Sunday, February 28, 2016

      China’s Communist Billionaires: Darlings of Harvard, Wall Street, CFR             

       East Coast-West Coast, from Harvard to Hollywood, China Inc. is setting down a big footprint, with indispensable assistance from some of the biggest names on Wall Street: Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Carlyle Group, Kissinger Associates, CitiBank, JPMorgan Chase.
Wang Jianlin, “China’s richest billionaire” and chairman of the huge Wanda Group conglomerate is the current leading darling among China’s Communist Party elite being toasted by America’s and Europe’s globalist elites. As The New American recently reported (China Cash and Movie Moguls — The Disturbing New Hollywood-Beijing Axis), Wang Jianlin is leading Beijing’s multi-billion dollar “Chollywood” effort aimed at merging the China-U.S. film industries to create the dominant global entertainment-propaganda machine. That project is well on its way, with Wang’s $2.5 billion purchase in 2012 of AMC Theaters (making Wanda the world’s largest cinema operator), his $8.2 billion investment in a mammoth film studio/entertainment complex in Qingdao, and Wanda Group’s $3.5 billion buyout of Legendary Entertainment (producer of blockbusters Jurassic World, 300, the Batman/Dark Knight trilogy, Pacific Rim, Godzilla, and Man of Steel).
Harvard’s Faustian Bargain
From low-brow entertainment to high-brow academia, Wang is covering all the bases. In a September 6, 2015 press release, the Wanda Group proudly displayed a photograph (shown above) of Chairman Wang shaking hands with Harvard University President Catharine Drew Gilpin Faust. The photo marked the occasion of Wang’s induction as vice chairman of the university’s Global Advisory Council.
“Wang Jianlin, Chairman of Wanda Group, was invited to serve as the Vice Chair of Harvard University’s Global Advisory Council by Catharine Drew Gilpin Faust, the President of Harvard University,” the Wanda press release stated. “The Global Advisory Council is Harvard’s most authoritative advisory body,” it continued, “designed to offer advice and suggestions on the university’s global strategy. The council is comprised of leading individuals from various sectors and chaired by Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Carlyle Group, David Rubenstein. Harvard University is one of the most prestigious universities in the world and it is a great honor for Wang Jianlin to serve as Vice Chair of its Global Advisory Council.”
Typical of Chinese corporate PR pieces, Wang’s promoters at Wanda went heavy on the name dropping and puffery:
Wanda has also been active in top business and political circles. Wang Jianlin met with US President Barack Obama at the SelectUSA Investment Summit back in March and has also met with numerous heads of state such as UK Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot among others. Furthermore, Mr. Wang has delivered keynote speeches at various world-renowned universities such as Harvard in the past. Harvard Business School has incorporated Wanda’s high-profile acquisitions of AMC Cinemas and Infront Sports & Media into its case studies.
Did Wang simply buy his way into the prestigious Harvard appointment? For many observers, that is an obvious affirmative. The following month, in October 2015, Harvard’s own media relations department announced the launch of a new Harvard Global Institute financed by Wang. “Harvard has long been an international institution, but a new University-wide effort hopes to create a globalization strategy as intentional as it is inherent,” said the Harvard press release. “Called the Harvard Global Institute (HGI), the effort was established at the recommendation of the International Strategy Working Group and the Faculty Advisory Committee on Global Institutes.”
“The launch of HGI was made possible through support from Wang Jianlin, chairman of the Beijing-based Wanda Group,” said the Harvard announcement. “Wang views this gift as a mutually beneficial collaboration between China and one of the world’s leading teaching and research institutions.”
Wang, whom Forbes magazine named “Asia’s Businessman of the Year in 2013,”  is well connected in both the communist and capitalist worlds. “So confident are Beijing’s communist dictators of the willful blindness and ideological affinity of the Hollywood movie industry and the American press that they can hide their schemes in plain sight,” we noted in a previous posting on Wang.
“This can be seen, for instance, in Wang Jianlin’s official curriculum vitae for the World Economic Forum, the annual gathering of the super-rich and their tagalongs among the global glitterati, intelligentsia, and commentariat.” We pointed out that the WEF states Wang has served as "Deputy to the 17th National Congress, CPC [Communist Party of China]. Member, Standing Committee, CPPCC National Committee. Vice-Chairman, All China Federation of Industry and Commerce.” Nowhere do the words “Communist” or “Communist Party”, as such, appear in the WEF bio, but that is precisely what “CPC” and “CPPCC” refer to, of course.
The same can be said for many of the other Chinese “businessmen” who are regular attendees among the jet-set billionaires at the WEF confabs in Davos, Switzerland. Jack Ma, who vies with Wang for the title of China’s richest tycoon, plays it more coy than most; he is not openly a CPC member, but his loyalty and ties are apparent. Ma, the founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba (China’s version of Amazon and EBay — but many times bigger than both combined), for instance, reportedly told the South China Morning Post, in a 2013 interview, that the decision by Communist authorities to mow down protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989 was the “correct” thing to do. That outrageous remark caused a temporary flare-up of indignation outside of China, but undoubtedly worked to his favor with Party leaders. A report by the Epoch Times last year entitled, “Richest in China are Connected with the Communist Party,” cites evidence that Ma and other top Chinese “capitalists” are actually servitors of the Communist Party, which should not be news to anyone but the most obdurate and willfully blind.
Nevertheless, Jack “Mow ‘em down” Ma is the darling of the globalist set. At the latest WEF gathering, Ma’s private dinner party featured A-List names of “the great and the good” from all spheres of power and influence. A Shanghai website featuring photos of the exclusive event reported: “Perhaps the belle of the ball was British Prime Minister David Cameron, who showed up in a blue-collared shirt with no tie, he was greeted by such international celebrities as Bono, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kevin Spacey,one of Alibaba's biggest  fans.”
“Though the party was not just attended by celebrities alone,” the report continues, “there were also some people with real power as well, including: Cisco CEO John Chambers, Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, UPS CEO David P. Abney, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and new Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau….” A few months earlier, at the 2015 APEC summit in Manila, Ma enjoyed an even greater triumph, sharing center stage with President Barack Obama (photos here) in a duo performance that catapulted him to the top levels of the global business firmament.
CFR Game Plan
The stepped-up pace of China’s acquisitions of companies, real estate, and influence in the United States (see articles linked below) is being facilitated by Wall Street’s globalist titans. As we reported in 2013, the planned acceleration of convergence of the U.S.-Chinese economies was forecast (and set in motion by) “Policy Innovation Memorandum No. 13,” published by the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in 2012, under the title “Fostering Greater Chinese Investment in the United States.” The study was written by David M. Marchick, managing director of the Carlyle Group, the huge investment firm ($194 billion in assets under management) that has been one of the key bulls on both U.S. investement in China, and vice versa.
“Given the slow pace of the economic recovery, the United States would benefit hugely from additional FDI [Foreign Direct Investment],” Marchick claimed. “Critics argue that Chinese investment could compromise U.S. security interests and lead to job offshoring,” he continued. “While Chinese acquisition of certain U.S. companies in the defense or technology sectors would create national security concerns, the preponderance of potential Chinese investments in the United States would raise no such issues.”
Following up on the Marchick/Carlyle/CFR memo, Edward Alden (CFR) authored a blog on the CFR’s “Renewing America” web page entitled “Attracting Chinese Investment: Here’s Where to Start.” According to Alden: "The United States needs to start by making it clear that this country actively wants and will encourage Chinese investment, and by working with China to eliminate misperceptions and clear away unnecessary obstacles where they exist. Both countries need to move beyond the bad feelings that were generated in 2005 when the Chinese oil company CNOOC faced a political firestorm over its effort to purchase Unocal."
Alden and Marchick outlined the political strategy behind the plan for successful convergence and integration of the two economies: make American workers dependent upon paychecks from Chinese employers. Alden advised that Chinese companies (and their Wall Street advisers) should replicate the Japanese experience, writing:
The experience with Japan is instructive. Trade relations with Japan soured badly in the 1980s when exports surged even as Japan’s market remained largely closed to U.S. products. While Japan has never done much to open itself to imports, trade relations with the United States improved after Japan began investing heavily in this country, building cars and other products and creating good-paying jobs. As a result, members of Congress with large Japanese investments in their districts began defending those companies when trade disputes would arise.
The same needs to happen with China. David Marchick’s paper offers a blueprint for where to begin.
The recent announcements of the Chicago Stock Exchange being purchased by Chongqing Casin Enterprise Group (CCEG) of China, the $5.4 billion buyout of General Electric’s appliance business by Qingdao Haier Co., Ltd., and the recent Beijing-Hollywood mergers and acqusitions are but a few of the many indicators that CFR elites have put the Marchick convergence scheme on the fast track.

