Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Somali Muslim attacker in Minnesota showed no emotion, says victim
THE Minnesota mall attacker showed no emotion and said nothing as he stabbed at Ryan Schliep’s scalp.
One of 10 people who suffered wounds that were not life-threatening before the attacker was fatally shot, Schliep told WCCO-TV that the man “just walked right at me” before striking quickly and penetrating the skin.
“He looked just blank in the eyes like he wasn’t even there,” Schliep said on Monday shortly before being released from a St. Cloud hospital.
Authorities are treating Saturday’s stabbings at Crossroads Center Mall, as a possible act of terrorism, in part because an Islamic State-run news agency claimed that the attacker was a “soldier of the Islamic State” who had heeded the group’s calls for attacks in countries that are part of a US-led anti-IS coalition.
But it wasn’t immediately known whether the extremist group had planned the attack or knew about it beforehand.
St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson said the attack appeared to be the work of a single individual and there was no sign that the attacker, identified by his father as 20-year-old Dahir Adan, was radicalised or communicated with any terrorist group.
President Barack Obama said the stabbings had no apparent connection to weekend bombings in New York and New Jersey.
Attacker had gone to get iPhone. A community activist says Adan had gone to the mall to pick up a pre-ordered iPhone.
Haji Yusuf, community director for the social tolerance group UniteCloud, has been working with the attacker’s family.
He told WCCO-TV that Adan had gone to Crossroads Center to get a new phone and “was very happy” upon leaving home. He says Adan’s family doesn’t know what happened.
A person who answered the phone at the T-Mobile store where Yusuf said Adan had ordered the phone declined to comment or take a message for his supervisor.
Because Adan was Somali, leaders of the state’s large Somali community acknowledged the prospect of a “long winter” for their people after the stabbings, but warned not to quickly accept the terrorism connection.
“We cannot give ISIS and other terrorist organisations more airtime and propaganda without real facts,” said Jaylani Hussein, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Minnesota chapter.
Little is known about Adan, who was identified Sunday by his father, Ahmed Adan.
He had only a traffic ticket on his record, was apparently out of work after his job as a part-time security guard ended and hadn’t enrolled in college since the spring semester.
Adan was wearing a security guard’s uniform during the attack.
Federal officials released no new information on the investigation into the stabbing, which was stopped by an off-duty police officer just minutes into it.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Rick Thornton has said authorities were digging into Adan’s background and possible motives, looking at social media accounts and electronic devices and talking to people he knew.
Somali community braces for backlash
Minnesota has the nation’s largest Somali population, an estimated 57,000 people.
Both Anderson and Gov. Mark Dayton warned against a possible backlash due to the stabbings, especially in St. Cloud, where Somalis in the 65,000-resident city about 104km northwest of Minneapolis have spoken about mistreatment in the past.
Tony Abbott says Europe is facing 'peaceful invasion' of asylum seekers
The former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott has urged Europe to adopt harsh Australian-style border protection policies to avoid “losing control” in the face of record numbers of people seeking asylum.
Abbott said the large numbers of people entering Europe “looks like a peaceful invasion” and said European countries risked losing their character if they allowed people he labeled “would-be economic migrants” to settle there.
The comments to a gathering of centre-right members of the European parliament in Prague on Saturday came as Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, prepared to tell the United Nations in New York that Australia has the best border policies in the world.
Both argue that tighter border protection helped convince the Australian public to accept a higher refugee intake, justifying a harsh set of policies that has left more than 1,000 people in indefinite offshore detention to deter others attempting to reach Australia by boat.
The United Nations has said that both Australia’s system of indefinite offshore detention and the process of returning asylum seekers after a summary assessment are illegal under international law.
Abbott said “the prospect of millions of new Europeans from the Middle East and Africa streaming into Britain” had pushed Britons to “vote against losing control”.
“Uncontrolled immigration didn’t cause Brexit but it did prompt Britons to take back their sovereignty.”
He said that after Brexit, Britain would need a new visa system that would “end uncontrolled movement”.
Abbott lauded the former Australian prime minister John Howard, who famously said “we will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come”.
“Why shouldn’t each country keep the final say over who can enter?” Abbott asked.
“After all, a country or a continent that can’t control who enters its territory will eventually lose control of its future”.
Abbott said it was a “decent and a humane impulse to give a better life to people from wretched places”.
“But a million people coming by boat and almost a million people coming by land last year has the look of a peaceful invasion.”
