Reader’s Links for December 18, 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

117 Replies to “Reader’s Links for December 18, 2020”

  1. George Soros Funds Research on the Evils of Men

    One of the biggest feminism funders in America isn’t much of a feminist.

    George Soros is one of the biggest funders of the anti-male movement, even though the Hungarian billionaire whose past includes accusations of Nazi collaboration, has a troubled history with women. Five years ago, Adriana Ferreyr, his 30-year old ex-girlfriend, sued the financier, accusing him of assault and battery. Soros’ issues with women crossed over into his political activism when he blasted Democrats who had taken a stand against Franken’s groping.

    “There’s only one whom I would not like to see succeed, and that’s Gillibrand of New York because she is responsible for pushing the comedian Al Franken, whom I admire, to resign,” he groused.

    Franken had been accused of groping eight women at an Obama inauguration party, a Democrat fundraiser, the Minnesota Women’s Political Caucus, and on USO tours.

    One of Franken’s accusers quoted him as saying, “It’s my right as an entertainer.”

    And then there was the former Soros Fund Portfolio manager who was accused of assaulting women in his sex dungeon while screaming that he would, “rape you like I rape my daughter.”

    https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2020/12/george-soros-funds-research-evils-men-daniel-greenfield/

  2. Hungary: “Europe’s Borders Must be Protected”
    Soeren Kern
    12-15 minutes

    According to Zoltán Kovács, spokesman for Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, the European Commission’s Action Plan seeks “to bring in some 34 million migrants to become EU citizens (nearly 8 percent of the current EU population). That is, 34 million migrants would be granted citizenship and the right to vote….” Pictured: The Hungarian border fence with Serbia, outside Szeged, Hungary. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

    https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/16868/hungary-europe-borders

  3. Bolsonaro ‘won’t take’ vaccine as Covid deaths exceed 1,000 in 24 hours in Brazil

    “I already had the virus, I already have antibodies, why take a vaccine again?,” says Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro

  4. Germany: Hamburg COVID-19 centre capable of vaccinating up to 7,000 per day

    The city of Hamburg presented Germany’s biggest and ‘nicest’ COVID-19 vaccination centre, on Friday.

    The vaccination centre’s capacity allows up to 7,000 people to be vaccinated per day in the exhibition centre as soon as the doses arrive.

    Hamburg’s exhibition centre took under four weeks to be converted, and is ready to be put in use as soon as the vaccinations arrive.

    Walter Plassmann, Chairman of the Hamburg Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians said, “To my knowledge, this is Germany’s biggest and nicest vaccination centre.”

    He explained the centre is built over 11,000 metres squared and has 64 rooms.

    The centre however will not be used until the early days of 2021, as mobile teams will first vaccinate people in care homes and health workers according to the vaccination priority list announced by Health Minister Jens Spahn on Friday.

    The centre includes several separate vaccination units with several rooms inside. It also includes a translation office and several waiting rooms.

  5. MEMRI – Russia Deploys Avangard Hypersonic ICBM

    On December 15, 2020, the Russian Ministry of Defense released a video, showing the deployment of a strategic intercontinental ballistic missile equipped with the Avangard hypersonic boost-glide vehicle installed in a silo launcher, in the Orenburg region, Western Russia.

  6. Calais: Govt Offering Migrants Nearly €2,000 to Go Back to Home Countries (breitbart, Dec 18, 2020)
    https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/12/18/calais-govt-offering-migrants-nearly-2k-to-return-their-countries/

    “The French Office for Immigration and Integration (OFII) is offering €1,850 to migrants in Calais to return to their home countries instead of trying to enter Britain illegally.

    The offer of cash would also include a free one-way aeroplane ticket to any migrant who has been in French territory for at least six months as long as they are an illegal alien or a failed asylum seeker.

    An additional €3,500 is available to migrants to finance a project in their country of origin, as well.

    Pierre-André Henot is a member of the OFII who makes the offer in-person to migrants in Calais. France Info reported on Mr Henot’s trip to a food distribution site in the coastal city, with migrants responding to his proposition with amusement, some shaking their heads, declining.

    Mashou, 20, told the broadcaster he wanted to travel to the United Kingdom but the French navy had turned his boat around in the English Channel, so he took up the offer.

