Reader’s Links for November 26, 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

91 Replies to “Reader’s Links for November 26, 2020”

  1. Sweden to Finally Investigate Criminals’ Ethnicity Amid Wave of Robberies (sputniknews, Nov 26, 2020)

    “Ethnicity hasn’t been mapped in Sweden since 2005 for ethical reasons. However, a record spike in robberies and a change of tune on immigration from the country’s leadership has spurred the Swedish Crime Prevention Council to reverse its policy.

    Amid a polarised debate about crime, the Swedish Crime Prevention Council (Brå) will record the ethnicity of both victims and perpetrators in a new study.

    Brå, a state administrative authority tasked with producing facts about legal statistics in order to facilitate crime prevention and boost social security, stressed that it lacked “good factual information”. The new survey will have a greater emphasis on the perpetrators, the goal being to answer many of the questions that have never been investigated before.

    Among other things, the survey will try to find out whether the perpetrators and victims have a Swedish or foreign background (which includes foreign-born, having two parents born abroad, or at least one parent born in Sweden).

    “We will look at it but we don’t know what answers we will get. But where there is an identified perpetrator, we will definitely look at the background”, Brå investigator Maria von Bredow told national broadcaster SVT. “So far, we can see that a large part, both of those who commit and those who are exposed, come from socio-economically vulnerable areas”, Maria von Bredow admitted, using the official jargon for blighted areas and ethnic enclaves.

    One of the possible reasons behind the decision is the record spike in robberies. In 2019, a whopping 7,741 robberies were reported to the police, a ten-year high. In recent years, the phenomenon of “humiliation robbery” has also entered media parlance for crimes that include moral, physical, or sexual offences as well. So much so that a special term has been coined for it, “förnedringsrån”.

    At the same time, von Bredow, a former employee of the Gender Equality Agency, warned that the statistics may be distorted by what she called a “propensity to report”.

    “It is thus very likely that our report on the proportion with a Swedish/foreign background among victims and suspects does not fully reflect reality”, von Bredow told SVT.

    Nevertheless, this is a remarkable U-turn, since Brå hasn’t mapped criminals’ ethnicity since 2005 for ethical reasons. The 2005 report showed that it was more than twice as common among the foreign-born to be suspected of crime than among those born in Sweden. For immigrants from, say, Gambia and Ghana, it was more than five times as common.

    Reports from the early 2000s indicated an over-representation of immigrants, as did unofficial reports carried out by the press, think-tanks, and private individuals in recent years. For instance, a 2018 study by the daily Aftonbladet found that 88 percent of Sweden’s group rapists have a foreign background.

    Brå, together with high-ranking Swedish politicians who have been pushing for mass immigration, has long denied any link between immigration and crime. However, in another turning point earlier this year Prime Minister Stefan Löfven admitted this connection. This change of rhetoric was widely interpreted as being necessary for the ruling Social Democrats to keep up with the debate on immigration and gang crime.

    There, the prevalence of immigrants is one of the talking points of the right-of-centre opposition, including the liberal-conservative Moderates and the national-conservative Sweden Democrats.”

  2. Up went my rocket ship. It was a blast. I felt the weight of the world come off my shoulders, then released the seat belt holding me down. My body floated up. I turned and looked through the little window. There was Earth. Round and blue. Suddenly smaller and her troubles, too. All those people. It was good to be here and to see her. Sometimes truth comes without words attached.

    • BREITBART – Twitter Blocks ‘Potentially Harmful’ Links to Sidney Powell Election Lawsuit

      Twitter is blocking users from sharing links to lawyer Sidney Powell’s lawsuit relating to widespread voter fraud in the 2020 Presidential election.

      A number of users across Twitter have reported being unable to share links to lawyer Sidney Powell’s lawsuit relating to voter fraud in the 2020 Presidential election. When attempting to share the link to the document, users receive a notification stating that the link has been identified as “potentially harmful.”

      Twitter’s policy on blocking links states: “At times, Twitter will take action to limit or prevent the spread of URL links to content outside Twitter. This is done by displaying a warning notice when the link is clicked, or by blocking the link so that it can’t be Tweeted at all.”

      The platform describes the categories of links it will block:

      Malicious links such as malware and phishing
      Spammy and misdirecting links
      Links that break Twitter rules on such topics as terrorism, child sexual exploitation, illegal goods, hateful conduct, violence, etc.
      Hacked Materials
      Twitter also claims it will block links that include “Content that interferes with civic and election integrity.” The example given in this category is: “Misleading information about how to vote or register to vote.” It is not yet clear if Twitter is justifying its censorship of a filed lawsuit based on this policy.
      Some users have since tweeted about the situation:

      Powell’s lawsuit makes a number of claims about voter fraud in multiple states, discussing Georgia the lawsuit says:

      Mathematical and statistical anomalies rising to the level of impossibilities, as shown by affidavits of multiple witnesses, documentation, and expert testimony evince this scheme across the state of Georgia. Especially egregious conduct arose in Forsyth, Paulding, Cherokee, Hall, and Barrow County. This scheme and artifice to defraud affected tens of thousands of votes in Georgia alone and “rigged” the election in Georgia for Joe Biden.

      [V]ideo from the State Farm Arena in Fulton County shows that on November 3rd after the polls closed, election workers falsely claimed a water leak required the facility to close. All poll workers and challengers were evacuated for several hours at about 10:00 PM. However, several election workers remained unsupervised and unchallenged working at the computers for the voting tabulation machines until after 1:00 AM.

  3. “Study finds 84% fewer hospitalizations for patients treated with controversial drug hydroxychloroquine” by Andrew Miller – November 25, 2020

    Rudy Giuliani on 77 WABC – Podcasts
    The Mob Was Easier To Deal With | 11-20-2020

    Rudy Giuliani talks about the CCP virus and what he is taking to protect himself from this bug: 00:00 – 4:45… – HCQ Prophylactic

  4. Afghan Migrant Flees Germany After Allegedly Murdering Wife (breitbart, Nov 26, 2020)

    “A 41-year-old Afghan migrant living in Munich is believed to be on the run after allegedly stabbing his wife to death, hiding her corpse, and fleeing Germany.

