France is trying to stop Marine Le Pen at all costs
|| NY Post
“France’s political mainstream, shut out of the presidency by an angry electorate, united on Monday to call on voters to back centrist Emmanuel Macron and reject Marine Le Pen’s populist nationalism.
Politicians on the moderate left and right, including the Socialist and Republicans party losers in Sunday’s first-round vote, maneuvered to block Le Pen’s path to power in the May 7 runoff.
Voters narrowed the presidential field from 11 to two. France’s presidential election is widely seen as a litmus test for the populist wave that last year prompted Britain to vote to leave the European Union and U.S. voters to elect Donald Trump president.
The defeated far-left candidate, Jean-Luc Melenchon, pointedly refused to back Macron, and Le Pen’s National Front is hoping to do the once-unthinkable and peel away voters historically opposed to a party long tainted by racism and anti-Semitism.
Le Pen went on the offensive against Macron in her first public comments Monday.
“He is a hysterical, radical ‘Europeanist.’ He is for total open borders. He says there is no such thing as French culture. There is not one domain that he shows one ounce of patriotism,” she said.
European stock markets surged, and France’s main index hit its highest level since early 2008, as investors gambled that the rise of populism around the world — and the associated potential unpredictability in policymaking — may have peaked.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel wished Macron “all the best for the next two weeks.”
Merkel’s chief of staff, Peter Altmaier, tweeted that “the result for Emmanuel Macron shows: France AND Europe can win together! The center is stronger than the populists think!”
Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie, made it to the second round against Jacques Chirac in 2002 and was crushed in the runoff. Many commentators expect the same fate for his daughter, but she has already drawn far more support than he ever did and she has transformed the party’s once-pariah image.
Chirac refused to debate Jean-Marie Le Pen on principle. Macron has already agreed to share a stage with his daughter.
Le Pen offers an alternative for anyone skeptical of the EU and France’s role in it, said Louis Aliot, another National Front vice president.
“I’m not convinced that the French are willing to sign a blank check to Mr. Macron,” he said.”
How Marine Le Pen responded to the Bataclan Islamic Terror Attack in 2015
It emerges three major French intelligence failures may have let the killers get through
|| Daily Mail UK | Nov 2015
““Vital clues were missed that could have averted the Paris atrocities, it was feared last night as it was revealed that:
– A heavily armed suspect was stopped on his way to the French capital more than a week ago but German police who uncovered an arsenal of weapons in his car did not tell anti-terror chiefs.
– At least one of the terrorists was a Parisian who had been on a terror watch list for five years, but was not being monitored closely enough to be stopped before he took part in the murderous attack.
– Greek authorities believe that two of the gunmen sneaked into Europe posing as a refugee from Syria – heightening fears that not enough security checks are being carried out on migrants.
Read more here including warning graphic images: Daily Mail | Nov 2015
French election: Marine Le Pen wins through to final showdown against Emmanuel Macron, early results suggest
|| Independent UK
“Marine Le Pen is expected to make it through to the second round run-off of the French presidential election, first results suggest.
With 20 million votes counted from France’s 47 million strong electorate, the figures put the leader of the far-right Front National (FN) on 24.38 per cent, where she is expected to face centrist Emmanuel Macron who is on 22.19 per cent.
The figures do not include results from France’s major cities, where Ms Le Pen’s level of support tends to be low relative to smaller towns and villages where counts were complete.
The vote is expected to mark the end of a political era since the two major parties – the Socialist party and the centre-right Les Republicains – which have traditionally been the pillars of France’s political arena, are expected to be eliminated in the first round of the election.
Conservative Francois Fillon is on 19.63 per cent with 20 million votes counted and far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon is on 18.09 per cent. projections suggest Mr Melenchon and Mr Fillon will both claim around 19.5 per cent of the votes, with Socialist candidate Benoit Hamon set to pick-up an historically-low 6.2 per cent.
Mr Macron said that the vote showed that the election meant “turning a page in French political history”.
Addressing her supporters in her fiefdom in Hénin-Baumont, Ms Le Pen said the first hurdle towards the Elysée Palace has been overcome.
She hailed the results as “historic” and warned “the survival of French civilisation” was now at stake.
Supporters of Ms Le Pen were quick to hail her, waving flags and shouting “We will win!”
Quentin Leclerc, 22, a history student said: “Marine Le Pen is making history after Brexit [and] Donald Trump.”
“The second round is another battle but we are prepared,” he added.
Michèle Lojanne, who came with her 16-year-old son, said: “really happy she is in the 2nd round”. Louise-Marie Le Maire, 50 and unemployed, said it was “a pity that she is not first but the right wing takes a slap.”
Marion Maréchal Le Pen, Marine’s niece and a FN MP called Ms Le Pen’s progression to the second round run-off “a historic victory for patriots and sovereignists”.
In Paris, others were not so happy. Police have fired tear gas on the Place de la Bastille in eastern Paris as crowds of young people, some from anarchist and anti-fascist groups, gathered to protest at Ms Le Pen’s second-place finish and her anti-immigrant policies.”
