Survey: Over Half of Swedes Reject Taking More Refugees

Swedish

By Chris Tomlinson

A new survey at attitudes towards migration across Europe has found more than half of Swedes say they do not want to see the country take in more refugees, making it one of the most migration-sceptic nations.

Around 8,000 people in Germany, Poland, Spain, Hungary, Italy, Belgium, France and Sweden were asked a series of questions in the survey, including “Do you agree with the statement: ‘My country should not receive more refugees from conflict areas.’?” to which 51 per cent of the Swedish respondents said they agreed, Spanish newspaper El Paisreports.

While both Poland and Italy were tied with 53 per cent saying they agreed with the statement, the Swedish number exceeded that of Hungary, a nation noted for its strong anti-mass migration stance and policies, at 49 per cent.

More than one-third, 35 percent of the respondents across all of the countries surveyed, said that immigration was the most important issue facing the European Union today but only 14 percent said that the European Union had managed to handle the migrant crisis in 2015 and 2016 in a competent manner.

By contrast, 41 percent of Germans say they would welcome more refugees despite being the largest recipient of migrants during the height of the migrant crisis, and the challenges of rising crime, increased spending and lack of both cultural and economic integration.

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For Sweden, migration has been a core issue in elections since the height of the migrant crisis in 2015, with the issue dominating the 2018 national elections, according to similar surveys taken last year.

Several reports in Sweden have highlighted the issues surrounding mass migration, including an unpublished report earlier this year that proved that the costs for an increase in migration promised by the Swedish government earlier this year would be far higherthan the initial stated estimates.

Another report, from Swedish broadcaster SVT, revealed the extent of migrant rape rates, claiming over a period of five years, migrants made up 58 percent of those convicted for rapes. The number jumped to 85 percent when accounting to violent rapes in which the victim did not know the perpetrator beforehand.

Record number of attacks on gays in France: report

Record number of attacks on gays in France: report

By AFP

Paris (AFP) – Assaults in France on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people hit a new record in 2018, “a dark year” for the LGBT community, French group SOS Homophobie reported Tuesday.

The non-profit association registered 231 physical attacks, up from the previous annual record of 188 anti-LGBT assaults back in 2013 linked to same-sex marriage legislation.

“2018 was a dark year for LGBT people,” said SOS Homophobie co-presidents Véronique Godet and Joël Deumier in the yearly report.

The number of assaults jumped 66 percent over 2017, with a spike towards the end of the year when a case a day was being reported to the group.

SOS Homophobie’s helpline, website and legal services collected 1,905 statements from witnesses of abuse of the gay community, 15 percent more than the previous year.

The breakdown of cases, which could involve multiple categories, showed 62 percent involved rejection, 51 percent insults, 38 percent discrimination and 20 percent harassment. Threats and defamation made up 17 percent each with physical assault on 13 percent.

Some 66 percent of witnesses were men, who were “more inclined to talk about it and turn to SOS Homophobie to denounce what they suffered”.

The association said the 42 percent leap in reporting of violence against lesbians appeared linked to the greater willingness of victims to speak out and the influence of the #MeToo movement.

With 23 percent of reported cases, Internet was the leading place for the expression of LGBT phobia in France.

Facebook and Twitter act like an “echo chamber” of daily cases with the social networks recording more than half of all reported cases, the group said.

Transgender powerlifter stripped of world records after drug tester rules she is ‘actually male’

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US transgender powerlifter Mary Gregory was stripped of records she set last month at a national competition after a doping test revealed that the athlete “was actually a male in the process of becoming a transgender female.”

Gregory broke four women’s world records during the competition in the squat, bench press and deadlift disciplines as well as total record in her weight class.

READ MORE: ‘I don’t want women getting beaten up & their records crushed’: Zuby on trans sport issue (VIDEO)

Following the event, Gregory thanked the US Powerlifting Federation for allowing her to take part in the competition as a female lifter.

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However, the federation didn’t share enthusiasm over Gregory’s record-breaking performance after the obligatory doping control proved that the athlete should have performed in men’s category.

“The lifter exceeded the current female world records in this lifter’s age and weight category. This automatically calls for drug testing protocol which takes place at the end of every event. The drug testing coordinator for this event performed the drug test at which time it was revealed that this female lifter was actually a male in the process of becoming a transgender female,” the federation said in a statement.

