Category Archives: Syria war

George Clooney gives anti-Trump speech at César Awards: ‘Don’t let hate win’

clooney

Trump won. Get over it.

Via Yahoo: While he’s not nominated for an Oscar this year, George Clooney did take home the French equivalent of the Academy’s golden statue at the César ceremony.

Touted beforehand as “the most charismatic actor of his generation,” the Ocean’s Eleven star and his wife Amal, pregnant with their twins, brought Hollywood glamor to Paris at the Salle Pleyel on Friday. Dressed in his signature black Armani tuxedo and bow tie, Clooney looked dashing next to his wife, who showed off her baby bump in a fitted white gown tapered with an ombré of ostrich feathers.

The father-to-be was honored with a career award at the ceremony, along with French film legend Jean Paul Belmondo, who also received a Lifetime Tribute during the evening.

After a lengthy clip real of his greatest hits, Clooney was called onstage by host Jerome Commandeur. Greeted with a standing ovation, Clooney thanked the crowd saying, “Merci, merci” several times. Commandeur then invited Oscar winner Jean Dujardin, Clooney’s Monuments Men costar, to present him with the César d’Honneur. The former costars embraced, and Clooney, excusing himself to the audience for his “horrible” French, asked Dujardin to translate for him.

The duo proceeded to bring down the house, as his former costar gently ribbed him by purposefully mistranslating his speech, adding words like “handsome” to Clooney’s description of himself. The speech also got political, with Clooney cautioning the audience, “As we stand here today the world is going through some pretty momentous changes, not all for the best.” He added, “As citizens of the world we’re going to have to work harder and harder not to let hate win.” At some point during Clooney’s measured words, Dujardin added on his own, “Donald Trump is a dangerous for the world.”

As for his expectant wife, Clooney gushed, “To my wife Amal, there isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not proud to be your husband. And I am excited about the years to come, and particularly the months to come. I love you very much.”

Clooney was in France last May for the world premiere of Money Monster at the Cannes Film Festival. His next directing project, Suburbicon, is slated for release later this year.

The César Awards is an annual ceremony recognizing the top achievements in the French film industry and is comparable to the American Oscars. Last year’s honorary César — an award named after the French sculptor who designed it — went to  Michael Douglas. Past honorees have included Scarlett Johansson, Sean Penn, Johnny Depp and Sylvester Stallone.

See also:

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Montvale, New Jersey will not be a sanctuary city, mayor vows

michael-ghassali

Mayor Michael Ghassali

Laws and legal immigration still mean something to some politicians.

From NorthJersey.com: As a Syrian immigrant whose family fled Aleppo in 1980, weeks before hundreds of civilians were killed in a brutal siege, Michael Ghassali knows well the horrors facing today’s refugees.

But as the mayor of Montvale, Ghassali said, his allegiance is to the laws of his adopted country – even those he may personally disagree with. That is why Ghassali has vowed that under his administration, Montvale will not be a sanctuary city.

“I will not be signing any executive orders that will ask our employees to defy federal laws. A mayor should not be advocating the defiance of federal laws,” Ghassali announced in a Facebook post last week that has elicited both praise and condemnation.

The statement was in response to pressure from various advocacy groups that Ghassali said have approached him to declare the borough a safe haven for undocumented immigrants illegal aliens.

President Donald Trump issued an executive order last month suspending travel to the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries and indefinitely barring Syrian refugees from coming into the country. The order has been blocked by an appeals court, and Trump has said he will issue a revised order. But it sparked protests across the country, and local politicians have taken a public position either supporting it or opposing it.

Trump also has called for a crackdown on illegal immigration. On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security issued a sweeping set of orders that authorize all agents to enforce the nation’s immigration laws more forcefully, instructing them to identify, apprehend and quickly deport every undocumented immigrant they encounter.

Several North Jersey towns have either approved or are considering resolutions to become sanctuary cities, a term that generally means local police would limit their cooperation with federal immigration enforcement officers.

