Israel and Jordan to reopen their embassies, ending 7-month dispute

Posted January 18, 2018 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Israel and Jordan, Israeli embassy in Jordan

Tags: ,

Israel and Jordan to reopen their embassies, ending 7-month dispute, DEBKAfile, January 18, 2018

The Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem announced Thursday that the Israeli embassy in Jordan would be reopened immediately, seven months after its staff were forced to flee Amman, when an Israeli security guard killed two Jordanian citizens. The incident occurred during raging Palestinian riots on Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Jordanian government spokesman Mohammad al Momani said the Israeli Foreign Ministry had sent a memorandum of “deep regrets and apologies” and Jordan had received word that the Israeli guard went through the “necessary legal proceedings.”. The families of the two Jordanians had received compensation for their loss from the Israeli government. The PMO in Jerusalem stated: “Israel attaches great importance to the strategic relations with Jordan and the states will act to promote cooperation between them and to strengthen the peace agreement.”

Joshua Boyle: The Taliban-Admiring Freed Hostage’s Case Keeps Getting Stranger

Posted January 18, 2018 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Canada and Islamists, Joshua Boyle, Taliban, Trudeau

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Joshua Boyle: The Taliban-Admiring Freed Hostage’s Case Keeps Getting Stranger, Investigative Project on Terrorism, Scott Newark, January 18, 2018

In late December, Canadians learned that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had met with the Boyle family in his official office at Boyle’s request. Strangely, this fact was not revealed by the PM but rather through a tweet from Boyle’s account that included photos and the comment:

“Incidentally, not our first meeting with @JustinTrudeau, that was ’06 in Toronto over other common interests, haha.”

*************************************

The bizarre case of Joshua Boyle and his family is back in the news in Canada as a result of two strange recent developments.

Boyle and his American wife Caitlan Coleman made headlines in October 2012 when they were apparently taken hostage by the Haqqani network in a region of Afghanistan controlled by the Taliban. According to Boyle, he and his seven-month pregnant wife were backpacking when they were kidnapped. His story shifted several times since then, saying they were mistakenly in Afghanistan, that they were there as ‘pilgrims’ to help the local Afghans, and that they were kidnapped because the terrorists thought his wife’s pregnancy could be leveraged for ransom from the U.S.

Most intriguing is Boyle’s apparent continuing support for the Taliban, a legally designated terrorist entity under Canadian law. Boyle continues to refer to the Taliban by their preferred title of ‘Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,’ and has even gone so far as to explain that the Taliban refused to cooperate with the Haqqani network in the hostage taking and that the Haqqani thugs tried to recruit him to join with them. Boyle’s seeming support of the Taliban remains unchallenged.

As strange as this sounds, Boyle has an activist history in Canada that suggests this may have been his real motivation. Boyle was born into a well-to-do, devout Christian family, and his father was a Canadian Federal Tax Court judge.

Boyle first came to public attention in Canada during 2008 protests at Parliament Hill demanding suspected terrorist Omar Khadr’s release from Guantanamo Bay. The Khadr family organized the protests, including Omar’s niqab-wearing sister, Zaynab. She infamously stated in an interview that the U.S. deserved the 9/11 attacks and dismissed her brother Omar’s killing of a U.S. soldier by snorting “big deal.”

Canada’s first family of terror” is supported by their close connections to al-Qaida (AQ) in Afghanistan and Pakistan and the fact that Osama bin Laden and current AQ leader Ayman al Zawahiri actually attended Zaynab Khadr’s previous wedding in Afghanistan.

Boyle became the Khadr family’s spokesman and, in 2009, he married Zaynab Khadr. The marriage only lasted 18 months. He reconnected with Caitlan Coleman after his 2011 divorce. The bizarre trip to Afghanistan and abduction took place the following year. The couple had three children while in captivity, claiming that one other died following a forced miscarriage.

This connection to Zaynab Khadr is revealing because an Alberta judge refused to allow Omar Khadr – now back on the streets in Canada – unsupervised visits with her because of her continuing Islamist extremist views and connections.

Meanwhile, new information from Khadr family associates indicates that, contrary to what Boyle has said, he had actually met Zaynab and her family in 2006 when he joined them at court appearances in support of the just arrested Toronto 18 terrorists. Remember that 2006 date.

We now know that the Boyle’s rescue occurred in October after U.S. Special Forces located the family and told the Pakistanis to secure their release or the U.S. forces would do it themselves. Canada was advised of the operation once it had commenced. Boyle’s oddity started immediately when he refused to allow his family to board a U.S. plane, apparently because he feared his Khadr links would send him to Gitmo. After a short delay, the family took commercial flights and returned to understandably huge media attention.

