Latest Analysis and Commentary

Britain's War on Christianity: Part I

by Soeren Kern  •  March 19, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • "Christian street preachers should be free to share the gospel, even where it means challenging the beliefs of others." — Christian Concern, in a petition to UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid.

  • In recent years, dozens of Christians — clergy and non-clergy — in Britain have been arrested or fired from their jobs due to their faith. Much of the harassment is based on three sections of two British laws that are vague and open to subjective interpretations.

  • At an appeal hearing at Bristol Crown Court, attorney Michael Phillips emphasized the importance of freedom of speech, even in cases where the speaker does not necessarily hold the views being expressed. Another attorney, Paul Diamond, argued that there is no right not to be exposed to contrary ideas. He added that should passers-by not wish to hear the preaching, they are able to walk away.

James McConnell, a 78-year-old Christian pastor in Northern Ireland, was charged in 2015 with making "grossly offensive remarks" about Islam during a sermon. Pictured: Pastor McConnell leaves Belfast Magistrates' Court on December 16, 2016 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

The unlawful arrest of a Christian street preacher in London has drawn attention to the continuing use of hate speech laws to silence Christians in multicultural Britain — even as incendiary speech by Muslim extremists is routinely ignored.

On February 23, Oluwole Ilesanmi, a 64-year-old Nigerian evangelist known as Preacher Olu, was arrested at Southgate Station in North London after complaints that his message about Jesus was "Islamophobic." A video of the arrest, viewed more than two million times, shows how two police officers ordered the man to stop preaching because "nobody wants to listen to that," confiscated his Bible and then arrested him for "a breach of peace."

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Turkey: Putin's Ally in NATO?

by Burak Bekdil  •  March 19, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • On March 7, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey would never turn back from the S-400 missile deal with Russia. He even added that Ankara may subsequently look into buying the more advanced S-500 systems now under construction in Russia.

  • With the S-400 deal, Turkey is simply telling its theoretical Western allies that it views "them," and "not Russia," as a security threat. Given that Russia is widely considered a security threat to NATO, Turkey's odd-one-out position inevitably calls for questioning its official NATO identity.

  • Turkey has NATO's second biggest army, and its military love affair with Russia may be in its infancy now, but it undermines NATO's military deterrence against Russia.

Turkey has NATO's second biggest army, and its military love affair with Russia may be in its infancy now, but it undermines NATO's military deterrence against Russia. Pictured: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, on March 10, 2017. (Image source: kremlin.ru)

On September 17, 1950, more than 68 years ago, the first Turkish brigade left the port of Mersin on the Mediterranean coast, arriving, 26 days later, at Busan in Korea. Turkey was the first country, after the United States, to answer the United Nations' call for military aid to South Korea after the North attacked that year. Turkey sent four brigades (a total of 21,212 soldiers) to a country that is 7,785 km away. By the end of the Korean War, Turkey had lost 741 soldiers killed in action. The U.N. Memorial Cemetery in Busan embraces 462 Turkish soldiers.

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Hamas War Crimes against Israel, Palestinians

by Bassam Tawil  •  March 18, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • Suddenly, everyone was talking only about the rocket attacks on Tel Aviv, and Hamas seemed to have gotten away with its beating and shooting at peaceful protesters. It is also worth noting that many of the Palestinians who were brutally beaten by Hamas were children. In the view of many Palestinians, what Hamas is doing in the Gaza Strip is tantamount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

  • Recently, in a grotesque allegation, UN human rights "experts" claimed that Israel may have committed war crimes by shooting at Palestinian demonstrators who tried to breach the Gaza-Israel border fence and infiltrate into Israel. The demonstrators who were shot were mostly Hamas and Islamic Jihad members, as both organizations have openly admitted. In other words, Israel is being accused of war crimes for defending its border against terrorists attempting to infiltrate it in order to murder or kidnap Israelis.

  • Perhaps a small step, such as viewing easily available material, would set the record straight. These UN human rights "experts" might, for a change, glance at the videos and photos coming out of the Gaza Strip to see who is really responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity: Hamas. Its members are opening fire at peaceful protesters, who are taking their lives in their hands to end the harsh economic conditions created by their rulers' catastrophic policies in the Gaza Strip. It is the leaders of Hamas, and only Hamas, who are committing war crimes in and around Gaza. They are committing war crimes against Jews and they are committing war crimes against their own people.