    “It’s not that I want to go home, but I can’t take it anymore. I’ve lost hope. It’s been four years since I left Sudan, and nothing good has happened,” he said.

    Larbi Belmir, director of of the OFII in the Nord Pas-de-Calais region, said that 144 migrants, mostly from Iraq, have taken up repatriation funding this year.

    Despite the Wuhan virus pandemic, the Calais area has seen a surge in migrants attempting to get to Britain this year.

    While many opt to cross the English Channel by boat, some continue to attempt to hide in the back of lorries travelling through the Channel Tunnel.

    Reports claimed that last week local police were overwhelmed by the number of migrants along the A16 motorway. A lorry driver was also injured in the area after being attacked by migrants he had been filming breaking into another lorry.”

  7. global news – Coronavirus: Alberta says need for field hospitals depends on Christmas behaviour

    As COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to rise in Alberta, the province has called in the Red Cross to help set up a field hospital at the University of Alberta’s Butterdome.

    Alberta’s health minister said Thursday the temporary facility would only be necessary if current hospital limits, including creating up to 2,250 beds for COVID-19 patients, are reached.

    As Heather Yourex-West reports, Health Minister Tyler Shandro is calling the temporary hospital a “contingency plan” which will depend on people’s adherence to restrictions over the holidays.

  8. channel PR4VD4 – French draft law aimed at tackling radical islamists raises fears of social division

    As France struggles to contain the coronavirus outbreak, President Macron himself has tested positive for the disease.

    He’s still pushing ahead with some controversial measures – not least, a draft law to establish what’s described as French Islam.

    It’s aimed at tackling radical Islamists, after several brutal killings this year.

    Mr Macron says he wants Muslim leaders to acknowledge the values of the French republic, but Amnesty International says France is risking freedoms by shutting down an anti Islamophobia organisation.

  9. Somalia Suicide Bombing Kills 15, Misses Prime Minister
    https://english.aawsat.com/home/article/2690646/somalia-suicide-bombing-kills-15-misses-prime-minister

    “A suicide bomber attacked a stadium in Somalia’s central city of Galkayo Friday, killing 15 people shortly before the arrival of the country’s new prime minister, according to police.

    Ali Hassan, a police officer in Galkayo, said others were injured in the blast, which occurred at the entrance to the sports stadium.

    Some high-ranking members of the Somali army were among those killed in the explosion, according to local reports.

    The bombing has been claimed by Somalia’s al-Shabab extremists, according to the group’s Andalus radio station.

    Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble, who took office in September, was visiting the city as part of a tour of the central state of Galmudug. Galkayo is 750 kilometers (466 miles) north of the Somali capital.”

  10. Turkey-Backed Fighters Clash with Kurdish Forces in North Syria Town
    https://english.aawsat.com/home/article/2690566/turkey-backed-fighters-clash-kurdish-forces-north-syria-town

    “Syrian fighters backed by Turkey waged battles on Friday against Kurdish forces near the town of Ain Issa in northern Syria, where Russian and Turkish troops jointly patrol a key highway.

    Turkish forces and allied Syrian opposition factions seized territory in the region in an offensive last year against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which holds swathes of north and east Syria.

    Ankara’s Western allies widely condemned that incursion, which was halted when Turkey reached separate deals with Washington and Moscow, the second of which agreed to establish the joint Russian-Turkish patrols.

    The YPG, which Turkey deems a terrorist group, forms the military backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance which defeated ISIS in northeast Syria with the help of US air power.

    Ain Issa, where the clashes erupted overnight, sits along the M4 highway that links major Syrian cities and where the Russian-Turkish patrols usually take place.

    An opposition source with the Turkey-backed National Army said the faction seized some farmland after mounting an attack at the edge of the town.

    An SDF commander told local Kurdish media that shelling hit parts of the town and highway but his forces were thwarting the attack.

    Ain Issa, east of the Euphrates river, also has a sprawling camp for displaced people where the SDF has held families of ISIS fighters, including foreigners.”

  11. Fighting displaces over 500,000 in north Mozambique, reports UN refuge agency
    https://saudigazette.com.sa/article/601585/World/Africa/Fighting-displaces-over-500000-in-north-Mozambique-reports-UN-refuge-agency

    “Attacks by armed groups in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado, Nampula, Zambezia and Niassa provinces have displaced more than 530,000 people, many of whom have been forced to move multiple times, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Friday.

