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  1. #61
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    Jan 2007


    US targets anti-Trump activists' Facebook accounts

    The warrants seek information from three accounts related to the massive Inauguration Day protests in February.

    Two weeks ago, Lacy MacAuley was shocked when she opened her email inbox to find a message informing her that the US Department of Justice had served a warrant to Facebook to access her personal account.

    "I had heard that Facebook was fighting some warrants, but I certainly didn't give it much thought," recalled MacAuley, a Washington, DC-based activist and prominent anti-fascist.

    "I didn't expect that email," she told Al Jazeera by telephone.

    Three warrants were served that demand Facebook provide the US government with all information from the accounts of two activists and a page affiliated with massive protests against right-wing President Donald Trump's inauguration on January 20.

    The requested information includes the entirety of photos, videos, posts, private messages, video calls, billing information and other data between November 1, 2016, and February 9.

    The other two warrants target activist Legba Carrefour and the "Disrupt J20" page, which has since been renamed "Resist This".

    MacAuley and Carrefour had been protest spokespersons leading up to the inauguration, and the Disrupt J20 page was a digital space where visitors discussed and organised demonstrations.

    If successful, the warrant for Disrupt J20 could result in some 6,000 visitors to that page having their names and public and private activity on and with the page passed on to the government.

    Facebook was barred from informing its users that the DOJ was seeking their online information for seven months. Government lawyers dropped the gag order in mid-September.

    Rights groups have decried the warrants as a "fishing expedition" aimed at creating a database of information on activists who oppose Trump's administration.

    MacAuley says the warrants are "clearly politically motivated", describing the government's efforts as unnecessary invasions of their privacy.

    "The government doesn't need to see all the details of my private life," she argued. "[US Attorney General] Jeff Sessions doesn't need to see my family photos, information about my romantic partner and details about my surviving intimate [violence]."

    Contacted by Al Jazeera, the DOJ and the US Attorney's Office District of Columbia both declined to comment on this story.

    'Prosecutorial overreach'

    Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union's DC chapter (ACLU-DC) filed a motion in court asking for the warrants to be thrown out.

    MacAuley, Carrefour and Emmelia Talarico, who administered the Disrupt J20 page, are being represented by the ACLU-DC.

    Scott Michelman, a senior lawyer at the ACLU-DC, described the warrants as "a serious case of prosecutorial overreach".

    "This is a deep invasion of privacy and it's unconstitutional," he told Al Jazeera.

    "It's a fishing expedition," Michelman said. "Perhaps what's most chilling is that they permit these activists to be investigated by the very administration they are protesting."

    The warrants are linked to demonstrations that resulted in the mass arrest of more than 230 people who were at an anti-fascist bloc march during Trump's inauguration.

    MacAuley, Carrefour and Talarico were not among those arrested.

    During that march, anti-fascists made their way through the capital's streets. Some of them smashed windows and spray-painted graffiti on walls and vehicles.

    Police clashed with them, using rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas and pepper spray.

    The majority of the more than 230 arrestees were handed a slew of felony charges, most of which are related to rioting and property damage, that could land them behind bars for upwards of 70 years.

    Among those arrested were protesters, legal observers, medics and bystanders. Although many later had the charges dropped and others reached plea deals with the government, 194 are still facing the charges.

    Several rights groups accused the police of using excessive force and carrying out indiscriminate arrests during the incident.

    In June, the ACLU-DC filed a lawsuit against the city, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and Police Chief Peter Newsham over the police crackdown on January 20.

    The suit accuses the MPD of making wrongful arrests, violating protesters' constitutional right to free speech, denying detainees from accessing food and water and carrying out invasive body searches.

    'Signs of desperation'

    Sam Menefee-Libey, an activist with the DC Legal Posse, a group that supports the Inauguration Day defendants, argued that the warrants are part of the government's ongoing campaign to dissuade and intimidate anti-Trump activists.

    "It is a continuation of the US Attorney [Office]'s fishing expeditions, and it has a chilling effect on anti-Trump resistance," he told Al Jazeera.

    "They're targeting people publicly associated with Disrupt J20 in the lead-up to the Inauguration Day protests … and they are just going after some of the most public figures."

    In August, the DOJ issued a warrant to the web hosting company DreamHost for information about the operations of the website www.disruptj20.org and an estimated 1.3 million visitors to that page.

    If the government can lift the lid on Facebook, then we are all vulnerable.