Since his return, Boyle has given multiple interviews which can be summed up in this revealing comment“In the final analysis, it is the intentions of our actions, not their consequences, on which we all shall eventually be judged.”

In late December, Canadians learned that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had met with the Boyle family in his official office at Boyle’s request. Strangely, this fact was not revealed by the PM but rather through a tweet from Boyle’s account that included photos and the comment:

“Incidentally, not our first meeting with @JustinTrudeau, that was ’06 in Toronto over other common interests, haha.”

Why would the Canadian PM meet with a supporter of a legally designated terrorist entity that has killed Canadian soldiers? What does that say to Canadians, including family members of other Canadian hostages murdered by Islamists, with whom he has refused to meet? And what is the ‘common interest’ from 2006 that Boyle is referencing? Did Trudeau meet with members of the Khadr family, including Zaynab, during the protests that year? If so, is another $10.5 million payoff coming for the Boyles?

Less than two weeks later another bombshell dropped. Ottawa Police announced that they had arrested Joshua Boyle and charged him with 15 criminal offenses committed since he was freed. Charges include eight counts of assault, two counts of sexual assault and two counts of unlawful confinement, and single counts of uttering threats, administering a noxious substance, and obstruction of a peace officer.

The alleged crimes began a day after the family returned to Canada and lived with his parents, and continued through the end of December, when Ottawa police responded to a complaint. Reportedly, 14 of the charges involve an adult woman, while a child also is an alleged victim. Interestingly, Boyle’s wife’s parents were in Ottawa visiting with their daughter and grandchildren when the complaint that led to the charges was made. Boyle has had four court appearances but has yet to enter a plea as his lawyers are apparently trying to arrange an acceptable bail release. He’ll be back in court Jan. 26. Is this case going to be resolved by a plea bargain?

This strange case has understandably attracted significant attention. Hopefully, elected officials will learn to exercise greater caution in grabbing photo ops with sketchy people, and our secular court system will now deal appropriately with Joshua Boyle, including protecting his own children from harmful influence. One thing is certain: there will be more to come. Stay tuned.

Scott Newark is a former Alberta Crown Prosecutor who has also served as Executive Officer of the Canadian Police Association, Vice Chair of the Ontario Office for Victims of Crime, Director of Operations for Investigative Project on Terrorism and as a Security Policy Advisor to the governments of Ontario and Canada. He is currently an Adjunct Professor in the TRSS Program in the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University.

Report: ‘Thousands of Christians, Ahmadis, and Hindus’ Fleeing Pakistan to Survive

Posted January 18, 2018 by Louisiana Steve
Categories: Christian persecution

Tags:

by Edwin Mora 17 Jan 2018 Breitbart

Source: Report: Thousands of Christians, Ahmadis, and Hindus Fleeing Pakistan to Survive

{And then there’s this little matter concerning a Pakistani nuclear arsenal. – LS}

Christians and other minorities in Pakistan are bolting away from the predominantly Muslim nation by the “thousands” as Islamabad ignores harassment at the hands of Islamic extremists, reports Asia Times.

“Thousands of Christians, Ahmadis, and Hindus are fleeing as the government turns a blind eye to Islamic groups’ harassment of other faiths and beliefs; even atheists have now gone quiet,” notes the news outlet, adding “A closer look at the situation reveals that religious minorities and atheists are at a higher risk than ever.”

The report comes soon after U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration placed Pakistan on a U.S. watchlist for countries of “particular concern” over “severe violations of religious freedom” after the commander-in-chief blasted Islamabad for harboring jihadists.

“This is only going to get worse,” Ibn Abdur Rehman, secretary-general of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, told Asia Times, referring to the persecution of religious minorities. “The state has surrendered to the radical Islamists and plans on gradually taking away every last bit of freedom from its citizens.”

Pakistan reportedly uses its controversial anti-blasphemy law, which carries a harsh sentence of life in prison or death, to target religious minorities, namely Christians.

In 2017, a judge in the Islamabad High Court decreed that “blasphemers are terrorists,” reports Asia Times.

“Islamabad’s capitulation to the radical Islamist mob has endangered the Ahmadiyya [Muslim] community, which has been the target of death threats made openly since the party besieged the capital a few months ago,” it adds.

Asia Times learned from Pakistani Senator Ramesh Kumar that “around 5,000 Hindus leave Pakistan every year” because of religious persecution.

