Reader’s Links for February 23, 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

108 Replies to “Reader’s Links for February 23, 2021”

  1. Pelosi Demands FBI Seize Republican Reps. Phone Records over Baseless Capitol Attack Accusations

    Since the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6th, the FBI has been hard at work to determine the inidividuals involved and the extent of planning that went into the event. Now, reports are showing that Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has order the FBI to seize phone records of Republican members of Congress whom Democrats have claimed helped assist in planning the violent attack. There has yet to be any concrete evidence to casue DEmocrats to push this dangerous narrative.

    According to reports from The Intercept:

  2. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick’s Mother: ‘He Wasn’t Hit on the Head’ by Trump Supporter
    By Jack Phillips
    February 23, 2021 Updated: February 23, 2021
    biggersmaller Print

    The mother of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick said her son was not beaten with a fire extinguisher by a mob on Jan. 6, saying he likely suffered a stroke instead—refuting reports from the New York Times and other outlets claiming otherwise.

    “He wasn’t hit on the head, no. We think he had a stroke, but we don’t know anything for sure,” Gladys Sicknick told the Daily Mail in an exclusive interview on Feb. 22. “We’d love to know what happened.”

    The NY Times, CNN, and NBC updated their reports weeks after the Jan. 6 breach to assert that Sicknick was not killed by a fire extinguisher. Originally, the NY Times reported, based on anonymous sources, that Sicknick was beaten to death.

    According to the NY Times’ update in February, “New information has emerged regarding the death of the Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick that questions the initial cause of his death provided by officials close to the Capitol Police.” However, there were reports of new information emerging about the circumstances of Sicknick’s death around the same time the NY Times published its report on Jan. 8.

  3. Democrats’ H.R. 1 Sets ‘Unconstitutional’ Limits on 1st Amendment: Free Speech Group
    By Mark Tapscott
    February 23, 2021 Updated: February 23, 2021
    biggersmaller Print

    House Democrats’ massive voter registration and campaign procedure reform bill gives federal bureaucrats vast new power to control political speech, according to an analysis of the proposal by the Institute for Free Speech (IFS).

    “All of the provisions we analyzed are bad ideas, some of them are plainly unconstitutional, and some of them it would be dubious whether they were constitutional,” IFS President David Keating told The Epoch Times Feb. 22.

    Keating was referring to H.R. 1, the “For the People Act of 2021,” the top priority legislation of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), which includes a wide range of reforms in how Americans register to vote and cast their ballots in federal elections, as well as who can participate and how in campaigns for president, Senate, and the House of Representatives.

  4. Democrats’ ‘chilling’ letter demands cable providers account for ‘misinformation’ and ‘lies’ from ‘right-wing media outlets’ they carry
    Dave Urbanski
    5-6 minutes

    Two Democratic members of Congress penned letters Monday to a dozen cable providers demanding they account for “misinformation, disinformation, conspiracy theories, and lies” from “right-wing media outlets” they carry — and the networks specifically named were Fox News, Newsmax, and One America News Network.
    What are the details?

    The letters from U.S. Reps. Anna Eshoo and Jerry McNerney, both of California, were addressed to AT&T, Verizon, Roku, Amazon, Apple, Comcast, Charter, Dish, Cox, Altice, Alphabet, and Hulu. The letters leveled numerous accusations against the aforementioned news networks, including that their coverage helped the “radicalization of seditious individuals who committed acts of insurrection on January 6” at the U.S. Capitol.

    “Some purported news outlets have long been misinformation rumor mills and conspiracy theory hotbeds that produce content that leads to real harm,” the letters said. “Misinformation on TV has led to our current polluted information environment that radicalizes individuals to commit seditious acts and rejects public health best practices, among other issues in our public discourse.”

  5. USCCB: Equality Act would ‘punish’ religious groups opposed to gender ideology

    Catholic Telegraph | Feb 23, 2021 | News | 11
    USCCB: Equality Act would ‘punish’ religious groups opposed to gender ideology

    (CNA).- The U.S. bishops’ conference (USCCB) has come out in opposition to the Equality Act, which was introduced in the U.S. House on Thursday.

    The bill, introduced by Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), would recognize sexual orientation and gender identity as protected legal classes in a variety of areas including housing, education, and public spaces. Critics have warned that it would erode religious freedom and enshrine the redefinition of marriage and gender ideology in law, requiring people and groups to confirm to LGBT “equality” and transgender ideology regardless of their religious beliefs.

