EU and Immigration
The Telegraph leads with “Europe in crisis over sex attacks by migrants amid calls for emergency EU meeting”
Political tensions over influx of migrants boil over as leaders from central and eastern states declare death of multicultural Europe and call for borders to be sealed. Europe was in crisis on Friday night as mounting fury over sex attacks by Middle Eastern and North African migrants threatened to divide the continent east from west.
Political tensions caused by allowing more than one million migrants to enter Europe in 2015 boiled over on Friday, as leaders from central and eastern countries announced the death of liberal Europe and called for the continent to seal its borders.
“The idea of multicultural Europe has failed,” proclaimed Robert Fico, the prime minister of Slovakia, calling for an extraordinary summit of EU leaders next week to discuss fresh reports of migrant-led sex attacks emerging from Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria and Finland. Bohuslav Sobotka, his Czech counterpart, immediately echoed the call.
“The migrants cannot be integrated, it’s simply impossible,” Mr Fico added, citing a “clear link” between the sex attacks and the influx of refugees that has swept through Europe from the failed states of Syria and North Africa.
The Guardian doesn’t ignore the story, although they home in on the cover-up: “Cologne police chief fired as witness says NYE violence was coordinated”
Cologne’s police chief has been removed from his post amid criticism of his force’s handling of a string of sexual assaults and robberies carried out by groups of men in the German city on New Year’s Eve. His enforced departure came as a witness to the violence told the Guardian the events appeared to have been coordinated. Lieli Shabani, 35, said she saw three Arabic speaking males who were “clearly giving instructions and directing a lot of the males”.
Wolfgang Albers, 60, had been criticised for the handling of the violence, with a leaked police report describing this week how officers were initially overwhelmed by events outside the city’s train station, after which more than 100 women filed criminal complaints of sexual assault and robbery, including two accounts of rape. Cologne police said on Friday that Albers is being sent into early retirement by the state government. They said North Rhine-Westphalia’s governing Cabinet will formally discuss the decision on Tuesday but Albers will not return to his job.
Albers had faced mounting criticism both for the police’s handling of last week’s events and of the fallout.
But, quite predictably they use the incident as an excuse to attack the “far right” (ie patriots and nationalists) with “‘I’ve never experienced anything like that’: Cologne in deep shock over attacks”
As police reveal that 18 of the 31 New Year’s Eve suspects were asylum seekers, the far-right is using the fear to fuel its anti-immigrant campaign.
Germans have been stunned by the way in which, since details of the violence began to emerge, they have even seeped into the US election campaign. Donald Trump remarked on Twitter: “Germany is going through massive attacks to its people by the migrants allowed to enter the country. New Year’s Eve was a disaster. THINK!” Such comments aptly reflect the increasingly brazen views of anti-immigrant protesters in Germany.
Lutz Bachmann of the anti-Islam movement Pegida tweeted that Merkel and other politicians held “joint responsibility for the abuse in Cologne and Hamburg”. Using offensive terminology, the far-right website Politically Incorrect wrote of the “hordes” who had enjoyed “great days in the cathedral city”, while videos posted on YouTube filmed during New Year’s Eve called for “gas chambers for Muslims” adding that “Merkel can join them”.
A Cologne policeman who took part in the New Year’s Eve policing operation, told a German paper: “I have followed Merkel’s politics. It’s a really horrible feeling that this is now playing smack-bang into the far right’s hands.”
Judith Woods, in the women’s section of the same paper try to discover the underlying attitudes in Germany, and that is worrying, they are still apologetic: “Cologne sex attacks: ‘Something terrible took place here. But it’s as though it never happened’” but subtitled:
“What happened in Cologne is awful, but we can’t blame the entire immigrant population for it,” cautions Ursula, 60. “We have to maintain a perspective. Bad things can happen anywhere.” She sees nothing contradictory about the fact she now feels the need to keep her purse hidden inside her coat and smilingly pats carry the concealed rape alarm beneath her scarf.
I ask another smartly dressed woman in her 40s about the attacks. She shrugs and says: “I was on the other side of the railway station,” as though being 400 yards away absolved her of an opinion. “Don’t you feel solidarity with the women who were attacked?” I press her. “I feel solidarity with all of mankind,” she retorts crisply as she strides off.
The Independent seems to soft pedal it all, but reports on the Police Chief’s dismissal: “Cologne sexual assaults: Police chief Wolfgang Albers suspended as anger mounts over New Year’s Eve chaos”
The head of Cologne’s police force has been suspended from his post as anger continues to mount over the handling of mass sexual assaults in the city on New Year’s Eve. Wolfgang Albers, 60, was ordered to temporarily step down on Friday by Ralf Jäger, the interior minister for North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW).
