Reader’s Links for February 4, 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

57 Replies to “Reader’s Links for February 4, 2021”

  1. Sweden to Shut Borders for Arrivals Without Negative COVID-19 Test… Except Asylum Migrants (sputniknews, Feb 4, 2021)
    https://sputniknews.com/europe/202102041081975650-sweden-to-shut-borders-for-arrivals-without-negative-covid-19-test-except-asylum-migrants/

    “Starting 6 February, all foreign citizens must produce a fresh negative COVID-19 test when entering Sweden, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has announced.

    A negative COVID-19 test no more than 48 hours old will be required. The decision was made by the government at the request of the Public Health Agency due to the emergence of new, potentially more contagious coronavirus variants, national broadcaster SVT reported.

    “The new virus variants are worrying”, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said at a press conference.

    The same idea was echoed by Interior Minister Mikael Damberg.

    “Today’s decision is important to reduce the influx of the new variants of the virus that have been discovered in several countries. According to the Swedish Public Health Agency, there is great uncertainty about the new variants, and even though there is now a certain spread in Sweden, it’s important that we take this step. This will reduce the risk of us getting an even greater spread”, Damberg said, stressing that there are a number of exceptions in place to make sure that the new rules “don’t strike a wrong note”.
    One particular group that is spared the necessity of producing a negative COVID-19 test are asylum migrants. While immigration to Sweden has dropped markedly since the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic and related health restrictions across the globe, the Scandinavian country still took in nearly 13,000 asylum seekers in 2020. While this is seen as the lowest acceptance figure since the turn of the millenium, it is still more than its Nordic peers took in combined. Among other things, the restrictions don’t apply to people with “urgent family reasons” and people who must undergo surgery and other care that cannot be delayed.

    It is for humanitarian reasons that asylum seekers are one of the groups being exempted from the general entry ban that applies from countries outside the EU/EEA countries. Seasonal workers, students, and elite athletes from countries outside the EU/EEA are also allowed to travel to Sweden, but unlike asylum migrants, they must be able to show a negative ?OVID-19 test…”

  2. Swedish Preschool Linked to Violent Extremism Amid Rising Islamist Threat (sputniknews, Feb 4, 2021)
    https://sputniknews.com/europe/202102041081976782-swedish-preschool-linked-to-violent-extremism-amid-rising-islamist-threat/

    “In the words of Magnus Ranstorp, one of Sweden’s leading terrorism experts, radical Islamists have “put a lot of gunpowder” on school activities in particular in a bid to influence young people and isolate them from secular society.

    An independent preschool in Gothenburg called Snödroppen (“Snowflake”) has been revealed to have links to violent extremism and individuals deemed to constitute a threat to the country. Now the municipality is demanding that the preschool replace its management board or face closure.

    “If they in principle don’t replace the entire board and the principal, they cannot continue to run the business”, Amanda Larsson of the Gothenburg preschool board told the newspaper Göteborgs-Posten.

    According to an investigation by the Swedish Security Police (Säpo), Snowflake’s leadership has a clear connection to the so-called School of Science, a school in northeast Gothenburg whose permit was withdrawn in December 2019, when an individual on its board was identified by Säpo as a radical Islamist and a threat to Sweden’s security.

    Snowflake has been in operation since 2011, when it first received a permit. Until the autumn of 2018, a man in his 40s was its chairman of the board. When he stepped down, his wife, who is in her 30s, took over, Göteborgs-Posten reported.

    Despite the man no longer being the principal, according to the investigation, he is still connected to the preschool’s activities through his wife. Therefore, she is not considered a suitable principal either.

    “We assess that the man hasn’t left the business and thus continues to have an impact. For example, he can still use the company’s car, which shows a close relationship with the current principal”, Amanda Larsson said.

    The Gothenburg school authorities have decided that the preschool must get a new principal by April or face closure. In this case, the roughly 30 children will be offered a replacement preschool.

    This is not the first time Islamist connections have sprung up in the Swedish education system. In 2020, the school Nya Kastet in the city of Gävle was closed after barely two years over links to an Islamist extremist network led by Abo Raad, who was slated for deporation as a threat to the country’s security, yet was ultimately allowed to remain due to alleged mortal danger to his life in his home country of Iraq. Nya Kastet was billed as an independent school with a Muslim focus and had connections to the local mosque, where Abo Raad had been preaching.
    Also in 2020, the preschool Lär & Lek (“Learn and Play”) was found to be funneling state benefits to Sweden’s United Muslims, a controversial and criticised taxpayer-funded organisation that was previously found to be spreading an extremist brand of Islam, and was closed until further notice.

    Earlier the same year, Säpo sounded the alarm over about a dozen schools and preschools in the country operated by people with links to violent extremism and called for legal changes.

    “We see this as a broad phenomenon and a long-term problem and all pro-violence extremist environments could take advantage of this opportunity”, Säpo chief of operations Johan Olsson told Swedish Radio, emphasising the threat of Islamist extremism.

    Magnus Ranstorp, a senior researcher at the Swedish National Defence College and one of the nation’s leading terrorism experts, earlier warned that radical Islamists had “put a lot of gunpowder” on school activities in particular, emphasising the goal to influence young people and isolate them from secular society.