    “Instead of respecting differences in beliefs about marriage and sexuality, the Equality Act would discriminate against people of faith,” the USCCB has warned in a voter guide.

    The bill, the conference and other critics warn, would uphold transgender ideology by requiring “girls and women to compete against boys and men for limited opportunities in sports, and to share locker rooms and shower spaces with biological males who identify as women.”

  6. Indiana House votes to eliminate license to carry handguns

    Despite opposition from State Police, the Indiana House on Monday voted to eliminate the license to carry a handgun in Indiana.

    House Bill 1369 passed the House by a 65-31 vote and now heads to the Senate, where its already picked up key endorsements. Under the legislation, sometimes called “constitutional carry,” certain offenders still could be prohibited from carrying handguns.

    The bill would eliminate the license in March 2022. The licenses raise $3.5 million per year to train law enforcement officers, a tab that taxpayers would have to pick up.

    Opponents worry the bill would make police officers and the general public less safe, but advocates say law abiding citizens should not have to pay for a right guaranteed to them by the Constitution.

    “This bill is for the lawful citizen in the state of Indiana,” said bill author Rep. Ben Smaltz, R-Auburn. “This bill is for the person who obeys our laws who right now has to jump over the hurdles to be the person that gets the permit.”

  7. House takes first step in contested election review that may result in Republican being unseated
    Chris Enloe
    4-5 minutes

    The Democrat-controlled House took the first steps last week of adjudicating a contested House seat that may result in a Republican lawmaker being replaced by her Democratic challenger.
    What is the background?

    Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R) was declared the winner of Iowa’s second congressional district over Democratic challenger Rita Hart last November by just six votes — 196,964 to 196,958.

    After Iowa certified Miller-Meeks’ win, Hart appealed to the House by filing a Notice of Contest. Hart’s campaign alleged that “the Miller-Meeks campaign has sought to keep legitimate votes from being counted — pushing to disqualify and limit the number of Iowans whose votes are counted,” the Iowa City Press-Citizen reported.

  8. channel PR4VD4 – Proud Boys leader: more violence possible if members remain alienated

    “These criminals came prepared for war” – the words of the former chief of the US Capitol Police today, as he appeared at the first US Senate hearing into the attack on the Capitol building in Washington DC last month.

    As law enforcement and senators investigate the causes of the riot, questions are being raised over what role militias and other right-wing groups may have had in planning and coordinating the assault.

    One such group is the so-called Proud Boys.

    Several leading members have been arrested and charged. We were given rare access to the leader of the group, who insists his men are mere scapegoats.

    • Amanpour and Company – Ronan Farrow: Who Were the Rioters on Jan. 6th?

      In the Trump impeachment trial, a key element of the prosecution’s case is a dramatic video taken at the Capitol during the insurrection.

      Who were the actual faces in the crowd?

      Ronan Farrow has profiled three different rioters to learn more about their backgrounds.

    • S.O.S.P.E.C.H.O.S.O.

      the gateway pundit – EXCLUSIVE: Ashli Babbitt Is Laid To Rest In Pacific Ocean by Family and Friends

      On February 21st, 2021, Ashli Elizabeth Babbitt was laid to rest in the Pacific Ocean.

      As waves crashed and dogs kicked up sand on the beach, those closest to Ashli spread her remains in the Pacific Ocean. A beautiful array of colors and flower petals surrounded her as she was submerged into the salty water. A tornado of what seemed to be pure energy appeared to embrace her and carry her out to rest blissfully.

      more :

  9. Revealed: 6,500 migrant workers have died in Qatar as it gears up for World Cup
    Guardian analysis indicates shocking figure likely to be an underestimate, as preparations for 2022 tournament continue
    More than 6,500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have died in Qatar since it won the right to host the World Cup 10 years ago, the Guardian can reveal.
    The findings, compiled from government sources, mean an average of 12 migrant workers from these five south Asian nations have died each week since the night in December 2010 when the streets of Doha were filled with ecstatic crowds celebrating Qatar’s victory.
    Data from India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka revealed there were 5,927 deaths of migrant workers in the period 2011–2020. Separately, data from Pakistan’s embassy in Qatar reported a further 824 deaths of Pakistani workers, between 2010 and 2020.