Prospect Park Mayor Mohamed Khairullah, who is also a Syrian-born immigrant, issued an executive order in January declaring the borough a sanctuary city. “As an immigrant from a country ruled by a dictator, it is important to me that our commander in chief upholds the U.S. Constitution as the law of the land,” Khairullah said last month.

Ghassali recalled in an interview this week his experience entering the country at 15 years old and the hurdles his family faced.

In Syria, his father was a tailor, working hard for a middle-class life for his family of four children. Ghassali remembers always feeling safe in Aleppo, even at night. Nevertheless, the Islamist uprising, revolts against the secular government led mostly by the Muslim Brotherhood, had been brewing in the country since 1976.

“My father was wise enough to know what was going on. He told us, ‘At some point, this will not be a safe place to live.’ And he decided that we should leave,” Ghassali said.

In 1980, members of Ghassali’s family boarded a flight with green cards in hand and headed to New York City, where they had family from his father’s side waiting for their arrival. They settled in Dumont. Ghassali said he became a citizen in 1987.

“I know firsthand the vetting system is intense – it’s always been that way. I don’t know how much more intense it could get,” said Ghassali, a Republican who ran for mayor as an independent.

“I wish the administration spent more time analyzing the current process before issuing such an executive order,” said Ghassali. “They should spend the time to look at the current process before causing havoc among the refugees.”

Ghassali said he has family members who are refugees or have been killed in the war in Syria. “My whole network is either a refugee or has a family or friend who is a refugee. I feel it. It is very personal,” Ghassali said. But, he said, “I have to remove emotions out of this if I want to do my job.”

A close friend of Ghassali’s who attends the same Syriac Orthodox church in Teaneck has been in the country illegally for 15 years, he said. Ghassali said that declaring Montvale a sanctuary city would not change the reality of his friend’s situation. “He’s been scared for 15 years,” Ghassali said. “That doesn’t change when a mayor signs an executive order.”

Ghassali said he hoped his stance was not misconstrued as being against diversity. About one-fifth of Montvale’s approximately 8,000 residents are foreign-born, according to 2015 census. Twenty-two languages are spoken at home, Ghassali said.

Ghassali is married to an Iraqi immigrant. On his block alone, he said, his neighbors hail from India, Pakistan and parts of South America. “Montvale is not against refugees, against immigrants, against diversity,” he said. “We are as diverse as they come.”

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Angela Merkel says Europe must take more refugees and Islam ‘isn’t source of terror’

merkel muslim

Earlier this month, Angela Merkel stated that Germany will offer cash handouts worth millions of pounds for migrants to leave Germany in an effort to silence criticism of her ‘open-door’ border policy. Now this? Proggies…they can never be consistent.

From Daily Star UK: The embattled leader says Europe has an obligation to take displaced people from Syria and Iraq. 

She also said Islam “is not the cause of terrorism” and that combatting extremism needs the cooperation of Muslim countries.

In a wide-ranging speech at a Munich security conference, the German chief also vowed to work closely with Vladimir Putin’s Russia in the fight with ISIS in the Middle East.

Mrs. Merkel has come under fire for taking in up to one million refugees amid security concerns and a string of migrant sex attacks across Germany.

After the Berlin lorry attack at a Christmas market in December, ex-UKIP leader Nigel Farage said events such as that will be “Merkel’s legacy”.

Mrs. Merkel had been a strong critic of Brexit, saying she had “deep regrets” about it. She will go to the polls in September against Social Democrat candidate Martin Schulz, the former European Parliament President.

On Putin, she said Europe’s ties with Russia remained challenging, but it was important to work with them in the fight against Islamist terrorism. She said: “The joint fight against Islamic terrorism is one area where we have the same interests and we can work together.”

Her comments about Islam and refugees follow her criticism of Donald Trump’s travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries.

New US Vice-President Mike Pence was in the audience and reaffirmed the US’ commitment to NATO in a speech of his own.