    The Afghan migrant’s wife was reported missing by family members last week on Tuesday. While police did conduct a search of the couple’s apartment several times, they were initially unable to find the missing woman.

    On Thursday, forensic evidence was discovered in the apartment that led investigators to believe an act of violence had taken place there.

    Then on Friday, the body of the 31-year-old victim was found hidden under the bed of one of her children, where it had been for days, Kronen Zeitung reports.

    Investigator Josef Wimmer stated in a press conference that “in the original condition of the apartment, it was not apparent that there had been a fight here” and claimed officers had engaged in “extensive searches”.

    The 41-year-old migrant, meanwhile, has fled Germany is believed to be heading back to his native Afghanistan. When the case was handed over to homicide detectives, the man was already assumed to be in Italy.

    Investigators also revealed that the man had a history of violent behaviour towards his wife.

    The case comes just months after another Afghan migrant killed his estranged wife by stabbing her to death on a bus in Obergünzburg.

    The driver and passengers were offered free counselling after witnessing the brutal murder.

    Since the height of the migrant crisis in 2015, Germany has seen several high profile incidents of migrants murdering women, such as the cases of 19-year-old Maria Ladenberger or German-Jewish teen Susanna Feldman, whose Iraqi migrant attacker also fled to his home country following her murder.”

  5. Pilots, civilians given life terms over Turkey’s 2016 coup (abcnews, Nov 26, 2020)

    “A Turkish court sentenced hundreds of military and civilian personnel at an air base to life prison sentences Thursday, proclaiming them guilty of involvement in the 2016 failed coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government.

    A total of 475 defendants, including some generals and fighter jet pilots at the Akinci air base, on the outskirts of the capital, Ankara, had been on trial for the past three years, accused of directing the coup and bombing key government buildings, including a section of Turkey’s parliament.

    The massive trial was one of two main trials against suspected members of a network led by U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of orchestrating the failed attempt.

    Gulen, who was also named among the defendants, has denied involvement in the coup that resulted in around 250 deaths and injured thousands. About 30 coup-plotters were also killed.

    The court convicted four men — civilians accused of liaising between Gulen’s movement and some military officers — of crimes against the state, attempts to kill the president as well as 77 counts of murder, and sentenced them to 79 separate “aggravated” life sentences without the possibility of parole. Fifteen officers, including one-star generals, were also sentenced to the same term.

    All 19 were held responsible for the deaths of nine people who were killed by gunshots and 68 people who died in aerial attacks on the parliament building, a police special operations headquarters, the Ankara police department and an area close to Erdogan’s presidential complex.

    A total of 337 other defendants were also sentenced to life prison terms. The court acquitted 70 of the defendants of all charges. Other defendants received prison terms ranging between six and 16 years.

    The court ruled that Gulen, an alleged top operative in his movement and four other defendants still wanted by the Turkish authorities, should be tried separately over the charges.

    The defendants were expected to appeal Thursday’s verdicts, which were welcomed by members of Erdogan’s ruling party.

    “We are experiencing the joy of seeing the defendants, who were already put on trial by the public’s conscience, receive their punishment,” the state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Leyla Sahin Usta, a deputy chairman of the ruling party as saying. “This is the end of the era of coups in Turkey.”

    Busra Taskiran insisted that her fiance, Yunus Kilicaslan, who was a trainee F-16 pilot at the time of the coup, was wrongly accused.

    Kilicaslan and other trainee pilots were “convicted today for life despite not taking part in the coup attempt, despite not taking part in any activity that night, despite fighting (against the coup) by locking themselves in a room,” she told the Associated Press.

    Taskiran said: “They are very young, when they were thrown in prison, they were 24 and 25, now they are convicted for life? How do you explain this in the spirit of justice?”

    The father of another convicted trainee pilot, Alper Kalin, said the court had failed to consider evidence that pointed at some trainee pilots’ innocence.

    “We are not happy with this verdict. We will carry this to the appropriate places,” said Ali Kalin.

    Prosecutors accused the coup-plotters of using Akinci air base as their headquarters. Turkey’s then military chief, Gen. Hulusi Akar, who is the current defense minister, and other commanders were held captive for several hours at the base on the night of the coup.

    The prosecutors charged the defendants with attempts against the state and constitutional order, an attempt to assassinate the president, leading a terrorist organization and murder, among other charges.

    The trial, which opened on Aug. 1, 2017, was part of a post-coup crackdown that has imprisoned around 77,000 people and seen another 130,000 fired from their government jobs.

    On the opening day, dozens of the defendants were paraded into the courthouse handcuffed, with two paramilitary police officers on each arm, as some protesters threw stones and shouted “Murderers!””

  6. EU nations on Med coast renew push for migrant quotas (abcnews, Nov 26, 2020)

    “The four European Union countries hardest hit by the arrival of hundreds of thousands of unauthorized migrants over the past five years said Thursday they fear that new proposals to revamp the EU’s asylum system will continue to leave them shouldering most of the burden.

    Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain said in a joint paper that mandatory quotas for sharing out people who qualify for refugee status among the 27 EU countries must be pursued, despite the outright rejection of such a move by Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and others.

    The four’s demands could be a major setback for the asylum reform plans.

    “The front-line member states cannot face the migratory pressure on the whole European Union,” said the text. It was sent to the president of the European Commission, which drew up the new asylum proposals, the EU Council representing member countries and Germany, which holds the bloc’s presidency.

    The entry in 2015 of well over 1 million migrants, mostly people fleeing conflict in Syria, sounded the death knell for the EU’s asylum system, and sparked a deep political crisis that continues to echo even though entries have dropped to a relative trickle.