  10. Senator With Illegal Alien Child Molester Intern Introduces Biden’s Illegal Alien Amnesty – Frontpagemag
    Daniel Greenfield
    8-10 minutes

    Senator Menendez also stood trial for helping his donor abuse the immigration system.

    Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

    “We have 11 million undocumented people living, working and raising families in our communities without legal status,” Senator Robert Menendez argued, introducing the Biden illegal alien amnesty bill that he had sponsored. “These are good and decent people.”

    Menendez, who was tried for, among other things, allegedly taking bribes to help his millionaire Dominican donor obtain visas for his model ‘girlfriends’, knows a lot about immigration.

  11. Biden and the Uyghurs – Frontpagemag
    Joseph Klein
    7-9 minutes

    Rationalizing a communist regime’s monstrosities.

    President Joe Biden is so much in the tank for the Chinese regime that he is making excuses for the regime’s horrendous treatment of the Uyghurs, the mostly Muslim ethnic minority living in northwestern China. When asked about the human rights abuses against the Uyghurs during his townhall meeting hosted by CNN on February 17th, Biden chalked the problem up to Chinese history and cultural norms.

    Biden said that when China “has been victimized by the outer world is when they haven’t been unified at home.” Biden went on to explain that “the central principle of [Chinese President] Xi Jinping is that there must be a united, tightly controlled China.” And then, in a nod to cultural relativism, Biden declared, “Culturally, there are different norms that each country and their leaders are expected to follow.”

  12. Global Warming Experts Were Too Busy Predicting Warmer Winters for Texas to See the Snow – Frontpagemag
    Daniel Greenfield
    9-11 minutes

    When you politicise the weather, then you can’t predict it.

    Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

    “This Warm Winter, Austinites Can Look Out Their Windows And See Climate Change,” a headline from Austin’s NPR station read last February.

    “Experts say, people should get used to such sights,” the article suggested. It might be a little harder to see those sights from the record-setting snowstorm that just buried Austin.

    Even this January, the experts were still touting a warmer winter in Austin. The pivot from warning that global warming was causing a warmer winter to blaming it for the snowstorm came with the snow.

    “A Warmer Austin: The Future is Here,” a high-profile story from the Austin-American Statesman declared last February. A Sierra Club organizer pushing green energy warned that “warmer winters” would have a “disproportionate effect” on “low-income people of color.”

  13. Italy: Dozens of Teachers Sick After Receiving Coronavirus Vaccine

    ROME — Dozens of Italian teachers called in sick Monday after getting inoculated with the AstraZeneca vaccine against the coronavirus over the weekend in Treviso, northern Italy, local media report.

    Students in two area middle schools were sent home an hour earlier than usual due to insufficient teaching staff. At the Duca degli Abruzzi high school, 15 teachers out of 130 were absent, complaining of fever, malaise, and pain in the bones.

    In a local primary school, San Domenico Savio, two out of three teachers called in sick with similar complaints of aggravated side effects from the vaccine that had left them incapacitated.

    Now there is talk of some schools being forced to close for lack of teachers, the Tribuna di Treviso reports Monday, since “dozens and dozens” of local teachers find themselves unable to report for work.

    The Italian daily Oggi Treviso reported on Sunday that 3,000 teachers had been inoculated on Saturday and another 2,500 were scheduled to receive the vaccine before the end of the weekend. All the teachers inoculated against the coronavirus were under 55 years of age and all received the AstraZeneca vaccine.

    The vaccination campaign in Treviso is part of a nationwide program offering free coronavirus shots for Italy’s teachers between the ages of 18 and 55.

    Late last week, the Duchess Elisabeth Hospital in Braunschweig, Germany, suspended its AstraZeneca vaccination program until further notice after 37 of its 88 vaccinated employees wound up confined to bed and unable to work because of side effects similar to those complained of in Treviso.

    A Swedish region temporarily suspended vaccinations with the AstraZeneca vaccine in mid-February because more people than expected reported suffering from a fever after receiving the shot. Vaccinations with the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine were also halted at two locations in Lower Saxony after complaints from clinic employees about side effects.

    A recent study found that while the Moderna and Pfizer/Biontech vaccines have an effectiveness of 94 and 95 percent respectively, the effectiveness of AstraZeneca is 76 percent after the first vaccination and up to 82 percent after the second. Other studies have determined its effectiveness at around 70 percent.