“When Marine Le Pen was a child growing up in Paris, her friends never slept over – their parents wouldn’t allow it. And no matter how hard the blond, blue-eyed girl studied at school, her teachers often mocked her, hardly concealing their disdain. Her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, was so reviled in French mainstream society that someone set off a bomb in the stairwell outside their apartment four years after he founded the fringe far-right National Front (FN) political party in 1972.
Ms. Le Pen describes in her autobiography, “A Contre Flots,” or “Against the Current,” a childhood that was full of insults, suffering, and injustice – all simply because of her family name.
She cannot say the same of her adulthood.
The girl who grew up in the harsh shadow of her provocative, nationalist father has risen to become one of the most popular politicians in France – and one of the most important opposition leaders in the world. Now, as the campaign for the French presidency reaches its denouement – with Le Pen having a distant but not inconceivable chance of winning – she has pushed the FN closer to the Élysée Palace than her father ever did and is expanding her influence over French and European politics.
The party leader, who is both anti-immigrant and anti-European Union, inspires an almost cultlike following. She now garners support among large swaths of the population, including a growing number of mainstream voters who once rejected her. Many of them carry photos of her in their wallets.
At rallies, supporters chant her name in trancelike reverence. “Marine! Marine! Marine!” came the cry at a recent campaign stop in Metz in France’s Grand Est, a former mining region that’s reeling economically.
Le Pen, tall and confident, walked onto the stage cutting a striking figure. She was dressed modestly, as is her style, in a dark blue blouse cut out at the shoulders that was at once feminine and authoritative. The arena was filled with those who want out of the EU, who want immigrants out of France, who want the ruling elite out of office. And if they are separated by disparate, and sometimes irreconcilable desires – some eschew her left-wing protectionist trade policies but love her right-wing crusade to stop foreigners from coming in – they seem united in a longing for the grandeur of a France they can barely grasp anymore.
In voices thick with nostalgia, these voters – and the candidate they would elevate – may well decide the future of Europe. The EU, the postwar bloc that France helped to found, probably couldn’t survive if the country withdraws from the organization, which is what Le Pen wants to have happen.
The following that she has amassed both reflects and reinforces the nationalist revival sweeping across Europe and around much of the world. The populist rebellions in so many countries that shun globalism, open borders, and multiculturalism may be the most dominant political trend of the 21st century – and perhaps no one embodies the mood of the movements better than Le Pen.
She is not just Donald Trump with a more natural hairdo and a French accent. Her political roots date back to her teenage years, her rise has been methodical, and she is peaking in popularity at the most important moment for Europe in a half-century – one that may decide whether the EU survives or splits apart.
“This is the cleavage of 21st-century democracies,” says Pascal Perrineau, an expert on populist movements at Sciences Po in Paris. “It’s not a cleavage between the right and left anymore, or between conservatives and progressives. It’s a new kind of split between open societies and closed societies.”
Le Pen’s stance on national identity – preventing more foreigners from coming in and diluting what it means to be French – resonates as much as any issue with her followers. It’s also what makes her sound the most like her father. She wants to reimpose immigration controls at the border. She promises to prevent companies from relocating abroad for cheaper labor.
While detractors criticize her for stirring up hate, pointing often to a statement she made in 2010 comparing Muslims praying in the streets with the Nazi occupation of France, she has tapped into a deep anxiety about radical Islam in France. It has been fed by major terrorist attacks in Paris and Nice that together killed more than 230 people. At the same time, 1.3 million refugees and asylum-seekers, mostly Muslim, have entered Europe in the throes of upheaval in the Middle East, which the far-right easily conflates with terrorism.
“Let’s give France back to France,” says Le Pen at the Metz rally.
As her followers chant “On est chez nous,” or “We are in our house,” she adds: “What I want is not to close the borders. It is simply to have them – and control them.”
Tucker Carlson Destroys Cocky ‘Dreamer’ After She Brags About Using a Fake Social Security Number
“Julissa Arce is a ‘Dreamer’ who was born in Mexico and grew up in the U.S. after her parents brought her here illegally.
She appeared as a guest on Tucker Carlson’s show tonight bragging about using a fake Social Security number to get a job at Goldman Sachs. Julissa Arce said that Dreamers who use fake Social Security numbers are ‘what young people who are incredibly driven are forced to do’. Arce is now a legal citizen.
So driven people are now forced to break the law? That makes you driven? No, that makes you a CRIMINAL.
Here is one of the clips where Tucker Carlson forces her to say just how many immigrants the U.S. should take.
Tucker Carlson: “How many immigrants should we bring in a year? That’s a real question.”
Julissa Arce: “That cap of 85,000 visas should at least be doubled to meet the demands of our country…”
We need to bring in more immigrants when Americans are suffering from years of chronic unemployment? No! We need to put Americans back to work and get tough on illegal aliens! Illegal aliens are criminal invaders and must be deported.”
Cocky ‘Dreamer’ Brags About Using Fake Social Security Number
Examples of often violated laws by illegal aliens but under-enforced :
•False Personation of a U.S. Citizen (18 U.S.C. § 911). Illegal aliens often present themselves as U.S. citizens, an act punishable by up to five years in jail, a felony. This law is often cited in immigration prosecutions and may involve, for example, an alien claiming U.S. citizenship to his employer.