    As Sweden in recent years emerged as one of Europe’s leaders in terms of jihadists per capita, it has been described as a “haven” for Islamists and terrorists. Säpo’s own estimate of the number of violent Islamists has risen tenfold from about 200 in 2010 to about 2,000 toward the end of the decade.”

    • DEMOCRATS and MSM repeated ad nauseam that it was Trump fans who killed the police officer with a fire extinguisher at the Capitol. ANOTHER BIG LIE.

      After nearly a month since his death there is no evidence Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died from blunt force to the head on January 6th. Even CNN admits it’s more likely he died from the effects of chemicals sprayed into the crowd that day.

      The media ran with the story that Officer Sicknick was beaten over the head with a fire extinguisher by Trump supporters.

      It was only later that the facts came out. Propublica reported that Sicknick told his brother he was merely pepper-sprayed. And according to Officer Sicknick’s family, he suffered from a blood clot and stroke and was on a ventilator, according to Western Journal.

      The Democrat led Congress held Sicknick in the Capitol rotunda this week to publicize Sicknick’s death while holding onto the narrative that angry Trump supporters clobbered him in the head on January 6th.

      Now that the story of Sicknick’s brutal death has been used to the fullest extent, CNN is even reporting it might have been ‘friendly fire’ that contributed more to Sicknick’s death than a hit to the head.

      According to one law enforcement official, medical examiners did not find signs that the officer sustained any blunt force trauma, so investigators believe that early reports that he was fatally struck by a fire extinguisher are not true.
      One possibility being considered by investigators is that Sicknick became ill after interacting with a chemical irritant like pepper spray or bear spray that was deployed in the crowd.

      https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/02/cnn-even-admits-still-no-evidence-capitol-officer-sicknick-killed-blunt-force-head-january-6th/

  3. Report: AOC Was Not Inside Capitol Building During Breach; AOC Responds: Report ‘Manipulative’

    Newsweek issues correction after GOP Rep slams them for fanning “fictitious news flames.Report: AOC Was Not Inside Capitol Building During Breach; AOC Responds: Report ‘Manipulative’

    Newsweek issues correction after GOP Rep slams them for fanning “fictitious news flames.

    Republican Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC), whose office is two doors down from Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, noted that “insurrectionists” never made it to their hall when the U.S. Capitol building was breached on Jan. 6. Mace made the note while hitting the media for their attempts to “fan fictitious news flames” about the breach.

    On Jan. 6, Mace tweeted that she left her office in the Cannon Building, still inside the Capitol complex but some distance from the Capitol Rotunda and House Chambers: “Just evacuated my office in Cannon due to a nearby thereat,” she wrote. “Now we’re seeing protesters assaulting Capitol Police.”

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/report-aoc-was-not-inside-capitol-building-during-breach-on-jan-6?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=benshapiro&fbclid=IwAR1ErUUj-TuwwoNpJiQ9iw7vinENbtdL1EGlApoOeVf4SSX240R6y-zh9DE

  4. House Democrats Seek to Strip GOP Rep. Greene From Committees
    By Jack Phillips
    February 3, 2021 Updated: February 3, 2021
    biggersmaller Print

    The House of Representatives plans a floor vote for Feb. 4 about whether to strip Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) of her committee assignments because of the freshman congresswoman’s apparent online embrace of “conspiracy theories” and other statements, a top Democrat says.

    House Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said in a statement on Feb. 3, “I spoke to [House Republican Leader Kevin] McCarthy this morning, and it is clear there is no alternative to holding a Floor vote on the resolution to remove Rep. Greene from her committee assignments.”

    The proposal, sponsored by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), would remove Greene from her assignments on the House Education and Labor and House Budget committees for the remainder of the congressional session.

    Hoyer told reporters at the Capitol in Washington that McCarthy (R-Calif.) “made a decision and we’re going to move forward.”

  5. The Dangerous Precedent of Trump’s Pseudo-Impeachment
    Shmuel Klatzkin
    7-8 minutes

    You, your estates, your posterities lie all at the stake … if your professed enemies are admitted to witness against you; if every word, intention, and circumstance of yours be alleged as treasonable, not because of a statute, but a consequence, a construction of law heaved up in a high rhetorical strain…. I leave it to your lordships’ consideration to foresee what may be the issue of so dangerous, so recent precedencies.

    These were the words of the Earl of Strafford, successfully defending himself against impeachment. England was becoming ever more divided, drifting towards the civil war that would soon overtake the country. Parliament had taken up its ancient weapon of impeachment against the powerful Strafford, the hated king’s chief minister.

    https://spectator.org/trump-impeachment-precedent/

  6. Grocery stores need to hire some brown shirts to monitor the fruit and vegetable sections. People walk into the store, drench their hands with hand sanitizer and pick over fruit and vegetables. I buy apples in volume, when they are on sale, to feed to the deer. Why are the deer smelling the apples and walking away?

    Next crisis headline – People being poisoned by hand sanitizer- how the chemicals have entered our food chain.

    I like the world a lot better when we said “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The old days when global madmen did not control our lives. When people would greet people with a smile, not a sneer. It was a much kinder world then, people did not stare and scream at you.

    My Mother taught me to be interested in Municipal, Provincial, Federal and world politics at a very early age. She said the Holocaust might not have happened if only people were aware of the political monsters and had stood together and not turned on one another.