    • Oh Justine, now you know how Canadians have felt since you, the worst Prime Minister in the History of this country took over. OMG and the one time you could stand up and act like a diplomat, since you should be aware of the decision in the US, you still act like a stupid ass.

  14. Senegal Must Ready for ‘Battle’ With Jihadists, Says President

    “Senegal’s President Macky Sall said Tuesday that his native country and neighboring West African states must “prepare to do battle” to stop jihadist expansion beyond the Sahel.

    In an interview broadcast that day by French radio RFI, the president also urged a more combative role for United Nations peacekeepers in Mali and ruled out dialogue with jihadists.

    Sall’s comments come amid growing fears that the violence of the central Sahel will spill over into African coastal states.

    Jihadist insurgents first began to plague Mali’s north in 2012, but have since spread to the center of the country, as well as Burkina Faso and Niger.

    Thousands of soldiers and civilians have been killed in the conflict and hundreds of thousands have fled their homes.

    Senegal, which shares a border with Mali, has so far been spared jihadist attacks.

    However Senegalese gendarmes this month foiled a jihadist cell in the east of the country, heightening fears of the growing reach of Islamists.

    The head of France’s external intelligence agency, Bernard Emie, also warned this month that al-Qaeda-aligned jihadists are seeking to expand into Ivory Coast and Benin.

    Sall told French radio that he shared fears of a violent spillover, explaining that the jihadists’ “objective is to reach the Atlantic Ocean.”

    “Whether it’s Senegal or other coastal countries that are the last defense, we have to prepare to do battle,” he said.

    The president added that he was “against talking with terrorists” — a position that puts him at odds with Mali’s interim government, which has said it will pursue talks.

    In common with several other African leaders, however, Sall said UN peacekeepers in Mali should be allowed to use military force.

    “You keep the peace when there is a peace to keep,” he said. “When you face jihadists, terrorists, there is no peace to keep, you have to fight them.””

  15. UN: Thousands Flee Ethiopia Violence, Seek Asylum in Sudan

    “At least 7,000 people who fled escalating ethnic violence in western Ethiopia have sought asylum in neighboring Sudan, the UN refugee agency said Tuesday, amid heightened tensions between the two Eastern African nations.

    Violence in the Metekel Zone of the Benishangul-Gumuz region is separate from the deadly conflict in Ethiopia´s northern Tigray region. That’s where Ethiopian and allied regional forces began fighting Tigray regional forces in early November. The Tigray war sent more than 61,000 Ethiopians into Sudan´s provinces of al-Qadarif and Kassala.

    The UNHCR said most of the 7,000 asylum seekers who fled Metekel have been living among Sudanese host communities. It said it was working with local authorities in the Blue Nile province to respond to the humanitarian needs of the newly arrived, many of whom have arrived in hard-to-reach places along the border.

    Tensions escalated in the past three months in Metekel Zone, prompting Ethiopia´s government to declare a state of emergency in the area on Jan. 21, the UN agency said.

    The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission said more than 180 people were killed in separate massacres in Metekel in December and January.

    Amnesty International reported in December that members of the ethnic Gumuz community – the ethnic majority in the region – attacked the homes of ethnic Amhara, Oromo, and Shinasha. The rights group said the Gumuz set the homes on fire and stabbed and shot residents. The Gumuz see minorities as “settlers,” the rights group said.

    Ethnic violence poses a major challenge to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as he tries to promote national unity in a country with more than 80 ethnic groups.

    Amharas are the second most populous ethnic group in Ethiopia and they have been targeted repeatedly over the last year. Fighters from Amhara, however, have been accused by witnesses of carrying out atrocities along with Ethiopian and Eritrean forces in the Tigray conflict

    The new influx of refugees into Sudan comes amid tensions between Addis Ababa and Khartoum over a border dispute and the deadlocked talks over a massive dam Ethiopia is building on the Blue Nile, the main tributary of the Nile River.”

  16. Greece-Turkey tensions: Ankara claims Greek jets harassed research vessel

    “Turkey said on Tuesday that four Greek F-16s harassed a Turkish research vessel near the Aegean island of Limnos in international waters, accusations Athens denied.

    Turkish defence ministry sources said one low-flying Greek jet let off flares two nautical miles from the TCG Cesme, a vessel carrying out a scheduled hydrographic survey in the area. Turkey retaliated with “appropriate means”, the sources added.

