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Articles Posted by Olog-hai

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  • Port Authority says it won't use racial profiling when T system goes cashless [Pittsburgh]

    02/27/2017 11:16:53 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 18 replies
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ^ | February 25, 2017 12:21 AM | Ed Blazina
    Although it’s still putting together its enforcement policy for when the light rail system goes cashless in July, Port Authority said Friday it does not intend to use racial profiling or other methods to identify illegal immigrants. The authority explained its plans after a handful of riders expressed concerns at the agency’s monthly board meeting that it would use fare checks to identify people with improper immigration papers. The authority expects to switch to a prepaid system on the T in July, where riders will be on the honor system for paying their fare. To encourage payment, the authority will...
  • Ahmadinejad to Trump: US belongs to everyone

    02/27/2017 8:48:05 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 41 replies
    INN ^ | 27/02/17 14:30 | David Rosenberg
    Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wrote a 3,500 word letter to President Donald Trump in which he slams the new administration’s restrictions on immigration and US “dominance” of the United Nations. […] … Ahmadinejad, who during his tenure as president threatened to “wipe Israel off the map” and publicly suggested the Holocaust was a hoax, chided Trump over his recent executive order temporarily restricting immigration from seven high-risk countries, saying the US must “value respect toward the diversity of nations and races.” Ahmadinejad went on to argue that the United States “belongs to all nations”, suggesting the US has no...
  • Pelosi: Trump ‘Has No Jobs Bill’; 'They've Done Nothing'

    02/27/2017 7:56:21 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 37 replies
    Cybercast News Service ^ | February 27, 2017 | 8:08 AM EST | Susan Jones
    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) hailed President Obama’s stimulus program on Sunday, telling ABC’s “This Week” that within one month of Obama’s inauguration, “he signed a bill which saved or created 4 million jobs.” Pelosi invoked the controversial $832-billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to unfavorably compare President Donald Trump to former President Obama at the one-month mark: “What has the Trump administration done from their inaugural address, where they talked about decay and carnage? They've done nothing except put Wall Street first, make America sick again, instill fear in our immigrant population in our country, and make sure...
  • George W. Bush on Trump and Russia: 'We all need answers'

    02/27/2017 7:25:29 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 161 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Feb 27, 2017 9:47 AM EST
    Former President George W. Bush said Monday “we all need answers” on the extent of contact between President Donald Trump’s team and the Russian government, and didn’t rule out the idea that a special prosecutor could be necessary to lead an investigation. The Republican also defended the media’s role in keeping world leaders in check, noting that “power can be addictive,” and warned against immigration policies that could alienate Muslims. “I am for an immigration policy that’s welcoming and upholds the law,” Bush told NBC’s “Today” show. Bush’s comments came after a prominent Republican in Congress, Rep. Darrell Issa of...
  • Winterthur mosque presses charges against duo who reported imam for inciting murder [Switzerland]

    02/26/2017 11:57:40 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 13 replies
    TheLocal.ch ^ | 24 February 2017 10:03 CET+01:00
    The association that runs the An’Nour mosque in Winterthur has lodged a complaint with police against two members of the congregation thought to have reported their imam for inciting murder — a day after ten people were arrested for allegedly beating up the duo in revenge. On Tuesday morning, police in the canton of Zürich arrested ten suspects in a raid on a dozen houses in Winterthur. One was later released, but eight adults and one juvenile remain in custody, accused of having beaten up and threatened two individuals at the mosque last November. The pair are thought to have...
  • Christie to lawmakers avoiding town halls: Go do your job

    02/26/2017 6:22:41 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 29 replies
    Cable News Network ^ | 1:54 PM ET, Sun February 26, 2017 | Eric Bradner
    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says Republican lawmakers should hold town halls even if that means confronting hundreds of angry progressive constituents. “Welcome to the real world of responsibility,” Christie told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” Sunday. The governor’s comments come after a week in which massive crowds turned up at GOP town halls to protest President Donald Trump and Republicans’ efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. …
  • Afghan deportation flight left Germany half empty

