‘I want to lead France, not Europe’: Le Pen demands removal of EU flag for TV interview

https://www.rt.com/news/385329-marine-le-pen-eu-flag/
With France’s presidential election just days away, National Front (FN) candidate Marine Le Pen symbolically demanded the removal of an EU flag from the studio for a TV interview. Earlier she promised a referendum on France’s EU membership if she wins the vote.

Political interviews in France often feature a combination of the national tricolor and the star-sprinkled blue-and-gold Flag of Europe – but not on Tuesday, when Le Pen visited the country’s TF1 channel.

“To agree to take part in this program, Madame Le Pen, you asked us to remove the European flag that should have been behind you,” said interviewer Gilles Bouleau by way of explanation.

“I want to be president of the French Republic, not of the European Commission, given that I believe the EU has done a lot of harm to our country, to our people, on an economic and social level, with the disappearance of borders,” replied Le Pen.

While Le Pen had on previous occasions appeared next to the EU flag, her attitude is not new. One of the 144 promises in her election manifesto is to remove the blue-and-gold flag from government buildings, as well as to ensure that a French flag is always present – a measure that has already been followed by FN-controlled local authorities.

The gesture sparked a debate online.

Fiers de notre , symbole d’unité, de solidarité et d’harmonie entre les peuples d’Europe. Ne le cachons pas. http://bit.ly/2h6mmk9 

“Proud of our flag, symbol of unity, solidarity and harmony between the peoples of Europe. Let’s not hide it,” tweeted the office of the European Commission in France on Wednesday.

“You’ll see, we’ll soon stuff your oligarchic rag in the cupboard,” shot back Florian Philippot, the FN vice-president.

Si si, vous allez voir, on va bientôt ranger au placard votre torchon oligarchique 😉. Vive le drapeau 🇫🇷! https://twitter.com/uefrance/status/854607624813367297 

While the focus on flags in a country beset by economic stagnation and living in a state of emergency due to a threat of terrorism may seem petty, it is indicative of the wider issues that have dominated what appears to be an unusually tight four-way race to make it into the run-off.

Le Pen, who, according to polls conducted in the past week is likely to move onto the second round, has argued that France must quit the euro, and has advocated a referendum on EU membership, similar to the one that led to Brexit last year. She has also argued for stronger border control as a way of limiting the impact of what she has called “twin globalizations” of wage-suppressing economic migration and Islamic terrorism.

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Dutch couple drops lawsuit for removal of Holocaust memorial

(JTA) — A Dutch couple who sued the municipality of Amsterdam over the placing of a postcard-sized Holocaust memorial plaque near their home have dropped their motion as a result of harsh criticism.

The couple, who live in the upscale Old South neighborhood of the Dutch capital, told the Volkskrant daily on Sunday that the suit prompted criticism in the Dutch media and beyond ever since it was reported  Friday.

“We’re shocked by the way in which the publicity regarding this issue has led to misunderstandings,” wrote the couple, who requested anonymity. They added that “because of the death of our child, the stumbling cobblestone is too emotional.”

They were referring to the 4-square-inch brass plaque that city workers put in the sidewalk near their doorway in 2014 bearing the name of Joachim Elte, a Jewish accountant who lived in the couple’s building on 3 Sint Maes St. before he was deported to a Nazi concentration camp during World War II and murdered in 1945.

Amsterdam has approximately 400 memorial cobblestones – part of over 50,000 artifacts installed since 1996 by a German artist in 18 countries across Europe in front of the former homes of the Holocaust victims whose names are engraved on the cobblestones.

The City of Amsterdam recently moved Elte’s cobblestone farther from the couple’s doorway at their request, but declined their requests to have it removed. Subsequently they sued the city; a judge had referred their lawsuit to a civil court.

Elte’s grandson also lives on Sint Maes Street, according to the Volkskrant.

Approximately 75 percent of the 140,000 Jews who lived in the Netherlands when Germany invaded the country in 1940 were murdered in the Holocaust. The Netherlands had the highest death rate in Nazi-occupied Western Europe.

Global Censor World Jewish Congress Praises Amazon Removal of “Holocaust Denial” Books

The jewish lobby welcomes Amazon move to remove “Holocaust-denial” books, offers assistance in identifying further through crime material.

