Reader’s Links January 25, 2021

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

74 Replies to “Reader’s Links January 25, 2021”

  1. Suspected Jihadists Kill Six Mali Soldiers in Twin Attacks

    “Twin attacks on the army in central Mali killed six soldiers, while some 30 suspected jihadists were also left dead in a fightback with help from French troops, the military said Sunday.

    The attacks occurred overnight Saturday to Sunday near the border with Burkina Faso at army positions that have been targeted in the past, with a deadly Islamist offensive having begun in northern Mali in 2012 before spreading elsewhere.

    “The provisional toll is six dead and 18 wounded” among the soldiers, the army said in a statement, adding that “thanks to quick reactions and effective coordination between the Malian army and French Barkhane forces, the attackers were routed” leaving around 30 dead.

    It was not immediately clear what the role of the French troops in the engagement was, although a Malian military source told AFP French aircraft destroyed several “terrorist” targets.

    The raids occurred at Boulkessy and Mondoro in the violence-wracked center of the Sahel country.

    The “complex and simultaneous” attacks occurred at around 3:30 am (0330 GMT), the army said, with a local official in Mondoro estimating that the fighting continued for around an hour.

    Some 40 motorcycles and a large amount of military gear were seized from the attackers, according to the army.

    A number of wounded soldiers were evacuated by helicopter, a medical source said…”

  2. Turkey, Greece Resume Talks on Maritime Disputes after 5 Years

    “Turkey and Greece resumed talks aimed at addressing long-standing maritime disputes on Monday, diplomatic sources said, after months of tension in the eastern Mediterranean.

    The neighboring countries, which are both members of the NATO military alliance, made little progress in 60 rounds of talks from 2002 to 2016.

    Plans for resuming discussions foundered last year over Turkey’s deployment of a survey vessel in contested Mediterranean waters and disagreements over which topics to cover.

    Ankara and Athens agreed this month to resume talks in Istanbul, in a test of Turkey’s hopes of improving its relations with the European Union, which has supported EU-member Greece and threatened sanctions on Turkey.

    Both sides have voiced guarded optimism before the talks, though Ankara and Athens were still trading barbs in the days leading up to Monday’s meetings in Istanbul.

    Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said last week Greece would approach the talks with optimism but “zero naivety”. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he hoped the resumption of talks would herald a new era.

    Despite the agreement to resume talks, Athens said on Saturday it would discuss only the demarcation of exclusive economic zones and the continental shelf in the eastern Mediterranean, and not issues of “national sovereignty”.

    Ankara has said it wants the talks to cover the same topics as in the first 60 rounds, including the demilitarization of islands in the Aegean and disagreements over air space.

    It was not immediately clear what the agenda of the talks was on Monday.

    Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu held a series of talks in Brussels last week to discuss possible future steps to maintain what he called the “positive atmosphere” between Ankara and the EU since the bloc postponed imposing sanctions on Turkey until March at a December summit.”

  3. Filipino women recruited to work in UAE trafficked and sold in Syria: Report

    “Dozens of women and children from the Philippines have been recruited to work in the United Arab Emirates only to be forcefully trafficked to Syria to work as domestic workers, the Washington Post reported.

    About 35 women have sought refuge in the Philippine’s embassy in Damascus after allegedly enduring physical and sexual abuse while working for affluent Syrian families, the newspaper reported. The women now await repatriation, a process that could take years.

    After speaking to 17 Filipino women and children – some said to be as young as 12 – the Post reported that the victims were denied payment for the work they were forced into.

    Flordeliza Arejola, a 32-year-old currently at the Philippine’s embassy, told the Post that she was brought to Syria in 2018.

    “My employer slapped me and put my head into the wall. I escaped because he did not give me a salary for nine months,” Arejola said.

    “I waited until he was asleep and climbed over the wall. I had some money for a taxi [to the embassy],” she continued.

    The women told the Post that they arrived in Syria after first being brought to the UAE on 30-day tourist visas by recruitment agencies.

    Upon arrival in the UAE, the women said they were kept in cramped, dirty living quarters – a practice well documented in the Gulf and other regions.

    They said they were told that they could go to “conflict-free” areas of Syria where they would work for rich families in better conditions. They told the Post that refusal often led to physical abuse and threats.

    Josephine Tawaging, a 33-year-old still trapped in Syria, said she was locked in a dark room after arriving in Dubai and told she was being taken to Damascus despite her protests.

    “They got angry with me and said, ‘If you don’t go, we’ll kill you’,?” she said in an interview with the newspaper, recounting the 2019 ordeal.

    Subjected to violence
    Another woman, a 48-year-old grandmother who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told the Post that she “felt like a prostitute” after arriving in Syria “because we all stand in a line, and the employers choose who they want”.

