    Grey Wolves (Turkish neo-fascist) patch spotted in Azerbaijan. No surprise, really:

    A pro-war celebration through an Armenian area in #Istanbul. Says it all.

    Azerbaijan claims PKK is fighting on the side of Amrenia. Looks like disinformation:

    Çavu?o?lu: “The world has begun talk about a ceasefire. What will happen if there is a ceasefire, what has happened so far? It has been a ceasefire for almost 30 years, but no results have been achieved.”

    Okay it’s legit. The patch looks like a Turkish flag that is half black. Not sure what it represents or if it’s indicative of anything other than Azeri soldiers being allied with Turkish soldiers.

    Those are Turkey/Azerbaijan friendship patches, half of the Turkish flag and half of the Azerbaijani flag. Used and popularized during joint exercises and so on. He doesnt look like a Turkish soldier judging by the uniform.

    Disinformation from Azerbaijan:
    (Just released footage of three ‘newly captured’ T-72s actually shows two T-72As and one T-72B already captured on the 3th of October.)

    Iran continues to transfer armored vehicles to the border with Armenia and Azerbaijan.

  3. FOX News – DNI declassifies Brennan notes, CIA memo on Hillary Clinton ‘stirring up’ scandal between Trump, Russia
    A source said Brennan’s handwritten notes were taken after briefing Obama on the matter

    Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Tuesday declassified documents that revealed former CIA Director John Brennan briefed former President Obama on Hillary Clinton’s purported “plan” to tie then-candidate Donald Trump to Russia as “a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server” ahead of the 2016 presidential election, Fox News has learned.

    Ratcliffe declassified Brennan’s handwritten notes – which were taken after he briefed Obama on the intelligence the CIA received – and a CIA memo, which revealed that officials referred the matter to the FBI for potential investigative action.

    The Office of the Director of National Intelligence transmitted the declassified documents to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees on Tuesday afternoon.

    “Today, at the direction of President Trump, I declassified additional documents relevant to ongoing Congressional oversight and investigative activities,” Ratcliffe said in a statement to Fox News Tuesday.

    A source familiar with the documents explained that Brennan’s handwritten notes were taken after briefing Obama on the matter.

    “We’re getting additional insight into Russian activities from [REDACTED],” Brennan notes read. “CITE [summarizing] alleged approved by Hillary Clinton a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisers to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service,” Brennan’s notes read.

    The notes state “on 28 of July.” In the margin, Brennan writes “POTUS,” but that section of the notes is redacted.

    “Any evidence of collaboration between Trump campaign + Russia,” the notes read.

    The remainder of the notes are redacted, except in the margins, which reads: “JC,” “Denis,” and “Susan.” ”

    The notes don’t spell out the full names but “JC” could be referring to then-FBI Director James Comey, “Susan” could refer to National Security Adviser Susan Rice, and “Denis” could refer to Obama chief of staff Denis McDonough.

    The declassification comes after Ratcliffe, last week, shared newly-declassified information with the Senate Judiciary Committee which revealed that in September 2016, U.S. intelligence officials forwarded an investigative referral on Hillary Clinton purportedly approving “a plan concerning U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian hackers hampering U.S. elections” in order to distract the public from her email scandal.

    That referral was sent to Comey and then-Deputy Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Peter Strzok.

    “The following information is provided for the exclusive use of your bureau for background investigative action or lead purposes as appropriate,” the CIA memo to Comey and Strzok stated.

    “This memorandum contains sensitive information that could be source revealing. It should be handled with particular attention to compartmentation and need-to-know. To avoid the possible compromise of the source, any investigative action taken in response to the information below should be coordinated in advance with Chief Counterintelligence Mission Center, Legal,” the memo, which was sent to Comey and Strzok, read. “It may not be used in any legal proceeding—including FISA applications—without prior approval…”

    “Per FBI verbal request, CIA provides the below examples of information the CROSSFIRE HURRICANE fusion cell has gleaned to date,” the memo continued. ““An exchange [REDACTED] discussing US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s approval of a plan concerning US presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian hackers hampering US elections as a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server.”

    The memo is heavily redacted.

