Tag Archive | humanities

E.U.:Employers can Ban Wearing of Visible Religious Symbols*

E.U.:Employers can Ban Wearing of Visible Religious Symbols*

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that employers can ban staff from wearing visible religious symbols at work in the first case of its kind before the EU’s top court.

The ECJ has ruled on the cases of two female employees in Belgium and in France, fired after they refused to remove their headscarves at work.

In the first case, a Belgian woman working as a receptionist for G4S Secure Solutions, which has a general ban on the wearing of visible religious or political symbols, was dismissed for refusing to remove her religious attire. In the second, a French IT consultant was also let go when she refused to take off the headscarf after a client complained.

#ECJ: no direct discrimination if internal company rule prohibits wearing of religious symbols https://t.co/B0sMPtNgss

— EU Court of Justice (@EUCourtPress) March 14, 2017

 

“An internal rule of an undertaking which prohibits the visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign does not constitute direct discrimination,” the court said in a statement.

The ruling comes on the eve of the Dutch election, in which Muslim immigration has been a key issue.

Islamic headscarves are a contentious issue in several European countries, with numerous cases of alleged discrimination against Muslim women emerging in recent months.

In December, a 14-year-old Syrian teenager was reportedly kicked off a tram in Berlin for wearing a headscarf, after the driver shouted through a loudspeaker that he refused to transport her.

Earlier this month, Austrian government officials sharply criticized a recommendation by the Islamic Religious Community in Austria (IGGO) which states that Muslim women must start wearing a headscarf from the onset of puberty, describing it as an attack on integration and women’s freedom.

Last month, a Muslim teacher who wasn’t hired by a Berlin school because she was wearing a headscarf was awarded €8,680 (US$9,250) in compensation for discrimination.

Meanwhile, a court in the Czech Republic threw out a similar case in January, in which a Somalian refugee claimed she had been barred from wearing her headscarf in a nursing school. The case was said to be the first of its kind in the E.U.

Source*

Related Topics:

Christian Nurse Fired for Offering to Pray with Patients, Now Fighting for her Livelihood*

Christians Decry Israeli Restrictions on Holy Sites*

New U.N. Chief is a Globalist, Socialist, Extremist*

Islamists Attack Christmas, But Europeans Abolish It*

School Forced to Allow ‘After-School Satan’ Club or Face Costly Lawsuits*

Standing Rock Sioux and Yakama Nation Sign Proclamation Calling upon the United States to revoke the “Doctrine of Christian Discovery”*

This Week the ‘Arch of Baal’ Was Displayed For the Third Time in Honour of ‘The World Government Summit’*

US Immigration Exam Replaces ‘Freedom of Religion’ With ‘Freedom of Worship’*

“Deadly Facts”: How So-Called “Objectivity” Created a Culture of Conformity*

Captured Israeli Officer Details Israeli-ISIS Plan to Wipe-out all Islamic and Muslim Culture and Prevent Religions Coming Together*

World Freemasons Gather in Tokyo to Select New Leader as Golden Age Dawns*

Why a Christian Woman is Wearing Hijab For Lent*

Major UK Department Store to Sell School Hijabs*

International “modest clothing” Firm to Launch Brand in Debenhams Birmingham*

Burkini ban in France Sparks Worldwide Sales, even among non-Muslims*

Middle-aged White Men Like Me Have no Right to Tell Women not to Wear the Burkini*

Silencing the Expression of Faith

Sexuality Beyond the Veil

Inspiring Muslim Woman Donates $1 for Every Hate Tweet She Receives*

A Small Act of kindness Disarms anti-Muslim Protester.*

Pope and the One World Religion?*

China punishes Uyghur’s for Studying their Religion Outside State Control*

 

Mass Sexual Assault by Refugees in Germany was Fake News*

Mass Sexual Assault by Refugees in Germany was Fake News*

Reports of mass sexual assaults on women in Frankfurt on New Year’s Eve allegedly committed by dozens of drunken refugees, and which initially appeared in Germany’s Bild newspaper, were made up and are “completely baseless,” police said.

The story about mass sexual assaults by refugees in the Fressgass Street area in downtown Frankfurt was reported by Bild earlier in February. The article has since been taken down.

One of the victims, Irina A., 27, told Bild: “They [the migrants] grabbed me under the skirt, between my legs, my breasts, everywhere….More and more of these guys came. Their hands were everywhere,” the Express said, quoting the original report.

