www.theguardian.com

Sam Nartey George and other Ghanaian MPs #homophobia #transphobia #wingnut theguardian.com

Ghana: anti-gay bill proposing 10-year prison sentences sparks outrage

Draft anti-gay legislation submitted to Ghana’s parliament could propose up to 10 years in jail for LGBTQ+ people as well as groups and individuals who advocate for their rights, express sympathy or offer social or medical support, in one of the most draconian and sweeping anti-gay laws proposed around the world.

Support for intersex people would also be criminalised and the government could direct intersex people to receive “gender realignment” surgery, said the draft legislation.

The prospect of harsh new laws has been hailed by numerous MPs and supported by figures in President Nana Akufo-Addo’s government.

It follows a wave of repression against LGBTQ+ people in the west African country since January this year. In February, a community space offering support for sexual minorities was forced to close amid a backlash from politicians, civil and religious groups and the media, and also led to a rise in arrests and abuse against people perceived to be gay or queer.

On Friday, Sam Nartey George, an MP who has described gay rights as a “perversion” and led a group of lawmakers who drafted the bill, dismissed online condemnation of the bill as “uninformed”.

“Homosexuality is not a human right. It is a sexual preference,” he said in a post on Twitter. “We shall pass this bill through.”

Ghanaian officials have privately sought to allay fears that that the bill will pass.

Among other aspects of the bill that has sparked condemnation, groups or individuals found to be funding groups deemed as advocating for LGBTQ+ rights or offering support could be prosecuted. Marriage would be clearly defined in Ghanaian law as being between a male and female.

Media companies, online platforms and accounts which publish information which could be deemed to encourage children to explore any gender or sex outside of the binary categories of male and female could face 10 years in prison.

Donald Trump #wingnut #dunning-kruger theguardian.com

On a visit to Europe to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the first world war, Donald Trump insisted to his then chief of staff, John Kelly: “Well, Hitler did a lot of good things”

The remark from the former US president on the 2018 trip, which reportedly “stunned” Kelly, a retired US Marine Corps general, is reported in a new book by Michael Bender of the Wall Street Journal
[…]
Bender reports that Trump made the remark during an impromptu history lesson in which Kelly “reminded the president which countries were on which side during the conflict” and “connected the dots from the first world war to the second world war and all of Hitler’s atrocities”.
[…]
In a statement a Trump spokesperson, Liz Harrington, said: “This is totally false. President Trump never said this. It is made-up fake news, probably by a general who was incompetent and was fired”

But Bender says unnamed sources reported that Kelly “told the president that he was wrong, but Trump was undeterred”, emphasizing German economic recovery under Hitler during the 1930s

“Kelly pushed back again,” Bender writes, “and argued that the German people would have been better off poor than subjected to the Nazi genocide”

Bender adds that Kelly told Trump that even if his claim about the German economy under the Nazis after 1933 were true, “you cannot ever say anything supportive of Adolf Hitler. You just can’t”

Miguel Díaz-Canel & Rogelio Polanco Fuentes #conspiracy #moonbat theguardian.com

Cuban president claims protests part of US plot to ‘fracture’ Communist party

Cuban officials blame the US for Sunday’s demonstrations as Biden calls on island’s leaders to hear citizens’ ‘clarion call for freedom’

The Cuban president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, has attacked the “shameful delinquents” he claimed were trying to “fracture” his country’s communist revolution after the Caribbean island witnessed its largest anti-government protests in nearly three decades.

“The approach wasn’t peaceful yesterday,” the 61-year-old politician claimed, criticising the “completely vulgar” behaviour of some demonstrators who he accused of throwing rocks at police and destroying cars. Díaz-Canel conceded other protesters had legitimate concerns over food shortages and blackouts, although he blamed those problems on US sanctions. “It’s legitimate to feel dissatisfaction,” the party’s powerful first secretary said in the broadcast.

Rogelio Polanco Fuentes, a top party official who runs its ideology department, denounced the protests as part of a well-funded US-sponsored effort to create “instability and chaos” in Cuba, which is currently experiencing its worst economic slump in decades as well as a worsening Covid crisis.

Polanco Fuentes compared Sunday’s protests to the failed US-backed uprising against Venezuela’s authoritarian leader, Nicolás Maduro, in 2019. “We are living through new chapters of the non-conventional war … in other places they have called these Colour Revolutions … or soft coups,” Polanco said.

Cuban dissidents rejected those claims about the protests which rippled across Cuba on Sunday, with thousands taking to the streets to denounce the lack of medicine and food and the lack of political freedoms.

Governor Greg Abbott #fundie #psycho #sexist #wingnut theguardian.com

The Texas Republican governor Greg Abbott has signed into law one of the most extreme six-week abortion bans in the US.

“This bill ensures that every unborn child who has a heartbeat will be saved from the ravages of abortion,” said Abbott.

Senate Bill 8 bars abortion at six weeks of pregnancy with no exception for rape or incest, a near-total ban as most women are not aware they are pregnant at this stage.

Any individual can sue anyone who “aids or abets” abortion care. “This law is so broadly written it could target not just abortion clinics and staff but anyone that volunteers or donates to an abortion fund or activist organization like ours,” says Aimee Arrambide “Domestic violence and rape crisis counselors who offer guidance, family members who lend money to abortion patients, a friend who gives a ride to an appointment, or even someone that provides an address to a clinic could also face lawsuits.”

In response to concerns over the potential for a rapist to sue his victim’s abortion provider, the legislature passed an amendment that exempts rapists and those who commit incest from taking legal action. However, it only applies to those convicted of rape. Since 91% of women in Texas do not report rape to the police and the small number of those who do rarely see their abuser convicted, the amendment largely failed to allay fears.

Furthermore, the law does nothing to prevent someone associated with a rapist, like a friend or family member, from suing his victim.

“This bill empowers rapists and abusers,” said Representative Donna Howard “And this forced pregnancy act will drive women back into the [pre-Roe] shadows out of fear of harassment through lawsuits that anyone in this country can file.”

hatWRKS #wingnut #racist theguardian.com

Stetson has said it will stop selling its products through a hat store in Nashville, Tennessee which advertised anti-vaccination patches in the style of a Star of David, the badge which Jewish people were made to wear by the Nazis…

A hatWRKS Instagram post that was deleted showed a smiling woman touching the front of her shirt, where a “Not Vaccinated” patch was affixed. The caption read: “Patches are here!! They turned out great.”

It said the patches cost $5 and had a “strong adhesive back”, and that the shop would be “offering trucker caps soon”.

A message posted to the store Instagram account, which has also promoted vaccine conspiracy theories and touted the chance to shop without wearing a mask, said “people are so outraged by my post” but asked: “Are you outraged with the tyranny the world is experiencing?”

Another post on the hatWRKS Instagram account said: “In NO WAY did I intend to trivialise the Star of David or disrespect what happened to millions of people. That is not who I am and what I stand for.

“My intent was not to exploit or to make a profit. My hope was to share my genuine concern and fear, and to do all that I can to make sure nothing like that ever happens again. I sincerely apologise for any insensitivity.”

Alberto Fernández #racist theguardian.com

Uproar after Argentina president says ‘Brazilians came from the jungle’

Misjudged comments to prime minister of Spain sought to play up the South American country’s ties with Europe

Argentina’s president, Alberto Fernández, has triggered a Twitter storm and a regional race debate with misjudged comments to visiting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez of Spain that sought to play up the South American country’s ties with Europe.

“The Mexicans came from the Indians, the Brazilians came from the jungle, but we Argentines came from the ships. And they were ships that came from Europe,” Fernández said, referring to the many European migrants who arrived in the country. He later apologized for the comments and said his country’s diversity was something to be proud of.

Fernández seems to have taken the phrase from a song by local musician Lito Nebbia, of whom the president has declared himself an admirer on more than one occasion.

The comments sparked a viral response on social media, with many criticizing the center-left leader for racial insensitivity.

“I did not mean to offend anyone, in any case, whoever has felt offended or invisible, I give my apologies,” he said on Twitter.

Brazilian media ran Fernandez’s statements on Wednesday and many on social media joked that rightwing President Jair Bolsonaro would enjoy getting back at the leftwing Argentine leader, with whom he has not always seen eye to eye.

Eduardo Bolsonaro, a congressman and the Brazilian president’s son, slammed the comments as “racist” and shot a retort back at Argentina over its troubled economy, in recession since 2018.

“I say the ship that is sinking is that of Argentina,” he posted on Twitter.

Ho City Police #homophobia #psycho #wingnut theguardian.com

Outcry after 21 people arrested in Ghana for ‘advocating LGBTQ activities’

Rights groups have condemned the arrest of 21 people by Ghanaian police for “unlawful assembly” and promoting an LGBTQ+ agenda, in the latest move against sexual minorities in the country.

Police have held 21 people since Friday for “advocating LGBTQ activities” at an event the previous day in Ho city, in the eastern Volta region.

Several rights groups called the arrests illegal, saying those detained did not have access to legal representation before they were remanded to court on Friday, and that some suffered medical illnesses and needed treatment for trauma.

The arrests came after a group of journalists reportedly descended on an event by Rightify Ghana, which was held to provide training for activists and paralegals when supporting LGBTQ+ people.

“The press teamed up with the police to storm the meeting location, started taking images, took their belongings and arrested them,” Rightify Ghana said.

The targeting and abuse of LGBTQ+ people in Ghana has sharply risen this year, said Alex Kofi Donkor, the founder and director of LGBT+ Rights Ghana, an advocacy and aid organisation based in Accra.

Same-sex relationships are illegal in Ghana, yet while prosecutions are rare, rights groups say it has led to widespread targeting and extortion of vulnerable people and anyone suspected to be gay or queer.

A statement by the police on Friday calling members of the public to come forward with information about LGBTQ+ activities amounted to “a witch-hunt”, Donkor said.

“It is very, very disturbing – also for the fact that the police are now inciting the public against Ghanaians. It’s already a vulnerable situation for LGBTQ+ people in Ghana,” he said.

Keiko Fujimori & Other Wingnuts #conspiracy #psycho #racist #wingnut theguardian.com

Peru: Fujimori cries electoral fraud – and unleashes torrent of racism

Claims of rightwing candidate, trailing Pedro Castillo in the polls, emboldens far right, who have vowed not to accept result

The prospect of the son of illiterate Andean peasants becoming president as his rival cries fraud has shaken Peru’s entrenched class system and its fragile democracy, letting loose a torrent of racism in the bicentennial year of the country’s independence.

“The tension has reached a breaking point,” said José Ragas “The Lima elite is not just trying to keep power, they are trying to cancel the rural vote.”

In one ugly but not unusual case, the news site Sudaca published text messages between middle-class white men in Lima who discussed how people from the highlands should “die of hunger” and called for the return of Alberto Fujimori’s alleged forced sterilisations which mostly targeted indigenous women.

