Tag Archives: Russia

Suspect’s status as failed asylum-seeker stuns Stockholm

stockholm terrorist attack

The “truck attack” in Stockholm

I don’t know why this is a shock to anyone. Guess they have been living under a rock.

From AP: Much like the flags on the Stockholm skyline — some still flying half-staff, others at their peak — people here were divided over their country’s friendly immigration policies two days after an asylum-seeker from Uzbekistan allegedly killed four people in the city’s deadliest extremist attack in years.

The Swedish capital was slowly, but resolutely, regaining its normal rhythm Sunday as details about the 39-year-old suspect emerged. Police said he had been ordered to leave Sweden in December after his request for a residence permit was rejected six months earlier.

Instead, he allegedly went underground, eluding authorities’ attempts to track down and deport him until a hijacked beer truck raced down a pedestrian street and rammed into an upscale department store on Friday.

“It makes me frustrated,” Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven told Swedish news agency TT on Sunday. The suspect, who has been detained on suspicion of terrorist offenses, was known known for having “been sympathetic to extremist organizations,” Jonas Hysing of Sweden’s national police said.

A second person was arrested on the same potential charge Sunday, and four others were being held by police. None of them have been identified.

Security officials in neighboring Norway, where a 17-year-old asylum-seeker from Russia was detained early Sunday in connection with an explosive device found near a busy subway station, spoke of the alarming potential for a copycat effect.

Norwegian’s security agency said it wasn’t clear if the teen planned to carry out an attack with the primitive homemade device police defused without any injuries. Agency head Benedicte Bjornland said it was likely the youth had been inspired by recent attacks in Stockholm, France, Germany, Britain and Russia.

“The attacks demonstrate how easy such attacks can be carried out, and prove to others that it is possible to make something similar,” Bjornland said.

Sweden has long been known for its open-door policy toward migrants and refugees. But after the Scandinavian country of 10 million took in a record 163,000 refugees in 2015 — the highest per-capita rate in Europe — the government has tried to be more selective about which newcomers it allows to stay.

Swedish police said Sunday they had received roughly 12,500 referrals from the Swedish Migration Board of people who, like the suspect in the truck attack, had overstayed their welcome. The suspect eluded authorities by giving police a wrong address after his residency request was rejected in June 2016, said Hysing, the operative head of the attack investigation. “The efforts to locate (these people) is both time-consuming and resource-intensive,” he said.

National Coordinator Against Violent Extremism Anna Carlstedt, who used to lead the Red Cross in Sweden, said Friday’s attack and the background of the suspect posed “difficult questions.”

“Do we somehow need a more repressive policy?” Carlstedt said. “I think it is very important now not to rush into something, to see how we can safeguard this open society and still be able to protect ourselves.”

The range of mixed emotions — fear and fraternity, anger and openness, — also surfaced at memorial services and rallies held in Stockholm on Sunday to honor the attack victims.

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG

Advertisements

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.

DCG

Buzzfeed sued by firm named in Trump dossier

buzzfeed-ben-smith

Buzzfeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith

Hit the Fake News where is hurt$ the mo$t.

From NY Post: Buzzfeed was sued by the Russia-tied tech firm named in the dossier that contained unsubstantiated allegations against President Trump for including “libelous, unverified” information about the company, McClatchy reported Friday, citing the lawsuits.

The defamation suits were brought by XBT Holdings. Company lawyers reportedly filed complaints against BuzzFeed and its editor Ben Smith. A former British spy and his company were also named in complaints. The company seeks an “undetermined compensation for the damages.”

A Buzzfeed spokeman told McClatchy that it redacted the name of the company’s owner and “apologized for including it.”

McClatchy reported that the dossier said XBT and affiliates “had been using botnets and porn traffic to transmit viruses, plant bugs, steal data and conduct “altering operations” against the Democratic Party leadership.”

The suit reportedly says Alekej Gubarev, XBT’s owner, is married with three children and “has found his personal and professional reputation in tatters.”

The network did not give details about the information, saying the charges had not been verified, but BuzzFeed soon published the 35-page dossier. Most reputable news organizations, following up the story, also did not report the details.

Trump and his team was quick to attack news organizations that spread unsubstantiated reports about a damaging dossier last month collected on him by Russia, an incident that illustrates how old rules of journalism are being tested in today’s rapidly changing media world. Trump called BuzzFeed “a pile of garbage” for publishing the allegations.