Her words were supported by Jan Mai, a local pub owner, who said that a mob of Arabs was “highly aggressive, there was shouting and hand gestures.”

“When I came in, the whole place was full with a group of around 50 Arabs. They did not speak German, drank our guests’ drinks and danced towards them. The women asked me for help because they were being attacked. The mood changed completely,” he told Bild, as cited by the Express.

It was claimed the migrants came from a refugee centre in Hesse state, where Frankfurt is located, the Local said, citing the original report.

Police started an investigation into the alleged incidents and on Tuesday released a report stating that the allegations of mass sexual assaults had been invented.

“There were no massive mob-like attacks by masses of refugees in Fressgass [Street]. The allegations were groundless,” police said.

In the article several people “reported about sexual assaults, bodily injuries, thefts and extremely aggressive behavior of masses of refugees. Media interest in these descriptions was very high. The police were not aware of these circumstances,” the statement said.

According to police, “interviews with alleged witnesses, guests and employees led to major doubts with the version of events that had been presented.

One of the alleged victims was not even in Frankfurt at the time the allegations are said to have taken place,” the report said.

The Bild editorial team quickly apologizedfor this inaccurate reporting and the accusations against those concerned.”

“This reporting does not correspond in any way to the journalistic standards of Bild,” the newspaper said in a statement.

 

Bild said that the alleged witnesses – the pub owner and his staff – talked of mass sexual assaults to other media outlets.

“We apologize for our own work. I’ll shortly announce what Bild will do about it,” online editor-in-chief Julian Reichelt tweeted.

The Bild story appeared to prompt comparisons with the Cologne attacks committed on New Year’s Eve in 2015. Back then, groups of North African men sexually assaulted hundreds of women in the city.

A German police report from November revealed the latest figures on the crimes committed on New Year’s Eve 2015 across Germany: 881 sexual offenses involving over 1,231 women. The victims were almost all young women.

Apart from Germany, similar sex attacks allegedly took place on New Year’s Eve that year in Sweden, Austria, Finland and Switzerland.

Yes, assaults took place… and they’ve been taking place on an increasing basis in cities across the West for years. These assaults are being been carried out NOT primarily by newly-arrived immigrants, but by nationals and longer-term residents of European countries (ie, by people already living in Europe’s ghettos before the waves of arrivals after NATO destroyed Libya and Syria) – a fact that has everything to do with the West’s internal economic, political and moral collapse, and little to do with ‘outsiders coming for our wimmins’.

Source*

Related Topics:

Syrian Refugees Protect Woman from Sexual Harassment in Germany*

Who Is Responsible for Sexual Violence in Europe?*

Women are Speaking Up About the Sexual Harassment They’ve Experienced in French Politics*

Far-right Activists Impersonated Police, Attacked Refugees, Stole their Possessions in Calais*

Children Sexually Assaulted at E.U.’s Official Refugee Camps*

With Cover-ups UN Quietly Offers DNA Tests for ‘Peacekeeper Babies’ & Sexual Abuse Claims*

US Military Sexually Abused 54 Colombian Children*

Belgian Reporter Sexually Assaulted by 3 White Men in Cologne*

 

NFL Players Pull out of Israel Propaganda Tour*

NFL Players Pull out of Israel Propaganda Tour*

By Michael F. Brown

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, left, talks to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, following a 37-18 Seattle victory at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, 25 September 2016. In solidarity with Palestinians, Bennett this week pulled out of an Israeli-government backed propaganda junket for NFL players.

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, left, talks to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, following a 37-18 Seattle victory at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, 25 September 2016. In solidarity with Palestinians, Bennett this week pulled out of an Israeli-government backed propaganda junket for NFL players.

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, left, talks to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, following a 37-18 Seattle victory at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, 25 September 2016. In solidarity with Palestinians, Bennett this week pulled out of an Israeli-government backed propaganda junket for NFL players.

Joe Nicholson USA TODAY Sports

Immediately after contributing to his team’s Super Bowl victory last Sunday, Martellus Bennett of the New England Patriots was asked what he thought about an upcoming visit to Mexico to represent the National Football League (NFL).

“Tear down the wall! Tear down the wall! That’s what I think about going to Mexico,” he cried.

Bennett then became the first of a number of Patriots players who confirmed they would skip a visit with President Donald Trump at the White House.