In recent days, Hamas members in Gaza have been beating, shooting at and arresting hundreds of peaceful Palestinian protesters whose only "crime" was to demand a dignified life, jobs and a better future. Many of the Palestinians who were brutally beaten by Hamas were children. Pictured: Hamas gunmen in Gaza City, July 20, 2017. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Hamas has again proved that it really is a terrorist group that oppresses its people and prevents them from expressing their opinions. It has also shown that when it is in trouble, it will do its utmost to divert attention from the problems it is facing at home.

As far as Hamas is concerned, one of the best ways to divert attention from the growing frustration with its rule is by attacking Israel and Jews. Then, Israel is forced to respond to defend itself. That will allow Hamas to tell its people that there is no room for internal fighting and disputes "because we are under attack by the Jews." No Palestinian would dare to criticize Hamas while Israel is supposedly "attacking" Hamas. Anyone who did so would be accused of being a "traitor" and "collaborator" with the "Zionist enemy."

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"Dangerous Nuclear Schemes"

by Peter Huessy  •  March 18, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • The proposed policies, if adopted by the new leadership in the House, would certainly fracture whatever consensus exists today to modernize America's strategic nuclear deterrent -- and at a time when both Russia and China are charging ahead militarily, and Iran and North Korea are racing toward a deliverable nuclear weapons capability.

  • If the United States chooses to eliminate its land-based missiles, as arms control advocates have proposed, it would dramatically and dangerously simplify an adversary's targeting calculus. The US would be reducing more than 500 distinct American-based nuclear-related targets -- including 450 Minuteman silos and 48 launch control centers spread across five American states -- down to only five continental US targets -- three USAF bomber bases, and two submarines bases -- and only roughly 10 targets if US submarines at sea were included.

  • China's "declared" policy of no first use policy is, in fact, suspect, considering the country's deployed weapons and nuclear threats to the US that involve America's protection of Taiwan. China, needless to say, is being currently exposed for its massive track record of lying, cheating and stealing everything, from their military land-fill bases in the South China Sea to the virtual theft from the United States of China's entire telecom industry.

  • There is no reason whatever to discontinue implementing the traditional three-part nuclear deterrent posture (land, sea and air) endorsed not only by the 2018 nuclear posture review (NPR) but also by the past three nuclear posture reviews (1994, 2001 and 2010). If the proposals above are adopted, two nuclear dangers in particular will be heightened. First, America's allies, no longer credibly protected by the US nuclear umbrella, may seek to build their own nuclear weapons to compensate for the omission. Second, in a crisis, America's adversaries might seek to disarm the US, or coerce it to stand down, especially as US nuclear forces would have been so diminished as to invite aggression, rather than deter it.

In the real world, it is important to remember what President John F. Kennedy said about America's newly built Minuteman missiles: that they were his "ace in the hole" and prevented the Cuban missile crisis from ending in Armageddon. Pictured: An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches during an operational test on August 2, 2017, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California (Image source: U.S. Air Force)

Modernization of the US strategic nuclear deterrent, often referred to by those who oppose it as "dangerous nuclear schemes," will require multiple decades to complete. To sustain such an effort, a bipartisan consensus needs to continue annually, regardless of who controls Congress or the presidency.

To succeed at its best, a nuclear modernization effort should be combined with a measurable, but verifiable arms control agenda; either the continuation of existing arms control treaties, expanded arms control efforts, or both.

Russia's violations of the INF treaty, including Russia's deployment of upwards of 100 illegal missiles, led to the INF treaty (unfortunately) becoming defunct. Such violations by Russia obviously make pursuing further or other arms control initiatives extremely difficult.

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Note to Our Readers

March 18, 2019 at 3:00 am

(Image source: iStock)

Gatestone Institute deplores the mass shootings in the New Zealand mosques. Violence against the innocent is never acceptable. Our hearts go out to those who were so unspeakably slaughtered and to their anguished families: the people you loved were taken from you far too soon. Our prayers are with you and the wounded at this agonizing time. — All of us at Gatestone.

