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Hometown: VA
Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 55,432

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Journal Archives

German authorities accused of playing down refugee shelter sex crime reports

Germany's police union and women's rights groups accused the authorities on Tuesday of playing down reports of harassment, sexual assault and even rape at refugee shelters because they feared a backlash against asylum seekers.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere called on Germans to avoid succumbing to a blanket suspicion of the hundreds of thousands of migrants arriving in the country, saying an unbelievable number of rumors were being spread on the Internet.

But police union chief Rainer Wendt said he believed that authorities in Germany's federal states, which are responsible for housing asylum seekers, were playing down the problem of assaults on women in the shelters.

"It is understandable that there is the desire to calm things down politically," Wendt told Reuters. But he, along with women's groups, believed that ignoring the problem would be counterproductive. "There is a lot of glossing over going on. But this doesn't represent reality," he said.

With public opinion hardening on the refugee influx, German authorities appear anxious to avoid giving extreme-right groups any opportunity to stir up hostility towards migrants, many of whom are Muslims including those fleeing the Syrian civil war.


How Iranian general plotted out Syrian assault in Moscow

At a meeting in Moscow in July, a top Iranian general unfurled a map of Syria to explain to his Russian hosts how a series of defeats for President Bashar al-Assad could be turned into victory - with Russia's help.

Major General Qassem Soleimani's visit to Moscow was the first step in planning for a Russian military intervention that has reshaped the Syrian war and forged a new Iranian-Russian alliance in support of Assad.

As Russian warplanes bomb rebels from above, the arrival of Iranian special forces for ground operations underscores several months of planning between Assad's two most important allies, driven by panic at rapid insurgent gains.

Soleimani is the commander of the Quds Force, the elite extra-territorial special forces arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, and reports directly to Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Senior regional sources say he has already been overseeing ground operations against insurgents in Syria and is now at the heart of planning for the new Russian- and Iranian-backed offensive.


Edward Snowden just contradicted himself in a big way

Edward Snowden told the BBC in a new interview that he "gave all of my information to American journalists and free society generally."

It's another chapter in an ongoing series of seemingly contradictory statements on a central question of Snowden's story: What exactly happened to all of the NSA documents he stole?

Snowden has previously said he gave up all information to American journalists. And he has also made the opposite assertion.

On June 12, 2013, two days after identifying himself to the world and fleeing the US, the former NSA contractor originally told the South China Morning Post (SCMP) that he hadn't given everything to American journalists Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald because he had to review the data he was leaking.


How many more times will he and Greenwald change their story? It's been about a dozen already...

That time when Wikileaks met with Assad

WikiLeaks party meeting with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad condemned by Federal Government

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop has condemned the WikiLeaks party for sending a delegation to meet with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. The Syrian president released a Twitter photo on December 23 appearing to show the meeting.

The WikiLeaks delegation reportedly included John Shipton, the father of founder Julian Assange, who is currently the chairman of the WikiLeaks party. Ms Bishop said WikiLeaks' actions were "excessively reckless" and risked involving Australia in the conflict.

"It's an extraordinarily reckless thing for an organisation registered as a political party in Australia to try and insert itself in the appalling conflict in Syria for their own political ends," he said.

"It's certainly counter-productive. It is not in support of the sanctions regime that Australia has in place, in fact it risks undermining the sanctions regime we have in place, and it risks aligning Australia with one side of the conflict in Syria, which is something we would not do."

In a statement posted on the WikiLeaks party website in the lead up to the meeting, a spokesman said the aim of the trip was to show solidarity with the Syrian people and to voice its opposition to western military intervention.


Along with Ukraine and the TPP, it's interesting how many of Wikileak's goals align perfectly with Moscow's...


Swarm of bees completely covers police patrol car after honey truck overturns


200 Syrians, Afghans clash in German refugee centre riot

Source: France24/AFP


Some 200 Syrian and Afghan refugees clashed in a crowded German refugee centre in Hamburg overnight, leaving several people injured in the third such riot this week, police said Thursday.

Fifty police were called in to contain the mass brawl, which broke out in an argument in a shower block, local newspaper the Morgenpost reported.

The two groups attacked each other with iron bars and furniture and by hurling rocks, reported the daily and DPA news agency, citing emergency personnel in the northern river port city.

Police said several people were wounded, and several arrested, without providing figures. Germany is Europe's top destination for people fleeing war and misery from conflict zones and poverty-stricken countries and expects up to one million newcomers this year.

Read more: http://www.france24.com/en/20151001-200-syrians-afghans-clash-german-refugee-centre-riot?ns_campaign=reseaux_sociaux&ns_source=twitter&ns_mchannel=social&ns_linkname=editorial&aef_campaign_ref=partage_aef&aef_campaign_date=2015-10-01&dlvrit=66745
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