•Fraud and False Statements (18 U.S.C. § 1001). It is common for illegal aliens to make false statements to the government or on official documents. An illegal alien violates this law when claiming to be a U.S. citizen on an I-9 Employment Eligibility form and faces a fine and up to five years imprisonment.
•Social Security Fraud (42 U.S.C. § 408). This statute has been invoked where an illegal alien provided a false Social Security number for the purpose of acquiring a job, where an illegal alien used a fraudulent Social Security number for the purpose of acquiring a driver’s license, and when an illegal alien used a Social Security card belonging to a citizen in order to obtain Section 8 housing, for example.
Violation of this statute can result in a fine and/or imprisonment up to five years. The court can also require violators to provide restitution to the victims.
California Senate Leader: Trump Immigration Crackdown ‘Based on Principles of White Supremacy’
“California senate leader Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) has claimed that the Trump administration’s immigration enforcement crackdown is based on the “principles of white supremacy,” after the federal government threatened to withhold $20 million in criminal justice grants from the state of California.
“It has become abundantly clear that Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Trump administration are basing their law enforcement policies on principles of white supremacy — not American values,” de León said in a statement. “Their constant and systematic targeting of diverse cities and states goes beyond constitutional norms and will be challenged at every level.”
Sen. de León’s comments come after the Department of Justice warned the state of California that it could lose $20 million in criminal justice grants should it fail to enforce policies under the new administration’s immigration crackdown.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has repeatedly warned localities protecting illegals from deportation, known as “sanctuary cities,” that they risk losing federal funding should they fail to comply with federal immigration law. The administration is also publishing a weekly list of crimes committed by illegal aliens residing in sanctuary cities.
On a visit to the southern border on Friday, Sessions described de León’s claim as “kind of extremist statement that I totally reject,” urging jurisdictions such as California and New York to “reconsider” their position.
Meanwhile, Californian Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Yuba) ridiculed it as a “ridiculous statement.”
“Nobody here is talking about the state becoming an immigration agency or doing ICE’s job for them. It’s about whether you comply with federal law,” Gallagher told The LA Times.
In February this year, de León revealed that “half [his] family are here illegally” under false documents and would be eligible for deportation under government policy. He then went on to push legislation making California a “Sanctuary State,” which prohibits state law enforcement agencies in California from cooperating with federal immigration authorities.”
California State Senate Leader: ‘Half My Family’ Here Illegally
|| Breitbart | Feb 2017
“Everybody has secured some sort of false identification. That’s what you need to survive, to work.” – California Senate leader admits most illegal aliens in California commit identity fraud to survive illegally.
“California State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Léon (D-Los Angeles) said last Tuesday that “half his family” was in the country illegally, using false documents, and eligible for deportation under President Trump’s new executive order against “sanctuary” jurisdictions.
De Léon, who introduced the bill, made his remarks at a hearing in Sacramento on SB54, the bill to make California a “Sanctuary State.”
… I can tell you half of my family would be eligible for deportation under [President Donald Trump’s] executive order, because if they got a false Social Security card, if they got a false identification, if they got a false driver’s license prior to us passing AB60, if they got a false green card, and anyone who has family members, you know, who are undocumented knows that almost entirely everybody has secured some sort of false identification. That’s what you need to survive, to work. They are eligible for massive deportation.
Testifying before the Senate Public Safety Committee, De Léon defended the widespread practice by illegal aliens of using fraudulent documents to work and obtain taxpayer-paid benefits, dismissing any concerns California citizens may have about being the target of identity theft.
In an interview the following day on KPCC 89.3’s Air Talk with Larry Mantle, De Léon expressed outrage that President Trump’s executive order would include those who possess fraudulent documents or committed identity theft to obtain a Social Security number.
“Someone simply who received or purchased a [fraudulent] Social Security card down at McArthur Park, or elsewhere in my district would be eligible immediately for mass deportation,” De Léon said (at 11:45 in the link above).
“He’s trying to deputize police officers — and with the suspicion of someone being a criminal or having a broken taillight, that they themselves, as a local police officer, could call the ICE agents immediately and have that person deported without even legal due process.”
Host Larry Mantle asked him: “… First of all, I just — I want to make sure I understand correctly: You don’t think purchasing a phony Social Security card and number should be a deportable offense?”
De Léon replied: “I don’t think so … the vast majority of immigrants — hard working immigrants — have done that. I can tell you I have family members specifically who came here as undocumented immigrants, and they did the same thing. That’s what you need to do to survive in this economy.”
Mantle objected: “But of course the problem is, — and I know people too — who’ve had their Social Security numbers and identities stolen as a result of that….”
De Léon minimized the problem, saying it was not the same as “Russian” hacking.
Breitbart News’ calls to the President Pro Tem’s office were unreturned.”
– This legislative leader is saying that in order to survive in California, you must become a criminal, and therefore we must decriminalize our laws in order to make it easier for criminals to stay. What strange and twisted logic a for ‘lawmaker’ to make, to justify more illegal immigration. /CJ
“When Prince died suddenly late last month, millions mourned–and raced out to consume his work.
In the three days after news of his passing broke, Nielsen NLSN +1.31% tracked 579,000 digital and physical album sales for Prince’s music, a 42,000% increase over the three days prior. The Purple One sold a total of 2.3 million songs during that time frame.