    The wealthy Syrians were willing to pay between $8,000-$10,000 to take one victim home, according to several of the women.

    The women said that those who were not chosen quickly were subjected to increasing violence by the Syrian middlemen.

    “I was told to be good, so I won’t get raped and hurt. I stayed quiet and just said yes,” said Joymalyn Dy, 26.

    The agency boss “wanted to sleep beside me and touch me. Luckily, the next day, my employer took me,” Dy continued.

    Four of the women identified one of the broker agencies in Damascus that held the human trafficking markets as Nobalaa Alsham.

    Contacted by WhatsApp, a lawyer for that company, Ramdan Mohammad, told the Post that the women’s accounts were “absolutely incorrect”.

    He said the women “consent to come to work in Syria and that is [confirmed] by video with their voice and pictures by the sending office before they travel, and we do our part to secure sponsors, homes and people who treat them very well and humanely”.

    Mohammad also said that the brokers check in on the women periodically to make sure they receive their full wages and to ask about their access to a way to communicate with their families back home.

    But the women tell a far different story, saying once they were sold, the violence often continued or escalated.

    ‘Slapped, kicked and bitten’
    Geraldine Pahigon, 30, said she was repeatedly assaulted by her “employer”. “I was slapped, kicked and bitten many times,” she said. “I endured this for four months.”

    In addition to the physical and sexual attacks, the women said they were not paid the wages they were promised for their work, which often included 18 hours a day, seven days a week.

    Pahigon said she was promised about $500 a month, but never received it.

    After arriving at the Philippines embassy in Damascus, some of the women described continued abuse, telling the Post they were punished for infractions, withheld meals and were being kept in cold and crowded dormitories that are locked at night. They also said staff had confiscated their phones.

    “For almost five months, we couldn’t communicate with our families because our phones were taken by the ambassador,” said a 48-year-old woman seeking refuge at the embassy. “It’s like being in prison.”

    The Philippine department of foreign affairs told the Post that it had launched an “investigation into allegations of poor treatment while under temporary shelter and recommend the necessary actions accordingly”.

    The department said it “has actively taken measures to ensure the safety and well-being of Filipino victims of trafficking” in Syria and has been trying to secure exit visas for the women.

    Part of that process includes paying any outstanding fees and fines imposed by the Syrian government.

    Since December, when the Post contacted the department for comment, Philippine officials said they had begun repatriating some of the women.

    But some women said they had been kept at the embassy for as long as two years because they were unable to obtain Syrian exit visas and money for flights home. The women said embassy officials have often tried to pressure the women into returning to the homes of Syrian employers.

    “I want to die,” Juvie Balondo, a 27-year old who has been staying at the embassy for a year, told the Post. “We are all so stressed.””

  4. US approves all deals involving Yemen’s Houthis for one month

    “The United States on Monday approved all transactions involving Yemen’s Houthi movement for the next month as Washington reviews a Trump administration designation of the Iran-aligned group as a foreign terrorist organization, Reuters reports.

    The move appeared designed to allay fears of companies and banks involved in commercial trade to Yemen, which relies almost solely on imports. The Treasury Department in a Frequently Asked Question specifically stated that foreign banks will not be exposed to sanctions “if they knowingly conduct or facilitate a transaction” for the Houthis.

    “It essentially wipes out the entire effect of the designation while giving the Biden administration a chance to make the decision on its own rather than getting stuck with Mike Pompeo’s decision,” said Brian O’Toole, a former Treasury official under the Obama Administration.

    Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blacklisted the Houthis last Tuesday – a day before President Joe Biden took office – despite warnings from the United Nations and aid groups that it would push Yemen into a large-scale famine.

    The Trump administration exempted aid groups, the United Nations, the Red Cross and the export of agricultural commodities, medicine and medical devices from its designation, but U.N. officials and aid groups said the carve-outs were not enough and called for the decision to be revoked.

    The U.S. State Department said on Friday that it has initiated a review of the designation and is working as quickly as it can to conclude the process and make a determination.

    The new Treasury Department license issued on Monday allows all transactions involving the Houthi group or any entity in which it owns 50% per cent or more – though not its blacklisted leaders – until Feb. 26, 2021.

    The United Nations describes Yemen as the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis, with 80% of its people in need.

    A Saudi Arabia-led military coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015, backing government forces fighting the Houthis in a war widely seen as a proxy conflict between U.S. ally Saudi Arabia and Iran. U.N. officials are trying to revive peace talks to end the war as Yemen’s suffering is also worsened by an economic collapse and the COVID-19 pandemic.”

  5. Yemen: YouTube closes 7 Houthi-affiliated channels

    “Following former US President Donald Trump’s designation of Yemen’s Houthi movement as a foreign terrorist organisation, YouTube has permanently deleted seven Houthi-affiliated channels.

