Reader’s Links for December 29, 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

58 Replies to “Reader’s Links for December 29, 2020”

  1. Frank Vaughan – December 28, 2020
    -massive inflation expected with BoC money printing – up over 400%
    – online polls indicate that most Canadians are on board with what is being done by all governments across Canada
    – the small group that is resisting should prepare themselves for when the masses figure out the mess that governments have put us in
    – FPV beta test and switching to “Brave” browser

    • Basically what he says is that the Canadian government has been printing money faster than any other country (M1 quantity of money goes up) while keeping its 10-year bond capped at a minimal rate of interest, which is an insanely inflationary combination. Take your own guesses if this is intentional or stupid, but Canadian bankers are not stupid, yet may be beholden to political masters who pay them to tow whatever line is asked of them.

      It then begs the question, if obvious questions are not quite yet a crime to ask, whether Dear Leader is so obsequious to his globalist masters that he has agreed to sacrifice his country on the alter of the Great Reset, as a great virtue signal, in order to spark an economic forest fire intended to kick off the great deleveraging of the trillions in global debt.

      It’s not conspiracy when then numbers are screaming in your face.

  2. Grenade attack on security vehicle wounds 14 in SW Pakistan (abcnews, Dec 29, 2020)
    https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/grenade-attack-security-vehicle-wounds-14-sw-pakistan-74950800

    “Unidentified assailants threw a hand grenade at a security vehicle as it passed through a town in southwest Pakistan on Tuesday, wounding at least 14 passers-by, police and officials said.

    No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack on a vehicle belonging to the paramilitary Frontier Corps in the town of Sorab, said Mohammad Aslam, a local police official. Sorab is 150 kilometers (90 miles) south of Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province.

    Such attacks on security forces and government officials are common in Baluchistan, with previous assaults claimed by separatist groups and Pakistani militants.

    The latest attack came days after militants attacked another Frontier Corps checkpoint in the province, killing seven troops before fleeing the scene.

    Baluchistan has been battling an insurgency for more than a decade. Baluch separatists demand complete autonomy or a massive share to locals from the province’s gas and mineral resources.”

  3. UK to Accept Hundreds of Afghans Who Helped Fight Taliban, Reports Suggest (sputniknews, Dec 29, 2020)
    https://sputniknews.com/uk/202012291081601967-uk-to-accept-hundreds-of-afghans-who-helped-fight-taliban-reports-suggest/

    “The UK Defen?e Ministry will allow hundreds of Afghans who risked their lives working for the British military in Afghanistan move to the United Kingdom if they risk persecution by the Taliban, media said Tuesday.

    This was confirmed by UK Defen?e Secretary Ben Wallace who tweeted that he and Home Secretary Priti Patel “have been determined to stand by the people who stood by us!”

    The ministers believe that a possible peace deal between Kabul and the Taliban, coupled with the militants’ advances across Afghanistan, could threaten the lives of Afghan officials, embassy employees and interpreters who had worked alongside UK forces, the Daily Mail cited the ministry as saying.

    ?”Under the new scheme, anyone facing imminent risk such as intimidation or threat to life will be offered priority relocation regardless of employment status, rank or role, or length of time served”, the ministry said in a statement to the daily.

    The plan will be unveiled in April. It will offer relocation to former embassy support staff, politicians, security officials in counter-terrorism roles and interpreters pictured “in the public eye.” Those who were fired from their position with the UK military would be assessed on a case-by-case basis, provided they prove to be in immediate danger.”

  4. California Supreme Court Rules Thousands Of Sex Offenders Are Eligible For Early Release

    On Monday, the California Supreme Court ruled that thousands of inmates convicted of non-forcible sex crimes may be eligible for early release under a ballot measure that was overwhelmingly approved by voters four years ago.

    The initiative, called Proposition 57, was written by then-Governor Jerry Brown (D) and passed by nearly two-thirds of the electorate. It was crafted to reduce the state’s prison population, saying any person found guilty of a “nonviolent felony offense” would be eligible for early parole. Brown said it was never intended to cover sex offenders. However, the original language did not exempt them from consideration. Lower appeals courts had ruled that nonviolent sex offenders could not be excluded, and the high court affirmed those rulings.

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/california-supreme-court-rules-thousands-of-sex-offenders-are-eligible-for-early-release?itm_source=parsely-api?utm_source=cnemail&utm_medium=email&utm_content=122921-news&utm_campaign=position1

  5. Controversial Bill Gates-funded plan to dim the sun’s rays moves forward quietly
    Sarah Taylor
    4-5 minutes

    A bizarre-sounding plan to save Earth funded by tech guru Bill Gates is “quietly” moving forward.

    The plan — to dim the sun’s rays and their impact on the earth — is reportedly all in the name of helping to revitalize the environment and thus save the human race.
    What are the details?

    The billionaire philanthropist is set on saving the Earth no matter the cost.

    “While you may have been paying attention to [Gates’] efforts on vaccination and lockdowns, you may not have noticed that one of Gates’ most controversial causes just got a go-ahead: A project that would help block out the sun,” the Western Journal’s Douglas Golden wrote.