    According to the agency, the majority of the affected families have sought refuge in the safer southern districts of Cabo Delgado province, where around 90 percent of those displaced are sheltered by host communities.

    “The situation in Cabo Delgado is a protection crisis for more than half a million civilians on the run, with widespread reports of human rights abuses and disregard for international humanitarian law”, UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch said.

    Access to some areas in the province remains limited due to violence, insecurity, and the rainy season, with communities being cut off from basic services for months, he added.

    More than 2,000 people have been killed since the conflict started in 2017. In the violence houses have been looted and burned, families separated and health centers and schools seriously damaged.

    The affected provinces were already suffering high levels of hunger and malnutrition. However, the situation has deteriorated rapidly, with over 900,000 people now facing a crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity.

    “There is a serious indication that this crisis could spread beyond the country’s borders”, warned Mr. Baloch.

    Few possessions
    People have been forced to flee their homes with few possessions, in most cases without their identification and civil documents, further increasing their vulnerability, Mr. Baloch added.

    The situation of women of girls is particularly concerning.

    “Some women and girls have been abducted, forced into marriages, in some cases raped, or subjected to other forms of sexual violence. The displaced population remains significantly vulnerable to gender-based violence,” he said.

    UN agencies on the ground have been supporting the affected communities and working to ensure that basic international humanitarian principles are upheld.

    UNHCR protection teams for instance are monitoring the situation in Cabo Delgado and other provinces to identify needs and respond to gender-based violence and protection concerns. The agency has also provided shelter materials, tarpaulins, sleeping mats, blankets, kitchen sets, buckets, jerry cans, and solar lamps.

    Amid growing needs, the UN and humanitarian partners in Mozambique launched, on Friday, an appeal for $254 million to provide vital assistance and protection to 1.1 million in the affected regions in 2021.

    Myrta Kaulard, the humanitarian coordinator for Mozambique, said that with needs rapidly rising, humanitarian actors urgently require more funding to scale-up their response across the northern provinces of the country.

    “We count on the support of the international community to provide timely funding to ensure that people fleeing violence can access much-needed relief”, she added.”

  12. US: Michigan prisons sued over ID photos of Muslim women without hijab
    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20201218-us-michigan-prisons-sued-over-id-photos-of-muslim-women-without-hijab/

    “The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim civil rights and advocacy organisation, has filed a federal class-action lawsuit against the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) over allegedly forcing female inmates to remove their hijabs for their ID photos.

    The lawsuit comes after more than 15 women claimed they were forced to remove their headscarves for booking photos. The inmates include Muslim women and those belonging to the Moorish Science religious movement.

    An attorney for the Michigan chapter of CAIR, Amy Doukore, said the state’s prison policy was not just a violation of religious rights but women’s rights too.

    “It’s embarrassing, it is humiliating and it is degrading for Muslim women,” she said. “The stripping of the hijab for a Muslim woman is equivalent of making a non-Muslim woman walk around topless or shirtless in front of men and then publishing them to a website.”

    The photos were not only displayed on the women’s prison ID cards but also made publically available on the MDOC website.

    Doukore has said that CAIR had tried to reach out to MDOC officials on more than one occasion since 2017 when the organisation started to receive complaints about the photograph policy from women housed at Huron Valley Correctional Facility.

    “We have a dedication to our Muslim brothers and sisters facing incarceration to protect their religious liberties,” she said. “They shouldn’t have their religious freedoms taken from them. We take these issues very seriously, as this is important regardless of whether someone is incarcerated or not.”

    In a press release on Monday, CAIR Michigan’s Executive Director Dawud Walid said MDOC’s procedures for booking photos are a violation of the inmates’ religious beliefs and freedoms, which are supposed to be protected under federal law.

    “It is unfortunate and ironic that MDOC, which holds Americans in its custody for legal violations, is not following the law when it comes to reasonably accommodating the religious rights of Muslims.”

    The statement further explained that the lawsuit alleges that MDOC had violated the Muslim and Moorish Science women’s rights under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) and the Michigan Constitution. The women are seeking declaratory relief, a permanent injunction against MDOC’s discriminatory photograph policy and damages.”

