Reader’s Links for February 9, 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

103 Replies to “Reader’s Links for February 9, 2021”

    Peachy Keenan
    Brace yourself, folx! After a year-long hiring spree of diversity-approved, anti-racist quota hires, including industry job openings that called for “Pacific Islander-nonbinary comedy writer” and “queer BIPOC show runner,” we are about to get hit with an absolute tsunami of terrible TV and movies. Entertainment designed by woke algorithm, scripted by BLM. You know, for kids!

    Are You Not Entertained?

    But wait, you ask: how could what’s coming be worse than what we’ve put up with for the last few years? Regrettably it’s true; standards have fallen. Studios can’t invest in the little extras, like story, production value, feelings. How can they? They’ve been forced to sacrifice most of their budgets appeasing the DIE anti-racism gods, who demand billion-dollar payoffs, script approval, and sign off on the final cut.

    Did you know that GLAAD, the massive LGBTQ advocacy lobbyist, actually has deals with the studios to review scripts for “representation”? Their mission statement is “GLAAD works through entertainment, news, and digital media to share stories from the LGBTQ community that accelerate acceptance.” Seems fine, right? I’ve got no problem with people “sharing stories.” The more stories the better, right? Let the people decide, after all.

    Except GLAAD is now 100% owned and operated by the trans lobby, and they don’t just want representation and acceptance. Nope. Like BLM, their goals are much more insidious. They won’t be satisfied with a few new Marvel superheroes who can fly through space but don’t know if they’re male or female. The true goal, of course, is to incinerate the bond between children and parent, degrade human morality, and erase patriarchal white supremacist traditions, like carbon-based life forms available in just two sexes and genders.

    Think your children can find refuge in some nice Disney princess movies? Sorry, that coach has turned back into a pumpkin. The Frozen franchise ultimately failed because the feminist screenwriters couldn’t bring themselves to allow a straight white princess to enjoy a satisfying fairy tale ending. “Incel Elsa” is not a doll most four year-old girls want.

    I think the entire Frozen brand started to melt when they turned witty Prince Hans into a murderer; the worst heel turn since Danaerys went nuts in Game of Thrones. The Brothers Grimm these people are not, but they are in charge of your children’s entertainment.

    Meanwhile, Disney is almost finished retconning its “racist” theme park rides, like Jungle Cruise and Splash Mountain. Their goal, of course, is not simply to remove racist Audio-Animatronic figures of tribal headhunters and furry critters. Their goal is to remove the racism embedded deep in your complicit American heart. And if they can’t, then you, my dear, are next on the removal list.

    This is why corporate entertainment is no longer entertaining: it is no longer made to entertain you.

    It is made to correct you.

    Attention GameStop Millionaires!

    You diamond-handed bastards. You’re richer than Roosevelt! Time to put your filthy lucre to good use, my boys. You know who has all the money in Hollywood right now? The talent agents. They’re the ones buying all the $4 million dollar homes in the last few decent school districts in Los Angeles. Not that they send their kids to public schools, of course. The movie star era is over. Actors no longer call the shots. Those greasepaint monkeys have been reduced to hustling for any job they can take. But as the new Praetorian guard to the Empire’s narrative agenda, the agents are cashing in.

    Not that talent agents have ever been decent human beings, but at least they used to be fun. They had the cool parties, the best drugs, and some still had excellent taste. Not taste in the high artistic sense, but in the popular. They could make discoveries. Finds. There’s a reason that 60-pound French dork Timothée Chalamet is in every single movie—they don’t know how to scout actors anymore.

    Instead, the average talent agent spends his time Botoxing his waxed scrotum, bundling donor money for Kamala Harris 2024 fundraisers, passing bribes to Adam Schiff to look the other way as he smuggles COVID vaccines to their rich friends and Salvadoran nannies, and packaging fully woke BLM-scripted shows for the streaming networks. That wonderful script you wrote? The TV pilot you and your partner have been slaving over? Lol. Lmao. Learn to code, loser!

    Make Entertainment Great Again (MEGA!)

    My plight is real. There are a trillion content platforms and nothing I want to watch. My kids chat with friends on Discord and play games. My husband streams wristwatch and gun reviews on YouTube. Me? I don’t remember the last movie I saw. Maybe Contagion, but that was pure research.

    Poor Gen X. We had it too good. We were forced to see two, three movies a weekend in summer just to keep up. These are mostly now considered family classics. (Except for Howard the Duck.) They get remade over and over, unsuccessfully (Ghostbusters, Star Wars). Our four Christmas movies (It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, the original Grinch, and Home Alone) have an average age of 50.

    And it’s not just that there’s nothing to watch. There’s nothing to read, either. A novelist friend told me last year that he got heat from his publisher because his manuscript had “too many white characters.” He also helpfully got a note that his portrayal of a non-white character was “problematic.” A literary agent at a New York agency was fired last week after someone discovered she had a Parler account. The only books on the bestseller lists are Harry Potter, still, and of course, the Bridgerton books. No Pashtun translations of those yet, unfortunately.

    Hollywood Reshuffle

    Hey, Reddit army: what was the point of saving the AMC movie theater chain if you’re only going to show buddy flicks about young white feminists who get raped by sexist lacrosse players and have to take a road trip to procure late term abortions, along with their trans queer disabled immigrant drag queen best friends? (These are actual plot elements of actual movies and series in the last couple years. The abortion road trip is a whole genre unto itself.)

    The bar is so low. You can make the movies. We can make the movies. We have better ideas, better jokes, more interesting stories. We are not constrained by their rules. We don’t care about race and gender quotas—those are not story elements, those are story killers.

    The truth is, it’s already starting.

    Amanda Milius, the brilliant daughter of notorious conservative screenwriter John Milius, directed the #1 documentary of 2020. Watch The Plot Against the President and you’ll understand the popular resentment against the corrupt hacks who pretend to “serve the people.” It’s that good.

    Earlier this month, another remarkable shift took place in the world of film distribution. Independent producer Dallas Sonier premiered his new drama Run Hide Fight, a thriller billed as “Die Hard in a school shooter scenario.” How did Sonier, a conservative, find a platform to promote and launch the movie? Simple: he partnered with Ben Shapiro and the movie launched on the The Daily Wire website. No distribution fees, no movie theater contracts, no giant studio necessary. A friend who is working on an upcoming movie with Sonier said he talked to him after the premier and he declared it a “revolution.”

    Here’s the secret to making popular four-quadrant entertainment that attracts the widest possible audience: don’t be political. I don’t just mean avoid overt wokeness. I mean make apolitical art. It of course becomes political because of its refusal to be political, but that’s their problem.

    Imagine making movies for a giant underserved audience in an obscure, forgotten land. Overlooked by the coastal elites, this place has lots of children but barely goes to the movies anymore, since the movies are gross. Now imagine that this audience already speaks English, so no subtitles are necessary! You can use American actors! Now imagine this audience is crying out for movies to fill their abandoned AMC movie theaters, which just reopened post-vaccine.

    So sharpen your pencils and haul out your Selectric typewriter, because, as Kamala says, we’ve got work to do.

    Where we’re going, we won’t need speech codes.

    • “Think your children can find refuge in some nice Disney princess movies?”

      What is problematic with this statement?