    Ratcliffe informed the committee last week that the Obama administration obtained Russian intelligence in July 2016 with allegations against Clinton, but cautioned that the intelligence community “does not know the accuracy of this allegation or the text to which the Russian intelligence analysis may reflect exaggeration or fabrication.”

    According to Ratcliffe’s letter, the intelligence included the “alleged approval by Hillary Clinton on July 26, 2016, of a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisers to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by Russian security services.”

    Nick Merrill, Clinton’s spokesperson, called the allegations “baseless b———t.”

    But Ratcliffe, in a statement released after the information was made public, pushed back on the idea he was advancing “Russian disinformation.”

    “To be clear, this is not Russian disinformation and has not been assessed as such by the Intelligence Community,” Ratcliffe said in a statement to Fox News. “I’ll be briefing Congress on the sensitive sources and methods by which it was obtained in the coming days.”

    A source familiar with the documents told Fox News on Tuesday that the allegation was “not disinformation.”

    “This is not Russian disinformation. Even Brennan knew, or he wouldn’t be briefing the president of the United States on it,” the source said. “There is a high threshold to orally brief the president of the United States and he clearly felt this met that threshold.”

    Another source familiar with the documents told Fox News that “this information has been sought by hundreds of congressional requests for legitimate oversight purposes and was withheld for political spite—and the belief that they’d never get caught.”

    The source added that the Brennan notes are significant because it is “their own words, written and memorialized in real time.”

    Meanwhile, last week, during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Comey was asked whether he received an investigative referral on Clinton from 2016, but he said it didn’t “ring any bells.”

    “You don’t remember getting an investigatory lead from the intelligence community? Sept. 7, 2016, U.S. intelligence officials forwarded an investigative referral to James Comey and Strzok regarding Clinton’s approval of a plan [about] Trump…as a means of distraction?” Graham asked Comey.

    “That doesn’t ring any bells with me,” Comey said.

    “That’s a pretty stunning thing that it doesn’t ring a bell,” Graham fired back. “You get this inquiry from the intelligence community to look at the Clinton campaign trying to create a distraction, accusing Trump of being a Russian agent or a Russian stooge.”

    Graham questioned “how far-fetched is that,” citing the fact that Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, through law firm Perkins Coie, hired Fusion GPS and ex-British intelligence officer Christopher Steele to author and compile information for the controversial and unverified anti-Trump dossier.

    The Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, through law firm Perkins Coie, hired Fusion GPS and ex-British intelligence officer Christopher Steele to author and compile information for the controversial and unverified anti-Trump dossier.

    The dossier contains claims about alleged ties between Donald Trump and Russia that served as the basis for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants obtained against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

    Comey maintained that the referral did not “sound familiar.”

    Meanwhile, House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., called the information, and potentially forthcoming documents “smoking guns.”

    “The documents that are underlying that we now have seen, I have only seen a few of those – they’re smoking guns,” Nunes said on “Sunday Morning Futures” this week. “That information definitely needs to be made available to the American public.”

    Nunes added that there is “even more underlying evidence that backs up” the information Ratcliffe released, and called the amount of time it took for allies of the president to get the information declassified and made public “mind-boggling.”

    “This has been a very difficult task for us to get to the bottom of, because you have corrupt officials,” Nunes said.

    Attorney General Bill Barr last year appointed U.S. Attorney of Connecticut John Durham to investigate the origins of the FBI’s Russia probe shortly after special counsel Robert Mueller completed his years-long investigation into whether the campaign colluded with the Russians to influence the 2016 presidential election.

    It is unclear whether this information will be considered part of Durham’s investigation.

  4. report from June:

    Russia hiring of Syrians to fight in Libya surges in May: Reuters
    Private military contractor Wagner Group is conducting the hiring with Russian army supervision, opposition sources say.
    A Russian drive to recruit Syrians to fight in Libya for renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar accelerated in May when hundreds of mercenaries were signed up, five Syrian opposition sources and a regional source familiar with the matter said.

    Private military contractor the Wagner Group is conducting the hiring with Russian army supervision, according to two senior Syrian opposition sources and the regional source. A former Wagner Group member said it first sent Syrians to Libya in 2019.
    The Russian Defence Ministry and the Wagner group did not respond to questions from Reuters.

