Saturday, December 31, 2022

What to Do About George Santos?

 George Santos is a Republican congressman-elect from New York representing the 3rd District and is preparing to be sworn into the US House of Representatives. However, so much is coming out about his background that indicates that much of the biography he used during the campaign appears to be made up. There is too much to go into, but there are questions about his education, residences, family, religion, and sexual orientation.

So now the Democrats in Congress, especially the House, where the Republicans will now have a thin majority, are demanding that Santos resign, that there be investigations, that crimes may have been committed. For the mainstream media, predictably, it is a full-scale feeding frenzy.

I will not attempt to defend Santos here. I saw his Fox News interview with Tulsi Gabbard, and, frankly, he came across to me as a flim-flam man. As to the specific allegations, I only know what I read and hear on the news, so I have no opinion except to ask a basic question:

First of all, is it a crime for a candidate to make stuff up about himself in a campaign? If it is, you could indict about 9/10s of Congress. We have a senator in Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal (D), who lied about serving in the US military in Vietnam. The voters of Connecticut don't seem to be bothered by that because they keep re-electing him.

Then there are all the tall tales told by former vice president and failed presidential candidate Al Gore. Remember his having invented the internet? Or his line about him and his ex-wife being the models for the movie, "Love Story"? Or his supposed involvement in "finding" Love Canal (toxic waste disaster in New York State, 1970s)?

What about Joe Biden? How many of those, "I'm the guy who (fill in the blank) can we drag up? He claimed to have personally visited the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh after it was the scene of a mass murder in 2018. He never did. He claimed to have been arrested in South Africa while trying to meet with then-imprisoned Nelson Mandela. That was false. He has lied about his academic achievements in college and law school. I could go on and on, but we all know who Joe Biden is.

Then there is Katie Porter (D-CA). Remember in 2019 when she was mercilessly grilling the CEO of JP Morgan while he was testifying before Congress and told him about a poor JP Morgan employee in her district whose salary was so low she couldn't provide for her family as a single mom. Her name was "Patricia". Boy did she make that  JP Morgan CEO squirm. Except there was no Patricia. Katie had made her up. By the way, Katie is back in the news this week over allegations of mistreating a former member of her staff. None of this matters to the voters in her Orange County district because she has been re-elected twice now.

I could go on all day, but the point is made. Congress is full of liars who could give Santos a run for his money any day of the week. If Santos has violated some law by submitting false papers for his candidacy, fine, charge him. Whether he resigns is of no consequence to me. But when it comes to the question of honesty in Congress, specifically as to telling the public lies about your life story, let's not be hypocrites here.

Friday, December 30, 2022

Cross-Post of an Op-Ed by Kenneth Marcus, Brandeis Center in (LA) Jewish Journal

Kenneth Marcus

I am cross-posting a recent op-ed in the Jewish Journal (Los Angeles) by Kenneth Marcus, the chairman of the Louis D Brandeis Center and formerly the head of the Office of Civil Rights of the US Department of Education. The Brandeis Center is a leading organization dedicated chiefly to combating anti-Semitism including within our universities.

In the below op-ed, Marcus asks whether President Joe Biden will meaningfully follow through on his recent pledge to combat anti-Semitism. Aside from words, Biden needs to follow through with action. Marcus argues that would mean codifying the inclusion of Jews under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Acts Act as a protected ethno-religious group. It would also include official recognition of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism-as specifically opposed to the Jerusalem Definition, crafted by critics of Israel. The chief difference between the above two definitions arises when it comes to Israel. Under the IHRA definition, while criticism of Israel's policies per se does not constitute anti-Semitism, certain attacks against Israel would. For example, comparing Israelis to Nazis would be defined as anti-Semitic. In addition, assigning blame to Jews worldwide for the alleged faults of Israel, singling out Israel for alleged human rights abuses not applied to other democratic countries, denying the Jewish people a homeland, or accusing Jews living outside of Israel of having dual loyalties are considered forms of anti-Semitism. The Jerusalem Definition largely seeks to remove many of the above examples from their accepted definition. Links to both definitions are in the op-ed below.

Obviously, I concur with Mr. Marcus' statements. I also applaud him for pointing out the deficiencies in the recently-released FBI study that vastly understated hate crimes against Jews. Coming at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise, this error is inexcusable.

The importance of the Israel issue in any working definition of anti-Semitism is not to stamp out any criticism of Israel as being anti-Semitic in itself. The IHRA definition addresses that point. But as I have argued many times before, the focal point for the resurgence in anti-Semitism in the US has been on our university campuses, and that is a direct result of the pro-Palestinian movement in our universities, a movement that has made the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a hot button issue on campuses across North America. That has now metastasized from the campuses to the community at large. The result is that Jews in large cities like New York and Los Angeles are being physically accosted on our streets. What we have witnessed in the past few years is a marriage between the pro-Palestinian movement and the far-left. In the process, many of the old tropes against Jews, like being in control of American institutions, have been dusted off. 

As a further illustration, in the years I spent monitoring the anti-Israel movement on the UC Irvine campus, where I was teaching at the time, I heard many invited speakers cross the line from criticizing the policies of Israel vis-a-vis the Palestinians into outright screeds against the Jewish people. Amir Abdel Malik Ali, Abdul Alim Musa, Hatem Bazian, and Mohamed al-Asi come immediately to mind. In 2008, I personally saw and photographed this poster on the so-called "Apartheid Wall" set up by the Muslim Student Union in their annual May week of anti-Israel events. It was a caricature of Ariel Sharon drawn in the stereotypical manner popularized by Julius Streicher's Nazi weekly, Der Stuermer, in the 1930s and 1940s in Germany.

