The Netherlands introduces a ban on burka and nikab

Thursday 2 August 2018

The National Assembly in the Netherlands has by a large majority decided to introduce a ban on burka, nikab and other cover of the face of schools and hospitals.

The so-called burka ban also applies to public transport and public buildings, where there is also a ban on using helmets or otherwise covering the face.

The proposal for burka ban was first promoted 13 years ago by outer right politician Geert Wilders, who has repeatedly criticized Islam.

The House of Representatives of the Dutch National Assembly voted for such a ban in 2016, but it would take another three years before the decision in the upper house. It is expected that the ban will come into force next year.

How the prohibition is to be practiced and who will enforce it is highly unclear. One of the questions raised is whether bus drivers should deny passengers with nikab or burka access.

Lawyers are critical of the ban, and the opposition calls it symbolism because there are hardly more than 400 women carrying burka in the Netherlands.

The ban on cover has come into force in Denmark

Thursday 2 August 2018

Demonstrators in Copenhagen and Aarhus dressed in burka and nikab when they demonstrated Wednesday against the Danish cover-up ban.

The ban came into force the same day, two months after its adoption in the parliament.

The police had announced in advance that they would not intervene against demonstrators wearing burka and nikab, reports Denmark’s Radio (DR).

Knight Helmet

The bourgeois minority government received the proposal through the support of Social Democracy and the Danish People’s Party.

The ban on cover is primarily considered a ban on women wearing the full-fledged Muslim garments nikab and burka. However, according to DR, it is now also forbidden to wear loose beard, Finnish caps, mouth binders and knight helmets. Exceptions may be given, for example, in the case of Christmas gifts, and it is up to the police to assess how much coverage is required to be affected by the ban.

Get fines

In case of first offense, the person is fined with a fine of 1,000 Danish kroner. From the fourth violation, the boat is doubled.

It is not known how many women carry nikab and burka in Denmark, but several of them have stated that they will continue to wear the religious garments despite the ban.

Started kindergarten for the children of the Coptic martyrs

Thursday 2 August 2018

Mama Maggie and Stefanus the children have started kindergartens in the village of the men killed by IS on a beach in Libya in 2015.

Most still remember the video from 2015 by the 21 Christian men who were led across a Libya beach and brutally beheaded by IS after refusing to give up their Christian faith despite torture and inhumane pressure.

Apart from a person from Ghana, they were all Coptic Christians from Egypt and were appointed martyrs of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

Started kindergarten

Stefanus alliance’s partner in Egypt, Mama Maggie, knew personally seven of the killed young men. Three of them came from the village of El-Our where Mama Maggie, often called Middle East’s reply to Mother Teresa, has been working for 25 years.

– After the killing we visited the village. We met the widows and the kids. We decided to open a kindergarten for the survivors and for other children. Today there are 75 children, says Mama Maggie to the magazine Stefanus.

In October last year a mass burial was detected in Libya and DNA tests determined that they were 21 from the IS video. On May 15, the dead came home to their villages.

Faith Heroes

The Egyptian government has honored the killed funded construction of a church called “The Church of the Martyrs of Faith and Homeland” in the village of El-Our.

Mommy Maggie calls the 21 for “believers”.

Two of the killed were, after launching children’s camps, Mama Maggie arranged in El-Our, becoming leaders in the Stefanus children work. The killed, along with many others, had traveled to Libya to raise enough money to feed their families.

– The story of the martyrs is very precious to me. IS would push the 21 to the outermost limit. But the 21 were opposed to torture and pressure. They had courage, they showed a strong and bold faith in Jesus. The last word that came over your lips before they were killed was “Jesus.” We are glad that IS made video footage, “says Mama Maggie. KPK

Israel adopts controversial law on Jewish nation state

Thursday 19 July 2018

A new law defines clearer than before that Israel is a nation of the Jewish people. The law has several controversial formulations provoking the Arab minority in the country.

It will have been hard for eight hours in the Israeli parliament, Knesset on Wednesday night, writes BBC and Reuters.

“Democracy is dead”

After the poll, furious Arab politicians must have shouted and torn pieces of documents.

– I announce with shock and disappointment that democracy is dead.

That said the Arab parliamentarian Ahmed Tibi after the vote.

62 parliamentarians voted for the new law, 55 voted against and two abstained.

The law states that Hebrew is the country’s national language.

Previously, Arabic had the same status as Hebrew. Arabic now gets lower status.