    02/25/2017 7:06:26 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 10 replies
    TheLocal.de ^ | 25 February 2017 11:30 CET+01:00 | AFP
    The German government admitted Friday it deported fewer than half the Afghans who were due to be repatriated on a charter plane earlier this week, after some went into hiding.Fifty Afghans whose asylum requests had been rejected were to have boarded the aircraft for their home country late Wednesday, but “in fact, only 18 got on the flight,” said interior ministry spokesman Tobias Plate. But he sought to play down the issue, saying that “if one looks at other flights, the numbers are always below that of the planning figure”. …
  • GOP congressman: Special prosecutor needed for Russia probe [Issa]

    02/25/2017 10:16:14 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 38 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Feb 25, 2017 11:27 AM EST
    A Republican congressman has called for a special prosecutor to investigate whether Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election and was in touch with President Donald Trump’s team during the campaign. Rep. Darrell Issa of California says it would be improper for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to lead the investigation. Issa made the comments Friday on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.” …
  • Peru's president tells Trump he prefers 'bridges to walls'

    02/25/2017 10:01:04 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 60 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Feb 24, 2017 6:35 PM EST | Franklin Briceno and Joshua Goodman
    The first Latin American president to visit Donald Trump at the White House told the U.S. leader Friday he prefers “bridges to walls,” sending him a gentle rebuke of his controversial proposal to build a wall along the border with Mexico. Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, a U.S.-educated former Wall Street banker, has emerged as an unlikely leader in Latin America, taking a strong stand against Trump’s “America First” agenda while many in the region remain silent. Kuczynski, 78, characterized his meeting with Trump as “cordial and constructive” and said he told Trump he was interested in the free movement...
  • Germany's Merkel: keep working on 2-state Mideast solution

    02/25/2017 9:10:27 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 17 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Feb 25, 2017 4:24 AM EST
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel is stressing the need to work for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after President Donald Trump signaled that he could accept a different outcome. […] Merkel said: “I think we must continue on the way to a two-state solution. I see no other possibility becoming reality to achieve a peace process.” …
  • Palestinian protesters throw shoes at Trump picture

    02/24/2017 7:24:49 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 28 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Feb 24, 2017 7:11 AM EST
    Palestinian protesters have thrown shoes at a banner depicting U.S. President Donald Trump in protest of his Mideast policies. Issa Amro, a Palestinian activist, said “we disrespect this president who doesn’t see us as equal human beings with everyone.” Trump is unpopular among Palestinians because the new president has broken from his predecessor and adopted friendlier positions to the Israeli government, including a vague stance on Palestinian statehood and a more lenient approach to settlements. …
  • Mexico: We’ll Go to the U.N. to Defend ‘Human Rights’ of Mexicans in U.S.

    02/24/2017 6:51:17 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 102 replies
    Cybercast News Service ^ | February 24, 2017 | 4:27 AM EST | Susan Jones
    Mexico’s foreign minister says his government will seek the intervention of the United Nations if necessary to defend the human rights of its citizens caught up in the Trump administration’s tough new approach to illegal immigration. Speaking on the eve of Thursday’s meetings with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Luis Videgaray said at a meeting with officials from the U.N. human rights office that Mexico “does not have to accept provisions that one government wants unilaterally to impose on another.” “The government of Mexico will act by all means legally...
  • San Diego Bishop Calls on Americans To Be 'Disruptors' To Aid Illegal Aliens [McElroy]

    02/24/2017 6:29:44 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 39 replies
    Cybercast News Service ^ | February 24, 2017 | 5:00 PM EST | Michael W. Chapman
    The very liberal Catholic bishop of San Diego, Robert McElroy, who supports giving Communion to the divorced and remarried, contrary to Church teaching, and embracing “LGBT families,” said that social justice activists must become “disruptors” to counter the efforts of the federal government to apprehend illegal aliens. “Well now, we must all become disruptors,” said Bishop McElroy in a Feb. 18 speech at the U.S. Regional World Meeting of Popular Movements in Modesto, Calif. “We must disrupt those who would seek to send troops into our streets to deport the undocumented, to rip mothers and fathers from their families,” he...
  • Swastika scrawled on RISD bathroom in human waste [gender-neutral BR; Rhode Island School of Design]

