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Sat, 25 Jan 2020
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FBI: Saudi govt 'almost certainly' assists Saudis to escape prosecution in US for serious crimes

© Unknown
Abdulrahman Sameer Noorah appears during his arraignment in Portland on Aug. 22, 2016.
The FBI believes the Saudi Arabian government "almost certainly" helps its citizens flee the country after they are accused of serious crimes, "undermining the US judicial process," according to a newly declassified document obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive.

The surreptitious action is done, in part, to spare the wealthy Persian Gulf kingdom embarrassment, the FBI said. Intelligence officials believe the flights from justice will continue without intervention by the American authorities.

Saudi officials "are unlikely to alter this practice in the near term unless the US Government directly addresses this issue with (Saudi Arabia) and ties US cooperation on (Saudi) priorities to ceasing this activity," according to the FBI.

The details are contained in an intelligence bulletin dated Aug. 29. The FBI released the document Friday as part of a recent law pushed by U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and signed by President Donald Trump last month that requires the FBI to publicly disclose what it knows about the Saudi government's suspected role in helping its citizens avoid prosecution in the U.S.

Comment: Middle East Monitor: 18/1/2020: Saudi officials help fugitives flee US
The revelations are the latest details to emerge to stoke tensions between the US and its hydrocarbon-rich Gulf ally, in the wake of a Saudi officer's fatal shooting of three Americans at a naval base in Florida last month.
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Soros-linked political pressure group Avaaz and MSM join ranks to purge climate skeptics from YouTube

Extinction Rebellion
© Global Look Press/ZUMA Press/Guilhem Baker
Extinction Rebellion activists, Google UK headquarters in London
Independent mainstream media outlets are engaging in a politically-motivated campaign to force YouTube to demonetize and hide any video that denies climate change.

Published on Avaaz's website, the left-leaning non-profit group released a report on January 16 that claims YouTube is profiting by broadcasting misinformation to millions of people by giving climate denial videos too much prominence. The report is an undisguised intimidation campaign, as not only does it list major advertisers who are running ads on videos that question the legitimacy of the threat climate change poses for humanity, but it explicitly calls for them to put pressure on the platform as a means of putting an end to the so-called disinformation.

Comment: See also:


We have to talk about these Pakistani gangs

child sofa
© Getty
This week, we have seen the true toll of political correctness. PC isn't just irritating or stupid. It isn't just woke students banning sombreros or schools getting iffy about 'Baa Baa Black Sheep'. PC destroys lives.

A report into police and council failings in Manchester has found that gangs of predominantly Pakistani men were free to abuse up to 57 girls after chief cops and local officials turned a blind eye to this foul, cruel behaviour. Why did they turn away? Partly out of fear of stoking racial tensions. Partly because they were worried that drawing attention to the grooming and exploitation of mostly white working-class girls by Asian men might 'incite racial hatred' and damage multicultural relations.

Let's put it plainly: they sacrificed girls to political correctness; they thought that preserving the ideology of multiculturalism was more important than protecting girls from harm.

Comment: It's a sad state of affairs when the police who are supposed to protect and defend, care more for political correctness than stopping the abuse of children. Could they not see that by doing nothing, it would actually cause more division between races? Or, was this an intended effect by some of those at the very top? One also wonders whether they have ulterior motives for quashing investigations of this nature... UK 'Establishment': Unmasking psychopathic faces - Pedophilia and murder in VERY high places

Further reading:

Magic Hat

Post-irony world: HBO hires CNN's 'king of fake news' Brian Stelter to produce documentary on... the dangers of fake news

brian stelter CNN
© Reuters/Andrew Kelly
Brian Stelter at a Media Literacy Week panel in Manhattan, New York
If you were making a documentary on fake news and wanted to get journalists involved behind the scenes, there are a few people you may want to avoid. One of those is CNN host Brian Stelter.

The HBO network is rightly being mocked for putting Stelter - the host of a CNN show ironically named Reliable Sources - on the team for an upcoming documentary on fake news.

According to Stelter himself, the documentary will investigate "disinformation and the cost of fake news." The film, for which Stelter was executive producer, will dive into "how post-truth culture has become an increasingly dangerous part of the global information environment," according to WarnerMedia.

Bad Guys

A few questions for Mr Ridley on the poisoning and death of Dawn Sturgess

dawn sturgess
© Adrian Sherratt/The Guardian
Dawn Sturgess died after being poisoned with nerve agent following the Sergei Skripal incident
There are still a number of people commenting on the piece I posted about the delay to the Inquest into Dawn Sturgess's death, and because that comment section is now vast and barely navigable, and the Wiltshire and Swindon coroner's court has just released a document relating to the scope of the Inquest (which you can download here), it seemed to be an opportune time to start a new thread so that comments do not get completely lost.