    The internet was supposed to be this great learning tool, everyone was going to to be oh so much smarter and here we are today, people being told to snitch on family, friends and neighbours and the feckless ones are complying. what happened to our quality of life? Why are we allowing Trudeau, Ford and all the politicians to handle the so called pandemic?

    • At times, I see check-out clerks drenching their hands and arms up to the elbow in this soap chemical. It tells us all we need to know about these people, aka stay away from them.

      There is a chemical on the apples, Morpholine. It’s sprayed to prevent insects from digging in. Apples should not be waxxy – that’s the chemical. I wash all my fruit with edible peels. I use a small amount of Dawn dish soap or Ivory hand soap and I wash lightly then thoroughly rinse in cool to cold water. You’ll feel the texture change. No more morpholine. The same with peppers and whatever peel that you eat.

        • Depends on what apples you gave them. They go by smell, nice nostrils for the purpose. Maybe some apples are too covered in morpholine. Do your homework on the subject.

          Morpholine is a waxy substance. The more is applied, the less the deer will be open to it, aka no apple smell. But people seek out perfect apples and eat all that morpholine.

  7. Twenty four seven we are told to
    STAY HOME
    STAY SAFE
    SAVE OTHERS

    More new FEAR FEAR FEAR causes and results:

    Sudbury mayor, Brian Bigger, is calling for highway check points that would discourage non-essential travel to Northern Ontario, he wants a Northern bubble. Fear, fear, fear.

    Ottawa hospitals seeing a surge in missing appointments and delayed care. People are afraid to go to the hospitals, they think they will get COVID. Shocking when CBC, CTV, Global, Trudeau, Ford and a large percentage of politicians are going along with the FEAR factor.

    Shutdowns, lockdowns are effecting health care. If you wait for 8 months to finally get into see a specialist and are told you have scare tissue from waiting too long, who the hell is at fault? Keep peddling the fear factor and down the road we may learn the cure was responsible for far more long term illness and deaths than COVID / FLU.

    STAY HOME, STAY SAFE, SAVE LIVES and FEAR FOR YOU LIFE.

    • Imagine people, and those with children, living in apartment buildings with nothing outside their windows except concrete and sky. That must be hard. Me, I’m lucky. I have a house with a 3-storey high green hedge in my backyard.

  8. The Doctors should be trusted to make decisions about COVID / flu not the politicians. As long as we have politicians who care more about the Great reset and hospital CEOs who do not speak out for fear of losing funding, this farce will continue.

    The sky is not falling, but all the horse pucky the politicians are spreading might contribute to more methane in the air.

  9. “…Information about George Floyd’s prior arrests can’t be used at the trials of four former Minneapolis police officers charged in his death, but jurors will be allowed to hear details about two previous incidents involving the officer who kneeled on Floyd’s neck, a judge ruled.”
    https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_60109d64c5b6c5586aa4b509?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly9kdWNrZHVja2dvLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAJGSOXqSRjtv7fUpNEwF2nrOuPKvs3zbkYQmffDgvOFmxhY9uqFgF5EQ-3lyb6GCGgllqqkzy6x1pjndyOjOQdTokzt80ZvFHWs1xB5XA1rhB6LYF_lgFJmLLfgzInRyf0QqFM3jeO-Sp1aBdjk5mXckb3zPAZB

    A defendant should not have to defend past behavior, and so if George Floyd were in the dock, his previous crimes would not be on trial but it would only be for the jury to examine the case in hand.
    This is to prevent prejudice by previous actions and implied motive.

    However, for Officer Derek Chauvin, this is not the case.

    • CBC -What does the terrorist designation mean for Proud Boys?

      ( 18 min )

      The Canadian government has officially labelled the Proud Boys as a terrorist entity under the Criminal Code.

      Public Safety Minister Bill Blair says the move was based on evidence and intelligence, and not politics.

    • What about the Muslim Brotherhood hoods – the Quebec mosque, that Blair refers to, where there was trouble before the shooting and trouble after the shooting. Are the Muslim brotherhood hoods on the list, methinks not.

      • What about Hibtz ut-Tharir and leader Mazin Abdul-Adhim, is he on the list, methinks not.

        If Justine wants to show Canadians he is clamping down on terror groups —hmm makes me think there will be an election soon— he should drop the Proud Boys off his silly list and get serious, if that is possible.

  10. BBC – Unmasked: The new leader of ‘Islamic State’ and how he came to power –

    The new leader of the so-called Islamic State may have been in power for two years now but how much do we know about him?

    BBC News Arabic’s special correspondent Feras Kilani has spent weeks travelling the length of Iraq to bring us this exclusive report into the life of the man they call Hajji Abdullah.

  11. “A police officer has been charged with a criminal offence for allegedly sending a grossly offensive meme of George Floyd to colleagues in a WhatsApp group.

    Sgt Geraint Jones, 47, from the Devon and Cornwall force in south-west England, will appear in court later this month.”

    “The officer is alleged to have shared the image on 30 May, five days after Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

    The Guardian understands a white fellow officer in the same force reported the image within 48 hours of it being sent.

    Jones has been suspended from duty since June.