CNN reported that Trump had been briefed by intelligence officials about compromising personal and financial information that Russia had collected on him.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Vice President Pence sharply condemned those who spread the story. Spicer called BuzzFeed’s decision “outrageous and highly irresponsible,” while Pence said it was an effort by some in the media to delegitimize the election and discredit the incoming administration.

“The American people are sick and tired of it,” Pence said.

Meanwhile, Trump credited The New York Times, a newspaper he’s often been at odds with, for its decision not to publish what it could not independently verify.

DCG

State Department officials sign dissent memo over Trump’s immigration Executive Order

youre-fired.jpg

From Yahoo: About 900 U.S. State Department officials signed an internal dissent memo protesting a travel ban by U.S. President Donald Trump on refugees and travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries, a source familiar with the document said on Tuesday, in a rebellion against the new president’s policies.

A senior State Department official confirmed the memorandum had been submitted to acting Secretary of State Tom Shannon through the department’s “dissent channel,” a process in which officials can express unhappiness over policy.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said on Monday he was aware of the memo but warned career diplomats that they should either “get with the program or they can go.”

A draft of the dissent memo seen by Reuters argued that the executive order would sour relations with affected countries, inflame anti-American sentiment and hurt those who sought to visit the United States for humanitarian reasons.

It said the policy “runs counter to core American values of non-discrimination, fair play and extending a warm welcome to foreign visitors and immigrants.”

Trump on Friday signed an executive order that temporarily bans refugees and people from seven Muslim-majority (way to keep the #MuslimBan narrative going, Yahoo) countries, sparking tumult at U.S. airports and protests in major American cities. The ban affects Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Even before the executive order on immigration was issued, concern among State Department officials had been growing over news reports that Trump was about to ease sanctions against Russia, said one State Department official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The resignation of at least four top State Department officials, including Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy, who formally left the department on Tuesday, also caused some unease among diplomats who worried about a power vacuum.

DCG

The majority of Americans believe Russian hacking of the presidential election did not change the result

blame-the-russians

Maybe that’s because there’s still no definitive proof that Russia was behind hacking the DNC emails, which exposed the democrats’ and state run media’s attempt to get Hillary elected. Better luck next time.

From Daily Mail: Most Americans think Donald Trump would have still won the election regardless of information leaks that came out of Russia’s alleged hacking, a poll reported.

In the study, 58 per cent thought the outcome of the U.S. presidential elections would have remained the same, despite the hacking of files from the Democratic National Convention.

Americans thought ‘regardless of the information released as a result of Russian hacking’ Trump would still have won the election, according to a poll conducted by CNN and ORC.

A minority of 40 per cent of people said the information leak was damaging enough to change voter’s minds. Wikileaks published thousands of emails and documents pertaining to Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC, in June 2016.

CIA officials concluded that Russia was involved and the leaks were intended to prevent Clinton from winning the presidency.  Even Trump admitted that he believed Putin and his government were behind the intelligence (since when are DNC emails considered “intelligence?”) scandal and said in a press conference that he ‘thought it was Russia’.

The senate announced last week that an intelligence panel was investigating Russia’s alleged hacking and the country’s ties with the political campaigns.

Despite the major security breach, most Americans think the U.S. should seek to improve relations with Russia, instead of taking actions against the foreign government, according to the study.

Of those polled, 56 per cent said it was ‘more important that the U.S. continue efforts to improve relations with Russia’ while 41 per cent said America should ‘take strong diplomatic and economic steps against Russia in response’.

DCG

Tony Blair sees dangerous times ahead for Western democracies

tony-blair

From USA Today: Former British prime minister Tony Blair warns that political upheaval from Great Britain’s Brexit vote in June to the collapse of the Italian government on Sunday signals the most dangerous time for Western democracies in decades.

“It does feel perilous, actually, because I think there are decisions that are being taken of vast moment in circumstances where systems are fragile,” he told Capital Download on Monday. “And that is troubling.”

It has been a year of unexpected victories by populist and nationalistic forces that are challenging the establishment: passage of the referendum pulling Britain from the European Union, the election of Donald Trump as president in the United States, defeat of a measure in Italy that prompted the prime minister to announce his resignation. And in the Austrian election Sunday, the candidate representing the party founded by former Nazis lost — but after commanding 46% of the vote.

Michael Bloomberg at a No Labels conference...you know he's not bipartisan.

Michael Bloomberg at a No Labels conference…you know he’s not bipartisan.