    Reuters reported that the geo-engineering plan — a Harvard University project funded largely by Gates— “plans to test out a controversial theory that global warming can be stopped by spraying particles into the atmosphere that would reflect the sun’s rays.”

    https://www.theblaze.com/news/bill-gates-plan-dim-suns-rays?utm_source=theblaze-dailyAM&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily-Newsletter__AM%202020-12-29&utm_term=ACTIVE%20LIST%20-%20TheBlaze%20Daily%20AM

  6. Gravitas: China-Turkey extradition treaty | Recep Tayyip Erdogan | Uighurs | Extradition Treaty

    Gravitas: China-Turkey extradition treaty | Recep Tayyip Erdogan | Uighurs | Extradition Treaty

      • Seth Frantzman 8h, 5 tweets, 1 min read

        But remember…we were told to support Turkey against poor Armenia because it is “against Russia and Iran”….lies we were told by Ankara’s DC lobbying arm about “Turkey is against Russia and Iran, a bulwark…blah blah…”….yeah Ankara and Moscow and Tehran work together

        When someone says “support a bullying wealthy powerful thuggish dictatorship to crush a small poor minority as part of geopolitics” the only answer is always “no”. No, I will never support a thuggish authoritarian regime against the poor and weak as a means

        Imagine the confusion that some sided with horrid dictatorships against a more democratic and free Armenia….all in the ridiculous propaganda name of “being against Iran/Russia”….it was all lies and nonsense to excuse ethnic cleansing of the poor and vulnerable

        I oppose the regime in Iran the same way I oppose Ankara, both are awful and crush freedom. In terms of crushing minorities, Ankara is worse, in terms of hangings, Iran is worse. They are both horrible. They both erode freedom abroad and crush dissent and free thinkers.

        This isn’t a right/left issue or ideological. It’s just reality. Either you care about the poor and vulnerable and those who want a right to dissent…or you don’t.

        https://twitter.com/sfrantzman/status/1343914139777949696
        …..

        MB-friendlies + D.C. lobbys have saturated our media with lies.

        “Stop Turkey’s drift away from Nato, toward Russia, Iran, China!” – that’s a done deal. Their interests do not align in important areas, but they all thrive on creative chaos. Haftar smashes some jihadis in Libya, with Putin and the filthy Turk watching together in Sochi over ice cream. Like watching a soccer match, rooting for different home teams.

        https://twitter.com/sfrantzman/status/1343914139777949696

  7. Judge, sister of Stacey Abrams, rules that voters who have changed their address can vote at old address
    by Michael Lee | | December 29, 2020 10:45 AM
    3 minutes

    A Georgia judge related to former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams ruled that voters who have changed their address can still vote from their previous address.

    “This makes no sense. A judge (the sister of Stacey Abrams) ruled that when someone tells the US Postal Service they have moved they still can vote from their old address,” former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer tweeted. “Rules have no meaning any more. This is nuts.”

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/stacey-abrams-sister-judge-voting-address

    • And this for york regional police

      Congrats to the @officialyrp for their purchase of custom made Safety Hijabs for their hijab wearing officers! We are so happy to be able to facilitate inclusivity and safety in the work place and hope to continue to diversify police and military units across North America and soon across the world.

      We are so grateful to be part of these historical moments. We cannot wait to continue our innovation of diverse product

      • I’m depressed.
        Too many weeks trying to keep the faith.
        We’ve been hanging on overblown rhetoric, tic-tock promises that don’t pan out.

        This outrageous omnibus spending bill shows how little real power we have. Tweets and rallies mollify the base. I don’t see that changing.

        And maybe seasonal affective disorder that isn't responding to light-box therapy.

        • It gets hard at times, we have less then a month so hang in there, Trump isn’t acting like someone who is planning on going anywhere.

  8. Popular Washington D.C. Hotel Closes Its Doors for Massive Jan. 6 Trump Rally After Left-Wing Pressure Campaign – Big League Politics
    Published 2 hours ago on Dec 29, 2020 By Shane Trejo
    3-4 minutes

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) rejected unanimous consent today on a $2,000-per-person stimulus bill that would provide COVID-19 relief for struggling Americans.

    McConnell denied the motion put forth by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NJ) that would have pushed the bill forward. He also denied a motion from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to speed up a vote on the measure. Even though he is obstructing the legislation, McConnell claims that it is not dead.

    https://bigleaguepolitics.com/popular-washington-d-c-hotel-closes-its-doors-for-massive-jan-6-trump-rally-after-left-wing-pressure-campaign/

    (Richard: There will be violence in DC, Antifa will try to take out the outliers of the Trump supporters. I hope no one gets crippled or killed.)

  9. Spain Will Keep a REGISTRY of People Who Refuse the COVID-19 Vaccine

    Is a health dictatorship coming down the pike?

    According to Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa, Spain will create a registry of people who refuse the COVID-19 vaccine.

    “What will be done is a registry […] of those people who have been offered it and simply rejected it,” Illa said on Spanish television.

    Maria Jesus Lamas, head of Spain’s Medicines Agency, also said on a radio program that the registry would be used “to understand the causes behind declining the vaccination” and that they would keep the names of individuals anonymous.

