French election 2017: Marine Le Pen leading the race as polls open

Polls have opened in the first round of France’s most unpredictable and high-stakes presidential election in decades, with far-Right leader Marine Le Pen and the maverick centrist Emmanuel Macron leading the field.

A Le Pen victory could lead to the collapse of the European Union, experts warn, but after the victory of Donald Trump in the US and the Brexit vote in Britain most agree that there is no safe bet in the French race.

Lawrence Solomon: Trump just might make us put on our big-boy pants and make Canada great again

“Let’s not pretend we’re in a global free market when it comes to agriculture,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau finally told a persistent John Micklethwait, Bloomberg’s editor-in-chief, in an interview Thursday. Trudeau had been bafflegabbing Micklethwait’s inquiry into Canada’s position on NAFTA and free trade, in an attempt to avoid admitting Canadian hypocrisy in preaching free trade while practicing protectionism.

The interview demonstrated Trudeau’s inability to counter the essential truth of President Donald Trump’s assessment that Canada has not been acting honourably.

Continental Breakfast

Canadian scientists feel deja vu at March for Science rallies

“I think that to a certain extent we’ve already seen an erosion of trust in science, and the process of empirical and objective observation,” he said, listing denial of climate change, the anti-vaccination movement and people who believe the Earth is flat as examples.

“The things that we’re seeing down in the States now, the cuts to the EPA and NOAA, the muzzling of scientists, the removal of language like ‘climate change’ and other things from websites, this whole spectrum of things is in some ways a pretty direct echo of things we saw under the Harper government.”


The University of Chicago to Allow Black Terrorist to Speak

This public appearance ends his three months of silence, as Obama vacationed in the Caribbean and Palm Springs California hosted by many of his big name celebrity friends.

Obama will be speaking with young people on “community organizing and civic engagement”. That’s right, Obama returns the very job that gave him his start.


Rachel Maddow Blames Trump for Riots in Venezuela

Maddow actually tried to make the argument Venezuelans were “enraged anew” after a newly released FEC filing showed Citgo Petroleum donated $500,000 to President Trump’s inauguration.

Citgo is a subsidiary of Venezuela’s state run oil company.


UN employee resigns amid allegations he was elected to Hamas leadership

Suhail al-Hindi, an United Nations Relief Works Agency employee who was allegedly elected to the Hamas leadership, resigned from his position at the UN body, the Palestinian news site al-Rishalah reported on Saturday.

UNRWA Spokesman Chirs Gunness confirmed Hindi is no longer employed by UNRWA. “I can confirm that Mr. al-Hindi is no longer working for UNRWA. It is not the policy of the Agency to discuss the terms of departure of individual staff members,” Gunness said in an email statement.


Ottawa abortion clinic says patients, staff at breaking point over protester intimidation

Police and the city say their hands are legally tied after Ottawa’s only publicly funded abortion clinic accused authorities of doing little to curb years of harassment and intimidation it says clients and staff have faced from protesters.

The Morgentaler Clinic on Bank Street says anti-abortion demonstrators, some wearing sandwich boards featuring what appear to be bloody and cut-up human figures, have consistently frightened and harassed patients and workers trying to enter and exit the building.


Two Canadians added to most-wanted U.S. terror list

The United States has quietly added two Canadians fighting in Syria to its most-wanted terror list, saying the individuals pose a serious risk of committing acts of terrorism that could threaten America’s security, citizens or economy.

Farah Mohamed Shirdon, an Albertan of Somali heritage, is alleged to be a recruiter and fundraiser for Daesh, also known ISIS and ISIL. Quebecker Tarek Sakr is identified as having conducted sniper training for the Al Qaeda-linked al-Nusrah Front.

That doesn’t look like any Canadian I’ve ever seen.


Indiana State University Professor Arrested For False Reports Of Anti-Islamic Threats and Assault

Azhar Hussain, an assistant professor at Indiana State University, has been arrested for allegedly making false reports of anti-Islamic threats and an attack. Hussain, 56, teaches aviation technology.

Hussain reported a series of emails with anti-Muslim messages and threats of potential violence against members of the Muslim community. He was mentioned as one of the targets. He then reported an assault two weeks later in the College of Technology after he said he was attacked from behind when he arrived at his office in the morning.


Craziest activist photos from the #marchforscience

This Earth Day, April 22, Earth Day Network and the March for Science are co-organizing a rally and teach-in on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The day’s program will include speeches and trainings with scientists and civic organizers, musical performances, and a march through the streets of Washington, D.C. The crowd will gather at 8:00am, and the teach-in will begin at 09:00am.

Yesterday’s news but still amusing.


Outraged Muslims to Rally Against Amazon Over Alleged Lack of Prayer Rooms

Outraged Muslims are reportedly planning a May 1 demonstration at the Amazon headquarters in Seattle, Washington.

The company is under fire after several Muslim security guards demanded time and space to pray five times a day, while on the job.


Canada’s top Imam says jihad will continue until the Day of Judgment

In a panel discussion in Toronto on the “Finality of Prophethood”, Nadvi called Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam a “false prophet” who abrogated the jihad in contradiction to an explicit hadith by Mohammad who said the the jihad will continue to the end of time.


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Erin Moran, star of ‘Happy Days’ and ‘Joanie Loves Chachi’ dies at 56

FoxNews: Erin Moran, the former child star who played Joanie Cunningham in the sitcoms “Happy Days” and “Joanie Loves Chachi,” died Saturday at 56.