But many fans looking to stream Prince’s hits quickly found they weren’t available on Spotify and other popular services. That’s because last summer, he pulled the bulk of his catalogue from all the usual suspects–except for Jay Z’s Tidal.
“Tidal is a new company, it’s brand new,” Prince told Ebony in a severely redacted interview last year (he apparently had a habit of refusing to let reporters record their conversations with him and then complaining about being misquoted). “When there’s a company like that, or the OWN network—situations where we finally get into a position to run things—we all should help.”
Tidal did not respond to a request for comment for this piece, but it seems that Prince was offered an equity stake in exchange for making Tidal his streaming home–much like Beyonce, Kanye West and the other artist-owners present at the service’s Avengers-style launch event last year.
Data on the number of streams tallied by Prince’s music in the days following his death is difficult to come by, but the precise total doesn’t necessarily matter. For Tidal, the value is not in the quantity, but in the scarcity.
Just like fans of Beyonce or Kanye West, Prince devotees in search of buffet-style consumption had only one true option: Tidal. This will remain the case for the foreseeable future–as long as the term of Prince’s deal with the service lasts, anyway.
“Once it comes to an end, either side could have an option to extend it,” says attorney Larry Iser, managing partner at Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert. “Both Tidal and [the estate of] Prince, if they were happy, could extend it.”
Iser thinks it’s highly unlikely that Prince technically granted Tidal exclusive rights to his music–intellectual property that he clawed back from Warner after a well-publicized feud in the 1990s. Rather, he suspects Prince simply pulled his music from every other service, effectively granting Tidal exclusivity while giving himself some flexibility.
Now, as Prince’s heirs squabble and search for a will that may or may not exist, Jay Z’s service remains a magnet for Prince fans. That could help Tidal pad its reported 3 million paid subscriber count and possibly lead to a sale to a larger company like Apple AAPL -0.37% or Spotify.
Apple, after all, has already shown its willingness to acqui-hire hip-hop moguls and their businesses. Having Prince’s catalogue on hand certainly wouldn’t hurt Jay Z’s case.”
PRINCE ESTATE TO JAY Z NO DEAL FOR HIS RECORDINGS …Issues with Tidal Deal Too
“Jay Z better be ready for some purple pain — Prince‘s estate wants nothing to do with his offer to snatch up any of the late singer’s music catalog.
Sources involved in the deal tell TMZ the estate fired off a letter to Jay’s team last month, saying it had no interest in signing a deal for “Roc Nation to exploit any of the intellectual property assets of the Estate.”
We broke the story, Jay Z had offered around $40 million to take control of Prince’s unreleased tracks.
More bad news — the estate is calling out Tidal for making 15 Prince albums available for streaming a couple months after his death. Those releases were unauthorized according to the estate.
Translation: You’re gonna owe us some dough.
The estate does acknowledge Prince made a deal with Jay for the 2015 release of his final album, “HitNRun Phase One” — but also says it hasn’t found proof of a $750k payment to close that deal.
Prince’s Estate Sues Jay Z’s Roc Nation Over Tidal’s Claim on Streaming Rights
“Prince’s estate is suing Jay Z’s Roc Nation over Tidal’s claim on streaming rights regarding the late icon’s songs.
On Tuesday, Prince’s label NPG Records filed a federal lawsuit in Minnesota against Jay Z’s Roc Nation, alleging that Tidal is committing copyright infringement by continuing to stream the artist’s back catalog.
NPG maintains that Prince only gave Tidal permission to stream songs from one of his albums, “Hit n Run Phase One,” for 90 days after an agreement between the two companies was reached on Aug. 1, 2015. Conversely, Roc Nation and Tidal assert that the agreement gave them the right to “exclusively stream [Prince’s] entire catalog of music, with limited exceptions.”
In July 2015, the Prince removed his music from every streaming service except Tidal, before later announcing on Aug. 7, 2015, that his next album would be released on Jay Z’s streaming platform.
“Tidal have honored us with a non-restrictive arrangement that once again allows us to continue making art in the fashion we’ve grown accustomed to and we’re extremely grateful for their generous support,” the singer announced at the time.
Tidal had previously praised the singer after his death, calling him “a genius, innovator, creator, family member,” on its Facebook and Twitter pages.
However, the fresh lawsuit is another hurdle for Tidal after a tumultuous 2016, after Jay Z filed his own lawsuit against the previous owners in March, and Apple entered negotiations to acquire the company before later backing down.”
Prince Gets Masters Back, Which Labels Say ‘Scares Us Silly’
“The April 18 announcement that Prince had re-signed with his first label, Warner Bros. Records, where he had resided from 1978 to 1996 and produced some of his best-selling and most compelling work, came as a shock to the music industry and fans alike. For one thing, the artist’s fallout with Warners had been so acrimonious that in 1993, Prince bizarrely changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol to protest his label’s insistence that he release less music (and not flood the market).
Even more surprising to industry insiders was the label’s announcement that it had given Prince ownership of the master tapes to all of his Warners albums. In addition to giving the artist the kind of control over his work that he has always sought, it was a lucrative deal. In 2013, his Warner Music Group catalog scanned 286,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan. If Prince had owned the catalog then, Billboard estimates his cut would have been nearly $1.7 million instead of the estimated $657,000 in royalties he would have been paid.