Other memes characterised Castillo as a donkey or said Andeans were too ignorant to be allowed to vote.

As officials at Peru’s electoral board work overtime to reinspect the disputed ballots, social media and partisan news broadcasters have helped spread fake news stirring up the spectre of totalitarian rule, violence and even mass expropriations if Castillo is declared the winner amid rumblings of coup plots among the far-right.

Apparently inspired by Donald Trump’s refusal to accept defeat at the US elections, Fujimori has led a string of marches against “fraud” telling supporters at one rally: “The election will be flipped, dear friends.”

Peru’s interim president Francisco Sagasti slammed as “unacceptable” a letter signed by nearly a hundred retired military officers urging the armed forces not to recognise Castillo.

Metalman71 #moonbat #pratt theguardian.com

At least we now know that an astonishing almost 10% of the uk's population are economic migrants from the rest of the EU. No wonder there's been a chronic housing shortage in recent years and public services so stretched.

Meanwhile in Eastern Europe working age populations are falling rapidly leaving a chronic shortage of doctors and other medically trained professionals to treat the aging population who can't migrate elsewhere.

I've asked this question of dozens of remainers and they all dodge it.

Why are British patients more important than the patients in the countries where these EU citizens have come from, and who are now suffering from the lack of medically trained staff in their own countries?

As an example, Romania has lost 5,000 doctors, or 10% of their total, in the last 20 years.

Why are British patients more important than Romanian ones?

Hopefully, that will start to change and more and more NHS workers of EU origin will leave the UK.

As the populations of Eastern European countries continues to fall, and as more and more of their skilled population migrates, their GDPs will suffer accordingly and it will become ever more difficult to make life more attractive for those they want to encourage to stay.

Freedom of movement has been a complete disaster for many European nations which really only benefits a handful of countries like Germany and France.

Chris1889 #pratt #wingnut theguardian.com

There is an obvious contradiction between holding a progressive immigration policy and championing workers rights, better pay and better public services. If socially democratic politicians truly want to improve the lives of working class people then they should want to restrict corporate demand for more cheap labour.

The left appear confused on this and have done for 20 years and this explains much of there decline in popularity especially amongst the working classes in recent years.

Mr Bond #psycho #racist theguardian.com

Austrian rapper arrested over neo-Nazi songs

Austrian authorities have arrested a rapper accused of broadcasting neo-Nazi songs, one of which was used by a man who livestreamed a deadly antisemitic attack in Germany.

Austrian intelligence officers had been trying for months to unmask the rapper, who went by the pseudonym Mr Bond and had been posting to neo-Nazi forums since 2016.

The suspect, who comes from the southern region of Carinthia, has been detained for allegedly producing and broadcasting Nazi ideas and incitement to hatred.

“The words of his songs glorify National Socialism (Nazism) and are antisemitic, racist and xenophobic,” said the interior ministry statement.

One of his tracks was used as the soundtrack during the October 2019 attack outside a synagogue in the eastern German city of Halle.

In posts to online forums based in the US, the rapper compared the man behind the 2019 Christchurch shootings that killed 51 people at a New Zealand mosque to a saint, and translated his racist manifesto into German.

Last September, an investigation by Austrian daily Der Standard and Germany’s public broadcaster ARD said that the musician had been calling on members of neo-Nazi online forums and chat groups to carry out terrorist attacks for several years.

They also reported that his music was used as the soundtrack to the livestreamed attack in Halle, when a man shot dead two people after a failed attempt to storm the synagogue.

During his trial last year for the attack, 28-year-old Stephan Balliet said he had picked the music as a “commentary on the act”. In December, a German court jailed him for life.

Mogoeng Mogoeng #fundie #conspiracy theguardian.com

South Africa’s chief justice has dismissed concerns that he may be endangering people’s health by linking coronavirus vaccines to a “satanic agenda”.

The comment by Mogoeng Mogoeng marked the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic that a senior judge had aired such preoccupations. [...] Worries quickly surfaced, in a country where new medical interventions are often controversial, that people might avoid vaccination as a result of the comments.

After South Africa began hosting the continent’s first coronavirus vaccine trial, anti-vaccine activists protested against Africans being used as test subjects.

Two decades ago, the then-president Thabo Mbeki questioned whether HIV caused Aids, which has ravaged the country.

Mogoeng, who frequently displays his Christian faith while performing his duties, prayed at a public event on Thursday that people should be spared any vaccine that sought to “advance a satanic agenda of the mark of the beast”.

Addressing questions about this at a news conference on Friday to release a judiciary report, he said: “If there is any vaccine that is deliberately intended to do harm to people, that vaccine must never see the light of day. I cry unto God to stop it.”

Shaun Bailey #wingnut #elitist theguardian.com

Tory London mayoral candidate: homeless can save for house deposit

The Conservative candidate for London mayor has sparked controversy after suggesting that homeless people in the capital would be able to save up for a £5,000 deposit to buy a share in a newly-built affordable home.

Shaun Bailey has promised to deliver 100,000 affordable homes with his £4bn housing budget if he wins the election in April, many of them shared ownership, of which buyers would be able to purchase a share for as little as £100,000.

Asked how these families would produce a £5,000 deposit and secure a mortgage, he said: “I don’t think the £5,000 will [be a problem]. The mortgage application thing might be a bit tougher … they could save for it, yeah.”

Pressed by the interviewer on whether he was suggesting a homeless family in bed and breakfast accommodation could afford a deposit, Bailey replied: “Not all of them, but some people could. A full proportion of people could.”

Bailey’s comments attracted widespread bewilderment on Twitter. The Liberal Democrat councillor and candidate for London mayor, Luisa Porritt said: “Oh dear, the Tory candidate is at it again. This time he’s suggesting homeless families ‘save up’ for a deposit. Just how out of touch can he get?”

Lambeth Labour councillor Ed Davie tweeted: “Famously, people living in poverty usually have at least £5,000 lying around – it’s amazing that it hasn’t occurred to them to simply buy a London property, which are well known for being really cheap. Thank God senior Tories are here to give out this good advice.”

Raye Johnson #psycho theguardian.com

Experience: I paid to have my daughter kidnapped

That first day I grieved. I knew deep down I was right, but I didn’t know if my daughter would forgive me.
It was 3am. I went into my daughter’s room, woke her, told her I loved her and that she was going on a trip. She was drowsy from the sleeping pills I’d slipped in her drink a few hours earlier. Then the two strangers I’d hired to take her away went into her room. She tried to get her bag and makeup. “Where you’re going, you don’t need anything,” they told her. I stood outside the door, shaking. Had I just created a situation in which I would lose my 17-year-old for ever?

I’d quit a successful financial career and moved across the country to bring up my daughter and son in Florida, so we’d have time as a family after their father and I divorced. I loved them fiercely and we were close. They knew I had high hopes for them. But at 17, my daughter started hanging around with different people; her straight-A grades dropped and her attitude changed. We started to fight about her going to school. “Even if you drive me there, you can’t make me go inside,” she would say. Then she told me she had decided to quit school to become a high-end hairdresser and wanted me to pay for her to go to beauty school. I was distraught. There is nothing wrong with hairdressing, but I wanted her to get a proper education first, so she would have choices.

Around the same time, police twice caught her 14-year-old brother with drugs. I wasn’t having it a third time, so I sent him away to a strict boarding school in another state. On a weekend visit, it struck me how much he’d changed and how my daughter would benefit from the same intensive treatment.

But I had to act fast. Her beauty school fees were due the coming Saturday. And, legally, I had control over her only while she was still under 18. I found a boot camp for troubled children in Utah and hired a private service to escort her there, whether she wanted to go or not. That Friday night we went to dinner on the pretence that it was to celebrate her new school. It was actually to stop her seeing friends and ensure she’d be home for the escorts.

After their appearance in the middle of the night, the security service flew with her to the Utah desert. That first day I grieved. I knew deep down I was right, but I didn’t know if my daughter would forgive me: I had to be prepared to lose her in order to help her. Her friends called and I said she’d gone on a trip. “Where did she go? When will she be back?” they asked. I told them I didn’t know.

I had paid $16,000 (£11,380) for seven weeks of gruelling physical and mental challenges. The other kids were in desperate situations: young offenders, drug addicts, some were suicidal. I was aware my daughter didn’t share their circumstances. They lived like cavemen: they didn’t see a roof the whole time, took care of their sanitary waste, learned survival skills and did physical labour; some cut off their hair because they couldn’t bathe.

They had daily therapy and wrote letters to their parents. My daughter’s were full of apology: how she had made mistakes, wanted to be forgiven, how she loved me. Sure, she was angry at first when she didn’t know what was going on, but she soon understood why I’d sent her there and was embarrassed.
Experience: my plane was hijacked
Read more

At the end, parents were taken into the desert to be reunited with their kids. We could see them walking towards us from a mile away. I was scared. I didn’t know how my daughter would react. Then I spotted her; she was muscular and dirty. We hugged and cried. She was back to the daughter I knew, the one without the attitude.

She finished high school with straight As, went to college, then did a master’s. She works in the legal system now. Both my kids joke that I’m a psycho mom, but they forgave me and we remain close. It’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. Could they have got where they are today without such drastic action? Perhaps, but it wasn’t a chance I was willing to take. I believe the more we suffer in life, the more we grow. I have two strong, amazing kids, and I’d do it again.

• As told to Candice Pires. Raye Johnson is a pseudonym.

Orthodox Church in Romania and Archbishop Teodosie #fundie #psycho theguardian.com

The Orthodox Church in Romania is facing growing pressure to change baptism rituals after a baby died following a ceremony which involves immersing infants three times in holy water.

The six-week-old suffered a cardiac arrest and was rushed to hospital on Monday but he died a few hours later, the autopsy revealing liquid in his lungs. Prosecutors have opened a manslaughter investigation against the priest in the north-eastern city of Suceava.
[...]
Local media recounted several similar incidents in recent years. Church spokesman Vasile Banescu said priests could pour a little water on the baby’s forehead instead of full immersion. But Archbishop Teodosie, leader of the Church’s traditionalist wing, said the ritual would not change.

NEpalese Ministry Of Immigration #sexist theguardian.com

Nepalis protest 'ridiculous' proposed ban on women travelling abroad

Activists warn new anti-trafficking law requiring permission from families to travel is evidence of ‘deep-rooted patriarchal mindset’

A proposed law in Nepal that would ban women from travelling abroad without permission from their families and local government officials has been called unconstitutional and “ridiculous”. The proposals, introduced by the Department of Immigration last week in an attempt to prevent women being trafficked, would require all women under 40 to seek permission before they visit Africa or the Middle East for the first time.

Following criticism, the department said the law applied only to “vulnerable” women and stressed it had yet to be finalised.