      Well firstly, they are not your children. It takes a village to raise a child and the State to Educate from cradle to grave. Outdoor Reared workers. It’s a good thing. Three months maternity.

      Secondly, everyone has their inner princess. So why shouldn’t they be celebrated?

      A cis-woman needs a cis-man like a fish needs a bicycle.

      A child needs a parent like a bird needs a taxi.

      Just twirl and wait to be selected.

      • Do note the term “incel” and it application to anti-white hatred. It appears that if you are a white male, unless you are willing to bonk every tattooed ugly that flaunts your way and actually show some taste in your choice and require some degree of self respect in a partner, then you will be termed such as the definition now has been warped…naturally by the left.

  2. Great story, so glad you posted it. Who would have thought that the Woke madness filtered down that way but of course! How foolish of me to think otherwise.

    Thanks for an insider’s look at Holly Weird.

  3. Teacher Put Under Police Guard After Comparing Radical Islamist Killers to Nazis (breitbart, Feb 9, 2021)

    “French teacher Didier Lemaire was placed under police protection because he wrote a letter defending the Samuel Paty, a fellow teacher who was beheaded for showing pictures of Mohamed in class.

    Lemaire has taught philosophy in the commune of Trappes, in the Paris suburb of Yvelines, for 20 years but now requires an armed police escort simply to enter the high school where he teaches.

    “Today, I am accompanied to the high school by armed policemen who follow my vehicle,” Lemaire told BFMTV, adding: “I know that the school is also protected, sometimes visibly or invisibly.”

    Mr Lemaire said he received several threats after publishing an open letter shortly after the murder of Mr Paty who was killed in October for showing cartoons of the Muslim prophet Mohammed to his class during a lesson on freedom of expression at another school in Yvelines.

    Mr Lemaire spoke out about the situation in Trappes in the aftermath of the publication of his letter in which he condemned the murderer of Paty along with “ideologues” he compared to the Nazis, saying that such fanatics want to bring down the French Republic.

    “In class, some of my students — an entire class — asked me at the beginning of the school year why I had written a letter ‘against them’. I explained to them that it was for them and not against them,” Lemaire said.

    “In Trappes, there is no longer a mixed hairdresser. Maghreb women can no longer enter cafes. There is a lot of pressure on women to wear the veil,” he said and added: “The synagogue burned down, the Jews left. Then there was the exodus of other populations. And now it is the moderate Muslims and atheists who are leaving.”

    Following Mr Paty’s death, many teachers spoke out about the growing problem of Islamic radicalism in their classrooms. One teacher in Paris suburb stated that up to a third of her class openly questioned freedom of expression and stated it was “not normal” to criticise Islam.

    In December, the French Ministry of National Education reported that there had been nearly 400 incidents of praising terrorism or provocations relating to terror in French schools in the aftermath of Paty’s murder.

    Mr Lemaire is not the only teacher to require police protection after speaking out about the influence of Islam and the murder of Mr Paty. In December, a French law professor in Marseille was placed under police protection after claiming that religions like Islam were “sexually transmitted”.”

  4. Illegal Migrants Granted ‘Amnesty’ to Come Forward for Coronavirus Vaccine in Britain (breitbart, Feb 8, 2021)

    “Illegal migrants in the United Kingdom will be granted an “amnesty” from any immigration enforcement actions if they come forward to receive free coronavirus vaccinations.

    The government has instructed Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) to not perform any “immigration status checks” on anyone who is seeking to be vaccinated, as well as for any other coronavirus-related doctor visit.

    The temporary amnesty comes amid a massive effort to vaccinate the population of Britain in order to develop herd immunity to the Chinese coronavirus.

    On Sunday, a government spokesman confirmed the free pass for illegal migrants, telling the Daily Mail: “Coronavirus vaccines will be offered to everyone living in the UK free of charge, regardless of immigration status.”…”

  5. “With the collapse in standards has come a most sinister development. It has long been axiomatic in quality British journalism that the advertising department and editorial should be kept rigorously apart. There is a great deal of evidence that, at the Telegraph, this distinction has collapsed.

    Late last year I set to work on a story about the international banking giant HSBC. Well-known British Muslims had received letters out of the blue from HSBC informing them that their accounts had been closed. No reason was given, and it was made plain that there was no possibility of appeal. “It’s like having your water cut off,” one victim told me.

    When I submitted it for publication on the Telegraph website, I was at first told there would be no problem. When it was not published I made enquiries. I was fobbed off with excuses, then told there was a legal problem. When I asked the legal department, the lawyers were unaware of any difficulty. When I pushed the point, an executive took me aside and said that “there is a bit of an issue” with HSBC. Eventually I gave up in despair and offered the article to openDemocracy. It can be read here.”

    • Newsmax is a small outfit and probably doesn’t have the money to fight a lawsuit, Dominion is backed by the Dark Money groups and is suing everyone that even thinks about saying their machines were crooked.

  6. It is as easy as one, two, three.
    Gradual construction of the Muslim individual.
    Muslim family and community
    Muslim Government – Islamic State – will bind all Muslims to God, slow and steady, the brethren ( Muslim Brotherhood hoods ) prefer gradual advancement and development. SHAREE’AH.

    “O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are allies of one another. And whoever is an ally of them among you – – -then indeed, he is one of them.

    Jawed Anwar, the Islamic Party of Ontario “Mankind should be guided by Islam, no Liberalism.”

    M-103, the hate speech motion introduced by Muslim Member of Parliament, Iqra Khalid, Mississauga/ Erin Mills and congratulated by the boys at Palestine.

    The Muslim Family conference April 14, 2018, Scotiabank Conference Center, 6815 Stanley Ave., Niagara Falls, Ontario keynote speaker Egyptian, Islamic “theologian”
    And professor, Omar Abdulkafi, called Jews monkeys, pigs, aggressors and filth.
    The government of Canada, under Justine Trudeau, earmarking 45 million dollars for anti-racism strategy.

    The Government of Canada, under Justine Trudeau gives 23 million dollars to the Council of Canadian Muslims.

    The Government of Canada, under Justine Trudeau will commit 1.2 BILLION over the next 5 years to address challenges y the THOUSANDS of “asylum seekers” who have walked across the border ( invited into Canada by Justine Trudeau, NOT the Canadian citizens.

    Canadians have been told, they are intolerant, racists, Alt-Right, unCanadian, race baiters, xenophobic and Islamophobic by this disgraceful, divisive Liberal government, under Justine Trudeau.

    Mark Twain said:
    “Rags, wretchedness, poverty, and dirt, those signs and symbols that indicate the presence of Muslim rule more surely than the crescent flag itself, abound.

    “Loyal sister”, Iqra Khalid, the Muslim MP gave a Certificate of Appreciation to Amim El-Maoued, the Public Relations chief of Palestine House a few years ago.

    El-Maoued, publicly stated “Israel and Hitler are the same.”

    “From the river to the sea Palestine will be free.”— a slogan calling for the destruction of Israel.

    “Oh youth join him, join him- the martyr has sacrificed his blood.” which is often used as an euphemism for terrorists or suicide bombers.

    There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, BUT he must take it because conscience tell him it is right.
    Make no mistake who you are, stand up and fight, fight for your freedom, your Canadian law, not Sharee’ah law.