    DreamHost fought that warrant in court. In response, DOJ narrowed the warrant's scope.

    DC Superior Court Judge Robert Morin subsequently granted prosecutors' request to collect several records from the company, including users' emails and membership lists.

    "I think that these broad electronic searches are signs of desperation as much as the grossly stacked charges are," Menefee-Libey said.

    "They're trying to save face in light of the police brutality on Inauguration Day because they know they don't have a case."

    For her part, MacAuley believes that the warrants are an indication that the US is "in a very dangerous place".

    "We are in danger of drifting toward fascism and authoritarianism," she said.

    "If they are targeting us now, who will they come for next? Everyone knows someone who is politically active, and everyone knows someone who has criticised the Trump administration on Facebook," she concluded.

    "If the government can lift the lid on Facebook, then we are all vulnerable."


  2. #62
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    Trump’s Troll Army Isn’t Ready for War in Syria

    The alt-right crowd breaks with the president.

    By BEN SCHRECKINGER - April 07, 2017

    The fractured elements of what was once called the alt-right were unified once more on Thursday night in condemning Donald Trump's airstrike in Syria as a mistake. Or as Milo Yiannopoulos put it, "FAKE and GAY."

    This loose confederation of Web-savvy, anti-establishment right-wingers formed an important vanguard of Trump's online support in last year's election, and its unified opposition to the airstrike forewarns a political downside to intervention in Syria. While foreign wars tend to boost presidents' popularity in the short term, Trump risks losing the segments of his base that flocked to his isolationist, "America First" message.

    In addition to its nationalist, anti-interventionist and anti-"globalist" views, the alt-right and its fellow travelers have also displayed a marked affinity for Syria's ally Russia, whose government has returned the love by tweeting images of the alt-right's mascot, Pepe the Frog, from official accounts. In reacting to the airstrikes, leaders of the movement placed those ideological reflexes over their personal loyalty to Trump.

    Most noteworthy were the herculean efforts of blogger Mike Cernovich, who took to the livestreaming application Periscope to rally opposition to the strike in a marathon session that went on for several hours.

    Just days after Donald Trump Jr. suggested he be given a Pulitzer Prize, Cernovich tweeted, "Sources telling me U.S. attack in Syria planned for tonight, we must stop! #NoMoreWar," at 7:40 pm Eastern time, an hour and a half before NBC News broke the news of the airstrike.

    During the course of the livestream Cernovich - at times holding his infant daughter Cyra in his arms - blamed a variety of actors for fomenting the conflict. "They want war. Deep state, all these people want it, man," he said. Of the media, he said, "They're trying to con Trump into believing the people want war."

    Cernovich also expressed his belief that Syrian dictator Bashar Assad had been framed for the chemical attack, though he had not decided by whom. "It was probably ISIS did it to themselves," he said on the livestream, while also tweeting, "Did McCain give 'moderate rebels' (ISIS) in Syria poison gas and Hollywood style film equipment?"

    Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes, founder of pro-Trump "Western chauvinist fraternal organization" the Proud Boys, joined Cernovich as a guest via Skype, and shared his skepticism. To illustrate a parallel from his own life, McInnes recounted a story in which he said a female friend accused a man of rape and McInnes violently confronted the man, only to be convinced by the man's incredulous response that he was not guilty of rape. (In a text message, McInnes, who left Vice a decade ago, maintained his skepticism about the source of the chemical weapons attack but signaled support for Trump's response).

    Earlier in the day, alt-right online philosopher Stefan Molyneux also joined Cernovich to condemn the action and question whether Assad was really responsible for the chemical weapons attack.

    Other callers offered even more disturbing theories. One man expressed his concern that the "deep state" had approached Trump and threatened to kill him and his family if he did not get in line and voiced his suspicion that "the whole thing" could be traced back to Barack Obama's national security adviser, Susan Rice. "Yeah, could be," responded Cernovich.

    Others who have been associated with the alt-right were similarly dismayed by the news.

    Yiannopoulos - who has kept a low profile since losing a CPAC speaking gig and a six-figure book deal over revelations that he once spoke favorably of pederasty - declined to elaborate on a text message describing the airstrike as "FAKE and GAY."

    White nationalist Richard Spencer, whose embrace of hard-core racism has led Yiannopoulos and others to distance themselves from the "alt-right" label, displayed no such reticence, calling the strike "a sad, shocking and deeply frustrating moment."