    Trending: Federal Judge (Stacey Abrams’ Sister!) Orders Two Georgia Counties to Cease Removing Ineligible Voters from Rolls

    Despite the claims that Spain will neither make the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory nor publicize the registry, the potential problems of keeping a list in the first place are legion. Even some healthcare professionals in Spain are expressing their concerns.

    https://bigleaguepolitics.com/spain-will-keep-a-registry-of-people-who-refuse-the-covid-19-vaccine/

    • This is what happens when we vote in municipal elections, vote for the guy with the biggest mouth, Miss Congeniality/ airhead, union representative, then they move on to Provincial or Federal members of parliament.

      This is how it happens sort of

      The King wanted to go fishing, and he asked the Royal weather forecaster the forecast for the next few hours.

      The palace meteorologist assured him there was no chance of rain, so the King and the Queen went fishing.

      On the way he met a man with a fishing pole riding on a donkey, and he asked the man if the fish were biting.

      The fisherman said “ Your Majesty, you should return to the palace. In just a short time I expect a torrential rain storm.”

      The King replied, “I hold the palace meteorologist in high regard. He is an educated and experienced professional, besides, I pay him very high wages, he gave me a very different forecast, and I trust him.” so the King continued on his way.

      However in a short time a torrential rain fell from the sky. The King and the Queen were totally soaked.

      Furious the King returned to the palace and gave the order to fire the royal forecaster.

      He summoned the fisherman and offered him the prestigious position of royal forecaster. The fisherman said “Your Majesty, I do not know anything about forecasting, I obtain my information from my donkey.
      If I see my donkey’s ears drooping, it means with certainty that it will rain.”

      So the King hired the donkey, and thus began the practice of hiring dumb asses to work in influential positions of government.”

      Stay home, stay safe and always listen to the dumb asses. If you don’t know what sh t is, just follow their orders, the pile will get bigger and remember they put polyethylene glycol in the vaccine so you won’t freeze.

      Keep on the sunny side.

  10. First Known US Case of New CCP Virus Strain Confirmed in Colorado
    By Jack Phillips
    December 29, 2020 Updated: December 29, 2020
    biggersmaller Print

    A new, potentially more contagious strain of the CCP virus that causes COVID-19 was confirmed in Colorado—the first time it’s been detected in the United States, according to health officials.

    Health officials in the state informed the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about the strain, discovering it in a man in his 20s in Elbert County. Authorities said the man doesn’t have a history of travel.

    The variant, B.1.1.7, is the same as the one discovered in the United Kingdom, according to officials.

    “There is a lot we don’t know about this new Covid-19 variant, but scientists in the United Kingdom are warning the world that it is significantly more contagious,” Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said in a statement Dec. 29. “The health and safety of Coloradans is our top priority and we will closely monitor this case, as well as all COVID-19 indicators, very closely.”

    https://www.theepochtimes.com/us-confirms-first-case-of-the-new-ccp-virus-strain-discovered-in-uk_3636068.html?utm_source=newsnoe&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=breaking-2020-12-29-4

  11. Iraq world’s second-deadliest country for journalists in 2020, report finds (mee, Dec 29, 2020)
    https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/iraq-killed-journalists-reporters-without-borders

    “Iraq was the world’s second deadliest country for journalists in 2020, according to an annual report published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Tuesday.

    Fifty journalists were killed worldwide in connection with their work between 1 January and 15 December, marginally down from the 53 killed last year.

    Mexico was the most dangerous country for journalists with eight killings, followed by Iraq (six), Afghanistan (five), Pakistan (four) and India (four).

    “The world’s violence continues to be visited upon journalists,” RSF’s secretary-general, Christophe Deloire, said.

    “Some may think that journalists are just the victims of the risks of their profession, but journalists are increasingly targeted when they investigate or cover sensitive subjects. What is being attacked is the right to be informed, which is everyone’s right.”

    Eighty-four percent of the journalists were murdered or deliberately targeted, while 16 percent were killed while reporting.

    The proportion is up from 63 percent who were targeted in 2019, and is likely due to a fall in reporters killed in war zones. In previous years, war-torn Syria and Yemen have featured prominently among the deadliest countries for media.

    The Covid-19 pandemic has restricted journalists’ access and movement.

    Iraqi media targeted by gunmen
    In Iraq, four of the six slain journalists in 2020 were killed while covering anti-government protests, which began in October last year.

    Among them were Iraqi broadcaster Dijlah TV’s reporter Ahmad Abdelsamad and cameraman Safaa Ghali, who were fatally shot while covering demonstrations in the south-eastern city of Basra on 10 January.

    Ten days later, photojournalist Youssef Sattar was shot in the head and killed while covering demonstrations in Baghdad.

    Two Iraqi media workers were also assassinated near their homes in 2020.

    Nizar Thanoun, the CEO of Al-Rasheed TV, was killed in February by unidentified gunmen who opened fire outside his home in Baghdad’s Al-Jamaa neighbourhood. He died at the scene, and the attackers fled on a motorcycle without a number plate.

    In July, Iraqi analyst and researcher Hisham al-Hashemi was shot dead by gunmen who ambushed him outside his home in the Iraqi capital.