Ila Sharma, a former election commissioner of Nepal, said: “It’s preposterous the way educated bureaucracy seems to be objectifying women. Clearly, they do not see women as fully fledged adults. “Instead of empowering and building the capacity of women, as well as the rest of the emigrant labour workforce, they are being regressive, unconstitutional, not to say ridiculous.”

Nepal’s Human Rights Commission estimated that about 35,000 people, including 15,000 women and 5,000 girls, were victims of trafficking in 2018. Activists pointed out that it is not just women who are trafficked, so immigration lawmakers should consider women and men in any proposed legal changes. There have been several attempts over the past decades to combat exploitation through travel restrictions. The latest was in 2017 when the government banned Nepali citizens from working in the Gulf as domestic workers, a move that targeted women. Activists have long complained that banning women from travelling doesn’t work and infringes their rights.

War on Women Award

Ohio Republicans #fundie #sexist theguardian.com

Ohio bill orders doctors to ‘reimplant ectopic pregnancy’ or face 'abortion murder' charges

Ohio introduces one of the most extreme bills to date for a procedure that does not exist in medical science

A bill to ban abortion introduced in the Ohio state legislature requires doctors to “reimplant an ectopic pregnancy” into a woman’s uterus – a procedure that does not exist in medical science – or face charges of “abortion murder”.

This is the second time practising obstetricians and gynecologists have tried to tell the Ohio legislators that the idea is currently medically impossible.

The move comes amid a wave of increasingly severe anti-abortion bills introduced across much of the country as conservative Republican politicians seek to ban abortion and force a legal showdown on abortion with the supreme court.

Ohio’s move on ectopic pregnancies – where an embryo implants on the mother’s fallopian tube rather than her uterus rendering the pregnancy unviable – is one of the most extreme bills to date.

“I don’t believe I’m typing this again but, that’s impossible,” wrote Ohio obstetrician and gynecologist Dr David Hackney on Twitter. “We’ll all be going to jail,” he said.

An ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening condition, which can kill a woman if the embryonic tissue grows unchecked.

In addition to ordering doctors to do the impossible or face criminal charges, House Bill 413 bans abortion outright and defines a fertilized egg as an “unborn child”.

It also appears to punish doctors, women and children as young as 13 with “abortion murder” if they “perform or have an abortion”. This crime is punishable by life in prison. Another new crime, “aggravated abortion murder”, is punishable by death, according to the bill.

The bill is sponsored by representatives Candice Keller and Ron Hood, and co-sponsored by 19 members of Ohio’s 99-member House.

Mike Gonidakis, the president of the anti-abortion group Ohio Right to Life, declined to comment on the bill, and said he was still reading the legislation because, it’s “approximately 700 pages long”. He said his office is “taking off the rest of the week for Thanksgiving”.

The Guardian also contacted the Susan B Anthony List, a national anti-abortion organization. The organization did not reply to a request for comment.

Keller, Hood and eight of the bill’s 19 co-sponsors did not reply to requests for comment. The Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association also did not reply to a request for comment.

Ohio passed a six-week abortion ban last summer. The “heartbeat bill”, as supporters called it, banned abortion before most women know they are pregnant. Reproductive rights groups immediately sued, and the bill never went into effect. Abortion is legal in all 50 US states.

In May, researcher Dr David Grossman argued reimplanting a fertilized egg or embryo is “pure science fiction” in a Twitter thread that went viral in May, when the bill was first introduced.

“There is no procedure to reimplant an ectopic pregnancy,” said Dr Chris Zahn, vice-president of practice activities at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. “It is not possible to move an ectopic pregnancy from a fallopian tube, or anywhere else it might have implanted, to the uterus,” he said.

“Reimplantation is not physiologically possible. Women with ectopic pregnancies are at risk for catastrophic hemorrhage and death in the setting of an ectopic pregnancy, and treating the ectopic pregnancy can certainly save a mom’s life,” said Zahn.

Unnamed Counter-Protesters & Delhi Police #wingnut theguardian.com

Counter-protesters in Delhi have burned effigies of the Swedish environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg after she tweeted support for India’s protesting farmers in posts that have prompted an investigation by Indian police.

Crowds gathered in Delhi to protest against several international celebrities including Thunberg and the pop singer Rihanna, who inflamed sentiments in India and angered the government after tweeting about the continuing farmer protests this week. Photos of Thunberg and Rihanna were set alight and banners were held aloft warning that “international interference” in Indian affairs would not be tolerated.

Since November, hundreds of thousands of farmers have been camped out around Delhi demanding several new agriculture laws are repealed. After a march last week turned violent, with hundreds storming the capital’s historic Red Fort, Delhi police had been cracking down on the farmers by sending in riot officers and paramilitary troops, cutting off entry and exit to the protest sites and blocking mobile internet access.

In response to reports that a case had been filed against Thunberg, Praveer Ranjan, the special commissioner of police for Delhi, said: “‘We haven’t named anybody in the FIR [first information report], it’s only against the creators of the toolkit which is a matter of investigation and Delhi police will be investigating that case.”

The Indian government released a statement in response sharply warning against celebrities tweeting “sensationalist social media hashtags and comments”.

Nigel Farage & Richard Tice #quack #wingnut theguardian.com

Reform UK: Brexit party to rebrand as anti-lockdown voice

Party chairman Richard Tice says country must ‘learn to live with’ Covid not ‘hide in fear’

The Brexit party has applied to the Electoral Commission to change its name to Reform UK in a bid to rebrand the party, which has no elected representatives, as a voice in the anti-lockdown movement. The party’s leader, Nigel Farage, and chairman, Richard Tice, first announced the plan in a joint article in the Telegraph where they wrote it was “time to redirect our energies”. The name change is subject to approval of the commission. Prior to the December election, Farage had announced the party would change its name following the UK’s exit from the European Union and focus on campaigning for changes in the electoral system.

In a statement on Sunday announcing the plans to rebrand the party, Farage said: “As promised, we continue to keep a very close eye on the government’s trade negotiations with the EU, to ensure a proper Brexit. Further reform in many other areas is also vital for our nations’ future.” Tice added: “The need for major reform in the UK is clearer now than ever. A new approach is essential, so that government works for the people, not for itself.” He said that a new strategy was needed for tackling the coronavirus so that “we learn to live with it, not hide in fear of it”. The idea of ending the Covid pandemic through herd immunity was recently denounced as “a dangerous fallacy unsupported by scientific evidence”, by 80 researchers who wrote a warning letter in a leading medical journal.

Unnamed CPC Cadres #psycho #racist #sexist theguardian.com

China sterilising ethnic minority women in Xinjiang, report says

Uighurs are among those facing involuntary contraception or threats over birth quotas

Chinese authorities are carrying out forced sterilisations of women in an apparent campaign to curb the growth of ethnic minority populations in the western Xinjiang region, according to research published on Monday.

The report, based on a combination of official regional data, policy documents and interviews with ethnic minority women, has prompted an international group of lawmakers to call for a United Nations investigation into China’s policies in the region.

The move is likely to enrage Beijing, which has denied trampling on the rights of ethnic groups in Xinjiang, and which on Monday called the allegations “baseless”.

The country is accused of locking more than one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities in re-education camps. Beijing describes the facilities as job training centres aimed at steering people away from terrorism following a spate of violence blamed on separatists.

A report by Adrian Zenz, a German researcher who has exposed China’s policies in Xinjiang, says Uighur women and other ethnic minorities are being threatened with internment in the camps for refusing to abort pregnancies that exceed birth quotas.

Zenz’s data-driven work on the camps – which uses public documents found by scouring China’s internet – has previously been cited by experts on a UN panel investigating the facilities.

Women who had fewer than the legally permitted limit of two children were involuntarily fitted with intrauterine contraceptives, says the report.

It also reports that some of the women said they were being coerced into receiving sterilisation surgeries.

Former camp detainees said they were given injections that stopped their periods or caused unusual bleeding consistent with the effects of birth-control drugs.

Government documents studied by Zenz also showed that women in some rural minority communities in the region received frequent mandatory gynaecological exams and bi-monthly pregnancy tests from local health officials.

Zenz found that population growth in Xinjiang counties predominantly home to ethnic minorities fell below the average growth in primarily Han majority counties between 2017 and 2018, a year after the officially recorded rate of sterilisations in the region sharply overtook the national rate in 2016.

Uighur activists say China is using the internment camps to conduct a massive brainwashing campaign aimed at eradicating their distinct culture and Islamic identity.

“These findings raise serious concerns as to whether Beijing’s policies in Xinjiang represent, in fundamental respects, what might be characterised as a demographic campaign of genocide” under UN definitions, Zenz said in the report.

The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), a group of North American, European and Australian members of parliament from a range of political parties, said in a statement on Monday that it would push for a legal investigation on “whether or not crimes against humanity or genocide have taken place” in Xinjiang.

IPAC was formed in June with a stated mission of standing up against “challenges posed by the present conduct and future ambitions of the People’s Republic of China”.

China’s foreign ministry said the allegations were “baseless” and showed “ulterior motives”.

Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian attacked media outlets for “cooking up false information on Xinjiang-related issues,” saying at a regular press briefing that Xinjiang is “harmonious and stable”.

The rights group World Uyghur Congress said the report showed a “genocidal element of the CCP’s [Chinese Communist party] policies” and called in a statement for international action to confront China.

Oregon Republican Party #wingnut #conspiracy theguardian.com

The Oregon Republican party has falsely claimed in a resolution that there is “growing evidence” that the 6 January attack on the US Capitol by a pro-Trump mob was “a ‘false flag’ operation”.
[…]
To back up these false claims, the resolution cited links to rightwing websites, including the Epoch Times, a pro-Trump outlet that has frequently published rightwing misinformation, as well as the Wikipedia entry for “Reichstag Fire.”

In a Facebook video released on 19 January, the Oregon Republican party chairman, Bill Currier, said that Oregon Republicans were working with Republicans in other states to release similar resolutions. “We are encouraging and working with the others through a patriot network of RNC members, the national level elected officials from each state, to coordinate our activities and to coordinate our messaging,” Currier said as part of the video conversation with other members of the Oregon Republican party.

“We’re partway in the door of socialism and Marxism right now … and we have to fight,” Currier said. “It’s a time for choosing. People can decide what they want to believe and what they want to do, but there are people standing up and there are people sitting down.”
[…]
In addition to labeling the Capitol attack a potential false flag operation, the Oregon GOP’s resolution also condemned several House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump over the 6 January assault. The statement called the legislators “traitors” who had “conspired” with the enemy, and described members of the Democratic party as “Leftist forces seeking to establish a dictatorship void of all cherished freedoms and liberties.”