    Greek defence ministry sources denied the claims, according to Greek daily Ekathimerini, saying their air force did not come near the Turkish vessel…”

  17. Saudi Arabia to allow women to join military for first time

    “Saudi Arabia has announced it will allow women to apply for the military for the first time in its history.

    A decree issued in the kingdom at the weekend said the army, navy, air force, missile defence and medical corps would be opening up recruitment for women up to non-commissioned officer level.

    There will be seperate age and height restrictions imposed – women will have to be a minimum of 1.55m tall compared to 1.6m for men, and will have to be between the ages of 21 and 40, compared with 17 to 40 for men.

    Wives with foreign husbands will not be eligible.

    The move is the latest in a series of policy changes brought forward by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman in a bid to try and change the image of the ultra-conservative kingdom, which included allowing women to drive in 2018.

    The policies, lauded by supporters as steps forward for women’s rights in the country, have been treated with scepticism by human rights campaigners, however, who say they have whitewashed a widespread crackdown on dissent, including against women’s rights activists…”

  18. Report: Over 6,500 migrant workers have died in Qatar since World Cup announcement

    “Over 6,500 migrant workers have died in Qatar since the Gulf state was awarded the 2022 football World Cup ten years ago, the Guardian has revealed.

    Findings compiled from a range of government sources showed on average 12 migrant workers from Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh have died each week since December 2010.

    The Guardian report cited an expert saying it was likely many of these migrants were working on preparations for the 2022 World Cup.

    Qatar has engaged in a vast construction programme, including building seven stadiums, a new airport, and a new city, in order to accommodate the global event.

    Amnesty has frequently condemned the state for using and abusing migrant workers to prepare for the World Cup.

    A recent report by the human rights watchdog termed the event Qatar’s “world cup of shame” and pointed to extortionate recruitment fees, appalling living conditions and delayed salaries as evidence of migrant exploitation.

    The Guardian report claims thousands of workers from the five south Asian states have died in unexplained or dubious circumstances – often listed as “natural deaths” – while working in Qatar in the last ten years.

    Data seen by the Guardian shows 69 per cent of deaths among Indian, Nepali and Bangladeshi workers were listed as natural deaths, with that number rising to 80 per cent among Indians alone.

    These natural deaths often relate to acute heart or respiratory failure but could also be in part caused by Qatar’s intense summer heat, which a 2019 report revealed was a factor in many migrant worker deaths in the country.

    Other causes of death were listed as “multiple blunt injuries due to a fall from height; asphyxia due to hanging; undetermined cause of death due to decomposition”, the Guardian reported.

    Human Rights Watch (HRW) has repeatedly called on Qatar to amend laws which hinder autopsies and forensic investigations into sudden or unexplained deaths of migrant workers.

    A 2014 report by Qatari lawyers recommended the same, but the government has failed to reform laws on autopsies.

    The Guardian report warned the real death toll is likely to be significantly higher than 6,500, as data on the number of deaths that occurred in the final months of 2020 are not included.

    The findings also do not reveal the number of deaths of workers from other countries which send large numbers of migrants to Qatar, such as the Philippines and Kenya.”

  19. Turkey rescues 98 irregular migrants in Aegean Sea

    “The Turkish Coast Guard Command announced on Feb. 22 that it rescued a total of 98 irregular migrants in the Aegean Sea who were pushed back by the Greek Coast Guard into Turkish territorial waters.

    The command said on its website that coast guard teams were dispatched to the area to rescue 53 migrants between Feb. 19-21 off Dikili district in Izmir province from a lifeboat and rubber boat.

    In a separate operation, the coast guard rescued 45 irregular migrants in Kusadasi province after being alerted that a group was stranded on rocks.

    The migrants were left on two life rafts by Greek forces and pushed back into Turkish territorial waters.

    All of the migrants were referred to the provincial migration office.”

  20. Turkey accuses Greece of violating international law

    “Greece, in clear violation of a fundamental principle of the asylum law, pushed over 80,000 refugees back to Turkey in the last three years, said the Turkish deputy foreign minister on Tuesday.

    Delivering a speech at the Human Smuggling and Asylum Law seminar organized by Turkey’s Justice Academy — a state body that trains prosecutors and judges — Yavuz Selim Kiran stressed the significance of international and regional cooperation in providing decent conditions for refugees.