    02/24/2017 4:37:21 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 36 replies
    WJAR, NBC 10, Providence ^ | Thursday, February 23rd 2017 | Brian Crandall
    Vandalism in a dormitory bathroom has RISD students’ stomachs turning for several reasons. “It’s pretty shocking because I think everybody is wondering, you know, who it is,” student Cooper Thompson told NBC 10 News. The Rhode Island School of Design confirmed to NBC 10 News Thursday that anti-Semitic graffiti was found in a dormitory bathroom during the weekend. Students told NBC 10 the school informed them it was a swastika made with human waste. […] And the bathroom is a gender-neutral one. …
  • New Jersey OKs gas pipeline through protected Pinelands

    02/24/2017 4:19:14 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 23 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Feb 24, 2017 4:32 PM EST | Wayne Parry
    New Jersey environmental regulators on Friday approved a hotly contested plan to run a natural gas pipeline through a federally protected forest preserve amid raucous protests that included drums, tambourines and choruses of “This Land Is Your Land.” The 15-member New Jersey Pinelands Commission voted to approve a plan by South Jersey Gas to run the pipeline through the federally protected Pinelands preserve, where development is drastically restricted. […] It was the most emotionally charged jobs-vs-environment clash in recent New Jersey history, and was closely watched by environmental and energy groups around the nation, particularly with a new presidential administration...
  • China overtakes US as Germany’s main trade partner

    02/24/2017 9:13:18 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 15 replies
    TheLocal.de ^ | 24 February 2017 11:38 CET+01:00 | DPA/The Local
    Last year, China became Germany’s most important trading partner, knocking the US off the top spot. Goods with a value of €170 billion were traded between Germany and China in 2016, according to data from the Federal Statistics Office (destatis) released on Friday. France was the second most important trade partner. Total trade with the Gallic nation was valued at €167 billion, while the US was relegated to third place, with total transatlantic trade accounting for €165 billion. Nevertheless, the US remained the most important export destination for German goods, with €107 billion “Made in Germany” products making the journey....
  • Polls: Support for Obamacare at all-time high [fakenews alert; Kaiser/Pew]

    02/24/2017 8:57:53 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 18 replies
    Cable News Network ^ | 10:46 AM ET, Fri February 24, 2017 | David Wright and Tami Luhby
    Support for Obamacare is at an all-time high, according to two surveys released this week as Republican leaders continue to press the case for repeal amid fierce resistance at many town halls. The latest Health Tracking Poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 48% of Americans view the law favorably, compared to 42% who have an unfavorable view. This is the highest level of favorability measured in more than 60 Kaiser Health Tracking Polls conducted since 2010. The boost comes largely from independents, half of whom view Obamacare favorably compared to 39% who don’t. Nearly three-quarters of Democrats continue...
  • China Eyes Latin America In Ashes Of Monroe Doctrine

    02/23/2017 9:33:30 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 8 replies
    America Economia via WorldCrunch ^ | 2017-02-17 | Rodrígo Álvarez
    Donald Trump’s arrival at the White House will have real effects on the international system as a whole, and will inevitably impact the Latin American region. The key question is, will we continue alone under the U.S doctrine, or make a strategic adjustment? Chile’s Foreign Minister Heraldo Muñoz has declared that with Trump’s pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact, Chile must look elsewhere — to China and South Korea. Asking epochal questions is absolutely valid right now for all of Latin America and the Caribbean. In essence, since the Monroe Doctrine in 1823, the United States has...
  • Plan to hire 'abortion doctors' at Rome hospital sparks outcry [Italy]

    02/23/2017 9:05:05 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 3 replies
    TheLocal.it ^ | 23 February 2017 16:40 CET+01:00
    A controversial move by a Rome hospital to hire two specialist abortion doctors — because the majority of Italian doctors refuse to carry out the procedure — has caused an outcry. On Thursday, the president of Rome’s order of physicians, Giuseppe Lavra, asked Lazio’s regional governor to repeal the "unjust and discriminatory" call for two pro-abortion gynecologists. The governor, Nicola Zingaretti, had planned for the two doctors to be hired at Rome’s San Camillo hospital — one of the largest in the capital — where they would be tasked specifically with carrying out abortions. Zingaretti wrote in his blog that...
  • Minister blasts Sweden Democrats' Wall Street Journal op-ed: 'They're lying about Sweden'

