Libya Says to Probe ‘Slave Auction’ Footage

Libya will investigate alleged slave trading in the country, the internationally recognised government announced Sunday, following the release of video footage appearing to show migrants being auctioned off.

Chaos-ridden Libya has long been a major transit hub for migrants trying to reach Europe, and many of them have fallen prey to serious abuse in the North African country at the hands of traffickers and others.

US television network CNN aired the footage last week of an apparent live auction in Libya where black men are presented to North African buyers as potential farmhands and sold off for as little as $400.

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Metig said his UN-backed Government of National Accord would investigate the allegations, in a statement posted Sunday on the Facebook page of the GNA’s press office.

Metig said he would instruct the formation of a “commission to investigate these reports in order to apprehend and bring those responsible to justice”, the statement added. (Read more from “Libya Says to Probe ‘Slave Auction’ Footage” HERE)

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NFL Player Will Only Stand for Mexican National Anthem

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch sat during most of U.S. anthem and stood for the Mexican anthem before their game against the Patriots at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.

Lynch has not stood for the national anthem since returning from retirement this season.

There did not appear to be any other protests during the anthem as the afternoon games kicked off. Five NFL players protested during the national anthems before early games. (Read more from “NFL Player Will Only Stand for Mexican National Anthem” HERE)

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Young Mom Who Converted to Islam for Husband Brutally Murdered After Returning to Western Lifestyle

A young mother who converted to Islam was brutally murdered by her husband, who barred her from seeing family and friends after she started wearing Western-style clothes again, a British court has heard.

Akshar Ali hit Sinead Wooding with a hammer and stabbed her repeatedly, before dumping in the woods and then torching the mother-of-four’s body, Prosecutor Nicholas Campbell QC told Leeds Crown Court.

Ms Wooding was in the process of converting to Islam and changed her name to Zakirah when she met Mr Ali, 27, who worked on a food stall at Leeds indoor market, according to the Times.

The pair were married at an Islamic ceremony in early 2015, but the jury heard their relationship was “volatile” and violent at times, with arguments over 26-year-old Wooding continued visits to family and friends her husband had “forbidden” her from seeing.

Mr Campbell said Ms Wooding had started wearing Western clothing days before she was killed on May 11 at a party held at the house of her husband’s friend Yasmin Ahmed, who along with Mr Ali, denies murder. (Read more from “Young Mom Who Converted to Islam for Husband Brutally Murdered After Returning to Western Lifestyle” HERE)

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North Korea’s Packing Illegal Firepower on the Border, and It’s Making South Korea Uneasy

Some in South Korea are accusing North Korea of violating the armistice by opening fire at the border.

When a North Korean soldier slipped into South Korea in the Joint Security Area (JSA) at the Demilitarized Zone Monday, four of his comrades let loose a barrage of bullets, firing roughly 40 rounds at the man. He was hit five times before he collapsed in a pile of leaves on the southern side. The soldier was airlifted to a South Korean medical facility, where he remains in critical condition.

While South Korea is doing all that it can to save the wounded soldier’s life, Seoul is also deeply troubled by other aspects of the recent incident.

The North Korean troops who attempted to gun down the defector did so with assault rifles, specifically AK-47s. “This is a violation of the armistice agreement,” a South Korean military official told the Korea JoongAng Daily, adding, “We plan to lodge a serious protest against North Korea through the United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission.”

Cheong Wa Dae — the Blue House — has yet to officially accuse North Korea of violating the armistice. (Read more from “North Korea’s Packing Illegal Firepower on the Border, and It’s Making South Korea Uneasy” HERE)

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President Trump’s Asia Trip Is What Actual Diplomacy Looks Like

President Trump is taking the correct, diplomatic approach in refusing to take the time to publicly shame the leaders of U.S. partners and adversaries during his overseas trip.

While the president is traveling abroad on the tail end of his 14-day Asia trip, pundits across the political spectrum are taking shots at the commander in chief for what they deem is his unwillingness to stand up to authoritarian leaders.