    "I condemn the strikes," he said. "I'm going to wait and see. Perhaps Trump is slapping Assad across the nose and won't go further. Perhaps Russia was informed of the attacks. Worst-case scenario: We're replaying the 2000s: A conservative comes to office on a populist message and becomes a globalist and neocon shill. Again, I'll wait and see but I'm prepared to denounce Trump."

    Spencer was not alone in vacillating between condemnations of the strike and expressing hope that Trump will not take further action against Assad. The anonymous alt-right Twitter troll Ricky Vaughn tweeted, "THERE IS NO ENDGAME IN SYRIA if we remove Assad. No leader that can hold together that country." He also tweeted, "Hoping this is 88D chess giving Trump political space and an excuse for meeting with and negotiating with Putin."

    Over on The_Donald subreddit, a central hangout for Trump's alt-right fans, debate raged all night. One poster attempted to douse the discontent by writing, "Calm the **** down all you concern trolls. This isn't WWW3 - its trump putting America first. We need to stop Assad from killing his people. They flee and guess where they are going?" The /pol/ section of the message board site 4Chan, another hotbed of online Trump support, was similarly torn asunder by the news, with one poster writing, "/pol/ hates Trump now. What happened?"

    Meanwhile, internet troll Charles Johnson was not prepared to accept that the U.S. really had struck at Assad, saying that a source at CENTCOM told him the strike had actually targeted the Islamic State. "I'm very skeptical of any claims made in the media on military matters," he said. "Especially since the Iraq War."


  3. #63
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    Trump choosing white men as judges, highest rate in decades

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is nominating white men to America’s federal courts at a rate not seen in nearly 30 years, threatening to reverse a slow transformation toward a judiciary that reflects the nation’s diversity.

    So far, 91 percent of Trump’s nominees are white, and 81 percent are male, an Associated Press analysis has found. Three of every four are white men, with few African-Americans and Hispanics in the mix. The last president to nominate a similarly homogenous group was George H.W. Bush.

    The shift could prove to be one of Trump’s most enduring legacies. These are lifetime appointments, and Trump has inherited both an unusually high number of vacancies and an aging population of judges. That puts him in position to significantly reshape the courts that decide thousands of civil rights, environmental, criminal justice and other disputes across the country. The White House has been upfront about its plans to quickly fill the seats with conservatives, and has made clear that judicial philosophy tops any concerns about shrinking racial or gender diversity.

    Trump is anything but shy about his plans, calling his imprint on the courts an “untold story” of his presidency.

    “Nobody wants to talk about it,” he says. “But when you think of it ... that has consequences 40 years out.” He predicted at a recent Cabinet meeting, “A big percentage of the court will be changed by this administration over a very short period of time.”

    Advocates for putting more women and racial minorities on the bench argue that courts that more closely reflect the demographics of the population ensure a broader range of viewpoints and inspire greater confidence in judicial rulings.

    One court that has become a focus in the debate is the Eastern District of North Carolina, a region that, despite its sizeable black population, has never had a black judge. A seat on that court has been open for more than a decade. George W. Bush named a white man, and Barack Obama at different points nominated two black women, but none of those nominees ever came to a vote in the Senate.

    Trump has renominated Bush’s original choice: Thomas Farr, a private attorney whose work defending North Carolina’s redistricting maps and a voter identification law has raised concerns among civil rights advocates.

    Kyle Barry, senior policy counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said that when diversity is lacking, “there’s a clear perception where the courts are not a place people can go and vindicate their civil rights.”

    In recent decades, Democrats have consistently named more racial minorities and women on the courts. But even compared to his Republican predecessors, Trump’s nominees stand out. So far, he has nominated the highest percentage of white judges in his first year since Ronald Reagan. If he continues on his trend through his first term, he will be the first Republican since Herbert Hoover to name fewer women and minorities to the court than his GOP predecessor.

    The AP reviewed 58 nominees to lifetime positions on appellate and district courts, as well as the Supreme Court, by the end of October. Fifty-three are white, three are Asian-American, one is Hispanic and one is African-American. There are 47 men and 11 women. Thirteen have won Senate approval.

    The numbers stand in marked contrast to those of Obama, who made diversifying the federal bench a priority. White men represented just 37 percent of judges confirmed during Obama’s two terms; nearly 42 percent of his judges were women.

    Some of Obama’s efforts were thwarted by a Republican-led Senate that blocked all of his nominations he made in the final year of his presidency, handing Trump a backlog of more than 100 open seats and significant sway over the future of the court.