“A National State of the Jewish People”

The new law defines Israel as “a nation of the Jewish people” and includes controversial formulations.

According to Reuters, the law states that only Jews have national self-sufficiency in Israel.

“Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people and they have an exclusive right to national self-determination in the country,” the BBC said.
«Important for future generations»

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu celebrates the decision in Knesset and says it is important for many generations in the future.

“A clear majority wants to ensure that our country has a Jewish character for generations ahead of time,” Netanyahu said.

“We want to ensure democratic rights for all citizens. But the majority also have rights and the majority decide, Netanyahu said.

Dropped the most controversial

Several of the most controversial proposals in the new law were halted.

In the original proposal, there was, among other things, a clause to establish areas in which only Jews can live.

The proposal was dropped when both the President and the Attorney General responded, Reuters writes.

Some Arab parliamentarians believe that these most controversial proposals have been removed, the new law is racially motivated.

– Second class citizens

The Arab minority in Israel accounts for about 20 percent of the population of nine million.

Arabs living within the borders of Israel are descendants of the population who lived in the area when Israel received its national state in 1948.

The Arab population believes that they have been seen and treated as second-class citizens throughout the years.

According to the law, the Arabs have the same rights as Jews, m, one in practical life experiences many Arabs discrimination, writes Reuters.

Furious in Arab city

The news agency Reuters has talked with residents in the Arab-dominated city of Tarsiha north of Israel. There are many anguish after what happened in Knesset on Wednesday night.

“I think this is a racist law from a right government who wants to plant some seeds to create an apartheid state,” says 71-year-old Bassam Bisharah.

The news agency finds similar opinions in the village yanuh where there are many drusers.

– The motive for the new law is discrimination. They want to get rid of us Arabs, “says Yousef Faraj.

IS rises from the ashes and spreads new terror

Tuesday 17 July 2018

As a bird fynix, the so-called Islamic state is on its way back both in Syria and Iraq. It shows that it is not only useful to use bombs, rockets and grenades, writes Jan-Erik Smilden.

-IS is fought, we heard from Iraqi, Syrian, Russian and Western leaders a few months ago. Now the tone has become another. Earlier this month, Britain’s Defense Minister Gavin Williamson warned that the terrorist group had not been knocked out and that the British would have to continue to wager for a long time in the area unless the IS progress was stopped.

During the last three years, IS has gradually been thrown out of virtually all areas they controlled, but the group still has a presence in the desert in Syria, in border areas between Iraq and Syria and in some other “pockets” in the two countries.

There will be between three thousand and ten thousand IS soldiers left in Syria and Iraq. It is only a tenth of the “Islamic state” power available five to six years ago. But IS can still bite away, not least because many of their warriors got away with both vehicles and weapons and because they still get new weapon supplies. Even though the cash flow from donors in rich Arabian oil has decreased, it has not dried up.

IS was thrown out of Raqqa, the “capital” of the so-called Islamic caliphate last autumn. Now IS warriors are again operating near the city. They have captured and killed soldiers from rival militias and they have killed Russian soldiers. According to the British newspaper The Independent, they have also established new bases in this area.

Both in Syria and in Iraq, the IS warriors use the same methods as they did before they began to conquer large territories in 2014; attacks and other attacks against civil and public institutions, military, police officers, government officials and politicians. There are killing and kidnappings. One main goal is destabilization.

A few days ago Syrian government forces attacked a Syrian IS Allied group who lives in the border with Jordan in the direction of the Israel-occupied Golan Heights. In return, IS attacked a city fourteen kilometers from the Israeli border, where more moderate rebels had just surrendered.

In Kirkuk, northern Iraq, the IS activity has increased lately. On June 27, a group of five Islamists attacked several villages in the southern part of the province. On the same day, five Iraqis who worked for the security forces were executed on the main road between Kirkuk and Baghdad.

In the Kirkuk area, the IS Warriors even put false checkpoints and barricades on the roads to attack people. It was a method used during the civil war in Iraq in 2006 and 2007.

In several places in the countryside, the IS warriors will operate quite open, even during the daytime.

A police officer recently told a journalist from the Al-Monitor website that IS now regroups in Southern Kirkuk and that your warriors have drawn up plans on what targets they are going to hit.

It is uncertain how many IS warriors in this area are. It is known that some people fled there after the city of Mosul fell a year ago and that, until the turn of the year, they kept a relatively low profile.