    Hashemi had an in-depth knowledge of Iraqi affairs, particularly the workings of militant groups such as the Islamic State (IS) group. Friends and colleagues told MEE that he was “a man of conviction” who gave a voice to the voiceless in Iraq.

    Iraq was ranked 162nd out of 180 in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index.

    In October, a shadowy arrest warrant was issued in the country for Middle East Eye journalist Suadad al-Salhy over the vague charge of “defamation”.

    Salhy has faced risks and threats before: in 2007 she escaped an assassination attempt, while explosive devices were discovered at the entrance of her parents’ home in 2014.

    RSF and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) called on Iraqi authorities to drop the charges against her immediately. The arrest warrant is yet to be quashed….”

  12. Indonesia will never normalise relations with Israel
    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20201229-indonesia-will-never-normalise-relations-with-israel/

    “A senior Indonesian MP has said that his country will never normalise relations with Israel, confirming that the US offered it $2 billion to make such a move, Shehab news agency reported yesterday.

    Chair of the Committee on Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation in the Indonesian House of Representatives, Fadli Zon, said that the US had applied much pressure on his country in order to normalise its ties with Israel in return for helping it improve its economic conditions.

    During a meeting held by the Parliamentarians for Jerusalem Association, Zon said that the condition of the Palestinian cause is turning from bad to worse due to the “blind” US bias towards Israel and its disregard for Palestinian rights.

    Zon added that the US had exerted pressure on Arab and Islamic states in an effort to encourage them to normalise relations with Israel.

    He stressed that the Indonesian president, foreign minister and parliament “are clearly against the idea of normalisation with Israel,” noting that such a move would only benefit Israel while setting back Palestinian rights and international justice…”

    Senior Islamic scholar calls Morocco’s normalisation move ‘shocking’
    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20201229-senior-islamic-scholar-calls-moroccos-normalisation-move-shocking/

    “The head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) has reiterated that Muslim scholars, in general, stand with Palestinian rights and the necessity of supporting the Palestinian people by all possible means. “The issue of Jerusalem should be at the forefront of their permanent concerns,” said Ahmad Al-Raissouni.

    Speaking to Quds Press, Al-Raissouni pointed out that the IUMS is the largest organisation of Muslim scholars. “It is committed to nullify and refute all the efforts of pro-normalisation parties and sheikhs affiliated with them, who attempt to distort facts and mislead the public in order to justify the crime of normalisation in the name of Islam.”

    He explained that scholars have no power other than to explain the truth at all times and in all situations. “Even their freedom of speech is restricted in a number of Muslim countries.”

    Following the decision by some Arab states to establish close relations with the Israeli occupation authorities, the IUMS has issued several statements pointing out that normalisation is “haram [forbidden] and invalid, as it constitutes a betrayal of the Palestinians and the de facto acceptance of the Israeli occupation of Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

    These rulers have normalised relations with Israel out of fear and greed, Al-Raissouni added, and to preserve their interests and the interests of their regimes. “Some of them may be attached to false illusions and promises that will soon evaporate.”

    Ask those who normalised in the past, he suggested. What have they achieved for their people? What have they achieved for the Palestinian cause? “Every normalisation is a backward step.”

    Most of the Arab regimes lack legitimacy, the IUMS head pointed out. “They depend on foreign powers and the spread of corruption and tyranny. This is pivotal in widening the gap between them and their people, so they fall into the arms of… the Americans, Zionists, the French, the Russians and others.”

    Al-Raissouni described Morocco’s move to normalise relations with the occupation state as “more shocking” than the others. “Unfortunately it fell prey to bargaining, extortion, enticement and intimidation.”

    He pointed out that political Islam as represented in Morocco by the Justice and Development Party has not taken any step towards normalisation. “The party heard about it through the media like the others. Its leaders have nothing to do with the matter.”

    Morocco became the fourth Arab country to normalise relations with Israel in 2020, after the UAE, Bahrain, and Sudan. Prior to that, Egypt and Jordan signed peace treaties with Israel in 1979 and 1994 respectively. The Palestine Liberation Organisation, of course, normalised relations with Israel when Yasser Arafat signed the Oslo Accords in 1993.”

  13. Federal officials investigate fiery oil train derailment
    4-5 minutes

    BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — Federal and local authorities were investigating a fiery oil car train derailment north of Seattle near where two people were arrested last month and accused of attempting a terrorist attack on train tracks to disrupt plans for a natural gas pipeline.

    Seven train cars carrying crude oil derailed and five caught fire Tuesday, sending a large plume of black smoke into the sky close to the Canadian border. There were no injuries in the derailment about 100 miles (161 kilometers) north of Seattle

    Officials were asked about recent attempts to sabotage oil trains, but they said the investigation was just beginning.

    “We’ve not been able to get close enough to the site to make an evaluation,” Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo said late Tuesday.

    https://www.wdtv.com/2020/12/23/federal-officials-investigate-fiery-oil-train-derailment/

  14. Taliban Behind ‘Targeted Killings’, Responsible for ‘99% of Attacks’
    https://www.khaama.com/taliban-behind-target-killings-responsible-for-99-of-attacks-445533/

    “Massoud Andarabi, Interior Minister, and Ahmad Zia Siraj, Head of NDS were summoned to answer senators in Meshrano Jirga (Upper House).