    Turkey, meanwhile, says it is providing military support to the other side of the conflict, the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in February that fighters from the Turkey-backed Syrian National Army were in Libya, as well as Turkey’s own military.

    Russia has been a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, helping him crush the rebellion at home. Moscow’s involvement in Libya is an extension of its ambition to project influence in the Eastern Mediterranean, some experts say.

    Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have also lent support to Haftar because they suspect the GNA of having ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group they strongly oppose.

    Turkey, on the other hand, has made deals with the GNA over maritime borders and wants to protect its interests in the region.
    The involvement of Russia and Turkey on opposite sides of the Libyan conflict has echoes of the war in Syria, where they have also backed warring parties. It also risks exacerbating the conflict, experts have warned.

    “Russia and Turkey are both escalating their firepower and force numbers in Libya, where Europe has been caught on its heels,” said Joshua Landis, head of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

    “Russia has tried to match Turkey’s effort to send Syrian mercenaries, but with mixed results.”

    Wagner has up to 1,200 people deployed in Libya, according to a confidential UN report seen by Reuters in May. The Russian state has denied having forces in Libya.

    When asked in January if the Wagner Group was fighting in Libya, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that if there were Russians in Libya, they were not representing the Russian state, nor were they paid by the state.
    A spokesman for Haftar’s Libyan National Army denied it had recruited Syrian fighters. It has repeatedly highlighted the presence of Syrians fighting alongside its enemy.

    US officials said on May 7 they believed Russia was working with al-Assad to transfer fighters and equipment to Libya.

    The Syrian government’s information ministry did not respond to questions sent via email.

    Haftar’s adversary, the GNA, has been supplied with drones, air defences and advisers from Turkey.

    GNA deputy defence minister Saleh Namroush said its request for military support was in response to what he called “international meddling in Libya”.

    “Turkey is the only country that was willing to help us end the widescale civilian killing and destruction by the UAE, Russia and others,” he said.
    New recruits to the Russian effort in support of Haftar included 300 from the Homs area, among them former Free Syrian Army fighters, according to one of the two senior opposition sources, and some 320 from the southwest, a third source said.

    The pace of hiring increased as Libya’s fighting intensified and the war in Syria died down, the regional source said.

    According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which reports on the Syrian conflict using a network of sources on the ground, more than 900 Syrians were recruited by Russia to fight in Libya in May.

    The fighters are trained at a base in Homs before going to Libya, according to the sources, who cited salaries ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 a month.

    The movement of fighters into Libya violates a UN arms embargo and the UN’s acting Libya envoy on May 19 urged the Security Council to stop “a massive influx of weaponry, equipment and mercenaries”.

    Many former Syrian rebels stayed behind in areas recovered by Damascus and its Russian allies, signing agreements that required them to pledge loyalty to the state. But their lives remain tightly restricted and monitored by the authorities.

    Since 2014, Libya has been split between areas controlled by the Tripoli government and territory held by Haftar’s eastern-based forces in Benghazi.

    Haftar is supported by Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, according to UN experts and some security sources. The countries deny direct involvement in the conflict.

    Despite this backing, forces loyal to the GNA captured Haftar’s last major stronghold near Tripoli on Friday, capping the sudden collapse of his 14-month offensive on the capital.
    On Thursday, Erdogan vowed to ramp up Turkey’s support for its ally in Libya to lock in the gains. On Saturday, Haftar was in Egypt, where President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi announced a new peace plan.

    The retreat, reversing many of Haftar’s gains from last year, extends the GNA’s control of most of northwest Libya.

    Haftar and allied groups still control the east and much of the south, as well as most of Libya’s oil fields, however.

    • Both Putin and the filthy Turk have to bleed off the excess jihadis. Test and showcase armaments.
      Then they’ll partition Syria.
      Kick back and eat icecream together in Sochi.

  5. Iran: Armenia should leave “occupied lands” of Azerbaijan – Govt spox Rabiei

    Iranian government spokesperson Ali Rabiei emphasised that Tehran believes that Armenia should leave the “occupied lands” of Azerbaijan amid the ongoing clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh, at a press conference in the Iranian capital on Tuesday.

    Rabiei also stressed that Iran would react if the conflict in its neighbouring countries spilled over its borders.

