Monday, July 15, 2019

Last Call For Our Little European Right-Wing Terrorism Problem

The European right-wing ultra-nationalists are getting very, very troublesome, and getting very, very dangerous to boot, and of course our Good Friend Vladimir is involved.

Anti-terrorism police in northern Italy have seized an air-to-air missile and other sophisticated weapons during raids on far-right extremist groups. 
Three people were arrested, two of them near Forli airport. Neo-Nazi propaganda was also seized, in the raids. 
The raids were part of an investigation into Italian far-right help for Russian-backed separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, local media said. 
The missile was one of those used by the Qatari army, Italian police said. 
The Turin special police force, called Digos, led the operations, assisted by police in Milan, Varese, Forli and Novara. 
Italian media named those arrested as Fabio Del Bergiolo, 50, an Italian ex-customs officer and far-right Forza Nuova party activist; Alessandro Monti, 42, a Swiss national; and Fabio Bernardi, 51, also Italian. 
The missile appears to be a French-made Matra Super 530 F. 
"During the operation, an air-to-air missile in perfect working order and used by the Qatari army was seized," police said in a statement. 
On 3 July a court in Genoa jailed three men who were found guilty of fighting alongside the Russian-backed separatists who control a large swathe of Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk regions. 
In the Genoa case, two men - Italian Antonio Cataldo and Albanian-born Olsi Krutani - got terms of two years and eight months. The third, Moldovan citizen Vladimir Vrbitchii, got one year and four months. 
More than 10,000 people have died in fighting since the heavily-armed separatists launched an insurgency in eastern Ukraine in April 2014. Skirmishes with Ukrainian government troops continue, but the frontline has remained generally static for more than a year.

Oh yes, there's a war still going on in Ukraine thanks to Putin, and Qatari missiles are ending up in Turin as a direct result.  This would be the kind of thing that maybe the US and UK would be generally involved in stropping, but the guy in the White House is a Russian asset, and the lady in 10 Downing Street is about to be fired in favor of a Gary Busey cosplayer.

Most historians would consider this alarming, but at this point we're just trying to keep the country from devolving into a Second Civil War and it really is taking most of our attention. 

Deportation Nation, Con't

The Trump regime just effectively ended asylum in the US, illegally and in violation of the law and treaties, and frankly they just don't give a damn.

The Trump administration on Monday moved to end asylum protections for most Central American migrants in a major escalation of the president’s battle to tamp down the number of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
According to a new rule published in the Federal Register , asylum seekers who pass through another country first will be ineligible for asylum at the U.S. southern border. The rule, expected to go into effect Tuesday, also applies to children who have crossed the border alone.

There are some exceptions: If someone has been trafficked, if the country the migrant passed through did not sign one of the major international treaties that govern how refugees are managed (though most Western countries have signed them) or if an asylum-seeker sought protection in a country but was denied, then a migrant could still apply for U.S. asylum.

But the move by President Donald Trump’s administration was meant to essentially end asylum protections as they now are on the southern border, reversing decades of U.S. policy on how refugees are treated and coming as the government continues to clamp down on migrants and as the treatment of those who made it to the country is heavily criticized as inhumane.

Attorney General William Bar said that the United States is “a generous country but is being completely overwhelmed” by the burdens associated with apprehending and processing hundreds of thousands of migrants at the southern border.

“This rule will decrease forum shopping by economic migrants and those who seek to exploit our asylum system to obtain entry to the United States,” Barr said in a statement.

The policy is almost certain to face a legal challenge. U.S. law allows refugees to request asylum when they arrive at the U.S. regardless of how they did so, but there is an exception for those who have come through a country considered to be “safe.” But the Immigration and Nationality Act, which governs asylum law, is vague on how a country is determined “safe”; it says “pursuant to a bilateral or multilateral agreement.”

Right now, the U.S. has such an agreement, known as a “safe third country,” only with Canada. Under a recent agreement with Mexico, Central American countries were considering a regional compact on the issue, but nothing has been decided. Guatemalan officials were expected in Washington on Monday, but apparently a meeting between Trump and Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales was canceled amid a court challenge in Guatemala over whether the country could agree to a safe third with the U.S.

American Civil Liberties Union attorney Lee Gelernt, who has litigated some of the major challenges to the Trump administration’s immigration policies, said the rule was unlawful.

“The rule, if upheld, would effectively eliminate asylum for those at the southern border,” he said. “But it is patently unlawful.”

So the Guatemalan option is off the table for now, and the Trump regime is just shrugging and deciding the law doesn't matter anymore and they'll do whatever they want.  We've reached the point where it just no longer matters to Trump about what the law says or what the courts say.

I'd say something pithy like "At some point we have to do something" but it's clear we're not going to.

The Epstein Scandal Goes Abroad

The Jeffrey Epstein child trafficking scandal just became the major flashpoint in Israel's elections this week as Benjamin Netanyahu, still facing a massive fraud indictment himself, is now demanding government investigations into political opponent Ehud Barak's ties to Epstein's businesses.

Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest is reverberating in Israel, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing Likud party are calling for a criminal probe into former prime minister Ehud Barak’s personal and business ties with the accused sex trafficker, Israeli media is reporting.

Barak, 77, served as prime minister from 1999 to 2001. This month he formed a new party to run for prime minister against Netanyahu, who called for new elections in September. Once political allies, Barak and Netanyahu have been sparring on social media, with Netanyahu producing a video raising Barak’s relationship to the multimillionaire New York financier, and Ohio billionaire Les Wexner, who has given money to Barak, the Times of Israel reported.

Barak was a close friend and business partner with Epstein for years. Now some of those business partnerships are being scrutinized amid questions about Barak’s own source of wealth. The Times reported Saturday that Barak is exploring whether to sever business ties with Epstein, 66, who was charged last week with sex trafficking underage girls.

In 2015, Barak formed a limited partnership company in Israel to invest in a high-tech startup called Reporty, now named Carbyne., which develops video streaming and geolocation software for emergency services, the Times reported. A large part of the investment money was supplied by Epstein.

Barak also received $2.5 million from the Wexner Foundation in 2004 for research, which has never been fully explained, Haaretz reported. Epstein was a member of that foundation.

Speaking on Israel TV’s “Meet the Press,” Saturday, Barak stated he had no idea that Epstein’s charges related to molesting underage girls and defended his business relationship with Epstein.

“He’d served his sentence for soliciting prostitution — the indictment didn’t say she was a minor,” Barak said, adding that he wasn’t the only person who kept his friendship with Epstein after his arrest. Epstein’s circle of associates included the presidents of leading U.S. universities, philanthropists, Nobel-prize-winning scientists and politicians from both American political parties, Barak said.

“The American system itself did not label him as a persona non grata…the secretary who just resigned in the Trump administration was the prosecutor and he said he’d been negligent — so you expect me to have noticed [anything wrong]?” Barak said on the program.

"Everyone was doing it, man!" is one hell of an escuse, no matter what country or party you're in.  I hate to say it, but it's hard to judge who's more corrupt at this point, Barak, or Bibi.


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