From worldjewishcongress.org:

World Jewish Congress CEO Robert Singer on Thursday thanked Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos for removing several Holocaust-denial books flagged by the WJC on multiple occasions since 2013, and as recently as earlier this month, as being in violation of Amazon’s guidelines prohibiting the sale of material that “promote or glorify hatred.” In a letter to Bezos, Singer offered the WJC’s assistance in helping to identify and flag other offensive material in similar violation of Amazon’s standards.

“On behalf of the more than 100 Jewish communities affiliated with the World Jewish Congress, I want to thank you and the staff at Amazon for removing the three Holocaust-denial books that my organization brought to your attention in a series of recent letters, and again in my article in the Los Angeles Times earlier this month,” wrote Singer in the letter to Bezos.

“The three titles that you removed – Holocaust: The Greatest Lie Ever Told, by Eleanor Wittakers; The Hoax of the Twentieth Century: The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry, by Arthur R Butz; and Did Six Million Really Die? by Richard Harwood – are blatantly anti-Semitic works penned by some of the most notorious bigots of our time, and we commend you for recognizing the potential harm of enabling their accessibility on Amazon.

“We are also gratified to note that Amazon has removed numerous other Holocaust-denying items from its website. It is encouraging to know that Amazon is endeavouring to enforce its own standards and guidelines prohibiting the sale of material that “promote or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual or religious intolerance.”

“The World Jewish Congress stands ready to assist you in every way possible to identify and flag other offensive material that similarly violate Amazon’s guidelines, and ensure their quick removal from the website. We would welcome the opportunity to meet with you or one of your colleagues to discuss this matter further,” the letter concluded.

Jewish Dems front letter to Trump urging Bannon’s removal from NSC

WASHINGTON — Two Jewish members of the US House of Representatives spearheaded a letter by 50 House Democrats to President Donald Trump demanding the removal of Stephen Bannon from the National Security Council.

The letter sent Friday and initiated by Reps. Jerrold Nadler, D-NY, and Ted Deutch, D-Fla., decries the removal of the chairman of the military Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of national intelligence from the Council, and their replacement with Bannon, Trump’s chief political strategist, and Reince Priebus, his chief of staff.

The letter takes special issue with Bannon and his senior role on the NSC, noting his background prior to joining Trump’s campaign last summer helming Breitbart News. Bannon once described Breitbart News as a platform for the “alt-right,” a loose assemblage of anti-establishment groups that includes anti-Semites as well as strident defenders of Israel.

One unifying thrust of the alt-right has been its hostility to Islam, and the letter writers say that Bannon is an especially inappropriate choice as the United States confronts the Islamic State terror group. also known as ISIS.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-New York. (Courtesy)

“The deeply troubling allegations that Mr. Bannon supports or is tolerant of anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim views take on added significance if he is to serve as a Member of the NSC Principals Committee,” said the letter. “At a time when the United States is leading the fight against ISIS, we should not be giving our partners in the Arab world, who are fighting alongside US troops, any reason to doubt US commitment to our alliances with these predominantly Muslim countries.”

Nadler, in a statement accompanying the letter, emphasized Bannon’s associations with the alt-right.

“Stephen Bannon’s lack of foreign policy experience and former leadership of a website closely aligned with the anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic alt-right should disqualify him from serving in such a high-level national security post,” he said.

Rep. Ted Deutch on the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, July 28, 2016. (Alex Wong/Getty Images via JTA)

Trump’s spokesmen have noted that the NSC is staffed entirely at the discretion of the president, and have said that top military and intelligence officials are still welcome to attend its meetings.

Of the 50 House members who signed the letter, eight are Jewish, out of a total of 20 Jewish Democrats in the House.

Rand Paul Backs Confederate Flag Removal, Calls It Symbol of Racism and Murder

http://reason.com/blog/2015/06/23/rand-paul-backs-confederate-flag-removal

Sen. Rand Paul said he agrees with South Carolina Gov. (and fellow Republican) Nikki Haley that the Confederate flag should be removed from its previous place of honor on the grounds of the State House. In a radio interview this morning, Paul referred to the flag as “inescapably a symbol of human bondage and slavery,” as well as a reminder of Dylan Roof’s horrific murders:

“I think the flag is inescapably a symbol of human bondage and slavery, and particularly when people use it, you know, obviously for murder and to justify hated so vicious that you would kill somebody, I think that that symbolism needs to end. And I think South Carolina is doing the right thing.