UN Persecution of Whistleblowers Shocks U.S. Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United Nations' persecution of whistle-blowers who expose wrongdoing at the international outfit and its agencies is a major threat, said shocked U.S. lawmakers and former UN officials during a congressional hearing this week investigating the issue. But despite the seriousness of the offenses, this is hardly the first time the UN has been exposed engaging in severe retaliation against those who blow the whistle on UN crimes. The implications of the case are enormous: If left unaddressed, UN officials who know of wrongdoing and criminality will be unlikely to report it, knowing that their lives will be destroyed and nothing will change anyway. But lawmakers did pledge to act.
The whistle-blower scandal probed this week by Congress — one of many similar scandals at the UN — surrounds the UN's World Intellectual Property Organization, or WIPO, and its director-general, Francis Gurry. According to current and former employees of the agency, which runs the international intellectual-property regime, the UN agency boss sent sensitive U.S. technology to the dictatorships ruling Iran and North Korea, in defiance of U.S. law and international sanctions. The reason, whistle-blowers said, was to secure the votes of those regimes in Gurry's reelection contest. When WIPO officials found out, though, they realized something was wrong, and attempted to take action. In response, Gurry retaliated against them in what observers described as an “outrageous” and potentially criminal abuse of power.

Among those testifying was Miranda Brown (shown), who served as strategic advisor to WIPO boss Gurry. In her testimony, she described retaliation at the hands of the UN agency chief, as well as “an ongoing pattern of abuse of authority and impunity.” When Brown found out about the scheme to transfer American technology to North Korea, at first she thought it was a joke, she told the committee. When she realized it was not, she tried to stop it, and advised Gurry that it was likely a violation of U.S. law and UN Security Council sanctions. The UN agency chief, who also came under fire for threatening a journalist with prosecution for doing his job in recent years, seemed “non-committal.”  
“Despite the fact that WIPO had no whistle-blower policy in place at the time I blew the whistle on the North Korea and Iran shipments, I felt confident that the U.S. Government would use its considerable influence to fully protect me,” said Brown, one of at least three whistle-blowers at WIPO involved in the explosive scandals. “I felt I had a responsibility, as a UN staff member, to blow the whistle and report a UN agency that was supplying high-end American IT equipment to North Korea, in violation of U.S. domestic sanctions and without consulting the UN Security Council Sanctions Committees.”
In response to blowing the whistle, the retaliation was “severe,” Brown told lawmakers. Among other actions, Gurry accused her of “disloyalty” and of “leaking documents” to the U.S. government and the media. Then, in an apparent test of loyalty, he ordered her to help on a secret plot to establish WIPO offices in Beijing and Moscow without approval from agency member states. Gurry told other staffers to avoid Brown or face “consequences,” and finally told her that her contract would not be renewed. Finally, she was forced to resign under duress, she told the congressional committee. 
“Mr. Gurry’s leadership of WIPO is characterized by secrecy and also an extraordinary vindictiveness towards whistle-blowers,” Brown told U.S. lawmakers, adding that the agency chief appears to see the outfit he leads and its resources as his “personal fiefdom.” He also “consistently undermined the internal accountability mechanisms,” she added, citing examples, including one senior official targeted by Gurry who went on to commit suicide. Brown said the suicide should be investigated. Gurry fired and destroyed virtually everyone who tried to stop his lawlessness and abuses, it seems.
And when people dare to continue exposing him, Gurry has the power to destroy them anyway, because it takes three years for whistle-blower cases to be resolved, during which time the whistle-blower would be unemployed and ruined. Brown also said that the retaliation can reach across the UN system, not just at the agency involved, making the prospect of whistle-blowing by those who know of wrongdoing both terrifying and unlikely. “Once the retaliation starts, it's difficult,” she said.
Perhaps most outrageous of all was Gurry's abuse of Swiss police to illegally seek out his critics. Beginning in 2007, several letters about Gurry were circulated alleging corruption and sexual harassment. In response, Gurry apparently ordered security officials to enter the offices of his suspected critics and steal personal effects for DNA testing. The behavior has now been investigated by the UN's investigative agency, but the report on it has not been released, sparking widespread criticism and suspicion.
The implications are massive. Because of the secrecy, “the only way we will ever learn of misconduct within these international organizations is from whistle-blowers,” Brown continued, adding that would-be whistle-blowers from across the UN system are watching this case closely to see what happens. “In the event we don't achieve something, you may be looking at the last UN whistle blowers to come forward.”
Others testifying at the hearing included attorney James Pooley, a fellow whistle-blower and former deputy director of Innovation and Technology at WIPO. He outlined similar concerns, and other, separate ones. He also provided further details, including Gurry's hiring of a U.S. lobbying firm for $200,000 to help him quash U.S. investigations. Pooley also described the retaliation he suffered for blowing the whistle on all of the behavior.
Geneva-based international lawyer Ed Flaherty, an American who represents international organizations' staff members and whistle-blowers, told The New American that the testimony shows the UN whistle-blower protection system is “completely broken.” Calling WIPO leadership “rogue” and “arrogant,” he said that they felt secure in the fact that they receive near absolute immunity — even for criminal wrongdoing. “It seems we have gone back to the monarchy model when it comes to the governance of international organizations,” he said, adding that what was happening at WIPO was “absolutely” a systemic UN problem. And it is a big problem.
Also speaking at the hearing was attorney Matthew Parish with the Gentium Law Group, which is representing WIPO staffers. “If the evidence you've heard today is correct, it appears Gurry has committed very serious criminal offenses in both Switzerland and the United States,” said Parish, adding that, because of diplomatic immunity, the UN agency chief could not be held accountable.
He also pointed out that individual whistle-blowers in the WIPO Staff Council, which he represents, were prohibited from testifying or exposing wrongdoing by their boss, Gurry. “I am advised that WIPO threatens staff who seek to expose wrongdoing in public fora and that its leadership has prohibited staff from testifying before Congress in the past,” Parish said. “My understanding is that WIPO tells its staff that they are forbidden from whistle-blowing to the media, due to their confidentiality obligations to their employer. But the organization’s own whistle-blowing procedure involves cover-ups and charades.”
All of the lawmakers at the hearing sounded shocked and appalled at what they were hearing. “I'm very concerned about Mr. Gurry's ability to continue retaliating against you both,” said Representative Ileana Ros-Lethinen (R-Fla.), commending the whistle-blowers for their bravery. “I am shocked that Gurry remains in office.”
Representative Chris Smith (R-N.J.), who chaired the hearing, also sounded incredulous, vowing to do “a great deal of follow up” to ensure the future of whistle-blowing at UN. The UN is “not a sustainable organization” if this sort of behavior continues, he added, calling Gurry “a bureaucrat who, with impunity, is abusing his authority.” Whistle-blowers are some of the most noble people in an organization, he continued. “They are the canary in the coal mine,” he added.
In response to questions by The New American after the hearing ended, Smith praised another UN whistle-blower, Anders Kompass, who recently suffered extreme retaliation for exposing “peacekeeping” troops on a UN mission in Africa raping children. When asked about the “Turin e-mails” exposing top UN officials plotting to silence and destroy Kompass, Smith again expressed major concerns.
While Kompass and the WIPO whistle-blowers are the most recent whistle-blower scandals to surface, they are hardly unique. As The New American reported last year, the UN's war on whistle-blowers is massive, systemic, and extreme. According to the non-profit Government Accountability Project (GAP), which works to protect whistle-blowers around the world, between 2007 and 2010, the UN failed to protect more than 98 percent of whistle-blowers from retaliation. Countless more have declined to come forward. 
Going back even further, the story of UN whistle-blower Povl Bang-Jensen would shock people to the core. The senior Danish diplomat, who worked in the UN Secretariat and served on an international committee examining Soviet terror and tyranny in Hungary, tried to expose sabotage of the committee by powerful forces. The entire machinery of the UN set out to crush him in sham “hearings” and “tribunals,” even attempting to paint him as mentally ill. Eventually, after warning multiple people that he was being targeted and that he would never commit suicide under any circumstances, Bang-Jensen “committed suicide.” Virtually every credible analyst realized the “suicide” happened under extremely suspicious circumstances. 
Lawmakers vowed to take action about the persecution of those who expose the UN. In a follow-up article, The New American will highlight some of the measures proposed to deal with the ongoing war on whistle-blowers and to end the UN's impunity.