Hasbara tour

But The Forward reported that Bennett would be taking a different trip. Along with 11 other NFL players he would be “heading to Israel after the team’s historic win on a hasbara, or Israeli public relations tour for American football players.”

The headline even quoted Bennett purportedly declaring, “I’m going to Israel.”

Palestinians living under a system Human Rights Watch has labeled “separate and unequal,” would surely wonder how Bennett could oppose Trump’s plans to extend the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, but be unconcerned about the impact of Israel’s wall on occupied Palestinian land. Trump has explicitly praised Israel’s wall-building as his model.

But in a week of sudden reversals, Dave Zirin reported for The Nation that despite media reports that Bennett would go to Israel, he had “confirmed that this is not the case.”

Zirin noted that other players named in a Times of Israel report on the planned junket “are reevaluating whether they will attend.”

By Friday night three of the players named as potential participants – Martellus Bennett, his brother Michael Bennett of the Seattle Seahawks and Kenny Stills of the Miami Dolphins – had repudiated the trip.

Players pull out

In an open letter published by The Nation on Thursday afternoon, activists, writers and athletes, including Angela Davis, Alice Walker, John Carlos and Craig Hodges, appealed to the NFL players to reconsider participation in the trip. Harry Belafonte and Danny Glover later signed the letter.

They praised the athletes for using their celebrity “to shed light about and support various struggles including Black Lives Matter,” and lauded those who had announced they would not go to the White House.

They urged the players not to allow themselves to be used as part of a propaganda campaign “to help the Israeli government normalize and whitewash its ongoing denial of Palestinian rights.”

The same day, NFL player and rights activist Michael Bennett tweeted he would not be going.

In a fuller statement released on Twitter and Instagram Friday night, Michael Bennett said he would “not be used” by Israel’s government. He recalled that the late Muhammad Ali, one of his heroes, “always stood strongly with the Palestinian people.”

“I want to be a ‘voice for the voiceless,’” Bennett added,

“and I cannot do that by going on this kind of trip to Israel.”

pic.twitter.com/7KERLCguoh

— Michael Bennett (@mosesbread72) February 11, 2017

The Dolphins’ Kenny Stills retweeted Bennett’s statement, adding, “Couldn’t have said it better myself. I’m in!” – indicating he was also bowing out of the trip.

Couldn’t have said it any better. I’m in! https://t.co/F1vFBVJlmR

— Kenny Stills (@KSTiLLS) February 11, 2017

Martellus Bennett also retweeted his brother’s statement.

The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) thanked Michael Bennett “for standing on the right side of history, for justice and equality.”

Thank you @mosesbread72 for standing on the right side of history, for justice & equality. NFL champion says no to #Trump & #Netanyahu #BDS https://t.co/dWEIt0QpNo

— BDS Movement (@BDSmovement) February 10, 2017

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick who is not going, but has been in the public eye due to his decision not to stand for the national anthem in support of Black Lives Matter activists, retweeted to his one million followers a tweet stating that anyone protesting Trump’s Muslim ban, would surely also have to be “livid about the apartheid tactics Israel forces on Palestinian Muslims.”

Denver Broncos running back Justin Forsett also announced on Saturday via Twitter that he would not be going on the trip, and shared Michael Bennett’s statement. But Forsett added that “we made the decision before all this info came out” – an apparent reference to the Israeli government’s propaganda goals.

For those who are wondering I will not be on this trip to Israel. https://t.co/RlZHLUQfKK

— Justin Forsett (@JForsett) February 11, 2017

We made the decision before all this info came out.

— Justin Forsett (@JForsett) February 11, 2017

Other players named as participants in the junket are Cliff Avril, Delanie Walker, Mychal Kendricks, Cameron Jordan, Calais Campbell, Carlos Hyde, Dan Williams. Former NFL linebacker Kirk Morrison is also expected to participate.

Damaged brand

Several days ago the Israeli parliament passed legislation retroactively legalizing the theft of large tracts of private Palestinian land for Israeli colonization.

This generated a storm of international protests, even from Israel’s closest allies such as the European Union, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Israel’s propaganda officials hope the American football players’ visit will be a welcome distraction and a chance to burnish Israel’s badly damaged brand.

“I see great importance in the arrival of this delegation of NFL stars to Israel,” Gilad Erdan, Israel’s strategic affairs minister who is in charge of combating the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, said.