“Our rules, and the basis of separating genders for competition, are based on physiological classification rather than identification. On the basis of all information presented to the Board of Directors for this particular case, the conclusion made, is that the correct physiological classification is male.”

The US powerlifting governing body annulled Gregory’s records admitting that the athlete should not have competed against women.

“Since the lifter’s gender classification for the purpose of our rules is not consistent with female, no female records will be broken by these lifts,” the statement reads.

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Compromise or censorship? London gallery covers artwork after blasphemy complaints

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London’s Saatchi Gallery covered two paintings which showed the text of shahada, one of the five pillars of Islam, after complaints from Muslim visitors. RT UK guests debate over whether it was the right call.

The artist SKU used the holy Arabic text, which professes belief in God and acceptance of Muhammad as God’s prophet, in two works, both of which allude to the design of the US national flag and one also shows a nude woman. Some visitors complained about the pieces and called for their removal, but the gallery refused. SKU suggested a compromise solution: keep his work on display but cover them with sheets.

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RT hosted a debate between Muslim rights campaigner Salman Butt and Andre Walker, a columnist at the New York Observer, on whether the situation was resolved properly. Butt says framing the situation in terms of blasphemy laws would be wrong.

“A group of people said: ‘We think you should take this down.’ Another group of peoples said: ‘No, you shouldn’t take this down.’ They came to what they believe to be a compromise,” he said.

“If you don’t like this picture, you can join me in not going to that gallery. What they’ve actually said is: ‘We don’t like this picture, therefore you can’t look at it either,’” Walker parried. “This is not a compromise.”

Salvini, Orban alliance: “If the Left wins, Europe will become an Islamic Caliphate”

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The Hungarian Prime MinisterViktor Orbán  and the Italian Interior Ministe Matteo Salvini are planning to fight the current EU agenda.

Salvini visited Orbán to inform himself about the border fence between Hungary and Serbia. Orban even referred to Salvini as the most important man in Europe.

Orban stated that he is ready to work with dynamic and vital men while calling the EU tired and powerless.

“I hope new powers will rise up and accomplish to build something”, ending with “Europe needs Matteo Salvini.”

Salvini underlined that he is not right-wing but that his party simply represents an alternative for Europe. He acknowledged not knowing how many parties will join him or how strong they will be.

“But, I hope we will be very strong because if the Left wins Europe will become an Islamic caliphate”he stated.

Both men called on the European People’s Party to adopt their views unless they want to commit political suicide. If the EPP decided to follow their example both expressed willingness to work with them.

EPP President Joseph Daul on the other hand strongly opposes this. He allegedly said that this would have to happen without him and that he would not accept to be Chair of the European Commission if it required the help of Orban’s Fidesz party.

After the suspension of the Fidesz party for its criticism of George Soros and EU-Commission President Juncker for their migration policies cooperation between Euro-Skeptics is becoming more and more likely.

Together with the Alternative for Germany, the Freedom Party of Austria, Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National, the Finnish Perussuomalaiset, the Estonian Conservative People’s Party, the Dutch Freedom Party, the Slovakian Sme Rodina, the Belgian Vlaams Belang, the Danish People’s Party and Salvini’s Lega represent the European Alliance of Peoples and Nations and could become quite formidable after European Parliament elections.

Biden Says Margaret Thatcher, Who Died in 2013, Contacted Him to Complain About Trump

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Another major gaffe for the former Vice President.

By 

Former vice president and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden said that several heads of state, including the deceased Margaret Thatcher, have reached out to him to express their concern about President Donald J. Trump.

“Biden also told donors that he’s heard from 14 heads of state from around the world who’ve voiced concerns to him about Trump,” according to Bloomberg. “That list included Margaret Thatcher, he said, before correcting what he called a ‘Freudian slip,’ that he was actually referring to current British Prime Minister Theresa May.”

“Margaret Thatcher, um, excuse me, Margaret Thatcher – Freudian slip – but I knew her too… The Prime Minister of Great Britain Theresa May,” he reportedly said while listing off names of those who are concerned with Trump’s presidency.

Thatcher left political office in 1990.

Biden was speaking a $2,800 per head fundraiser in Columbia, S.C. on Saturday night. The 76-year-old candidate has faced mounting questions about his age as he kicks off his presidential bid. Last week, he slurred and rambled through a speech to union members in Pennsylvania last week.