    “We are deeply worried about any harm to the lives and properties of our citizens in our borders. In case of repetition of this accident, with considering all the possible options, we won’t be indifferent,” said the spokesperson, in reference to recent incidents where shells from the conflict injured people on Iranian soil.

    Rabiei explained that Iran is “in a unique position” to mediate between the parties and repeated that Iran had formulated a plan to end the conflict.

    On US President Donald Trump’s recent coronavirus infection and having contracted the virus himself, Rabiei said that he thought having the virus would be “a good experience for Mr. Trump to think about humanitarian issues.”

    “I hope COVID-19 will have this effect so he thinks in a more humanitarian way considering other people lives and universal issues and [make him] able to change their cruel view of health and the right to life,” he stated.

  6. Syria: At least 18 dead, dozens wounded in al-Bab truck bomb attack

    At least 18 people were killed, and dozens more wounded, after a truck bomb detonated in a crowded street in the opposition held city of al-Bab, north-western Syrian, on Tuesday.

    According to the city’s hospital the numbers are expected to rise. Around 75 people have been wounded.

    The bomb detonated near a bus stop in the city causing fires and significant damage to near-by buildings.

  7. (Richard: When you watch the video think about how the motives for the rape of the Dalit women are the same as the motives of grooming gangs.)

    Dynamics Of Caste & Rape In India Decoded | News Unlocked With Rajdeep Sardesai | India Today

  8. Two ‘Jihadi Beatles’ to Be Tried in US for Torture and Beheading of Hostages (sputniknews, Oct 6, 2020)

    “The US trial of Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh had been effectively blocked by the UK Supreme Court after former US Attorney General Jeff Sessions refused to rule out the death penalty. The High Court in London overturned that decision, after AG William Barr gave an assurance that capital punishment would not be sought.

    Two British-born alleged Daesh* terrorists, dubbed ‘Beatles’ will be sent to the US to stand trial for murder and other crimes against American hostages in Syria.

    Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh will be extradited from Iraq, where they are currently being held in US military custody, to the US within weeks, Fox News reported.

    The pair are accused of kidnapping, torture, sexual assault and gruesome murder by beheading hostages, including journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and aid workers Kayla Mueller and Peter Kassig.

    A trial in Virginia was to get a green light after the UK High Court lifted a block imposed in March by the US Supreme Court on sharing evidence stemming from a legal challenge by the mother of one of the suspects.

    The UK High Court ruling followed Barr’s assurance that the two would not face the death penalty, a punishment for murder that was abolished in mainland Britain in 1965, which Barr’s predecessor, Jeff Sessions, refused…”

  9. Just read this interesting Azerbaijani character. He’s considered a hero in his homeland:
    Ramil Sahib oglu Safarov (Azerbaijani: Ramil Sahib o?lu S?f?rov, [???mil s??hip o??lu sæ?fæ?of]), born August 25, 1977, is an officer of the Azerbaijani Army who was convicted of the 2004 murder of Armenian Army Lieutenant Gurgen Margaryan. During a NATO-sponsored training seminar in Budapest, Safarov broke into Margaryan’s dormitory room at night and axed Margaryan to death while he was asleep.

    In 2006, Safarov was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment in Hungary with a minimum incarceration period of 30 years. After his request under the Strasbourg Convention, he was extradited on August 31, 2012 to Azerbaijan, where he was greeted as a hero,[1][2][3] pardoned by Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev despite contrary assurances made to Hungary,[4] promoted to the rank of major and given an apartment and over eight years of back pay.

    The president of Azerbaijan publicly praised this killer in a 2013 speech:
    On 19 September 2013 during the opening ceremony of the “Genocide Memorial Complex built in the north-eastern town of Guba to honor victims of massacres committed in the area by Armenian and Bolshevik forces in 1918”, President Aliyev stated that “Azerbaijan’s state flag should be waved in Shusha, Khankendi and Azerbaijanis should live in their historical lands in future. Our historical lands are Irevan khanate, Goyce and Zangazur regions. There will be times; we will live in these lands.” He went on praising Ramil Safarov saying “Azerbaijan has returned Ramil Safarov—its officer to homeland, given him freedom and restored the justice.”[101]
    On 29 January 2015 Ilham Aliyev posted a tweet saying “Armenia is not even a colony, it is not even worthy of being a servant”.