  7. A legal stunt that lived just long enough: Democrat concedes in NY-22 race – Liberty Unyielding
    J.E. Dyer
    6-8 minutes

    A legal stunt that lived just long enough: Democrat concedes in NY-22 race

    Claudia Tenney (R), winner of 2020 NY-22 race over Anthony Brindisi (D). Tenney campaign; Brindisi – U.S. House of Reps image

    It seems like we were just talking about this. The Congressional race in New York’s District 22 is the one between incumbent Democrat Anthony Brindisi and Republican Claudia Tenney, in which Tenney declared victory based on a final 109-vote margin in her favor.

    Perkins Coie lawyer Marc Elias, with his extensive background in Soros-backed voting litigation (see here as well), represented Brindisi in court proceedings incident to the 2020 race. A week ago Monday (1 February), he filed a motion for Brindisi alleging that Dominion voting systems had systematically undercounted the vote for his client and requesting an order to show cause why a hand recount should not be done. (On 29 January, the state supreme court had lifted an injunction that prevented the county election boards from certifying the election. Brindisi wanted to stop that process by having the order to show cause intervene, and leave the door open for his recount. See p. 1, also p. “2 of 12.”)

    On Friday, as reported at The Hill, a judge of the state supreme court denied the request for an order to show cause. In my earlier article, I observed that Elias did not ask for any inspection or audit of Dominion machines, in spite of alleging that they had undercounted votes for Brindisi. His motion requested only that the court support Brindisi’s desire for a hand recount. The court denied the request that the counties be given an order to show cause.

  8. No evidence of ‘large outbreaks’ in Wuhan before December 2019: WHO

    The WHO mission to China to uncover the origins of the coronavirus has failed to identify the animal source, but said there was no indication the sickness was in circulation in Wuhan before December 2019 when the first official cases were recorded.

    WHO foreign expert Ben Embarek, who was based in the WHO’s Beijing office for two years from 2009, backs up the Chinese side’s assertion saying there was no evidence of “large outbreaks in Wuhan” before then.

    • Lab leak virus theory ‘extremely unlikely’ says WHO mission

      Experts from the WHO all but eliminate a controversial theory that Covid-19 came from a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

      “The laboratory incident hypothesis is extremely unlikely to explain the introduction of the virus into the human population,” says Peter Ben Embarek, the head of the WHO mission.

      “Therefore is not in the hypotheses that we will suggest for future studies.”

    • Covid’s animal source not yet identified, says WHO mission to China

      A joint WHO-China mission investigating the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic in Wuhan says it has not found the animal host responsible for transferring the virus to humans, and adds that there is no evidence the virus began spreading in Wuhan prior to December 2019.

    • b>No breakthrough on Covid origins as WHO-China probe ends

      A much-anticipated inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus? pandemic wrapped up its mission in China? on Tuesday with no breakthrough discovery, as investigators? ruled out a theory that Covid-19 came from a lab but failed to identify which animal may have passed it to humans.

    • bloomberg – Where Did Covid-19 Come From? WHO Team Finds New Clues in China

      Scientists probing the origins of the coronavirus are wrapping up a lengthy investigation in China and have found “important clues” about a Wuhan seafood market’s role in the Covid-19 outbreak.

      Peter Daszak, a New York-based zoologist assisting the World Health Organization-sponsored mission, said he anticipates the main findings will be released before his planned Feb. 10 departure. Speaking from the central city of Wuhan, where Covid-19 mushroomed in December 2019, Daszak said the 14-member group worked with experts in China and visited key hot spots and research centers to uncover “some real clues about what happened.”

      Investigators want to know how the SARS-CoV-2 virus — whose closest known relative came from bats 1,000 miles away — spread explosively in Wuhan before causing the worst contagion in more than a century. Daszak said the investigation heralds a turning point in pandemic mitigation.

      “It’s the beginning of hopefully a really deep understanding of what happened so we can stop the next one,” he said over Zoom late Friday. “That’s what this is all about — trying to understand why these things emerge so we don’t continually have global economic crashes and horrific mortality while we wait for vaccines. It’s just not a tenable future.”

      The lack of a clear pathway from bats to humans has stoked speculation — refuted by Daszak and many other scientiststhat the virus might have escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a maximum bio-containment laboratory studying bat-borne coronaviruses.

      Scientists visited the lab and asked Shi Zhengli, who has collected and analyzed these viruses for more than a decade, about the research and the earliest known coronavirus cases.

      “We really have to cover the whole gamut of key lines of investigation,” Daszak said. “To be fair to our hosts here in China, they’ve been doing the same for the last few months. They’ve been working behind the scenes, digging up the information, looking at it and getting it ready.”

      The work has been “collaborative,” with Chinese counterparts helping mission investigators dig deeper for clues, he said.

      Daszak is one of 10 independent experts assisting the WHO mission. The agency also has five staff members participating, and the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization and the Paris-based World Organization for Animal Health have two each.

      Mission delegates worked in three groups that focused on the potential involvement of animals, the epidemiology or spread of the disease, and the findings from environmental sampling. Genetic sequencing data are helping investigators identify threads linking the information across patients and wildlife, Daszak said.

      “My feeling is we will be able to say something of some value at the end of this trip — quite a lot of value, but I don’t want to get into what that’s going to be or which way it points,” he said, adding that the group’s findings are confidential until they are released publicly.

      Daszak, who was focused on the animal side, said his trip to the Huanan fresh produce market in central Wuhan was especially useful.

      The so-called wet market sold mostly seafood, as well as meat that included freshly prepared wildlife. It was a focus early in the outbreak, when cases occurred among workers and shoppers, suggesting it might have been where the virus jumped from animals to humans.

      Subsequent research found earlier cases among people not linked to the market, undermining that theory. Investigators looked further and found “important clues” about the market’s role, Daszak said, declining to elaborate.

      “Right now, we’re trying to tease everything together,” he said. “We’ve looked at these three strands separately. Now we’re going to bring it together and see what everything tells us.”

      Viruses are passed along “convoluted rivers of emergence” and tracing that journey is complicated and will take “a really long time,” Daszak said. “What I have seen already tells me that there are some real clues about what happened, and I hope that we’ll be able to make a solid explanation of that by the end of this trip.”

    • SKY NEWS AUSTRALIA – Chinese CCP the ‘masters of vaccine diplomacy’

      Asia Correspondent Adrian Brown says “vaccine diplomacy is a big deal for the Chinese government” who see it as a mechanism to boost their image on the international stage.

      “They see this as a way of winning hearts and minds,” he told Sky News.

      “The Chinese are masters at this form of diplomacy.”

      Since developing a vaccine, China has rolled out the treatment in Indonesia and offered it to the Philippines, Micronesia and Turkey.

    • New China TV – COVID-19 may have spread in Wuhan seafood market but originated elsewhere: WHO expert

      Though Wuhan’s Huanan seafood market may have made it possible for the novel coronavirus to spread, that does not mean the virus originated there, a member of the WHO expert team currently in China investigating the virus’ origin has said.