Big League Politics reported:

Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden slurred his way through a rambling speech Monday at a Teamster local hall in Pittsburgh. Biden is clearly focusing on the Midwest and on union voters, and though he has a good chance of cutting into President Trump’s lead there Trump still has the support of many rank-and-file union members if not the leadership.

Biden’s speech was less than inspiring:

Biden also landed in hot water over comments about visiting inner-city communities, which he called “the hood” at a campaign stop in Iowa.

“Through a program, we had through community colleges, we said look, put together a program for us where we could teach people how to code,” he said. “We went out, literally into the hood, and they found, turns out, 54 [people], they happened to be all women, the vast majority were women of color, no more than a high school degree, aged 25-54, and a third of them only had GEDs.”

Chicago Cubs investigate after fan appears to flash ‘white power symbol’ on live TV (VIDEO)

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MLB team the Chicago Cubs are investigating after a fan at Tuesday night’s game against the Miami Marlins allegedly made a symbol on live TV associated with white supremacists.

As reporter Doug Glanville – a former Cubs player – was making a live broadcast for NBC Sports Chicago at Wrigley Field, a fan was seen in a gray Cubs hoodie behind him.

After shifting position, the fan appears to make an upside-down ‘OK sign’, which is sometimes associated with white supremacy.

The Cubs are looking into the matter, issuing a statement saying: “An individual seated behind Mr. Glanville used what appears to be an offensive hand gesture that is associated with racism.

“Such ignorant and repulsive behavior is not tolerated at Wrigley Field.

“We are reviewing the incident thoroughly because no one should be subjected to this type of offensive behavior.

“Any individual behaving in this manner will not only be removed from the ballpark, but will be permanently banned from Wrigley Field.”

READ MORE: Pitcher Perfect: Baseball star Ryan Braun soaked in beer while attempting to make catch (VIDEO)

It’s unclear whether the man was attempting to form the ‘OK symbol’ without any malicious intent. The gesture is seen as a clear racist sign by some, or by others as simply the originally innocuous meaning which has been distorted in a hoax to trigger liberals.

‘We feel alien at home’: Austrians flood popular newspaper with desperate messages over migration

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Austria’s largest newspaper has received an unexpected response after its columnist claimed that the term “population replacement” was not appropriate for the Alpine land. Hundreds of people said it is the reality they live in.

Austria’s Kronen Zeitung daily has admitted that it received“hundreds” of letters from its readers in just over a week, after they said they felt like foreigners in their own homeland because of mass immigration.

The strong response was provoked by the paper’s columnist, Conny Bischofberger. In an interview with Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache, she called the notion of “population replacement” a concept used by far-right extremists.”

ALSO ON RT.COMIntegration failure: Report finds 51% Vienna pupils don’t speak German at home

The term, which describes the gradual replacement of a native population by immigrants, is popular among those on the far-right. They use it to portray growing ethnic and religious diversity as a result of some deliberate malicious actions taken by “anti-popular forces.”

After she was confronted by people asking why they should not use the term, Bischofberger dismissed it in an explanatory piece as a conspiracy theory and a mere “feeling” that “may or may not correspond with the real general demographic developments.” However, she apparently failed to strike a chord with Kronen Zeitung readers, who sought to explain that this was a reality they have been living with for years.

On the streets, on public transport and in the municipal buildings: We feel alien at home.

“We were a happy household until 10 years ago. Then everything collapsed like a house of cards,” one person wrote to the newspaper.

“The mood in our condominium has deteriorated so much that we (65 and 68) are ready to move away to finally be able to live in peace again,” another couple wrote.

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“Foreign-language parents with their children do not bother to speak our language… It’s sad, but one doesn’t feel well anymore,” another message read.

In our elementary school, no more excursions are conducted out of consideration for foreign languages, the diet is adapted to religious wishes and the violence of the foreign elementary school boys is frightening.

After receiving hundreds of similar messages, Bischofberger still insisted that, for many people, the notion of “population replacement” came in handy as it allowed them “not to think about the problem behind” mass immigration. However, she also admitted that “it would be cheap to defame all those people, who wrote to the Kronen Zeitung, as xenophobes, racists or far-right extremists.”

Those people were apparently asked “to accept too much migration” and did not receive enough attention from the authorities, the columnist said.