But it’s a sure bet that artists, their managers and their labels were paying attention to the deal for another reason: Industry executives suggest that although WMG’s negotiations with Prince began over the label’s desire to get the artist to cooperate with plans to reissue his records, a key issue on the table — one that the industry is watching intently — is Prince’s desire to reclaim his master recording copyrights under the 1976 Copyright Act. Under this legislation, an artist can regain control over a master recording copyright after the first 35-year term of that copyright expires.
Despite its title, the act took effect in 1978 — copyrights to albums released that year and onward began to expire in 2013. As a result, in recent years, dozens of acts, including the Eagles, Billy Joel, The Police, Blondie and Journey, have filed termination notices, which sets the stage for a watershed moment that one label executive says “scares us silly.”
Not surprisingly, label executives say they prefer negotiation to litigation over termination notices for fear of triggering a landmark precedent-setting case. One says that since artists can only reclaim their master-recordings rights in the United States, a label might agree to pay enhanced international royalty rates, if a termination notice is waived. Or, a label may offer the master copyright when facing an artist’s audit or lawsuit over digital royalty payments.
Smaller-selling acts may find labels less responsive to termination notices because, executives say, in most cases the high cost of litigation will outweigh the economic benefits of reclaiming the copyrights.
A major-label executive observes, “There is a ripeness to when to address the issue.”
What is known about the attack that occurred on the Champs-Elysées in Paris
|| Le Monde Paris
“Only three days of (before) the presidential election, a policeman was killed and two others seriously injured in a shooting, Thursday, April 20 around 21 hours on the famous Champs-Elysees in Paris .
A board defense should hold around the head of state Friday at 8 pm and investigators are continuing their investigations. Update on the circumstances of the attack.
An assailant shot Thursday night at police stationed in a vehicle “static surveillance” on the Champs-Elysees in Paris. These are officers from the 32 th Response Company management of public order and traffic of the Prefecture Police of Paris (DOPC) that were targeted.
One of them was killed and two others wounded. The assailant was shot by a firing response. According to the spokesman of the Interior Ministry, Pierre-Henry Brandet, the attacker has used an “automatic weapon” , a “weapon of war” , he said.
//From Google (adjusted) translation of original French. /CJ
‘IS’ claims deadly police shooting on Paris’ Champs-Elysees
|| Deutsche Welle
“A policeman has been killed on Paris’ Champs-Elysees in what President Francois Hollande has described as a terrorist incident. The so-called “Islamic State” has claimed responsibility. The assailant has been killed.
The so-called “Islamic State” (IS) jihadist group claimed responsibility for Thursday’s attack on Paris’ bustling Champs-Elysees in which a police officer was shot and killed. At least two other officers were seriously wounded.
While authorities did not confirm any links between IS and the assailant, President Francois Hollande said at a press briefing that he was convinced the incident pointed to a terrorist attack.
The assailant was neutralized by other police officers in the vicinity. Reports suggest that he was known to security services and had previously been flagged as an extremist.
France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor Francois Molins said investigators had verified the identity of the 39-year-old shooter and raided the suspect’s home in the eastern suburb of Paris. The identity was not released.
Earlier reports suggested that at least one other attacker was complicit in the assault. However, eye witness accounts seemed to counter these claims. Prosecutors said they are trying to determine whether the assailant had any accomplices.
France has been under a state of emergency since 2015 after a spate of Islamist militant attacks that have killed more than 230 people in the country in the past two years.
Attacker’s history of attempted murder against officers
The unnamed assailant, who was known to authorities before Thursday’s attack, had previously been the focus of an anti-terror probe, sources close to the investigation said. The assailant was arrested in February on suspicion of plotting to kill officers but was released due to a lack of evidence.
In 2005, he was convicted on three counts of attempted murder, two of which were against police officers. The charges dated back to 2001, when the attacker was fleeing from police in a stolen vehicle. Armed, he shot and wounded both officers before being apprehended and placed in custody.
While incarcerated, he also seriously injured another officer who was escorting him from his cell, grabbing his gun and firing several times.
‘IS’ claims responsibility
Amaq, the propaganda agency affiliated with the so-called “Islamic State,” said the jihadist group had claimed responsibility for the shooting and that the gunman was a member of the group. However, the claim from IS came uncharacteristically quickly following the attack. French intelligence has not yet confirmed any connection between the attacker and the jihadist group.
Paris police spokeswoman Johanna Primevert told The Associated Press news agency that the neutralized attacker had deliberately targeted police officers guarding the area near the Franklin Roosevelt metro station at the center of the avenue.”
“Reuters has found that more than 15 percent of Facebook’s U.S. staff are immigrants employed through H-1B temporary work visas.
Based on a review of U.S. Labor Department filings for 2016 regarding temporary visa programs, Reuters found 3,339 workers of approximately 22,000 Facebook employees working in the U.S. were employed directly through H-1B temporary visas.
At over 15 percent, Facebook had the highest percentage of H-1B contractors of any U.S. tech operating company.