From The New York Times, to prominent members of Congress, to National Review, to former Obama officials, the foreign policy “smart set” seems convinced that the president is not upholding his duty to stand up for American values while abroad.

They want him to declare, for the 1,000th time, that Russian President Vladimir Putin interfered in the American election. They want him to show up at Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s doorstep and proceed to berate him for his alleged human rights abuses. They’d like him to show up in Beijing and tell President Xi Jinping that he’s an illegitimate, two-bit thug.

This approach would not only fail to yield a positive outcome (unless you consider virtue signaling for cultural “elites” a good way to spend your political capital), it would in all likelihood damage America’s standing in the world.

Sure, Putin, Duterte, and Xi 100 percent do not represent American values. But it’s unclear what exactly these pundits think the president will achieve by having POTUS dress down and talk smack to foreign leaders on their own soil. What will it accomplish in the name of U.S. interests? Absolutely nothing.

Russia is most certainly an adversarial nation, but Moscow is not a lost cause entirely. Russia is a Great Power, and the U.S. maintains extensive cultural and economic ties with Russia. We also have many disagreements with Russia, including how they conduct their internal affairs, and how the Kremlin is known to commit human rights abuses.

However, there is no way that our relationship with Russia will change for the better if President Trump makes it his goal to consistently publicly shame and humiliate Vladimir Putin.

“But Reagan!” I hear some people already claiming.

But times were different back then. Ronald Reagan was leading the front for freedom in a global Cold War against the Soviet Union. Reagan was conducting his messaging as part of a grand strategy that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Today, It is not remotely in our interests whatsoever for President Trump to start unnecessary hostilities with Russia, or attempt to cause mass devastation in Moscow.

Now, to the Philippines.

The Philippines is an ally of the United States, and there is certainly nothing good that can come out of President Trump undermining the authority of its elected president.

President Duterte has undoubtedly made some concerning comments and implemented some abominable internal policies. But it’s much more likely that the U.S. can achieve a positive result for human rights by communicating our concerns through diplomatic channels, instead of destroying our relationship with the country’s leader, resulting in the severing of those channels.

Over to China.

According to the Chicago Tribune’s Dahleen Glanton, Trump “got played” because he refused to directly confront Chinese President Xi Jinping’s government. It’s true that China continues to take a more aggressive posture against U.S. interests in East Asia. It’s also true that anti-American sentiment continues to rise there.

China is also our biggest trading partner, and again, little good can come out of admonishing a foreign leader in his own country, other than scoring points with the professional pundit class back home.

Imagine if a foreign leader traveled to the United States and proceeded to do nothing but berate our way of life and our duly elected president. Outrage would likely ensue in both the press and in Congress. There would be calls to distance our relationship with that leader’s particular nation. Nothing good would come of it, for either side.

When President Trump comes home, he can (and should) say all he wants about the shortcomings of both allies and adversaries. As an invited guest of foreign nations, he is correct in understanding that he can achieve far more for the United States by acting in a diplomatic, civil manner, in attempts to find and highlight shared objectives with partner countries. (For more from the author of “President Trump’s Asia Trip Is What Actual Diplomacy Looks Like” please click HERE)

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Half of Over-65s Take at Least Five Drugs a Day

Almost half of over-65s in England are taking at least five different drugs a day, a Cambridge University study has found.

The figure has risen from just 12 per cent 20 years ago, while the proportion taking no pills at all dropped from around 20 per cent in the late 1990s to just seven per cent today.

Researchers tracked more than 15,000 older people who took part in two long-term health studies which began in the 1990s.

Some of those who took part in the long-term investigation said they were on up to 23 tablets every day.

Researchers expressed concern at the increasing dependence on prescription and over-the-counter medicines – known as ‘polypharmacy’. (Read more from “Half of Over-65s Take at Least Five Drugs a Day” HERE)

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People Sold as Slaves, Auctioned for $400

“Eight hundred,” says the auctioneer. “900 … 1,000 … 1,100 …” Sold. For 1,200 Libyan dinars — the equivalent of $800.