I think it’s, obviously, it’s a decision for South Carolina to maker, but if I was in South Carolina that’s what I would vote to do and I would recommend to anyone who asked me my opinion. There have been people who have used it for southern pride and heritage and all of that but really to I think to every African-American in the country it’s a symbolism of slavery to them and now it’s a symbol of murder for this young man and so I think it’s time to put it in a museum.”

Many other Republicans, including Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, have also called for the flag to be taken down.

While most serious Republican presidential candidates have spoken out against the flag in recent election cycles, the notion that conservatives needed to make overtures to Confederate pride to win in the south once held some sway. Sen. John McCain famously flip-flopped on the issue in the 2000 election.

Over at The Week, Ed Morrissey argues that by coming out so strongly against the Confederate flag, Haley has made it easier for other Republicans to back her play—potentially saving the party from some embarrassing waffling on a clear-cut race issue:

With Obama’s retirement in 2016, though, Republicans have an opportunity to start fresh with younger voters and those in minority communities. The RNC certainly wants to reach those voters and at least improve engagement. Had Republicans been forced to defend the flag yet again, or walk away from an opportunity to acknowledge its potent symbolism for blacks in South Carolina, that would have sent a message about the lack of insight and empathy from the GOP toward those communities throughout the entire nation — and could have blown an opportunity for a fresh start.

Instead, Nikki Haley shouldered the political risk and neutralized the issue for Republicans far ahead of the prime-time campaign season. She succeeded by doing the right thing and taking action for unity to match her earlier calls for healing. She may or may not pay a political price in the state if she decides to run for office in South Carolina after her second term as governor expires, but Republican presidential candidates can thank Haley’s sense of leadership for getting them off of a very uncomfortable hook.

To compete for the votes of young people and minorities, Republicans have to prove that they aren’t stuck in the past. My sense is that opposing the Confederate flag is a relatively easy way for Republicans to gain some “we suck less!” points with people who would otherwise completely write off the GOP. The trade-off—appearing insufficiently conservative to pro-Confederate southerners—is less and less relevant.

For additional reading on this subject, check out this powerful Daily Beast column from Rare Politics editor Jack Hunter. Libertarianism, Hunter writes, changed his thinking about the flag:

My attraction to libertarianism a number of years ago began a journey of rejecting groupthink and placing primacy on the individual. Once you start down the path of putting individual human beings above whatever group they belong to, it puts politics—and everything else—in a new light.

Putting people before an agenda or broad prejudices puts us all in a much better place. It can, and should, make us repentant of our past behavior. It did for me.

For libertarians, people should matter more than government-facilitated national pride. It’s inspiring (and frankly, a relief) to see that libertarian-leaning Republicans like Paul are honoring that principle rather than following an outdated and offensive political strategy.

Forced removal of 200 Israeli settlers shakes Netanyahu gov’t

http://www.jta.org/2015/07/28/news-opinion/israel-middle-east/forced-removal-of-200-israeli-settlers-shakes-netanyahu-govt?utm_source=Newsletter+subscribers&utm_campaign=4c80c6623c-Daily_Briefing_7_28_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_2dce5bc6f8-4c80c6623c-28312217

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Some 200 young adult demonstrators were removed from two illegal apartment buildings slated for demolition in a West Bank Jewish settlement.

Some 50 demonstrators were arrested, and the rest were dispersed using riot control measures early Tuesday morning in Beit El, which is about 20 miles north of Jerusalem. Hundreds of Israeli police officers were on the scene.

Police reportedly had arrived in Beit El in the early hours of the morning in an attempt to prevent demonstrators from reaching the settlement.

The buildings were found to have been constructed on privately constructed Palestinian land and ordered demolished in 2010. Israel’s Supreme Court gave the state until Thursday to demolish the buildings, known as the Dreinoff neighborhood.

Members of the right-wing Jewish Home party, a member of the government coalition, threatened to bring down the government over the demolition.

“Ten years on from the disengagement, someone has forgotten that this time around, the nationalist camp possesses public and political power,” Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett said in a statement.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement following the evacuation that his government was opposed to razing the Beit El homes.