    “However, some countries do not hesitate to violate the essential principles of international law. We regretfully see that one of the fundamental principles of the asylum law, the principle of non-refoulement, is violated. In the last three years, Greece pushed back over 80,000 refugees back to our country,” Kiran said.

    “Turkey has shared the proofs of Greece’s illegal pushbacks with international organizations, including the EU, and will continue to do so,” he noted.

    Drawing attention to Turkey shouldering the responsibility in the recent humanitarian crisis that led to an inflow of refugees, Kiran said: “Turkey is the country hosting the most refugees in the world. Currently, over 4 million refugees, including around 3.6 million from Syria, live in Turkey.”

    “Turkey also provides much-needed humanitarian aid to around a total of 9 million Syrian refugees in the country and internally displaced people in Syria,” he added.

    Kiran also stressed that the country has been trying to provide the best possible conditions to the refugees and needy people both within and outside of its borders.

    “Turkey has spent over $40 billion only for Syrian refugees,” he added.”

  21. Frontex border control agency sued by pro-migration activists

    “There are few institutions in a less enviable position than the embattled European Border and Coast Guard Agency, better known as Frontex. The agency, established in its present form after the peak of the European migrant invasion in 2016, has been criticized by virtually all sides involved in migration policy and migrant welfare. To compound its recent troubles, Frontex is now facing a lawsuit by well funded migrant friendly NGOs, demanding the head of its executive director, Fabrice Leggeri.

    Frontex has been set up to monitor and to report on irregular migration facing Europe from the Middle East and Africa. Countries that have opted to protect their borders against illegal mass migration have accused the EU of using Frontex as a smokescreen for channelling migrants into the European mainland rather than helping to stop illegal border crossings. On the other side of the political spectrum, however, left-wing activist and governments have accused Frontex of violating the human rights of migrants and of failing to prevent others from doing so.

    The systemic troubles of the agency stem from the fact that they have few real powers to act, and with virtually any activities they are involved in, they are courting controversy since their field of work involves the most divisive subject currently stirring in European politics.

    The recent case involving the agency has involved a legal challenge by two left-wing activists, one of whom, Luisa Izuzquiza, is working for the Corporate Europe Observatory, partly funded by George Soros. During the transparency case, the court ruled in favor of Frontex, as a result of which the agency had demanded the reimbursement of its legal fees by the claimants. It is a fairly standard procedure to demand the repayment of legal expenses from the losing party, yet the two activists have flatly refused to pay the €24.000 owed to Frontex. On the contrary, finding a willing and sympathetic platform with the mainstream media, they have tried to portray the agency’s demand as intimidation and have claimed that such pressure will “deter people from exercising their fundamental right of access to information”.

    As a possible counter strike against Frontex’s daring resistance to bow to pressure from pro-migration lobby groups, the agency has received a notice from lawyers Omer Shatz (co-founder of the NGO “We Are Refugees”) and Iftach Cohen (member of “Front-Lex”) representing human rights NGOs for being allegedly involved in illegal migrant boat pushbacks in the Mediterranean. The legal case involves several cases when Frontex personnel had witnessed intervention by the Greek Coast Guard, in which boats loaded with illegal migrants were turned back to their port of origin, i.e. Turkey.

    According to the legal notice, Frontex should have broken off their mission if they have witnessed any violations of the migrants’ rights or found their lives to be in danger. Some have even accused the agency of being involved or at least complicit in human rights violations. Yet, the internal Frontex working group have found no illegal-rejections by the Greek authorities, and as far as the Frontex staff’s mission statement is concerned, the agency’s executive director, Fabrice Leggeri, has made it clear to his employees that they are “not an overpriced lifeguard service”.

    The Greek Coast Guard have been accused of illegally turning back boats laden with migrants and thus violating their human rights, or even putting their lives in danger. Yet, according to currently valid European legislation, it is within the rights of a country to turn back illegal entries to a country where they are not facing persecution. Turkey has been deemed a safe country where migrants have no reasons to fear for their lives.

    Furthermore, Frontex, or indeed any other coast guard boats, are not obliged to take migrants on board if their boat is not in danger of sinking or if they are not in dangerous weather. Migrant boats are often run by organized criminal networks and if human trafficking is suspected, coast guard boats have the right to turn them back to their port of origin, explained Leggeri to FAZ.