Anonymous Asshole #racist theguardian.com

image

Happy Brexit Day
As we finally have our great country back we feel
there is one rule to that needs to be made clear to
Winchester Tower residents.
We do not tolerate people speaking other languages
than English in the flats.
We are now our own country again and the the
Queens English is the spoken tongue here.
If you do want to speak whatever is the mother
tongue of the country you came from then we suggest
you return to that place and return your flat to the
council so they can let British people live here and we
can return to what was normality before you infected
this once great island.
It's a simple choice obey the rule of the majority or
leave.
You won't have long till our government will
implement rules that will put British first. So, best evolve
or leave.
God Save the Queen, her government and all true
patriots.


Keira Bell, Paul Conrathe & High Court Judges #quack #transphobia theguardian.com

Puberty blockers: under-16s 'unlikely to be able to give informed consent'

Children under the age of 16 considering gender reassignment are unlikely to be mature enough to give informed consent to be prescribed puberty-blocking drugs, the high court has ruled. Even in cases involving teenagers under 18 doctors may need to consult the courts for authorisation for medical intervention, three senior judges have ruled in an action brought against the Tavistock and Portman NHS trust, which runs the UK’s main gender identity development service for children. The claim was brought by Keira Bell, a 23-year-old woman who began taking puberty blockers when she was 16 before detransitioning, and the unnamed mother of a 15-year-old autistic girl who is on the waiting list for treatment.

“It is highly unlikely that a child aged 13 or under, or 14 or 15, would be competent to give consent to the administration of puberty blockers,” the judges added. For those over 16 it is normally presumed that they have the ability to give consent. But where puberty blockers may lead to subsequent surgical operations, the judges said: “Given the long-term consequences of the clinical interventions at issue in this case, and given that the treatment is as yet innovative and experimental, we recognise that clinicians may well regard these as cases where the authorisation of the court should be sought prior to commencing the clinical treatment.”

At a hearing in October, lawyers for the claimants argued that children going through puberty were “not capable of properly understanding the nature and effects of hormone blockers”.

Lui Asquith, from the trans children’s charity Mermaids, said: “It’s frankly a potential catastrophe for trans young people across the country and it cannot be exaggerated the impact that this might have, not only on the population of trans young people that require hormone blockers, but it may potentially open the floodgates towards other questions around bodily autonomy and who has the right to govern their own body.”

Unnamed Kabiangek teacher #sexist theguardian.com

A 14-year-old schoolgirl in Kenya took her own life after a teacher allegedly embarrassed her for having her period in class.

The girl’s death has prompted protests from female parliamentarians and reignited a national conversation about “period shaming” and access to menstrual products.

The girl’s mother said her daughter was found dead last Friday after she got her period during class and stained her clothes. Her teacher allegedly called her “dirty” and expelled her from the classroom in Kabiangek, west of Nairobi.

It was the girl’s first period, her mother told local media, and she did not have a sanitary pad.

The incident has cast a spotlight on a 2017 law requiring Kenya’s government to distribute free sanitary pads to all schoolgirls. Poor implementation of the law is the subject of a parliamentary investigation.

On Wednesday, female MPs “laid siege” to the education ministry to protest about the girl’s death and discuss the programme, MP Esther Passaris wrote on Twitter.

Andrew Sabisky (Former adviser to Boris Johnson) #wingnut #racist #elitist #dunning-kruger theguardian.com

If the mean black American IQ is (best estimate based on a century’s worth of data) around 85, as compared to a mean white American IQ of 100, then if IQ is normally distributed (which it is), you will see a far greater percentage of blacks than whites in the range of IQs 75 or below, at which point we are close to the typical boundary for mild mental retardation. Typically criminals with IQs below 70 cannot be executed in the USA, I believe.

That parsimoniously explains the greater diagnostic rates for blacks when it comes to ‘Intellectual disability’.

Valeurs actuelles #racist theguardian.com

A French magazine has apologised after portraying a black lawmaker as a slave, as France’s government and officials across the political spectrum decried the publication.

The legislator, Danièle Obono, from the far-left party La France Insoumise (Defiant France), said the publication flies in the face of those who complain that free speech is threatened by the fight against racism and sexism.

“The extreme right – odious, stupid and cruel,” she tweeted.

The magazine, Valeurs actuelles, which caters to readers on the right and far-right, apologised. The deputy editor, Tagdual Denis, told BFM television on Saturday that the image was not designed to wound Obono, and denied that it was an attention-getting ploy. But he added: “What I regret is that we are always accused of racism ... we are politically incorrect, it’s in our DNA.”

[...]

Elisabeth Moreno, the junior minister for equality and the only black member of the French government, tweeted: “I don’t share Danièle Obono’s ideas, but today I offer her all my support.” A similar refrain came from politicians from multiple parties, including the treasurer of Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally party.

Genesis II Church of Health and Healing #quack #fundie theguardian.com

A group calling itself Genesis II Church of Health and Healing plans to convene at a hotel resort in Washington state on Saturday to promote a “miracle cure” that claims to cure 95% of all diseases in the world by making adults and children, including infants, drink industrial bleach.

The group is inviting members of the public through Facebook to attend what they call their “effective alternative healing” at the Icicle Village Resort in Leavenworth on Saturday morning. The organizer of the event, Tom Merry, has publicized the event on his personal Facebook page by telling people that learning how to consume the bleach “could save your life, or the life of a loved one sent home to die”.

The “church” is asking attendants of the meeting to “donate” $450 each, or $800 per couple, in exchange for receiving membership to the organization as well as packages of the bleach, which they call “sacraments”. The chemical is referred to as MMS, or “miracle mineral solution or supplement”, and participants are promised they will acquire “the knowledge to help heal many people of this world’s terrible diseases”.

In fact, MMS consists of chlorine dioxide, a powerful bleach that is used both on textiles and in the industrial treatment of water. It has been banned in several countries around the world for use as a medical treatment.

In the US, the chemical cannot be sold for human consumption. In 2010, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) put out a public warning after it was notified of many injuries to consumers from drinking the fluid, with symptoms that included nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, severe dehydration and one person who had a life-threatening reaction.

The FDA issued the blunt advice: “Consumers who have MMS should stop using it immediately and throw it away.”

Pablo Cassado, Vox party #conspiracy #wingnut theguardian.com

Spain’s coalition government has vowed to overturn an “authoritarian” initiative by the far-right Vox party that allows parents to stop their children attending talks, workshops or classes during school hours whose content “goes against their moral principles”.

According to Vox, the policy – referred to as the “parental pin” – is designed to protect children by requiring parental permission for exposure to content relating to “ethical or social values or civic or sexual morals”.

But critics claim it will shut down debate on gender, sexual orientation, feminism and the environment as the scheme also requires parental consent for any activity relating to “socially controversial moral questions or sexuality”.

Although the initiative featured in Vox’s manifesto for last April’s general election, and has been in effect since last September in the south-eastern region of Murcia – where Vox props up a regional government between the conservative People’s party (PP) and the centre-right Citizens party – it has only recently become a topic of fierce debate.

Last week, Vox threatened to veto the Murcia government’s annual budget unless the PP and Citizens adopted the parental pin as part of the regional education programme.

Although the pin was not signed into law, the regional budget was agreed after a deal was reached to allow “families to educate their children freely, without any kind of impositions, through the express permission of families when it comes to their children’s participation” in extracurricular classes and activities.

The debate could have more national consequences as Vox has also played kingmaker to PP-Citizens coalition regional governments in Madrid and Andalucía.

The new central government of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ party (PSOE) and the far-left, anti-austerity Unidas Podemos alliance, said last week that it would work to have the scheme overturned – by legal means if necessary – as it “goes against constitutional values”.

Spain’s new equalities minister, Irene Montero, described the measure as an attempt at educational censorship.

“The sons and daughters of homophobic parents have the same right as everyone else to be educated about respect, the promotion of human rights and being able to love whoever they want,” she said last week.

“The sons and daughters of sexist parents also have the same right to be educated about equality and feminism.”

On Monday, eight regional education ministers from the PSOE published an open letter decrying the parental pin as a measure that would “rupture school harmony and the culture of dialogue and reflection and impose a blind and uncritical authoritarianism”.

Pablo Casado, leader of the PP, said a balance needed to be found between freedom of choice and information for parents, adding that he thought most “sensible” Spaniards wanted to decide what kind of education their children receive.

“I don’t believe in a country where parents have to be subject to the whims of what a politician or bureaucrat says,” Casado said on Monday.

He also renewed his attack on the new government’s decision to appoint a former justice minister, Dolores Delgado, as the new attorney general, saying the outrage over the parental pin was a “smokescreen” to distract from criticisms of the move.

Critics argue that Delgado’s appointment blurs the separation of powers, with some members of the General Council of the Judiciary suggesting it could serve to “create the appearance of a link with the executive branch that does not contribute to the perception of the judiciary’s independence”.

Jair Bolsonaro #wingnut theguardian.com

Jair Bolsonaro has taunted Michelle Bachelet, the UN high commissioner for human rights, over the Chilean dictatorship that tortured her and her parents, after she criticised rising police killings and a “shrinking” space for democracy in Brazil.

“She is defending the human rights of vagabonds,” the Brazilian president told reporters on Wednesday. “Senhora Michelle Bachelet, if Pinochet’s people had not defeated the left in 73 – among them your father – Chile would be a Cuba today.”

Bachelet’s father, Alberto, an air force general, was imprisoned and tortured for opposing the 1973 military coup led by Augusto Pinochet, and died of a heart attack in prison. In 2014, two retired Chilean military officers were handed prison sentences for torturing him. Bachelet and her mother, Ángela Jeria, were also imprisoned.

Bolsonaro has frequently praised Brazil’s 21-year military dictatorship and expressed admiration for rulers such as Pinochet, whose regime killed more than 3,000 people from 1973 to 1990.

His comments came after Bachelet criticized the increase in police killings in Brazil’s two biggest cities.

Unnamed Killers #fundie #sexist #psycho theguardian.com

Pakistan: teenage girls shot dead by relatives over online footage

Father of one victim and brother of the other arrested in connection with the murders

Two female teenagers in Pakistan have been murdered by family members after a video emerged online of them associating with a man.

The pair, said to be aged 16 and 18, were shot dead by male relatives in their remote village in Pakistan’s North Waziristan province this week after footage was posted online of them in the company of a young man in a secluded area.

After they were shot, the pair were then buried in the village by their family members.

Local police confirmed they had arrested the father of one of the victims, and the brother of the other victim, in connection with arranging and carrying out the murders, and they were now being held in custody.

The police are searching for two other family members believed to have been involved in the killings.

The footage of the women, which is less than a minute long, was said to have been filmed last year but only appeared on social media a few weeks ago. The police said they were still searching for a third young woman who also featured in the video to ensure she did not suffer the same fate.

The tribal areas in North and South Waziristan, which borders Afghanistan, are known for the strict “honour code” imposed on women, whose movements are heavily restricted and who are often not allowed out of the house unaccompanied.

So called “honour” killings remain common in Pakistan’s tribal areas, mainly against women who are believed to have brought shame on a family, and activists say up to 1,000 such killings are still carried out every year.