Not a used car, a piece of land, or an item of furniture. Not “merchandise” at all, but two human beings.

One of the unidentified men being sold in the grainy cell phone video obtained by CNN is Nigerian. He appears to be in his twenties and is wearing a pale shirt and sweatpants.

He has been offered up for sale as one of a group of “big strong boys for farm work,” according to the auctioneer, who remains off camera. Only his hand — resting proprietorially on the man’s shoulder — is visible in the brief clip. (Read more from “People Sold as Slaves, Auctioned for $400” HERE)

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Mass Graves Discovered in Former ISIS-Controlled Territory Could Contain 400 Bodies

Mass graves discovered at an Iraqi airbase that was previously under the Islamic State group’s control could contain up to 400 bodies, an Iraqi official said Sunday after local residents described the atrocities the terror group carried out.

The bodies were found in an abandoned base near Hawija, a northern town retaken in early October, Kirkuk governor Rakan Saed said, adding that the place was “turned into an execution ground.” Hawija, about 150 miles north of Baghdad, was under ISIS control since 2013 until last month.

Officials discovered torn clothing and possible human bones and skulls in the area. It’s unclear when the bodies, which include civilians and security forces, will be exhumed.

Khalaf Luhaibi, a local shepherd, led troops to the mass graves and said ISIS brought captives to the area, shot and killed them or poured oil over them and lit them on fire. Other residents also gave “witness accounts” of the atrocities ISIS carried out when it held control of the area, the BBC reported. (Read more from “Mass Graves Discovered in Former ISIS-Controlled Territory Could Contain 400 Bodies” HERE)

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School to Students: Have a Very Quran Christmas

Students in Norway, a nation with a 1,000-year-old Christian heritage, are being treated this year to a very Quran Christmas as educators seek “to create respect and understanding between different religions.”

The report comes from Bruce Bawer, who writes on the Gatestone Institute website that “shoehorning Quran verses into a Christmas event does nothing but cause misunderstanding.”

“The whole thing was pretty bizarre, given that (a) Christmas is not an Islamic holy day, and (b) thanks to such misguided innovations, a whole generation of Norwegian children will grow up thinking ‘that Allah and the Quran have something to do with Christmas.’”

He explains citizens of the Nordic nations are “not big believers these days,” but they do remain devoted to their Christian heritage.

“At least in Norway, which is probably the most culturally conservative of the Nordic lands, confirmation is still a universal rite of passage. Most of the official national holidays are Christian holy days, even if most people could not tell you exactly what Ascensions Day and Pentecost commemorate,” he said. (Read more from “School to Students: Have a Very Quran Christmas” HERE)

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Progress: Trump, Putin Reportedly Agree to Defeat ISIS in Syria

By Fox News. President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a joint statement on Saturday vowing to continue the fight against ISIS in Syria until the militants are completely defeated, Reuters reported, citing the Kremlin.

The statement was released after the two leaders chatted briefly during the APEC summit in Danang, Vietnam, Reuters reported, citing the Kremlin.

The statement reportedly said both Washington and Moscow agree that there is no military solution to the conflict and both countries expressed a commitment to Damascus’ sovereignty.

The two leaders chatted on Saturday while they walked to a “family photograph” at the summit and donned matching silk button-down shirts the day before, holding true to the tradition of wearing local attire at annual display of cooperation among world leaders.

The White House and the Trump administration earlier appeared to downplay Trump’s possible meetings with Putin during the summit. (Read more from “Trump, Putin Reportedly Agree to Defeat ISIS in Syria” HERE)

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Trump and Putin on Fighting ISIS

By BBC. US President Donald Trump and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have agreed to defeat so-called Islamic State (IS) in Syria, the Kremlin says.

It said a statement was prepared by experts after they met briefly on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific summit in Vietnam on Saturday.

There has been no official confirmation from the US about the statement so far.

The Kremlin say they also agreed there was no military solution to the conflict in Syria.

A meeting between President Trump and Vladimir Putin was widely expected at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) summit, but few details have emerged. (Read more from “Trump and Putin on Fighting ISIS” HERE)

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