    Both government officials blamed the Taliban for the targeted killings, and that the Taliban are responsible for 99% of attacks and violence in Afghanistan.

    While speaking to the senators, Interior Minister, Andarabi said the Taliban had major plans to put the nation on the verge of collapse, but were prevented and they have turned into targeted killings, he added: “Taliban are seeking leverage in the peace efforts by putting pressure on the government through IED bombings and distracts attacks”.

    Suspects who were arrested over assassinations have confessed that the Taliban have launched operations under the name of ‘Obaida’ in Logar province, this was established to target government employees, journalists, activists, public figures, to turn people against the government, Andarabi told the Upper House of the parliament.

    NDS Chief, Ahmad Zia Siraj at his turn of speech addressed the Senate, saying over 18,200 insurgency attacks have occurred in the country “99% of them by the Taliban”.

    He indicated that the Taliban’s Haqqani Network is also involved in the targeted killings, adding that IS-K Daesh is responsible for one percent of the attacks in the nation.

    According to Siraj, out of 6,100 recent detainees in the country, 3,600 of them were involved in insurgency acts, and that 70 of the captured insurgents were involved in target killings as seven others wanted to carry out suicide attacks.

    This comes in a time, the security situation in the country has worsened amid Doha peace talks.”

  15. Two Iraqis indicted in Poland on charges of financially supporting ISIS
    https://rmx.news/article/article/two-iraqis-indicted-in-poland-on-charges-of-financially-supporting-isis

    “An Iraqi father and son face two to 12 years of imprisonment for financing ISIS terrorists between February 2015 and April 2016 from Poland, according to Polish authorities.

    The spokesman of the minister-special services coordinator, Stanis?aw ?aryn, stated that the investigation into the two Iraqi men was conducted by officers of the Wroc?aw unit of the Internal Security Agency (ABW).

    The investigation was concluded with an indictment against the Iraqis who had been detained by the ABW in June 2020. The indictment was directed to court by the State Prosecutor’s Office.

    The Wroc?aw Prosecutor’s Office accused the two Iraq citizens of transferring funds to the “combatants of the international terrorist organization defined as the Islamic State (ISIS)”. The prosecutor noted that the crime was committed between February 2015 and April 2016.

    The Iraqis were to have sent funds to combatants in Syria using the “hawala” system, which is a characteristic method of financing terrorism…”

  16. Italy: 100 migrants arrive on Lampedusa island after Christmas
    https://rmx.news/article/article/italy-hundred-migrants-arrive-on-italian-island-lampedusa-after-christmas

    “A hundred migrants arrived on the Italian island of Lampedusa on Saturday after being picked up by the Italian Coast Guard from a boat that sank off the coast due to stormy weather. As the APA agency noted, all migrants who were rescued were transported to a migrant center on the island where they went through mandatory COVID-19 testing.

    This year, more than 34,000 migrants have arrived in Italy via the Mediterranean. This is three times as many as in the previous year when the authorities recorded just over 11,000 migrants, according to Czech news portal Novinky.

    Italy significantly tightened its migration policy in 2018 after Matteo Salvini, the head of the League party, served in the government as minister of the interior. Italy has rolled back many of the laws that Salvini implemented in order to stem the flow of migrants,

    Among other things, the country closed Italian ports to the rescue vessels of non-profit organizations and imposed severe fines on the crews of ships that would violate the regulations.

    Italy’s left-wing government has since abolished the €1 million fine for unauthorized entry of humanitarian ships with migrants into Italian territorial waters, with the government reducing it to between €10,000 and €50,000.

    Polling shows that Italians support Salvini’s tough stance on immigration, but Italy’s ruling government has nonetheless pushed forward with reforms that have included granting amnesty to over 600,000 illegal migrants earlier in the year.

    The Italian governments stance has sparked rebellions from local politicians opposed to the open borders stance Italy has adopted, but the government coalition has remained resilient to such threats and new elections have not been called.”

  17. https://pjmedia.com/culture/robert-spencer/2020/12/29/khamenei-when-islam-dominated-non-muslim-regions-followers-of-other-religions-were-grateful-n1290903?utm_source=piano&utm_medium=onsite&utm_campaign=582

    Khamenei: ‘When Islam Dominated Non-Muslim Regions, Followers of Other Religions Were Grateful’
    BY ROBERT SPENCER DEC 29, 2020 10:39 AM ET

    On the day after Christmas, the Iranian Islamic regime’s Ahlul Bayt News Agency published a collection of the sayings from Shia Islam’s Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Khamenei, about Christianity and related matters. Khamenei denounced the claim that “Islam is hostile to other nations and to other religions” and insisted: “This is not true. Islam is not antagonistic toward other religions.” Digging even deeper, he added: “When Islam dominated non-Muslim regions, the followers of other religions were grateful to Muslims for their Islamic mercy.” Khamenei and his regime are known for their deceptive practices, but this one may be the biggest lie the ruthless 81-year-old autocrat has ever told.