The issue was brought to the fore in Pakistan in September after three men were found guilty and sentenced to life behind bars for the killing of three women in Kohistan who had been caught on video singing and clapping at a wedding in 2011. The women’s bodies were never found.

Though against the law, “honour” killing cases were previously difficult to convict owing to a loophole in the law that allowed perpetrators to walk free if they were given a pardon by the victim’s family member.

However, the crimes now come with a mandated life sentence.

Father Dan Reehil and the St Edward Catholic school #fundie theguardian.com

A private Catholic school in Nashville has removed the Harry Potter books from its library, saying they include “actual curses and spells, which when read by a human being risk conjuring evil spirits”.

Local paper the Tennessean reported that the pastor at St Edward Catholic school, which teaches children of pre-kindergarten age through to 8th grade, had emailed parents about JK Rowling’s series to tell them that he had been in contact with “several” exorcists who had recommended removing the books from the library.

“These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but in fact a clever deception,” Rev Dan Reehil wrote. “The curses and spells used in the books are actual curses and spells; which when read by a human being risk conjuring evil spirits into the presence of the person reading the text.”

Curses and spells included in the bestselling books, which were published between 1997 and 2007, include “avada kedavra”, the “killing” curse; “crucio”, the torture curse; and “imperio”, which allows the wizards to control others’ actions.

Rebecca Hammel, superintendent of schools for the Catholic diocese of Nashville, told the Tennessean that Reehil had sent the email after an inquiry from a parent. She added that “he’s well within his authority to act in that manner”, because “each pastor has canonical authority to make such decisions for his parish school”.

David N. Anderson and Francine Graham #racist #psycho theguardian.com

Authorities in New Jersey on Thursday announced they are investigating Tuesday’s killing of a police officer and an attack on a kosher supermarket, with three gunned down by a man and woman on a rampage, as an antisemitic hate crime.

“I can confirm we are investigating this matter as potential acts of domestic terrorism, fueled by antisemitism and anti law enforcement beliefs,” New Jersey’s attorney general, Gurbir Grewal, said.

The two killers who shot dead a detective in Jersey City, then stormed a kosher supermarket and killed three bystanders, had apparently been followers of the Black Hebrew Israelites, a fringe group whose members have been known to rail against white people and Jews.

One of the suspects had made antisemitic posts online, a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation, but who was not able to disclose their name, said on Thursday.

[...]

The FBI on Wednesday searched the Harlem headquarters of the Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ, which is the formal name of the Black Hebrew Israelites group, according to the official, who was not authorized to discuss the case publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

“The why and the ideology and the motivation that’s what we’re investigating,” Grewal said, adding that authorities are trying to determine whether anyone other groups were involved in planning the attack.

Others, including Jersey City’s mayor, Steve Fulop, pronounced the bloodshed a hate crime against Jews, with Fulop saying surveillance video made it clear that the attackers targeted the Jewish market, slowly and deliberately driving up to the grocery in a stolen rental van and immediately opening fire.

The attackers were identified as David N Anderson, 47, and Francine Graham, 50, both of them also prime suspects in the slaying of a Uber driver found dead in a car trunk in nearby Bayonne over the weekend, who was Jewish.

Anderson used a rifle in the grocery attack. Grewal wouldn’t confirm if Graham also had a weapon when she followed Anderson into the market. Several weapons were recovered from the store.

Shin Ok-ju and the Grace Road Church #fundie theguardian.com

The leader of a South Korean doomsday cult who held 400 people captive in Fiji and subjected them to violent beatings has been sentenced to six years in jail.

Shin Ok-ju, founder of the Grace Road Church, convinced her followers to move to Fiji in 2014, which she said was the “promised land”, pointed to in the Bible, where they would survive coming apocalyptic events.

Once they arrived on the island their passports were confiscated. Those who left the group reported brutal rituals, called “threshing floors” in which people were beaten as punishment for sinful actions or to drive out evil spirits.

On Monday a South Korean court found Shin guilty on multiple criminal charges including violence, child abuse and fraud.

“The victims suffered helplessly from collective beatings and experienced not only physical torture but also severe fear and considerable mental shock,” said the Anyang sub-court of the Suwon district court.

“Heavy punishment is inevitable against illegal acts carried out in the name of religion,” it added in a statement earlier this week.

Shocking footage showing Shin beating her followers and ordering them to beat one another was shared with the Guardian by South Korean police last year.

In several videos, Shin was shown calling members of the church forward during her sermons and then hitting them in the face, pulling and cutting their hair and throwing them to the ground.

She was arrested along with three other church leaders when they landed at Incheon airport just outside the South Korean capital Seoul in July 2017.

People have joined Grace Road Church and travelled to join the group in Fiji from all over the world.

In an interview with the Guardian, one American teenager who was taken to Grace Road Church by her mother, told how she was trapped there, had her passport taken, her medication withheld and all contact with her father and sister in the US cut off. She eventually escaped by running out of the church and making a phone call from a convenience store.

Grace Road Church still owns and operates multiple businesses across Fiji, including farms, cafes and construction companies.

After the sentence was handed down, an opposition leader in Fiji called for an investigation into alleged links between the Fijian government and the cult, according to RNZ, saying that as a member of the UN Human Rights Council, the government should do more to investigate concerns about modern-day slavery in Fiji.

William Lane Craig #fundie #psycho theguardian.com

In commanding complete destruction of the Canaanites, the Lord says, 'You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons, or taking their daughters for your sons, for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods' (Deut 7.3-4). […] God knew that if these Canaanite children were allowed to live, they would spell the undoing of Israel. […] Moreover, if we believe, as I do, that God's grace is extended to those who die in infancy or as small children, the death of these children was actually their salvation. We are so wedded to an earthly, naturalistic perspective that we forget that those who die are happy to quit this earth for heaven's incomparable joy. Therefore, God does these children no wrong in taking their lives.

So whom does God wrong in commanding the destruction of the Canaanites? Not the Canaanite adults, for they were corrupt and deserving of judgment. Not the children, for they inherit eternal life. So who is wronged? Ironically, I think the most difficult part of this whole debate is the apparent wrong done to the Israeli soldiers themselves. Can you imagine what it would be like to have to break into some house and kill a terrified woman and her children? The brutalising effect on these Israeli soldiers is disturbing.

André Schmitt, the Kommando Pipeline and unnamed German preppers #wingnut #psycho theguardian.com

A network of elite German combatants with links to far-right “prepper” circles secretly trained civilians in “commando-like structures”, raising fears the group planned to build up a paramilitary fighting unit.

Drone footage filmed in June 2018 at a former barracks of the German armed forces in the southern town of Mosbach shows a group of around half a dozen men in military-style gear moving in formation across sandy terrain, holding what appear to be assault rifles in a firing position.

Experts interviewed by the German public broadcaster ARD’s Monitor programme after viewing the footage classified the exercises as “combat training” – illegal in Germany unless carried out by active members of the military, police or private security companies and supervised by state authorities.

The exercise in Mosbach, however, was organised by Uniter, a private support network for active and former soldiers and security personnel. Its founder, André Schmitt, is known to have founded and administered a Germany-wide Telegram chat group, which had sub-groups in which so-called preppers discussed plans to build up parallel infrastructures in preparation for the anticipated collapse of the prevailing social order.

The group chat, which was divided into southern, northern, western and eastern districts, expanded in the autumn of 2015, when Angela Merkel’s refugee policy became the focus of the national debate in Germany. Members discussed the threat of terrorist attacks and how to respond to them by hoarding weapons, munitions and food supplies.

They have since dismissed their chats as “thought experiments”.

[...]

Internal documents presented on the programme suggest the exercises were part of “Kommando Pipeline” training designed to produce in its last phase “combat-ready” fighters trained in handling rifles and handguns, as well as close combat and urban warfare.

In recent months a number of investigations across Germany have tried to establish a fuller picture of the network’s activities. In November, a member of one of the northern German chat groups went on trial in the north-east city of Schwerin accused of illegally hoarding and stealing weapons, partly from the German military.

A member of the southern network, a disgraced former army officer known as Franco A, is to stand trial over alleged plans to impersonate a Syrian refugee and carry out a terrorist attack that would be perceived as motivated by Islamist extremism. Investigators found a Uniter badge at his home, though the association denies he was a member of the network.

Germany’s public prosecutor general is also investigating a police officer and a lawyer who are suspected of plotting to round up and murder “representatives of the political left”. The accused deny any such plans.

Justice and Development party (AKP) lawmakers #sexist theguardian.com

Turkey’s ruling party has begun a second attempt at introducing a law to grant rapists amnesty as long as they marry their victim, four years after a similar bill sparked outrage at home and internationally.

The legislation, which was first debated by parliament on 16 January, would give men suspended sentences for child sex offences if the two parties get married and the age difference between them is less than 10 years.

Opposition parties and women’s rights groups have been quick to point out that the bill in effect legitimises child marriage and statutory rape in a country where the legal age of consent is 18.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s conservative Justice and Development party (AKP) has said the proposal is designed to deal with Turkey’s widespread child marriage problem.

[...]

“In 2016 the government introduced a [similar] draft law on amnesty for child abuse perpetrators. All women stood against it and the bill was withdrawn after our protests,” she said. “If they dare to try again, we will fight against it again.”

[...]

“Marry your rapist” clauses are present in legislation relating to sexual consent in many countries in the Middle East and Latin America. In recent years such loopholes have been closed after protests against them in Lebanon, Jordan and Tunisia.

Turkey appears to have travelled in the opposite direction. After abolishing such laws in 2005, a 2016 bill that would have allowed the release from prison of men guilty of assaulting a minor if the aggressor married the victim and the act was committed without “force or threat” provoked widespread fury and was eventually defeated.

Ankara insisted that the bill’s intention was distorted by critics. “There are people who get married before reaching the legal age. They just don’t know the law,” the then prime minister Binali Yıldırım said at the time, adding that the measure aimed to “get rid of this injustice”.

His comments were echoed by the justice minister Bekir Bozdağ, who said marriages involving minors were “unfortunately a reality” in Turkey but the men involved “were not rapists or sexual aggressors”.

Jair Bolsonaro #wingnut #conspiracy theguardian.com

Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, has accused his political foes and the press of purposefully “tricking” citizens about the dangers of coronavirus, as Latin America braced for a spike in the number of deaths.

The pandemic has claimed nearly 15,000 lives across the globe and looks set to exact a deadly toll on Latin America in the coming weeks, with many regional governments closing borders and shutting down major cities in a desperate bid to limit the damage.

But Bolsonaro has resisted such drastic measures, dismissing media “hysteria” over coronavirus and calling the illness “a little flu”.

In a tetchy television interview on Sunday night Bolsonaro again downplayed the pandemic and attacked the governors of key states including Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo who have ordered residents to stay at home and are imposing quarantines.