“We’re acting to bolster the settlements, and we’re doing so in accordance with the law,” he said. “Our stance regarding the houses in Beit El is clear. We are opposed to demolishing them and are pursuing judicial courses to prevent such a step.”

Also overnight Tuesday, more than 200 people returned to the northern West Bank village of Sa-Nur to mark the 10th anniversary of its evacuation during the Gaza disengagement. Many of those on hand were families that were evicted from the settlement.

The demonstrators took over an old British fort located in the village and announced that they were planning to remain.

The Israel Defense Forces on Tuesday warned that it will forcibly remove the demonstrators if they do not leave voluntarily.

Among those occupying the fort are Jewish Home lawmakers Aryeh Eldad and Bezalel Smotrich.

“Ten years after the disengagement, it’s about time to fix things. And that begins here, in northern Samaria,” Smotrich said in a statement. “Families have begun settling into the rooms of the fort with the intention of staying for some time. We don’t intend to move from here.”

Microsoft Bing Accepting Revenge Porn Removal Requests

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2488308,00.asp

Microsoft is taking a stand against “revenge porn” with a new website that puts victims in control of their own images.

The Internet trend, in which sexually explicit content is posted to the Web without the permission of those involved, can threaten personal and business relationships, and has even led to suicide.

“Much needs to be done to address the problem,” Jacqueline Beauchere, Microsoft Chief Online Safety Officer, wrote in a blog post. “As a first step, we want to help put victims back in control of their images and their privacy.”

Redmond this week launched a new website, where people can report inappropriate content and ask for its removal from Bing search results, as well as OneDrive and Xbox Live.

The form requires your name, the URLs you want removed, and an honest answer about whether you provided consent for distribution; other details like additional documentation and contact information are also requested.

Available now in English, the site will be expanded in the coming weeks to include other languages. Microsoft’s link removals will be applied globally.

“Clearly, this reporting mechanism is but one small step in a growing and much-needed effort across the public and private sectors to address the problem,” Beauchere said.

Despite its global reach, the new program does not actually scrub content from the Internet; it merely removes it from search results. “Victims still need stronger protections across the Web and around the world,” Beauchere added.

Google last month implemented a similar program, promising to honor requests to remove from search results nude or sexually explicit content shared without consent. A website—similar to the “right to be forgotten” form used in the European Union—is live on support.google.com.

Twitter, meanwhile, recently introduced new rules for user behavior, adding to sections concerning “private information” and “threats and abuse,” and making it clear that the microblogging site frowns heavily on posting inappropriate images without third-party consent.

Earlier this year, the FTC banned revenge porn site operator Craig Brittain from posting risqué images without people’s consent, and ordered him to destroy his collection. A month later, revenge porn purveyor Hunter Moore pleaded guilty to hacking and identity theft charges, admitting he paid someone to break into private email accounts and steal sexually explicit images. Ironically, Brittain later requested that certain mentions of him be scrubbed from the Web.

Obama Celebrates Removal Of Confederate Flag

Obama Celebrates Removal Of Confederate Flag

As officials removed the Confederate flag from the statehouse in Columbia, South Carolina, Barack Obama personally praised the event on Twitter.

obamaconfederateflag

 

“South Carolina taking down the confederate flag – a signal of good will and healing, and a meaningful step towards a better future,” he wrote.

In a short, yet monumental ceremony this morning, the Confederate flag was lowered as some in the crowd shouted U-S-A! U-S-A! and sang “Na na na na, hey hey-hey, goodbye!”

White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett also weighed in on Twitter.

“A historic day for #SouthCarolina and the #UnitedStates as we officially #TakeItDown,” she wrote, citing Obama’s note.

sss

Breitbart reported that Obama discussed his feelings about the flag at lengthy during a eulogy for Reverend Clementa Pinckney, one of the nine victims of a racist shooting in a Charleston church.

“For too long, we were blind to the pain that the Confederate flag stirred in too many of our citizens,” he said, insisting that Americans had to acknowledge that it represented not only ancestral pride but “systemic oppression and racial subjugation.”