    02/23/2017 8:49:37 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 18 replies
    TheLocal.se ^ | 23 February 2017 18:30 CET+01:00 | Emma Löfgren
    Sweden’s justice and migration minister has accused anti-immigration party leaders of lying about Sweden after they wrote in the Wall Street Journal that Donald Trump was right in his comments about immigration. He spoke hours after Sweden Democrat bosses Jimmie Åkesson and Mattias Karlsson wrote in an opinion piece published in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday that “Mr. Trump did not exaggerate Sweden’s current problems” when he falsely suggested that immigration had sparked a rising crime wave in the country. […] Sweden’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson told The Local on Thursday that the government would submit its...
  • NBC Touts Norway as Fix for America's 'Flawed Democracy'

    02/23/2017 4:27:39 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 41 replies
    Cybercast News Service ^ | February 23, 2017 | 12:06 PM EST | Craig Bannister
    A hypocritical NBCNews.com article argues that America is a “flawed democracy” that can be fixed by copying the “World’s Best Democracy” — Norway. In “Norway Is the ‘World’s Best Democracy’ — We Asked Its People Why,” NBC pretends to provide an objective look at why the Economist Intelligence Unit — based in London, where the country’s parliament actually considered banning America’s president — downgraded the U.S. to a “flawed democracy” and rated Norway the best. The article doesn’t mention one reason the U.S. is a flawed democracy: it isn’t one; it’s actually a Republic. […] Feigning fairness, the article points...
  • Fox News Channel’s Alan Colmes Dies at Age 66

    02/23/2017 6:53:01 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 82 replies
    Fox News Insider ^ | Feb 23 2017 9:26 AM
    Fox News Channel’s Alan Colmes has passed away at age 66 after a brief illness. Colmes leaves behind his wife, Jocelyn Crowley, who issued the following statement:Alan Colmes passed away this morning after a brief illness. He was 66-years-old. He leaves his adoring and devoted wife, Jocelyn Elise Crowley. He was a great guy, brilliant, hysterical, and moral. He was fiercely loyal, and the only thing he loved more than his work was his life with Jocelyn. He will be missed. The family has asked for privacy during this very difficult time.Bill Hemmer announced the sad news this morning on...
  • DEA agents storm Iron Addicts Gym in Miami

    02/22/2017 8:32:06 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 22 replies
    WPLG, ABC Local 10, Fort Lauderdale ^ | 5:27 PM, February 22, 2017 | Peter Burke, Amanda Batchelor
    Patrons at the Iron Addicts Gym in Miami said they were disrupted from their morning workouts Wednesday by DEA agents who raided the facility. Ten people were arrested on warrants for selling anabolic steroids, including Richard Rodriguez, a part-owner of the business. Several gym patrons posted about their experiences on Facebook and Instagram, sharing photos of DEA agents in the gym. One man wrote on Facebook that “there is a hormone club for prescription upstairs.” …
  • UN: $4.4B needed within weeks to stop hunger 'catastrophe'

    02/22/2017 5:15:07 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 66 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Feb 22, 2017 7:44 PM EST | Jennifer Peltz
    The United Nations needs $4.4 billion by the end of March to prevent catastrophic hunger and famine in South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen, yet just $90 million has been collected so far, Secretary-General António Guterres said Wednesday. With over 20 million people at risk of starvation over the next six months and famine already declared in parts of South Sudan, “we are facing a tragedy,” Guterres said. “We must avoid it becoming a catastrophe.” Convening reporters for a briefing at the U.N. headquarters, Guterres amplified concerns that U.N. officials and humanitarian groups have expressed in recent weeks about the...
  • Republican US senator: I'm open to subpoena of Trump's taxes [Susan Collins]

    02/22/2017 5:10:55 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 54 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Feb 22, 2017 6:54 PM EST | Patrick Whittle
    U.S. Sen. Susan Collins said on Wednesday she’s open to using a subpoena to investigate President Donald Trump’s tax returns for potential connections to Russia. Collins, a Republican who has served as a U.S. senator from Maine since 1997, sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. She appeared on Maine Public Radio to talk about issues including the investigation. Collins was asked if the committee would subpoena Trump, who’s also a Republican. She said she hopes for “voluntary cooperation” but is open to using a subpoena if necessary. …
  • Kansas lawmakers fail to override veto of income tax hikes