  13. Migrants in the Gulf are amongst the most oppressed, report finds
    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20201218-migrants-in-the-gulf-are-amongst-the-most-oppressed-report-finds/

    “Migrant workers in the Gulf region have been found to be amongst the most oppressed, with abuses spiking during the coronavirus pandemic.

    According to the London-based Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, which tracked public allegations made against companies reportedly, migrant workers in the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states suffer from a variety of factors including the loss of their jobs on a grand scale, the theft of their wages, poor and cramped living conditions, the lack of sufficient access to food, and numerous health and safety violations at work.

    In a report published to mark the United Nations’ International Migrants Day, the organisation said cases of abuse increased sharply between the months of April and December this year in comparison with the same period in 2019, with 64 reports shooting up to 226, marking a 350 per cent increase.

    The increases were seen most in the areas of wage theft which rose from 60 to 158 (260 per cent), health and safety violations which suffered increased from 13 cases to 90 (690 per cent), complaints of living conditions rose from 15 to 74 (490 per cent), and the lack of sufficient access to food increased from 30 to 74 (250 per cent).

    At least 95,400 workers have been impacted since January 2016, it added, the majority of whom hail from counties in the Indian subcontinent and East Africa.

    A report published by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre three months ago, showed that between the months of April and August alone 80 cases of abuse of workers were reported. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) came in first place with 32 reports, Qatar second with 24, followed by seven in Bahrain, six in Oman, six in Saudi Arabia and five in Kuwait.

    The Gulf states have long had an infamous reputation for their treatment of foreign workers who make up much of their populations, with them not being able to gain citizenship or permanent residence in the GCC countries in which they work. They are also obliged to be under the ‘kafala’ or sponsorship system, in which companies or employers serve as the workers’ sponsor.

    Under that system, migrant workers were forced to gain permission and approval from their employers to travel, obtain loans and access other services within the country. Many of the workers are reported to have been abused and mistreated due to the kafala system, with GCC states repeatedly being urged to reform their labour laws and abolish the system.

    This year, Saudi Arabia announced that it is considering plans to abolish the kafala system as part of efforts to reach its national Vision 2030. The endeavour would, however, excluded five professions. Qatar has also announced reforms to its labour laws, although even those remain limited to raising the minimum wage and scrapping the requirement for the employer’s permission to change jobs.

    This year the ongoing coronavirus pandemic proved to be a major obstacle to migrant workers’ rights, and was cited by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre as a primary reason for the suppression and dire situation of the migrants in the Gulf since April.

    Since the respiratory virus caused havoc around the globe and the Gulf states were particularly strict in the enforcement of their lockdowns, migrant workers further suffered by losing their jobs and sometimes being stranded in the countries where they work with no salaries. This was seen in September when stranded Nepalese expats in Saudi protested, demanding they be repatriated.

    To make matters worse for the foreign workers, Saudi and Kuwaiti authorities have been implementing a drive to hire more of their own nationals at the expense of the jobs that migrant workers have traditionally held. As part of its Vision 2030, it was predicted that around 1.2 million expat workers would be set to leave the kingdom this year due to the job losses brought about by the pandemic.

    It is not only foreign workers who have suffered in the GCC, migrants have also been persecuted, with Saudi Arabia found to hold African migrants in “hellish” detention centres for deportation amid the pandemic. It was reported that the number of these detained migrants, who have allegedly also been tortured and beaten, amount to around at least 16,000.

    They have also claimed Saudi authorities have implemented no measures to protect them from COVID-19, risking their health and safety within the cramped camps.”

  14. Saudi sacks 100 Islamic preachers for failing to condemn Muslim Brotherhood
    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20201218-saudi-sacks-100-islamic-preachers-for-failing-to-condemn-muslim-brotherhood/

    “The Saudi government has sacked 100 Islamic imams and preachers who gave sermons in mosques in Makkah and Al-Qassim because they failed to condemn the Muslim Brotherhood as instructed, Al-Watan newspaper reported.

    The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah, and Guidance issued instructions for all imams and preachers to criticise the Muslim Brotherhood and blame them for causing differences and divisions within society.

    Last month, the ministry ordered preachers to dedicate the Friday sermon to supporting a controversial statement issued by the Saudi Council of Senior Scholars in which the council described the group as a “terrorist” organisation that does not represent Islam’s true teachings but rather serves its partisan interests.

    Saudi Arabia formally designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation in 2014 and banned it in the kingdom.