  10. Harvard professor and CNN analyst pushes conspiracy theory that Russian spies infiltrated Walter Reed Medical Center

    This is a big, old limb she’s on here

    Harvard professor and CNN analyst Juliette Kayyem says that it’s very possible that Russian agents were able to infiltrate Walter Reed Medical Center in order to obtain classified information about President Donald Trump and his fight against the coronavirus.

    Sarah Taylor

    Harvard professor and CNN analyst Juliette Kayyem says that it’s very possible that Russian agents were able to infiltrate Walter Reed Medical Center in order to obtain classified information about President Donald Trump and his fight against the coronavirus.

    POLL: What is the most important issue in the upcoming election?

    Trump announced Friday that he had been diagnosed with COVID-19.

    He subsequently spent about three days for treatment in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
    What are the details?

    On Twitter, Kayyem — a professor in international security at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a CNN analyst — said that it is highly likely that Russian agents were able to glean more information about the president’s battle with the coronavirus than Americans — and through nefarious channels.

    “It is very likely that Russian intelligence agencies — through signal and human intel sources at Walter Reed, etc — have more information about the President’s condition than we do,” Kayyem tweeted Saturday afternoon.

    • She’s not a “professor”.
      She’s a “senior lecturer”. Either doesn’t have a Ph.D. or it’s beneath contempt. A non-tenured position, a gig worker.

      The Kennedy School is a toilet anyway. Where Dukakis types PAY – or get Qatar – to PAY HARVARD to give them a roof and an address.

  11. Nearly half of young Arabs have considered emigration, survey finds

    “More than 40 per cent of the region’s 200 million Arab youths are either actively considering or have considered emigrating to another country, this year’s Arab Youth Survey has found.

    The survey, which is commissioned by Dubai communications agency Asda’a Burson Cohn & Wolfe, found that 47 per cent of young people in North Africa had considered emigration, with that figure rising to 63 per cent among youths living in the Levant, of which half said they wanted to leave permanently.

    The highest recorded desire to emigrate was in Lebanon, where 77 per cent of respondents said they had considered leaving the crisis-stricken state, followed by Libya, Yemen and Iraq, each of which recorded between 65 and 69 per cent of youths wanting to leave.

    Meanwhile, the survey, which is in its 12th year, reveals that the global coronavirus pandemic has increased young Arabs’ desire to emigrate, with one-third of respondents saying the virus had made them more likely to want to live abroad.

    The primary drivers behind young Arabs’ desire to emigrate, the survey said, were economic reasons and perceived government corruption, with educational opportunities, safety, security and new experiences also acting as important factors.

    The United Arab Emirates (UAE) stands out as an exception, however, with 97 per cent of nationals who responded to the survey saying they had not or would not consider emigration.

    Meanwhile, more than 45 per cent listed the UAE as their destination of choice, for the ninth year running, ahead of the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

    The survey, which polled 4,000 respondents between the ages of 18 and 24 from 17 Arab states in the Middle East and North Africa with a 50:50 gender split, also measured opinions of a variety of other subjects.

    These included surveying the perception of anti-government protests which have swept across the region in the last 12 months, as well as opinions on gender rights, personal identity, foreign relations and media consumption.

    The survey was conducted in two phases, initially polling 3,400 young Arabs between January and March, before continuing the research by surveying a further 600 respondents in August with questions related to the effect of coronavirus on their lives.”

  12. Rights groups call on Germany to probe Syria chemical weapons atrocities

    “Human rights groups said on Tuesday they have filed a criminal complaint in Germany asking prosecutors to investigate two chemical weapons attacks in Syria that stand out as among the worst atrocities in the country’s long-running conflict.

    Three groups, including Syrian human rights organizations and international legal campaigners, want Germany’s attorney-general to probe the deadly sarin attacks on the Eastern Ghouta area near Damascus and the town of Khan Sheikhoun that occurred in 2013 and 2017 respectively. They argue there is plentiful evidence to blame the Syrian regime for the attacks, including President Bashar Al-Assad.