    Section 127 of the 2003 Communications Act makes it an offence to send a message that “is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character”.
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/jan/21/uk-police-officer-charged-offensive-george-floyd-meme

    Where Work and Life was once separate, work has crept into the home. And something not offensive to you at home, passed on, becomes a meal for the righteously offended.

    “is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character”. A Law that cannot be measured. And so is applied more equally depending what ideology receives this free gift when they get into power.

  12. Iranian Diplomat Is Convicted In Plot to Bomb Opposition Rally in France
    A court in Belgium sentenced Assadollah Assadi, an envoy based in Vienna, to 20 years in prison for his role in a thwarted attack on a group that seeks to overthrow the Iranian leadership.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/04/world/europe/iranian-diplomat-convicted-bomb-plot.html
    A Belgian court on Thursday stripped a senior Iranian official of his diplomatic immunity, convicted him of organizing a thwarted bomb attack aimed at an Iranian opposition rally in France in 2018 and sentenced him to 20 years in prison.
    The Iranian official, Assadollah Assadi, a Vienna-based diplomat detained in Belgium, invoked his diplomatic status in refusing to testify during his trial, which began in November. Mr. Assadi, now 49, received the maximum sentence on charges of attempted terrorist murder and participation in the activities of a terrorist group. He did not attend the hearing on Thursday at the courthouse in Antwerp.
    The conviction is a blow to the Iranian government as it tries to persuade the United States to re-enter the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal before Iranians vote in presidential elections in June.
    Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, claimed in 2018 that the bomb plot allegations were a “false flag” operation designed to embarrass Iran as President Hassan Rouhani prepared to travel to Europe to rally support for the nuclear deal that President Donald J. Trump had recently abandoned.
    [..]

    France bomb plot: Iran diplomat Assadollah Assadi sentenced to 20 years
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-55931633
    An Iranian diplomat has been convicted of a plot to bomb a big French rally held by an exiled opposition group.
    Assadollah Assadi, 49, who worked at the Iranian embassy in Vienna, was given a 20-year jail term by the court in Antwerp in Belgium.
    It was the first time an Iranian official had faced such charges in the EU since the 1979 revolution.
    Three others were also convicted. They were arrested during a joint operation by German, French and Belgian police.
    Tehran insists the plot was a fabrication.
    Tens of thousands of people attended the June 2018 rally outside Paris, including Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
    The verdict comes weeks after US President Joe Biden took office, with Iran hoping he will reverse some of the sanctions introduced by his predecessor.
    [..]

  13. Turkey rejects criticism of its handling of student protest (abcnews, Feb 4, 2021)
    https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/turkey-rejects-criticism-handling-student-protest-75677842

    “Turkey on Thursday rejected international criticism of its crackdown on protests by students opposing the appointment of a government loyalist to head Istanbul’s top university, warning countries to stay out of its domestic issues.

    For weeks, students and faculty members of Bogazici University have been protesting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Jan. 1 appointment of Melih Bulu, an academic who once ran for parliament as a candidate for Erdogan’s party. They are calling for Bulu’s resignation as the university’s rector and for the university to be allowed to elect its own president.

    Some of the protests have erupted into clashes between police and demonstrators and hundreds of people have been detained, some taken away following raids of their homes, even as Erdogan has promised reforms to strengthen democratic standards.

    Officials from the United States, the United Nations and the European Union have criticized Turkey’s handling of the protests as well as a series of anti-LGBT comments that were made by Erdogan and other officials while denouncing the demonstrations.

    On Thursday, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement defending the Turkish security forces’ actions, saying there were attempts by terrorist organizations to infiltrate and provoke the protests.

    “We recommend that those who … attempt to give our country lessons in democracy and law, turn the mirror on themselves,” the ministry said. “No one has the right to attempt to intervene in Turkey’s affairs.”

    In a video-recorded statement, Erdogan’s communications director, Fahrettin Altun, said Bulu’s appointment was in line with the president’s “constitutional mandate.”

    He said “a small and radical group” was detained for criminal offenses, including depriving people of their physical freedom and damaging public property, after they surrounded a building housing Bulu’s office and attempted to raid it.

    Tensions flared this week after a group of students were arrested over a poster, which was displayed at Bogazici University, that depicted Islam’s most sacred site with LGBT rights flags. The students were arrested over the weekend on charges of inciting hatred and insulting religious values.

    “We are concerned by detentions of students and other demonstrators and strongly condemn the anti-LGBTQI rhetoric surrounding the demonstrations,” said U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price on Wednesday.

    The U.N. Human Rights office urged Turkey on Twitter to stop the use of excessive force on the protesters and condemned “homophobic and transphobic comments by officials, inciting hatred and discrimination against LGBT people.”

    European Parliament legislator Nacho Sanchez Amor also expressed concerns over the police violence and mass detentions and asked: “does this reflect the new positive agenda and the will of reforms?”

    On Thursday, police broke up another protest in Istanbul, chasing demonstrators down a street.

    Earlier, the Interior Ministry announced that police had detained a total of 528 people over the protests, of whom 498 have since been released. Of those in custody, at least 22 people have links to terrorist organizations, said ministry spokesman Ismail Catakli.”