    • FACEBOOK – An Update on Our Work to Keep People Informed and Limit Misinformation About COVID-19

      Update on February 8, 2021 at 10:00AM PT:

      Removing More False Claims About COVID-19 and Vaccines

      Today, we are expanding our efforts to remove false claims on Facebook and Instagram about COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccines and vaccines in general during the pandemic. Since December, we’ve removed false claims about COVID-19 vaccines that have been debunked by public health experts. Today, following consultations with leading health organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), we are expanding the list of false claims we will remove to include additional debunked claims about the coronavirus and vaccines.

      This includes claims such as:

      COVID-19 is man-made or manufactured

      Vaccines are not effective at preventing the disease they are meant to protect against

      It’s safer to get the disease than to get the vaccine

      Vaccines are toxic, dangerous or cause autism

      The full list of claims is available here, and we already prohibit these claims in ads.

      These new policies will help us continue to take aggressive action against misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines.

      We will begin enforcing this policy immediately, with a particular focus on Pages, groups and accounts that violate these rules, and we’ll continue to expand our enforcement over the coming weeks. Groups, Pages and accounts on Facebook and Instagram that repeatedly share these debunked claims may be removed altogether. We are also requiring some admins for groups with admins or members who have violated our COVID-19 policies to temporarily approve all posts within their group. Claims about COVID-19 or vaccines that do not violate these policies will still be eligible for review by our third-party fact-checkers, and if they are rated false, they will be labeled and demoted.

      Finally, we are continuing to improve Search results on our platforms. When people search for vaccine or COVID-19 related content on Facebook, we promote relevant, authoritative results and provide third-party resources to connect people to expert information about vaccines. On Instagram, in addition to surfacing authoritative results in Search, in the coming weeks we’re making it harder to find accounts in search that discourage people from getting vaccinated.

      As we noted last month in response to guidance from the Oversight Board, we are committed to providing more transparency around these policies. You can read the detailed updates in Facebook’s Community Standards and in our Help Center. As the situation evolves, we’ll continue to review content on our platforms, assess trends in language and engage with experts to provide additional policy guidance to keep people safe during this crisis.

    • BBC – WHO team dismiss theory Covid-19 leaked from Chinese lab

      Peter Ben Embarek, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) mission, said it was “extremely unlikely” that the virus leaked from a lab

      + comments on the YT page

    • A rhetorical question perhaps, but the answer is “No” If everyone kept the 10 Commandments a lot of suffering in the world would be eliminated. A lot.

  9. RT – Growing anger | ‘Covid deniers’ attack officials & journalists in Germany

    With the lockdown still in place across Germany?, the situation’s complicated by ‘covid sceptics’ and ‘conspiracy theorists’ even sparking attacks on officials and journalists. German police say they’re finding the rising levels of violence ‘disturbing’.

    • europravda – Innovative or irresponsible? Austria begins entrance testing initiative in shops and salons

      While bars and restaurants will remain closed – shops, museums and hairdressers are being allowed to reopen.

      But many facilities will require medical masks and a negative COVID-19 test certificate.

    • europravda – Fabric-mask makers in trouble as European countries favour safer surgical coverings

      Companies in Portugal were quick to start making cloth masks when the pandemic began last year.

      Now new regulations have come into place in some of their biggest markets, driving business towards safer surgical masks.

    • SKY NEWS UK – COVID-19: ‘Up to 10 years in prison’ if travellers break rules – Hancock

      The Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced new rules for international travellers arriving in England.

      Anyone who fails to tell the truth on a passenger locator form faces up to 10 years in prison.

      The new rules for England include:

      • Hotel quarantine for UK travellers from 33 “red list” countries for 10 days in an assigned hotel room. They must book a quarantine package which is £1,750 for an individual travelling alone, including the room and transport. This booking system will go live on Thursday.

      • For all arrivals: PCR tests will need to be taken on day two and day eight of quarantine – these will need to be booked through the government’s online portal before they travel.

      A prison sentence and fines up to £10,000 for anyone ignoring the new rules:

      • £1,000 fine will be given to any international arrival who doesn’t take a PCR test. This will rise to £2,000 for those who don’t take a second test.

      • There is a £5,000 fine, rising to £10,000, for red list arrivals who don’t go to hotel to quarantine.

      • Anyone who lies on a passenger locator form and tries to hide the fact they have been to red list country in the previous 10 days, faces up to 10 years in prison.

  10. BBC – Trump impeachment: The terror of being trapped in the US Capitol –

    Three members of the US Congress describe in vivid detail what it was like when rioters stormed the Capitol on 6 January.

    This week the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump begins.

    He faces one charge of “incitement of insurrection”.

  11. MEMRI – Qom Friday Sermon: If Jews and Christians Do Not Submit to Divine Orders, Muslims Should Fight Them

    Ayatollah Mohammad Saidi said that the People of the Book, the Jews and Christians, are similar to the polytheists and the Muslims should fight them.

    He made these remarks in a Friday sermon, delivered in Qom, Iran, and it was aired on Channel 2 (Iran) on January 30, 2021.

    Ayatollah Saidi said that Jews and Christians do not submit to Allah and they have religious, moral, and practical deviations and thus must be fought against.

    He said that the Muslims must put the People of the Book in their place, fight them until they stop their corruption and evil, and force them to pay the Jizya poll tax.

  12. MEMRI – Al-Aqsa Mosque Friday Sermon: I Salute the Muslim Nations for Boycotting French Goods

    Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, former Mufti of the Palestinian Authority, condemned the leaders and kings of Arab and Muslim countries for their failure to condemn the French crackdown against Islam.

    Sheikh Sabri’s remarks were made during a Friday sermon that he delivered at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and was posted on Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa on YouTube on February 5, 2021.

    He said that French authorities have closed down over 30 mosques in France, and this is an affront first and foremost against the religion of Islam.

    Sheikh Sabri added that while the leaders of Islamic countries remained silent facing the French crackdown on Islam, the Arab and Muslim nations “have shown their anger [out of zeal] for their faith” and boycotted French goods and he salutes them for this.

  13. Liz Cheney says ‘criminal investigation’ underway into whether Trump incited ‘premeditated violence’ at Capitol
    By Rusty Weiss February 9, 2021

    Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) has taken at least part of a page out of Democrat Maxine Waters’s playbook. Last week, the Trump-loathing congresswoman from California shared her learned view that former Pres. Donald Trump, whose second impeachment trial begins today, could and should be charged with premeditated murder for his supposed role in the Capitol riots.

    In an appearance on Fox News Sunday” with Chris Wallace this past weekend, Cheney also played the “premeditated” card, adding that there is a “massive criminal investigation underway” to determine if former Trump is guilty of inciting “premeditated” violence on the Capitol on Jan. 6.

    “People will want to know exactly what the president was doing,” Cheney said, referencing a tweet in which the former president criticized vice president Mike Pence for not being courageous in combating the election results. People “will want to know … whether that tweet, for example, was a premeditated effort to provoke violence.” Making the case for non-premeditated murder will be a heavy lift considering the FBI has revealed learning about plans to storm the Capitol days before Trump spoke his “inciteful” words. (RELATED: WaPo basically admits Trump didn’t incite Capitol riot)

  14. Why do you think Yahweh dropped them onto Moses in the first place? Even the OT god thought that something was desperately needed.
    Suggesting that we all obey the 10 Cs is commendable but ignores the inherent faults of mankind who like all every sentient species at the top of a planetary food chain is predatory and exploitative of lesser species be they poor or animal.( I have never forgotten the movie scene: ” my people the lord, our god has given us 15 ooops!….ten commandments) apols : )

  15. California judge issues injunction against Soros-backed district attorney’s policies after his deputies sued him

    ‘There is not a single reference to a concern for victims in the sentencing process’

    A California judge has partially ruled against Soros-backed Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón’s sweeping criminal justice reform package on Monday, ruling that some of his directives violated California law and would have placed his deputy district attorneys in legal and ethical jeopardy.