    In the 1950s, Saudi Arabia gave shelter to thousands of Brotherhood activists facing jail and repression in Egypt, Syria and elsewhere. The Brotherhood soon gained influence in the kingdom.

    The break in ties happened after Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait and Saudi involvement in a 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. The group openly criticised the US military presence in the kingdom and its affiliates sought political reforms.The authorities crushed the campaign but blamed the movement for sowing dissent, and in 2002 the interior minister said the Brotherhood was the “source of all evils in the kingdom.”

    In 2013 Saudi backed a military coup in Egypt which saw then Defence Minister Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi overthrow the country’s first democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi who hailed from the Brotherhood.”

  15. US Muslims press Organization of Islamic Cooperation on China’s treatment of Uighurs
    https://english.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2020/12/18/us-muslims-press-organization-of-islamic-cooperation-on-china

    “US Muslim groups pleaded Thursday for the Organistion of Islamic Cooperation to speak out on China’s mass incarceration of Uighurs, accusing the global body of abetting what some described as genocide.

    The OIC consists of 57 Muslim-majority nations and frequently takes up cases in which it believes Muslims are mistreated, criticising Israel and, at Pakistan’s behest, India.

    But the group headquartered in Saudi Arabia has not voiced alarm over China’s western region of Xinjiang, where rights groups say that more than one million Uighurs and other Turkic-speaking Muslims are being held in camps as part of an effort to stamp out Islamic customs and forcibly integrate the community.

    In a March 2019 resolution, the OIC said it “commends the efforts of the People’s Republic of China in providing care to its Muslim citizens” after a delegation visited.

    A coalition of US Muslim organizations including the Council on American-Islamic Relations accused member-states of being cowed by China’s power.

    “It’s very clear that China has an economic chokehold on the Muslim world and has been able to isolate every Muslim country into fear of even paying lip service to the Uighur cause,” Omar Sulieman, a Muslim American scholar and rights activist, told a virtual news conference.

    “Whereas some Muslim countries will pay lip service to causes like the Palestinian cause,” he said, on the Uighur issue they will “continue to aid in the oppression,” especially by turning back asylum seekers.

    Uighur Americana campaigner Rushan Abbas warned that nations could see the export of policies targeting Muslims as China pursues its massive Belt and Road infrastructure-building initiative.

    “China has a track record of buying and bullying. The genocide of the Uighurs is not China’s internal issue but is a humanity issue,” said Abbas, who said that her activism led China to detain her sister.

    The United States, which has a rising rivalry with China, has likened the treatment of the Uighurs to actions of Nazi Germany and voiced disappointment that the OIC has not spoken up.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a rare leader from the Islamic world to have criticised China, while Malaysia has said it will not extradite Uighurs.

    China describes the camps as vocational training centers and says that, like Western nations, it is working to reduce the allure of Islamic extremism.”

  16. Nearly a million Pakistanis went abroad for work in over two years: PM’s aide
    https://tribune.com.pk/story/2276483/nearly-a-million-pakistanis-went-abroad-for-work-in-over-two-years-pms-aide

    “Nearly a million Pakistanis have been sent abroad for work by the PTI government over the past two years, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Overseas Pakistanis Zulfiqar Bukhari said on the occasion of World Migrants Day.

    “Despite the novel coronavirus pandemic, Pakistani expatriates were able to send a record $21.84 billion in remittances back to the country in the previous financial year of 2019-20,” he added.

    With the total rising 16.73 per cent since 2014-15, most of these remittances came from Gulf countries, the PM’s aide said, adding that agreements had been reached over the last two years with various countries including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and others…”

  17. Turkey condemns Greece for detaining Rhodes consulate personnel
    https://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-condemns-greece-for-detaining-rhodes-consulate-personnel-160956

    “Turkey has condemned Greece for detaining a consulate personnel on Rhodes Island over claims of espionage.

    A written statement by the Foreign Ministry identified the detained personnel as Sebahattin Bayram, who is working as a contacted secretary at the Rhodes Consulate.

    Greek officials detained two persons last week on charges of espionage for Turkey by taking the pictures of the Greek navy vessels and providing information about their locations.

    The ministry recalled that Greece has violated the provisions of Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and articles on freedom and security rights of the European Human Rights Convention with the detention of Bayram.