One of the biggest problems in Syria and in Iraq is that IS warriors now have cut off their beard and act in civilian clothes and run civilian cars. It is also easy to operate in some of the areas they previously controlled because they still have support from civilians there.

Political instability, lack of government’s willingness to rebuild, shifting armed alliances and betrayal are among the reasons that IS has now recovered.

But it is not only in Iraq and Syria that IS now increases its business. Many IS warriors have fled to areas with major military and religious challenges, such as Afghanistan, Yemen, North Africa and West Africa.

How should such IS be combated?

It’s no use to break such an organization just with weapons. Both Iraqis and Syrians need a hope for a better future. With rebuilding, job creation and infrastructure development, much of the foundations for support for extreme Islamist groups like IS would weaken. Today, almost nothing happens on that front. Take, for example, Mosul: 380,000 people are still displaced, and the city is still in ruins – one year after IS was thrown out.

Currently, both Syrians, Iraqis and the outside world are most keen to fight each other. It costs billions of dollars each month. When it comes to civilian reconstruction, it is often only with promises.

That’s how it will not be peace.

The same day as Trump asked for Hillary Clinton’s emails, the hacking started

Sunday, July 15, 2018

At a news conference in July 2016, then presidential candidate Donald Trump urged Russia to hack counter-candidate Hillary Clinton’s e-mail account and publish it.

In the speech he said: “Russia, if you listen, I hope you find the 30,000 e-mails that have disappeared.”

The statement refers to the e-mails that Hillary Clinton had deleted from her private account, from the time when she was Secretary of State under Barack Obama.

On the same day, the Russians made their first attempt to hack into Clinton’s office’s servers, according to a 29-page protest, twelve Russians accused of hacking during the election campaign. The detention was taken on Friday.

Trump has said all the time that there is no conspiracy between his election campaign and the Russians who have interfered with the election.

Deputy Minister of Justice, Rod Rosenstein, admits that Americans communicated with the defendants on the Internet, but without knowing that they were talking to Russian intelligence agents.

Twelve Russians charged

Specialist researcher Robert Mueller examines Russia’s alleged involvement in the US elections in 2016. The interference occurred in the form of extensive data attacks against the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Clinton’s election campaign. A number of stolen e-mails and documents were subsequently published online.

It is not apparent in the statement whether the twelve Russians’ actions in July were related to what Trump had said at the news conference that day.

There was also no world’s thing about the president’s request for help from Russia.

Mueller investigators would like to ask Trump about what he knew about the hacking that was going on. The president has refused to explain the matter for several months.

Talking about Obama

It is further revealed that an unidentified US Congressional candidate received stolen documents related to his or her political opponent from the Russian operators in August 2016. The hackers also transferred large amounts of data to a state-registered lobbyist and a reporter, according to the sentencing.

Trump commented on the issue of the twelve Russians on Twitter Saturday. He writes that the incident occurred during the Obama administration. Furthermore, he questioned why they did not do anything about it at the time, especially when Obama was already informed by the FBI in September before the election.

Meeting with Putin

The inditement was announced at the same time as presidential Trump and Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom were together at Windsor Castle outside of London. This also happens three days before the president is scheduled to meet Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

Trump said Friday that he would ask Putin about Russian interference in the election, something he has done on previous occasions. But Trump said he did not expect Putin to give him another answer this time when they meet Monday.

Republican senator John McCain has stated that he is not excited about Trump’s meeting with Putin.

“If President Trump is not willing to hold Putin in charge, the Helsinki Summit should not be held,” said McCain.

American intelligence warns against Chinese mobile manufacturers

Monday 9 July 2018

According to The Verge website, six different US intelligence organizations now deny their residents to buy products and services from the Chinese phone giants Huawei and ZTE.

It is CNBC who reports that the recommendation to avoid products from Chinese technology producers came under discussion with the Senate Committee on Intelligence in the Senate Tuesday. The committee consists, inter alia, of the directors of the FBI, CIA and NSA. During the hearing, FBI chief Chris Wray has stated that “they are deeply concerned about the increasing risk of companies associated with foreign governments who do not share American values, gaining power within our telecommunications network.”

Wray added that such power could allow foreign governments to exert pressure or gain control over the entire US telecommunications network. The FBI is concerned about how such a power position could make it easier to steal information or perform espionage in the United States.