  16. Texas judge extends suspension of Biden deportation moratorium plan
    A federal judge extended the suspension of President Biden’s 100-day moratorium on deportation through Feb. 23

    A federal judge in Texas extended the suspension of President Biden’s 100-day moratorium on deportation through Feb. 23.

    U.S. District Court Judge Drew Tipton in the Southern District of Texas extended his suspension of the White House’s deportation moratorium for 14 days, which the judge says will give parties more time to “provide for a more fulsome record” to assist the court in “adjudicating Texas’s motion for a Preliminary Injunction.”


    The judge also cites “the irreparable harm that would accrue to Texas if an extension” was not granted.

    The order did state, though, that the Biden administration “argued th

  17. Trump supporters will remember what GOP does in impeachment proceedings

    The pending prosecution of former President Donald Trump has Republicans caught between a rock and a hard place as they look to chart their political future, strategists say.

    “A number of Republicans don’t want to take this vote because they don’t want to offend the (former) president and his supporters,” Republican strategist Ryan Williams said. “Voting to convict has the potential to hurt you in a primary. Voting to acquit him has the potential to hurt you in a general election. … You’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t.”

    Not a single U.S. House Republican voted in favor of Trump’s initial impeachment in 2019. Former Massachusetts governor and current Utah U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney was the sole Republican senator to vote in favor of conviction the first time.

    But after the deadly U.S. Capitol riot in January, 10 GOP representatives joined their Democratic colleagues in voting in favor of impeaching Trump for “incitement of insurrection.”

    Five GOP senators — Romney and U.S. Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania — then voted against a Republican-led attempt to dismiss Trump’s second impeachment trial as unconstitutional.

  18. Biden kills pipelines at home but promotes them for the Taliban
    by Michael Rubin | February 08, 2021 01:08 PM
    4 minutes

    On his first day in office, President Biden canceled permits for the Keystone XL pipeline. Environmentalists and anti-fossil fuel activists should not have applauded his move.

    After all, Canada will not stop extracting oil from the tar sands of northern Alberta. Instead, it will simply export oil over existing pipelines or to the Pacific Ocean, where the damage from a potential spill would be harder to address. Biden’s cancellation cost jobs and pushes Canada toward greater economic cooperation with China. It also shakes confidence in U.S. business. Who would invest in the country if any future administration can simply renege on deals with the stroke of a pen? Especially, that is, when the investments involved here reach into the billions of dollars?

  19. Suspect Identified As Gregory Ulrich In Buffalo Health Clinic Shooting; 5 Victims Hospitalized
    5-6 minutes

    MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — The identity of the suspect in the Buffalo health clinic shooting has been confirmed as 67-year-old Gregory Urlich of Buffalo.

    Urlich is now in custody at the Wright County Jail. Meanwhile, five victims who were shot in the incident are being hospitalized.


    In an emotional Tuesday afternoon press conference, Wright County officials said Ulrich is known to them.

    Buffalo Police Chief Pat Budke was visibly shaken as he discussed the scene of multiple shootings at the Allina Health cinic, saying the suspect has a history of being unhappy with the health care he received.

  20. Man charged in Capitol riot says he worked for FBI, holds top secret security clearance

    A man who was charged in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot claims he’s worked for the FBI and holds top security clearance.

    An attorney for Thomas Edward Caldwell, 66, made the revelation in a court filing on Monday arguing for Caldwell’s release from detention pending trial.

    “He has held a Top Secret Security Clearance since 1979 and has undergone multiple Special Background Investigations in support of his clearances,” Caldwell’s attorney wrote.

    Caldwell, a Navy veteran, worked as a section chief for the FBI from 2009 to 2010, and he also ran a consulting firm that performed work for several U.S. government agencies, his attorney wrote.

    The Hill has reached out to FBI for comment.

    Police arrested Caldwell — an alleged leader of the Oath Keepers, a far-right militia group — on Jan. 19 and he is currently facing four federal charges, including conspiracy to commit an offense and obstruction of an official proceeding at the Capitol. It’s the first conspiracy charge filed in connection with the riot.

    The FBI accused Caldwell of helping organize a group of people who were seen in video footage wearing military gear and “aggressively approaching the Capitol.”

    The bureau also said that he sent a Facebook post from inside the Capitol, which read in part, “Us storming the castle. Please share. Sharon was right with me! I am such an instigator! She was ready for it man! Didn’t even mind the tear gas.”

    Caldwell has denied being a member of the Oath Keepers.

    Police have arrested more than 200 people in connection with the riot that resulted in five deaths, including that of a Capitol Police officer.

    The House impeached former President Trump last month for inciting the riot, and his trial in the Senate began Tuesday, though he will likely be acquitted.


    Man charged in Capitol riot worked for FBI, lawyer says

    Authorities believe Thomas Caldwell, who has held a top-secret security clearance since 1979, is a leader in the far-right Oath Keepers militia group.

    WASHINGTON — A man who authorities say is a leader of the far-right Oath Keepers militia group and helped to organize a ring of other extremists and led them in the attack last month at the U.S. Capitol has held a top-secret security clearance for decades and previously worked for the FBI, his attorney said Monday.

    Thomas Caldwell, who authorities believe holds a leadership role in the extremist group, worked as a section chief for the FBI from 2009 to 2010 after retiring from the Navy, his lawyer, Thomas Plofchan, wrote in a motion urging the judge to release him from jail while he awaits trial.

    The defense said Caldwell, who has denied being part of the Oath Keepers, has held a top-secret security clearance since 1979, which required multiple special background investigations, according to Plofchan. Caldwell also ran a consulting firm that did classified work for the U.S. government, the lawyer said.

    “He has been vetted and found numerous times as a person worthy of the trust and confidence of the United States government, as indicated by granting him Top Secret clearances,” Plofchan wrote.

    Most section chiefs within the FBI rise through the ranks of the bureau and it is unclear whether Caldwell would’ve been directly hired for that position or whether he held any other positions with the bureau. The FBI did not immediately comment Monday evening and Caldwell’s lawyer didn’t immediately answer questions about his client’s work.

    Caldwell is one of three people authorities have described as Oath Keepers who were charged last month with conspiracy and accused of plotting the attack on the Capitol in advance. He has been locked up since his arrest at his home in Berryville, Virginia, on Jan. 19.

    Caldwell’s lawyer said he denies ever going into the Capitol and has “physical limitations” that would prevent the 66-year-old from forcing his way into any building.

    Caldwell’s lawyer said his client retired as a lieutenant commander with the Navy and that he was a “100% disabled veteran.” Caldwell suffered from complications related to a “service-connected injury,” including shoulder, back and knee issues, the attorney said. In 2010, Caldwell had spinal surgery, which later failed and led to chronic spinal issues and a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the court filing.