Egypt's "Security Threat": Churches

  • Whenever Christians attempt to repair, renovate, or build a church -- all of which contradict Islamic law -- the same chain of events follows. Local Muslims riot and rampage, and local (Muslim) officials conclude that the only way to prevent "angry youths" from acts of violence is to ban the church, which is then declared a "threat" to security.
  • Repeatedly, Christian leaders accuse local officials of inciting Muslim violence against churches. Muslim leaders then point to this violence to deny the church a permit on the grounds that it has attracted violence.
On February 1, Tharwat Bukhit, a Coptic Christian member of Egypt's parliament, announced "there are approximately 50 churches in Egypt closed for reasons of security."
When the "Arab Spring" broke out in 2011, Egypt's Christians compiled a list of 43 churches that had been shut down by local authorities over the years. This list was given to the prime minister of Egypt at the time, Dr. Essam Sharaf, who said that the churches would be opened as soon as possible. Yet since then, according to Bukhit, "Today, the number of closed churches has grown to almost 50."
Why are Christian churches being "closed for reasons of security"? Whenever Christians attempt to repair, renovate, or build a church -- all of which contradict Islamic law [1] -- the same chain of events follows. Local Muslims riot and rampage, and local (Muslim) officials conclude that the only way to prevent "angry youths" from acts of violence is to ban the church, which is then declared a "threat" to security.
Such events have occurred repeatedly throughout Egypt. For instance, Abdel Fattah Sisi, Egypt's president, agreed to build a memorial church in the village of Al-Our, which was home to 13 of the 21 Christians beheaded in February 2015 by the Islamic State in Libya. The families of the victims still live there. After Islamic prayers on Friday, April 3, 2015, Muslim mobs from Al-Our village violently protested Sisi's decision. They yelled that they would never allow a church to be built. They chanted, "Egypt is Islamic!" and then attacked a Coptic church with Molotov cocktails and stones. Cars were set on fire, including one belonging to the family of a Christian beheaded by the Islamic State. Several people were seriously hurt.
In Sohag City, a similar chain of events took place. After waiting 44 years, the Christians of Nag Shenouda were issued the necessary permits to build a church. According to a 2015 report, local Muslims rioted and burned down the temporary worship tent. When a Christian tried to hold a religious service in his home, a Muslim mob attacked it. Denied a place to worship, the Christians of Nag Shenouda celebrated Easter 2015 in the street.

Shenouda celebrated Easter 2015 in the street.
The Christians of Nag Shenouda, Egypt celebrated Easter 2015 in the street after local Muslims rioted and burned down their temporary worship tent, and attacked their religious service at a home.

In a separate incident, also after waiting years, the Christians of Gala' village finally received formal approval to begin restoring their dilapidated church (see pictures here). Soon after, on April 4, 2015, Muslims rioted, hurling stones at Christian homes, businesses and persons. Christian-owned wheat farms were destroyed and their potato crops uprooted. The usual Islamic slogans were shouted: "Islamic! Islamic!" and "There is no God but Allah!"
In July 2015, Muslims suspended prayer in a church in the village of Arab Asnabt. They called for the church to be demolished as part of an effort "to prevent Coptic Christians from practicing their religious rites."
Repeatedly, Christian leaders accuse local officials of inciting Muslim violence against churches. Muslim leaders then point to this violence to deny the church a permit on the grounds that it has attracted violence.
More recently, a church under construction in the village of Swada was attacked by a mob of at least 400 Muslims, possibly incited by local officials. After the attack, the church was closed by the same officials who had previously granted the necessary permits required for its construction. The 3,000 Coptic Christians in Swada, who make up approximately 35% of the population, do not have even one Coptic Orthodox Church to serve them.
This year, on February 1, the same day as Coptic Christian MP Tharwat Bukhit said nearly 50 churches had been shut down, the priest of St. Rewis Church described how, on the first day Christians met to worship in a fellow Christian's home that he had transformed into a church, "Muslims prevented them so that the church was closed on the very day it was opened."
On February 2, Father Lucas Helmi, an official of the Franciscan Order in Egypt, explained how "the closure of St. George's Church in the village of Hijazah in Qous [shuttered 25 years earlier] goes back to tensions between Coptic and Muslim families in the village, especially the Muslim neighbors around the old church, which is still unfinished because they refused to allow it to be rebuilt after it was demolished."
During a 25-minute interview on Arabic satellite TV, Bishop Agathon revealed [2] how, after an official council meeting with government leaders on the possibility of building a church, one of the authorities contacted the Islamic sheikhs of the village. The official asked the sheikhs if they stood "with the Coptic church or with the State?"
The sheikhs apparently told the Muslim households to each send one family member to protest the building of the church. Security officials could then point to the "rioting mob" and, as usual, on grounds of security, ban the church.

Germany: Migrant Crime Skyrockets

  • The actual number of crimes in Germany committed by migrants in 2015 may exceed 400,000.
  • The report does not include crime data from North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous state in Germany and also the state with the largest number of migrants. North Rhine-Westphalia's biggest city is Cologne, where, on New Year's Eve, hundreds of German women were sexually assaulted by migrants.
  • "For years the policy has been to leave the [German] population in the dark about the actual crime situation... The citizens are being played for fools. Rather than tell the truth, they [government officials] are evading responsibility and passing blame onto the citizens and the police." — André Schulz, director, Association of Criminal Police, Germany.
  • 10% of the migrants from the chaos in Iraq and Syria have reached Europe so far: "Eight to ten million migrants are still on the way." — Gerd Müller, Development Minister.
Migrants committed 208,344 crimes in 2015, according to a confidential police report that was leaked to the German newspaper, Bild. This figure represents an 80% increase over 2014 and works out to around 570 crimes committed by migrants every day, or 23 crimes each hour, between January and December 2015.
The actual number of migrant crimes is far higher, however, because the report, produced by the Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt, BKA), includes only crimes that have been solved (aufgeklärten Straftaten). According to Statista, the German statistics agency, on average only around half of all crimes committed in Germany in any given year are solved (Aufklärungsquote). This implies that the actual number of crimes committed by migrants in 2015 may exceed 400,000.
Moreover, the report -- "Crime in the Context of Immigration" (Kriminalität im Kontext von Zuwanderung) -- includes data from only 13 of Germany's 16 federal states.
The report does not include crime data from North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous state in Germany and also the state with the largest number of migrants. North Rhine-Westphalia's biggest city is Cologne, where, on New Year's Eve, hundreds of German women were sexually assaulted by migrants. It is not yet clear why those crimes were not included in the report.
The report also lacks crime data from Hamburg, the second-largest city in Germany, and Bremen, the second most populous city in Northern Germany.
Further, many crimes are simply not reported or are deliberately overlooked: political leaders across Germany have ordered police to turn a blind eye to crimes perpetrated by migrants, apparently to avoid fueling anti-immigration sentiments.
According to the report, most of the crimes were committed by migrants from: Syria (24%), Albania (17%), Kosovo (14%), Serbia (11%), Afghanistan (11%), Iraq (9%), Eritrea (4%), Macedonia (4%), Pakistan (4%) and Nigeria (2%).
Most of the migrant crimes involved theft (Diebstahl): 85,035 incidents in 2015, nearly twice as many as in 2014 (44,793). Those were followed by property and forgery crimes (Vermögens- und Fälschungsdelikte): 52,167 incidents in 2015.
In addition, in 2015, migrants were involved in 36,010 reported cases of assault, battery and robbery (Rohheitsdelikte: Körperverletzung, Raub, räuberische Erpressung), roughly twice as many as in 2014 (18,678). There were also, in 2015, 28,712 reported incidents of fare evasion on public transportation (Beförderungserschleichung).