    In The History of Jihad there is superabundant detail about how Islamic conquest led to the humiliation and abasement of non-Muslims. This was not a bug, but a feature, codified in Islamic law: one influential Islamic scholar, Salah as-Sawi, specifies that the payment of the jizya, the Qur’anic tax that non-Muslims must pay to Muslims as a sign of their submission (Qur’an 9:29), signifies that the non-Muslims are “humble and obedient to the judgements of Islam.”

    And speaking of Iran, the Bedouin commander al-Mughira bin Sa’d, who when he met his Persian counterpart Rustam in battle before Khamenei’s nation was conquered for Islam, said: “I call you to Islam or else you must pay the jizya while you are in a state of abasement….You pay it while you are standing and I am sitting and the whip hanging is over your head.”

    Similarly, the revered Qur’an commentator Ibn Kathir says that the dhimmis must be “disgraced, humiliated and belittled. Therefore, Muslims are not allowed to honor the people of Dhimmah or elevate them above Muslims, for they are miserable, disgraced and humiliated.” The seventh-century jurist Sa’id ibn al-Musayyab stated: “I prefer that the people of the dhimma become tired by paying the jizya since He says, “‘until they pay the jizya with their own hands in a state of complete abasement.’”

    This was true the world over. In famously tolerant Muslim Spain, it was miserable to live as a Christian. Christians could never be sure that they would not be harassed. One contemporary account tells of priests being “pelted with rocks and dung” by Muslims while on the way to a cemetery. The dhimmis suffered severe economic hardship: Paul Alvarus, a ninth-century Christian in Córdoba, complained about the “unbearable tax” that Muslims levied on Christians. Nor could Christians say anything about their lot, because it was proscribed by Islamic law, and criticizing Islam, Muhammad, or the Qur’an in any manner was a death-penalty offense.

    In 850, Perfectus, a Christian priest, engaged a group of Muslims in conversation about Islam; his opinion of the conquerors’ religion was not positive. For this, Perfectus was arrested and put to death. Not long thereafter, Joannes, a Christian merchant, was said to have invoked Muhammad’s name in his sales pitch. He was lashed and given a lengthy prison sentence. Christian and Muslim sources contain numerous records of similar incidents in the early part of the tenth century. Around 910, in one of many such episodes, a woman was executed for proclaiming that “Jesus was God and that Muhammad had lied to his followers.”

    In a vastly different context, seventeenth-century Mughal India, the situation was much the same. The emperor Aurangzeb in 1670 issued this decree: “Every idol-house built during the last 10 or 12 years, whether with brick or clay, should be demolished without delay. Also, do not allow the crushed Hindus and despicable infidels to repair their old temples.”

    A Muslim historian, Saqa Mustad Khan, writing just after Aurangzeb died in 1707, reported that in January 1680, Aurangzeb “went to view lake Udaisagar, constructed by the Rana, and ordered all the three temples on its banks to be demolished.” The following day, “Hasan Ali Khan brought to the Emperor twenty camel-loads of tents and other things captured from the Rana’s palace and reported that one hundred and seventy-two other temples in the environs of Udaipur had been destroyed.” Later that year, “Abu Turab, who had been sent to demolish the temples of Amber, returned to Court…and reported that he had pulled down sixty-six temples.”

    Bakhtawar Khan, a nobleman during Aurangzeb’s reign, was also pleased, noting that “Hindu writers have been entirely excluded from holding public offices, and all the worshipping places of the infidels and great temples of these infamous people have been thrown down and destroyed in a manner which excites astonishment at the successful completion of so difficult a task.”

    Imagine how grateful these Hindus, and all non-Muslims who have suffered under Sharia oppression for 1,400 years, must have been. But Khamenei is relying on the historical ignorance of his audience, which includes both the people of Iran and leftists in the West. And when it comes to relying on the ignorance of leftists, he has nothing to worry about.

  18. https://apnews.com/article/karachi-pakistan-coronavirus-pandemic-christianity-marriage-2d335f305278348540db41b593a9a2a9?utm_source=RC+Investigations+Today&utm_campaign=0e5f9927ea-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2016_11_11_COPY_01&utm_medium=

    I was surprised to find this story in the AP:

    Each year, 1,000 Pakistani girls forcibly converted to Islam
    By KATHY GANNON

    Police officers escort Arzoo Raja, background center, after her appearance in Sindh High Court, in Karachi, Pakistan, on Nov. 3, 2020. Raja was 13 when she disappeared from her home in central Karachi. The Christian girl’s parents reported her missing and pleaded with police to find her. Two days later, officers reported back that she had been converted to Islam and was married to their 40-year-old Muslim neighbor. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)
    KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — Neha loved the hymns that filled her church with music. But she lost the chance to sing them last year when, at the age of 14, she was forcibly converted from Christianity to Islam and married to a 45-year-old man with children twice her age.

    She tells her story in a voice so low it occasionally fades away. She all but disappears as she wraps a blue scarf tightly around her face and head. Neha’s husband is in jail now facing charges of rape for the underage marriage, but she is in hiding, afraid after security guards confiscated a pistol from his brother in court.

    “He brought the gun to shoot me,” said Neha, whose last name The Associated Press is not using for her safety.