“The people will soon see that they were tricked by these governors and by the large part of the media when it comes to coronavirus,” Bolsonaro said, as his own health officials announced 25 deaths and 1,546 cases of coronavirus in Brazil.

Bolsonaro claimed a wave of pot-banging protests, which entered their sixth night on Sunday, were a part of a media-backed plot to topple him.

“It is a shameless campaign, a colossal and absurd campaign against the head of state … They want to force me out however possible,” he claimed.

Philip Manshaus #wingnut #racist #psycho theguardian.com

The suspected gunman in an attack on a mosque in Norway on Saturday was inspired by recent white extremist attacks in New Zealand and the US, online posts suggest.

Police in Norway have so far only said the attack in Baerum, a town 20km from Oslo, the capital, will be investigated as a possible act of terrorism.

In messages posted on the day of the attack, Philip Manshaus, a 21-year-old man who has been named by local media as the main suspect, described himself as “chosen” by “Saint [Brenton] Tarrant”, the gunman who killed 51 people at mosques in New Zealand in March.

“My time is up, I was chosen by Saint Tarrant after all … We can’t let this continue, you gotta bump the race war threat in real life … it’s been fun,” one post reads.

In a meme also posted by Manshaus, three rightwing extremists suspected of being responsible for other attacks this year are depicted and praised as heroes of the white nationalist movement.

Tarrant is described as having “addressed the Muslim problem” while Patrick Crusius, who has been charged with the attack in El Paso, Texas, in which 22 people died, is praised for “fighting to reclaim his country”.

A third attacker suspected of killing a woman during a Passover celebration at a synagogue in California in April is also praised, alongside antisemitic abuse.

Barbara O’Neill #quack theguardian.com

A naturopath who told vulnerable clients that their cancer was a fungus that could be cured with bicarbonate soda rather than through conventional medical treatment has been barred from practising for life, according to the New South Wales Health Care Complaints Commission.

Barbara O’Neill describes herself as a qualified naturopath and nutritionist and has worked at health retreats in Queensland, Victoria and NSW. She gives lectures internationally, has authored books on health and nutrition, and appears in YouTube videos. The HCCC found: “Mrs O’Neill does not recognise that she is misleading vulnerable people including mothers and cancer sufferers by providing very selective information.”

“The misinformation has huge potential to have a detrimental effect on the health of individuals as Mrs O’Neill discourages mainstream treatment for cancer, antibiotics and vaccination,” the commission’s decision, published in October, found.

The commission’s investigation found O’Neill never held any membership with any accredited professional health organisation and had failed to obtain any relevant health-related degrees or diplomas. According to the investigation she also failed to keep records of consultations with clients, falsely claimed to be able to cure cancer, did not treat clients in a safe or ethical manner and posed a risk to the health and safety of members of the public.

She has been permanently barred from providing any health services either voluntarily or in a paid capacity, including giving lectures. It comes after the commission received numerous complaints about O’Neill between October 2018 and January.

These included complaints about dietary advice for babies that O’Neill published on her personal website which, if followed, would lead to the child’s death or injury. According to the HCCC’s decision, O’Neill told the commission the dietary advice was based on her own experiences and she had never read the National Health and Medical Research Council’s infant feeding guidelines for health workers, which provide evidence-based recommendations.

A complaint was also received by the commission after O’Neill allegedly gave a lecture promoting the discredited theory that cancer is a fungus. The investigation found she encouraged clients to remove essential food groups from their diet such as fruits and carbohydrates, and to instead use probiotics and bicarbonate wraps to treat their cancer. According to the investigation, O’Neill falsely claimed in one lecture that a doctor had a 90% success rate curing cancer with sodium bicarbonate injections. She produced no evidence to support the statistic.

According to the HCCC, O’Neill also gave advice based on theories from medical doctors who have been sued by their former patients for failing to treat them appropriately, including one doctor who was found guilty of manslaughter. The HCCC noted that after being informed by the commission of these legal cases, O’Neill said she would continue to use the advice from those discredited doctors in her lectures. The HCCC found that she also told her clients that following her treatments would be more successful if they gave up chemotherapy and other conventional treatments.

The HCCC noted that O’Neill frequently told the commission that she did not give clients advice, but merely provided them with information. The HCCC said this information included telling pregnant women not to take antibiotics for streptococcus B infections because “no baby has ever died from Strep B catching out of birth”. However, statistics from the Royal Australian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists indicate early-onset Strep B has a fatality rate of 14% in neonates, a risk that can be reduced by 80% with antibiotics.

Various Chinese officials and journos #conspiracy theguardian.com

One of the most popular topics on the Chinese microblog Weibo on Thursday was a one-minute clip of a US congressional hearing this week on how the country was dealing with the coronavirus.

In the video posted by the People’s Daily, Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is asked whether there may have been deaths attributed to influenza that could actually have been the result of Covid-19. Redfield responds in the affirmative: “Some cases have been actually diagnosed that way in the United States today.”

Redfield’s vague answer was enough to add fuel to a conspiracy theory that has been gaining traction over the past two weeks in China – that the coronavirus did not originate in China but may have come from the US instead.

“The US has finally acknowledged that among those who had died of the influenza previously were cases of the coronavirus. The true source of the virus was the US!” one commentator said. “The US owes the world, especially China, an apology,” another said. “American coronavirus,” one wrote.

The theory has gained traction over the past few weeks, after a respected epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan, said in a passing remark at a press conference on 27 February that although the virus first appeared in China “it may not have originated in China”.

Zhong later clarified his statement, saying that the first place where a disease is discovered does not “equate to it being the source”. He told reporters: “But neither can we conclude that the virus came from abroad. Only through investigation and tracing can we answer that question.”

Yet only Zhong’s first comment has stuck, repeated by Chinese diplomats, state media and officials who have subtly encouraged the idea.

On Thursday, a foreign ministry spokesman suggested without evidence the US military might have brought the virus to the Wuhan, the centre of the outbreak. Zhao Lijian accused the US of lacking transparency, saying on Twitter: “When did patient zero begin in US? How many people are infected? What are the names of the hospitals? It might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! US owe us an explanation!”

China’s ambassador to South Africa said last week on Twitter that the virus was not necessarily “made in China”.

An editorial in Xinhua last week also echoed Zhong: “The epidemic was first reported in China but that does not mean it necessarily originated in China … The WHO has said many times that Covid-19 is a global phenomenon with its source still undetermined.”

Officials have framed the campaign as a protest against the “politicisation” of the outbreak by countries such as the US, where some officials have continued to use the terms “Chinese coronavirus” or “Wuhan virus,” despite the World Health Organization’s discouragement. But analysts say China may be looking to deflect blame as the coronavirus spreads around the world.

“We might be heading into first global recession caused by Chinese Communist party mismanagement,” wrote Bill Bishop, author of the China newsletter Sinocism. “Previous manmade disasters in China since 1949 never really spread outside the People’s Republic of China’s borders in meaningful ways.”

“This time looks to be different … And that is likely one of the reasons the propaganda apparatus and PRC officials are pushing so hard the idea that virus may not have originated in China,” he wrote.

For weeks, Chinese state media pointed to a seafood market in Wuhan as the likely origin for the virus while researchers said the source had not yet been determined, but few have floated the idea that it came from outside of China. Another respected Chinese researcher, Zhang Wenhong, said in an interview with the China Daily that he did not believe the virus had been imported into China.

“If that was the case, we should have seen patients emerging from different regions in the country around the same time rather than their concentration in Wuhan,” he said, in comments that later appeared to have been removed from the interview.

“I think the consensus is still clearly that the virus did originate in China,” said Jane Duckett, professor at the Scottish Centre for China Research, University of Glasgow, focusing on Chinese policy and health.

“This would appear to be a nationalist narrative aimed at countering criticism of the Chinese government for not better managing the outbreak in its early stages,” she said.

Shifting the narrative may also be important as China tries to move forward, now that new infections appear to have levelled off. This week, the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, visited Wuhan for the first time since the outbreak began as state media pronounced “victory is near”. State media showed elaborate celebrations marking the closure of the last of the temporary hospitals in Wuhan.

“This is a propaganda effort aimed at the domestic audience. Among the Chinese public, there is a general awareness that delays in notifying the public led to many more infections in Wuhan,” said Victor Shih, a politics professor at the University of California, San Diego.

He said: “This campaign is aimed at distracting the public from the party’s delayed response.”

Siddhartha Chaibub, Olavo de Carvalho and Ernesto Araújo #crackpot #dunning-kruger theguardian.com

Siddhartha Chaibub’s suspicions that the Earth wasn’t really round were first aroused when he stumbled across a YouTube video while living in Brazil’s capital, Brasília.

“I was always very sceptical about things,” said the 35-year-old freelance designer, who soon dived deep into the flat Earth universe: reading, watching videos and joining a dedicated WhatsApp group.

By the end of 2015, he was convinced. “The model that is imposed on us – that the Earth is spherical – is full of contradictions,” he said.

Today, his YouTube channel Professor Terra Plana (Flat Earth Professor) – featuring videos such as “25 examples that prove Nasa is a fraud” and “gravity doesn’t exist” – has nearly 29,000 subscribers.

Like Britain and the United States, Brazil is seeing a revival of flat Earth theory: 7% of the population – 11 million Brazilians – believe that the Earth is flat, according to the polling firm Datafolha. The poll noted believers were more likely to be religious or poorly educated.

Last week, Chaibub and three of his flat Earth fellows got their biggest break yet when they appeared on the country’s most-watched talkshow, The Night, to promote Brazil’s first ever flat Earth convention this Saturday in São Paulo.

The location of the event will only be disclosed on the day, organizers say, for security reasons. “There is a lot of prejudice,” said Chaibub

[...]

Accusations of links to the flat Earth movement have dogged Bolsonaro’s government.

In January, the science minister, Marcos Pontes – South America’s first astronaut – said that he felt a “knot in the stomach” when he heard suggestions that the Earth is flat.

But just a few months later, Olavo de Carvalho – a former astrologer who is considered the intellectual guru of Bolsonaro and his inner circle – prompted outrage and ridicule when he tweeted: “I didn’t study the subject of the flat Earth. I just watched a few videos of experiments that show that aquatic surfaces are flat – and so far I haven’t found anything to refute them.”

Carvalho – who has also claimed Pepsi was sweetened with aborted foetuses and that oral sex can cause cancer – dined with Bolsonaro and Steve Bannon in Washington during the Brazilian president’s state visit to the US in March.

When questioned about flat Earthism, the foreign minister, Ernesto Araújo – an Olavo disciple who believes climate change is a Marxist plot – also seemed sympathetic to the movement, saying: “For me, the Earth is round. But it’s important to have this spirit of questioning,”

Unknown CPC authorities #fundie #racist theguardian.com

China accused of rapid campaign to take Muslim children from their families

Relatives tell of more than 100 missing children amid reports of Xinjiang boarding school building drive

China is reportedly separating Muslim children from their families, religion and language, and is engaged in a rapid, large-scale campaign to build boarding schools for them.