There were 1,688 reported sexual assaults against women and children, including 458 rapes or acts of sexual coercion (Vergewaltigungen oder sexuelle Nötigungshandlungen).
According to the report, migrants were accused of 240 attempted murders (Totschlagsversuch), in 2015, compared to 127 in 2014. In two-thirds of the cases, the perpetrators and victims were of the same nationality. There were 28 actual murders: migrants killed 27 other migrants, as well as one German.
Finally, the report said that 266 individuals were suspected of being jihadists posing as migrants; 80 of these were determined not to be jihadists; 186 cases are still being investigated. The infiltration of jihadists into the country, according to the report, is "a growing trend."
The report leaves far more questions than answers. It remains unclear, for example, how German police define the term "migrant" (Zuwanderer) when compiling crime statistics. Does this term refer only to those migrants who arrived in Germany in 2015, or to anyone with a migrant background?
If the report refers only to recently arrived migrants -- Germany received just over one million migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East in 2015 -- this would imply that at least 20% of the migrants who arrived in Germany in 2015 are criminals. But if the number of crimes committed by migrants is actually twice as high as the report states, then at least 40% of newly arrived migrants are criminals. Yet the report asserts: "The vast majority of asylum seekers are not involved in criminal activity."
Also, for reasons that are not given, the report fails to include offenses committed by North Africans, long known to be responsible for an increase in crimes in cities and towns across Germany.
Police in Bremen, Germany are shown detaining four young North African criminals who have been terrorizing local shopkeepers. (Image source: ARD video screenshot)

In Hamburg, police say they are helpless to confront a spike in crimes committed by young North African migrants. Hamburg is now home to more than 1,000 so-called unaccompanied minor migrants (minderjährige unbegleitete Flüchtlinge, MUFL), most of whom live on the streets and apparently engage in all manner of criminal acts.
A confidential report, leaked to Die Welt, reveals that Hamburg police have effectively capitulated to the migrant youths, who outnumber and overwhelm them. The document states:
"Even the smallest issue can quickly lead to aggressive offensive and defensive behavior. The youths come together in groups to stand up for each other and also to fight each other...
"When dealing with others, the youths are often irreverent and show a lack of respect for local values ​​and norms. The youths congregate mainly in the downtown area, where they can be seen almost every day. During the daytime, they hang out mostly in the St. George district, but in the evenings they carry out their activities in the Binnenalster, Flora- and Sternschanzenpark and St. Pauli [all across central Hamburg]. They usually appear in groups; up to 30 youths have been observed on weekend nights in St. Pauli. The behavior of these highly delinquent youths towards police officers can be characterized as aggressive, disrespectful and condescending. They are signaling that they are indifferent to police measures...
"The youths quickly become conspicuous, mainly in the domains of pickpocketing or street robbery. They also break into homes and vehicles, but the crimes are often reported as trespassing or vandalism because the youths are just looking for a place to sleep. Shoplifting for obtaining food is commonplace. When they are arrested, they resist and assault [the police officers]. The youths have no respect for state institutions."
The paper reports that German authorities are reluctant to deport the youths back to their countries of origin because they are minors. As a result, as more unaccompanied minors arrive in Hamburg each day, the crime problem not only persists, but continues to grow.
Meanwhile, in a bid to save the city's tourism industry, Hamburg police have launched a crackdown on purse-snatchers. More than 20,000 purses -- roughly 55 a day -- are stolen in the city each year. According to Norman Großmann, the director of the federal police inspector's office in Hamburg, 90% of the purses are stolen by males between the ages of 20 and 30 who come from North Africa or the Balkans.
In Stuttgart, police are fighting a losing battle against migrant gangs from North Africa who are dedicated to the fine art of pickpocketing.
In Dresden, migrants from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia have effectively taken control over the iconic Wiener Platz, a large public square in front of the central train station. There they sell drugs and pickpocket passersby, usually with impunity. Police raids on the square have become a game of "whack-a-mole," with a never-ending number of migrants replacing those who have been arrested.
German authorities have repeatedly been accused of underreporting the true scale of the crime problem in the country. For example, up to 90% of the sex crimes committed in Germany in 2014 do not appear in the official statistics, according to the head of the Association of Criminal Police (Bund Deutscher Kriminalbeamter, BDK), André Schulz. He said:
"For years the policy has been to leave the [German] population in the dark about the actual crime situation... The citizens are being played for fools. Rather than tell the truth, they [government officials] are evading responsibility and passing blame onto the citizens and the police."
In an apparent effort to defuse escalating political tensions, Germany's Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge, BAMF) on February 16 said it was expecting only 500,000 new migrants to arrive in the country in 2016. In December 2015, however, BAMF director Frank-Jürgen Weise told Bild that "this figure [500,000] is only being used for 'resource planning' because at this time we cannot say how many people will come in 2016."
On January 1, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated that 1.3 million asylum seekers would enter the European Union annually during 2016 and 2017.
In a January 9 interview with Bild, Development Minister Gerd Müller warned that the biggest refugee movements to Europe are still to come. He said that only 10% of the migrants from the chaos in Iraq and Syria have reached Europe so far: "Eight to ten million migrants are still on the way."
Adding to the uncertainty: On February 18, senior security officials from Austria, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia — all countries along the so-called Balkan Route, which hundreds of thousands of migrants are using to enter the European Union — agreed to coordinate the joint transport of migrants from the Macedonia-Greece border all the way to Austria, from where they will be sent to Germany.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Turkey's Haunted Border with Syria

  • Erdogan and his prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, are now paying the price for their miscalculated Islamist aspirations to install a Muslim Brotherhood type of Sunni regime in Syria in place of the non-Sunni Assad regime. Assad, with Russia's help, has become somewhat untouchable, and has never been so safe and secure since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011. By contrast, the Turks now face a multitude of threats on both sides of an apocalyptic border.
  • "With the Middle East ravaged by religious radicalism and sectarianism, the European Union and the United States can't afford the Turkish government's brutal military efforts against the Kurds or its undemocratic war on academics and journalists. Only a secular, democratic Turkey that can provide a regional bulwark against radical groups will bring stability to both the Middle East and Europe. As Mr. Erdogan seeks to eliminate all opposition and create a single-party regime, the European Union and the United States must cease their policy of appeasement and ineffectual disapproval and frankly inform him that this is a dead end." — Behlul Ozkan, assistant professor at Istanbul's Marmara University, writing in the New York Times.
Six years ago, Turkey's official narrative over its leaders' Kodak-moment exchanges of pleasantries with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime in Damascus promised the creation of a Muslim bloc resembling the European Union. Border controls would disappear, trade would flourish, armies would carry out joint exercises, and Turks and Syrians on both sides of the border would live happily ever after. Instead, six years later, blood is flowing on both sides of the 900 kilometer border.
Inside Turkey, clashes between security forces and members of the youth wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) have been taking place for weeks. Many towns and neighborhoods have turned into ghost-towns, as strict curfews are now in place. As a result, tens of thousands of Kurds have been forced to flee their homes, seeking refuge in safer parts of the country. While the Turkish army struggles to diffuse the latest Kurdish urban rebellion, hundreds of Kurdish militants and members of Turkey's security forces have lost their lives.
Worse, the conflict has the potential to trigger further violence in Turkey's non-eastern regions, where there is a vast Kurdish population spread across large cities.
Already in Istanbul, violence erupted on February 2, 2016, when unidentified gunmen opened fire on the campus of an Islamic association; they killed one man and wounded three others. In a second incident in a suburb of Istanbul, two people were killed and seven wounded after armed assailants fired on a tea-house.
Across the border in northern Syria, Turkey's "Kurdish problem" is equally pressing. The PKK's Syrian faction, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), has been successfully fighting on the front-lines alongside the Western alliance that is waging war on the Islamic State (IS), and making itself highly regarded by the alliance, thereby further angering Ankara.
Turkey, which views the PYD as a terrorist organization like the PKK, fears that the Syrian Kurds' fight against IS could, in the near future, earn the PYD international legitimacy.
On February 1, Brett McGurk, the U.S. envoy to the coalition against IS, visited a part of Kurdish-controlled northern Syria. On his visit, McGurk posed in front of cameras with a PYD commander -- all smiles -- while receiving an honorary plaque. The ceremony lent further legitimacy to the PYD. McGurk's actions greatly angered Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In a statement directed towards Washington, Erdogan asked: "How will we trust [you]? Am I your partner or are the terrorists in Kobane [the Kurdish town in northern Syria]?"
Ironically, Syrian Kurds are not only backed by the U.S., but also by Russia, which became another Turkish nightmare. On November 24, 2015, two Turkish F-16 jets shot down a Russian Su-24 military jet flying along Turkey's border with Syria. Turkey justified its actions against Russia, citing a violation of Turkish airspace. Russian President Vladimir Putin pledged to punish Turkey by means "other than" a slew of severe commercial sanctions.
Immediately after the November 24th incident, in a clear signal to Turkey, Moscow began to reinforce its military deployments in Syria and on the eastern Mediterranean. These included installations of S-400 anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense batteries, lying in wait for the first Turkish plane to fly over Syrian skies, in order to shoot it down in front of the cameras. Russia's scare tactics worked. The Turks halted their airstrikes against IS strongholds in Syria.
On January 29, 2016, another Russian jet, this time a Su-34, violated Turkish airspace and was not shot down. The Turks, already uneasy over tensions with Russia, did not pull the trigger. Most observers agree that the second violation and Turkey's failure to shoot, despite earlier pledges that "all foreign aircraft violating Turkish airspace would be shot down," was a major humiliation on the part of Ankara.
Left: A Russian Su-24 bomber explodes as it is hit by a missile fired from a Turkish F-16 fighter, on Nov. 24, 2015. Right: A Russian Su-34 fighter jet. On Jan. 29, 2016, a Russian Su-34 violated Turkish airspace and was not shot down, despite earlier pledges that "all foreign aircraft violating Turkish airspace would be shot down."