  14. Iranian diplomat convicted of planning attack on opposition (abcnews, Feb 4, 2021)
    https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/iranian-diplomat-convicted-planning-attack-opposition-75678256

    “An Iranian official identified as an undercover agent was convicted Thursday of masterminding a thwarted bomb attack against an exiled Iranian opposition group in France in 2018 and sentenced to 20 years in prison by a Belgian court, which rejected his claim of diplomatic immunity.

    Assadollah Assadi, a Vienna-based diplomat detained in Belgium, refused to testify during his trial last year, invoking his diplomatic status. He did not attend Thursday’s hearing at the Antwerp courthouse.

    Prosecutors had requested the maximum prison sentence of 20 years on charges of attempted terrorist murder and participation in the activities of a terrorist group. Assadi contested all the charges against him. His lawyer, Dimitri De Beco, said it’s likely Assadi will decide to appeal the ruling.

    Three other defendants were also found guilty and received lengthy jail sentences after the court ruled that they belonged to the same network.

    During the trial, lawyers for the plaintiffs and representatives of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq opposition group, or MEK, claimed without offering evidence that the diplomat set up the attack on direct orders from Iran’s highest authorities. Tehran has denied having a hand in the plot.

    In its ruling, the court made clear Iran was not on trial, but insisted the quartet of defendants were members of a cell operating for Iran’s intelligence services gathering information about the opposition group to identify targets and set up an attack.

    Assadi’s conviction comes at a critical time and has the potential to embarrass his country as U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration weighs whether to rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers. Iran also said last month it expects Washington to lift economic sanctions that former President Donald Trump imposed on the country after pulling America out of the atomic deal in 2018.

    The European Union centered its reaction on Assadi specifically and did not draw in Iran as a nation. “The acts committed by this person are completely unacceptable. That’s a fact. The other aspect I can add is that the person in question is already on the EU counter-terrorism list,” said EU spokesman Peter Stano.

    The Belgian government said the ruling stood on its own, separated from diplomacy and international relations.

    “What matters is that today the justice system has ruled on facts of terrorism and made a clear statement about it. And it must be able to do that in complete independence. Otherwise, we no longer live in a constitutional state,” said Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne.

    On June 30, 2018, Belgian police officers tipped off by intelligence services about a possible attack against the annual meeting of the MEK, stopped a couple traveling in a Mercedes car. In their luggage, they found 550 grams of the unstable TATP explosive and a detonator.

    Belgium’s bomb disposal unit said the device was of professional quality. It could have caused a sizable explosion and panic in the crowd, estimated at 25,000 people, that had gathered that day in the French town of Villepinte, north of Paris.

    Among dozens of prominent guests at the rally that day were Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani; Newt Gingrich, former conservative speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives; and former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt.

    Assadi was arrested a day later in Germany and transferred to Belgium. The court said since Assadi was on vacation at the time of his arrest — and not in Austria, where he was accredited — he was not entitled to immunity.

    A note from Belgium’s intelligence and security agency seen by The Associated Press identified him as an officer of Iran’s intelligence and security ministry who operated under cover at Iran’s embassy in Vienna. Belgium’s state security officers said he worked for the ministry’s so-called Department 312, the directorate for internal security, which is on the European Union’s list of organizations regarded as terrorist.

    Prosecutors said he was the “operational commander” of the attack and accused him of recruiting the couple — Amir Saadouni and Nasimeh Naami — years before the attack, to obtain information about the opposition. Both were of Iranian heritage.

    Saadouni was sentenced to 15 years in jail while Naami was handed a 18-year sentence.

    According to the investigation, Assadi carried the explosives to Austria on a commercial flight from Iran and later handed the bomb over to the pair during a meeting at a Pizza Hut restaurant in Luxembourg. The ruling confirmed that the explosives were made and tested in Iran.

    The fourth defendant, Mehrdad Arefani, was sentenced to 17 years in prison.

    The National Council of Resistance of Iran is a part of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, an exiled Iranian opposition group largely based in Albania and Paris.

    It was formed in 1965 by college students who embraced both Marxism and Islamic governance while seeking to overthrow the ruling shah. They’ve been blamed for killing Americans in the 1970s and later assassinations and bombings, attacks in which the group now denies being involved.

    They were pushed out of Iran in the wake of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, then joined Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in battling Iran, becoming incredibly unpopular in their country. The group has sought to rehabilitate its image in recent years, paying tens of thousands of dollars in speaking fees to American politicians. The MEK says it renounced violence in 2001.

    The organization’s leader, Maryam Rajavi, welcomed the ruling and reasserted her claims that Assadi’s plot had been approved by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

    “The time has come for the European Union to take action,” she said, urging EU countries to recall their ambassadors from Tehran in light of the ruling.”

  15. Pope, Muslim leader celebrate fraternity anniversary (abcnews, Feb 4, 2021)
    https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/pope-muslim-leader-celebrate-fraternity-anniversary-75681931

    “Pope Francis and a top Sunni Muslim came together virtually Thursday to reinforce a message of fraternity, pressing forward with a broad-based Christian-Muslim peace initiative ahead of Francis’ planned trip to Iraq next month.

    Thursday marked the first-ever International Day of Human Fraternity, a U.N.-designated celebration of interfaith and multicultural understanding inspired by a landmark document signed on Feb. 4, 2019 in Abu Dhabi by Francis and Sheikh Ahmad al-Tayyeb, the imam of the Al-Azhar center for Sunni learning in Cairo.