    02/22/2017 3:18:19 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 13 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Feb 22, 2017 5:32 PM EST | John Hanna
    Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback on Wednesday vetoed a bill that would undo his signature income tax cut and his allies prevented the Legislature from overriding him, setting up future confrontations over balancing the state budget. Less than two hours after Brownback vetoed the bill, the state House voted 85-40 to override him, giving supporters one vote more than the two-thirds majority they needed. But the vote in the Senate hours later was 24-16, which was three shy of a two-thirds majority. By not overriding the veto, lawmakers will have to draft another plan aimed at closing projected budget shortfalls totaling...
  • Industry: Philadelphia soda tax killing sales, layoffs loom

    02/22/2017 3:15:11 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 30 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Feb 22, 2017 11:00 AM EST
    Some Philadelphia supermarkets and beverage distributors say they’re gearing up for layoffs because the city’s new soda tax has cut beverage sales by 30 percent to 50 percent, worse than the city predicted. An owner of six supermarkets tells The Philadelphia Inquirer he expects to cut 300 jobs, and a soft drink distributor predicts a 20 percent workforce reduction. City officials expect business to rebound once customers get over sticker shock. …
  • New Immigration Guidance 'Unleashes the Hound Dogs,' Says 1st (Former) Illegal Alien to Serve…[tr]

    02/22/2017 2:39:58 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 19 replies
    Cybercast News Service ^ | February 22, 2017 | 9:13 AM EST | Susan Jones
    U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.) says he came to the United States illegally as a nine-year-old child, eventually returning to the Dominican Republic with his family to follow proper immigration procedures. He is the first member of Congress to have once been an illegal alien, and he told CNN on Wednesday morning that he objects to the Trump administration’s expanded immigration enforcement because it “unleashes the hound dogs,” expedites the removal of illegal aliens and fractures families. He noted that “many people come here” illegally because they aspire for their children to eventually become Americans. […] Espaillat said many of...
  • More than 350 migrants successfully storm Spain border fence [Ceuta]

    02/22/2017 6:10:35 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 15 replies
    TheLocal.es ^ | 20 February 2017 09:18 CET+01:00 | AFP/The Local
    More than 350 migrants stormed the border between Morocco and Spain at Ceuta on Monday, officials said, days after one of the largest rush of arrivals over the frontier in more than a decade. The young migrants forced their way through the high border fence into the Spanish North African territory, ecstatic to have finally crossed into a European Union state. […] Ceuta and Melilla, also a Spanish territory in North Africa, have the EU’s only land borders with Africa, so are entry points for migrants who either climb the border fence, swim along the coast or hide in vehicles....
  • Swiss army wants to recruit more women

    02/22/2017 5:59:40 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 8 replies
    TheLocal.ch ^ | 22 February 2017 11:03 CET+01:00
    Increasing the number of women recruits would be “beneficial” to the Swiss army, a top commander has said. “For me, it would be desirable if we could significantly increase the proportion of women in the medium term,” said Corps Commander Daniel Baumgartner in an interview with Neue Zürcher Zeitung published on Wednesday. “Women think and act differently. That would be good for the army,” he added. While Baumgartner did not suggest that compulsory military service should be extended to women, he said a compulsory ‘information day’ should be introduced where women can find out about the opportunities the army could...
  • Norway bishop calls on churches to employ paperless migrants

    02/22/2017 5:45:17 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 10 replies
    TheLocal.no ^ | 20 February 2017 22:08 CET+01:00 | NTB/The Local
    Christian organizations in Norway plan to join a campaign to employ undocumented migrants, despite the threat of fines and imprisonment. Tor Berger Jørgensen, the former bishop of Sør-Hålogaland in northern Norway, launched the campaign last week, arguing that breaking the law in this way was not about saving money, but about providing a livelihood to people “in a hopeless situation”. The 71-year-old priest sent letters out to Christian organizations across Norway, asking them to give jobs to those who could neither return to their home countries nor get residency in Norway. He told the newspaper he was “optimistic” that his...
  • Two German-born Islamists to be deported despite not committing crime

    02/22/2017 5:31:55 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 21 replies
    TheLocal.de ^ | 21 February 2017 16:09 CET+01:00 | DPA/The Local
    Two men arrested in Göttingen earlier this month over suspicions that they were plotting an “imminent” terror attack are no longer under investigation due to insufficient evidence, but they will still be deported. State prosecutors said on Tuesday that though the two men had discussed attack plans, there was not enough evidence to support authorities’ initial suspicion that the men were “preparing a serious crime against the state”. The Nigerian and Algerian citizens — both in their 20s and born in Germany — were arrested on February 9th in a police raid in the Lower Saxon university town, as well...
  • Utah moves to toss school ban on 'advocacy of homosexuality'