The junket is an initiative of Erdan’s own ministry along with the tourism ministry and America’s Voice in Israel, a group whose mission is “to bolster Israel’s image in the United States by bringing media and radio personalities” to the country.

Erdan confirmed the overtly propagandistic intent of the visit, stating that the NFL players would “present the beautiful face of Israel to their tens of millions of fans in the United States,” to help offset the impact of BDS.

Israel has allocated a huge budget to this effort with little effect. In a recent strategic document, the Anti-Defamation League and the Reut Institute, two key organizations that oppose Palestinian rights, reportedly conclude that the fight against BDS has failed.

Meanwhile, despite a multi-million dollar advertising campaign by the tourism ministry – including celebrity junkets – the number of visitors to Israel has continued to fall.

Commenting on Israel’s faltering strategy, Clayton Swisher observed,

“You’re losing when your country legalizes apartheid and then invites a mishmash of NFL players to try and make it look normal.”

You’re losing when your country legalizes Apartheid and then invites a mishmash of @NFL players to try and make it look normal #Israel #BDS https://t.co/tUCU9eQVyA

— Clayton Swisher (@claytonswisher) February 6, 2017

Swisher, an investigative reporter for Al Jazeera, recently presented a four-part film called The Lobby shedding light on Israel’s covert efforts in the U.K. to win friends and punish perceived enemies.

Imbruglia cancels

Activists hoping that there is still time to persuade more NFL players to bow out will be encouraged by what looks like another victory.

BDS campaigners have been urging Australian singer Natalie Imbruglia to cancel a 1 March concert in Israel.

The Tel Aviv date appears to have been recently removed from her official tour schedule and is marked as “canceled” on her Facebook page.

 

Source*

Related Topics:

Israel’s Lobby Lawsuits Aim to Slow Boycott in Spain*

Iceland’s Capital Votes to Boycott All Israeli Products*

U.S. Labor Board Affirms Union’s Right to Boycott Israel*

First “boycott ban” Case Defeated in U.K. High Court*

Netherlands Rejects Calls by Israel to Ban ‘Boycott of Israel’*

Israeli Minister: “Brussels Wouldn’t Be Attacked If E.U. Didn’t Boycott Israeli Products.”*

On Western Terrorism*

On Western Terrorism*

Interview with Andre Vltchek

 

 

As an American investigative journalist, documentary filmmaker and novelist, André Vltchek has covered countless armed conflicts around the world. Among his most recent work we find “On Western Terrorism”, a discussion with Noam Chomsky, a renowned expert on propaganda. Together, they explore the legacy of colonialism that lasts to this day and denounce the hypocrisy of the West in regard to terrorism since it is largely responsible for its development. We have interviewed André Vltchek to get his thoughts on the book and much more.

All along your passionate discussion with Noam Chomsky, you expose facts about imperialist interventionism in recent history, in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. What was the purpose of switching the focus from the alleged enemies of the West and onto the West itself?

For several long centuries, the West has been plundering the world militarily and economically. In order to ‘legitimize’ its crimes, it also manufactured extremely complex and effective propaganda system, imposing its ‘logic’ and cultural dogmas on the rest of the world. It was done with such persistence and skill, that basically all other narratives disappeared.

It is actually a tremendous tragedy, because several conquered cultures were clearly superior and much more humanistic than the West. The result is: natural, logical development of the world has been derailed, even crushed. Only Western dogmas prevailed, bringing imbalance, confusion, anger and frustration to the world.

Like Noam Chomsky, you are also a very prolific author. How would you describe your work and Chomsky’s work? And how was the experience of preparing this book?

Noam and I are using different ‘tactics’ to fight against this despicable situation. Noam is a linguist, great theoretical thinker and an activist. He is analyzing the situation in his non-fiction books, which are actually his great philosophical works. He is also speaking publicly, on virtually all continents.

I go directly to the sources, as I don’t essentially believe anything that I don’t see or touch, anymore. I try to recycle as little as possible. I travel to warzones and to the deadliest slums, speaking to top intellectuals but also to the poorest of the poor.

I count on extremely complex web of sources, in many countries. Then I write my essays, which are later changed into chapters of my non-fiction books. Or I write my novels, which are always at least to some extent political, or mainly political. Or I make documentary films, for TV stations like Telesur or Al-Mayadeen.

My latest book, which actually unmasks Western propaganda worldwide has over 800 pages and is called, tellingly, “Exposing Lies Of The Empire”. My recent novel on Western cultural imperialism is “Aurora”.