    Charging documents show messages between Caldwell and the others about arranging hotel rooms in the Washington area in the days before the siege. In one Facebook message from to Caldwell, one the others says: “Will probably call you tomorrow … mainly because … I like to know wtf plan is. You are the man COMMANDER.”

    Authorities say the Oath Keepers communicated during the attack about where lawmakers were. At one point during the siege, Caldwell received a message that said “all members are in the tunnels under the capital,” according to court documents. “Seal them in turn on gas,” it said.

    Other messages read: “Tom all legislators are down in the Tunnels 3floors down” and “go through back house chamber doors facing N left down hallway down steps,” according to court documents.

    Caldwell is among roughly 200 people charged so far in the siege for federal crimes such as disrupting Congress, disorderly conduct and assault. A special group of prosecutors is weighing whether to bring sedition charges, officials have said.

    Several members of the Proud Boys, a far-right, male-chauvinist extremist group that seized on the Trump administration’s policies, have also been charged with conspiracy and accused of working together during the siege.

    DAILY MAIL Capitol rioter, 66, accused of being a leader for the far-right militia group Oath Keepers is a ‘retired FBI section chief and decorated Navy veteran who has had top secret security clearance since 1979’

    Thomas Caldwell, who prosecutors said holds a leadership role in an extremist group, worked as a section chief for the FBI from 2009 to 2010, his attorneys said. The FBI didn’t comment

    Caldwell was a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy and described as ‘100% disabled,’ according to his attorneys

    The defense said Caldwell has held a top-secret security clearance since 1979, which required multiple special background investigations

    He was arrested on Jan. 19 for his role at the insurrection

    Jessica Watkins, 38, and Donovan Crowl, 50, were arrested on Jan. 18 in Ohio
    Watkins is an Army veteran turned bartender; Crowl was in the U.S. Marines; both are said to also be in the Oath Keepers group

  21. CBC – Secret recording suggests Iranian official concedes truth about downing of Flight PS752 may never be revealed

    Former UN prosecutor calls the recording ‘highly significant’ new evidence

    The Canadian government and security agencies are reviewing an audio recording in which a man — identified by sources as Iran’s foreign affairs minister — discusses the possibility that the destruction of Flight PS752 was an intentional act, CBC News has learned.

    The individual, identified by sources as Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif, is heard saying on the recording that there are a “thousand possibilities” to explain the downing of the jet, including a deliberate attack involving two or three “infiltrators” — a scenario he said was “not at all unlikely.”

    He is also heard saying the truth will never be revealed by the highest levels of Iran’s government and military.

    “There are reasons that they will never be revealed,” he says in Farsi. “They won’t tell us, nor anyone else, because if they do it will open some doors into the defence systems of the country that will not be in the interest of the nation to publicly say.”

    On Jan. 8, 2020, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 in the skies over Tehran with two surface-to-air missiles, killing all 176 people aboard, including 138 people with ties to Canada.

    CBC News has listened to the recording of the private conversation, which took place in the months immediately following the destruction of Flight PS752. CBC had three people translate the recording from Farsi to English to capture nuances in the language.

    Security officials are studying the recording: Goodale
    The details of the conversation, and the identities of the others involved, are not being released publicly due to concerns for individuals’ safety. CBC is not revealing the source of the recording in order to protect their identities.

    Ralph Goodale, the prime minister’s special adviser on the Flight PS752 file, said the government is aware of the recording. Canada’s forensic examination and assessment team obtained a copy in November, he said.

    Goodale said the audio file contains sensitive information and commenting publicly on its details could put lives at risk.

    He said the RCMP, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Communications Security Establishment are evaluating the recording’s authenticity. A CSE spokesperson would not offer comment on the recording, saying the agency “does not comment on intelligence operations.”

    “We’re treating all the evidence and all the potential evidence with the seriousness and the gravity that it deserves,” said Goodale.

    “We understand in a very acute way the thirst among the families for the complete, plain, unvarnished truth and that’s what we will do our very best to get for them.”

    ‘They could have been infiltrators’
    Zarif is Iran’s primary negotiator with the countries that lost citizens on Flight PS752, and is the voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the global stage.

    Over the past year, Zarif has maintained the government’s official claim that human error was to blame for the disaster. Shortly after the crash, Zarif said it was “brave” of the military to claim responsibility — but added military officials kept him and the president in the dark for days.

    Iran originally denied any involvement in the aircraft’s destruction. Three days after the crash, and in the face of mounting satellite evidence, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani admitted its military “unintentionally” shot down the plane. He blamed human error, saying the military mistook the jetliner for a hostile target in the aftermath of an American drone strike that killed a high-ranking Iranian military general in Iraq.

    Former foreign affairs minister Francois-Philippe Champagne has said he does not believe the destruction of the plane can be blamed on human error.

    On the Farsi-language recording reviewed by CBC News, the individual identified as Zarif is heard suggesting the downing was accidental — but later says it’s possible “infiltrators” intentionally shot down the plane.

    “Even if you assume that it was an organized intentional act, they would never tell us or anyone else,” says the individual. “There would have been two three people who did this. And it’s not at all unlikely. They could have been infiltrators. There are a thousand possibilities. Maybe it was really because of the war and it was the radar.”

    The individual goes on to say that “these things are not going to be revealed easily” by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) or those higher up in the government.

    The IRGC is an elite wing of the country’s military overseen by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country’s supreme leader and commander-in-chief. The IRGC is designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S., Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

    In the recording, the man identified as Zarif points to Russia as an example of a country that was accused of involvement in shooting down a plane (Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in 2014) but never admitted to it.

    Push to compensate victims’ families
    The individual also refers more than once during the recording to compensation as a means to close “the issue” and says Iran wants to compensate victims’ families to prevent other countries from turning the disaster into “an international crime.”

    The individual says on the recording that while Iran would deliver the aircraft’s flight recorders to France for analysis, the data recovered wouldn’t show whether someone intentionally shot at the plane.

    Despite international obligations stating the black boxes should be analyzed “without delay,” Iran didn’t move ahead with that process until six months after the crash. Goodale’s official report on Flight PS752, released in December, said Canada still hadn’t seen “full disclosure … on all relevant evidence.”

    Iran proposed compensation of $150,000 for each of the victims’ families, but Canada rejected that offer. Goodale said Iran doesn’t have the right to offer compensation to victims’ families unilaterally.

    Recording is ‘significant’ evidence
    Payam Akhavan, a former UN prosecutor and member of the permanent court of arbitration at The Hague, said the recording now in the hands of Canada’s intelligence agencies is a “highly significant” piece of new evidence.

    He said Zarif is not involved directly in military or intelligence operations, so the recording is not a “smoking gun” offering conclusive proof that the aircraft’s destruction was intentional.

    Zarif understands the inner workings of the IRGC and is a “highly influential and well-informed member of the highest level of the Iranian government,” Akhavan said, adding the recording suggests Iran did not conduct a proper investigation.

    “The fact that he would say in a conversation that it is not at all unlikely that the destruction of 752 could have been organized and intentional is highly significant,” said Akhavan, who is also a senior fellow at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.

    “The fact that he sees that as a real possibility, I think, should make us pause and really consider whether there’s not something far more diabolical at play.”