Germany is under increasing pressure to increase military spending, would do “everything possible” meet a NATO target for spending two percent of economic output on defence by 2024, Merkel told the conference.

Only last week, a student was dragged into woods and raped by a migrant who spoke no English near the campus of Bochum University.

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Syrian asylum seeker is jailed for life in Sweden after footage emerged of him taking part in the execution of seven men in 2012

sakhanh-syria-refugee

The criminal refugee Sakhanh, far left (circled in red)

And proggies wonder why many Americans want a refugee ban and stronger vetting processes. Go figure…

From Daily Mail: A Swedish court on Thursday sentenced a Syrian man to life imprisonment for participation in the 2012 mass execution of seven government troops in Syria.

The Stockholm District Court ruled that 46-year-old refugee Haisam Omar Sakhanh joined the armed group Suleiman Company in early May 2012, and shot a person dead with an assault rifle.

Judge Tomas Zander said the victim, who was not identified, was shot dead along with six others ‘under particularly cruel circumstances’. The seven men who were shot were part of the Syrian regime who had been captured by the independent Islamist group, which was founded in 2011.

The Islamist armed group captured the men during an attack at the beginning of May 2012, and the seven were shot to death less than two days later, according to Stockholms Tingsratt. In the years since the execution, it has been impossible to identify the victims.

Sakhanh had confessed to the shooting but said he should not be prosecuted because the death sentences had been made by a legitimate court, something the Swedish court rejected. It also rejected his defense that he had been following orders.

The group Sakanh was part of, the Suleiman Company, is a Islamic rebel group independent of Free Syrian Army that was formed in 2011 during the Syrian uprising. The group is mainly active in the Idleb countryside’s Jebel al-Zawiya region, and is led by former drug smuggler and Salafi militant Abu Suleiman al-Hamawi, according to TrackingTerrorism.org.

The court said Sakanh had been active in Italy in 2011 and 2012 where he protested against the Syrian government. 

Italian police helped investigators in Sweden to identify him via fingerprints and photos of him illegally entering the Syrian Embassy in Rome during a protest, according to the court ruling obtained by The Associated Press.

After his stint in Italy, Sakhanh returned to Syria before heading north to Sweden where he sought asylum in Sweden in 2013.  He failed to inform authorities about the executions and was given refugee status and permanent residence permit in early 2016.  He has been held in pre-trial custody since March.

In a statement, the court said Sakhanh’s crime ‘is so high that the punishment has been ruled to be life imprisonment’.  In Sweden, life imprisonment is normally ten years. The court said Sakhanh should then be expelled from the country and banned from returning.

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Merkel offers cash handouts worth millions of pounds for migrants to return home

merkel muslim

Obviously Merkel’s fourth re-election is looming on her mind.

From Daily Mail: Angela Merkel will offer cash handouts worth millions of pounds for migrants to leave Germany in an effort to silence criticism of her ‘open-door’ border policy. In a highly-embarrassing U-turn over the ill-fated plan, which saw 1.2million migrants flock to the country, Mrs. Merkel has now vowed to send many of them home.

The German chancellor agreed a package of measures to speed up the deportation process for an estimated 450,000 migrants who have been rejected asylum. The controversial plan, which marks a significant toughening of previous proposals, includes a £76million scheme that will offer migrants cash incentives to leave Germany voluntarily.

Many will see the move as a desperate attempt for Miss Merkel to claw back support ahead of her challenging re-election bid in September.

Criticism of her decision to leave Germany’s borders open and welcome all refugees during Europe’s migration crisis in 2015 has led to a surge in support for anti-immigrant parties.

Flaws in the open borders system were highlighted in the aftermath of last year’s Christmas market attack in Berlin when it was revealed that Tunisian terrorist Anis Amri had been denied asylum months earlier.

The plans agreed by Miss Merkel will allow officials to analyse asylum seekers’ telephones in an attempt to verify their identity, while rules for detaining migrants will be widened. The proposed crackdown, which has been criticised by human rights groups, will also include the creation of a department in Berlin to co-ordinate mass deportations.