    The New York-based Open Society Justice Initiative, the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression and the Syrian Archive group chose to file their suit in Germany because the country applies the principle of “universal jurisdiction” that allows it to try crimes committed elsewhere.

    In April, two former members of Syria’s secret police went on trial in Germany accused of crimes against humanity over the torture of thousands of pro-democracy protesters.

    The groups say a dossier they submitted to German prosecutors this week contains new information about the chemical weapons attacks, including some gleaned from former Syrian government officials who have since defected.

    The two attacks are estimated to have killed more than 1,400 people, including children. The use of chemical weapons and the targeting of civilians constitute war crimes.

    Efforts to bring the Syrian regime before the International Criminal Court have been stymied by Russia and China, though the Netherlands recently made a renewed push to bring a case before the United Nations’ highest court.

    “Now is the time for competent European prosecutors to jointly investigate Syria’s chemical weapons program and issue arrest warrants for the Syrian officials responsible,” Hadi al Khatib, the founder and director of Syrian Archive, said in a statement.

    Mazen Darwish, director-general and founder of the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression, said the complaint being filed in Germany is part of an effort to prevent those responsible for gross human rights violations from evading justice as part of a peace deal.

    “We are afraid that if we go to a political agreement without justice and accountability, this means that we will return our country to a second round of war,” Darwish told The Associated Press. “And this time, we will have a new war built on revenge.”

    “And speaking as a Syrian refugee, there is no way I will accept to go back to Syria if there is no accountability,” he said.

    Even if German prosecutors add the chemical attacks to their existing investigation into crimes in Syria, it is unlikely that a case would ever go to trial unless the accused were to be brought to Germany, as the country does not try people in absentia.”

  13. GCC bans 205,000 foreign workers for failing medical fitness tests

    “Abu Dhabi: The six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member countries last year banned 205,000 foreigners from entering their territories after they failed medical fitness checks, according to a report by the GCC health council.

    The GCC expatriate labour screening programme registered three million people through the new electronic intra-GCC countries link to check expats.

    The medical fitness checks have been in place in the GCC countries since 1995…”

  14. Dozens injured in clashes in Iraq’s south during pilgrimage

    “Dozens of people were wounded in clashes between Iraqi security forces and anti-government protesters in Iraq’s south Tuesday during the annual Shiite Muslim pilgrimage of Arbaeen.

    The violence took place at a location between two important shrines in the holy city of Karbala as thousands of worshippers made their way to the area to observe Arbaeen, according to an Associated Press photographer at the scene. The Shiite pilgrimage marks the end of 40 days of mourning for Imam Hussein, Prophet Mohammed’s grandson.

    The violence was sparked when a group of pilgrims from other parts of southern Iraq entered the visitation area separating the Imam Hussein and Imam Abbas shrines. They held banners with pictures of protesters killed in mass demonstrations last year and chanted anti-government slogans.

    Paramilitary groups linked to Iraq’s top cleric tasked with guarding the shrines attempted to keep the group from intermingling with other pilgrims. Police were soon dispatched and beat some of the protesters with sticks.

    At least 50 people were wounded in the altercations, two Iraqi security officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

    Among the wounded were 30 demonstrators and less than a dozen pilgrims, including women. Some of the militiamen guarding the shrines were also wounded.

    New protests kicked off Oct. 1 in Baghdad to mark one year since mass anti-government protests engulfed the capital and the predominately Shiite south. A year ago, tens of thousands of Iraqi youth marched to decry rampant corruption and demanded early elections, better services and jobs. Over 500 people, mostly protesters, died by gunfire from Iraqi security forces who used live ammunition and tear gas to disperse crowds.

    Protesters have given the government of Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi until Oct. 25 to initiate reforms and meet their demands. The incident in Karbala indicates mounting tensions as the deadline approaches.

    Normally, tens of thousands of pilgrims from all over the world, particularly Iran, make their way to Karbala to mark Arbaeen. This year, Iraq closed its borders to non-residents over coronavirus concerns.”

  15. Macron’s remarks on Islam clear provocation: Erdo?an

    “The French president’s recent claims about Islam amount to a dangerous provocation, Turkey’s president said on Oct. 6.