    The Greek media coverage on the case, which violates the basic principle of presumption of innocence, is also concerning as they have reportedly made Turkey’s diplomatic representations and their workers a target.

    Turkey has taken necessary steps for the protection of the rights of the Turkish consulate personnel, the statement read.

    The move comes as Turkey and Greece were preparing to launch exploratory talks to resolve their differences in regards to the Aegean and Mediterranean after months-long tension.”

  18. Biggest issue with US is its support to YPG, not S-400s: Defense minister
    https://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/biggest-issue-with-us-is-its-support-to-ypg-not-s-400s-defense-minister-160948

    “The biggest problem between Turkey and the United States is the latter’s continued support to the YPG in eastern Syria, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has said, calling on its NATO ally to revise its decision to impose sanctions on the Turkish defense industry body over the acquisition of the Russian S-400 systems.

    “The biggest problem between us is not the S-400s. Isn’t the PKK/YPG a terror organization? Then we should start from there. Our American friends should give an answer to this. We should be able to name it,” Akar told daily Hürriyet in an interview on Dec. 18.

    Akar referred to the U.S. political and military support to the YPG as a local force it cooperates with in the fight against ISIL. Turkey sees the YPG as the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, and therefore as a terrorist structure.

    The U.S. has supported the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and stresses this partnership is only aiming to fully eradicate the ISIL terrorist network in eastern Syria.

    Akar’s statement comes days after the U.S. has imposed sanctions on the Turkish Defense Industry Presidency and its four top executives under the Countering American Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) for purchasing the S-400 air defense systems from Russia.

    Turkey had received the components of the system in mid-2019 and accomplished the test firing in October 2020. The U.S. law is aiming to deter countries from buying Russian military equipment.

    US should revise decision

    “Sanctions are not right. They shake trust and friendship. Our wish is that our American allies will reverse the decision and focus on mid and long-term planning by the prevailing of common sense. We are in favor of friendship,” he said.

    Recalling that there will soon be a new administration in the U.S. and Turkey will assess what may happen in the coming period, the minister stressed that there are so many NATO countries, such as former Warsaw Pact countries and Greece which possess Russian military equipment in their inventory.

    “We want our American friends to be objective. The means to resolve our problems should be dialogue, compromise, tolerance,” he stated.

    Only Turkish experts to use S-400s

    On a question, Akar echoed other Turkish officials who have made clear that sanctions will have a limited impact on the Turkish defense industry and the Turkish security forces. Akar, on another question, ruled out speculations that Turkey will not activate the systems, saying “We have bought them to use. Exporting the systems to another country is out of question. Russians will not be involved when we use them. The authorization of the system and control-command will be under our control.”

    The S-400 system contains 16 launchers and two batteries and works concerning the batteries are still going on the defense minister informed. “As for the location where it will be dispatched, there will be works for building the necessary facilities and roads. The process is still going on. They will be located in a spot from where it can protect a couple of cities. Somebodies are speculating that they will just protect certain premises. This is not true.””

  19. Muslim scholars warn against Israel deals
    https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/muslim-scholars-warn-against-israel-deals/2081397

    “The International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS) on Thursday warned against the normalization deals with Israel, saying they can lead to the formation of a new blockade against the Palestinian people.

    Speaking at a virtual conference organized by the Association of Palestinian Scholars Abroad, Ahmed al-Raysuni, president of the Doha-based IUMS, said: “The normalization [with Israel] by some Arab regimes threaten not only to obliterate the Palestinian cause, but also to create new barriers against the Palestinian people.”

    Al-Raysuni urged the Muslim scholars to break such blockade against the Palestinian people and counter “Israel and those regimes which have normalized relations, by popular activism, awareness, and a solid stance.”

    Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, Al-Aqsa Mosque’s preacher, called on the Muslim scholars to form an effective front to isolate and encircle those regimes which have normalized relations with Israel by abandoning their ethical stance and values.

    In 2020, four Arab countries, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco, announced normalization deals with Israel.

    The deals have drawn widespread condemnation from Palestinians, who say the accords ignore their rights and do not serve the Palestinian cause.”

  20. Senegalese NGO names Turkish president ‘person of year’
    https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/senegalese-ngo-names-turkish-president-person-of-year-/2081983

    “Jamra, a Senegalese non-governmental organization on Friday named Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as “person of the year”.