    Neha is one of nearly 1,000 girls from religious minorities who are forced to convert to Islam in Pakistan each year, largely to pave the way for marriages that are under the legal age and non-consensual. Human rights activists say the practice has accelerated during lockdowns against the coronavirus, when girls are out of school and more visible, bride traffickers are more active on the Internet and families are more in debt.

    The U.S. State Department this month declared Pakistan “a country of particular concern” for violations of religious freedoms — a designation the Pakistani government rejects. The declaration was based in part on an appraisal by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom that underage girls in the minority Hindu, Christian, and Sikh communities were “kidnapped for forced conversion to Islam… forcibly married and subjected to rape.”

    While most of the converted girls are impoverished Hindus from southern Sindh province, two new cases involving Christians, including Neha’s, have roiled the country in recent months.

    The girls generally are kidnapped by complicit acquaintances and relatives or men looking for brides. Sometimes they are taken by powerful landlords as payment for outstanding debts by their farmhand parents, and police often look the other way. Once converted, the girls are quickly married off, often to older men or to their abductors, according to the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

    Forced conversions thrive unchecked on a money-making web that involves Islamic clerics who solemnize the marriages, magistrates who legalize the unions and corrupt local police who aid the culprits by refusing to investigate or sabotaging investigations, say child protection activists.

    One activist, Jibran Nasir, called the network a “mafia” that preys on non-Muslim girls because they are the most vulnerable and the easiest targets “for older men with pedophilia urges.”

    The goal is to secure virginal brides rather than to seek new converts to Islam. Minorities make up just 3.6 percent of Pakistan’s 220 million people and often are the target of discrimination. Those who report forced conversions, for example, can be targeted with charges of blasphemy.

    In the feudal Kashmore region of southern Sindh province, 13-year-old Sonia Kumari was kidnapped, and a day later police told her parents she had converted from Hinduism to Islam. Her mother pleaded for her return in a video widely viewed on the internet: “For the sake of God, the Quran, whatever you believe, please return my daughter, she was forcibly taken from our home.”

    But a Hindu activist, who didn’t want to be identified for fear of repercussions from powerful landlords, said she received a letter that the family was forced to write. The letter claimed the 13-year-old had willingly converted and wed a 36-year-old who was already married with two children.

    The parents have given up.

    Arzoo Raja was 13 when she disappeared from her home in central Karachi. The Christian girl’s parents reported her missing and pleaded with police to find her. Two days later, officers reported back that she had been converted to Islam and was married to their 40-year-old Muslim neighbor.

    In Sindh province, the age of consent for marriage is 18 years old. Arzoo’s marriage certificate said she was 19.

    The cleric who performed Arzoo’s marriage, Qasi Ahmed Mufti Jaan Raheemi, was later implicated in at least three other underage marriages. Despite facing an outstanding arrest warrant for solemnizing Arzoo’s marriage, he continued his practice in his ramshackle office above a wholesale rice market in downtown Karachi.

    When an Associated Press reporter arrived at his office, Raheemi fled down a side stair, according to a fellow cleric, Mullah Kaifat Ullah, one of a half-dozen clerics who also performs marriages in the complex. He said another cleric is already in jail for marrying children.

    While Ullah said he only marries girls 18 and above, he argued that “under Islamic law a girl’s wedding at the age of 14 or 15 is fine.”

    Arzoo’s mother, Rita Raja, said police ignored the family’s appeals until one day she was videotaped outside the court sobbing and pleading for her daughter to be returned. The video went viral, creating a social media storm in Pakistan and prompting the authorities to step in.

    “For 10 days, the parents were languishing between the police station and government authorities and different political parties,” Nasir, the activist, said. “They were not being given any time… until it went viral. That is the real unfortunate thing over here.”

    Authorities have stepped in and arrested Arzoo’s husband, but her mother said her daughter still refuses to come home. Raja said she is afraid of her husband’s family.

    The girl who loved hymns, Neha, said she was tricked into the marriage by a favorite aunt, who told Neha to accompany her to the hospital to see her sick son. Her aunt, Sandas Baloch, had converted to Islam years before and lived with her husband in the same apartment building as Neha’s family.

    “All Mama asked when we left was ’when will you be back?’” remembered Neha.

    Instead of going to the hospital, she was taken to the home of her aunt’s in-laws and told she would marry her aunt’s 45-year-old brother-in-law.

    “I told her I can’t, I am too young and I don’t want to. He is old,” Neha said. “She slapped me and locked me up in a room.”

    Neha told of being taken before two men, one who was to be her husband and the other who recorded her marriage. They said she was 19. She said she was too frightened to speak because her aunt threatened to harm her two-year-old brother if she refused to marry.

    She learned of her conversion only when she was told to sign the marriage certificate with her new name — Fatima.

    For a week she was locked in one room. Her new husband came to her on the first night. Tears stained her blue scarf as she remembered it:

    “I screamed and cried all night. I have images in my mind I can’t scratch out,” said Neha. “I hate him.”

    His elder daughter brought her food each day, and Neha begged for help to escape. Although the woman was frightened of her father, she relented a week after the marriage, bringing the underage bride a burqa — the all-covering garment worn by some Muslim women — and 500 rupees (about $3). Neha fled.