Breitbart News has reported that although there are only new 85,000 H-1B temporary visas granted by the U.S. State Department each year, there are about 650,000 H-1Bs working in the American private sector, roughly 100,000 H-1Bs employed at U.S. universities, and an unknown number of H-1B spouses issued green card work permits.”
15% of Facebook employees are vulnerable to Trump’s likely changes for H-1B visas
“(Reuters) – Among Silicon Valley’s top tech employers, Facebook could be the most vulnerable to U.S. President Donald Trump’s expected crackdown on guest-worker visas, according to a Reuters analysis of U.S. Labor Department filings.
More than 15 percent of Facebook’s U.S. employees in 2016 used a temporary work visa, giving the social media leader a legal classification as a H-1B “dependent” company. That is a higher proportion than Alphabet ‘s Google, Apple, Amazon, or Microsoft.
That could cause problems for Facebook if Trump or Congress decide to make the H-1B program more restrictive, as the president and some Republican lawmakers have threatened to do.
Both Trump and Attorney General nominee Senator Jeff Sessions have opposed the program in its current form. They have also indicated that they are open to reforming it to “ensure the beneficiaries of the program are the best and the brightest,” according to a draft executive order seen by Reuters. Reuters could not immediately confirm the authenticity of the draft.
The Trump administration has not proposed any new rules that would target companies with the H-1B “dependent” classification. But the fact that Facebook alone among major tech companies falls into that category suggests it is the most exposed in the industry to any changes in H-1B visa policy.
Facebook declined to comment on the matter.
Companies say they use them to recruit top talent. But a majority of the visas are awarded to outsourcing firms, sparking criticism by skeptics that those firms use the visas to fill lower-level information technology jobs. Critics also say the lottery system benefits outsourcing firms that flood the system with mass applications.
H-1B dependent status is mostly held by these outsourcing firms such as India’s Tata Consultancy Services or Infosys. The status was introduced in the late 1990s in an effort to ensure that companies did not use the visas to replace American workers with cheaper foreign labor. The status requires companies to prove they cannot find U.S. workers for the jobs.”
Facebook Will Let Workers Join Glorious May Day Protests
|| Bloomberg Tech
“Facebook Inc. said it won’t punish employees who take time off to join pro-immigrant protests on May 1. And, in a nod to security staff, janitors, shuttle-bus drivers and others who work for Facebook contractors on campus, the company also said it will investigate if any of its vendors illegally crack down on their employees’ protest rights.
“At Facebook, we’re committed to fostering an inclusive workplace where employees feel comfortable expressing their opinions and speaking up,” a spokesman wrote in an emailed statement. “We support our people in recognizing International Workers’ Day and other efforts to raise awareness for safe and equitable employment conditions.”
Facebook notified employees of its policy in a posting on an internal forum April 14. A spokesman said it applies regardless of whether workers notify the company ahead of time. The Menlo Park, California, company also said it would re-evaluate its ties to any vendor if it breaks the law that protects workers’ rights to organize and protect themselves.
“It’s important not just to the engineers and H-1B holders that are traditionally thought of as the immigrants in tech but also to folks who are subcontracted but work side-by-side on those campuses,” said Derecka Mehrens, co-founder of Silicon Valley Rising, a union-backed coalition. “Immigrants play a critical role in the tech sector — both as engineers and coders but also in keeping tech campuses running smoothly.”
Many tech companies have been vocal in their opposition to aspects of Trump’s agenda. Facebook has criticized Trump’s immigration moves. At a rally in January at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, CEO Sundar Pichai and co-founder Sergey Brin spoke against Trump’s executive order that closed U.S. borders to people from several majority-Muslim nations. Both companies, along with Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Intel Corp., are among more than 120 firms that signed a February court filing opposing the travel ban.”
Confirmed: John Brennan Colluded With Foreign Spies to Defeat Trump
“An article in the Guardian last week provides more confirmation that John Brennan was the American progenitor of political espionage aimed at defeating Donald Trump. One side did collude with foreign powers to tip the election — Hillary’s.
Seeking to retain his position as CIA director under Hillary, Brennan teamed up with British spies and Estonian spies to cripple Trump’s candidacy. He used their phony intelligence as a pretext for a multi-agency investigation into Trump, which led the FBI to probe a computer server connected to Trump Tower and gave cover to Susan Rice, among other Hillary supporters, to spy on Trump and his people.
John Brennan’s CIA operated like a branch office of the Hillary campaign, leaking out mentions of this bogus investigation to the press in the hopes of inflicting maximum political damage on Trump. An official in the intelligence community tells TAS that Brennan’s retinue of political radicals didn’t even bother to hide their activism, decorating offices with “Hillary for president cups” and other campaign paraphernalia.
A supporter of the American Communist Party at the height of the Cold War, Brennan brought into the CIA a raft of subversives and gave them plum positions from which to gather and leak political espionage on Trump. He bastardized standards so that these left-wing activists could burrow in and take career positions. Under the patina of that phony professionalism, they could then present their politicized judgments as “non-partisan.”