According to The Verge, the US authorities’ concern about Huawei is not something new. The technology giant’s founder is an engineer with the past of the Chinese military, and some American politicians believe the company “in practice is an extended branch of Chinese authorities”. In 2014, skepticism led Huawei to ban bidding on government contracts in the United States.

Struggles in the United States

The Chinese mobile manufacturer has long struggled to break into the US market, much because of the authorities’ skepticism with the company. In January, Huawei had plans to launch the top 10 Mate 10 in the United States through the AT & T telecom company, but immediately before its launch, the American company pulled out of the deal. Should we believe American media, AT & T was exposed to a strong political pressure.

The Verge writes that it is now about introducing a law prohibiting state employees from using Huawei and ZTE products.

During the same hearing on Tuesday, Senator and Head of Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr, said they were concerned about China.

“My biggest concern today is China and especially Chinese telecommunications manufacturers, such as Huawei and ZTE. These assume strong ties with Chinese authorities, Burr said.

“Do not recognize us”

Huawei poses outsiders to the warning of intelligence services and US politicians. Huawei’s Norwegian press office writes this to Page3 in an email.

«Huawei is aware of US government measures that appear to be aimed at preventing Huawei’s entry into the US market. Authorities and consumers in more than 170 countries today rely on Huawei and we represent no greater security risk than other telecommunications companies, especially as we globally share both production and delivery services. “

Despite a slight downturn in the US market, Huawei is now number two in the list of the world’s largest smartphone manufacturers. Only Korean Samsung is bigger.

The world boils

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Historic warmths all over the world

It’s not just in Norway it’s been an unusually hot summer.

Over the last few weeks there has been heat warfare worldwide. It has happened in such different places as usually cool Ireland to Canada and the Middle East.

On Wednesday, Dagbladet wrote about how southern Norway lies in a heat bubble of two high pressures.

Similar heat bubbles that have occurred in various places over the northern hemisphere lately, are what causes temperatures to rise to new records, according to The Washington Post.

They made an overview of the recordings Tuesday, and have had to update this with still new recordings over the week.

“Individual record in isolation can not be attributed to global warming. But overall, these records are consistent with the extreme weather we can expect to see more of on an ever warmer planet. “They stuck.

Will be more records

Climate researcher Eystein Jansen at the Bjerkness Center at the University of Bergen says the many records around the world do not need to be linked to global warming, but that climate change increases the likelihood of heat corrosion.

“It may happen a few years that the high pressures add to such an unusually hot, but it is strange that it does over so large areas, in several parts of the world, and that it becomes absolute records. The UN climate panel has said that periods of extreme heat will come more often as a feature of global warming. When the average temperatures rise, the peaks will also rise, he constants.

He further says that even though there may also be cold records, over time it has been seen that it is now more frequent than the warnings.

– So there can be more such summers like this in the future, and warmer than this too?

“Yes, it is related to the emissions of greenhouse gases, but analyzes have shown that in countries such as India and Pakistan, the temperature as today is the 10 percent warmest will be the norm. Also in southern Europe there will be the extremely high temperatures that become normal. What comes with is drought with subsequent food shortages and forest fires.

Historically hot in Norway

In Norway, eight out of ten records of measurement stations with the highest average maximum temperature over one month are measured from May or June this year.

“It has been unusually hot from mid-May to mid-June,” says climate watch Lillian Kalve at Meteorological Institute to Dagbladet.

Especially in May there was a record heat.

– Monthly temperature was 4.4 degrees above normal. It is the warmest in the series dating back to 1900, “says Hanne Heiberg, researcher at the department of climate services at the Meteorological Institute.

According to the climate watch, there is a new record for the number of tropical days during a summer if the high temperatures continue, as it seems.

Here are some of the hot records that The Washington Post has listed from last week in the rest of the world:
USA and Canada

A massive hot wave has enclosed two thirds of the United States and Canada from the east since the end of last week. It has not only been hot but also extremely moist.

* In Denver in Colorado, it was measured 40, 5 degrees on 28 June. The warmest temperature measured here ever.

* In Montreal, Canada, they measured the highest temperature in modern times on July 2nd. The temperature range here goes back 147 years in time and the record temperature was set to 36.6 degrees.

Scotland: Scotland has clocked its warmest temperature ever since measured on 28 June this year. It occurred in Motherwell, southeast of Glasgov, where it was measured 33, 2 degrees.

Ireland. Measured new maximum temperature on June 28th, at 32 degrees.