    02/21/2017 7:24:37 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 14 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Feb 21, 2017 8:51 PM EST | Michelle L. Price
    Utah lawmakers took the first step Tuesday to get rid of a state law that bans the “advocacy of homosexuality” in schools, a move driven by a court challenge from gay rights groups. The Senate Education Committee voted unanimously in favor of a Republican bill cutting the phrase from sex education law. The National Center for Lesbian Rights and Equality Utah sued last fall, saying the law creates a “chilling culture of silence that stigmatizes LGBTQ students” and exists only to express disapproval of being gay. A number of states have similar laws, but few others are moving to overturn...
  • DHS Shifts Funds from Defending Illegals to New Office to Help Their VICTIMS

    02/21/2017 5:28:46 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 54 replies
    Cybercast News Service ^ | February 21, 2017 | 3:06 PM EST | Craig Bannister
    On Tuesday, DHS Sec. Kelly issued an immigration memo shifting the U.S. government’s efforts and resources away from defending illegal aliens to helping their victims. The memo creates the “Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement” (VOICE) office, which will act as “liaison between ICE and the known victims of crimes committed by removable aliens.” VOICE will address victims’ concerns and provide information regarding the enforcement actions and immigration status of the perpetrator. […] The memo also reallocates “any and all resources” currently used to advocate for illegal aliens and terminates “outreach and advocacy services” provided to them. …
  • British man who launched ISIL suicide attack was Guantanamo Bay detainee awarded £1m compensation

    02/21/2017 3:58:52 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 26 replies
    Daily Telegraph (UK) ^ | 21 February 2017 • 7:40PM | Gordon Rayner
    A British Islamic State fighter who carried out a suicide bombing in Iraq this week is a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who was paid £1 million compensation by the government. Jamal al-Harith, a Muslim convert born Ronald Fiddler who detonated a car bomb at an Iraqi army base near Mosul, was released from the US detention camp in 2004 and successfully claimed compensation after saying British agents knew or were complicit in his mistreatment. He was freed following intense lobbying by Tony Blair’s Labour government.Al-Harith, who used the nom de guerre Abu-Zakariya al-Britani, entered Syria via Turkey in 2014 to...
  • Paris region loses 1.5 million tourists over terror fears

    02/21/2017 9:44:32 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 21 replies
    TheLocal.fr ^ | 21 February 2017 12:00 CET+01:00
    Tourism in the greater Paris region Île-de-France has been hit hard by terror fears, the latest figures show. But it’s turning around. “In total, in 2016, hotel owners in Île-de-France welcomed 1.5 million fewer French and international tourists compared to 2015,” the Regional Tourism Committee reported on Tuesday. While the average number of tourists visiting the region has only decreased by 0.8 percent, the drop was particularly sharp among some countries more than others. There were 21.5 percent fewer Chinese tourists setting down their suitcases in the Paris region, and 41.2 percent fewer tourists from Japan checking in to hotels...
  • The Brief: Mike Pence’s promises to the EU are meaningless [barf]

    02/21/2017 9:21:19 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 15 replies
    EurActiv ^ | Feb 20, 2017 (updated: 7:00) | James Crisp
    Today brought the US vice-president’s first official visit to Brussels and the first taste of the Trump Tea Party for presidents Juncker and Tusk. Mike Pence has all the charisma of a chair leg but with less capacity for love, compassion and charity. He styles himself as a devout Christian but his political career has been driven and defined by hate. He hates abortion. He hates man-made climate change. He hates gays, stem cell research and refugees. He hates reporters and refused to take any questions from the press. Even the foreign minister of Cuba, no democracy, managed to do...
  • UK to be hit with ‘very hefty’ Brexit bill, says Juncker