As part of the 16-point plan, a number of ‘federal departure centres’ will also be established near airports to hold migrants before they are deported.

Miss Merkel admitted that relying solely on migrants putting themselves forward for deportation would fail to tackle the huge backlog of rejected requests. ‘We rely heavily on voluntary departures, but we know that voluntary departures will not take place if people know that there is never a mandatory return to their home country,’ she said.

The deal was agreed with Germany’s 16 regional governors, who are largely responsible for orchestrating deportations.

Current measures have left officials struggling to deport those whose asylum requests are rejected, largely because they come from areas deemed to be safe, unlike war-torn countries such as Syria.

Of the 170,000 applications that were rejected last year, 55,000 decided to leave voluntarily and a further 26,000 were repatriated.

Read the rest of the story here.

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Hollywood Agency Scraps Oscar Party In Favor of Refugee Rally

jeremy-zimmer

Jeremy Zimmer

Exactly how many refugees has Mr. Zimmer and his wealthy Hollyweird friends/clients let into their gated/guarded estates?

From Hollywood Reporter: United Talent Agency is scrapping its annual Oscar party in favor of hosting a rally at its L.A. office and donating to the American Civil Liberties Union, which has been on the frontlines of fighting the President’s executive order targeting travel from Muslim-majority countries. 

“This is a moment that demands our generosity, awareness and restlessness,” wrote UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer to staff. “Our world is a better place for the free exchange of artists, ideas and creative expression. If our nation ceases to be the place where artists the world over can come to express themselves freely, then we cease, in my opinion, to be America.”

The agency also said it would be donating $250,000 to the ACLU, the group that has seen a temporary victor in legally challenging Trump’s travel ban, as well as the International Rescue Committee, a humanitarian organization.

“When fear and division get the better of a society, artists are among the first to feel the impact—and to denounce the ill winds,” Zimmer added.

Last year, UTA held its Oscar party at chairman Jim Berkus’ residence. A number of major studios and agencies hold galas and parties on the biggest awards night of the year, including CAA, WME-IMG, ICM Partners and The Weinstein Co.

It’s unclear whether UTA’s move will foreshadow any similar moves by other agencies. The same day that UTA announced the move, WME-IMG co-CEO Ari Emanuel sent a staffwide note stating that the agency plans to form a Political Action Committee and vowing to protect company diversity.

Los Angeles, like other major cities, has seen several major, peaceful protests aimed at President Trump since his election, including recent demonstrations at Los Angeles International Airport over the travel band.

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97 companies sue President Trump over temporary ban on immigrants and refugees from dangerous countries

On January 27, 2016, President Trump fulfilled another campaign promise of barring terrorists from being brought as “refugees’ into the United States by signing Executive Order: Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.

The executive order states clearly the problem:

Numerous foreign-born individuals have been convicted or implicated in terrorism-related crimes since September 11, 2001, including foreign nationals who entered the United States after receiving visitor, student, or employment visas, or who entered through the United States refugee resettlement program. Deteriorating conditions in certain countries due to war, strife, disaster, and civil unrest increase the likelihood that terrorists will use any means possible to enter the United States.

“In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles,” and by the authority vested in President Trump “by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America” and in adherence with already established laws of the United States — the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq., and section 301 of title 3, United States Code — “it is hereby ordered” that the issuance of visas and other immigration benefits to nationals of “countries of particular concern” be suspended.

Those “countries of particular concern” are referred to in section 217(a)(12) of the Immigraton and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12). These are the Muslim-majority countries of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

Why those countries?

Is it because President Trump is picking on a particular religion, Islam?

No.

Those countries are selected  not because they’re Muslim, but because the foreign-born individuals who have been convicted or implicated in terrorism-related crimes since September 11, 2001 are Muslims.