Abbott argued that people who have gone beyond their first place of safety “[are not] asylum seekers but would-be economic migrants”. He did not address what those who were not allowed to remain permanently in transit countries should do.
Tony Abbott: Former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott has told European parliament MPs that their countries are facing a ‘peaceful invasion’ of asylum seekers. © Getty Images Former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott has told European parliament MPs that their countries are facing a ‘peaceful invasion’ of asylum seekers. Abbott said among the “would-be migrants” are “are soldiers of the caliphate bent on mayhem”, that many would “join an angry underclass” and many “are coming, not with gratitude but with grievance, and with the insistence that Europe should make way for them”.
“People in no immediate danger have to be turned back at Europe’s borders,” he said, including by intercepting people in the Mediterranean and returning them to their “starting point”.
“This crisis can’t be managed; it has to be resolved.”
Abbott lauded Australia’s border policies, which include turning boats back at sea, and intercepting boats and returning people to the countries they are fleeing, such as Sri Lanka, after only a summary assessment of their refugee claims.
“And having stopped the boats, we’ve been able to increase our genuine refugee intake because the Australian government has been in charge, not the people smugglers,” he said.
The flows of people into Europe have been hundreds of times greater than those seeking to come to Australia, including many coming by foot.
“Effective border protection is not for the squeamish, but it is absolutely necessary to save lives and to preserve nations,” Abbott said.
Abbott called for “an end to self-doubt about the entitlement of European nations, individually and collectively, to keep their character”.
He warned that if the “sensible centre scoffs at people’s real concerns” that “populism will increase”.
“Stand guard on your borders and you ease so much of the anxiety that now grips this great continent.”
In a cursory mention to another global crisis, Abbott said “we can’t do much to change climate”.
“But what’s the point of government if we can’t secure borders and control immigration?
“This is one lesson that my part of the new world might usefully offer to your part of the old one.”
Australia’s detention facilities have drawn heavy domestic and international criticism following the Guardian’s publication of the Nauru files, more than 2,000 leaked incident reports that laid bare the devastating abuse and trauma inflicted on children held there.
On Sunday immigration minister, Peter Dutton, defended conditions in offshore detention by comparing detention centres favourably to makeshift refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon, areas just outside the war zone in Syria.
Australia: Poofter leadership offer their version of civil debate
"Poofter" is a contemptuous Australian word for a male homosexual. I use it here advisedly. I don't have the slightest interest in where homosexuals stick their dicks. I would rather not know, in fact. But I do object to coercion and threats of violence coming from them. That draws my contempt. Their contempt for free speech and democracy makes them different from Hitler and Stalin only in detail.
Not all homosexuals are thugs. I know some decent ones. But the decent ones should be vigorously dissociating themselves from the slime described below and demanding police prosecution of them. And where are Tricky Gillian's 18c speech police? If ever there was a breach of hate speech laws the one below is certainly it
The Accor Hotels group confirmed late yesterday that a function had been abandoned after a social media storm triggered phone calls that “rattled” employees and left the company concerned about the safety of staff and guests.
A ferocious campaign against Christian groups planning to meet on same-sex marriage has forced them to cancel the event at a major hotel next week, amid claims of physical threats from marriage-equality advocates.
The Accor Hotels group confirmed late yesterday that the function had been abandoned after a social media storm triggered phone calls that “rattled” employees and left the company concerned about the safety of staff and guests.
In the first test of the “civil” debate promised for a plebiscite on gay marriage, advocates for the “yes” case were being blamed last night for the kind of “hate speech” that Bill Shorten and others have claimed would come from the “no” case.
A spokeswoman for the Mercure Sydney Airport Hotel said the campaign by marriage-equality advocates had forced the company to close the hotel’s Facebook page, sparked phone calls that disturbed hotel staff and escalated the problem to the company’s headquarters. “We’ve conducted an objective review regarding the safety and security of our hotel guests and staff,” she said. “Following this review the event will no longer take place next week.”
The four Christian groups booked the hotel conference room for Tuesday to prepare for a “no” campaign in the potential plebiscite, even though Labor and the Greens appear certain to block the “people’s vote” legislation in the Senate. About 100 people were expected to attend from the Sydney Anglicans, Sydney Catholics, the Marriage Alliance and the Australian Christian Lobby.