    ‘We do not want to see any scapegoats’
    Ukraine’s Ambassador to Canada Andriy Shevchenko told CBC News that this is the first time Ukraine has heard about this recording, although the RCMP has been helping Ukraine with its own criminal investigation. He said he wants Ukraine to study this information carefully.

    “I think it’s another reason for us not to accept anything smaller than the truth,” Shevchenko said. “We do not want to see any scapegoats instead of real wrongdoers. We do not want to see the truth being hidden behind state secrecy. We want to get to the bottom of this.”

    When asked if he thinks the downing of the plane was intentional, Shevchenko wouldn’t rule it out.

    “At this stage, we cannot exclude any possibilities,” he said.

    “I think we are still so far away from having a clear picture on what happened … We obviously lack trust in our conversation with Iran. I think we have a feeling that Iran shares as little information as possible.”

    Final report won’t ‘tell us who pushed the button’
    Shevchenko said Ukraine has proposed to Canada several ways the two countries could legally exchange information and evidence about Flight PS752, but they haven’t yet settled on a mechanism. He said this recording shows the two countries need to establish a “legally flawless channel” of communication.

    “It’s going to be very difficult to go ahead with the criminal investigation,” he said. “So I think every piece of information like that is very important.”

    Ukraine has received the final report from Iran on its aviation safety investigation and has until the end of the month to provide feedback. It’s still not clear when Iran will release the report publicly.

    “I think we should all realize that this report can confirm that the plane was hit by a missile, but it’s not going to tell us who pushed the button,” Shevchenko said.

    President Donald J Trump’s legal team issued the following statement regarding the next phase of the unconstitutional impeachment trial.
    President Trump and his counsel are pleased that there was bipartisan support on how to structure the impeachment trial. We appreciate that Senate Republican leadership stood strong for due process and secured a structure that is consistent with past precedent. This process will provide us with an opportunity to explain to Senators why it is absurd and unconstitutional to hold an impeachment trial against a private citizen.

  23. Trump Lawyers’ Opening Argument: ‘Majority in the House’ Afraid of Facing Trump in the Future
    By Jack Phillips
    February 9, 2021 Updated: February 9, 2021
    biggersmaller Print

    Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers on Tuesday made their opening argument in the Senate impeachment trial, asserting that House Democrats impeached Trump because they are fearful of facing him as a political opponent in 2024.

    “You will never hear anybody representing former President Trump say anything at all other than, what happened on January 6 in the storming and the breaching of the Capitol should be denounced in the most vigorous terms,” the former president’s lawyer, Bruce Castor, said on the floor of the Senate.

    Castor, echoing arguments he and other attorneys made in pre-trial briefs, said that it is against the Constitution for the Senate to hold a trial to convict a former president, suggesting that Democrats only want to prevent Trump from running—or holding office—in the future.

    “We are really here because the majority in the House of Representatives does not want to face Donald Trump as a political rival in the future, that’s the real reason we’re here,” he said, adding that “the political pendulum will shift one day—this chamber and the chamber across the way will change one day and partisan impeachments will become commonplace.”

  24. Habibullah Ahmadi, the monster who when he was 21, beat Sara Anne Widholm, 75, so badly that people who found her could not identify whether she was a man or a woman, and remained in the hospital in a coma form14 months before she finally died, has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 13 years. What a shame we do not have the death penalty.

  25. Opinion: Moral Narcissism and the Show Trial of Donald Trump
    Roger L. Simon
    Roger L. Simon
    February 8, 2021 Updated: February 9, 2021
    biggersmaller Print


    Discussing the Democrats’ impeachment trial in legal terms is a ludicrous waste of time. Anyone literate in the English language can see that the concept of impeaching a former president is entirely absent from the U.S. Constitution.

    Removing someone from office who is no longer in office in the first place is a serio-comic oxymoron straight out of the Theater of the Absurd.

    What is actually going on is Trump Derangement Syndrome taken from a neurosis to some kind of bizarre psychosis with overtones of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

    The level at which this “trial” is worth examining, therefore, has a psychoanalytic, not a legal, tilt. It raises, once again, the question of why the Democrats and their media cohorts despise former President Donald Trump so much.

  26. Senegal Uncovers Jihadist Cell in East of Country

    “Senegalese authorities have foiled a jihadist cell linked to al-Qaeda-affiliated militants in Mali, a leading newspaper in the West African state reported on Monday.

    Gendarmes arrested four men in late January in the eastern town of Kidira, which lies on the border with Senegal’s war-torn neighbor Mali, according to the Liberation newspaper.

    A shopkeeper who has been under surveillance for two years was among the men who were arrested, it added.

    The shopkeeper’s telephone number reportedly appeared on a Whatsapp group linked to the Katiba Macina jihadist group.

    Although he denies affiliation with the group, he is suspected of acting as a recruiter inside Senegal.

    Katiba Macina is one of the key armed groups in al-Qaeda-aligned Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM) — which is one of the largest jihadist alliances operating in Mali.

    Mali has been struggling to contain an Islamist insurgency that first emerged in 2012, killing thousands of soldiers and civilians and displacing hundreds of thousands more.

    The conflict has since spread to neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger, inflaming ethnic tensions along the way.

    Senegal has so far been spared jihadist attacks.

    However, the United Nations Security Council warned in a report this month that GSIM figures “have established themselves in Senegal.”

    The head of France’s external intelligence agency, Bernard Emie, also said this month that GSIM is seeking to expand in Ivory Coast and Benin.

    The four men arrested in Kidira were due to attend a hearing with a public prosecutor in Senegal’s capital Dakar on Monday, according to Liberation newspaper, on suspicion of criminal association and supporting acts of terrorism.

    Neither the Senegalese gendarmes, public prosecutor nor the justice ministry immediately responded to questions from AFP about the case.”

  27. Mozambique Sees Jihadist Violence Dwindle as Military Gains Steam

    “Islamist attacks in Mozambique’s remote north have become less frequent and violent in recent weeks, a trend that analysts attribute in part to scaled-up counter-insurgency tactics.

    Shadowy jihadists affiliated to the so-called Islamic State group have wreaked havoc in the gas-rich but impoverished Cabo Delgado province since 2017.

    Their attacks rocketed last year, triggering a humanitarian crisis akin to the end of Mozambique’s 1977-1992 civil war.

    More than half of the roughly 800 assaults documented by US conflict tracker ACLED since 2017 took place last year alone, defying government efforts to boost its military presence in the area.

    At least 2,500 people have been killed and more than half a million displaced in over three years, many of them impoverished villagers, according to ACLED and government figures.

    But recent figures tentatively suggest intensified ground and air strikes are starting to bear fruit.

    ACLED only registered around 10 militant strikes in January, down from about 30 in December.

    “We are seeing a success of the government forces’ offensive strategy,” Calton Cadeado, a security researcher at the Joaquim Chissano University in Maputo told AFP.

    The insurgents are also thought to be running low on supplies, according to analysts and military sources.

    Gas Projects ‘on Track’
    The Cabo Delgado incursions have played out around a multi-billion-dollar liquid natural gas (LNG) exploration project off the Afungi peninsula, raising concern among project developers.

    Jihadists remain in control of Mocimboa da Praia, a port used as a supply point for gas exploration before it was seized in August.