I will just comment briefly on that coroner's report. It is basically a response to the request of Dawn Sturgess's family's legal team for the coroner to consider Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which states:
"Everyone's right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law."
The Sturgess legal team had argued that:
"...the UK authorities failed to take reasonable steps to protect members of the public, including Ms Sturgess, from Novichok after it was discovered in early 2018."



Puerto Rico's emergency services director fired after warehouse discovered with supplies from Hurricane Maria

Aid in storage
Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vazquez dismissed the island's director of emergency management after a warehouse was discovered with supplies dating back to Hurricane Maria.

Video published Saturday showed a warehouse in the southwestern city of Ponce filled with supplies, including thousands of cases of water, believed to have been from when the hurricane struck the island in 2017.

Hurricane Maria left 2,975 people dead and caused major problems in Puerto Rico for months, including power outages and shortages of food, water and medicine.

"There are thousands of people who have made sacrifices to bring help to the south, and it is unforgivable that resources have been kept in a warehouse," Vazquez said in a statement.

Arrow Up

Michigan man finds $43,000 in couch he bought for $35, returns money to original owner

© Rick Merling
Howard Kirby found $43,000 in a cushion of a couch he purchased from a thrift store in Owosso, Michigan.Howard Kirby found $43,000 in a cushion of a couch he purchased from a thrift store in Owosso, Michigan.
A Michigan man made a shocking discovery inside a couch he purchased from a thrift store for just $35: an extra $43,000.

Howard Kirby purchased a couch from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Owosso only to discover it came with the wad of cash inside one of the cushions, the store manager told ABC News on Saturday.

Kirby decided to return the money to the couch's owner.

"He could use it. ... He has needs, but he said he just felt this prompting from God that said, 'This isn't yours,'" store manager Rick Merling said.


David 'Greta of the Third Age' Attenborough launches BBC's climate bedwetting blitzkrieg

David Attenborough
© Frederick M. Brown/Getty
The BBC has completely lost the plot on climate change with its star enviro loon Sir David Attenborough leading the charge over the cliff edge like the wrinkliest, long-tusked male in a herd of suicidal walruses.

BBC david attenborough

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Lebanese president calls on ARMY to intervene as massive protests turn violent in Beirut

Lebanon protest
© AFP / Anwar Amro
Lebanon's capital Beirut has been plunged into chaos amid massive protests. Police struggled to contain the angry crowds with tear gas and water cannon, prompting President Michel Aoun to ask the military to intervene.

Aoun has asked the national army to restore peace and order on the streets of Beirut, as the city saw fierce clashes between protesters and security forces. Aoun called on the military to "protect the safety of peaceful protesters and of public and private property."

Crowds have taken to the streets of Beirut in a massive protest against Lebanon's soaring debt, which stands at about $87 billion, equal to more than 150 percent of GDP. The public unrest is also fueled by an almost three-months-long power vacuum and by a crippling economic crisis.

Comment: See also:


Passengers at 3 major US airports to be screened for deadly Chinese virus

© Reuters / Health Protection Agency
A electron microscope image of a coronavirus
Authorities at major airports in New York and California will screen passengers traveling from the Chinese city of Wuhan gripped by the outbreak of a new deadly pneumonia-like virus, which has since spread to Japan and Thailand.

Starting Friday, passengers from Wuhan who arrive at San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles's main international airports will undergo screening for the symptoms of a novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) that broke out in the Chinese city last month. Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will carry out the checks, along with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents.

The illness was first noticed in Wuhan in December, and is believed to have originated at a seafood and animal market in the city. The CDC states that the virus likely jumped from market animals to humans, and then may have spread between people.

Comment: India has also issued a travel advisory:
The emergent coronavirus - related to the lethal SARS pathogen - has struck scores of people across China, hitting the city of Wuhan the hardest, with up to 40 confirmed cases, prompting the Indian Ministry of Health to issue a travel advisory on Friday.

While the World Health Organization has assessed the infection as "low" risk, India's health ministry warned anyone traveling to China "as a matter of abundant precaution."

"The mode of transmission of the disease is unclear as of now. However, so far there is little evidence of significant human-to-human transmission."

The advisory follows a similar decision by US health officials, who began screenings for the bug at three major airports on Friday afternoon after it claimed its second casualty in Wuhan.

While India's health officials stressed the move was merely a precautionary safeguard, researchers at the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College in London estimated that there could be as many as 1,723 cases in Wuhan alone, dwarfing the few dozen confirmed patients.