    The row over who should take responsibility for people when they arrive and how much other EU countries should assist has helped fuel public support for far-right parties across the bloc. Populist governments in Hungary and Poland, notably, challenged a previous system of migrant quotas at Europe’s top court.

    In the text, seen by The Associated Press, Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain argue that their responsibilities as countries where most unauthorized migrants arrive across the Mediterranean Sea are strict and clear in the “New Pact for Migration and Asylum,” but that the duties of their EU partners are not.

    “The solidarity mechanism remains complex and vague,” the four countries said.

    “The notion of mandatory relocation should remain and be pursued as the main solidarity tool,” the text continued.

    Under the proposed reforms, migrants arriving at Europe’s outside borders without permission to enter would be screened within five days. They would then enter an asylum procedure or be deported, both within 12 weeks. People could be held in detention and would not be deemed to have officially entered the EU.

    EU countries would then face two choices: take in some of the refugees or provide other material and logistical support; or if they are not willing to do that, they could take charge of deporting people whose applications are refused. Mandatory refugee quotas have been abandoned.

    Broadly speaking, countries that agree to host refugees would receive 10,000 euros ($11,900) per person in assistance from the EU’s coffers. The others, dubbed “Europe’s bouncers,” would have up to eight months to deport people not allowed in or be forced to accept them.

    In recent years, only about a third of all people ordered to be sent home were actually deported.

    Germany has said it wants to reach a political agreement between EU countries and the European Parliament on the asylum reforms by the end of the year, in the hope that they could be officially endorsed early in 2021.”

    • Sleazy socialist governments.
      Whiny letters from “front-line member states” aren’t gonna do it. Those doing the pleading will get their palms crossed with silver, while their citizens are forced to cope.

      If they were really serious, they’d join Poland and Hungary and just say no.

  7. Kashmir rebels kill 2 Indian soldiers in region’s main city (abcnews, Nov 26, 2020)

    “Rebels in Indian-controlled Kashmir killed two soldiers in an attack Thursday in the disputed region’s main city, the Indian army said.

    Col. Rajesh Kalia, an Indian army spokesman, said militants sprayed bullets at an army patrol on the outskirts of Srinagar city. Two soldiers were critically injured and later died at a hospital, he said.

    Counterinsurgency police and soldiers launched a search operation for the attackers…”

  8. CBC – 2020’s Miss Universe Canada fights for racial justice

    Nova Stevens wants Black Lives Matter should be a lifestyle for everyone, not just a movement.

  9. Narcolepsy fiasco spurs Covid vaccine fears in Sweden

    Take a vaccine developed in haste? Never again, says Meissa Chebbi, who, like hundreds of other young Swedes suffered debilitating narcolepsy after a mass vaccination campaign against the 2009-2010 swine flu pandemic.

    The experience has shaken Swedes’ confidence in any future vaccine against the new coronavirus, compounding fears about unknown long-term side effects.

    • CBC – Dose error raises questions about Oxford COVID-19 vaccine

      Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and Oxford University have acknowledged a manufacturing error that is raising questions about preliminary results of their COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

    • CBC – How a doctor discusses vaccine hesitancy with patients

      Dr. Cora Constantinescu, an infectious disease specialist from the Vaccine Hesitancy Clinic in Calgary, discusses how she approaches conversations around vaccine hesitancy, the impact of those conversations and what’s needed in messaging around the COVID-19 vaccine.

    • Cold storage manufacturers prepare for Covid-19 vaccine distribution

      CNBC’s Seema Mody reports on the demand for cold storage trucks that will keep Covid-19 vaccines at the proper below-freezing temperatures necessary to ship and store them across the country

    • Deutsche Pravda – How should coronavirus vaccines be distributed?

      As coronavirus vaccines receive approval and become available to the world, the next questions to crop up are the ethics behind vaccine distribution: Who will be the first to be vaccinated.

      Not only do we have to take into account which age groups to prioritize, but also which jobs.

      Frontline health workers around the world are already demanding better protection.

      And how should distribution work around the world?

      As it stands, rich countries are already preparing infrastructure and buying up future doses by the billions.

      But won’t that leave poorer countries already grappling with an adequate health care systems struggling to secure their own?

    • Chicago city leaders outline plan for vaccine distribution

      Mayor Lightfoot and other city leaders outlined a plan to distribute vaccines to the first Chicagoans by mid-December.

    • Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole & MPs on Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine access, new Alberta restrictions

      Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole speaks briefly with reporters after a weekly meeting of his party’s caucus.

      He is asked about the federal COVID-19 vaccine strategy and the likelihood that Canada will be behind other countries in accessing vaccines due to a lack of domestic vaccine production capacity.

      MPs Tim Uppal and Scott Reid respond to questions about new public-health measures imposed by Alberta to slow the spread of COVID-19 amid a spike in cases in the province.

    • Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller on the COVID-19 vaccine

      “First Nations have to be properly served by a first class medical system that has underserved them historically.”

      Miller says the plan is ongoing to ensure all Indigenous peoples receive the COVID-19 vaccine as quick as possible when it becomes available.

    • CBC – When will Canada get a COVID-19 vaccine?

      Two of Canada’s closest allies, the U.S. and U.K., have laid out plans to distribute vaccines against the coronavirus, with the first shots expected to be delivered in December.

      Canada, meanwhile, has been largely silent on how vaccines will be distributed here after regulators give them the green light.

      • Reverse psychology to convince the “vaccine hesitant” in our population. (A far, far greater proportion than these bogus polls show.)

        Tell us how awesome it is, make us lust for it. Then say we’ll have to wait our turn, diversity-blah-blah…

        Then it’s like the last package of toilet paper in Walmart, we’ll go to any extreme to get that jab of whatever~~

        • Yep, or you can take a couple of weeks worth of HCQ and zinc for about $20 USD.

          Or take one or two doses of Ivermectin, for less than a dollar (USD).

          But, you will NEVER find this info on MSM!