Gay news website SameSame.com.au alerted readers to the event. Activist Pauline Pantsdown urged followers to stop the “dangerous, predatory” ACL. “Are children safe at Mercure and Accor hotels?” one post said. One follower declared it “utterly horrifying” that Accor would host the Christian groups while another accused the hotel of supporting the “hateful, deceitful and extreme” ACL.
The campaign dismayed some marriage-equality supporters. “I’m becoming a little uneasy about this kind of thing,” said one. “Will fundamentalist Christians and others start pressuring venues hosting marriage-equality functions to cancel them?”
Accor confirmed the campaign led to a number of “negative” calls to the hotel but would not confirm claims these calls included death threats. The spokeswoman would not say whether the police had been notified.
The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, warned that it was beneath Australians to treat supporters of traditional marriage as proponents of bigotry. The Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies, warned of the danger to free speech from the threats that shut down the meeting.
A joint statement from the conveners said the hotel staff received “threats of violence” after the details of the private event were published on the internet. “We have chosen to reconsider our arrangements for the event next week due to our concern for the safety of the hotel staff, and our commitment to a reasonable and respectful debate,” ACL managing director Lyle Shelton said.
The Weekend Australian sought comment from Australian Marriage Equality yesterday but the group was not aware of the storm over the event.
Marriage-equality advocates hailed the cancellation of the meeting late yesterday. Pantsdown accused ACL of “playing victim” and justified the campaign against the Christian groups “due to danger they pose” to LGBTI children and families.
The bill to hold the February 11 plebiscite was introduced into parliament this week but appears headed for defeat in the Senate, with the Coalition insisting on a “people’s vote” and Bill Shorten wanting Labor to vote against it.
'We won't take migrants posing as refugees': Theresa May tells the UN Britain has a right to control border
Britain has the right to control its borders and turn away the tens of thousands of economic migrants posing as refugees, Theresa May told world leaders today.
At her first United Nations summit, the Prime Minister declared that the 'unprecedented' and 'uncontrolled' wave of immigration into Europe is not in the interests of the UK, the migrants themselves or the countries they leave behind.
Mrs May rejected demands from some UN members and charities for Britain to throw open its borders.
And she criticised the inaction of global leaders that has let the crisis spiral out of control. Government sources said she would stress that – if public support for genuine refugees is to be maintained – the system must be robust in rooting out abuse by economic migrants.
The UN General Assembly, starting in New York today, will kick off two years of negotiations on a new global policy for migration and refugees. The UN is pressing for wealthy nations such as Britain to create more routes for economic migrants from poorer countries.
But Mrs May stressed that the emphasis must be on the 'right of all countries to control their borders' – not the rights of economic migrants to enter the UK seeking work. Government officials said she wanted the UN to accept this must be one of three key principles on immigration policy.
Crucially, she also demanded a distinction is drawn between genuine refugees and economic migrants. The influx into Europe has been dubbed a 'refugee crisis', but Mrs May stressed many of them are in fact seeking work and should be treated as such – with no automatic right to resettlement.
The third rule she sought at meetings with US President Barack Obama, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and others is a declaration that refugees should remain in the first safe country they reach. In the case of Syria, Mrs May said this should be Lebanon or Jordan.
The PM also pledged tens of millions of pounds more from the foreign aid budget to support education and other projects in countries close to migrant hotspots.
The aim is to drastically reduce the numbers trying to head to the UK by illegal routes.
A restatement of the so-called 'first country rule' will also help Britain after Brexit. Brussels rules say a person must claim asylum in the first safe country they reach inside the EU, and can be sent back there if they travel onwards.
Tory Eurosceptics are lining up to join a new 'hard Brexit' group that will campaign to ensure the Prime Minister does not compromise with the EU.
Senior MPs, including former ministers Owen Paterson, Dominic Raab and Sir Gerald Howarth, have signed up to the 'Leave Means Leave' group.
They will use their position on the backbenches to put pressure Theresa May to leave the single market completely, retaining full control of Britain's borders and ending the influence of Brussels on legislation.
A report by the Overseas Development Institute has predicted the UK faces 43,000 asylum applications this year – costing the public purse £620million. There were about 39,000 asylum claims last year.
Mrs May also called for a tightening of aviation security worldwide in the wake of terrorist atrocities such as the downing of a Russian Metrojet flight from Sharm el-Sheikh last October and the attacks at airports in Brussels and Istanbul this year. The PM will also use her trip to meet US businessmen in a bid to persuade them to invest in post-Brexit Britain.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.