Blair, who was in Washington to address a conference sponsored by the bipartisan group No Labels, announced last week the launch of a new organization that will try to help build a more muscular policy agenda for centrists and encourage networking among them across Europe, in the United States and elsewhere. Given the rise of extreme voices on the left and right, he said, “I’m not sure we’re asking the right questions right now, never mind giving the right answers.”

Of particular concern to him is a “longing” for an authoritarian leader.

Dog eyeroll

“It’s amazing how many people you will find who will reference a style of leadership of (Russian) President Putin in a positive way,” he told USA TODAY’s weekly video newsmaker series. “I think people want their country moving and they think that if the present system is not moving it, and not making the changes that they want to see, then maybe someone who just says, ‘I don’t care what anyone thinks; I’m just going to go for it, and this is what I’m going to do’ — that has a certain attraction.

“If the center isn’t a place of strength and vitality, and it looks kind of flabby and just managing the status quo, then you’re at risk of someone coming along and doing that.”

In his speech to the No Labels conference, he faulted some centrist political leaders for failing to do enough to improve the economic prospects for workers disrupted by globalization and to ensure a sense of personal safety at a time, for instance, that Great Britain and other European countries have absorbed a wave of immigrants from Syria. “People will only put aside prejudices if they think there are rules,” he said.

Blair sees a common thread from Brexit’s passage to Trump’s election to support for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, a provocative figure whose anti-drug campaign is blamed for thousands of deaths.

“There is immense amount of anger at established ways of doing things,” Blair said. “There is, I think, a whole group of people who feel ignored by those in power, that is for sure true. There is more anger around in politics than for a long time.” While issues such as immigration aren’t new, there is “much greater skepticism towards globalization and the benefits of it.”

What’s more, “social media is a revolutionary phenomenon,” he went on. “It changes the way politics works. It changes the way the media works. If we’re not careful, it locks people into conversations with people who just agree with them, and who then have a general conspiracy-theory view of the rest of the world.

liberal media bias

Blair has never met Trump and didn’t criticize him. Asked about whether it was wise for Trump to accept a congratulatory telephone call from the president of Taiwan — the sort of conversation every American president since 1979 deliberately has avoided — Blair demurred. “I’m not going to get into your politics,” he began. “To be honest, in the end, I’ll tell you what I really think: Let’s see how it works out.”

“I’m less worried about America than I am about Europe; I’ll be very frank with you,” he said. “America is such a strong country and you’ve got so many checks-and-balances and you’ve got such resilience in your economy and so on; you guys will do fine, I’m sure. In Europe, we have systems that are at a point of fragility that troubles me.

Blair was just 54 years old when he moved out of 10 Downing Street after serving as prime minister from 1997 to 2007. His political appeal for a “new way” was akin to President Bill Clinton’s “third way” for Democrats here, and he was a crucial ally for President George W. Bush during the Iraq War.

Now he offers a bit of free advice for President Obama, who will move out the White House next month at age 55: Find a cause.

Don't worry Tony, Obama's found a cause. The same one he's been working on for the past eight years!

Don’t worry Tony, Obama’s found a cause…he’s been working on it for the past eight years!

“When you’ve got young political leaders and then they leave office young, you’ve got to find something that really motivates you,” he said. “The reason I spent so much time on the Middle East is that I’m deeply motivated by it. But you’ve got to find something that gets you up in the morning with the same sense of purpose and excitement as happened when you were prime minister or president.”

DCG

Franklin Gaham meets with President Putin

graham-in-russia

Franklin Graham recently traveled to Russia, where he met with leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church. He also met with President Vladimir Putin and preached the Gospel in several Orthodox and Baptist churches.

Franklin Graham: Hope for Russia and Every Nation Lies in Jesus Christ
By Franklin Graham

“Not only did I have a chance to meet with Russian church leaders, but also with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He was warm and gracious and took a significant amount of time to sit and discuss issues with me, including the persecution of churches throughout the Middle East. Although our governments may have differences, I found that the people of Russia were welcoming and desire a good relationship with the United States.”

This article was fascinating and encouraging. I am only quoting the paragraph about Graham’s meeting with Vladimir Putin, but the whole thing is worth reading, and can be found at the following link. ~ TD

http://billygraham.org/story/franklin-graham-hope-for-russia-and-every-nation-lies-in-jesus-christ/?utm_source=prayer+letter+email+main+12.10.15


I will finish with the “Jesus Prayer,” one of the most ancient prayers in Christendom. Not as old or important as the Lord’s prayer (the Our Father), but very Russian.

“Lord Jesus Christ,
Son of God,
have mercy on me,
a sinner.”