The Guardian story is written in a style designed to flatter its sources (they are cast as high-minded whistleblowers), but the upshot of it is devastating for them, nonetheless, and explains why all the criminal leaks against Trump first originated in the British press. According to the story, Brennan got his anti-Trump tips primarily from British spies but also Estonian spies and others. The story confirms that the seed of the espionage into Trump was planted by Estonia. The BBC’s Paul Wood reported last year that the intelligence agency of an unnamed Baltic State had tipped Brennan off in April 2016 to a conversation purporting to show that the Kremlin was funneling cash into the Trump campaign.
Any other CIA director would have disregarded such a flaky tip, recognizing that Estonia was eager to see Trump lose (its officials had bought into Hillary’s propaganda that Trump was going to pull out of NATO and leave Baltic countries exposed to Putin). But Brennan opportunistically seized on it, as he later that summer seized on the half-baked intelligence of British spy agencies (also full of officials who wanted to see Trump lose).”
Wellesley Students Editors Endorse Silencing Opposing Speakers and Declare “Hostility May Be Warranted”
“We have been discussing the erosion of free speech on our campuses across the country. Much of that trend is the result of faculty members who have taught that free speech itself is a threat to students. The erosion of free speech has come in stages. First, schools began to declare speech to be hate speech while creating “safe zones” from the exercise of free speech. Second, schools began to enforce the ill-defined “microaggressions” to punish speech that is deemed as contributing to hostile environments or fostering stereotypes.
Now, faculty and students are increasing declaring opposing views as simply outside of the definition of free speech. That extreme argument was advanced this week by the editors of The Wellesley News who published a column entitled “Free Speech Is Not Violated At Wellesley.” It is chilling message from the Editorial Board composed of Co-Editors in Chief Sharvari Johari and Michele Lee and opinion editors Maya Nandakumar, Genae Matthews, and Tabitha Wilson. Once the champions of free speech, students have become the new censors and have adopted the perfectly Orwellian notion that the protection of free speech requires the denial of free speech.
The editors heralded the Wellesley students who refuse to respect the free speech rights of those deemed to be hateful. Simply defining such people as unworthy of free speech protections then allows the editors to become actual advocates of mob action to silence them:
“Shutting down rhetoric that undermines the existence and rights of others is not a violation of free speech; it is hate speech. The founding fathers put free speech in the Constitution as a way to protect the disenfranchised and to protect individual citizens from the power of the government.”
So speech deemed as “undermining the existence and rights of others” is all that is needed to relieve the conscience of these students and allow them to indulge in their desire to forcibly silence those with whom that disagree. There is no attempt of course to define what constitute speech that “undermines.” Rather the thrust is to legitimize the denial of free speech in the name of free speech.
Their bizarre understanding of free speech is laid out further in the statement that “The spirit of free speech is to protect the suppressed, not to protect a free-for-all where anything is acceptable, no matter how hateful and damaging.” Again, there is no definition of what is deemed “hateful” or “damaging” but it clearly does not include things that the editors agree with or have been taught are the products of ignorance: “We have all said problematic claims, the origins of which were ingrained in us by our discriminatory and biased society. Luckily, most of us have been taught by our peers and mentors at Wellesley in a productive way.
Now that the editors have been properly educated that some views are unworthy of protection, they are ready to take the final step in calling for the silencing of those who “refuse to adapt their beliefs.” If those people still insist on being heard, the editors declared that “hostility may be warranted.” “Hostility”?
The war on free speech appears to have produced a perfect generation of petty tyrants “mentored” in the necessity — even the moral imperative — of silencing those with whom we disagree.
I suppose this is to be expected at a school with the motto: Non Ministrari sed Ministrare — Not to be ministered unto, but to minister.”
First Illegal Alien ‘DREAMer’ Sent Back to Native Mexico Under Trump
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection sent a self-identified illegal alien with criminal convictions back to a family member’s home in Mexico on Tuesday, according to media reports.
USA Today reports that Juan Manuel Montes, 23, is the first illegal alien who applied for temporary protection from lawful deportation to be sent back home after President Donald Trump assumed office. Montes first arrived in the U.S. at nine years old, and applied for a deportation stay under Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), twice.
“Court records show he has four convictions: one for shoplifting in January 2016, and three for driving without a license, most recently three months ago,” the outlet reports.”
DHS: USA Today Got Its Big Scoop On Deported ‘DREAMer’ Totally Wrong
|| Daily Caller
“USA Today reported Tuesday that an illegal immigrant protected by Barack Obama’s amnesty was deported in February after spending an evening with his girlfriend. However, a Department of Homeland Security spokesman told The Daily Caller that they have no record of this incident and that Juan Manuel Montes-Bojorquez’s amnesty status was terminated.
The USA Today story said that Montes-Bojorquez, 23, was apprehended by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents in Calexico, Calif while he was waiting for a car ride to pick him up.
According to the article, he told the officers he left his wallet in his friend’s car and because he didn’t have his ID or proof of his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status, he was deported.
David Lapan, a DHS spokesman, orginally told TheDC Tuesday that Bojorquez’s DACA status “expired in Aug. 2015.”
However, in an updated statement Wednesday, Lapan said: “After a detailed records search, we determined that Juan Manuel Montes-Bojorquez was approved for DACA starting in 2014 and had a DACA expiration date of Jan. 25, 2018. However, Mr. Montes-Bojorquez lost his DACA status when he left the United States without advanced parole on an unknown date prior to his arrest by the U.S. Border Patrol on Feb. 19, 2017.”