    Trump has moved aggressively to name new judges, getting off to a much quicker start than his predecessors. He has nominated more than twice as many as Obama had at this point in his presidency. While there have been clashes in the Senate over the nomination process, Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has signaled that he is committed to moving judicial nominees through.

    Many of Trump’s white, male nominees would replace white, male judges. But of the Trump nominees currently pending, more than a quarter are white males slated for seats have been held by women or minorities.

    Of the eight seats currently vacant that had non-white judges, only one has a non-white nominee.

    White House spokesman Hogan Gidley says Trump is focused on qualifications and suggests that prioritizing diversity would bring politics to the bench.

    “The president has delivered on his promise to nominate the best, most-qualified judges,” Gidley said. “While past presidents may have chosen to nominate activist judges with a political agenda and a history of legislating from the bench, President Trump has nominated outstanding originalist judges who respect the U.S. Constitution.”

    Trump, who has cited the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch as a key achievement, has focused on judges with conservative resumes. His picks have been welcomed by conservative legal groups.

    Leonard Leo, the executive vice president of the Federalist Society who has advised Trump on judges, said the president’s judicial picks should be evaluated based on his nominations to the Supreme Court and appellate courts, given that home-state senators traditionally offer recommendations for district courts that carry significant weight when the lawmaker and the president are of the same party.

    There have been 19 nominees to those higher courts; more than two-thirds are white men.

    And past presidents also have pushed for diversity at the district courts. The Obama White House would make clear diversity was a priority and “if we found good candidates, we would encourage senators to take a look at them,” said Christopher Kang, who worked on judicial nominations in the Obama administration.

    Alberto Gonzales, who served as attorney general for George W. Bush, says that when considering nominees “sometimes President Bush would look at the list we gave him and he would say, ‘I want more diversity, I want more women, I want more minorities.’”

    In his first year, Obama’s confirmed judicial nominees were 31 percent white men. Bush had 67 percent, Bill Clinton 38 percent, George H.W. Bush 74 percent and Reagan 93 percent.

    For its analysis, The Associated Press looked at all lifetime appointments to federal judgeships — including all seats on the Supreme Court, Courts of Appeals, U.S. District Courts and International Courts of Trade— counting nominations to higher courts as new appointments. For the biographical information of each judge, the AP used data from the Federal Judicial Center.

    In the case of pending Trump nominees, reporters called each nominee or their representative to collect information on race, gender and birthdate. In eight cases where nominees declined to give their race, officials familiar with the information confirmed that all identified themselves as white males.

    more at : https://apnews.com/a2c7a89828c747ed9439f60e4a89193e

  4. #64
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    CAIR Condemns Trump's Incitement to Violence Against U.S. Muslims on Twitter


    CAIR Responds to Trump's Anti-Muslim Tweets


    Donald Trump Is Tweeting Videos By Britain First

    President of the United States is endorsing the group formerly known as the BNP

    Nov 29, 2017

    Donald Trump has retweeted three videos published to Twitter by Jayda Fransen, the Deputy Leader of Britain First, a far-right ultranationalist [extremist] party formerly known as the British National Party.

    It is unclear whether The President of the United States knows what Britain First is - which is to say a political party with a reputation for anti-Muslim publicity stunts, including 'occupying' mosques - or if he just really enjoyed those videos designed to stoke up anti-Muslim hate.

    Either way, the leader of the world's most powerful democracy is no longer hiding or equivocating in his support for far right extremism, but doing so openly. Probably while bored and sat on the toilet.


    Did a 'Muslim Migrant' Beat Up a Dutch Boy on Crutches?

    A video of a teenager beating up a person on crutches was shared by President Donald Trump along with the claim that the antagonist was a "Muslim migrant."


    A "Muslim migrant" beats up a boy on crutches in a video posted to a site in the Netherlands.



    On 29 November 2017, United States President Donald Trump retweeted three videos from Jayden Fransen, the deputy leader of the far-right anti-Islam political party Britain First who was found guilty of religiously aggravated harassment in November 2016. As this group has a penchant for sharing out-of-context, misleading, and false information, it wasn’t surprising that at least one of these videos, which purportedly shows violent acts committed by Muslims, had a misleading caption:

    Although the video is frequently accompanied by the caption “Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches,” there is no evidence to support this assertion, which in fact came, like so many other unfortunate assumptions, from its comment section.