    • Cash or card – will COVID-19 kill cash? | Deutsche Pravda Documentary

      More and more people are paying with cards or apps these days. Could COVID-19 spell the end of cash? Many people have switched to contactless payment because of fears that the coronavirus might be transmitted by bills and coins. They even use debit cards for small sums at the bakery or newsagent’s. Electronic payment systems are on the rise.

      Germany is torn. Up to now, Germans have been known for their love of cash. The country has been famously reluctant to embrace payment by card or app. But since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis more and more people have switched to paying electronically. For many months, it was unclear whether the virus could spread on paper currency and coins. It’s now believed that the risk of COVID-19 transmission on money is low. But the pandemic has amped up the trend toward cash-free payments in Germany. According to a survey by the Association of German Banks, almost 60 percent of people in Germany now pay by debit or credit card, or with smartphone apps. Marion Labouré, a strategist at Deutsche Bank and Harvard lecturer, has carried out research in this field. She says South Korea and China have even put bank notes into quarantine and destroyed bills. ‘The US Central Bank is another example,’ she adds. ‘Cash is definitely being used by fewer and fewer people. Last December, one third of Germans paid with cards or apps, now it’s about 50 percent.’

      Credit card companies, which charge fees to retailers, are profiting from this development. But data protection advocates warn that information is gathered, stored and often passed on with each electronic transaction. Sarah Spiekermann, a professor at the University of Economics and Business in Vienna, has warned of the serious consequences of this kind of surveillance capitalism: ‘Ordinary people, people who are quite similar to one another, will find themselves paying different prices for flights and hotel bookings, for instance, or they might be refused insurance or be passed over for job offers.’

    • AstraZeneca Says Its Likely to Run Fresh Global Vaccine Trial

      Nov.26 — AstraZeneca Plc is likely to conduct an additional global trial to assess the efficacy of its Covid-19 vaccine, according to Pascal Soriot, the company’s chief executive officer, after current studies raised questions over its level of protection.

    • global news – Coronavirus: Fiery debate in Canada’s parliament over timeline for COVID-19 vaccine | HIGHLIGHTS

      The House of Commons played host to a heated debate Thursday afternoon as multiple MPs including Conservative leader Erin O’Toole and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh demanded the government clarify when exactly Canadians can expect a COVID-19 vaccine to be delivered.

      Federal Health Minister Patty Hadju and Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner drew condemnation from the Speaker of the House Thursday over an impassioned exchange between the two, during which Rempel Garner wondered if Hadju would have to apologize in April for “8000 dead Canadians” due to their delay in approving a COVID-19 vaccine.

      The coronavirus pandemic has ravaged the world over the last 11 months, killing 1.4 million people around the world and 11,763 in Canada alone.

      More than 350,000 Canadians have also been infected, along with more than 60 million others globally.

      The Canadian government has contracts with seven of the leading vaccine candidate suppliers, with five of those vaccines now in Phase 3 clinical trials and several showing promising potential from those tests.

      However, the specifics of a rollout schedule remain unclear and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged earlier in the week that Canadians will receive the vaccine after citizens of countries like the U.S. and the U.K., where some of the leading vaccine candidates manufacture their supplies.

    • global news -Coronavirus: Hudson’s Bay Company struggling to stay afloat

      The Hudson’s Bay Company has struggled in recent years, and it’s only become worse due to the pandemic. Eric Sorensen reports on HBC’s debts to landlords, the evictions, court orders, and the dark cloud looming over the landmark retailer.

    • global news – Coronavirus: Gen. Rick Hillier talks leading Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine task force

      The former head of the Canadian Armed Forces has been given a new mission. Retired Gen. Rick Hillier will oversee COVID-19 distribution in Ontario.

    • CBC – COVID-19 vaccine won’t be available for children at first

      COVID-19 vaccine trials don’t currently include children under 12, says Health Canada’s chief medical adviser, Supriya Sharma.

      She says that means vaccination efforts will first focus on adults.

    • CBC – Canada needs to get ‘its own house in order’ on vaccine distribution, says expert

      Alan Bernstein, a member of Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine task force, says the country needs to have a concrete plan for distributing vaccines.

    • CBC – When will vaccines arrive in Canadian communities? Sask. premier asks

      Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says he’d like more clarity about when vaccines will arrive, and how many doses will be received.

    • Federal officials say a COVID-19 vaccine could be shipped by January

      Federal officials say if all goes well Canada could receive its first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine in January.

      This initial shipment would go to candidates in high priority groups, including people with health conditions, essential workers, and Indigenous communities.

    • US officials raise questions about effectiveness of AstraZeneca trial vaccine

      AstraZeneca’s CEO says the firm is likely to conduct another global trial of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine after US officials raised questions about its effectiveness.

      Bloomberg revealed the new trial would evaluate a lower dosage that performed better than a full dosage.

      A US official claimed the dose of the vaccine – which shown to be highly effective – has only been tested in people aged 55 and under.

      Scientists also questioned a lack of detail in the trial results put out by the company last week.

    • Turkish Radio & Television – Catholics in dilemma over ‘immorally produced’ Covid-19 vaccines

      Prominent Catholic figures in the US are clashing over the “immorally produced” Covid-19 vaccines that may hit the market soon.

    • Air France-KLM gears up for vaccine surge

      In cavernous cold-storage warehouses at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, KLM workers are gearing up for a surge next year in COVID-19 vaccine cargos that will need to be flown around the world at ultra-low temperatures.

  10. Twitter Suspends Account of State Senator Who Called Pennsylvania Election Hearing
    By Zachary Stieber
    November 26, 2020 Updated: November 26, 2020

    Twitter on Wednesday suspended the account of Pennsylvania Sen. Doug Mastriano, a Republican who called an election oversight hearing that presented allegations and evidence of voter fraud.

    Mastriano’s personal account was active until Wednesday afternoon. The page for the account now says it is suspended.

    “Twitter suspends accounts which violate the Twitter Rules,” the technology giant posted on the page.