Noam and I compliment each other. And we really enjoy each other’s company. When we work together, there is nothing forced. We don’t always agree 100% on everything, but we very rarely strongly disagree about essential political issues.

 

What do you think about the evolution of the terrorism context and the revival of the “war on terror” speeches by western leaders?

Terrorism is essentially what the Western empires and now the American Empire have been using against the rest of the world.

Look at the Muslim world: historically, Islam has been very progressive and socially oriented, even ‘socialist’ religion. The first public university, the first public hospitals – everything was in the Muslim world.

Even after the WWII, Muslim countries were leaning towards socialism. Therefore, they had to be derailed, ruined and ‘radicalized’ by the West!

The West basically wrecked the three most important Muslim socialist states: Iran, Egypt and Indonesia. Then it used Afghanistan and Pakistan as proxies in its war with the Soviet Union, basically shattering these two countries as well.

So you definitely want your readers to look back on colonial past in order to understand the neocolonial present…

Absolutely. I am arguing in several of my essays, as well as in “Exposing Lies Of The Empire”, that the West, for understandable reasons, has been directly manufacturing ‘Muslim terrorism’. Therefore, we shouldn’t even use the term “Muslim terrorism”.

I witnessed the process in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Indonesia and elsewhere. It is shameful what is happening, but it is logical (given the Machiavellian essence of Western imperialism): the West managed to destroy the Soviet Union, it debased the anti-colonialist struggle/process (by killing or overthrowing people like Lumumba, Mosaddegh, Sukarno or Allende), and then it ran out of ‘big enemies’.

The West cannot exist without ‘big enemies’, as we all know. And so it created one really mighty one out of nothing, and royally screwed all Muslim countries in the process. Recently, in Tehran, two top philosophers there told me, that the West actually created, in many places, a totally new religion, which doesn’t have anything in common with Islam.

“Exposing Lies of the Empire (…) is a book of philosophy, a collection of exceptional investigative journalist reports, and a manifesto.”

“Exposing Lies of the Empire (…) is a book of philosophy, a collection of exceptional investigative journalist reports, and a manifesto.”

 

Third world views on the north-south relations has been under attack and de-legitimation on a regular basis by neo-conservative thinkers, who consider economic-centered political analysis as “obsolete and old fashioned”. Could we say that the promoters of the so-called “clash of civilizations” have reached their goal? Which real interests are behind their way of thinking?

 

Yes, it is happening, but the guilty are not only the neo-conservatives, but also so-called liberals. I just left the city of Bandung (in Indonesia), which was hosting, in 1955, that famous “Asia-Africa Conference” (cradle of non-aligned movement). When you see the old photos there, you’d want to cry… Or scream!

The desire of the non-Western world for independence, for true freedom was so strong in those days, but the brutality of the West broke all courage and determination of all, except a handful of the nations. For decades, the spine of the resistance against Western imperialism had been cracked. Only now we see great resurrection of those old ideologies, goals and dreams.

Of course there is and will be huge clash of civilizations, but it will occur under different banners and with different logic than what is being promoted by the Western idéologues.

Truer ‘clash of civilizations’ will be very simple and positive: it will have form of a resistance struggle of the oppressed world, against the Western terror, which has been brutalizing our planet for hundreds of years.

You have frequently visited and lived in Latin American, Arabic and Asian countries for many years. In your opinion, how should progressive forces deal with issues concerning cultural identity and ethnic-entered conflicts in the XXIst century? Is the Eurocentric view a big trap for those who try to understand and change the world?

Yes it is, and it is essential to understand this point!  Progressive forces in the West should, I believe, step back and be more humble. Instead of constantly preaching and showing their hatred against every left wing government in Latin America or Asia, they should learn some respect and the Chinese or South American cultures, and try to understand how things have been done there, historically.

The Western left lost squarely and patently. The hope is now in Latin America and Asia, and some very few countries of Africa. The Western left, I think, should stop being ‘purist’ and support what we still have in this world, instead of defining ‘who is a true Marxist and who is not’, etc.

The main struggle now should be the struggle against Western imperialism. I know the world, and I am convinced that if Western imperialism were defeated, the rest of the world would find a way to coexist peacefully, and to build a humane, much gentler and compassionate world. Then, and only then, we could start paying attention to details. Until then, rescuing our planet from what has been for centuries ruining it should be our sole goal.