Much to Turkey's discomfort, the Russians are playing a tough game in Syria. Most recently, the Russian military deployed at least four advanced Sukhoi Su-35S Flanker-E aircraft to Syria; the move -- shortly after the January violation of Turkish airspace by the Su-34 -- further augmented its air superiority and boldly challenging Ankara.
"Starting from last week, super-maneuverable Su-35S fighter jets started performing combat missions at Khmeimim airbase," Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov told the TASS news agency on February 1. But a more humiliating move by Moscow was to come: Russian forces in Syria bombed "moderate" anti-Assad Islamist groups, as well as Turkmen (ethnic Turks) in northwestern Syria.
Russian airstrikes have reinforced Assad's forces that now encircle Aleppo, a strategic city in the north. More than 70,000 Syrians, mostly Turkmen, fled from their villages to the Turkish border to seek refuge inside Turkey, and potentially add to the country's refugee problem. Turkey is home to more than 2.5 million Syrians who have fled the civil war. It is estimated that at least one million more would flee to Turkey if Aleppo fell to Assad's forces.
Erdogan and his prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, are now paying the price for their miscalculated Islamist aspirations to install a Muslim Brotherhood type of Sunni regime in Syria in place of the non-Sunni Assad regime. Assad, with Russia's help, has become somewhat untouchable and has never been so safe and secure since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011. By contrast, the Turks now face a multitude of threats on both sides of an apocalyptic border.
As Behlul Ozkan, an assistant professor at Istanbul's Marmara University, warned in a recent article in the New York Times:
"With the Middle East ravaged by religious radicalism and sectarianism, the European Union and the United States can't afford the Turkish government's brutal military efforts against the Kurds or its undemocratic war on academics and journalists. Only a secular, democratic Turkey that can provide a regional bulwark against radical groups will bring stability to both the Middle East and Europe. As Mr. Erdogan seeks to eliminate all opposition and create a single-party regime, the European Union and the United States must cease their policy of appeasement and ineffectual disapproval and frankly inform him that this is a dead end."

Germany's Migrant Crisis: January 2016

"Migrants Have No Respect for our Constitutional Order"