“This includes forced marriages and kidnapping for ransom, as well as attacks on Hindu temples,” notes the news outlet.

Pakistan and the Open Doors group also accuse “Hindu extremists” in India of persecution against Muslims and Christians. Indian and Pakistan are regional rivals.

Despite adding Pakistan to the U.S. “Special Watch List,” the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) argues that the Trump administration’s move “does not go nearly far enough,” reports Newsmax.

“While the Trump administration earlier this year put Pakistan on its ‘Special Watch List’ for countries that ‘engage in or tolerate severe violations of religious freedom, it stopped short of slapping Pakistan with the much more serious Country of Particular Concern designation (CPC),” it reports, citing USCIRF.

As mandated by law, the U.S. Secretary of State deems a nation as a Country of Particular Concern when it is guilty of “particularly severe violations of religious freedom, including torture or inhuman treatment.”

“USCIRF, an independent U.S. federal government commission dedicated to defending global religious freedom, has been pushing the State Department to designate Pakistan a Country of Particular Concern for 15 years,” notes Newsmax.

“Given the strong stance that President Trump has taken on Pakistan recently,” USCIRF chairman Daniel Mark reportedly said, “the failure to designate Pakistan as a CPC this year comes as a surprise and disappointment.”

Pakistan has also begun to target atheists in the country. An unnamed atheist who organizes underground meetings for local skeptics and appeared in the BBC documentary Pakistan’s Secret Atheists told Asia Times:

After the social media crackdown, many of us deactivated our profiles fearing abduction, especially after secular bloggers were abducted in January last year. But there’s also a reluctance among atheists about meeting up at homes. Our homes and the internet used to be our safe spaces to share ideas, but even those have been taken away from us.

Nevertheless, the news outlet acknowledges, “While local atheists can pass off as Muslims – if that is their birth religion in Pakistan, Hindus and Christians are more visible targets [for jihadists].”

Nikki Haley to UN on North Korea Jan 18, 2018 UN Security Council meeting on non proliferation of Mass Destruction

Posted January 18, 2018 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Assad, Iran - human rights, Iranian missiles, Iranian nukes, Nikki Haley, North Korean missiles, North Korean nukes, Russia, Syria - mass murder, UN Security Council, Weapons of mass destruction - proliferation

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Nikki Haley to UN on North Korea Jan 18, 2018 UN Security Council meeting on non proliferation of Mass Destruction via YouTube, January 18, 2018

PM Netanyahu’s remarks at an event with Bollywood film industry leaders

Posted January 18, 2018 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Netanyahu on Israel - India relationship

Tags:

PM Netanyahu’s remarks at an event with Bollywood film industry leadersIsraeliPM, January 18, 2018

(Displaying my ignorance, I did not know what Bollywood is. Here’s a brief description:

Bollywood, formally known as Hindi cinema, is the Indian Hindi language film industry, based in the city of Mumbai (formerly Bombay), MaharashtraIndia. Bollywood is part of the larger cinema of India (also known as Indywood),[4] which includes other production centers producing films in other Indian languages.[5][6] Linguistically, Bollywood films tend to use a colloquial dialect of Hindi-Urdu, or Hindustani, mutually intelligible to both Hindi and Urdu speakers,[7][8][9] while modern Bollywood films also increasingly incorporate elements of Hinglish.[7]

— DM)

The Soviet-Style Push to Paint Trump as Mentally Ill

Posted January 18, 2018 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Media and Trump, Trump's mental health, Trump's physical health

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The Soviet-Style Push to Paint Trump as Mentally Ill, FrontPage MagazineMatthew Vadum, January 18, 2018

(Please see also, Satire | After Physical, Media Crushed That Trump Not on Deathbed. — DM)

Powerless to dislodge the duly elected 45th president from office, desperate left-wingers and their media allies are borrowing a page from Soviet Communism by dishonestly portraying President Trump as mentally unfit.

This is a coup attempt in progress and there is no indication it will go away anytime soon. In an earlier age, it might have been called high treason. The difference is that in the Soviet Union it was the government doing the smearing in order to maintain power. In America today, it is the opposition that is doing the smearing in the hope of removing its enemy from power and becoming the government.

Decades ago Moscow set the example that Trump-haters are now following. (Former Soviet propagandist Oleg Atbashian wrote an excellent piece at FrontPage last week on Soviet-style psychiatry.)

“The Soviets devised a system that allowed for political figures — especially those who posed a threat to party leaders — to be declared mentally unfit for office,” Jordan Schachtel writes at Conservative Review.