Source*

Related Topics:

Amnesty Int’l Admits Syria’s ‘torture prison’ Report Fabricated Entirely in U.K.*

As Netanyahu and May Chat, a Large Nest of Israeli Spies in London Exposed*

A Field View of Reality to Explain Human Interconnectedness*

Putin on the Declining Values of the West and Rising Practice of Satanism

Canadian Activist Exposes Western Media Lies on the Genocide in Aleppo*

Syrian Catholics Denounce Western Media Biased Reporting on Aleppo*

The West’s Engineered Buddhist-Muslim Conflict in Thailand*

Top Illuminati Grand Wizard: “We Control Islam and We’ll Use It to Destroy the West.” (WW3)*

Slavs and Oriental are “niggers, brutes and beasts”, in the eyes of Western Empire*

Did the West Fake an Entire Attack on their al-Qaeda for an Oil Pipeline?

The West Negotiates with former ‘Al Qaeda’ Leader to Empower Libya’s Unity Government*

Aleppo Doctor Attacks Western Media for Bias, Censorship and Lies*

To be an Arab Jew in the West is to Say you don’t Exist*

Islamic Culture before Western Meddling*

Western Governments Are Enslaving Humanity through Vaccines*

WATCH: THE UTILIZATION OF WESTERN NGOS FOR THE THEFT OF AFRICA’S VAST RESOURCES

Myanmar’s New Western-backed Dictator, Aung San Suu Kyi*

Why the West is Terrified of Muslims Reading History…*

The Western Migrants Fleeing to the South and Destroying It*

Solzhenitsyn on Western Decadence and Its Remedy*

Religious Fanaticism is a Western Tradition*

New York City to Pay out $75mn for Nearly 1 million Bogus Summonses*

New York City to Pay out $75mn for Nearly 1 million Bogus Summonses*

The city of New York has agreed to pay up to $75 million to resolve a long-running civil rights lawsuit. Police were found to be issuing more than 900,000 summonses without probable cause – as a way to meet quotas.

In the lawsuit, Stinson v. City of New York, the plaintiffs argued that the New York Police Department (NYPD) had been engaging in “a pattern and practice of stopping, seizing, and issuing summonses to individuals without probable cause, in violation of the First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and 14th Amendments.” 

Lawyers for the plaintiffs have called the lawsuit the largest false-arrest class-action lawsuit in the city’s history, with nearly a million summonses issued since 2007 for minor offenses, such as disorderly conduct, trespassing, urinating and drinking alcohol in public.

Sharif Stinson, the lead plaintiff in the case, filed the suit after he was stopped twice by police outside his aunt’s Bronx apartment in 2010. Stinson was given summonses for disorderly conduct, but the summonses were later dismissed.

Since then, dozens of other officers joined the lawsuit, alleging that they were ordered to issue summonses “regardless of whether any crime or violation” had occurred in order to meet quotas.

“These are minority police officers walking in minority areas and they are being pressured by their white superiors to basically get more arrests,” Lawyer Emeka Nwokoro told the New York Post.

“When they don’t do it, they get punished by the NYPD.”

In the settlement, which still needs to be approved by US District Judge Robert Sweet, the city does not admit that the NYPD was aiming to meet quotas. However, as a part of the settlement, police officers throughout the department will receive notifications that quotas will be banned.

The city has also agreed to set aside $56.5 million to pay the more than 900,000 defendants who were issued summons from 2007 to 2015. All the recipients of bogus summonses will receive a maximum of $150 each. In addition, the city has agreed to pay $18.5 million in legal fees.

Any money not claimed by defendants will be turned back over to the city, meaning that the actual fine could be significantly less.

“We have achieved a landmark settlement in a civil rights case that advances the cause of justice,” Elinor Sutton, a lawyer for the plaintiffs said, according to AM New York.