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Ireland's Anti-Israel Drift: How Did It Come to This?

by Lawrence A. Franklin  •  March 17, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • Ireland, as a European Union member state, is subject to the EU's commercial rules. EU trade rules may prohibit Ireland's unilateral action as an EU treaty requires common commercial policy for all EU member states. The proposed law "could force US companies with Irish subsidiaries to choose between violating the Irish law or violating US Export Administration Regulations." — Orde Kittrie, Professor of Law, Arizona State University.

  • Worst, there is no evidence that Ireland's "pro-Palestinian" activities are in any way helping Palestinians, who continue to be arrested, tortured and deprived of any viable future by their own corrupt leaders. Most European activities seem actually focused on trying to destroy Israel.

  • What is most notable, of course, is that there is no commensurate hostility toward any other country. Ireland's rancid vote also needs to be contrasted to its virtual silence regarding countries that are daily committing hair-raising crimes against humanity, such as Iran, China, Turkey, Syria, North Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Mauritania, Cuba, Venezuela or Sudan, for instance. Why only Israel? What is now on display is simply a hypocritical condemnation by Ireland of the only democracy in in the Middle East with equal rights for all its citizens.

  • What is essential is that this double standard -- one set of rules for Israel and a whole other set of rules for countries actually committing atrocities -- must stop.

Ireland's legislative lower house (Dáil) on January 29 approved a bill that would make it a crime for Irish citizens to import or sell any product produced by Israelis in areas located beyond the 1949 armistice lines, most of which, such as Jerusalem, were actually liberated by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War from their illegal occupation by Jordan in 1948-49. Pictured: Leinster House, seat of the Irish Houses of Parliament. (Image source: Leandro Neumann Ciuffo/Wikimedia Commons)

Ireland's legislative lower house (Dáil) on January 29 approved a bill that would make it a crime for Irish citizens to import or sell any product produced by Israelis in areas located beyond the 1949 armistice lines, most of which, such as Jerusalem, were actually liberated by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War from their illegal occupation by Jordan in 1948-49, after Israel was attacked by five Arab armies who were literally hoping to crush it the day of its birth. In 1967, Egypt, presumably hoping to finish the job it had started in 1948, created a casus belli (cause for war under international law) by announcing a blockade of Israel's access to the Red Sea via the Straits of Tiran.

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Common Causes of Three Crises in Three Continents

by Amir Taheri  •  March 17, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • The last century witnessed a plethora of ideology-based regimes: The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the People's Republic of China, the United Arab Republic and the Buddhist Socialist State of Myanmar among others. The pretension behind all those labels was that rather than being the art of solving the people's problems, politics was a means of advancing the real or imagined goals of an ideology.

  • Another thing the three crisis-struck regimes (Iran, Algeria, Venezuela) have in common is that they are all oil-and-gas states, which means that because they don't depend on income from taxation, they can regard their people as expensive and bothersome extras.

  • In all three countries, the traditional military holds the balance of power between the ruling elite of which their own top brass is part and the mass of the rebellious citizenry.

The obvious thing that the crises in Iran, Algeria and Venezuela have in common is that they are rooted in a sharp disconnect between a discontented but combative people thirsty for change and a tired but arrogant ruling elite hell-bent on hanging onto power. Pictured: Supporters of Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaidó gathered at a Citizens' Assembly on March 16, 2019 in Valencia, Venezuela. (Photo by Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images)

Three crises in three continents: Iran in Asia, Algeria in Africa and Venezuela in Latin America. Do they have anything in common?

The obvious thing they have in common is that all three crises are rooted in a sharp disconnect between a discontented but combative people thirsty for change and a tired but arrogant ruling elite hell-bent on hanging onto power.

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Iran Inches Closer to its Goal: "Wipe Israel off the Map"

by Majid Rafizadeh  •  March 16, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • As Iran's theocratic establishment believes that the Supreme Leader is Allah's representative on earth, whatever words or desires the Supreme Leader utters are considered Allah's wishes, which must be brought to life by Allah's true believers.

  • Iran has built, or is in the process of building, more than 10 military bases in Syria, some of which are near the Israeli border.

  • When will the international community begin to take the Iranian's government clear verbal threats and physical aggression seriously? Or would the international community secretly like to see Israel destroyed, under Europe's Orwellian inversion of the words: "the peace process"?