  • Despite snow, ice and freezing temperatures across much of Europe, a total of 91,671 migrants entered Germany during January 2016.
  • German taxpayers could end up paying 450 billion euros ($500 billion) for the upkeep of the million migrants who arrived in Germany in 2015. This would presumably double to nearly one trillion euros if another million migrants arrive in 2016.
  • A 19-year-old migrant from Afghanistan sexually assaulted four girls between the ages of 11 and 13 at a swimming pool in Dresden. The migrant was arrested but then set free.
  • Three teenage migrants from North Africa tried to stone to death two transsexuals in Dortmund after they were seen walking around in women's clothing. The victims were saved by police.
  • Bild reported that politicians in Kiel had ordered the police to overlook crimes perpetrated by migrants.
  • "The topics we cover are determined by the government. ... We must report in such a way that serves Europe and the common good, as it pleases Mrs. Merkel. ... today we are not allowed to say anything negative about the refugees. This is government journalism." – Wolfgang Herles, retired public media personality.
  • The European Commission called for the "rejection of false associations between certain criminal acts, such as the attacks on women in Cologne on New Year's Eve, and the mass influx of refugees."
In January 2016, the German public appeared finally to wake up to the implications of their government's decision to allow 1.1 million — mostly male — migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East to enter the country during 2015.
After more than a thousand Muslim migrants sexually assaulted hundreds of women in cities across Germany on New Year's Eve, Chancellor Angela Merkel began to face a rising voter backlash to her open-door migration policy.
Merkel's government has responded to the criticism by: 1) attempting to silence critics of the open-door migration policy; 2) trying to "export" the migrant problem to other countries in the European Union; and 3) announcing a series of measures — branded as unrealistic by critics — to deport migrants accused of committing crimes in Germany.
What Merkel has steadfastly refused to do, however, is reduce the number of migrants entering the country. Despite snow, ice and freezing temperatures across much of Europe, a total of 91,671 migrants — an average of around 3,000 migrants each day — entered Germany during the month of January 2016.
The following is a review of some of the more notable stories about the migration crisis in Germany during January 2016.
January 1. More than a thousand migrants sexually assaulted hundreds of German women in the cities of Cologne, Hamburg and Stuttgart. The government and the mainstream media were accused of trying to cover up the crimes, apparently to avoid fueling anti-immigration sentiment.
January 1. As Muslim migrants were causing mayhem on German streets, the Minister President of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann, said he could not understand public concerns about the "alleged Islamization" of Germany. In an interview with Die Welt, he said: "If you look at the facts, this fear is unfounded. We have a stable democracy and a free society. State and religion are separated. How should Muslims, who represent a minority, Islamize our society?" When asked why Germans are afraid, Kretschmann replied: "People are afraid of strangers they do not know."
January 1. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated that 1.3 million asylum seekers would enter the European Union annually during 2016 and 2017.
January 2. A fight between children as young as 11 at a refugee shelter in Stockach near Konstanz turned into a mass brawl after parents of the children joined in the fighting. Police were deployed to restore order. Seven people were injured.
January 3. A 16-year-old Moroccan migrant went on a rampage after a judge in Bremen ordered him to be jailed for stealing a man's laptop at knife-point. On the way from the courthouse to the jail, the Moroccan seriously injured a police officer by kicking him in the face. Once inside the jail cell, the migrant ripped a toilet from the floor and smashed it against a wall.
The chairman of the Bremen Police Union, Jochen Kopelke, said that migrants were attacking city police with increasing frequency: "The tone has become extremely aggressive; sometimes the police must apply massive force to get a situation under control." According to Bremen Senator Ulrich Mäurer, "the excesses of violence against police officers show that these people have no respect for our constitutional order and its representatives."
January 3. More than 50 migrants were involved in a mass brawl at a refugee shelter in Ellwangen near Stuttgart. Police said migrants attacked each other with fire extinguishers, metal pipes, rocks and stones. According to local media, mass brawls have become commonplace at migrant shelters in the area.
January 3. Hans-Werner Sinn, one of the best-known economists in Germany, cited estimates that German taxpayers could end up paying 450 billion euros ($500 billion) for the upkeep of the million migrants who arrived in Germany in 2015. This estimate would presumably double to nearly one trillion euros if another million migrants arrive in Germany in 2016.
January 4. An internal report written by a senior federal police officer revealed chaos "beyond description" in Cologne on New Year's Eve. The report, which was leaked to the news magazine Der Spiegel and published in full by the newspaper Bild, said that women were forced to "run a gauntlet" of drunken men of a "migrant background" to enter or depart the main train station. "Even the appearance of the police officers and their initial measures did not stop the masses from their actions." One migrant told a police officer: "I am Syrian; you have to treat me kindly! Mrs. Merkel has invited me."
January 5. Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker said: "There is no reason to believe that those involved in the sexual assaults in Cologne were refugees." Cologne Police Chief Wolfgang Albers said: "At this time we have no information about the offenders."
January 6. Former Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said it was "scandalous that it took the mainstream media several days" to report on the sexual assaults in Cologne. He said public media was a "cartel of silence" exercising censorship to protect migrants from accusations of wrongdoing.
January 7. A charity called Refugees Welcome Bonn, which organized a Rhine River cruise as welcoming party for migrants in Bonn, apologized after it emerged that migrants groped and sexually harassed some female guests during the event.
January 8. The Interior Ministry revealed that of the 32 suspects identified in the Cologne assaults, 22 were asylum seekers. Cologne Police Chief Wolfgang Albers was fired for withholding information about the assaults from the public.
January 9. A vigilante group began patrolling the streets of Düsseldorf to "make the city safer for our women." Similar groups emerged in Cologne and Stuttgart.
January 10. Three teenage migrants from North Africa tried to stone to death two transsexuals in Dortmund after they were seen walking around in women's clothing. The victims were saved by police, who happened to pass by in a car. One of the victims said: "I never could have imagined that something like this could happen in Germany."
January 11. A 35-year-old migrant from Pakistan sexually assaulted a three-year-old girl at a refugee shelter in Kamen.
January 12. In an interview with Bild, Frank Oesterhelweg, a politician with the center-right Christian Democrats (CDU), caused a scandal when he said that police should be authorized to use deadly force to prevent migrants from raping German women:
"These criminals deserve no tolerance, they have to be stopped by the police. By force if necessary, and, yes, you read correctly, even with firearms. An armed police officer has a duty to help a desperate woman. One must, if necessary, protect the victims by means of force: With truncheons, water cannons or firearms."
Police union leader Dietmar Schilff was irate: "These statements are outrageous and do not help the police at all. There are clear rules for using the service weapon. What would have happened in Cologne if the police had used clubs and guns?" According to Bild, many German police officers are afraid of using lethal force "because of the legal consequences."
January 12. A YouGov poll showed that 62% of Germans believe the number of asylum seekers is too high, up from 53% in November. According to the poll, the growing resistance to immigration was being driven by the hardening of attitudes by German women.
January 13. An Interior Ministry report leaked to Bild warned that jihadist attacks like those in Paris could take place in Germany "at any time." The report said that attacks would likely be spread over several days and against "various target categories."
January 13. A 20-year-old migrant from Somalia was sentenced to four years in prison for raping an 88-year-old woman in Herford. His defense attorneys argued for leniency because, according to them, the man was traumatized by his flight from Somalia. In Gelsenkirchen, four migrants attacked a 45-year-old man after he tried to prevent them from raping a 13-year-old girl.
January 14. The Bundestag, the lower house of the German parliament, approved a plan to provide all refugees with identity cards that will contain information such as fingerprints and country of origin. The cards will be linked to a centralized refugee data system. The plan may be too late: the German government has lost track of the whereabouts of hundreds of thousands of migrants who entered the country in 2015.
January 14. Prosecutors in Cologne said they were offering a reward of 10,000 euros ($11,000) for information leading to the arrest or identification of those who committed the sexual assaults and robberies on New Year's Eve.
January 14. A Bavarian politician sent a bus carrying 31 refugees on a seven-hour journey to Chancellor Angela Merkel's office in Berlin to protest her open-door refugee policy. Merkel sent the migrants back to Bavaria.
January 14. City officials in Rheinberg cancelled this year's carnival celebrations. Local police said that in wake of the sexual assaults in Cologne on New Year's Eve, they were unable to guarantee the safety of female revelers.
January 15. A 36-year-old migrant sexually assaulted an eight-year-old girl at a public park in Hilden near Solingen. A 31-year-old migrant from Tunisia was arrested for attempting to rape a 30-year-old woman in Chemnitz. A 31-year-old migrant from Morocco appeared in court for raping a 31-year-old woman in Dresden. A migrant sexually assaulted a 42-year-old woman in Mainz. A migrant sexually assaulted a 32-year-old woman in Münchfeld. An African migrant sexually assaulted a 55-year-old woman in Mannheim.
January 15. Male migrants were banned from a public swimming pool in Bornheim, near Bonn, after they were accused of assaulting female patrons at the facility.
In January, there were thousands of cases of migrants sexually assaulting women in Germany, including many that took place in public pools. The government began to face a rising voter backlash to the open-door migration policy, including public protests (left). In some areas, authorities have distributed cartoon guides, to "educate" migrants that sexual assault is not acceptable (right).
January 15. Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, in an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung, signaled his determination to export Germany's migrant problem by calling for a Europe-wide gas tax to help pay for the cost of hosting millions of migrants. He said:
"If the funds in national budgets and the European budget are not enough, then let us agree, for example, to raise a levy on every liter of gasoline at a certain level. If a country refuses to pay, I am still prepared to do it. Then we will build a coalition of the willing."
January 16. Norbert Röttgen, chairman of the foreign affairs committee in the German Bundestag and a lawmaker in Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), called upon the government to create a Ministry for Migration, Integration and Refugees. He said the migrant crisis had developed into a "primary and permanent task for the state" and is of "decisive importance for the future of our country and Europe."
January 16. A 19-year-old migrant from Afghanistan sexually assaulted four girls between the ages of 11 and 13 at an indoor swimming pool in Dresden. The migrant was arrested but then set free. A migrant from Syria sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl in Mudersbach. A 36-year-old migrant sexually assaulted an eight-year-old girl in Mettmann.
January 16. A group of between six and eight African migrants ambushed three people leaving a discotheque in Offenburg. The migrants were ejected from the discotheque after female clients complained that the men were sexually harassing them. After they left, at around 4AM, the migrants attacked them with metal rods, street signs and garbage bins.
January 17. In an interview with Bild am Sonntag, the president of the federal criminal police, Holger Münch, said that the number of crimes in refugee shelters had increased "significantly" since 2015, when the migrant influx began. He said that the migrants mostly responsible were from the Balkans and North Africa, especially Algerians, Tunisians and Moroccans. He added that half the offenses at the refugee shelters were physical assaults, but that there was also a growing number of homicides and sexual crimes.
January 17. In an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung, former Bavarian Prime Minister Edmund Stoiber warned that Chancellor Angela Merkel will "destroy Europe" if she refuses to reduce the number of migrants entering Germany.
January 17. Berlin clergyman Gottfried Martens accused German politicians and church leaders of ignoring the persecution of Christians by Muslims in German refugee shelters. He said that the Christians were facing "verbal threats, threats with knives, blows to the face, ripped crucifixes, torn bibles, insults of being an infidel, and denial of access to the kitchen because of uncleanness."
January 18. A 26-year-old Algerian man was the first person to be arrested in connection with a string of sexual assaults during New Year's celebrations in Cologne. He was apprehended at a refugee shelter in the nearby town of Kerpen. Cologne's chief prosecutor, Ulrich Bremer, said that nearly 500 women had come forward with allegations of sexual assault, including three cases of rape.
January 18. A 24-year-old migrant from Sudan was released after being held for questioning at a police station in Hanover. After crossing the street, the man, who receives 300 euros ($335) a month in social welfare benefits, dropped his pants and exposed himself in public and shouted, "Who are you? You cannot do anything to me. Whatever I cannot get from the state, I will steal."
January 19. Addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg, European Council President Donald Tusk warned that the European Union had "no more than two months" to get control over the migration crisis or face the collapse of the Schengen passport-free travel zone.
January 19. A poll published by Bild showed that support for Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc was down 2.5 points at 32.5%, its lowest result since the 2013 election. The poll showed that support for the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) was up 1 point at 12.5%; support for the Social Democrats was up 1 point at 22.5%.
January 19. A 28-year-old migrant from Iran pushed a 20-year-old woman onto the tracks of an oncoming train in Berlin. She later died.
January 20. Bild reported that migrants invaded female changing rooms and showers at two public swimming pools in Leipzig. Migrants, dressed in their street clothes and underwear, also jumped into the swimming pools. According to Bild, the city hall had tried to keep the incidents quiet, but details were leaked to the media.
January 21. More than 200 migrants have sued the German government for delays in processing their asylum applications.
January 22. Facing political pressure over the migrant crisis, Chancellor Angela Merkel met in Berlin with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to discuss ways to stem the flow of Syrian and other refugees from Turkish shores. She renewed a pledge to provide Turkey with financial support. In November 2015, EU leaders pledged 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion) to Ankara to help care for an estimated 2.5 million Syrian refugees in Turkey; the deal has been delayed by a dispute among EU member states over who will pay.
January 22. A report by municipal authorities in Zwickau that was leaked to Bild revealed that migrants were defecating in public swimming pools. Security cameras also filmed migrants harassing women in the public sauna and attempting to storm the female dressing room.
January 22. Police in Hanover investigated four nightclub bouncers for allegedly beating an 18-year-old Algerian migrant after he tried to steal the purses of two teenage girls. Two days before the incident, the migrant had been sentenced to one year in juvenile detention for robbery, but he was free to roam the streets until his sentence began.
January 22. A migrant attempted to rape a 16-year-old girl in Feuerbach district of Stuttgart, and in downtown Stuttgart, four migrants sexually assaulted a 23-year-old woman.
January 23. The Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that migrants had attacked women in 12 of Germany's 16 states on New Year's Eve. In addition to the attacks Cologne, 195 women filed complaints in Hamburg; 31 in Hesse; 27 in Bavaria; 25 in Baden-Württemberg; 11 in Bremen; and six in Berlin.
January 23. Two migrants sexually assaulted an 18-year-old woman in Wiesbaden, and a 35-year-old migrant sexually assaulted a woman in a restroom on a train in Düsseldorf.
January 23. The Stuttgarter Nachrichten reported that dental work for migrants could end up costing German taxpayers billions of euros.
January 24. An official police report leaked to The Huffington Post showed that Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière was not being truthful when he said that between 100 and 200 migrants are being denied entry into Germany each day. The report stated that since September 14, border police had prevented 7,185 migrants from entering the country — or only about 60 migrants turned away each day.
January 25. A 30-year-old migrant from North African exposed himself to a 19-year-old woman on a public bus in Marburg, and then to passersby at the main train station.
January 26. In an interview with the German public radio, Deutschlandfunk, retired public media personality Wolfgang Herles admitted that public broadcasters receive "instructions from above" when it comes to reporting the news:
"We have the problem that we are too close to the government. The topics we cover are determined by the government. But many of the topics the government wants to prevent us from reporting about are more important than the topics they want us to cover...
"We must report in such a way that serves Europe [the European Union] and the common good, as it pleases Mrs. Merkel. There are written instructions ... today we are not allowed to say anything negative about the refugees. This is government journalism, and this leads to a situation in which the public loses their trust in us. This is scandalous."
Previously, Claudia Zimmermann, a reporter with the public television broadcaster WDR, said that public media outlets in Germany "have been warned to report the news from a pro-government perspective."
January 26. A 24-year-old man on an evening stroll with his three-month-old baby daughter in the Eißendorf district of Hamburg was approached by two migrants who demanded his wallet and cellphone. When he said he was not carrying any valuables, the migrants attacked him with a knife. Fleeing for his life, the man ran onto a frozen pond and broke through the ice. A passerby heard the man calling for help. The baby, under water for an extended period, was revived by paramedics called to the scene. The baby remains in intensive care; the migrants remain at large.
January 26. A 28-year-old migrant from Algeria applied for asylum in Wesel. Authorities became suspicious because of his proficiency in German. They later determined that he had arrived in Germany in November 2014, rather than, as he claimed, in October 2015. It emerged that he had outstanding warrants for theft, but evaded police by using six different identities.
January 26. The Kieler Nachrichten reported that the proliferation of sexual assaults by migrants has women in the northern city of Kiel afraid to be out at night because the city is too dark. In an effort to save electricity, municipal officials decided to convert all of the city's street lights to LED bulbs, but they do not provide sufficient light to keep the streets illuminated at night.
January 26. The mayor of Freiburg, Dieter Salomon, ordered police to take a hard line against migrants accused of snatching purses and assaulting women in the city's discotheques. According to club owners, migrants have been robbing women on the dance floor and raping them in the restrooms. Many of the offenders are allegedly underage migrants from North Africa. Club owners say that the migrants are not afraid of authority: "They know that nothing will happen to them here."
January 27. A 39-year-old migrant from Afghanistan tried to enter Germany at Simbach, a town on the border of Austria. A background check determined that in May 2000, a German court had sentenced the man to an eight-year prison term for rape. He had been deported to Afghanistan in 2006 with orders never to return.