    02/21/2017 9:05:43 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 47 replies
    AFP via EurActiv ^ | 02/21/2017 9:50 (updated: 10:24)
    Britain will have to pay a “very hefty” bill to leave the European Union and negotiating a new relationship with the bloc will take years, European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker warned today (21 February). Prime Minister Theresa May hopes to trigger the Brexit negotiations by the end of March following the shock referendum in June last year. […] “The British must know — and they know it already — that it will not be at a discount or zero cost,” the former Luxembourg premier said in his hour-long speech. […] European sources said Brussels could hand Britain an exit bill...
  • Russia to rely increasingly on non-nuclear deterrent

    02/21/2017 6:49:49 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 4 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Feb 21, 2017 9:26 AM EST | Vladimir Isachenkov
    Russia will continue to see the development of its nuclear forces as a top priority, but the military will rely increasingly on conventional weapons to deter any aggression, the Russian Defense Minister said Tuesday. Sergei Shoigu said Tuesday that weapons such as the long-range Kalibr cruise missiles carried by navy ships, long-range cruise missiles carried by Russian strategic bombers and the land-based short-range Iskander missiles will play an increasingly important role as a non-nuclear deterrent. Those missiles can carry nuclear or conventional warheads. Shoigu pointed to the new missiles’ debut in the Syrian conflict, saying they have proven themselves well....
  • Europe at a Crossroads: 'The Pacifist Streak in German Politics Is a Problem'

    02/21/2017 6:25:55 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 28 replies
    Der Spiegel ^ | February 17, 2017 10:27 AM | Markus Becker
    The future of NATO and trans-Atlantic relations will be at the top of the agenda at the Munich Security Conference, which begins on Friday. British political scientist Anthony Glees says that Germany must become a “muscular democracy” and take the lead in Europe. […] “The largest weight is now on Germany’s shoulders. Chancellor Merkel must continue to convince people of the EU’s importance; she must spearhead the effort to redefine the EU. In order to do this, Germany must become a muscular democracy. It needs to shoulder far more responsibility for the physical security of Europe, especially Eastern Europe and...
  • Prefecture in China's Xinjiang to track cars by satellite

    02/20/2017 10:00:29 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 8 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Feb 21, 2017 12:52 AM EST | Gerry Shih
    A prefecture in China’s far western Xinjiang region is requiring all vehicles to install satellite tracking systems as part of stepped-up measures against violent attacks. Traffic police in Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture announced the regulation on Sunday, shortly after thousands of heavily armed police paraded in the Xinjiang capital and ruling Communist Party officials vowed to ramp up their campaign against separatists and Islamic militants. The vehicle-tracking program in Bayingolin will utilize China’s homegrown Beidou satellite system, launched in recent years to reduce China’s reliance on U.S.-based GPS providers for sensitive applications. Authorities said they will also track cars using...
  • German real estate market overheated, says central bank

    02/20/2017 9:51:19 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 3 replies
    Deutsche Welle ^ | 02.20.2017 | aw/msh (Reuters, dpa, AFP)
    German residential real estate is overvalued by up to 30 percent, the central bank warned as part of its monthly report for February, released on Monday. The Bundesbank said the German economy should retain a strong footing in the coming months thanks to high industrial and construction activity, but warned this could not fully account for a recent surge in residential property prices. […] Home prices in German cities rose by 8 percent in 2016 after rising by an annual average of 6.75 percent in the previous six years, according to Bundesbank calculations based on data from consultancy firm Bulwiengesa....
  • Belgian PM warns US against meddling in EU politics

    02/20/2017 8:51:22 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 35 replies
    EurActiv ^ | 02/20/2017 2:38
    After meeting with US Vice-President Mike Pence on Sunday (19 February), the Belgian prime minister said in a veiled criticism of President Donald Trump’s comments that Belgium, like other countries, would not allow the fragmentation of the European Union. US Vice-President Mike Pence arrived in Brussels on Sunday evening, the second stop of his European tour to reassure worried European leaders. Pence will meet European Council President Donald Tusk on Monday morning. The VP flew from Munich, Germany, where he attended the Munich Security Conference. […] “There is no question of allowing the fragmentation of the European Union. This message...
  • Poland tells EU: We value democracy, respect our sovereignty

    02/20/2017 5:23:15 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 5 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Feb 20, 2017 1:32 PM EST
    Poland’s Foreign Ministry said Monday it has written to the European Union in response to the bloc’s recommendations on rule of law in the country, the latest step in a standoff between Warsaw’s populist government and EU officials concerned about weakening democratic standards. Most of the EU’s concerns center on steps by the ruling Law and Justice party that have weakened the Constitutional Tribunal’s ability to act as a check on executive power. EU Vice-President Frans Timmermans said last year that he worried about a “systemic risk” to the rule of law in Poland. In December he sent non-binding recommendations...
  • Known for political temperance, Iowa moves sharply right