“Removing the flag from this state’s capitol would not be an act of political correctness; it would not be an insult to the valor of Confederate soldiers. It would simply be an acknowledgment that the cause for which they fought — the cause of slavery — was wrong,” he added, before concluding, “By taking down that flag, we express God’s grace.”

This day will forever be remembered, but not for the great deed that Obama claims, but rather, for the day Obama decimated an important part of American history.

– See more at: http://truthuncensored.net/obama-celebrates-removal-of-confederate-flag/#sthash.WqiNDBmA.dpuf

Activists Call For Removal Of Bill Cosby’s Star From Walk Of Fame

Activists Call For Removal Of Bill Cosby’s Star From Walk Of Fame

LOS ANGELES (AP) – A coalition of black civil rights activists is calling on the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to remove Bill Cosby’s star from the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The activists, including Earl Ofari Hutchinson, called for the star’s removal Thursday.

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce released a statement saying it has never removed a star from the walk and will not do so in Cosby’s case.

Most of the activists previously remained largely neutral on the allegations against Cosby. But they made the request after recently released court documents from a 2005 disposition, where Cosby acknowledged buying Quaaludes to drug women he wanted to have sex with.

More than two dozen women have accused Crosby of sexual misconduct. The comedian denied some accusations and has not addressed the others.

Haley of South Carolina Calls for Removal of Confederate Battle Flag

COLUMBIA, S.C., — Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina on Monday called for removal of a Confederate battle flag from the State Capitol grounds, taking sides on an emotional issue, after the white man accused of killing nine black people was seen brandishing that flag in widely circulated pictures.

Ms. Haley, a Republican, had avoided addressing the question in the days after the mass shooting last Wednesday at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church in Charleston, a crime that rocked this state and prompted renewed calls to remove a flag that has often been embraced by racists.

“It’s time to move the flag from the Capitol grounds,” the governor said, speaking to reporters at the Capitol in Columbia.

While Governor Haley said that residents have the right to show the Confederate battle flag on private property, ”the State House is different, and the events of this past week call upon us to look at this in a different way.”

While many in the state consider the flag to be a symbol of the state’s heritage, Ms. Haley said, “for many others in South Carolina, the flag is a deeply offensive symbol of a brutally racist past.”

The issue of the flag, which initially flew above the Statehouse dome, has bedeviled South Carolina for decades. In 2000, state officials, pressured by a business boycott led by the N.A.A.C.P. and large protests in Columbia, decided that only the American and South Carolina flags would fly above the State House, while the Confederate battle flag would be placed in front of the building.

Banishing the flag from the Capitol grounds — at least any time soon — may be harder than winning over the governor. This year’s regular session of the General Assembly ’s regular session has ended, and though it will meet again in a special session beginning Tuesday, the resolution authorizing that session limits it to discussion of certain matters.

Lawmakers said Monday that amending the resolution to add the flag to the agenda wouuld require a two-thirds vote of both houses.

Earlier in the day, opponents of the flag demanded its removal and invoked the memories of those killed at a church in Charleston on Wednesday, including the Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, a state senator.

“What better way to honor the late Rev. and Senator Clementa Pinckney and those who were killed by someone who adored the Confederate battle flag and thought it to be symbolic of white supremacy and hate,” said the Rev. Nelson B. Rivers III, pastor of Charity Missionary Baptist Church in North Charleston.

“Our friend and brother Senator Pinckney should not lie in state in the shadow of a flag whose meaning apparently motivated a killer to take his life,” Mr. Rivers said, adding, “The time has come for the General Assembly to do what it ought to have done a long time ago, which is to remove this symbol of divisiveness and even terrorism to some.”

Dylann Roof, 21, has been charged with nine counts of murder in the shooting on Wednesday at a Bible study meeting at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, one of the oldest and most prominent black congregations in the South.

Friends say Mr. Roof had voiced hatred of black people and white supremacist ideology — which are also expressed on a website registered in his name — and a desire to start a race war. He has been quoted as telling his victims that he had to kill black people because they were taking over.

Photos online show Mr. Roof displaying the best known of the battle flags used by Confederate armies during the Civil War, and also the flags of apartheid-era South Africa and white-ruled Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.

The Confederate battle flag is incorporated into the state flag of Mississippi, and Georgia’s state flag is based on the first national flag of the Confederacy.