The Deputy Commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Hossein Salami, recently threatened Israel on Iran's Channel 2 TV. (Image source: MEMRI)

Iran's military activities and clear public threats to annihilate Israel continue to grow in frequency and intensity. These moves not only instill fear, as they are doubtless meant to do; they also threaten to disrupt the international community. With such dire promises of conflict, it would be expected that the international news media and politicians throughout the world would have something to say about this situation. Instead, Iran's continued abusive behavior continues to be cozied up to at worst, or at best, ignored.

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EU: Telling Europeans What to Think

by Judith Bergman  •  March 15, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • The above initiatives, of course, exist in addition to all the other measures that the EU has put in place to "guide" Europeans onto the path of proper thinking... which the untransparent and unaccountable online tech giants -- Facebook, Google, Twitter and Mozilla -- signed in October 2018, and their 2019 "Code of Conduct on countering illegal online hate speech online."

  • In the same vein as China's "reeducation camps" or the former Soviet Union's "rehabilitation centers" that abused psychiatry for political purposes, Marine Le Pen in September was ordered to undergo psychiatric tests for tweeting the pictures, ostensibly to establish whether she "is capable of understanding remarks and answering questions".

  • It is probably safe to say that the first victims of the EU's media literacy policies will be diversity of opinion and free speech.

Marine Le Pen (pictured at podium), the leader of France's Rassemblement National (National Rally) party, posted tweets condemning the Islamic State terrorist group, including photos of their murdered victims. For this, she was charged with the crime of "disseminating violent images," and ordered by a court to undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine whether she "is capable of understanding remarks and answering questions." (Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)

The first European Media Literacy Week, an initiative of the European Union, will take place March 18-22 in various European cities. The week is a new initiative by the European Commission, putatively "to underline the societal importance of media literacy and promote media literacy initiatives and projects across the EU". The European Commission explains its policy of strengthening 'media literacy' within the EU -- which could have been a noble and useful initiative -- the following way:

"With the rapid rise of digital technology and its increasing use in business, education and culture, it is important to ensure everyone can understand and engage with digital media.

"Media literacy is vital for economic growth and job creation. Digital technologies are a key driver of competitiveness and innovation in the media, information, and communication technology sectors."

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Denmark in a State of Unreported Collapse

by Ole Hasselbalch  •  March 14, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • The official statistical definition of "descendants" includes only the first generation after the person who migrated to Denmark. So the official figures do not show the real picture.

  • If the population statistics continue to follow that pattern, ethnic Danes -- whose birthrate is far lower than that of non-Western immigrants -- will become a minority sometime around the year 2065. According to a 2017 report by Statistics Denmark, only about half of non-Western immigrants between the ages of 16 and 64 are employed (53% of men and 45% of women).

  • In 2017, a third of all the people provided for by Denmark's basic social-welfare system were immigrants, which constitutes a rise of 82% in a mere seven years. These figures show that the public expenses connected to immigration will, in the long run, bring the welfare state to an end.

Contrary to misleading media reports, Denmark is not forcing suffering refugees to live on a remote island. Only foreign criminals "convicted of crimes and slated for deportation under the terms of their sentences" will be housed there. And they will even be given ferry rides to the mainland, under the excuse that this is necessary due to "international conventions". (Image source: Erik Christensen/Wikimedia Commons)

The media portrayal of Denmark as a country hostile and inhumane to migrants is misleading, if not completely false.

One reason for the inaccurate picture is that it is painted by journalists' political bias. Another is that trustworthy official Danish statistics on the country's immigration problem are both difficult to find and even harder to interpret. A further problem is a lack of reliable research, at best; and purposely distorted data, at worst.

The following breakdown illustrates that rather than being more relatively free of the consequences of mass migration than other European countries in general, and Scandinavian countries in particular, Denmark is in a state of societal collapse. In spite of Copenhagen's many laws that govern migration and affect immigrants, the Danish people have been experiencing a major cultural and political shift in their life as they have traditionally known it.

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Israel vs. its Enemies in Europe

by Ruthie Blum  •  March 14, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • Ireland's Senate recently voted to support organizations, many headed by terrorists, in imposing a boycott on Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. This, while hardly ever uttering a critical word about countries such as China, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Turkey, Mauritania, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, Nigeria, Sudan or South Sudan.

  • The singling-out of Israel probably tells more about Ireland's longstanding history of anti-Semitism than about the country it has been targeting.