Daily Mail: Henry Winkler and Ron Howard lead tributes to their Happy Days co-star Erin Moran after actress who played feisty teenager Joanie Cunningham dies aged 56 ‘of a suspected heroin overdose’.

US forces kill Isis militant linked to Istanbul nightclub attack

The United States has disclosed a secret military ground operation in Syria that killed an Isis operative seen as a close associate of leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and linked to an attack on a Turkish nightclub that left 39 people dead.

Abdurakhmon Uzbeki, who was believed to be from Uzbekistan, was killed during the ground assault near Mayadin on 6 April, said Colonel John Thomas, a spokesman for the US military’s Central Command.

“It was a ground operation. I think that’s all we’re willing to say about that,” Cnl Thomas said, declining further comment. He specified that Uzbeki did not die in an airstrike.

Yazidi girl, 11, kidnapped by Islamic State aged only eight freed by Iraqi Forces from the jihadist stronghold Mosul

Iraqi forces in Mosul have freed an 11-year-old Yazidi girl who was kidnapped and sold as a slave by the Islamic State group in 2014.

The girl was taken by the jihadists from the village of Kosho, south of the Yazidi hub of Sinjar in northern Iraq, together with her mother and sisters.

She was freed during an operation by the security forces on Thursday in west Mosul a federal police chief said in a statement.

Teenage Danish terror suspect: Isis was ‘exciting’

The 17-year-old girl accused of planning terror attacks against two schools in Denmark said during her trial that she found terror organisation Islamic State (Isis) ‘exciting’.

During her 15-month stay in custody following her arrest in January 2016, the girl also wrote a long part-biography, part-fiction called “The Way to Jihad” (Vejen til Jihad), in which she allegedly explained the thoughts behind her actions and imagined herself as a fully-fledged jihadi planning the attacks, the court heard.

Catholic Church condemns Croatian play featuring Jesus Christ Muslim rape scene

A controversial play which depicts Jesus Christ raping a Muslim woman drew strong condemnation from Croatia’s Catholic Church on Saturday.

A theater festival in the coastal city of Split was due to host a performance on Monday of Croatian playwright Oliver Frljic’s “Our Violence and Your Violence,” but the region’s Archdiocese called for its cancellation.

The play discusses Europe’s refugee crisis and was already staged in Croatia and other European countries.

In one scene Jesus rapes a Muslim woman wearing a hijab. Earlier in the play, a naked actress wearing a hijab pulls out a national flag from her vagina.

The Logicians of Sacred Atrocity

It is frequently asserted that Islam is insane and irrational, and that the actions of devout Muslims are therefore capricious and without logic. This is hardly the case. Muslims are generally quite rational — they just have very different logical premises than we do.

Muslims do not commit bizarre, inhuman acts for no reason. They do so for quite precise reasons, which may be determined from reading their source texts (plus tafsirs, or authenticated exegeses) closely. If you begin with bizarre, inhuman premises, and follow the rules carefully based on them, then PRESTO! — you’re a Muslim. A good Muslim. You’re a devout servant of Allah, a god who demands that you follow his intricate instructions down to the minutest detail.

Every time someone refers to a jihad massacre as a “senseless tragedy”, he reveals that he has not done due diligence with respect to Islamic law. Those acts are not senseless, not in the slightest. And they are not “tragedies”, they are atrocities. Intentional, deliberate, methodical atrocities carried in rigorous compliance with Islamic law.

Thousands of ex-Taliban fighters may have entered Germany: report

Thousands of former Taliban fighters may have entered Germany over the past two years among an influx of more than a million migrants and refugees, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Saturday.

Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) informed security officials that thousands of migrants had identified themselves as former Taliban insurgents during the asylum application process, the magazine said.

It added that at least 70 Afghan men were being investigated by Germany’s over-stretched chief federal prosecutor, though it was not clear whether all of them were suspected of being active Taliban militants.

Six are being held in investigatory detention and preliminary court hearings involving several others are due to start next week, the magazine added.

Ukip pledges to ban the burka and outlaw Sharia law as party’s election manifesto aims at core supporters

Ukip will promise on Monday to ban the burka from being worn in public as it shelves a rebrand that was planned before the election.

The party’s first election manifesto pledges will be based on its an “integration agenda” aimed at its core supporters.

Sharia law – the religious rules that form part of Islamic tradition – will be outlawed in the UK under the party’s proposals.

How anti-racist campaigners re-racialised schools

For years, government officials and assorted experts have emphasised the problem of racism in education. Even as British society has become palpably less racist, more and more policy, advice and guidance has descended on schools. There has been much focus on both the spectre of racist playground incidents and the low attainment of black pupils. And, in recent years, such official interference has actually worked to re-instate racial thinking.

Vigilance, Not Complacency

Two counterterror officials warn that the terror threat remains profound.

The warnings from two senior counterterrorism officials this week could not have been starker, though they differed dramatically in tone and style. Americans have grown unduly complacent about the threat of Islamic terrorism, the officials said. We ignore it at our peril.

Director of Homeland Security John Kelly, a retired Marine general, was extraordinarily blunt Tuesday in a speech at George Washington University. “Make no mistake,” he said. “We are, in fact, a nation under attack.” Despite all that Washington has spent and done to protect Americans, the U.S. now faced “the highest terror threat level in years.”