To combat unsavory political opinions, Soviet leaders from Nikita Khrushchev to Yuri Andropov called on friendly psychiatrists to diagnose dissidents as mentally incapacitated. Some dissidents were then sent to a psikhushka (mental hospital), where they were imprisoned and removed from political life. The pseudo-psychiatry establishment — which in effect acted as an ideological policing agency — continued until the fall of the Soviet Union.

Pseudo-psychiatrists, along with some actual psychiatrists and psychologists, now smear President Trump daily. “Without evidence that there is anything [in] particular wrong, CNN’s Jake Tapper, NBC’s Chuck Todd, the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman, and other media figures are now regularly asking about the president’s mental health,” Schachtel writes.

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), who wants the 25th Amendment invoked and Trump impeached, tweeted Jan. 9: “We have a president who is intellectually ill-equipped for the job. … He is the antithesis of what we should have as a moral leader in our country.”

Left-wing bloviator Keith Olbermann tweeted Jan. 11:

This man has to go. Now. I don’t care if it’s the 25th Amendment, Impeachment, Arrest, Resignation, something “coming up” at his physical tomorrow, General Strike, or we all crash the stock market by selling off. We must Make America AMERICA Again. #MAAA

It’s not that Trump is actually mentally ill. His true failing is that he doesn’t see things the way they do and they cannot handle it.

Leftists are psychiatrizing, stigmatizing, and gaslighting to make sure the Trump presidency is never, in their words, “normalized.” When Trump does things that presidents normally do, like firing the U.S. attorneys appointed by his predecessor, he is treated as a threat to the republic.

Democrats have done the same thing to all modern Republican presidents to varying degrees, labeling, for example, both Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush as dimwitted or sociopathic depending on their propaganda needs, but they have never attacked any Chief Executive with the ferociousness they reserve for President Trump. To them, Trump is a singular evil devoid of any political legitimacy whatsoever. The 63 million Americans who voted for him were deceived, they claim, so their votes don’t count.

Casual character-assassination is easy for the Left. They have to lie to others and themselves in order to remain left-wing. Reality is not kind to so-called idealists who deny human nature. The leftist worldview is a funhouse mirror view of reality, or as the recently popular saying goes, facts don’t care about your feelings, and feelings are the glue that holds their twisted belief structure together.

Those on the Left seem to be realizing that the ridiculous Trump-Russia electoral collusion conspiracy theory manufactured and paid for by Democrats isn’t going anywhere. The Obama-orchestrated Deep State attacks on Trump that began even before he was inaugurated, and which overlap to an extent with the conspiracy theory, can only move the ball forward so much. All-too-convenient allegations of sexual impropriety, many of which have been underwritten by left-wingers, bounce off Trump thanks in part to the Left’s long-running defense of sexual predator Bill Clinton which set a precedent of sorts. This is hardly an exhaustive list of the deceitful, malicious campaigns the Left has waged thus far against Trump.

Those on the Left watched the hour-long live televised briefing Tuesday on Trump’s health in horror as it failed to culminate in a finding that he was mentally or physically unfit to be president of the United States.

Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson, personal physician to both Presidents Trump and Obama, gave Trump a clean bill of health that reporters present and leftists online could not accept. Reporters at the White House asked 22 questions about his mental state and repeatedly pressed Jackson to just come out with it and say Trump was nuts, a “fact” reporters know already.

As Schachtel writes:

It’s unclear why these questions are warranted in the first place. Sure, the president has a unique personality and has a flair for drama, but he has shown no signs of any type of mental illness that would stop the duly elected president from carrying out his executive duties. Time and again, Dr. Jackson had to repeat himself in declaring that President Trump was fully fit for office, both cognitively and physically.

But Jackson patiently indulged the media at length.

He told the world that Trump’s brain, eyes, lungs, muscles, arteries, bones, genitals, and intestines were healthy and functioning normally. The briefing was exhaustive and exhausting, as Schachtel notes, especially because an exasperated Jackson had to keep telling reporters the same facts over and over again. On the positive side, with all the personal information released, Trump, whose “overall health is excellent” Jackson said, continues his streak as the most transparent U.S. president in modern times.

That Trump is mentally well was hotly disputed. It was as if Jackson’s statement that Trump scored 30 out of 30 on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, which screens for Alzheimer’s and dementia, fell on deaf ears.

That Trump is 75 inches, or 6 feet and 3 inches tall, was disputed. That Trump weighs 239 pounds was disputed, leading to a fun neologism – girthers – to describe doubters like logorrheic leftist Matthew Yglesias of Vox. That Trump, who is 71 years old, has a healthy heart was disputed. That Trump only sleeps a few hours each night was disputed.