  • It is time for the world to cease and desist in its efforts to demonize Israel, and to admit to its use of and reliance on the innovation and technology for healing that Israel -- turning no one away -- always graciously provides. It would be a welcome change if its adversaries were half as ethical.

Even while leaders of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas glorify terrorism against innocent Israelis and call for sanctions against Israel, they frequently turn to Israel for medical care, often for cancer treatments. For example, PA President Mahmoud Abbas' brother and brother-in-law received life-saving treatments at Assuta Medical Center in Tel Aviv. Abbas' wife underwent surgery at that same hospital. Pictured: Assuta Medical Center. (Image source: Olegmay/Wikimedia Commons)

Ireland's Senate recently voted to support organizations, many headed by terrorists , in imposing a boycott on Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. This, while hardly ever uttering a critical word about countries such as China, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Turkey, Mauritania, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, Nigeria, Sudan or South Sudan. The singling-out of Israel probably tells more about Ireland's longstanding history of anti-Semitism than about the country it has been targeting, particularly since it ignores that state's major contributions to world, including in the field of medicine. Take, for example, cancer research.

The national executive director of the Israel Cancer Research Fund, Mark A. Israel, recently explained why a tiny country such as Israel -- in which the "rate of cancer deaths for Jews... is among the lowest in the world" -- has made so many important strides in the fight against the deadly global disease for which there is not yet a cure.

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Palestinians: Abbas Stands 'Trial' for Treason

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  March 13, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • To some, the mock trial in the Gaza Strip of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas may seem trivial or like some sort of bizarre comedy act. The "trial," however, is something else entirely: it is designed to send a signal not only to Abbas, but to any Palestinian who even thinks of making peace with Israel or recognizing its right to exist.

  • The "trial" is aimed at showing what awaits any Palestinian who dares to work with Israel by conducting security coordination or normalizing ties with it. Verdict: Any Palestinian who accepts a peace plan with Israel will also be found guilty -- and signing his own death warrant.

The mock trial in the Gaza Strip of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas may seem like some sort of bizarre comedy act. The "trial," however, is designed to send a signal not only to Abbas, but to any Palestinian who even thinks of making peace with Israel or recognizing its right to exist. Pictured: Mahmoud Abbas at the UN General Assembly, September 20, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Hagen/Getty Images)

The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas has made no secret of its desire to see Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas stand trial for betraying the Palestinians for his alleged "collaboration" with Israel and sanctions against the Gaza Strip.

Last year, a senior Hamas official, Ahmed Bahr, called for bringing Abbas to trial for "great treason" -- a crime punishable by death. Abbas is not only refusing to make peace with Hamas, he wants it to hand over its weapons to his government, Bahr said. "For that, he should be brought before a popular and constitutional court on charges of great treason."

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To Disarm North Korea, Hit Hard on Human Rights

by Gordon G. Chang  •  March 12, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • American leaders have been wrong. The best way to get what we want from North Korea, whether it be "denuclearization" or anything else, is to reverse decades of Washington thinking and raise the issue of human rights loudly and incessantly. The same is true with regard to North Korea's sponsor and only formal ally, the People's Republic of China.

  • Kim Jong Un knows how inhumane his rule is -- he has, after all, had hundreds of people executed -- so if we do not talk forcefully about, say, Otto Warmbier, Kim will think we are afraid of him. If he thinks we are afraid of him, he will see no reason to be accommodating. It is unfortunate, but outsiders cannot be polite or friendly.

  • It is time to let Kim know that America no longer cares about how he feels or even about maintaining a friendly relationship with him. That posture, a radical departure from Washington thinking, is both more consistent with American ideals and a step toward a policy that Kim will respect.

U.S. President Donald Trump believes he faces a dilemma: that his efforts on behalf of the parents of Otto Warmbier -- the University of Virginia student whom North Korean authorities detained, brutalized and killed -- undermine his ability to take away nuclear weapons from Kim Jong Un. Pictured: Fred and Cindy Warmbier, Otto's parents, are acknowledged during President Trump's State of the Union address on January 30, 2018. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

"I'm in such a horrible position, because in one way I have to negotiate," U.S. President Donald Trump said at CPAC on March 2, while talking about efforts to disarm North Korea. "In the other way, I love Mr. and Mrs. Warmbier, and I love Otto."