    Requests for comment sent to Twitter and Mastriano weren’t returned.

    Mastriano’s state senate account is still active.

    Twitter has increasingly interfered in people’s usage of its service, ramping up censorship and account bans in recent months. Lawmakers are eyeing changes to Section 230 of the Communications and Decency Act, which shields tech companies from most liability lawsuits, in response

  11. europravda – Viktor Orbán responsible for corruption in Hungary, says former Belgian PM

    Top MEP and former Belgian Prime Minister, Guy Verhofstadt, told Euronews that the Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, is the reason why Hungary is top of the EU’s anti-fraud agency’s corruption list.

    + comments on the YT page

  12. This is the old Islamism vs Islam argument.

    Macron is right about Islamism
    The political ideology that feeds terrorist violence cannot be explained away by religion or colonial history
    Last month’s killing of 47-year-old history teacher Samuel Paty has proved the final straw for France. Photo by PASCAL GUYOT/AFP via Getty Images
    Liam Duffy
    Liam Duffy is a researcher, speaker and trainer in counter-terrorism based in London.

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    November 26, 2020
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    Filed under:
    Emmanuel MacronFranceIslamismSamuel Paty

    President Macron’s hate affair with the American media continues, if a recent New York Times article is anything to go by. The president is not happy, and thinks the Anglo-Saxon press fails to understand French laïcité and the universalist model, as opposed to the Anglosphere model of multiculturalism, with its distinct roots in the British Empire. While this is undoubtedly true, the more pressing issue might be the gulf in understanding of Islamism, the target of Macron’s campaign.

    France’s introduction of new measures to combat so-called “Islamist separatism” and the decisions to raid Islamist organisations and dissolve others in the aftermath of Samuel Paty’s murder have caused consternation among Western elites. Over the weekend, Twitter was awash with comparisons between France’s policies and the plight of Jews in 1930s Germany. These conspiratorial takes not only demonstrate a deep moral and intellectual confusion, but at this point they are actively endangering French citizens — almost 300 of whom have been slaughtered in the streets by Islamist murderers in the last few years.

    Macron’s strategy against Islamism warrants intense scrutiny, but that scrutiny must start with an acceptance that Islamism is a real phenomenon and a serious challenge to France, both in terms of violent radicalisation and social cohesion.

    The Anglosphere should know by now that Islamism does not mean the same as Islamic. As was explained by two of France’s leading scholars, Bernard Haykel and Hugo Micheron, failing to make this differentiation only confirms Islamist and far-right presentation of events.

    Modern Islamism has its roots as much in political parties founded in Egypt and the subcontinent during the 20th Century as religious scripture, its ideological trajectory shaped by a series of theorists and scholars right up until the present day.

    Islamists are not simply religious conservatives — indeed they are opposed to many traditional cultural practices — and the extent of Islamism is not only defined by acts of terror. It is a comprehensive political theory, albeit one with a religious basis: Islamists seek a fundamental reordering of society and the establishment of a state governed in accordance with the shar’ia.

    In recent decades, Islamist strains and factions have emerged with competing strategies for achieving this vision: the patient, gradualist approach of the Muslim Brotherhood or the revolutionary approach of Hizb ut-Tahrir, to the more recent emergence of the global jihadist terror of al-Qaeda and the pornographic violence of ISIS.

    The Muslim Brotherhood, the world’s most influential Islamist movement, started life with a focus on grassroots proselytising (dawa), but produced figures like Sayyid Qutb — who famously balked at the moral depravity of a church dance in small-town Colorado — and the “father of modern jihad“, Abdullah Azzam, who lay the foundations for a more militant, global iteration of Islamist theory. They have a shared ideological endgame but difference over strategy, and so it is no coincidence that so many of al-Qaeda’s leadership came from Muslim Brotherhood stock, including the recently departed Aymen al-Zawahiri.

    Despite this association and the public perception of “extremists” as snarling, hate-filled thugs, most Islamists are not monsters. They are often educated, compassionate, articulate and charismatic individuals who contribute to their communities. Many sincerely recoil at jihadist violence. The problem, though, is that unlike conservative religions, the political order of even non-violent Islamist imagination is incompatible with modern liberal democratic nation-states, which extend rights and protections based on citizenship rather than religion.

    Why is the Anglo media portraying France as the villain?

    Despite the existence of moderate iterations of Islamism, officials in Paris, Brussels, Vienna and a number of other European capitals have arrived at the conclusion that non-violent Islamism and jihadist terror are “inextricably linked,” that jihadists are the armed, militant offshoots of global Islamism. Alain Grignard, a senior Belgian Police Officer and academic, once labelled al-Qaeda “an epiphenomenon” — the most visible aspect of the larger, long-term threat of Islamism.

    This lack of visibility is central to the Western dilemma: an openly non-violent Islamist political party could be exposed, debated and its ideas and policies defeated in the public square. But the first generation of Western Islamists, fleeing persecution in the Middle East, established networks of NGOs, think-tanks, charities and religious institutions which vigorously deny connections to Islamist political parties.

    Although a minority movement, this archipelago of groups wield disproportionate influence and have successfully spread Islamist thought, while mealy-mouthed condemnations of violence have done almost nothing to counter the negative perceptions of the Muslims they claim to represent. Because of the secrecy of Islamist groups and aggressive legal campaigns against activists, academics and journalists, exposing the true nature of these seemingly innocent and civic-minded organisations is challenging.

    The age-old tension between Islam and France

    This spectre of Muslim Brotherhood clandestine activity is often overplayed in the Right-wing imagination, but the issue is not simply conspiracy. Kamal Helbawy, one of Britain’s most prolific and influential Islamists, left the Muslim Brotherhood precisely because of its secrecy. The satellite organisations’ legal threats against anyone investigating or alleging links to the Brothers were, to Helbawy’s mind, both counterproductive and immoral.