He has been forced to defend his officers repeatedly in the past week after an estimated thousand men, believed to mainly be migrants and asylum seekers, sexually abused, raped and robbed scores of women in a city square.
(Ed: So, he’s the scapegoat, where’s the responsibility of Juncker, Merkel et al?)
Breitbart, as always, takes the lead in this area with: “EXCLUSIVE – EU Source Tells Breitbart London: ‘Brussels Won’t Admit Migrant Policy Caused Cologne’”
A source within one of the European Union’s security organisations has told Breitbart London exclusively that to his knowledge, no widespread discussions are being had at an EU level about the spate of migrant rapes that have taken places across the continent – with Cologne, Hamburg, Helsinki, Paris, Salzburg, Zurich, and more cities now affected. EU leaders are said to be unwilling to admit the cause: Brussels policy on open borders immigration and migrant quotas.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the source told Breitbart London this afternoon that the EU has no “real analytical ability” to help it inform policy decisions, therefore when an incident like this happens, there is no one to help guide the process. Instead, while Brussels is happy to dictate an open borders policy, and a policy of mandatory migrant quotas – it simply will not and cannot deal with the fall out.
EU chiefs have been unusually silent on the issue of the migrant rape epidemic, with no real statements or leadership from the Presidents of the European Commission, European Council, or European Parliament on the matter.
Iraq and “War Crimes”
The Independent leads with “British soldiers ‘face prosecution’ over 55 Iraq War deaths”
Dozens of cases in which British soldiers are accused of unlawfully killing Iraqi civilians have already been referred to prosecutors, The Independent can reveal, with more than 50 deaths set to be examined.
The Iraq Historic Allegations Team (Ihat) has sought advice from the Service Prosecuting Authority (SPA) on unlawful death cases involving 35 alleged killings, and 36 cases of alleged abuse and mistreatment, it can be disclosed.
The SPA – the military equivalent of the Crown Prosecution Service – is preparing to advise on an additional 20 cases of unlawful killing and 71 cases of mistreatment in the near future. The director of the SPA has vowed that his team would not “flinch” in prosecuting British soldiers where there is evidence of unlawful killing and torture.
The Mail springs to the defence of “our boys” in: “Fury as 280 British Iraq veterans hounded by investigators in ‘despicable witch-hunt’ over claims of torture and murder”
Hundreds of British soldiers who served in Iraq have been hounded by investigators over claims of torture and murder. They have received letters questioning their role in the alleged abuse of suspected insurgents on the front line.
Forces chiefs and MPs last night condemned the ‘despicable witch-hunt’. Some veterans are even handed the letters personally and quizzed on their doorsteps by taxpayer-funded detectives. The soldiers are told that an incident they were involved in is under investigation by the Iraq Historical Allegations Team (IHAT). They are then asked to give evidence about their involvement – and the role of other soldiers.
About 280 soldiers have received a letter in the past two years, and veterans say it is only a matter of time before every soldier who served in Iraq gets one. They fear they could face murder charges for split-second decisions made on the battlefield more than ten years ago.
Even the Mirror reports this.
Charles Moore’s in his column in the Telegraph says: “Don’t let the public health zealots demonise us innocent drinkers”
On Thursday night, I came home to the welcome sight in the hall of six cases of wine which I had ordered at competitive January prices from the admirable Wine Society. “This will do us well till Lent”, I thought. When I watched the news a little later I realised I had just been inspecting my entire year’s allowance under the new alcohol guidelines – 72 bottles (at ten units per bottle) being only .8 of a bottle short of the upper limit of 14 units a week which has now been imposed on men.
My first reaction – and, indeed, my later and my final one – was not to believe the Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies, and her Guidelines Development Group. This is not, by the way, because I think anxieties about drink are all a fuss about nothing. I have known several people who have died of drink, quite a lot more who have been made seriously ill by it, and a much larger number whose personalities have undramatically but distressingly disintegrated because of it. Whenever I go to a party, I encounter such people, and not only when I look in the mirror.
The Independent reviews what has happened to the Arab “Spring” that was so widely talked of, in: “The Arab Spring, five years on: A season that began in hope, but ended in desolation”
Arab Spring was always a misleading phrase, suggesting that what we were seeing was a peaceful transition from authoritarianism to democracy similar to that from communism in Eastern Europe. The misnomer implied an over-simplified view of the political ingredients that produced the protests and uprisings of 2011 and over-optimistic expectations about their outcome.