    But when she arrived home, Neha found her family had turned against her.

    “I went home and I cried to my Mama about my aunt, what she said and the threats. But she didn’t want me anymore,” said Neha.

    Her parents feared what her new husband might do to them, Neha said. Further, the prospects of marriage for a girl in conservative Pakistan who has been raped or married before are slim, and human rights activists say they often are seen as a burden.

    Neha’s family, including her aunt, all refused to talk to the AP. Her husband’s lawyer, Mohammad Saleem, insisted that she married and converted voluntarily.

    Neha found protection at a Christian church in Karachi, living on the compound with the pastor’s family, who say the girl still wakes screaming in the night. She hopes to go back to school one day but is still distraught.

    “At the beginning my nightmares were every night, but now it is just sometimes when I remember and inside I am shaking,” she said. “Before I wanted to be a lawyer, but now I don’t know what I will do. Even my mama doesn’t want me now.”

  19. https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-israel-benjamin-netanyahu-sheldon-adelson-tel-aviv-48afe9066afc9899a9ed4a2f84bd3420
    Record shows US sold ambassador’s home in Israel for $67M
    By JOSEPH KRAUSS

    FILE – In this Sept. 9, 2020 file photo, a U. S. flag flies at the official residence of the U.S. ambassador to Israel in the central Israeli city of Herzliya. An official record shows that the United States sold the ambassador’s residence in Israel for more than $67 million in July. The State Department confirmed the sale in September but refused to identify the buyer or disclose the sale price of the sprawling beachfront compound in the upscale Tel Aviv suburb of Herzliya (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner, File)
    JERUSALEM (AP) — The United States sold the ambassador’s residence in Israel for more than $67 million in July, according to an official Israeli record of the sale that shines new light on a transaction that has been shrouded in secrecy.

    The State Department confirmed the sale in September but refused to identify the buyer or disclose the sale price of the sprawling beachfront compound in the upscale Tel Aviv suburb of Herzliya. On Tuesday, it said the sale had been “open and transparent.”

    The Israeli business newspaper Globes has identified the buyer as the U.S. casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a strong supporter of both President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. A representative of Adelson said the billionaire had no comment.

    At more than $67 million, it appears to be the most expensive single residence ever sold in Israel. Congressional aides told The Associated Press in September that lawmakers in the House and Senate were looking into whether the sale of the residence complied with regulations.

    The sale helped to cement Trump’s controversial decision to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to contested Jerusalem in 2018 and to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. By selling the residence, it would make it harder for future presidents to reverse the decision to move the embassy. President-elect Joe Biden has criticized the decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem but says he will not reverse it.

    Israel seized east Jerusalem in the 1967 war and later annexed it in a move not recognized internationally. The Palestinians want east Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state. Nearly all countries maintain their embassies in Tel Aviv because of the dispute over east Jerusalem.

    Records posted by Israel’s tax authority on Monday show that the sale of the official residence was concluded on July 31, several weeks before the State Department acknowledged it. They list the sale price as 230,353,536 Israeli shekels. That’s $67,592,000 according to that day’s official exchange rate.

    In Israel, the sale price listed by the tax authority almost always matches the actual sale price, but in exceptional cases — for example, when a property is gifted to someone — the two may differ.

    On Aug. 31, a month after the sale, the U.S. Embassy said in a statement that “it made sense” to sell the residency and said it expected the sale “to move ahead in the coming months.”

    In a statement released Tuesday, the State Department said the sale process was “open and transparent and included professional appraisals and advice to maximize value.”

    “The buyer was selected solely on the basis that they submitted the highest offer,” it added, without saying how many bids were made or identifying any of the potential buyers.

    The State Department had earlier said it would continue to lease the property until spring 2021, without specifying how much it would pay in rent. But on Tuesday it said there was “no provision for a leaseback with rent payment.” It said closing would take place in the coming months, after the completion of “administrative and procedural tasks.”

    The Israeli real-estate office that brokered the deal referred all questions to the U.S. Embassy.

  20. Power of Vice President to Count or Reject Electoral Votes Disputed
    By Petr Svab
    December 29, 2020 Updated: December 29, 2020
    biggersmaller Print

    News Analysis

    At 1 p.m. local time on Jan. 6, members of Congress will gather in the chamber of the House of Representatives to observe the formal certification of Electoral College votes for president of the United States.

    While it’s usually a formality, nothing has been usual so far about this year’s election amid numerous allegations of voter fraud in key swing states.

    The situation is complicated by a lack of clarity on the legal and constitutional guardrails for the process. The joint session of Congress may well result in gridlock, in which a clear winner of the race isn’t announced at all.

    Based on current election results, former Vice President Joe Biden has received 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232 votes. Meanwhile, Republicans in seven states where Biden claimed victory have sent their own sets of electoral votes to Washington, and some members of the House have indicated that they will object to Biden electors in some states. Any objection would require support from one House member and one senator to be considered, and at least one senator has has left open the possibility he would join the effort.

    https://www.theepochtimes.com/disputes-over-power-to-count-or-reject-electoral-votes-loom-over-jan-6-session_3636866.html?utm_source=newsnoe&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=breaking-2020-12-29-5

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