    Erdogan was chosen for his stand against French President Emmauel Macron’s remarks targeting Islam and the Prophet Muhammad, the NGO said in a written statement.

    The statement said Erdogan had bravely reacted to the outrageous insults against the Prophet Muhammad, the best of the creatures.

    President Erdogan’s statements, calling for a boycott of French goods and criticizing Macron, was widely apprecaition in Senegal.”

  21. Over 113,000 migrants held in Turkey in 2020
    https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/over-113-000-migrants-held-in-turkey-in-2020/2081730

    “Over 113,000 irregular migrants have been held in Turkey in 2020, way too low a number than what was expected, due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, said Turkey’s interior minister on Friday.

    “The number of irregular migrants held in 2019 was 454,662. We were expecting that number to be around 500,000 in 2020. But due to COVID, the number stands at 113,865 till now,” Suleyman Soylu told Migration Board Meeting on the occasion of the International Migrants Day.

    Stressing that migration is a historical reality, Soylu said migration is now seen as a social threat in 21st-century Europe “held captive by racist ideas.”

    “Utilizing death, fear, and insecurity, imperialism constructs a two-part world in the form of the elite and others,” Soylu said.

    He noted that Turkey neighbors almost all countries which are sources of migration and said, besides, it has intense historical, cultural, and religious relations with those countries.

    “Migration has existed throughout the history of the world, but there is no example of an impoverished, collapsed, and ruined country because of migration,” he said.

    Soylu also said Europe’s development after World War II owes to migrants’ labor, including the Turkish migrants.

    He recalled that Dec. 18 has been marked as International Migrants Day since 2000, and said, however, this step taken by the UN with good intentions has become a symbol of irony today.

    Migration, no doubt, brings along some problems, he said, noting that the key to making it beneficial was the integration of those people into the society.

    Soylu also said Turkey, as a civilized country, prefers to manage migration instead of fighting it and added: “Because human history started with migration and will continue with the migration.

    “Countries which acknowledge and manage migration will benefit from it.”

    With nearly 4 million Syrians, Turkey is the country hosting the highest number of refugees in the world.”

  22. Over 3,100 people died on migration routes in 2020, IOM
    http://www.ansamed.info/ansamed/en/news/sections/generalnews/2020/12/18/over-3100-people-died-on-migration-routes-in-2020-iom_905aac5a-2fbd-4c72-860a-5c20d221b379.html

    “Over 3,100 people lost their lives in 2020 on migration routes in the world despite limits to movement imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of Thursday, the Missing Migrants project of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) had recorded this year some 3,174 deaths on migration routes around the world, a drop from the 5,327 in 2019. The decrease in the number of deaths recorded on dangerous migration routes is not necessarily an indication that the number of lives lost did actually drop in 2020 since COVID-19 complicated also the IOM’s ability both to collect data on deaths during migration and to monitor specific routes, the organization said in a statement issued on Friday in Geneva as part of International Migrants Day. So far this year, at least 1,773 migrants died on internal routes within Europe and ones toward it, accounting for most victims recorded in the world. This figure is lower than the previous year but IOM noted that there had been a rise in some routes. For example, at least 593 migrants died during journeys towards Spain’s Canary Islands, compared with the 210 that died in 2019 and 45 in 2018. An increase in deaths was recorded in South America as well with 104 lives lost – most of whom were Venezuelan migrants – compared with under 40 in all the previous recorded years. IOM noted that there is not sufficient evidence to corroborate information received on some shipwrecks.

    The Missing Migrants project is aware of at least 14 ”invisible” shipwrecks in which an alleged about 600 lives were lost but which could not be included in this year’s figure.

    As part of International Migrants Day, the IOM underscored the significant contribution by migrants even during the pandemic and the numerous challenges that they must face. Despite restrictions on travel and mobility linked to COVID-19, tens of thousands of people in desperate circumstances continue to undertake dangerous journeys through deserts, jungles, and seas, and thousands die along the way, the IOM noted. (ANSA).”

  23. Egyptian-born Pole indicted for illegally transferring hundreds of migrants to the West
    https://rmx.news/article/article/egyptian-born-pole-indicted-for-illegally-transferring-hundreds-of-migrants-to-the-west

    “According to investigators, the 54-year-old Pole, originally from Egypt, established an organized crime group, which he has been directing since 2015. Its aim was to organize the transfer of illegal migrants from the Middle East.