    “[Emmanuel] Macron’s statement on ‘Islam is in crisis’ in a city where Muslims are the majority go beyond disrespect and are a clear provocation,” Recep Tayyip Erdo?an told a gathering of mosque and religious workers in the Turkish capital Ankara.

    A French president making statements urging the restructuring of Islam is “rude,” Erdo?an added.

    Last Friday, Macron announced a controversial plan against so-called “Islamist separatism” in the country.

    In a speech in the western Paris suburb of Les Mureaux – an area with a large Muslim population – Macron claimed that Islam is “experiencing a crisis across the world”.

    The statement sparked criticism among Muslims worldwide.

    “Attacking Muslims has become one of the most important tools for European politicians to hide their failure,” Erdo?an stressed.

    Erdo?an urged Macron to act like a responsible statesman, rather than pretending to be a colonial governor.

    In many Western countries, racism and Islamophobia are safeguarded by the state itself, he added.”

  16. Turkey expects ‘concrete solidarity’ from NATO allies

    “NATO allies should display concrete solidarity with Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an told NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in a meeting on Oct. 5, according to a statement released by the Presidential Communications Directorate.

    Erdo?an and the NATO chief had discussions in the capital Ankara after the latter’s initiative yielded the result of establishing a mechanism aiming to prevent any accidents over the conflict between Turkey and Greece in the eastern Mediterranean.

    According to a statement released by the Communications Directorate, Erdo?an and Stoltenberg discussed Turkey-NATO relations and regional developments, particularly regarding the eastern Mediterranean, Libya and Syria.

    “Despite the negative behavior of Greece, Turkey has supported the NATO initiative to reduce the risk of accidents and incidents between Turkish and Greek military elements in the eastern Mediterranean since the very beginning,” Erdo?an said in the meeting.

    The president underlined that Turkey has been “singlehandedly battling the refugee crisis for the security and stability of the entire region and Europe and is the only NATO ally making sincere efforts to restore balance in Libya.”

    “Turkey protects the rights and interests of both itself and its allies and expects the same from alliance members,” Erdo?an said, adding that some NATO allies’ cooperation with the PKK/PYD/YPG terror group and their patronage of FETÖ poison the alliance’s solidarity.

    “Good meeting with President @RTErdogan in Ankara today on a range of security issues. We discussed the military de-confliction mechanism developed @NATO for the #EastMed,” Stoltenberg wrote on Twitter on Oct. 5.

    He said he hoped for the de-confliction mechanism recently reached between Ankara and Athens at NATO-hosted meetings could create space for diplomatic efforts…”

  17. Turkey: 62 FETO-linked terror suspects arrested

    “A total of 34 people have been arrested across Turkey for their suspected links to Fetullah Terrorist Organization, the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in the country, security sources said on Tuesday.

    15 former policemen, who were involved in the infiltration of the police department, were arrested in an Ankara-based operation by teams of anti-smuggling and organized crime branch of the police in eight provinces.

    This came after Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued arrest warrants from 16 suspects.

    The suspects had previously been dismissed from their profession as part of probe into FETO terror group.

    The suspects had been in contact with and helped senior members of the terrorist group.

    Eighteen more FETO-linked terror suspects were arrested over irregularities in administrative judicial examination in 2013 after prosecutors in the capital Ankara issued arrest warrants for 21 suspects, including dismissed judges or candidates, officers and attorneys.

    Twelve other FETO suspects were captured in a Bursa-based operation conducted in seven provinces. While one suspect was remanded in custody, eight of them benefited from the provisions of effective remorse by making a confession and three were released on bail.

    The confessors revealed the names of 83 more suspects who had not been included in FETO investigations.

    This came after prosecutors in Bursa issued arrest warrants for 14 suspects.

    As many as 17 FETO suspects were also arrested in a Samsun-based operation conducted in eight provinces.

    Meanwhile, a former non-commissioned officer, who had been dismissed for communicating with so-called covert imams of FETO, has been sentenced to six years and three months by Adana 11th High Criminal Court.

    FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated a defeated coup on July 15, 2016 which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.”

  18. French presidential election 2022: Le Pen and Macron in dead heat in first round, poll finds

    Macron’s new plan to end separatism: Arabic taught in schools and €10 million to promote Islamic culture

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