Tbilisi, in Georgia, recorded record 4 July. 40.5 degrees is the highest temperature ever measured in the Georgian capital.
Middle East:

The city of Quriyat in Oman also put a heat record on June 28, when the lowest daily temperature never came below 42.6 degrees.

Macron about Solberg: “When we are only two of us, we can see that the results are coming”

Saturday, July 7, 2018

PARIS (VG) Norway’s Oil Fund is at the forefront of an international commitment to climate-friendly investment, and Erna Solberg became an exclusive guest of France’s powerful president in Paris.

The reason for the Friday visit was the presentation of a common framework for investment, which will encourage funds to take environmentally friendly choices. Solberg was the only state and government leader invited to Elyseet, among fund managers from six countries.

– Let me express my gratitude to Prime Minister Erna Solberg. We have something in common: None of us like big summits without results. But when we are only two of us today, we can see that the results are coming, Macron told Solberg in front of the press after the meeting.

Do not expect miracles

* A collection of state pension funds, founded by Norway, New Zealand, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi following an initiative by France’s Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron.

* The purpose is to increase business climate awareness

* The main objective of the Norwegian oil fund’s investments will continue to be financial gain, but the committee believes that in the long term it will pay off to choose climate-friendly.

* Compliance with the principles is based on volunteering.

(Source: One Planet Sovereign Wealth Fund Working Group)

It was after an initiative by the French president in connection with the December climate summit, that it became known that the Norwegian Oil Fund is part of this exclusive environmental workforce of government investment funds.

Erna Solberg believes Norway has caught Macron’s attention because the Norwegian oil fund has already introduced climate-friendly practice and thus can be an inspiration for other major funds in the world.

The report presented today provides guidelines for investment funds based on voluntary efforts.

Prime Minister Solberg is realistic about what to expect, she tells VG in Paris.

“There are many of these funds where you do not even want to say how much money is in them, so you probably will not expect countries like Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to suddenly create very transparent systems. However, they commit themselves to pushing the companies they are investing in and taking greater responsibility, says the prime minister.

Huge values

The presentation of “The One Planet Sovereign Wealth Fund Framework” occurred six months before expected. Rarely have there been such great values ​​around one table as in the Elysee Palace today.

Norway, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and Quaternary State Investment Fund have a combined value of around NOK 24 billion, according to NTB. It is around three times the value of the Norwegian oil fund alone.

Norway inside the good company

* Is divided into the Government Pension Fund Global – SPU (Oil Fund) and the Government Pension Fund Norway – SPN.

* The oil fund is today the world’s largest state fund.

* The fund has invested in 9,146 companies in 72 countries, which accounts for 1.4 percent of world listed companies.

* The Storting has adopted an action rule that over time, the same amount of the oil fund can be used as the expected real return of the fund. This is now estimated at 3 percent of the fund’s capital.

After Norway’s central role in climate change became known before Christmas, Solberg has received the audience several times at Macron’s table. Today’s climate meeting was followed by a bilateral meeting, which included the forthcoming NATO summit and international trade policy on the agenda.

Norway’s climate commitment has given us a ticket to a more visible role on the international stage, confirms Solberg to VG.

“Yes, and the fact that we have one of the world’s absolute largest funds,” the Prime Minister smiles in the French capital, and continues.

“It has come easier here. We notice that when we work internationally, we are more interesting to invite you to meetings. Some think it’s just because we have money in our pocket, but it’s not. We are keen on participating in our climate work, our efforts and the educational issues we have set up on the international agenda, “says Solberg in Paris.

Uganda introduces tax on social media

Tuesday 3 July 2018

Uganda has introduced taxes on the use of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp.
The tax was proposed by the country’s long-standing president Yoweri Museveni, who earlier this year complained about the proliferation of gossip in social media.

Social media users in Uganda must then pay 200 shillings a day, around 5 cents (US), in advance to access social media. This comes on top of what else they have to pay to use the internet.

According to the authorities in the country, around 17 million of Uganda’s 41 million inhabitants are active on the internet and the new tax is not well received.

“The reasons for introducing this tax are antisocial, and it is not development friendly,” says Human Rights Attorney Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi.

Ugandan government hopes that the new tax will bring about NOK 820 million a year.

It is not the first time Uganda’s authorities try to slow down the use of social media, which also happened during the February 2016 elections.

All access to Twitter and Facebook was closed in connection with the election, referring to unspecified threats to the country’s security.

The election ended with victory to Museveni, to protests from the opposition and criticism from international observers.

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