January 27. The public radio and television channel, Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, reported that German taxi drivers are profiting from the migrant crisis by taking migrants to doctors' appointments and asylum interviews. The cab fares are being paid for by German taxpayers. MDR reported on a taxi company in Leipzig that had billed the government for 800 taxi fares for taking migrants to run errands. One taxi driver, for example, drove a migrant family on an 80 km (50 mile) journey for an appointment with migration authorities. The meter was left running while the driver waited for the migrants to return from their meeting. The fare was 309 euros ($344).
January 28. Bild reported that politicians in Kiel had ordered the police to overlook crimes perpetrated by migrants. According to the paper, the police in North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony have also been instructed to be lenient to criminal migrants.
January 28. A migrant from Sudan sexually assaulted a female police officer in Hanover as she was attempting to arrest him for theft. Public prosecutor Thomas Klinge confirmed the incident. "Such brazen behavior towards a police officer has been unheard of until now," he said.
January 28. Berlin's Tempelhof airport, the iconic site of the Berlin Airlift in 1948-49, is set to become the biggest refugee shelter in Germany. In a controversial move to alter the airport's zoning regulations, Berlin's municipal government — run by a coalition between the Christian Democratic Union and the Social Democratic Party — voted to build five massive structures to house 7,000 migrants there. Opposition politicians said the government was creating an "immigrant ghetto" in the heart of Berlin.
January 28. Police in Berlin said that a volunteer with the charity group Moabit Hilft had fabricated a story about a 24-year-old migrant said to have died while waiting for days outside an asylum registration office. The story was allegedly faked in an effort to embarrass the government for its slow response to the migrant crisis.
January 29. The European Commission, the powerful administrative arm of the European Union, said that the sexual assaults in Cologne had nothing to do with the migrant crisis and were simply a matter of public order. A confidential memo leaked to The Telegraph stressed the importance of the Commission's "continuing role in sounding the voice of reason to defuse tensions and counter populist rhetoric." The Commission called for "the unconditional rejection of false associations between certain criminal acts, such as the attacks on women in Cologne on New Year's Eve, and the mass influx of refugees."
January 29. A public vocational school in the Wilhelmsburg district of Hamburg cancelled plans to host classes for refugees after male migrants sexually harassed dozens of female students at the school.
January 29. The German news magazine Focus published the results of a poll showing that 40% of Germans want Chancellor Angela Merkel to resign because of her migrant policies.
January 30. A gang of migrants on a Munich subway train were filmed attacking two elderly men who tried to stop them from groping a woman. Images show the migrants grabbing two men by the arms and neck and shouting abuse at them. It later emerged that the migrants were from Afghanistan; although they had been denied asylum in Germany four years ago, the German government refused to deport them because Afghanistan is "too dangerous."
January 31. The Interior Minister of Saxony-Anhalt, Holger Stahlknecht, of the Christian Democrats, announced that he would delay releasing the 2015 crime statistics until March 29, two-and-half weeks after regional elections. The statistics are normally released in February or early March. Rüdiger Erben of the Social Democrats said: "The late release date reinforces my suspicion that the statistics are horrific."
January 31. ISIS sympathizers defaced more than 40 gravestones at a cemetery in Konstanz with slogans such as, "Germans out of Syria," "Christ is Dead" and "Islamic State."
January 31. A 30-year-old German, originally from Turkmenistan, raped a seven-year-old girl in Kiel. The man kidnapped the girl from a school playground at 11AM, took her to his apartment and, after abusing her, set her free. It later emerged that the man, who is the father of two children, had been accused of sexually assaulting a five-year-old girl at another kindergarten in Kiel on January 18, but the public prosecutors failed to pursue the case due to insufficient evidence. "In hindsight, we regret that decision," the prosecutors said.
January 31. In an underhanded effort to silence critics of the government's open door migration policy, Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel called on German intelligence to begin monitoring the Alternative for Germany (AfD), the third-largest party in Germany. The AfD is surging in popularity because of its anti-immigration platform.