My only quarrel with the visa ban on the 7 countries is that Saudi Arabia is, strangely, not included.

terrorists

Suspending the issuance of visas from certain terrorist-exporting countries is a means to an end — so that the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, undertake “a review” to determine and obtain the information needed from any country to determine nationals from that country who seek to enter the U.S. as refugees or immigrants are who they say they are and “not a security or public-safety threat.”

In other words, the visa ban on those 7 countries is TEMPORARY.

President Trump’s temporary visa ban executive order has already sparked judges across the country issuing stays on the temporary ban, as well as a lawsuit by 97 companies as amici curiae or “friends of the court”.

In other words, those judges and the 97 companies are against the vetting or screening of immigrants and refugees to ensure they are not terrorists.

Let that thought sink into your head . . . .

muslim-terrorists

Here is the list of the 97 companies (source: Gateway Pundit).

  1. AdRoll, Inc.
  2. Aeris Communications, Inc.
  3. Airbnb, Inc.
  4. AltSchool, PBC
  5. Ancestry.com, LLC
  6. Appboy, Inc.
  7. Apple Inc.
  8. AppNexus Inc.
  9. Asana, Inc.
  10. Atlassian Corp Plc
  11. Autodesk, Inc.
  12. Automattic Inc.
  13. Box, Inc.
  14. Brightcove Inc.
  15. Brit + Co
  16. CareZone Inc.
  17. Castlight Health
  18. Checkr, Inc.
  19. Chobani, LLC
  20. Citrix Systems, Inc.
  21. Cloudera, Inc.
  22. Cloudflare, Inc.
  23. Copia Institute
  24. DocuSign, Inc.
  25. DoorDash, Inc.
  26. Dropbox, Inc.
  27. Dynatrace LLC
  28. eBay Inc.
  29. Engine Advocacy
  30. Etsy Inc.
  31. Facebook, Inc.
  32. Fastly, Inc.
  33. Flipboard, Inc.
  34. Foursquare Labs, Inc.
  35. Fuze, Inc.
  36. General Assembly
  37. GitHub
  38. Glassdoor, Inc.
  39. Google Inc.
  40. GoPro, Inc.
  41. Harmonic Inc.
  42. Hipmunk, Inc.
  43. Indiegogo, Inc.
  44. Intel Corporation
  45. JAND, Inc. d/b/a Warby Parker
  46. Kargo Global, Inc.
  47. Kickstarter, PBC
  48. KIND, LLC
  49. Knotel
  50. Levi Strauss & Co.
  51. LinkedIn Corporation
  52. Lithium Technologies, Inc.
  53. Lyft, Inc.
  54. Mapbox, Inc.
  55. Maplebear Inc. d/b/a Instacart
  56. Marin Software Incorporated
  57. Medallia, Inc.
  58. A Medium Corporation
  59. Meetup, Inc.
  60. Microsoft Corporation
  61. Motivate International Inc.
  62. Mozilla Corporation
  63. Netflix, Inc.
  64. NETGEAR, Inc.
  65. NewsCred, Inc.
  66. Patreon, Inc.
  67. PayPal Holdings, Inc.
  68. Pinterest, Inc.
  69. Quora, Inc.
  70. Reddit, Inc.
  71. Rocket Fuel Inc.
  72. SaaStr Inc.
  73. Salesforce.com, Inc.
  74. Scopely, Inc.
  75. Shutterstock, Inc.
  76. Snap Inc.
  77. Spokeo, Inc.
  78. Spotify USA Inc.
  79. Square, Inc.
  80. Squarespace, Inc.
  81. Strava, Inc.
  82. Stripe, Inc.
  83. SurveyMonkey Inc.
  84. TaskRabbit, Inc
  85. Tech:NYC
  86. Thumbtack, Inc.
  87. Turn Inc.
  88. Twilio Inc.
  89. Twitter Inc.
  90. Turn Inc.
  91. Uber Technologies, Inc.
  92. Via
  93. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
  94. Workday
  95. Y Combinator Management, LLC
  96. Yelp Inc.
  97. Zynga Inc.

H/t FOTM‘s TPR

~Eowyn