    There is a serious debate to be had about the solution to this problem, as their detrimental impact on social cohesion is belied by the fact that many well-meaning supporters and even employees will be none the wiser to the leadership’s Islamist leanings. In France’s case, the state has taken the decision to dissolve some of the most flagrant offenders for threatening the integrity of the Republic.

    Even with these non-violent Islamist groups, we are not talking about an equivalent of a continental Christian Democrat party. In France and other European countries there has been a cross-pollination of Islamist and Salafi thought, creating a more animated “separatist” element — hence the emergence of the concept of Frero-Salafiste in French discourse. Powerless in the face of legal threats, ruinous racism accusations and a committed, highly-organised and well-funded movement, civil society has failed to provide an effective opposition, so now the state has stepped in.

    Once Western governments engaged with — and even funded — Islamists in the hope of providing a bulwark and moderating influence against “homegrown” jihadist radicalisation. As the Western Islamist movement has evolved, that early gamble’s failure is hard to ignore.

    While the individual terrorists understandably catch the state’s attention, terrorism cannot survive without a much wider constituency, from logistical supporters and funders around the inner circle, to enablers, sympathisers and apologists on the edges. While still small, France holds its domestic Islamism problem responsible for the growing size and influence of this broader constituency, believing that tackling it would cut off the oxygen to the most radically violent minority at the core.

    Much of the confusion over Paris’s approach stems from the fact that France is dealing with the most entrenched Islamist infrastructure of any Western state, making Macron’s concerns difficult to conceive of for many British, and especially American, observers. Regardless, Anglosphere obscurantism over Islamism as a coherent, intellectual political theory is a much deeper issue.

    Will Britain stand up for liberal Muslims?

    After the Tsarnaev brothers blew up the Boston Marathon, John Kerry told reporters: “the world has had enough of people who have no belief system, no policy for jobs, no policy for education, no policy for rule of law, but just want to kill people because they don’t like what they see.” The idea that Islamist terrorists not only have “no belief system,” but no vision of the society they seek to usher in is a dangerous delusion, only slightly corrected by the grim arrival of the Islamic State’s “Caliphate” one year later.

    Even following this horror show, Anglosphere politicians can still be found stumbling to explain “nihilistic” jihadist violence as “senseless” or “mindless”. While too many commentators can understand it only through the lens of revenge: revenge for colonialism, for secularism, for cartoons, for foreign policy — take your pick.

    That there is an ideological programme behind the terror, that it is only a means to a utopian end — an end shared by a wide array of violent and non-violent groups — seems to largely escape Anglosphere discussion. Not so in Europe, where a more realistic analysis now holds: and while we can object to Paris or Vienna’s prescriptions to deal with the problem, we have much to learn from the diagnosis.

  13. Rudy Giuliani Says Pennsylvania Senate Has ‘Responsibility’ to Send Their Own Electors
    By Jack Phillips
    3-4 minutes

    Trump campaign lawyer Rudy Giuliani on Wednesday suggested to Pennsylvania GOP state senators that they have the power to vote and choose their own electors, while citing allegations of voter fraud in the Keystone State.

    In a Pennsylvania Senate Republican Policy Committee hearing in Gettysburg, the former New York City mayor said that the U.S. Constitution stipulates that state legislators are empowered with the ability to nullify a state’s electors and can send their own to the Electoral College.

  14. ITALY – Statue of Madonna decapitated near Venice

    Palestinian, 31, charged with offending religion

    (ANSA) – VENICE, 26 NOV – A statue of the Madonna at Marghera near Venice had its head and hands lopped off overnight, police aid Thursday.

    A 31-year-old Palestinian has been arrested on charges of defacing the statue after being caught on CCTV.

    He has been charged with “offending a religious faith via damaging property”.

    Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro issued a firm condemnation of a “cowardly act, aimed at wounding our sensibilities”.

    The Palestinian is a regular immigrant with a refugee travel document issued by Belgium, police said. (ANSA).

    • transcript –

      Uno spettacolo truce e choccante, per chi crede in quel simbolo e nel senso della comunità di appartenenza ferita nell’intimo da un gesto vandalico. Senza testa e senza mani, quasi a ripercorrere la violenza di un’esecuzione, la rabbia riversata su una statua, mutilata, quella della Madonna di Piazzale Giovannacci, storica per Marghera. Da un lato lo scempio, dall’altro il responsabile. Si tratterebbe di un 31enne palestinese regolare sul territorio italiano, munito di documento di viaggio per rifugiati, rilasciato dal Belgio, che è stato denunciato per il reato di “offese ad una confessione religiosa tramite danneggiamento di cose”. Ancora incerto il movente, il perché si sia scagliato con tanta brutalità contro una statua, un simbolo della fede; se si tratti di uno squilibrato o abbia agito in virtù di una matrice religiosa, ancora al vaglio tutte le ipotesi, ma il responsabile, è stato identificato grazie alla segnalazione di un cittadino che ha assistito alla scena e alla conferma delle telecamere di videosorveglianza. Ferma la condanna da parte dell’amministrazione comunale per un “atto vile – ha commentato il sindaco Luigi Brugnaro – che ferisce la nostra sensibilità”. Sensibilità oltraggiata quella della comunità di Marghera, da un tale scempio che – ha detto l’assessore comunale Simone Venturini, residente a Marghera: ” deve essere punito in modo esemplare”. Subito l’amministrazione ha dato mandato ai tecnici dei Lavori Pubblici perché la statua sia riparata e riportata al suo originario splendore. Ma sarà il tempo a rimarginare la ferita di chi li, di tanto in tanto, andava a rivolgere una preghiera –

  15. #VoterFraud #Trump #Pennsylvania
    ‘They cheated’: Trump says election fraud evidence pouring in | Pennsylvania State hearing | NTD

  16. Judge Hands President Trump A Swing State Victory – Donald Granted A Chance In Court To Overturn Results In Nevada

    President Trump is still fighting hard in key battleground states, but many Republicans are starting to lose hope that the current result can be overturned. This major news update could change many of their minds, though.