    This video was first posted to the web site Dumpert.nl, a popular video portal in the Netherlands, in May 2017. Although the original posting largely focuses on the act of hitting a person on crutches, and it was not shared with any claims about the attacker’s religion, some people on the comment section naturally — and baselessly — assumed that the perpetrator was Muslim. As the video was reposted to other web sites, the unfounded claim that the attacker was a Muslim migrant followed it.

    Shortly after this video was posted to Dumpert.nl, Dutch police officers were able to locate the attacker and arrest him. A news report from the Telegraaf identified him as a 16-year-old boy from Monnickendam. The report made no mention of the boy’s religion.

    Further, when this months-old video was brought back into the spotlight in November 2017 thanks to a retweet from President Trump, Dumpert.nl posted a short article that mocked Trump for sharing the video:

    (By the way, fake news! Dader was geen moslim en geen immigrant. Maar leuk geprobeerd Trumpie)

    (By the way, fake news! Perpetrator was not a Muslim and not an immigrant, but nice try Trumpie)

    Greenstijl, the web site that operates Dumpert, also stated that the attacker in the video was not a Muslim:

    Moreover, the perpetrator was not a Muslim, let alone a migrant, but simply a Dutchman.

    The official Twitter account of the Public Prosecution Service of North Netherlands also disputed the claim that the attacker in this video was a Muslim migrant. In a message posted on 29 November 2017, they explained that the video showed a May 2017 quarrel between two minors. The attacker, who was born in the Netherlands, was placed in the HALT Program, an alternative settlement for young first time offenders:

    A video has been shared on twitter in which an argument between two underage boys can be seen. This incident took place in May of this year. The public prosecution service Noord-Holland has studied the file submitted by the police. (1/2)
    — OM Noord-Holland (@OMNoord_Holland) November 29, 2017

    The suspect, who was born and raised in the Netherlands, received a HALT settlement (https://t.co/w62MNOFvug). This has been successfully completed. (2/2)

    — OM Noord-Holland (@OMNoord_Holland) November 29, 2017

    The Netherlands Embassy in the United States also took to Twitter to tell to President Trump that “facts do matter” and that the attacker in the video was not a Muslim migrant:

    .@realDonaldTrump Facts do matter. The perpetrator of the violent act in this video was born and raised in the Netherlands. He received and completed his sentence under Dutch law.

    — Netherlands Embassy 🇺🇸 (@NLintheUSA) November 29, 2017


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    This Is How Every Genocide Begins

    Why Trump’s most un-American moment can’t be overlooked.

    Donald Trump’s retweeting of anti-Muslim propaganda videos is the most un-American thing he has done as president. I could just as well end this article here, as the truth of this statement should be self-evident. But let me explain.
    A president can do many things that seem cruel, especially from the point of view of his political opponents, such as encouraging Congress to strip health insurance away from millions of Americans. He can also do many things to offend the moral sensibility of his constituents, such as talking about grabbing women by their genitals. He can even go so far as to call into question American values, perhaps by equating the actions of white supremacists and those who oppose them.

    Each of these actions is abhorrent in its own way, but I would argue that none of them creates the same peril to the nation — and to humanity itself — as the president’s retweets. I know it may seem like an enormous exaggeration to pin such importance on the result of clicking a button on a webpage. But again, please bear with me.

    Some of the greatest crimes in human history have begun with moments like this one. Social scientists agree that attacks on an entire class of people — whether identified by their race, religion, education, or any other distinguishing characteristic — do not happen spontaneously. First the mob has to be primed. The targeted group has to be demonized through a campaign of hateful misinformation, always presented as legitimate information by people in positions of trust. Then the signal for violence falls on ready ears.

    It happened this way in Germany, Cambodia, Rwanda, and countless other sites of genocide, ethnic cleansing, and mass persecution. The pamphlets, megaphones, and radio broadcasts came before the pogroms, murders, and forced relocations. And today, we have even more effective ways to reach millions of people at a time, as the president’s more than 43 million followers on Twitter can attest; the established media only magnify his reach. But could another crime on this scale happen here?

    For the answer, Americans need only look to the historical case they probably know best: that of Nazi Germany. One of the precursors to the Nazi ascendancy was the immense popularity, in the painful aftermath of World War I, of a book purporting to disclose Jews’ plans for global domination: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The book was a forgery — no such plan existed or had ever been published by Jews — but it and similar texts cemented Jews as scapegoats for Europe’s economic and political ills years before the Nazis took power.