 

Source*

Related Topics:

Police Now Illegally Seize More Money than the Criminals*

Feds Seize Student’s Life Savings on Trumped-up Charge; Judge Makes Them Give It Back — with Interest*

Under Pressure from Protesters, NYPD Chief Resigns*

People’s Movement Force Chief of Police to Resign*

Police can Read your Bank and Debit Card Balances without a Warrant*

$1.6mn for Wrongful Imprisonment*

U.S. Feds Takes Over Puerto Rico’s Finances*

EVERYTHING Cop Owns Seized to Pay Back Man He Paralyzed*

Black NYPD Officers Sue the Department, Were Pressured to Meet Quotas of Black Arrests*

 

$17k per Month for Journalists Could Have Spent on the NHS was used for Fake News on Syria*

 $17k per Month for Journalists Could Have Spent on the NHS was used for Fake News on Syria*

The Revolutionary Forces of Syria (RFS) media office, a major Syrian opposition media outfit and frequent source of information for Western media, is funded by the British government and is managed by Westerners operating out of Turkey, according to emails provided to AlterNet by a Middle East reporter RFS tried to recruit.

The outlet stirred controversy this November when it released a video at the height of the Mannequin Challenge, a pop culture craze in which people compete for how long they can freeze in place on video.

The RFS video depicted a staged rescue by the White Helmets, the Western-funded rescue group that operates exclusively in rebel-held territory. RFS quickly removed the video and issued an apology out of apparent concern that the staged rescue could raise questions about the authenticity of other videos by the White Helmets.

Over the summer, the Middle East reporter, who asked not to be named, was contacted by an American acquaintance and former colleague about working for RFS.

“I’m currently in Istanbul, working on a media project for the HMG [the British government],” wrote the acquaintance in an email time-stamped June 23.

“We’re working on media surrounding the Syrian conflict, as one of their three partners.”

The email included links to RFS Media’s English website and SMO Media, an Arabic website that covers the Southern Front, a Western-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) group.

“[W]e’re looking for a managing editor/production manager to head up our team here in Istanbul, and I thought you’d be a great fit. I was wondering if you had any interest, or knew of anyone looking to move out to Istanbul for an opportunity,” the acquaintance added.

In a follow-up phone conversation, the acquaintance explained to the reporter what the job would entail.

“I would have been talking to opposition people on the ground and writing news pieces based on statements from media activists who are affiliated with the armed groups in places like Aleppo,” the reporter later explained.

The salary offered for this task was an eye-popping $17,000 a month.

The reporter ultimately decided not to pursue the RFS position because he felt it would be journalistically unethical.

“The idea that I would work for the government of a country that’s intimately involved in the Syrian conflict is one that’s incomprehensible for me as a journalist,” he told AlterNet.

“This was far beyond working for state-owned media in my opinion. It was to actually be a mouthpiece for specific armed groups that are backed by a Western regime with a long history of disastrous interference in this region. That doesn’t mean I don’t have sympathy for people who are against the Syrian government. I am not pro-regime. At the same time, I am a journalist and would like to maintain my integrity at that level.”

The reporter declined to recommend others for the job, saying,

“I’m not going to facilitate some dubious relationship between a reporter and what is obviously a propaganda outlet,” he said.

RFS did not respond to a request for comment.

Go-to source for information-starved Western media

Western media often relies on self-described “media activists” in areas controlled by Western- and Gulf-backed militant groups, like Jabhat al-Nusra (until recently Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria), Ahrar al-Sham, Jaish al-Islam and Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki. These groups are explicitly anti-democratic and have been implicated in human rights violations from mass execution to using caged religious minorities as human shields. Most recently, civilians fleeing rebel-held eastern Aleppo have described being fired on by militants seeking to prevent them from escaping to the safety of government-controlled territory.

Two months ago, I spoke over the phone to a frequently quoted media activist living in East Aleppo. He told me that if he publicly criticizes the armed opposition groups, he risks being tortured, or worse. Indeed, a largely ignored report by Amnesty International published in June revealed that civilians in opposition-controlled Aleppo and Idlib have been subjected to abduction, torture and summary execution simply for criticizing armed groups on social media.

RFS’s videos and hashtags are regularly picked up by major Western media outlets. One of its videos has even been cited by human rights groups as evidence of Russian war crimes. Among its most viral campaigns is #AvengersInAleppo, which featured photos of children living in East Aleppo holding up signs calling on Marvel comic book superheroes to save them. (East Aleppo is controlled by a number of extremist groups led by Al Qaeda’s renamed offshoot, Jabhat Fatah al-Sham.)

Prior to that, RFS capitalized on the popularity of Pokémon Go to sell a pro-interventionist message to Western audiences with photos of children in opposition-controlled areas of Syria holding up photos of Pokémon characters with messages calling for intervention. The campaign garnered favorable media coverage from major outlets, including the Guardian, the Washington PostCNN, the IndependentReuters, and the BBC, none of which have bothered to question the origins of RFS or similar pro-opposition outlets.