    The US’ decision has since been criticised by various non-governmental organisations and some senior US officials as hindering international aid efforts and undermining any prospects for peace talks. The current administration of President Joe Biden is reviewing the designation amid mounting calls to revoke it.

    YouTube, which has been owned by Google since 2006, removed the channels, including Al-Masirah Mubasher, Military Media, AnsarAllah Group and Zamel AnsarAllah and announced they had been “permanently deleted after reviewing their contents” which were deemed to “contain grave violations”.

    Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said earlier this month that the designations were intended to hold the Houthi movement “accountable for its terrorist acts, including cross-border attacks threatening civilian populations, infrastructure and commercial shipping”.

    The YouTube channels were frequently used for propaganda purposes which included footage of military engagements and attacks on Saudi forces across the border, in particular “liberation” operations in the Najran province, historically part of Yemen.

    Today massive rallies were held across Yemen in at least 14 provinces in protest against the designation of the Houthi movement which forms part of the de-facto government based in the capital Sanaa. An online rally promoted under the hashtag DayofAction4Yemen is also scheduled for today.

    According to the Middle East Institute the US blacklisting of the Houthi movement raises important questions for big tech companies due to their large presence on social media. It also maintains an active group on Telegram and has an official website hosted by San-Francisco-based Cloudfare.”

  6. Biden appoints Palestinian-American as senior intelligence director

    “US President Joe Biden has appointed Palestinian-American Maher Bitar as the senior director for intelligence programmes at the National Security Council (NSC), Politico newspaper reported.

    Bitar served as general counsel to Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee and played a huge role in former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment.

    “I am thrilled to see him in his new post, though we will certainly miss him on the committee,” House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff told Politico. “I can’t think of anyone more suited to the role than Maher.”

    The Georgetown University law graduate also worked as the director of Israeli Occupation-Palestinian affairs on the National Security Council under former President Barack Obama.

    Bitar also received a Master of Science in Forced Migration from Oxford University’s Refugee Studies Center on a Marshall scholarship and has worked with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Jerusalem.

    Robert Malley, who is expected to be appointed President Biden’s special envoy to Iran, tweeted: “Can’t think of a better choice than Maher. The most professional, principled, dedicated public servant I’ve had the honor to work with, a wonderful colleague, and a dear friend.”

    In August, Biden released an unprecedented “Plan for Partnership” with Arab-Americans in which he referred to the group as “essential to the fabric of our nation”.

    In the statement Biden pledged to include Arab-Americans in his administration and work to fight “anti-Arab bigotry”.

    Earlier this month, he appointed a Jordanian-American woman, Dana Shubat, as his senior legal affairs adviser. She joined Reema Dodin, a longtime Palestinian-American Capitol Hill aide, who was appointed deputy director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs in late November.”

  7. Egypt sentences 23 Muslim Brotherhood members to 5 years in prison

    “Egypt’s court of cassation yesterday sentenced 23 members of the Muslim Brotherhood to five years in prison and acquitted five others.

    According to Youm7, the Egyptian public prosecutor convicted the defendants of “joining a banned group, demonstrating without permission and inciting violence against state institutions.”

    Security forces in Egypt’s Damietta governorate arrested the suspects in a security campaign in the province’s Basarta village, claimed to be a Muslim Brotherhood stronghold, over alleged possession of 24 Molotov cocktails and fireworks.

    El Basarta has been under security siege and has been suffering repeated human rights violations by Egyptian security forces since 2017.”

  8. Bahrain: 3,403 domestic workers escape from employers

    “A total of 3,403 domestic workers in Bahrain have escaped from their employers over the course of two years, according to the latest statistics announced by the Labour and Social Development Minister Jameel Humaidan.

    Replying to a parliamentary question submitted by MP Bassem Al Maliki during the Council of Representatives’ regular weekly session, the minister did not clarify whether the number of domestic workers escaping from employers is increasing or decreasing compared to previous years, Al Ayam newspaper reported.

    According to the minister, out of the total complaints received by the ministry, 550 were settled amicably by rectifying the status of the runaway workers, while 257 have been dropped by the employers.

    Humaidan confirmed that 1,693 complaints were received against Ethiopians, 562 against Indonesians, 527 against Kenyans, 217 against Filipinos, 150 against Indians and 106 against Bangladeshi domestic workers.

    As many as 62 complaints were also received against Sri Lankans, 40 against Ugandans, 24 against Ghanaians, 17 against Pakistanis, four against Nepalese and one against a Cameroonian worker.

    Out of the 550 cases that were settled by rectifying the workers’ status, 542 workers were repatriated, while the remaining eight were registered under other employers

    The minister outlined the procedures to be followed in case a runway worker is arrested or located by the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) personnel.

    Humaidan said employers are obliged to bear the deportation expenses of a runway worker, provided that there is no proof that the escapee had worked for a different employer at the time of the arrest.