    Trump continues to fight for election integrity in a handful of states that could mean the difference between a win and a loss.

    In Nevada, the Trump legal team just scored a significant court win that could actually change the outcome in the blue state. From MSN:

  17. global news – Coronavirus: Toronto BBQ owner who defied lockdown order taken into custody

    The owner of a Toronto restaurant who reopened indoor dining earlier this week despite coronavirus lockdown restrictions was seen being taken away from his restaurant in handcuffs Thursday.

    Adam Skelly, the owner of Adamson Barbecue, was seen being led away by police hours after officials changed the locks at his business. It’s not yet clear what charges, if any, Skelly may face after being detained.

    Earlier in the week, the restaurant reopened indoor dining and opened again on Wednesday, despite a closure order from the city’s medical officer of health.

    A large crowd gathered outside of the restaurant for the third day in a row, along with a large police presence including officers from the mounted unit.

    Supporters of the barbecue owner jeered police officers as they placed Skelly in the cruiser, while others chanted anti-lockdown sentiments.

  18. Trump Campaign Shakes Up Three Battleground States – They Could Land 2020 Election Public Hearings In PA, AZ and MI

    The Trump administration has begun the transition process, but that doesn’t mean the President has conceded. In fact, he has made it abundantly clear that he’s not giving up yet.

    His campaign has pending lawsuits and investigations in multiple states, even though many of those states have already certified. This includes three critical battleground states.

  19. Five Anti-Jihadist ‘Volunteer Militia’ Killed in Burkina Faso: Official

    “Five civilian fighters assisting Burkina Faso security forces against a jihadist insurgency were killed in an attack, a local elected official said Wednesday, as the country was awaiting the outcome of a presidential election.

    Armed individuals on Tuesday attacked the Anra artisanal gold mine in the village of Pelhoure in the north of the country, killing five militia with the Volunteers for the Defence of the Nation (VDP), the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

    Several other VDP members were missing, the official said.

    A VDP leader confirmed the attack to AFP but did not give a death toll.

    Formed in November, the VDP comprises civilian volunteers who help the army in their uphill battle against the various jihadist groups operating in the country.

    They receive 14 days’ training and are then sent out on patrols and surveillance missions, equipped with light arms.

    More than 100 have been killed in combat since January 2020.

    The attack occurred two days after the presidential and legislative elections on Sunday, the results of which the country is still awaiting.

    Because of the jihadist threat, the elections could not take place in at least one-fifth of the territory, depriving as many as 350,000 people of the vote according to the electoral commission.

    The north of Burkina Faso is most affected by jihadist violence, which has claimed at least 1,200 lives and forced around a million people to flee their homes.

    Gold has become a strategic economic sector for the poor, landlocked West African country of 20 million people whose main export used to be cotton.

    Gold mining has also become a welcome source of funding for jihadists, according to the Burkina Economic and Social Observatory.”

  20. France, EU Lawmakers Push for Sanctions on Turkey Next Month

    “France is leading a push for European Union sanctions on Turkey next month to follow through on a threat made by the bloc in October, but has yet to win support from EU governments beyond Greece and Cyprus, officials and diplomats said.

    Paris said Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has not heeded EU leaders’ warnings on Oct. 1 to back down in a dispute over gas exploration in the Mediterranean or face consequences.

    The European Parliament on Thursday is expected to call for sanctions, decrying Erdogan’s visit earlier this month to the breakaway Turkish Cypriot north of the island of Cyprus.

    “Turkey knows what it needs to do,” France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told a French parliamentary hearing this week.

    “Confrontation or collaboration, it’s up to them.”

    For its part, the Turkish Foreign Ministry has criticized the EU for discussing sanctions, saying such debate was not helpful, Reuters reported.

    No detailed sanctions have been drawn up by France, but diplomats say said measures would hit areas of Turkey’s economy aimed at limiting Turkish hydrocarbon exploration, likely in shipping, banking and energy.

    Also at stake are a plan to broaden Turkey’s trade preferences with the EU, its top trading partner, and its formal status a candidate to join the EU, which Austria said should end.

    Erdogan has called for a boycott of French goods, which one EU diplomat said did not bode well for deeper trade relations.

    “However, Turkey is a key partner in many areas, so there’s no consensus in the Council (of EU governments). It is still too early,” said another EU diplomat.

    France is also at odds with Turkey over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Paris has accused Ankara of fueling the crisis in the Caucusus, a charge it rejects.

    Support for any sanctions lie with Germany, which holds the EU’s six-month presidency. Berlin put its hopes in mediating between Greece and Turkey but was angered when Ankara, which withdrew an exploration vessel before EU leaders met in October, began exploring for gas off Cyprus again last month.

    “Erdogan really went too far with the Germans,” a senior French official told Reuters.

    “They didn’t take at all well the new ship going back to the eastern Mediterranean just after the Oct. 1 summit.”

    A new spat between Germany and Turkey over the interception of a Turkish vessel in the Mediterranean this week has worsened already deteriorating EU-Turkey ties.

    Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the boarding was an act of “piracy” and summoned EU, German and Italian envoys to protest, which Berlin said was unjustified.

    “I think now there’s a common understanding that there will be sanctions,” said a senior EU diplomat. “The question is what the market will bear.””

  21. Iraq Seeks to Purchase Russian Weapons

    “Moscow has said it was willing to meet Iraq’s needs for weapons amid an ongoing debate in the country on the post-Trump phase.

    Speaking at a joint news conference with Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein in Moscow on Wednesday, his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov said: “We are ready to provide Iraq with any Russian-made military products.”

    Lavrov stated that the Russian-Iraqi ties don’t rule out being on good terms with the West and neighboring countries.

    He deemed the visit of Hussein as a boost to bilateral ties and the region’s security.