A $3 million British government propaganda campaign for Syria’s rebels

RFS Media is just one of several different propaganda outlets financed by the U.K. Foreign Office. A recent investigation by the Guardian revealed that the British Foreign Office Conflict and Stability Fund has secretly pumped at least £2.4 million (over $3 million U.S.) into pro-rebel propaganda outfits based out of Istanbul.

The money began flowing after the British parliament voted against bombing the Syrian government in late 2013. (RFS Media launched in December 2013 in both English and Arabic.) The vote against war was attributed in large part to public pressure, as citizens on both sides of the Atlantic, reluctant to overthrow yet another Middle Eastern government after the disasters in Iraq and Libya, mobilized against another campaign for Western regime change in Syria.

After the political defeat, the U.K. Foreign Office embarked on a clandestine propaganda campaign to suppress the public’s anti-war sensibility, hiring private contractors to “produce videos, photos, military reports, radio broadcasts, print products and social media posts branded with the logos of fighting groups, and effectively run a press office for opposition fighters,” according to the Guardian.

The purpose of the propaganda, euphemistically referred to as “strategic communications” by the Foreign Office, is to clandestinely “influence the course of the war by shaping perceptions of opposition fighters” and provide “strategic communications and media operations support to the Syrian moderate armed opposition.”

Sanitizing the armed opposition as “moderate” has been a difficult task to be sure. While Western officials were well aware of the extremist and violently sectarian ideology that dominated the opposition early in the conflict, they deliberately chose to whitewash their atrocities in favour of weakening the Syrian government. RSF Media has stayed true to that goal, portraying armed groups as liberators and protectors adored by the people living under them, a narrative Western media outlets have enthusiastically echoed even as their own reporters were kidnapped, ransomed and even shot by Western-backed rebels.

This has presented a puzzling contradiction in Syria coverage. On the one hand, foreign reporters do not dare enter opposition areas for fear of being abducted. Yet the same media outlets that refrain from sending their reporters to opposition areas are comfortable amplifying propaganda that comes out of these areas with almost zero scrutiny, despite the fact that such information almost certainly requires the approval of the armed groups they fear may kidnap their reporters.

The warped picture of Syria that has been provided to Western media consumers is not the fault of the Syrian opposition, which is merely advancing its own most immediate public relations needs without regard for the objective truth, as combatants in war often do. It is, however, a damning indictment of a media establishment that has failed to scrutinize convenient pro-war narratives that serve their own governments’ geopolitical interests.

Source*

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Syrian Army Takes Control of 93% of Aleppo’s Territory*

Syrian Army Takes Control of 93% of Aleppo’s Territory*

By Ivan Yakovlev

The Syrian army has gained control of 93% of Aleppo’s territory, with 52 neighborhoods in the eastern part of the city liberated, Head of the Main Operations Department at Russia’s General Staff, Lieutenant-General Sergei Rudskoi, said on Friday.

“The government forces and militia units continue the operation to liberate Aleppo’s eastern districts from terrorists,” he said.

“After a successful offensive, 52 neighborhoods in east Aleppo have been recaptured from militants. In the past four days alone, the area held by gunmen has decreased by one-third. The Syrian army now controls 93% of the city’s territory,” he said.

These results have been achieved by the Syrian army’s ground forces. Russian and Syrian aircraft have not been used in the Aleppo area since October 18, Rudskoi stressed.

“Dozens of tonnes of humanitarian aid are delivered to liberated districts daily, the social infrastructure is being restored, and people get medical assistance,” he added.

More than 1,000 militants have voluntarily left Syria’s Aleppo and most of them have been amnestied, Rudskoy said.

“In total, 1,096 militants have left Aleppo voluntarily, 953 of them have been amnestied,” Rudskoy said.

“The Syrian government is fully meeting commitments on returning participants of illegal armed groups to peaceful life,” he added.

The Russian Centre for Reconciliation of Opposing Parties will further help ensure security of the withdrawal of civilians and representatives of various NGOs from Aleppo’s areas seized by the militants, Rudskoy said.

Over the past 24 hours, more than 10,500 people, including over 4,000 children, have been taken from the Aleppo areas controlled by militants. Thirty militants in Aleppo agreed to lay down weapons and gave themselves up to Syrian troops.

Source*

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