Montes-Bojorquez’ lawyers said that after he was deported on Feb. 18, he subsequently returned to the U.S. after being robbed in Mexico, and shortly thereafter turned himself in to immigration officials.
The DHS spokesman said: “The U.S. Border Patrol has no record of encountering Mr. Montes-Bojorquez in the days before his detention and subsequent arrest for immigration violations on February 19, 2017. There are no records or evidence to support Montes-Bojorquez’s claim that he was detained or taken to the Calexico Port of Entry on February 18, 2017.”
Pelosi Accuses Trump of ‘Deportation Dragnet of Appalling Inhumanity’ After DREAMer with Criminal History Deported
“House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) released a statement Tuesday evening following a USA Today report that the Trump administration had deported its first DREAMer, Juan Manuel Montes, allegedly protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.
“Instead of honoring the protections of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative, President Trump has unleashed an indiscriminate deportation dragnet of appalling inhumanity,” Pelosi wrote.
Montes is suing the federal government and the USA Today report is now being disputed by Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
CBP said Montes’ DACA permit expired in August 2015. Montes’ lawyers claim he had renewed it in 2016 and it expires in 2018. CBP also pointed out the fact, acknowledged even in USA Today’s report, that Montes was convicted of theft and sentenced to probation.
“Court records show he has four convictions: one for shoplifting in January 2016, and three for driving without a license, most recently three months ago,” according to USA Today.
Those convictions, however, are not serious enough to disqualify him from DACA protections, USA Today adds, citing the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services guidelines.
“The Trump Administration is terrorizing patriotic young people who want nothing more than to live, work and contribute to the country they love – the only home they’ve ever known,” Pelosi said in her statement. “These outstanding young men and women are American in every way but on paper.””
Sessions on Booted DREAMer: ‘Everyone Is Subject to Being Deported’
“Attorney General Jeff Sessions is defending the deportation of a four-time convicted illegal immigrant DREAMer who applied for protection under the Obama-era ‘Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals’ DACA program.
As Breitbart News reported, 23-year-old illegal immigrant Juan Manuel Montes was deported by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency after having four criminal convictions, one for shoplifting and three others for driving without a license.
Despite Montes’ believing that he was protected as an illegal immigrant under DACA, Sessions told Fox News’ Jenna Lee the days of the Obama Administration’s lax enforcement are over.
“DACA enrollees are not being targeted, I don’t know why this individual was picked up,” Sessions said on the case. “Everybody in the country illegally is subject to being deported, so people come here and they stay here a few years and somehow they think they are not subject to being deported – well, they are.”
“Our priority is to end the lawlessness at the border, stop the additional flow of illegals into the country, then to prioritize those who have gotten in trouble with the law, recent arrivals, people who have been deported previously, drug dealers and other criminal activists,” Sessions said. “They need to be deported first.”
“But we can’t promise people who are here unlawfully that they aren’t going to be deported,” Sessions reiterated.”
Trump signs bill allowing veterans to seek care outside broken VA system
|| Business Insider
“President Trump signed legislation Wednesday that will dramatically expand a program at the Department of Veterans Affairs that lets patients seek care from private doctors if they want to bypass the troubled VA system.
The Veterans Choice Improvement Act removes barriers that Congress placed around the original “choice” initiative and eliminates an expiration date that would have shuttered the program in August.
Lawmakers created the choice program in 2014 after a massive scandal involving wait time cover-ups at more than 100 VA facilities around the country. It was initially structured as a two-year pilot program that limited when and where veterans could choose to see private doctors. Patients could only use the choice program if they lived more than 40 miles from the nearest VA hospital or if they could not get an appointment from their local VA facility within 30 days.
The choice program has proven controversial since its inception three years ago. Critics have questioned whether increasing veterans’ reliance on private doctors might move the VA toward privatization, while proponents of such efforts have accused the VA of resisting steps to implement the program in order to protect the status quo.
“Extending the Choice Program is the right thing to do, but only as a stopgap measure until better solutions are developed and implemented,” said Dan Caldwell, policy director at CVA. “Reauthorizing the Choice Act buys Congress some time to work with Secretary [David] Shulkin on broader choice reforms that will truly empower veterans with the ability to seek care outside the VA when they want to.”
….Continue reading more @ BusinessInsider
Tucker, Cuban Battle Over Whether Choosing Foreign Workers Over American Workers Is Good for Economy
|| Youtube | Tucker Carlson
“Tuesday on Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” host Tucker Carlson and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban battled over the H1-B visa and its usefulness for the United States economy.
Cuban argued that a business bringing in the best applicants from around the world is actually good for the American economy, while Tucker noted that people who get beat out for jobs just remain unemployed and get on disability insurance.”
“Fox News host Bill O’Reilly will not return to the network, 21st Century Fox announced Wednesday.
“After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the Company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel,” the network said in a statement.
Reports emerged this week that 21st Century Fox was leaning toward ousting O’Reilly in the wake of sexual harassment allegations.
New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman reported hours earlier that Fox News had decided to oust O’Reilly and execs were in talks about how to end the relationship without causing collateral damage to the network.”