The attempts to “remove children from their roots” exists in parallel to Beijing’s ongoing detention of an estimated 1 million Uighur adults from the western Xinjiang region in camps and sweeping crackdown on the rights of the minority group, the BBC reported.

“I don’t know who is looking after them,” one mother told the BBC, pointing to a picture of her three young daughters. “There is no contact at all.”

The BBC says its investigation is based on publicly available documents, and backed up by dozens of interviews with family members living overseas. In 60 separate interviews, parents and other relatives gave details of the disappearance of more than 100 children in Xinjiang, all of them Uighurs – members of the region’s largest and mostly Muslim ethnic group.

“I heard that they’ve been taken to an orphanage,” another woman said, holding a photograph of her four children.

In one township alone, more than 400 children have lost one or more parents to either the camps or prison, it reports.

A Chinese state media outlet called overseas reports on China’s mass detainment of Uighur Muslims in internment camps “fake news” and published detailed denials of eight “rumours”, on the 10th anniversary of the Urumqi riots, in which at least 140 people were killed and 828 injured. Many Uighurs say the riots precipitated the increasing oppression of Muslims in the region.

“Despite China’s efforts to tell what is really happening in Xinjiang, some western media and politicians insist on making and spreading fake news,” said an editorial in the Global Times, a tabloid run by the official newspaper of the Chinese communist party, the People’s Daily.

The denials contradict well-documented evidence from media outlets and researchers. China initially denied the existence of the camps in Xinjiang, which is home to about 12 million Muslims. But last year, it began rebranding them as “free vocational training”, claiming those detained within them are taught language, culture and vocational skills.

The editorial, published shortly after midnight, denies Uighurs are being targeted and mistreated, that the state is looking to wipe out their history and culture, and that they were sent to “vocational training centres” for being Muslim.

It also denies there were a million people being held at these centres, says the camps were there for “counter-terrorism and deradicalisation efforts”, and the centres existed to “nip terrorist activities in the bud”.

An earlier BBC report showed a teacher describing inmates as “affected by religious extremism”, and saying that the purpose of the camps was “to get rid of their extremist thoughts”.

The prominent Uighur author Nurmuhammad Tohti, 70, died after being held in one of the re-education camps.

His granddaughter said he had been denied treatment for diabetes and heart disease, and was released only once his medical condition meant he had become incapacitated.

China has in recent weeks invited media outlets to view these camps, but has tightly controlled their access to the facilities and detainees.

Unnamed Tower Hamlets father #conspiracy theguardian.com

A man who refused to register his son’s birth because he says he does not want him to be controlled by the state has lost a high court case.

Tower Hamlets social services, the London council which has responsibility for the baby’s welfare, asked a high court judge to intervene in the case after the man and his partner, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, failed to register the child’s birth earlier this year.

Mr Justice Hayden ruled the council had the right to step in as the child’s “institutional parent” to register the birth.

The judge considered the issue at a private hearing earlier this month in the family division of the high court in London and outlined his decision in a written ruling published online.

The child, referred to in the case only as T, is currently the subject of a care order while his parents are “subject to a residential assessment”.

The judge was told that the couple’s parenting skills were being assessed before decisions about the boy’s long-term future were made. He also noted that the father’s behaviour towards a judge in the family court resulted in a prison sentence for him and his partner.

Hayden said the couple’s deliberate decision not to register the birth stemmed from the boy’s father’s unusual and somewhat eccentric beliefs about the concept of personal sovereignty. He said the boy’s mother was not prepared to register the birth herself, but was not opposed to somebody else registering it.

He said the father had a genuinely held belief in the power and writ of the individual. The father told the judge: “We are each our own sovereign. We are governed by a common law but only to the extent that we depart from three principles. These three imperatives are: to do no harm; to cause no loss; to inflict no injury.”

Carlos Bolsonaro #wingnut theguardian.com

The rumbustious son of Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, has come under heavy fire from across the political spectrum after claiming rapid political change was unachievable “through democratic means”.

Carlos Bolsonaro – a politician and social media fanatic known for his incendiary and often unintelligible tweets – sparked the maelstrom on Monday evening with a 43-word post on Twitter.

“The transformation Brazil wants will not happen at the speed we yearn for through democratic means,” he tweeted to his 1.3 million followers.

That comment triggered an immediate outcry in a country that only emerged from two decades of dictatorship in 1985 and whose current leader is a notorious pro-torture admirer of that military period and other authoritarian regimes.

[...]

The conservative Estado de São Paulo newspaper condemned Carlos Bolsonaro’s “vile statement” and demanded an urgent statement from his father on the matter.

Chinese state media and pro-Beijing HK lawmakers #racist #conspiracy theguardian.com

'A cop said I was famous': China accuses foreigners in Hong Kong of being 'agents'

Chinese state media and pro-Beijing lawmakers post images of westerners to stoke suspicions of ‘external forces’

Westerners living in Hong Kong are being targeted online by China’s state-owned media and local pro-Beijing politicians who have accused them of stoking demonstrations that have now run into their eighth week.

Images showing foreign workers at the site of protests are being circulated, sometimes alongside speculative text questioning why they are there.

Some images have been circulated so widely that one foreign worker and long-term Hong Kong resident said he was now recognised in the street, including by police. “I now sometimes have to pose for CIA selfies with protesters,” he said, referring to a post which asked if he was a member of US intelligence.

The online tactic reinforces the assertion by Beijing that “foreign forces” are behind the protests. On Monday, the People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist party, published an editorial warning citizens against “provoking external forces” that “lead the wolves into your home and hurt the country”.

The move also comes amid ongoing protests. On Wednesday, dozens of protesters faced court accused of rioting in the wake of Sunday’s violence.

In one example, Ann Chiang, a Hong Kong pro-Beijing lawmaker, shared a video of a foreign worker who regularly livestreams the protests and tweets under the name Hong Kong Hermit, and questioned why he was at every protest as a “commander”.

He now fears he might lose his job, or that he might be at risk of getting targeted by either the police or triads. “My boss now knows about it,” the worker told the Guardian. “And an angry cop on Sunday night, between rounds of tear gas, told me he knew who I was as ‘you are internet famous’. I also wait to see if this makes me more or less at risk of harm from the police at protests.”

In another case, an American academic living in Hong Kong, whose name is being withheld to protect his privacy, found out last month that his photo and name were being circulated on social media, along with accusations of instigating violence.

After the attacks on protesters by thugs in Yuen Long on 21 July, he received a warning from a friend that the triads “believe the narrative about western meddling”, telling him that he’d be targeted. He said messages like that “really changed my mind about what’s happening here”.

“I’ve been warned by locals in my neighbourhood that I could be in danger if pro-Beijing people knew that was me in that photo [being circulated],” he added, explaining that the area where he lived was a stronghold for a local pro-establishment party. His wife has asked him if their family is in danger.

Even journalists have been targeted. Ta Kung Pao, a Chinese state-owned newspaper based in Hong Kong, described the movements of a New York Times employee as “suspicious”, publishing a photograph of him as well as a close-up image of his phone, showing the text message conversation he was having about the protests with colleagues. Several other state-owned publications ran similar stories.

The same Ta Kung Pao article mentioned that Austin Ramzy, a New York Times reporter in Hong Kong, had written “18 reports”, “most of which have criticised Hong Kong police officers and the HKSAR government while turning a blind eye to the illegal activities of the mobs”. Ramzy later commented about the experience.

On Monday, the top Chinese government body for Hong Kong and Macau affairs denounced “external interference”, accusing western politicians of formulating a “plot” to “destroy Hong Kong and turn it into trouble for China, thereby restricting or curbing China’s development”.

And on Sunday, state-owned media outlet China Daily compared the Hong Kong protests to the revolutions instigated in the Middle East and North Africa, saying that local anti-government actors were “colluding with external forces to topple governments”.

The moves are all part of a strategy, suggested China researcher Adam Ni. “By blaming the current crisis on outside forces, it negates or neutralises stories about internal troubles,” said Ni.

Nigel Farage #conspiracy #racist #fundie theguardian.com

Nigel Farage under fire over 'antisemitic tropes' on far-right US talkshow

Exclusive: Brexit party leader referred to ‘new world order’ in interviews with Alex Jones

Nigel Farage is facing strong criticism from Jewish organisations and a series of other groups after it emerged he repeatedly took part in interviews with a far-right US talkshow host, during which the Brexit party leader openly discussed conspiracy theories, some of which have been linked to antisemitism.

A Guardian investigation has found Farage has appeared at least six times on the show of Alex Jones, who was sued by bereaved parents after claiming a US school shooting was faked, and was banned permanently from Facebook last week.

Among those expressing alarm at the spread of conspiracy theories is a father whose six-year-old son died in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting, and a man whose son died in the London bombings on 7 July 2005, which Jones has claimed were a government plot.

Farage, who led Ukip for many years, quit the party last year because he said he disliked its hard-right, anti-Islam stance under Gerard Batten. However, the website that Jones fronts, Infowars, regularly features anti-Islam stories.

In his various appearances on Jones’s show, Farage discussed themes commonly associated with an antisemitic conspiracy theory that Jewish financiers are behind a plot to replace nation states with a global government.

In the six identified interviews, which date from 2009 to last year, Farage, whose Brexit party is leading polls for the upcoming European elections, repeatedly uses words and phrases such as “globalists” and “new world order”, which regularly feature in antisemitic ideas.

In the interviews, Farage also says:

Members of the annual Bilderberg gathering of political and business leaders are plotting a global government.

The banking and political systems are working “hand in glove” in an attempt to disband nation states.

“Globalists” are trying to engineer a world war as a means to introduce a worldwide government.

Climate change is a “scam” intended to push forward this transnational government.

In the most recent interview, filmed in April last year, Farage said the EU is “the prototype for the new world order”, and “globalists have wanted to have some form of conflict with Russia as an argument for us all to surrender our national sovereignty and give it up to a higher global level”.

In an earlier interview with Jones, who is also banned from Twitter, Farage mentions Bilderberg, saying: “These lunatics genuinely believe that they know what’s best for us, genuinely believe in this concept of global government, and it will be a disaster.”

Later in the same interview, from June 2010, Farage argues Bilderberg members, along with other supposed plotters, could soon start “censoring and maybe ultimately even imprisoning those who challenge them and fight them”.

A spokesman for the Board of Deputies of British Jews said: “It is vital that our politicians distance themselves from conspiracy theories and conspiracy theorists, including those who trade in antisemitic tropes. We would call on Nigel Farage to repudiate these ideas and to commit not to dignify oddball nasties like Alex Jones with his presence again.”