Trump believes he faces a dilemma: that his efforts on behalf of the parents of Otto Warmbier -- the University of Virginia student whom North Korean authorities detained, brutalized and killed -- undermine his ability to take away nuclear weapons from Kim Jong Un, the leader of that horrific regime.

The president at CPAC summed up his perceived predicament this way: "It's a very, very delicate balance."

But is there really a "delicate balance"? Trump and predecessors have thought they should not vigorously raise human rights concerns while negotiating on various matters with the ruling Kim dynasty of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

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Ukraine: To Die in Mariupol
An On-Site Report

by Leni Friedman Valenta and Jiri Valenta  •  March 12, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • Although Russian President Vladimir Putin has not articulated the final objective of his proxy war in eastern Ukraine, his actions seem to indicate that he is determined to create a land bridge from Mariupol to Odessa -- two major seaports vitally important to Ukraine's economy. Putin's overall strategy in Ukraine, also not publicly stated, seems to be to strangle it economically by disrupting shipping between the Odessa and Azov Sea ports, with the aim of eventually subjugating Ukraine to Russia.

  • "If Putin wants to do something about Mariupol," a Ukrainian sailor said, "he has only a short time in which to do it. We have a small navy. We hope your country [America] will give us more ships to defend the port."

  • "This time," said a Ukrainian army platoon leader at the front, "if the Russians come, we are not going to let them through. We would rather die."

On November 25, 2018, the Russian Navy attacked three Ukrainian ships in the Sea of Azov that were heading in the direction of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol. Pictured: Ukrainian Border Security Force soldiers patrol the coast of the Sea of Azov near the Port of Mariupol, on November 29, 2018. (Photo by Martyn Aim/Getty Images)

On April 3, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin -- upon winning the war Syria while protecting his beleaguered client, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, from a rebel uprising supported by the U.S. and Sunni Gulf states -- had some more good news. US President Donald J. Trump had given instructions to the American military to begin planning for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria. Although the official decision was announced only on December 21, the Kremlin evidently gambled that Trump might be serious about the withdrawal.

It was only on November 25, 2018 that the West awakened to a new and potentially unsettling threat to world peace, this time in the Sea of Azov. Putin, who had largely frozen his war there in 2015, was now defrosting it. There had been no serious response from the West.

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A Month of Multiculturalism in Britain: February 2019

by Soeren Kern  •  March 11, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • There is "a lot of anecdotal data" which shows that female genital mutilation (FGM) is increasingly being performed on babies and infants in the UK, according to FGM expert and attorney Dr. Charlotte Proudman. She added that it was "almost impossible to detect" as the girls were not yet in school or at nursery, thus making it difficult for any public authority to become aware of it. Proudman added that the lack of prosecutions for FGM is due in part to concerns by doctors and police over being accused of racism.

  • Oluwole Ilesanmi, a 64-year-old Christian street preacher also known as Preacher Olu, was arrested at Southgate Station in north London after complaints that his message about Jesus was "Islamophobic."

  • Education Secretary Damian Hinds announced a plan to make anti-FGM lessons compulsory in British schools. As of September 2020, all teenagers in secondary school will be taught about the illegal practice, which may affect up to 60,000 girls in the UK. "I want to make sure there isn't another generation of children at risk of this happening," Hinds said.

Pictured: A UK Border Force boat patrols Dover Harbour on December 29, 2018. The growing number of migrants illegally attempting to cross the English Channel was declared a "major incident" by UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who called in the Royal Navy to help deal with the migrant crisis in the Channel. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

February 1. A 37-year-old Ugandan mother-of-three became the first person to be found guilty of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Britain, where FGM has been a criminal offense since 1985. The Central Criminal Court of England and Wales, known as the Old Bailey, heard how the woman performed FGM on her three-year-old girl. The woman claimed the girl "fell on metal and it ripped her private parts" after she had climbed to get a biscuit. Prosecutor Caroline Carberry QC told the court that investigators found evidence in the woman's home in East London of spells and curses apparently aimed at "silencing" police officers, social workers and lawyers:

"Two cow tongues were bound in wire with nails and a small blunt knife also embedded in them, 40 limes were found and other fruit which when opened contained pieces of paper with names on them.

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