    The document called for greater mutual understanding and solidarity to confront the problems facing the world. With the backing of the United Arab Emirates, the initiative has gone on to create a high-level commission to spread the message and plans are under way to build in Abu Dhabi a center with a synagogue, mosque and church in a tangible display of interfaith coexistence and sharing.

    Francis addressed the virtual anniversary celebration by warning that forging greater human solidarity was the “challenge of our century, the challenge of our times.”

    Francis praised al-Tayyeb’s courage in signing the document and pursuing the initiative. Al-Tayyeb praised his “brother” Francis and urged Muslims and all people of good will to support the project and its aims.

    They were both on hand virtually to award a fraternity award to the U.N. secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, and Latifah Ibn Ziaten, a Moroccan-born mother who began campaigning for an end to religious extremism and greater social harmony after her son was murdered in France.

    The anniversary of the initiative comes a month before Francis is due to visit Iraq in the first-ever papal visit. The Chaldean patriarch has said that Francis is due to meet there with the country’s top Shiite cleric, Ali al-Sistani.”

  16. French Homicides Increased 91 Per Cent from 2000 to 2020 (breitbart, Feb 4, 2021)
    https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2021/02/04/french-homicides-increased-91-per-cent-2000-2020/

    “The number of homicides in France has nearly doubled in the last 20 years, with one criminologist stating that the country is undergoing an “epidemic” of murder cases.

    In total, France saw an historic 4,472 cases of homicide in 2020, with criminologist Alain Bauer comparing the growing violence to that of the United States.

    “While we are rightly moved by the crisis of mass murders and violence that is returning to the United States, a similar movement that is not very visible, but more and more pronounced, is affecting France,” Bauer said, according t0 Le Figaro.

    Bauer stated that many expected the number of murders to go down following the terrorist attacks in Paris in 2015 and Nice in 2016, as both saw many casualties. But instead, the number of killings has continued to rise.

    According to Le Figaro, the only comparable rise in murders took place from 1972 to 1983 when the rate grew from 2,093 to 3,183, a 52 per cent increase.

    Professor Bauer labelled the trend a “very discrete epidemic of homicides” and said the problems stemmed from social crises, health crises, and what he called the “trollisation” of society, including calls for murder on social media networks.

    “Behind this daily violence, masked by attacks or mass murders, what is being revealed before our eyes is a global social process of questioning a founding achievement of what makes a civilisation: the right to live,” he said.

    Professor Bauer’s comments echo others he made in 2019, when he remarked on the murder rate jumping by 79 per cent from 2009 to 2018, where he stated: “Homicide is, by definition, the criterion for recognising violence in a society.”

    Other violent crimes have also seen an increase in recent years such as sexual violence which rose by 12 per cent in 2019, according to a report from the Interior Ministry.”

  17. Islamic Groups Reject Macron Values Charter and Concept of a French Islam (breitbart, Feb 4, 2021)
    https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2021/02/04/islamic-groups-reject-macron-values-charter-concept-islam-france/

    “Three major Islamic groups continue to reject President Emmanuel Macron’s charter of principles for Islam in France.

    The Coordinating Committee of Turkish Muslims of France (CCMTF), the Islamic Confederation of Millî Görü? (CIMG), and Faith and Practice initially rejected the charter on January 18th, telling the Elysée Palace that they would not sign the document.

    Earlier this week, the groups sent a list of suggested amendments to the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) along with comments on the text of the charter and outlined why they have not changed their position.

    French Muslim news website Saphir News published the proposed amendments, which showed many of the rejections include interpretations of verses of the Quran. Others are rejections of terms used in the charter.

    One of the disputed terms was “Islam of France”, which they argued was against the tenets of their religion as there is no national Islam, but “only one Islamic belief accepted by Muslims around the world”.

    “The different religious conceptions that would arise from it would then be considered as different religions. Thus, the concept of ‘Islam of France’, inducing a distinction from Islam at the national level, would not be a valid denomination,” the groups said.

    Macron’s push for the charter came after the murder of teacher Samuel Paty, who was beheaded in the street by a Chechen refugee radical Islamic extremist.

    Macron announced he would be tackling the issue of political Islam, which also appears in the charter, asking groups to refuse to participate in promoting the system.

    In their proposal for amendments, the groups claim that the term “political Islam” lacks proper definition, saying: “Some definitions have been put forward, but they are extremely problematic, sometimes criminalising religious practices that are part of the common foundation of Islam and which are guaranteed by the Constitution.”

    “The concept of ‘political Islam’ stipulated in the article restricts the rights of Muslims or Muslim organisations to access social or political debate since they may be accused of ‘political Islam’ and prevented from exercising their democratic rights. It can also expose them to discrimination and criminalise their opinions,” the groups said.

    The charter refers to political Islam as: “The political and/or ideological currents commonly referred to as Wahhabism; Salafism; the doctrine of the Muslim Brotherhood; and more generally any local movement, transnational or international that aims to use Islam to establish a political doctrine.”

    In November, the French government gave the groups two weeks to sign the values charter, with President Macron stating: “There will be those who sign and those who will not sign. We’ll learn from it. Either you are with the Republic or you are not with the Republic.”