    French oil giant Total evacuated workers in December after clashes broke out at the doorstep of its LNG facility.

    Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne on Tuesday insisted the gas project was still “on track” to start production as planned in 2024.

    “The security situation is problematic because jihadist groups got to within less than 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from the site,” Pouyanne said at a press briefing. He added that Mozambican authorities had since agreed to provide a 25-km protection radius.

    Government troops last month launched a series of air strikes on Palma district, the gas project’s land hub, which they said killed several militants.

    Soldiers on foot also killed an unknown number of suspected jihadists found hiding in a mosque, according to ACLED.

    Civilian casualties were not mentioned, however, despite reports of insurgents using residents are human shields.

    Rights groups have accused the military of manhandling civilians and indiscriminately killing anyone suspected of collaborating with the Islamist group, locally known as Al-Shabab.

    But Cadeado noted the relationship between soldiers and locals had lately “improved a lot,” helping military intelligence.

    Supply Lines Choked?
    Surfing on the back of the recent advances, President Filipe Nyusi this month offered amnesty to insurgents wishing to surrender their arms. He assured the authorities would “do everything to receive you safely, and guarantee your reintegration” into society.

    African history expert Eric Morier-Genoud said amnesty offers can be effective but stand more chance of success when “insurgents are weakened or divided.”

    He warned that it was still too early to celebrate the observed drop in violence. “It is possible that the insurgents will lose ground,” said Morier-Genoud. “But it is also possible that they will try to extend their range into another province.”

    Some analysts suspect the militants may be re-strategizing and shifting away from rural attacks and towards the high-profile gas project.

    “The worst scenario would be for them to scale back wider attacks but strike the heart of the LNG complex,” said Cadeado.

    If so, that plan faced a logistical challenge — better-patrolled roads and sea routes had helped to crimp the insurgents’ supply lines.

    In addition, stores of weapons and ammunition seized from army bases have run down because of the militants’ accelerated offensive last year, Cadeado suggested.

    Another problem was that the violence had crippled agriculture, which in turn created a supply headache for the rebels.

    “Where do you get food if there are no people producing it in the area at this point?” Cadeado asked. “There is no war without supplies, without logistics.”

    Military sources added that several groups had been to retreat from villages and into the surrounding bush, where foraging for food is tough.”

  28. US Overpowered by Islamic Revolution: IRGC

    “The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps praised the Islamic Revolution’s success in withstanding the pressures and overcoming the wars and sanctions over the past 42 years, saying the US has been trounced by the Islamic Republic’s power and determination.

    In a statement marking the 42nd anniversary of victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the IRGC said the global arrogance, led by the “hated and criminal US regime”, has constantly been overpowered by the Iranian nation’s greatness, might and firm resolve.

    Pointing to the enemy’s miscalculations in the face of the Islamic Republic that have disgraced the White House, the statement said the Islamic Revolution has successfully overcome the problems caused by the sanctions and maximum pressures and adopted a “definite and irreversible policy” on the need for the termination of the sanctions and verifiable measures by the Americans and Europeans.

    The IRGC also described the Islamic Revolution’s victory in 1979 as a starting point for geopolitical developments, a strategic crack in the power blocs, and the rise of the Islamic world as a powerful actor.

    Seven US presidents, all of whom sought to weaken and overthrow the Islamic Republic, have been relegated to the dustbin of history since the Islamic Revolution, while Iran remains at the apex of dignity, the statement added.

    The Iranian nation toppled the US-backed Pahlavi regime on February 11, 1979, ending 2,500 years of monarchic rule in the country. The Islamic Revolution, led by Imam Khomeini, established a new political system based on Islamic values.”

    Iran Ready for Tough Response to Threats: Top General

    “The Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces warned the enemies in the region and beyond of the crushing response they would get in case of threatening the Islamic Republic.
    In a Tuesday message marking the 42nd anniversary of victory of the Islamic Revolution, Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri hailed the Iranian Armed Forces as “strong security and defense arms” shielding the Iranian nation with deterrent power.

    Highlighting Iran’s intelligence dominance over the enemies’ actions, the senior commander said the Iranian military forces are ready for “retaliatory and decisive” response to any threat and act of aggression from regional and extra-regional enemies in such a way that would make them regret it.

    The Iranian nation toppled the US-backed Pahlavi regime on February 11, 1979, ending 2,500 years of monarchic rule in the country. The Islamic Revolution, led by Imam Khomeini, established a new political system based on Islamic values.”

  29. Iran May Pursue Nuclear Weapon, Intel Minister Warns West

    “Iran’s intelligence minister has warned the West that his country could push for a nuclear weapon if crippling international sanctions on Tehran remain in place, state television reported Tuesday.

    The remarks by Mahmoud Alavi mark a rare occasion that a government official says Iran could reverse its course on the nuclear program. Tehran has long insisted that the program is for peaceful purposes only.

    A 1990s fatwa, or religious edict, by the country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei states that nuclear weapons are forbidden.

    “Our nuclear program is peaceful and the fatwa by the supreme leader has forbidden nuclear weapons, but if they push Iran in that direction, then it wouldn’t be Iran’s fault but those who pushed it,” Alavi was quoted as saying, The Associated Press reported.

    “If a cat is cornered, it may show a kind of behavior that a free cat would not,” he said and added that Iran has no plans to move toward a nuclear weapon under current circumstances.

    The 81-year-old Khamenei, who has the final say on all matters of state in Iran, on Sunday urged the United States to lift all sanctions if it wants Iran to live up to commitments under its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. However, President Joe Biden has said the US won’t be making the first move.

    Following the killing last December of an Iranian scientist credited with spearheading the country’s disbanded military nuclear program, Iran’s parliament has approved a law to block international nuclear inspectors later this month — a serious violation of the accord.

    Alavi, the intelligence minister, was also quoted as saying that a member of the Iranian armed forces “facilitated” the killing of the scientist, which Iran has blamed on Israel.

    The minister did not expand on what he meant — and it was not clear if the soldier had carried out the explosion that killed the scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

    Israel, which has been suspected of killing Iranian nuclear scientists over the last decade, has repeatedly declined to comment on the attack.

    This was the first time that Iran acknowledged a member of its armed forces may have acted as an accomplice in the killing of Fakhrizadeh, who headed Iran’s so-called AMAD program, which Israel and the West have alleged was a military operation looking at the feasibility of building a nuclear weapon.

    The International Atomic Energy Agency — the UN’s nuclear watchdog — said that “structured program” ended in 2003. US intelligence agencies concurred with that assessment in a 2007 report.

    However, Israel insists Iran still maintains the ambition of developing nuclear weapons, pointing to Tehran’s ballistic missile program and research into other technologies.

    In December Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani vowed to avenge Fakhrizadeh’s killing, saying his country will decide time or venue of any retaliatory action.

    In response to former President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran, the country began to gradually violate its atomic commitments under the nuclear deal, and threatened further provocations in a bid to increase its leverage and get Biden to prioritize a return to the deal as he moves to dismantle Trump’s legacy.

    As part of those steps, Iran has begun enriching uranium closer to weapons-grade levels and said it would experiment with uranium metals, a key component of a nuclear warhead. Iran insists that all breaches of the pact are easily reversible.”

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