    Iraqi parties, as well as militias, are engaged in a debate on the way to deal with the delicate transitional phase until President-elect Joe Biden enters the White House in January, and the possibility of US President Donald Trump launching a strike on Iran and its arms in Iraq.

    Last week, several missiles hit near the US embassy in the Green Zone and caused division among Iran-backed militias.

    In the meantime, Iranian Quds Force commander Esmail Ghaani made a secret visit to Baghdad to limit tension and avoid a US retaliation.

    Prominent pro-Iran militias such as Kataib Hezbollah and Asaib Ahl al-Haq slammed the party that struck the Green Zone last week, and didn’t claim responsibility for the attack.

    Kataib Hezbollah spokesman Mohammed Mohi said some parties are trying to grant the US an excuse to attack.

    The US shouldn’t be given any opportunity to tamper with the security again, Mohi warned.

    MP Muhammad Karim accused the US of lacking seriousness in the recent decision to withdraw from Iraq. He further accused it of forging facts.”

  22. Saudi anti-graft authority initiates 158 criminal cases

    “Saudi Arabia’s Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) on Thursday announced initiating 158 cases of financial crimes in different sectors.

    As many as 226 people were arrested and probed over corruption charges and formal procedures against them are underway, according to an official source at the authority.

    The source has cited some of the prominent cases which are as follow:

    1. Based on a royal order regarding the information available on suspicious financial deals at the Ministry of Defense, the authority has started its investigations with 48 parties on this matter, including 19 employees of the Ministry of Defense, 3 government employees, 18 businessmen, and 8 employees of contracting companies with the joint forces, including 3 expatriates.

    It has been proven through investigation procedures that 44 officials, businessmen, and employees of different nationalities have been involved in companies contracting with the joint forces involving in the crimes of forgery, squandering of public funds, and exploiting the influence of the public office in illicit financial gain, as the total amounts obtained from them reached SR1.22 billion and the procedure is underway to return the looted money to the state treasury.

    2. The arrest of the director of quality management in a municipality of one of the regions and his two brothers for facilitating the award of a number of projects for a total amount of SR170 million for a businessman (a contractor working with the municipality), and obtaining in exchange an amount of SR 23.2 million in bribery.

    3. The arrest of an employee in the 13 grade in the Ministry of Finance in one of the governorates for obtaining an amount of SR100,000 from one of the enterprises which has contracts with government entities for a total amount of SR23 million in exchange for overlooking some financial irregularities.

    4. The arrest of a retired major general and employees of one of the contracting companies with the Ministry of National Guard, as he received an amount of SR8.2 million from the company’s employees as separate payments “in cash and checks” in exchange for facilitating to the company to obtain projects in the ministry and disbursing its financial statements.

    5. In cooperation with the Ministry of Health, the arrest of the director of Contracts and Procurement Department in the Health Affairs in one of the governorates, red-handed, upon payment of SR70,000 to an employee in the Archives Department in the same entity in exchange for obtaining the patients’ paperwork and their financial compensations with the intention of concealing them.

    6. The arrest of a female employee in the Education Directorate of one of the regions red-handed while receiving a sum of SR20,000 bribe in exchange for a promise to employ females citizens in a number of jobs in the same entity.

    The authority affirms on the continuation to pursue anyone who exploits the public office to achieve personal gain or harm the public interest in any way possible, and that the accountability extends far beyond the retirement of any individual, as the crimes of financial and administrative corruption have no statute of limitations, and that it will apply what the law rules against the violators with zero tolerance.

    The authority also appreciates the efforts of government entities in fighting financial and administrative corruption and the development of policies and procedures that promote speedy achievements which shut any inlets for corruption, and it commends the cooperation of those entities and the media on their effort in promoting integrity, transparency and fighting corruption, and it would like as well to thank the citizens and residents in reporting through its available channels, including the toll-free number (980) for any practices involving financial or administrative corruption that would undermine the efforts of the government to support and promote the path of comprehensive development in light of Vision 2030.

    It also extends its thanks and appreciation to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman for the unlimited support to the authority in order to exercise its jurisdiction and perform its tasks in fighting financial and administrative corruption in all its forms and manifestations. — SG”

  23. Qatar to invest billions of dollars in Turkey amid currency crisis

    “The Qatari government has signed new investment deals worth billions of dollars for the Turkish economy, including purchasing a luxury mall and buying a big chunk of shares in the Borsa Istanbul stock exchange, Middle East Eye has learned.

    The Qatari Investment Authority inked the purchasing deals as part of a bilateral trip by the Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to Ankara on Thursday. He met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to join the 6th strategic summit between the two nations…”

  24. Biden will increase US intervention in Middle East, says ex-UK diplomat

    “US President-elect Joe Biden is likely to involve America in disputes and conflicts within the Middle East as a direct result of the people who he is appointing to his administration.

    That’s the view of former British Ambassador to Syria Peter Ford, who told the Russian news outlet Sputnik that Biden’s selection of Antony Blinken as his Secretary of State signals more interference by the US in Middle East affairs, and a significant increase in its involvement in Syria and Iran…”

  25. Turkey slams France’s call for Nagorno-Karabakh independence

    “The French Senate’s adoption of a resolution urging the government to recognise Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent republic is “ridiculous, biased and far from reality”, Turkey said today.

    “This decision of the French Senate is a clear indicator of why the [Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe] OSCE Minsk Group, led by co-chairs that have to be impartial, has provided no solution while being biased,” the ministry said in a written statement.

    France wants international supervision to implement a ceasefire in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict amid concern that Russia and Turkey could strike a deal to exclude Western powers from future peace talks, the presidency said today.

    “We want the Minsk Group to play its role in defining the surveillance [of the ceasefire],” a French presidential official told reporters.

    Relations between France and Turkey have deteriorated in recent months due to the Karabakh issue and the two country’s opposing support for different warring parties in Libya.

    Paris has accused Ankara of worsening the crisis in the Caucuses.

    On 10 November, a ceasefire agreement was brokered to stop fighting in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.”

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