    One of Macron’s advisers said that the French leader would not compromise on the charter and that those who refused to sign would be viewed as “separatists”.

    Since Mr Paty’s murder, the government has dissolved several associations it has claimed were linked to radical Islamic ideologies, including the NGO Barakacity.”

  18. NGOs call on Italy to suspend Libya migration agreement and re-start Mediterranean rescue efforts
    https://english.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2021/2/4/ngos-call-on-italy-to-halt-libya-migration-agreement

    “A group of six NGOs and human rights associations have called on the Italian parliament to suspend an agreement between Italy and Libya on the management of migration flows and to allow the resumption of search-and-rescue operations in the Mediterranean.
    Under the terms of the controversial 2017 agreement between Italy and the Tripoli government, Italy provides financial assistance to the Libyan coastguard in return for limiting migration flows to Europe.

    The humanitarian organisations Doctors Without Borders (MSF), the Association for Juridical Studies on Immigration (ASGI), Emergency, Mediterranea Saving Humans, Oxfam and Sea-Watch on Tuesday appealed to the Italian parliament to immediately revoke the agreement on the grounds that the accord represents a “failure of Italian and European policy”.

    Italy has spent over $940 million to block migratory flows from Libya, according to the organisations. Over $250 million were spent directly in Libya, which has been locked in internal conflict since 2011.

    Rossella Miccio, president of the Italian medical organisation Emergency, told The New Arab that the public money should not be spent on funding militias with little or no accountability but instead on “guaranteeing legal ways to request [humanitarian] visas and investing in integration”.

    The NGOs claimed the funds contributed to further destabilising the country, pushing human traffickers to convert the business of smuggling and human trafficking into one that profits from detention centres, where refugees are held.

    “Libya cannot be considered a safe place, but rather a country in which violence and brutality represent everyday life for thousands of migrants and refugees,” the organizations said in the statement.

    Miccio said Italy and the EU must find solutions that are “more in line with European values”.

    In the four years since the memorandum was signed, over 50,000 migrants have been pushed back to Libya – a key departure point for refugees in the African continent to Europe – 12,000 of whom were expelled in 2020 alone.

    The UN Migration Agency, IOM, estimated that nearly 6,500 migrants have lost their lives since 2017 whilst trying to reach Europe.

    The humanitarian organisations have called on the Italian parliament to establish an investigative committee to assess the impact of the funds given to Libya and to halt the Italy-Libya accord until a stable political government is formed.

    However, Italy is currently facing a political crisis following the resignation of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. Conte is currently attempting to garner enough support to lead a new caretaker government.

    Emergency, which operates search-and-rescue activities in collaboration with German Open Arms, has denounced the intense political pressures against NGOs operating in the Mediterranean.

    In 2020 the Italian government prevented six humanitarian vessels from conducting search-and-rescue operations by holding them in port on various “specious charges.” These obstructions, they claim, contributed to the rising death toll in the Mediterranean.

    The funding of the Libyan search-and-rescue operations, aimed at intercepting boats leaving Libya, cannot substitute European naval missions, the organisations said.

    They called for the establishment of a European naval mission with the clear task of saving people at sea.”

  19. Water Scarcity ‘A Real Threat to Morocco’s Stability’
    https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2021/02/334056/water-scarcity-a-real-threat-to-moroccos-stability/

    “A new report by the Centre of Mediterranean Integration (CMI) has assessed climate change in Morocco and revealed that the North African country faces serious challenges in terms of water scarcity and material security.

    The study, which was released on February 3, contains new data and maps concerning climate change in Morocco.

    Funded by the government of the UK, the data was developed in partnership with key Moroccan government agencies, according to the press release shared with Morocco World News.

    The information from the study will help Morocco expand the knowledge available to local institutions and decision makers, especially concerning water and agriculture management.

    The data, which has not been made public yet, mostly consists of national climate projections for temperature, precipitation, and several extreme weather indicators.

    British Ambassador to Morocco Simon Martin said, “Water scarcity constitutes a real threat to Morocco’s stability and sustainable development.” He noted that the seminar aims to bring together the “best minds” to find solutions to Morocco’s water management issues…”

  20. Morocco Reacts to Video of Spanish Guards Assaulting Moroccan Minors
    https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2021/02/334047/morocco-reacts-to-video-of-spanish-guards-assaulting-moroccan-minors/

    “Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned on Wednesday, February 3, the Spanish Ambassador in Rabat, Le360 reported, citing “informed sources.”

    The move came after a viral video showed several Spanish security officers beating Moroccan minors.

    It is uncertain whether the video is recent or not, but it is clear that it was recorded in Spain. The Spanish officers were wearing uniforms of Spain’s Civil Guard and using their batons to hit the Moroccan minors, believed to be irregular migrants.

    The video showed the young Moroccans begging the Spanish officers to stop hitting them. But the beating did not stop until all the Moroccans fell to the ground, with no energy left to resist.

    Some reports claim that the incident occurred at a migrant detention center in Las Palmas, the Canary Islands, but Morocco World News was unable to independently verify the information.

    According to Le360, Moroccan diplomacy has expressed its “concern” about the treatment of these minors and asked for clarification about the incident.

    Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also demanded that Spanish authorities take all necessary measures to protect Moroccan minors.