    The analogy to the president and his retweets is striking. He has used populist rhetoric to gain sway with vast numbers of disadvantaged and disillusioned Americans, in part by appealing to long-held prejudices. The videos he shared purportedly portray outrages committed by Muslim migrants in Europe, yet in reality they may be nothing of the sort. And just as Adolf Hitler claimed that the mainstream media’s dismissal of the Protocols proved that they were true, the president has repeatedly switched fact for fiction, especially in his denouncements of “fake news.”

    Despite these parallels, it may still seem like a stretch to link a few retweets to the Holocaust. But the path from the Protocols to the extermination camps was not traveled in a single night. The Nazis took power in 1933. Kristallnacht, the two days of riots that marked the first nationwide, coordinated outbreak of violence against German Jews, happened in 1938. The camps came a few years later, in the midst of World War II.

    I am worried that the president has set us on this long and terrible path. I worry for Muslims, but also for everyone who believes in freedom and equal rights.

    If our nation’s democratic institutions, including the office of the president, have been subverted to take us even one step closer to Nazi Germany, we have already gone too far. No tax reform bill or allegation of sexual harassment, however ill-conceived or despicable, presents a greater danger. And with the drums of war beating again, the chance to spread hate more widely in a wave of nationalistic fervor will soon beckon.

    As a person of Jewish parentage, I feel the danger evoked by the president’s retweets especially keenly. When I was growing up, my mother would occasionally pull out a book of family photos from the former Czechoslovakia, where both of her parents had been born. The early pages were full of well-dressed Moravian urbanites from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Then there were photos of the smiling faces of their grown children, all people who were later murdered in the Holocaust.

    These people were not poor strugglers or remote countryfolk. They were city-dwellers with the means and the opportunity to escape their impending doom. But they didn’t see it coming. If we can, what can we do?


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    Trump Falsely Ties British Crime Rise to 'Radical Islamic Terror'

    By LINDA QIU - October 20, 2017

    President Trump inaccurately linked a report of increasing crime in parts of Britain to “radical Islamic terror” in a tweet
    early Friday.

    Mr. Trump’s use of quotation marks suggests he is directly citing a passage from a recently released report. The White House did not respond when asked what exactly Mr. Trump was quoting, but the British Office for National Statistics, in a bulletin released on Thursday, estimated a 13 percent increase in “police recorded crime” in England and Wales from June 2016 to June 2017.

    First, the United Kingdom also includes Scotland and Northern Ireland.

    But more to Mr. Trump’s point, nowhere does the bulletin contain the words “amid spread of Radical Islamic terror.” If Mr. Trump is suggesting that the rise in crime is caused by Islamic [Muslim] terrorism, the report does not support that.

    Two terrorists attacks, in London in June and in the northwest English city of Manchester in May, together killed 35 people and involved what the agency called 294 attempted murders. They represented 0.0006 percent of the total 5.2 million crimes during the period covered by the report. Over all, homicides actually decreased 2 percent.

    “Violence against persons” — a broad category that includes terrorist attacks as one type of crime — totaled about 1.2 million, a 19 percent rise from the previous year. That was driven by increases in the subcategories of “violence without injury” (21 percent) and “stalking and harassment” (36 percent) as well as a smaller increase in “violence with injury” (10 percent), the statistical agency said.

    The agency did not specifically break out terrorism as a subcategory.

    Beyond the London and Manchester attacks, the police did not report the ethnicity or religion of the criminal offender, as they generally do not. “So there is no evidence that crimes by Islamic radicals have increased,” said Brian Francis, a statistician who specializes in criminology at Lancaster University.

    Mr. Francis said he believed that “a lot of this increase is the police recording more minor violent crimes — assault without injury — which might in the past have been ignored in their figures.”

    The statistical agency attributes the 13 percent increase to “a range of factors, including continuing improvements to crime recording and genuine increases in some crime categories, especially in those that are well recorded.”

    Even Mr. Trump’s suggestion that there has been an overall increase in British crime is disputed.

    The 13 percent increase reflects the rise in crimes recorded by the police, but a national statistical authority determined in 2014 that police figures were unreliable. As a result, the metric of “police-recorded crimes” is no longer an official statistic.

    Another yardstick, the Crime Survey for England and Wales, is still considered an official statistic. It shows no change in crimes. As in the United States, crime in England and Wales has steadily declined since the 1990s.