But how could a man who eats fast food and “never exercises” be “in as good as shape as you say he’s in?” asked one shocked-sounding reporter.

“It’s called genetics,” said Jackson, who added that lifelong abstinence from tobacco and alcohol have also contributed to Trump’s well-being.

I don’t know. Some people have just great genes. I told the president that if he had a healthier diet over the last 20 years, he might live to be 200 years old. I don’t know. He has incredible genes, I just assume. I mean, if I didn’t watch what I ate, I wouldn’t have the cardiac and overall health that he has.

Meanwhile, returning to the topic of Soviet Communism, retiring Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) delivered his much-hyped speech absurdly comparing Trump to a mass-murdering dictator Wednesday to a near-empty Senate chamber.

It is a fact that Trump has referred to the media as the “enemy of the American People.” Except for the descriptor American, Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin used the same phrase in his time. The Romans used it about 2,000 years before that.

But only Stalin’s use of the expression counts, according to Flake, and Trump is therefore similar to one of history’s most prolific homicidal maniacs even though he hasn’t sent anyone to a gulag or had secret police liquidate his opponents.

“It’s a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Joseph Stalin to describe his enemies,” the senator said.

Flake, who spoke nary a nasty word about Obama during his presidency, didn’t bother to acknowledge that the 44th president came close to the same phrasing, calling Republicans “enemies.”

When you’re a Trump-hater, you don’t have to make sense.

Bringing it All Back Home

Posted January 18, 2018 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: U.S. economy

Tags:

Bringing it All Back Home, Power Line,  Scott Johnson, January 18, 2018

Has there ever been a quicker boost to the economy than the one we have experienced under President Trump over the past year? As Joel Kotkin puts it in this City Journal column: “New job numbers are robust, GDP and wages continue to rise, stocks are soaring, unemployment continues to decline, and overall growth is at its highest in 13 years. And this salutary picture is not exclusive to big business; the index of small business optimism, as measured by the National Federation of Independent Business, has reached its highest level in the 45-year history of the survey.”

As the Trump administration has done its best to remove the foot placed on the neck of various sectors of the American economy by the Obama administration, we have had something like a controlled experiment in two economic theories. One economic theory (Obama’s) held that we were to reconcile ourselves to historically low GDP growth of 2 percent at best and one of which (Trump’s) held that normal growth was possible again with policies intended to foster it.

The immediate effects of the tax reform enacted last year are at least as striking. Indeed, they are almost shocking. Even before the effective date of the law, companies started announcing that they would pay $1,000 bonuses to employees as a result of the new law. AT&T led the parade with its December 20 press release specifying that the bonus would be paid to “all union-represented, non-management and front-line managers.” That is more than 200,000 employees. The company also announced that it would invest an additional $1 billion in the United States in 2018. Many companies have followed suit, attributing their actions to the new law.

Some large companies — Well Fargo and USBank, to take two examples — have also announced wage increases at the bottom of their wage scales. I should think that these increases will have ripple effects benefiting other hourly workers. In the first news story I have seen on the new law’s possible impact on wages, however, CNBC has thrown a dash of cold water. Taking the CNBC story at face value, I think it’s fair to say that the early returns are promising (see the listing of “those with detailed announcements” at the bottom of the CNBC story), but that it’s too soon to tell on this important point.

Yesterday’s announcement by Apple puts an exclamation point on these developments. Wall Street Journal editor Gerard Baker puts it this way in his 10-point guide to the day’s news (from which I have borrowed the heading of this post):

Apple announced it would pay a one-time tax of $38 billion on its overseas cash holdings and ramp up spending in the U.S. to emphasize its contributions to the American economy and counter criticism it outsourced manufacturing to China. The tech giant said it would invest $30 billion in the country over five years. It plans to build a new campus and create more than 20,000 jobs, as well as expand investment in advanced manufacturing in the country. The tax-code overhaul signed into law late last year by President Trump included an incentive for U.S. companies to bring home offshore holdings, with companies required to pay a one-time tax of 15.5% on overseas profits held in cash and other liquid assets. Apple didn’t say how much of its $252.3 billion offshore cash pile it plans to bring home. The tax payment by the world’s most valuable company may signal a tipping point for U.S. corporate offshore cash hoards and set off a trend.

CNBC’s headline derives this notable point from Apple’s announcement: “It looks like Apple is bringing back home nearly all of its $250 billion in foreign cash.”

If only President Trump could maintain a discreet silence for a day or two word might — I say might — get out.