    It also demanded that Spain take disciplinary measures against the Civil Guard officers that appeared in the video to make sure they no longer pose a threat to young Moroccans.

    Mistreatment of Moroccan migrants in detention centers is not something unheard of. On July 1, 2019, officers at a Spanish juvenile detention center killed Iliass Tahiri, an 18-year-old Moroccan boy.

    A tragic video released nearly one year after the incident, in June 2020, documented the young Moroccan’s death.

    The footage showed two security guards entering a small room with a bed and a desk, followed by two more guards holding Tahiri, handcuffed, by his arms.

    The guards threw the boy onto the bed, and two other men joined them to restrain him, despite Tahiri’s lack of resistance.

    The six men appeared to take turns restraining the boy. As many as five guards were seen restraining him at once.

    While this was ongoing, Tahiri’s face was pressed to the bed, unable to breathe. At one point, the video showed one of the guard’s checking the boy for a pulse and then continuing to tie the victim’s limbs with a thick strap.

    Thirteen minutes after the ordeal began, when the guards realized that they had killed the boy, a doctor arrived to confirm that the young Moroccan was not breathing. The doctor’s attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.”

    • Varios menores intentan agredir con una tijera al director y el cuidador de un centro de Tafira

      La Policía Nacional tuvo que actuar en el centro por las amenazas recibidas por los trabajadores, aunque no hubo heridos

      La Policía Nacional actuó el pasado sábado en un centro de menores de Tafira en el que varios menores amenazaron con una tijera sacada de un botiquín al director y a los educadores. En el incidente no hubo heridos pese a que un vídeo recoge cómo uno de los internos queda tirado en el suelo supuestamente inconsciente, pero que finalmente se levanta durante la presencia de los agentes.

      La Jefatura Superior de Policía de Canarias ha informado de que el 091 recibió una llamada la tarde del pasado 30 de enero en la que se avisaba de que varios menores de origen magrebí amenazaban con una tijera a los trabajadores.
      Según el vídeo, cuando los policías se personaron uno de los internos estaba tirado en el suelo mientras el resto gritaba en lo que parecía que había sido una agresión con una persona inconsciente. Otras fuentes precisaron que se trataba todo de una simulación ya que no hubo agresión y el menor se levantó poco después sin lesión alguna.

      La Policía Nacional ha abierto una investigación interna por la actuación de uno de los agentes, que se pudo extralimitar en sus funciones.

      https://www.laprovincia.es/sucesos/2021/02/02/menores-agredir-tijera-director-cuidador-33881899.html

      ==================================================

      Incidente en un centro de menores en Tafira

      Uno de los menores amenazó con unas tijeras a un cuidador y fingió estar lesionado

      Las imágenes de un vídeo han puesto de manifiesto un incidente en un centro de menores inmigrantes no acompañados, en las que se observa cómo agentes de la Policía Nacional intervienen ante el aviso de un motín.

      Los hechos tuvieron lugar el pasado domingo 31 de enero por la tarde en el centro de menores de Tindaya en la zona de Tafira (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria). La Policía acudió a una llamada de auxilio del centro porque un menor, al que se le había negado la salida, estaba amenazando con unas tijeras al director y varios empleados del centro. El menor, que en las imágenes difundidas parece estar sin sentido, estaba supuestamente fingiendo, ya que cuando llegaron los servicios médicos se levantó sin lesión alguna.

      Durante la intervención, otro de los menores continuaba llorando y gritando «Policía, hermano» mientras intentaban contenerlos. Los agentes han abierto una investigación para aclarar los hechos y depurar responsabilidades.

      https://www.canarias7.es/canarias/intento-motin-centro-20210202171949-nt.html

  21. Bank of America gave data and information to the feds at the request of the US government, without the knowledge or consent of the customers.

    Bank of America scanned through customer records to flag the following:

    Were they in DC between January 5 and January 6
    Purchased a hotel stay or AirBnB in DC, Virginia or Maryland after January 6
    Any purchase of weapons between January 7 and their upcoming suspected stay in DC area around Inauguration Day
    Airline related purchases since January 6

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/02/bank-america-secretly-flagged-purchase-history-customers-sent-data-feds-capitol-riot/
    =================================================
    Tucker: Bank of America secretly turned over customer data to FBI

  22. Germany: Antifa rally against COVID sceptics in Berlin

    Hundreds of people rallied against coronavirus sceptics and demanding greater solidarity in the fight against the pandemic in Berlin on Thursday.

    Antifa protesters were seen marching behind a banner in Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg neighbourhood. Police were also seen on the scene.

    Germany has registered 2.25 million confirmed cases of coronavirus and 59,776 related deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

  23. I was surprised to hear Dr. Fauci in an interview done Wednesday night and broadcast Thursday on public radio. https://whyy.org/lifelonglearning/

    He said that everyone going in to the White House had to test negative for COVID19 and it was only after the Rose Garden event for Amy Coney Barrett that he necessary that masks were necessary because a negative COVID test was not enough to prevent spread.

    All along, I recall the media criticizing “Trump’s White House” for not masking. In the interview, Dr. Fauci himself said that the White House residents, staff, and visitors did not need to mask because they were periodically testing negative. It is gracious that Dr. Fauci corrected the record for why people at the event were not wearing masks.

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