The Community Security Trust, which monitors antisemitic sentiment, said Jones was “a notorious conspiracy theorist who should be beyond the pale for any mainstream politician”.

A spokesman said: “Furthermore, for Jones’s conspiracy-minded audience, Farage’s references to ‘globalists’ and ‘new world order’ will be taken as familiar codewords for antisemitic conspiracy theories.”

A spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain said Farage’s close links with Jones and Infowars “demonstrates a serious lack of judgment by Mr Farage and a willingness to tolerate Islamophobia”.

The Labour MP David Lammy said the interviews showed “serious questions should be asked about Farage’s associations and networks”.

He added: “His indulgence in conspiracy theories about a ‘new world order’ should send chills down the spine of all who are aware of how these tropes have been used in the past.”

Graham Foulkes, whose 22-year-old son, David, was among 52 people killed by Islamist attackers on 7 July 2005, said he was aghast at Farage’s decision to be interviewed by Jones so many times.

“It fills you with despair that such a high-profile politician could even consider giving people like that the time of day,” he said. “It’s hard to understand. There can be no rational motivation to speak to people who are, shall we say, in need of help.”

Lenny Pozner, whose six-year-old son, Noah, was the youngest of 26 people shot dead at Sandy Hook, has sued Jones for saying the massacre was faked. In a recent legal deposition, Jones said he had argued this because of “psychosis”.

In a statement to the Guardian, Pozner said: “When people hear stories like mine, where conspiracy theorists or purveyors of fake news are destroying an individual or a family, they often feel sympathy or express their shock or horror over the ways that these people are affecting our lives. But many fail to realise that this behaviour doesn’t simply affect me or other victims of mass-casualty events.

“When people in positions of authority or influence consume, perpetrate, and regurgitate conspiracy theories, they legitimise the lie, they normalise the hate, and build policy that affects every citizen on this planet.”

Farage and the Brexit party were contacted for comment.
April 2018

Jones: “Why is the left allied with radical Islam?”

Farage: “Because they hate Christianity. They deny, absolutely, our Judeo-Christian culture, which if you think about it actually are the roots, completely, of our nations and our civilisation. They deny that. They also want to abolish the nation state – they want to get rid of it. They want to replace it with the globalist project, and the European Union is the prototype for the new world order.”
August 2016

Farage: “If America, as the leader of the western world, once again becomes the leader of the free world, well then I think, basically, we will have done away with the globalists.”
November 2012

Farage: “The fact is that the banking system and politics became hand in glove – one and the same thing. And that’s been a complete disaster. The amazing thing is, we have had elected prime ministers in Greece and Italy removed by the bully boy bureaucrats and replaced by former Goldman Sachs employees. You honestly cannot believe what is going on.”

June 2010

Farage: “You mention yourself the Bilderberg group – these lunatics genuinely believe that they know what’s best for us, genuinely believe in this concept of global government, and it will be a disaster.”
February 2010

Farage: “Yes, it all fits together, doesn’t it? Hand in glove – the big businesses, the bureaucrats, they have the sole right to make laws. It all fits together. They’re all very happy with the world they’re creating.”
December 2009

Farage: “We have a political class across the world that are basically aiming for a form of global governance. If you don’t believe me, look at what’s happening in Copenhagen. Governments are sitting there trying to sign us up to treaties on a very, very questionable concept of global warming caused by C02 emissions.”

Evo Morales #conspiracy theguardian.com

Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales, has accused opposition leaders and foreign powers of attempting a “coup” against him amid growing tensions over the result of Sunday’s desperately tight election.

In an angry televised speech on Wednesday, Morales said: “A coup d’etat is under way. The right wing prepared the coup with international support.”

Morales went into elections needing 40% of votes and a 10-point margin of victory to avoid a second-round runner against the main opposition candidate, Carlos Mesa. By Wednesday afternoon 97% of the official results had been processed, giving him 46.49% and a 9.5-point lead.

With most outstanding votes from remote rural areas expected to go in his favour, Morales repeated his declaration of a first-round victory, which he had made prematurely on Sunday night.

But on Wednesday the Organization of American States (OAS) said that a runoff should be held even if Morales breached the 10-point margin.

“In the case that … the margin of difference exceeds 10%, it is statistically reasonable to conclude that it will be by negligible margin,” said Manuel González, the head of the OAS election observation team in Bolivia. “Given the context and the problematic issues in this electoral process the best option continues to be the convening of a second round.”

International observers have expressed concern over an unexplained daylong gap in the reporting of results which was followed by a surge in Morales votes when the count resumed on Monday.

“Why did the government shut down the reporting of results?” asked Carlos Trujillo, US ambassador to the OAS, at a special session convened to discuss the Bolivian situation. “The government allowed a somewhat fair election because they did not realise their own popularity and thought they could win under their system. When they realised they could not win in the first round they shut down the results so that they could steal the election.”

The vice-president of Bolivia’s electoral board resigned on Tuesday, saying that the decision of the board’s six-member panel to suspend reporting results had discredited “the entire electoral process, causing unnecessary social convulsion”.

Mesa has accused Morales of trying to conduct “a giant fraud” and vowed that his party “will not recognize a fraudulent result”.

In a video statement on Wednesday, Mesa called for “permanent protests” until a second-round vote was confirmed, and said he would present evidence of electoral fraud.

Allegations of electoral fraud have already sparked street violence, in which anti-government protesters clashed with police, and set fire to electoral offices in eight of Bolivia’s regional capital cities.

On Tuesday the OAS said it would conduct an analysis of the election, focusing on the results reporting systems and the chain of custody of ballot boxes. However, the results of such an analysis are unlikely to please either side as the positions become increasingly entrenched.

Civil society groups in eight of the country’s nine departments called for a general strike that could bring the country to a standstill. “Not even an ant will move in Santa Cruz,” declared Luis Fernando Camacho, the leader of the civil society group for Santa Cruz, the country’s largest and richest city.

Morales has overseen relative stability and growth, but angered many by running for a fourth consecutive term despite a 2016 referendum which ruled against lifting term limits.

The results reflect the split between Bolivia’s urban population – which broadly backed the opposition – and the rural Andean populations that remain loyal to Morales, a former coca farmer.

“I don’t think Evo will accept the OAS’s calls for a second round,” says Jorge Derpic, a Bolivia specialist and assistant professor at the University of Georgia. “This is the first time we have seen protests by the middle classes in all the country’s major cities against Morales. Evo has called to mobilize his base – the coca growers, the miners and the campesinos [the rural poor] – and we could see further partisan violent clashes between rural and urban areas.”

Aung San Suu Kyi & Viktor Orbán #racist #fundie theguardian.com

Aung San Suu Kyi finds common ground with Orbán over Islam

On a rare trip to Europe, Myanmar leader and Hungary PM discuss issue of ‘growing Muslim populations’

From her failure to speak out against ethnic cleansing to imprisoning journalists, the reputation of Aung San Suu Kyi in the west has taken a battering in recent months.

But the leader of Myanmar has found a new ally in far-right, staunchly anti-immigrant Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán.

In a rare trip to Europe, state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel peace prize laureate who was once the figurehead of the fight for democracy in Myanmar, met Orbán in Budapest. There, the two leaders found common ground on the subject of immigration and Islam .

“The two leaders highlighted that one of the greatest challenges at present for both countries and their respective regions – south-east Asia and Europe – is migration,” read a statement released after their meeting.

“They noted that both regions have seen the emergence of the issue of co-existence with continuously growing Muslim populations.”

Once lauded as the great democratic hope for Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, who was elected as civilian leader in 2015 after living under house arrest by the military for 15 years, has proved a marked disappointment to most western governments who were her champions.

Her failure to condemn the military’s violent crackdown on the Muslim Rohingya minority in 2017 – which saw thousands of Rohingya raped and killed in what the UN described as an exercise in ethnic cleansing – and her defence of the military’s brutal actions against Myanmar’s Muslims have proved particularly contentious.

Ramzan Kadyrov #fundie theguardian.com

Chechnya verdict could mark new purge of human rights activists

Lawyers and colleagues say case against Oyub Titiev was fabricated to punish him for his work

A court in Chechnya will deliver a verdict in the trial of a prominent human rights worker on Monday that could mark a new purge of activists from the Russian republic.

Oyub Titiev, the local head of the human rights organisation Memorial, has been accused of marijuana possession, as part of a case that his lawyers say was fabricated to punish him for his work documenting human rights abuses. The prosecution has asked for a sentence of four years in prison.

The case may also mark a new stage in the region’s crackdown on dissent. Chechnya’s strongman leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, has said that the government will no longer tolerate human rights activists.

“I officially declare to human rights activists: after the end of the trial, Chechnya will be forbidden territory for them, like it is for terrorists and extremists,” Kadyrov said last August in a speech to local law enforcement broadcast on local television.

Western countries applied sanctions against Kadyrov following revelations about the secret arrest and torture of dozens of gay people in Chechnya in 2017. Three people were reported to have died in the pogrom. Kadyrov framed action against human rights groups as a tit-for-tat move.

“Since I can’t go to Europe and the west, I say: their employees, the ones who call themselves human rights activists, will not have the right to travel in my territory,” he said.

Activists should have legal protections in Chechnya but in the region Kadyrov’s word is law.

For years, Chechnya has been one of the most dangerous regions in Russia for human rights activists and journalists. Natalya Estemirova, a former head of Memorial’s Chechnya branch, was abducted in Grozny, driven out of town and shot to death in 2009. In 2016, masked attackers brutally beat eight journalists and human rights activists traveling into Chechnya, and set fire to their minibus. A week later, Igor Kalyapin, the head of the Committee to Prevent Torture, was attacked in the region’s capital.

The campaign of intimidation has continued during Titiev’s case. One lawyer fled his legal team over threats. An office space and an automobile used by colleagues have been destroyed in arson attacks.

Colleagues have said they expect Titiev to be found guilty. Oleg Orlov, a senior Memorial member, wrote that the case was “fabricated” and was “effectively of a political nature”. Rachel Denber of Human Rights Watch called the case a “show trial”.

The specific reason Titiev was arrested is unclear. Memorial has always been a target for Kadyrov’s anger. The activist had been documenting cases of secret and illegal detentions of Chechens by the security forces, although according to colleagues, not the cases involving the gay purges.

The widespread condemnation of the Chechen leader in recent years, and measures such as the closure of his Instagram account, are said to have angered Kadyrov, who has sought ways to lash out at his critics.

“Kadyrov and top leaders in Chechnya have had human rights activists and investigative journalists in their crosshairs since the anti-gay purge,” Denber said in an interview in Moscow last week.

Titiev, who has worked for Memorial for nearly two decades and lives in Chechnya, was an easy target. In his closing remarks in court last week, he said he knew he would be found guilty.

“How many human rights activists can be murdered or put behind bars?” Titiev said. “When, finally, will the authorities pay attention to this?”