Five years later it is clear that the result of the uprisings has been calamitous, leading to wars or increased repression in all but one of the six countries where the Arab Spring principally took place. Syria, Libya and Yemen are being torn apart by civil wars that show no sign of ending. In Egypt and Bahrain autocracy is far greater and civil liberties far less than they were prior to 2011. Only in Tunisia, which started off the surge towards radical change, do people have greater rights than they did before.
What went so disastrously wrong? Some failed because the other side was too strong, as in Bahrain where demands for democratic rights by the Shia majority were crushed by the Sunni monarchy. Saudi Arabia sent in troops and Western protests at the repression were feeble. This was in sharp contrast to vocal Western denunciations of Bashar al-Assad’s brutal suppression of the uprising by the Sunni Arab majority in Syria. The Syrian war had social, political and sectarian roots but it was the sectarian element that predominated.
Immigration within the EU
The Express says that “Top Tory BLASTED for praising EU’s free movement laws as ‘VERY IMPORTANT’ for Britain”
Treasury Secretary Greg Hands celebrated the EU’s laws as “very important”, claiming they benefit Britain “a great deal”. Mr Hands, George Osborne’s chief lieutenant and one of the most senior members of the Tory party, also claimed migrant workers were “a fantastic thing to have”.
But think tank Migration Watch blasted US-born Mr Hands, claiming voters would be stunned the Treasury was ignoring the impact of mass migration across the UK. Migration watch chief Alp Mehmet said: “The fact is that the mass unskilled labour coming to this country has contributed little by way of skills or taxes.”
Figures last month revealed there are almost 750,000 Polish people alone working in Britain while net migration in the year to June 2015 rocketed to a staggering 336,000 — three times higher than David Cameron’s target.
Egyptian Tourism and Terror
Some of the papers have this worrying story, the Mail leads on it: “Terror in Egypt: Jihadi gunmen waving black flag of ISIS are shot dead before they could detonate suicide vest after storming hotel and opening fire on European tourists in Red Sea resort”
Jihadis armed with a gun, knives and a suicide belt have wounded three tourists at the entrance of a hotel in an Egyptian Red Sea resort. Security forces said the attackers arrived by sea to launch the onslaught on the beachside Bella Vista Hotel, in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada. They claimed to have killed an attacker wearing a suicide bomb, and have seriously wounded a second armed with a knife.
The two attackers entered the hotel’s outdoor restaurant at the front of the building and attacked the tourists. The attackers were reportedly carrying black flags with the shahada, the Muslim testament of faith, written it white, commonly used by ISIS. Egyptian authorities today said the dead attacker was a 21-year-old student from the Cairo neighbourhood of Giza as video emerged of his accomplice being questioned as he lay injured in the aftermath.
The Express also leads on this.
Labour and Nuclear Weapons
The Guardian has a piece entitled: “Senior Labour MP wary of standing for election under anti-nuclear policy”
The former Labour frontbencher Dan Jarvis has indicated he may not stand for the party at the next general election if Jeremy Corbyn succeeds in changing policy to oppose the renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons programme. Jarvis said on Friday he would feel “deeply uncomfortable” standing as a Labour candidate on a manifesto committed to unilateral nuclear disarmament.
The former shadow justice minister told the Guardian in an interview: “To my core I have always been Labour and always will be, but I would feel deeply uncomfortable fighting as a Labour candidate on a manifesto that committed us to getting rid of our nuclear deterrent, not least because we would lose the election. It’s an issue of such strategic importance with the public that it would be catastrophic for us to go into an election with that as our policy.”
Jarvis’s remarks are the first admission by a senior party figure that they would feel uncomfortable standing as a Labour candidate under an anti-Trident banner. Corbyn, a longstanding member and current vice-president of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, intensified his effort to change policy by replacing the pro-Trident Maria Eagle as shadow defence secretary with Emily Thornberry, who is opposed to Trident.
The Express has a story: “Muslim preacher who ‘said husbands should hit their wives’ allowed to tour UK universities”
Egyptian cleric Fadel Soliman has spoken at five events in the past year, in which he reportedly advocates domestic violence and outlines the “Islamic case” for sex slavery and polygamy. At a University of Sheffield event he told more than 100 students to share his controversial videos on Facebook, according to the Daily Mail.
He also appears to have a celebrity-like following, with groups of women discussing how much they “loved” the cleric before the Sheffield event. One young woman even travelled all the way from London just to see him in the flesh. Mr Soliman has denied he supports domestic violence, but in one of his 30-part video series he allegedly says: ”After passing through two stages of non-physical interaction, the next stage must involve something physical, in order to escalate the intensity of the warning.