    He said the deportation expenses must be borne by any employer who hires the runway worker without a permit, in addition to paying a fine for the same reason.”

  9. YPG/PKK terrorist held in northern Syria

    “A YPG/PKK terrorist was held in the town of Al-Bab in northern Syria on Jan. 24, an official statement said.

    Local security forces continue their efforts to uncover the terrorist group’s activities, the governor’s office in southeastern Turkey’s Gaziantep province said.

    The terrorist, identified as A.E.M., was rounded up in an operation by local security units in Al-Bab and the governorship, which provides the Syrian town with consultancy services.

    Since 2016, Turkey has launched a trio of successful anti-terror operations across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor, and enable a peaceful settlement of residents: Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018), and Peace Spring (2019).

    In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.”

  10. Turkey to extend military deployment in Gulf of Aden

    “Turkey’s presidency on Monday submitted a motion extending Turkish forces’ deployment in the Gulf of Aden, Somalia and the Arabian Sea.

    Lawmaker will debate the motion on Tuesday extending the authorization of the deployments through Feb. 10, 2022.

    Since it was first approved by parliament in 2008, the motion for the deployment has been extended 13 times.

    The Gulf of Aden — near Yemen and close to the world’s fourth-biggest oil transit chokepoint, the Bab el-Mandab strait — is a strategic energy route for Middle Eastern crude oil.”

  11. Turkey: 9 FETO-linked suspects arrested

    “Turkish security forces arrested nine people over alleged links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup, security sources said on Monday.

    As a result of the investigation by the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in the eastern Erzincan province, police teams conducted simultaneous operations in seven provinces and arrested the suspects, including three active-duty soldiers.

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

    Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.”

  12. Central African Republic says dozens of rebels killed in counter-offensive

    “Central African Republic troops killed 44 rebel fighters participating in a push to encircle the capital Bangui and overturn newly-reelected President Faustin Archange Touadera, the government said Monday.

    Together with “allied forces”, the CAR army launched an offensive in the village of Boyali, around 90 kilometres (56 miles) from the capital, with no casualties on the government side and “44 dead including several mercenaries from Chad, Sudan and the Fulani” ethnic group, the government posted on Facebook.

    When the government says “allies”, it is usually referring to Rwandan troops and Russian paramilitaries which have been sent to the conflict-plagued country to reinforce federal troops.

    “Government forces are back on the offensive,” government spokesman Ange-Maxime Kazagui told AFP.

    He added that troops had captured the village of Boda, 124 kilometres from Bangui, with support from Russian fighters.

    The country’s six most powerful armed groups, which control two-thirds of the CAR’s territory in an eight-year conflict, joined forces in December, calling themselves the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC)…”

  13. Belgium: Iraqi migrant accused of pushing man from 27-story building

    “H. D., a 20-year-old Iraqi native from Liège, Belgium, is accused of committing murder to facilitate theft when he was 16 years old. The young man is considered a psychopath with paranoid tendencies, RTL INFO reports.

    Due to the defendant’s personality profile, the juvenile justice system had relinquished the case in favor of adult justice. The case was then handed over to the Assize Court.

    Experts have already spoken on the mental state of the defendant. In the initial phase, the prosecution had requested internment of the young man. However, the indictment later concluded that debate on this issue has to take place in the presence of experts and before the jurors of the Assize Court.

    Nevertheless, the main point of the trial is the murder of Galaad Titeux. According to the prosecution, H. D. killed the man on July 5, 2017, to cover up a theft. The murder took place at the end of the night on the abandoned site of the old dentistry of the Liège Hospital. Galaad Titeux, a drug dealer, was pushed from the top of a 27-story-high building. H. D. is suspected of stealing €950 from him.

    Moreover, H. D. is also accused of raping a 16-year-old girl in April 2017. He allegedly took the victim to an apartment and threatened her with a weapon before forcing her to have sex with him.

    The defendant is accused of many other offenses committed between May and December 2017, such as hostage-taking, extortion, armed robbery, violent robbery, attempted burglary, and even the crime of “destruction” committed in a psychiatric center. Finally, he was charged with assaulting a security assistant during a transfer to a public institution for the protection of young people (IPPJ).

    Born in Iraq, H. D. is described as headstrong, violent, and a brawler. On the first day of his adulthood, he was transferred to an adult prison because of his violent behavior. He has a psychopathic personality, with a very high risk of committing more crimes if released from custody, according to prosecutors.

    Advocate General Pascale Schils supports the position of the prosecution. The trial is scheduled to take place in three weeks.

    Based on psychiatrist opinions, the court could decide that the defendant is not responsible for the committed acts because of a mental disorder. In such an instance, he may serve any sentence issued in a psychiatric clinic.”

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