With TPP Signed, Opposition Explodes Across Political Spectrum

With the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) signed today in New Zealand by officials from the 12 governments and dictatorships ensnared in the sovereignty-smashing “free trade” regime, opposition to the plot — dubbed “Obamatrade” by critics — is surging across the political spectrum and around the nation. In the presidential primaries, virtually nobody, not even known establishment candidates, dares to express support for the scheme. In Congress, members of both parties are up in arms, calling on their colleagues to crush the TPP before it crushes America. And among the grassroots, Americans of all political persuasions are outraged, ranging from labor unions and environmental groups to conservative, libertarian, and constitutionalist forces. All 12 of the governments involved are facing their own homegrown opposition, too.

As usual, the Obama administration is calling on U.S. lawmakers to rubber-stamp the agreement as quickly as possible. Indeed, Obama administration Trade Representative Michael Froman, a member of the extremist global government-promoting Council on Foreign Relations, even threatened that America would face “costs” if Congress did not promptly submit to Obama's demands. Considering the reactions of lawmakers so far though — even among Republicans who stabbed voters in the back by campaigning on a platform of stopping Obama, then empowering him with “Fast Track” authority to ram TPP through Congress — the White House is likely to face major hurdles in getting TPP ratified before the November election, if ever. Even the most “progressive” members of Obama's party are fervently denouncing what Obama called the “most progressive trade agreement in history.

On Obama's side of the aisle, for example, more than a few left-wing Democrats are urging their colleagues to stop Obamatrade. “Congress will have to vote straight up or down on TPP. We won’t have a chance to strip out any of the worst provisions, like [supranational kangaroo courts allowing mega-corporations to sue taxpayers for their decisions on how to govern themselves],” said far-left Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), one of the most “progressive” lawmakers in Washington, in a speech on the Senate floor ahead of the February 4 TPP singing ceremony in New Zealand. “That’s why I oppose the TPP and hope Congress will use its constitutional authority to stop this deal before it makes things even worse — and more dangerous — for America’s hard-working families.”
On the Republican side, even the establishment “RINOs” (Republicans In Name Only) in charge of Congress at least pretended to have concerns, despite having already betrayed their base to support the Obamatrade agenda. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, for example, said he had “some problems” with TPP, and that there were a “number of flaws” in it. He also suggested there may not be a vote until after the election, despite Obama's pleas. House Speaker Paul Ryan, meanwhile, said “a number of concerns” on TPP were raised by lawmakers that “must still be addressed.”
Thanks to the GOP unconstitutionally surrendering congressional power to Obama over trade policy, Congress can only vote up or down on the scheme at this point. That means there will be no “addressing” any alleged concerns Ryan claims to have. However, the White House said it would use crony capitalist outfits such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to pressure Republicans into submission.
Other Republicans, less establishment-minded perhaps, have been far more vocal in sounding the alarm on the major threat TPP poses to America. “The predictable and surely desired result of the TPP is to put greater distance between the governed and those who govern,” declared Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) after reviewing the text of the agreement. “It puts those who make the rules out of reach of those who live under them, empowering unelected regulators who cannot be recalled or voted out of office. In turn, it diminishes the power of the people’s bulwark: their constitutionally-formed Congress.”
In a statement calling for a revocation of Fast Track authority given to Obama by establishment Republicans in Congress, Sessions also highlighted the “global governance” danger from TPP. “Among the TPP’s endless pages are rules for labor, environment, immigration and every aspect of global commerce — and a new international regulatory structure to promulgate, implement, and enforce these rules,” he explained. “This new structure is known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Commission — a Pacific Union — which meets, appoints unelected bureaucrats, adopts rules, and changes the agreement after adoption.”
On the campaign trail, meanwhile, virtually no candidate has been willing to associate themselves with Obamatrade — a sign of just how unpopular the scheme is becoming among Americans of all political persuasions.
Seizing on bipartisan hostility to the “Obamatrade” TPP regime, leading Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump vowed to crush it if elected president. “Our leaders have negotiated terrible deals that are bleeding this country dry,” Trump told Breitbart News in a statement. “The TPP is another terrible one-sided deal that rewards offshoring and enriches other countries at our expense.” If elected, he vowed to “stop Hillary’s Obamatrade in its tracks, bringing millions of new voters into the Republican Party.” He also promised to move manufacturing jobs back to the United States and “Make American Great Again.”
In the statement, the Trump campaign said that the U.S. trade deficit with Mexico and Canada had “exploded” from less than $20 billion to more than $200 billion following the imposition of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA. Similarly, the campaign said, the U.S. trade deficit with South Korea ballooned by $12 billion since the 2012 U.S.-Korea free-trade regime was imposed. “The loss of manufacturing has been soul-crushing for American families: these are not just lost jobs, but a lost way of life,” the campaign said, lashing out at some Republican politicians who support “this awful deal.”
The statement also said TPP would allow other TPP member governments and dictatorships to manipulate currency, “hammer” American manufacturing, and crush U.S. jobs. “And it surrenders U.S. power to foreign bureaucrats and transnational corporations,” the statement said, echoing a frequent criticism of the TPP heard all across the political spectrum. Finally, the statement said, other candidates in the race, on both sides of the aisle, have in the past supported the TPP, and some Republican candidates had even voted in favor of handing “Fast Track” power to Obama so he could “ram it through Congress.” 
Senator Ted Cruz, who won the recent Iowa GOP caucuses, initially supported Obamatrade, but he has since then reversed his position, vowing last year in Iowa to vote against it. Senator Marco Rubio, the third-place finisher in Iowa, also originally supported the Obamatrade agenda, though his current stance remains unclear. On the Democrat side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been a fervent supporter of the TPP, calling it the “Gold Standard,” though at this point, both Democrat candidates — Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Clinton — claim to oppose the deal.
Sanders has been opposed all along. After the signing, he lashed out again, saying that, if elected, he would do everything possible to kill it. He also linked TPP to other disastrous “free trade” deals such as NAFTA, CAFTA, and Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with Communist China. If he wins the presidency, he vowed to “fundamentally rewrite our trade policies to benefit working families, not just the CEOs of large, multinational corporations,” the Huffington Post reported. While trade is a “good thing,” it must be “fair, and the TPP is anything but fair,” Sanders added.
Outside the beltway, forces from across the political spectrum are gearing up for a fight on TPP and Obamatrade. On the “right,” grassroots conservative, libertarian, and constitutionalist groups will be working hard to stop TPP ratification, even as establishment, neo-conservative, and crony capitalist groups prepare to lobby Congress to surrender to Obama.
Among the right-leaning groups working against TPP is The John Birch Society, a constitutionalist organization with chapters in all 50 states. It vowed to make defeating the TPP a top priority. “Today’s signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in New Zealand means the Obama administration is one step closer to presenting this national sovereignty-destroying agreement to Congress,” said JBS Director of Missions Larry Greenley in a statement. “Since the continued security of our personal rights and freedoms depends on the continued national independence of our nation, preventing congressional approval of TPP is one of the top goals of The John Birch Society in 2016.” The JBS, an affiliate of this magazine, is the same group that was blasted by the late architect of the sought-after “North American Community,” CFR operative Robert Pastor, for its role in stopping deeper European Union-style “integration” among North American countries.
On the Left, opposition to TPP, whether real or for show, continues to grow by leaps and bounds as forces from Big Labor to Big Green line up in opposition. “We’ve been down this road before. The Wall Street and Washington elite always tell us that this time will be different,” said AFL-CIO Richard Trumka, blasting the TPP as a “new low” and slamming the “crony capitalism” throughout the scheme. “The truth is these trade deals have ripped apart the fabric of our nation. We see the shuttered factories. We visit towns that look like they are stuck in the past.… From NAFTA to CAFTA to Korea and now the TPP, these agreements have continually put profits over people. By driving down our wages, they make our economy weaker, not stronger.”
As more is learned about the TPP regime, which was negotiated in strict secrecy behind closed doors until being released recently, the more opposition grows. That is probably why, as The New American reported earlier today, the Obama administration and the establishment are urging Congress to make haste and rubber-stamp the scheme. However, with Americans across the political spectrum largely united against Obamatrade, ratifying the sovereignty-destroying TPP regime may be tougher than the establishment would have hoped — assuming it is possible. Americans should educate themselves about the dangers the TPP poses to U.S. liberty, self-government, independence, and prosperity, and then use that knowledge to educate their elected representatives. More information is available in the articles linked below.
With enough public pressure, the establishment's "Obamatrade" agenda to undermine America can still be stopped in its tracks.