    The bulletin cited by Mr. Trump also cautions against relying on a year-to-year change in police reports alone to extrapolate a trend.

    “Police figures cannot provide a good measure of all crime in society, since we know that a large volume of it never comes to their attention,” John Flatley, the head of the statistical agency, said in the release. “The recent increases in recorded crime need to be seen in the context of the overall decline in crime indicated by the Crime Survey for England and Wales.”


    White House defends anti-Muslim Trump tweets, says it doesn't matter if videos are real

    By Dan Merica - November 29, 2017

    White House press secretary Sarah Sanders defended President Donald Trump's decision to retweet a series of anti-Muslim videos from a British far-right account
    on Wednesday morning, telling reporters he circulated them to start a conversation about border security and immigration.

    Sanders also said she doesn't know how the videos got in front of Trump and wouldn't say whether they were real.

    "Whether it is a real video, the threat is real," Sanders told a small group of reporters after appearing on Fox News. "That is what the President is talking about, that is what the President is focused on is dealing with those real threats, and those are real no matter how you look at it."

    When pressed on whether it matters if the video is real, Sanders said reporters were "focusing on the wrong thing."

    "The threat is real," she said,
    later adding that "the threat needs to be addressed. The threat has to be talked about and that is what the President is doing in bringing that up."

    The retweets have once again thrust his administration into conversation about anti-Muslim bias as the courts are weighing the legality of Trump's travel ban and raised questions about how content swirling on the Internet ends up on the President's powerful Twitter account.

    "I think his goal is to promote strong borders and strong national security," Sanders said. She later added that she and the reporters were talking about border security so Trump's tweets were "accomplishing exactly that."

    Trump's account retweeted the tweets early on Wednesday morning. The messages from Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of Britain First, purport to show Muslims assaulting people and smashing a statue of the Virgin Mary.

    A spokesperson for British Prime Minister Theresa May said Wednesday that Trump was "wrong" to retweet anti-Muslim videos, adding that Fransen's organization "seeks to divide communities through their use of hateful narratives which peddle lies and stoke tensions."

    Sanders said she was not aware of any concerns from Trump that his retweets could damage his relationship with May.

    "I think that both Theresa May and a lot of the other world leaders across the world know that these are real threats that we have to talk about, I think Europe has seen that a lot first hand," Sanders said before the statement from May's spokesperson was widely public.

    Sanders added she was unaware of how the videos got in front of Trump but the process generally hinges on Dan Scavino, Trump's director of social media and one of the few aides with the keys to Trump's powerful social media platforms.

    Scavino's history with Trump dates back years. Before running social media for his campaign -- where he was once brought on stage and lauded by Trump -- Scavino was caddie at Briar Hall Country Club in New York's Hudson Valley, a course Trump would soon buy. Scavino worked his way up from caddie to general manager and then joined Trump's campaign.

    Earlier this year, Scavino told CNN that he had had full control of @realDonaldTrump, the President's much-watched Twitter account, since the businessman-turned-politician started campaigning in 2015.

    When Trump doesn't personally tweet or retweet a message, Scavino said, the social media director will "execute" a tweet for him. Scavino added that he will go through tweets with Trump before they are sent out, including "videos, photos, stories" that end up on his account.

    At times, though, the line between what Scavino and Trump tweets is thin. Last month, both the social media director and the President slammed NBC and CNN with the exact same language at the exact same time.

    It is unclear exactly how Scavino or Trump first saw Fransen's videos, but one intersection could be Ann Coulter, a conservative pundit with anti-Islam views who is one of the 45-accounts Trump follows on Twitter.

    Coulter retweeted one of Fransen's videos some time between 6 p.m. ET and midnight on Tuesday night.

    Scavino did not respond to a series of questions from CNN on Wednesday.

    The origin of these tweets is significant because Trump's messages -- from the benign to the inflammatory -- have an impact on how the United States is viewed around the world and how policy is implemented.

    Trump is no stranger to anti-Islam comments that has roiled his supporters and critics alike.

    During the 2016 election, Trump told CNN that he believes "Islam hates us," a comment that rankled some Republicans.

    "There's something there that -- there's a tremendous hatred there," Trump said. "There's a tremendous hatred. We have to get to the bottom of it. There's an unbelievable hatred of us."



    She's right, the threat is real and it's from non other than white people, like her self. Just as the white non-Muslim in the video attacked the boy on crutches.


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