    The investigation was conducted by the State Prosecutor’s Office Department for Organized Crime and Corruption in Szczecin (North-West Poland) and the Polish Border Guard. The indictment was handed over to the Warsaw District Court.

    “The migrants were mainly Iraqi and Syrian citizens who reached Greece through Turkey and later traveled to different towns in Poland via charter flights. They were then transferred from airports via train by couriers to Poland’s Western border, mainly Szczecin, ?winouj?cie and Kostrzyn. From there, the foreigners traveled on their own to Germany or Sweden,” the naval division of the Border Guard stated. The 54-year-old usually recruited migrants in Athens.

    The Prosecutor’s Office emphasized in its indictment that the migrants came from countries where there are ongoing armed conflicts, which the accused used to his advantage.

    Just one migrant had to pay the organizers several thousands of Euros to be transferred illegally. The payment occurred in two installments: one at the start of the journey and one on the other side.

    The accused hid from law enforcement and was wanted under a European Arrest Warrant.

    In February 2020, he was detained in Bratislava and deported to Poland. The remaining members of his group were indicted in November 2019.

    The Prosecutor’s Office stated that the legal proceedings surrounding the case are in their final stage.”

  24. Scoop: Pentagon halts Biden transition briefings

    Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller ordered a Pentagon-wide halt to cooperation with the transition of President-elect Biden, shocking officials across the Defense Department, senior administration officials tell Axios.

    The latest: Biden transition director Yohannes Abraham contradicted the Pentagon’s official response to this story on Friday afternoon, telling reporters, “Let me be clear: there was no mutually agreed upon holiday break.”

    https://www.axios.com/pentagon-biden-transition-briefings-123a9658-4af1-4632-a6e6-770117784d60.html

  25. It’s Not Over Yet, Folks – Eighteen Republicans Just Demanded Pelosi And McConnell Before January 6th To Hold Election Hearings
    Adam Casalino
    3-4 minutes

    It’s Not Over Yet, Folks – Eighteen Republicans Just Demanded Pelosi And McConnell Before January 6th To Hold Election Hearings
    What’s Happening:

    The media and left continue to claim that Joe Biden won the election—despite ongoing concerns over how the votes were counted. They ignore the fact that many Americans are demanding answers—answers some refuse to give.

    Despite the electoral college vote, the battle is not over. The matter will be settled on January 6—when Congress is required to vote over the results. (Even then, it might rage all the way to January 20.)

    https://thepatriotjournal.com/not-over-18-republicans-pelosi-mcconnell/?utm_source=gjwhg&utm_medium=email

  26. (Richard: This statement appears to disprove the story but in reality all it did was say that the Justices had a phone conference instead of meeting in person. It doesn’t say that Roberts didn’t yell at the other Justices and it does bring out that Roberts reportedly talked about doing something to keep Trump from a Second Term. The report of Roberts yelling could be true while the rest isn’t. When Trump is sworn in for a second term this needs to be looked into because if it is true Roberts committed several impeachable offenses.)

    Supreme Court Responds to Claim That John Roberts Shouted at Other Justices Over Texas Lawsuit
    By Jack Phillips
    December 18, 2020 Updated: December 18, 2020
    biggersmaller Print

    A spokesperson for the U.S. Supreme Court disputed a report that claimed Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts shouted at the eight other justices in a room in the high court, urging them not to take up the Texas election lawsuit against four other key states.

    As guidance, the court “has been conducting its conferences remotely by phone since March when the building closed due to the pandemic,” a Supreme Court spokesperson told The Epoch Times via email on Friday in response to a question about the claim.

    The statement contradicts what a GOP Texas elector, Matt Patrick, said earlier this week, claiming that an anonymous person said that “the Justices went into a closed room” to determine whether to take the Texas lawsuit that was eventually dismissed. Then, according to the elector, “When the Texas case was brought up he said he heard screaming through the walls as Justice Roberts and the other liberal Justices were insisting … afraid of what would happen if they did the right thing.”

    https://www.theepochtimes.com/supreme-court-responds-to-claim-that-john-roberts-shouted-at-other-justices-over-texas-lawsuit_3624378.html?utm_source=newsnoe&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=breaking-2020-12-18-3

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