    02/19/2017 7:15:48 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 38 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Feb 19, 2017 8:25 PM EST | Thomas Beaumont
    After decades as the crossroads of prairie populists and checkbook conservatives, Iowa has suddenly become solidly Republican like many of its Midwestern neighbors. It was one of four states — along with Kentucky, Missouri and New Hampshire — that flipped to complete GOP control in the November election, but Iowa’s rush of new legislation has been the most intense. In an all-night session last week, Iowa lawmakers approved a bill similar to one enacted in Wisconsin six years ago that strips most public sector unions of long-held collective bargaining rights, including health insurance. […] Among other items, Republicans also are...
  • Immigrants are not US’s problem and policy makers already know this [barf]

    02/19/2017 5:33:36 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 51 replies
    Irish Central ^ | February 17, 2017 12:00 AM | Cahir O’Doherty
    Let’s face it — every Irish person in New York knows someone who’s undocumented. Usually they know more than one. They also know that if weren’t for them and other immigrants half the bars, restaurants, shops and even colleges in the city would be deserted. New York has always had a special welcome for immigrants — even the undocumented ones — because it’s been the historical landing point for intending Americans since the earliest days of our national story. Welcoming immigrants is really the city’s oldest tradition. It actually makes sound financial sense. The undocumented often do the work that...
  • How a pro-Palestinian American reporter changed his views on Israel and the conflict

    02/19/2017 10:46:55 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 25 replies
    Jerusalem Post ^ | February 15, 2017 12:17 | Hunter Stuart
    … Before I moved to Jerusalem, I was very pro-Palestinian. Almost everyone I knew was. I grew up Protestant in a quaint, politically correct New England town; almost everyone around me was liberal. And being liberal in America comes with a pantheon of beliefs: You support pluralism, tolerance and diversity. You support gay rights, access to abortion and gun control. The belief that Israel is unjustly bullying the Palestinians is an inextricable part of this pantheon. Most progressives in the US view Israel as an aggressor, oppressing the poor noble Arabs who are being so brutally denied their freedom. […]...
  • New Hampshire Democrat drops bid to head DNC, backs Ellison [Ray Buckley]

    02/18/2017 10:51:44 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 54 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Feb 18, 2017 1:07 PM EST
    New Hampshire Democrat Ray Buckley has dropped out of the race for Democratic National Committee chair and is throwing his support behind Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison. Buckley’s announcement comes a week before DNC members gather in Atlanta to choose a new chair. […] Ellison says if he wins, he’ll ask Buckley to lead a “new and innovative 57 state strategy” targeting the states and U.S. territories. …
  • Campus Leftists at UChicago say Free Speech Shouldn’t Apply Equally to Everyone

    02/18/2017 9:31:07 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 27 replies
    Heat Street ^ | 3:20 pm, February 16, 2017 | Ian Miles Cheong
    Students at the prestigious University of Chicago say that free speech should not apply equally to everyone. The students objected to the school’s Institute of Politics’ invitation to former Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. They claim that allowing him to speak “normalizes bigotry” and provides a platform for fascism. Lewandowski did not join the White House staff but by many accounts remains an influential advisor to the president. The coalition of students from U of C Resists, Graduate Students United, Students Working Against Prisons, and UChicago Socialists claim that the school’s “commitment to free expression” doesn’t require the institution...
  • McCain slams Trump in Munich speech without using his name

    02/18/2017 2:55:53 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 39 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Feb 17, 2017 5:53 PM EST | Richard Lardner
    Republican Sen. John McCain delivered a withering critique of President Donald Trump in a speech Friday that highlighted fractures within the GOP as the new administration struggles to overcome a chaotic start. Speaking in Germany at the Munich Security Conference, McCain didn’t mention the president’s name, according to the prepared text, while he lamented a shift in the United States and Europe away from the “universal values” that forged the Western alliance seven decades ago. McCain is the chairman of the Armed Services Committee. […] McCain, who has openly quarreled with the president, said “more and more of our fellow...