ALSO ON RT.COMTwitter up in arms after ex-Austrian MP says that girls wear headscarves to avoid migrant assaults

Austria took in one of the largest numbers of asylum seekers per capita during the refugee crisis. Some 150,000 people were accepted by the Alpine land since 2015 – which accounts for over one percent of its total population. Such developments gave rise to widespread anti-immigrant sentiment and brought a conservative coalition to power, which adopted a strict stance on migration.

Foreigners constitute 15.8 percent of the Austrian population, and 29.6 percent in the capital, Vienna, according to a 2018 survey. In February, a former MP from the conservative Austrian People’s Party, Marcus Franz, sparked a heated discussion on social media by saying that Austrian-born girls wear headscarves to prevent assaults from migrants on the streets of Vienna.

Report: Facebook Sets Up ‘War Room’ for European Elections

Zuckerberg to face pressure on taxes in meeting with Macron

By Lucas Nolan

Politico recently profiled Facebook’s new “European election war room” ahead of upcoming E.U. elections.

A recent report from Politico provides an insight into Facebook’s new “election war room” established ahead of the upcoming European election. Facebook has previously deployed a similar “war room” in the United States ahead of the midterm elections in November 2018. In October, Breitbart News reported on the war room providing an insight into the aim of the project. Facebook’s Product Manager of Civic Engagement, Samidh Chakrabarti, said in an interview that the war room is a physical room which will be used to “take quick and decisive action” against possible cases of foreign interference during the midterm elections.

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“We have many measures that we’ve put in place to try to prevent problems: the political ad transparency, blocking fake accounts, combating foreign interference, and preventing the spread of misinformation. But we know we have to be ready for anything that happens,” stated Chakrabarti. “And so that’s why we’ve been building this war room, a physical war room [with] people across the company, of all different disciplines, who are there. So, as we discover problems that may come up in the hours leading up to the election, we can take quick and decisive action.”

Now, Politico has reported on the company’s efforts to establish a similar project in Dublin, Ireland ahead of the upcoming European elections. Politico described the project writing:

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The group of twentysomething coders, engineers and content specialists sit hunched over multiple screens, scanning the platform for potential illegal behavior. Wall-mounted television monitors keep them up to date on the latest chatter on the world’s largest social network, Instagram and WhatsApp. A single European Union flag hangs on the wall, next to a poster emblazoned with the slogan “New Ways of Seeing.”

Yet despite Facebook’s  40-person European election “operations center,” which got underway on April 29, the tech giant is struggling to keep on top of the threats.
Political groups from Hungary to Spain have been able to circumvent Facebook’s new political transparency tools to quietly buy partisan social media advertising aimed at swaying potential voters, according to an analysis by POLITICO. That includes paid-for messages by Viktor Orbán, the Hungarian prime minister, Verein Recht und Freiheit (Association for the Conservation of the Rule of Law and Civil Liberties), a support group for right-wing politicians in Germany and Petra De Sutter, a Belgian candidate for the Green Party.

It seems that Facebook is aware, however, of accusations of censorship and bias. The company’s chief lobbyist in Europe told Politico that Facebook is avoiding taking too harsh a line on the content allowed on the platform:

“We recognize that some people think we should remove everything,” said Richard Allan, Facebook’s chief lobbyist in Europe, in reference to the reams of political content now flooding the digital platform. “But we have concerns of removing everything during a political election.”

“We don’t believe it’s the right place to be for us to be the regulator of political campaigns,” he added. Facebook may not want the role, but its global reach puts it at the heart of the democratic process from France to the Philippines.

 

Politico described the new Dublin team tasked with monitoring misinformation, writing:

The team, which includes speakers of all of the EU’s 24 official languages, is split along national boundaries, with specialists — primarily men who would not look out of place in any startup office — monitoring activity on both Facebook’s social media platforms and those of rivals, notably Google and Twitter.

Facebook would not say how much content the group reviews daily, though each Facebook staffer had multiple screens open monitoring news events and other political discussions online.

Once an issue is flagged, Facebook’s engineers can then work with their counterparts across Europe and elsewhere to determine if the activity infringes the company’s standards, and then delete, play down or leave the content on the network, depending on the outcome. Topics for review include possible misinformation, voter suppression and hate speech, and the company said that it had investigated hundreds of incidents within the last week.

“Even though we’re a tech company, speaking face to face is invaluable,” said Sturdy, the Facebook executive.

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