    As Remix News have reported, last month Frontex withdrew from Hungary over allegations that the country is not implementing the European Court of Justice’s ruling, which accused it of illegal migrant pushbacks into Serbia. It is not clear why Frontex defends pushbacks to a safe country on the seas, while protesting against such procedures on the Hungarian-Serbian border. In the coming court case though they may be forced to clarify their own working criteria that makes them act in such a seemingly contradictory manner.”

  22. Biden Gun Control Plan Would ‘Criminalize’ up to 105 Million People: Gun-rights Group
    By Jack Phillips
    February 23, 2021 Updated: February 23, 2021
    biggersmaller Print

    A gun-rights organization said that President Joe Biden’s gun control proposal would potentially make about 105 million law-abiding gun owners into criminals.

    “While we can agree that there are several ‘common sense’ and long overdue changes needed to our nation’s gun laws, we firmly believe that the path forward should be focused on supporting and protecting responsible, law-abiding Americans—not criminalizing and punishing them,” the U.S. Concealed Carry Association said in a letter to Biden this week.

    The group—which, according to the group’s website, has about 556,000 members—said the president’s push for gun control on the anniversary of the Parkland, Florida mass shooting was needless.

    “The U.S. Concealed Carry Association exists to help responsible Americans avoid danger, save lives, and keep their families safe, and we believe that our elected leaders in Washington have an incredible obligation to pursue these same goals,” the group added.

    The group noted that in 2020, a significant number of people purchased firearms in the midst of historic riots and the COVID-19 pandemic.

  23. Large Explosion Reported After Train Carrying Petroleum Collides With 18-wheeler in Texas
    By Jack Phillips
    February 23, 2021 Updated: February 23, 2021
    biggersmaller Print

    A train carrying petroleum collided with an 18-wheeler truck in Texas, officials said on Tuesday.

    The collision caused an explosion and fire. Officials labeled the crash and apparent oil spill as a HAZMAT situation, according to the Cameron Police Department, reported Fox News.

    Elaborating, Milam County Judge Steve Young told KBTX that the crash occurred before 7 a.m. local time and several agencies are on the scene. Young said that 14 train cars derailed due to the collision but stated that it is not a HAZMAT situation.

    The truck driver and train conductor both survived the crash without major injuries, officials told KXXV.

  24. IRAN – CRUEL END Iranian woman who suffered fatal heart attack on the way to gallows after watching 16 others executed was hanged anyway

    A WOMAN waiting to be executed suffered a fatal heart attack as she watched 16 men die before her – but her body was hanged anyway.

    Zahra Ismaili was convicted of the murder of her husband Alireza Zamani in Iran and sentenced to be hanged at Rajai Shahr Prison.

    The mother-of-two was due to be executed at the notoriously harsh jail, around 20 miles from the capital Tehran.

    But according to her lawyer Omid Moradi as she was waiting for the gallows, she was made to watch the men being hanged before her and suffered a heart attack.

    He said “they hanged her lifeless body” so that her husband’s mother could exercise her right to kick away the chair from under her.

    Mr Moradi said that Ms Ismaili’s death certificate stated that “cardiac arrest” was the cause of death.

    He said her husband was an official of the Iranian intelligence ministry and that he was abusive to his family so she acted to defend herself and her daughter.

    Iran regularly comes second only to China in annual tables of the use of the death penalty, which it uses for a wide range of crimes.

    Over the years Iranians have been executed for being gay, having sex outside marriage and for drinking alcohol.

    Medieval style methods have been used over the years — some with a sinister modern twist — and all are specifically designed to inflict as much suffering before the prisoner dies.

    Public executions using a rope tied to a crane are carried out, with the condemned suffering an agonising death.

    So called “Revolutionary Courts” have the power to execute anyone for anything they deem to be “corruption on earth”.

    Children as young as 12 can be sentenced to death, which is against international law.

    In 2018 six kids were executed, including two child brides who killed their abusive adult husbands.

    A year later two teenage boys were flogged and executed for rape without telling them or their families – sparking outrage over child executions.

    Amnesty International says that both 17-year-old victims “were unaware that they had been sentenced to death until shortly before their executions”.

    Other forms of brutal punishment are also meted out in Iran.

    It recently emerged one mentally prisoner is facing having his fingers chopped off by guillotine after being flogged 60 times for hunger strike.

    Hadi Rostami, an inmate at Urumieh prison in West Azerbaijan province, has been sentenced to having four of his fingers amputated after being convicted of robbery in November 2019.

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