As for President Biden, of whom I am a critic, I want to keep an open mind on how he will follow through his words with action. His predecessor in the White House (Donald Trump) had put the universities on notice that if they refused to protect their Jewish students from anti-Semitic harassment, bullying, and intimidation, they risked losing federal funding. Under Biden, I assume that threat has gone away. I view that as a necessary remedy along with donors reconsidering giving money to such universities.

I commend Mr Marcus for reminding President Biden that he has spoken out against anti-Semitism and that now he has the opportunity to take specific actions to back up those words.

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Austria: Who Are the "Refugees"?

Ever since (at least) 2015, we have been pointing out that the overwhelming majority of "asylum-seekers" in Europe are actually, young, unaccomp[anied men as opposed to the images propagated by the media showing women holding children in their arms.

The below article from today's  Unzensuriert, a conservative Austrian news site, quotes actual statistics from the Austrian Ministry of the Interior that prove that the overwhelming majority (about 91%) of asylum-seekers are men, mostly between the ages of 18-25.

And to make matters worse, the number of homicides in Austria is highest in cities that have the highest number of migrants.

The article below is translated by Fousesquawk.

Caption: No women, no children. The migration to Austria is almost exclusively men.

Asylum policy

29 December 2022 at 12:05

It isn't women and children seeking protection with us-It is 91% men!

Pictures of small children in the arms of their mothers in the mainstream media always want to make us believe it is they who are seeking protection in Austria. The truth, however, is that 91% of asylum requests are lodged by men. Not surprisingly, most of the migrants came from Afghanistan, Syria, India, Tunisia, and Pakistan.

Only 8.7% of asylum applications are from women

The Interior Ministry's asylum statistics give a completely different picture from the numbers from the benevolent NGOs and many representatives of the Federal Government. It is not women and children who are seeking protection and help from us, but rather almost exclusively men. Of the 101,755 asylum applications, 92,854-that is 91.3%- are submitted by men. The majority of those are between 18-25 years old. Only 8,903 of asylum applications are from women-that is only 8.7%.

Almost 100% of unaccompanied minors are men

As for the unaccompanied minors, the male portion is even higher. According to statistics from the Interior Ministry, these were, believe it or not, 98.8%. The unaccompanied (migration) of minors to Austria might be a trick by the (human) smugglers to enable family (reunification). Most of the migrants came from Afghanistan, Syria, India, Tunisia, and Pakistan.

Dramatic rise in murders in cities with the high number of migrants

With these numbers from the Interior Ministry, Austria not only has the highest number in 67 years, but with this human migration, is sliding into conditions that currently exist in Sweden. As reported, Sweden is now paying a bloody price for the open borders policy previously preferred by the Social Democrats. There is a dramatic rise in murders in cities where the migration number is high.

Already 60 shooting victims

According to a report on Servus-TV, five years ago there were 36 people killed in shootings in Sweden, (but)  this year, there are already 60 victims- an increase of almost 70%.

Belgium: Court Rules No Body Cavity Searches for Terror Defendants

A Belgian court has ruled that guards cannot conduct body cavity searches on 6 defendants on trial for their participation in the 2016 terror attacks in Brussels.

The below article from the French-language Belgian daily, La Libre, is translated by Fousesquawk.

Summary Court prohibits (anal cavity body searches) imposed on defendants in the March 22, 2016 attacks.

Accused received partial relief

J La- Journalist- Police and Justice

Posted 12-29-22 at 13:25-Updated 12-29-22 at 13:56

Caption: Police escort the accused before the Criminal Court

The summary court on Thursday ordered the Belgian state to end its systematic practice of (anal cavity body searches) imposed on the defendants being tried before the Brussels Criminal Court for their alleged participation in the March 22, 2016 attacks.

This practice, imposed during the transfers between Haren Prison and the Palace of Justice, where the Criminal Court sits, is aimed at checking that the prisoners have nothing hidden in their anus.

Thus, in its ruling, issued Thursday, the tribunal partially granted the requests of 6 of the 7 accused prisoners, Mohamed Abrini, Sofien Ayari, Salah Abdeslam, Ali El Haddad Asufi, Bilal El Makhoukhi et Hervé Bayingana Muhirwa. Osama Krayem did not join in the petition.

For the tribunal, this systematic body cavity search seemed to constitute inhuman and degrading treatment prohibited by the European Convention on Human Rights.

The tribunal is giving the Belgian state 8 days to end this practice, under penalty of a fine of 1,000 euros for each violation with a maximum of 50,000 per petitioner.

Hey DHS! I See Something!

Another day passes and another day when I wonder why I remain on Facebook. Not only am I inundated with an unsolicited daily barrage of the latest photos of the Kardashian girls posing semi-nude and telling me how stunning they are, but now I am getting unsolicited blurbs from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) telling me that I shouldn't believe my lying eyes and that our border with Mexico is really closed. You can see the above pictures at the DHS Facebook link above.

As if that's not bad enough, they have dusted off that old phrase, "If you see something, say something'".

OK. Here goes.

I see that our southern border is inundated with thousands of illegal aliens walking across and handing themselves over to BP agents claiming to be asylum-seekers.

I see hundreds of illegal aliens sleeping in the streets of El Paso.

I see illegal aliens being flown by DHS to various points across the country and being released onto the streets.

I see fentanyl coming across our southern border in record numbers, killing hundreds of Americans every day.

Nogales, Arizona

I see human trafficking across our southern border, murders, rapes, and cartels operating freely.

I see a demoralized Border Patrol, agents not allowed to do their jobs by their bosses in Washington.

I see the Biden administration trying to lift Title 42, which will make the situation much worse.

I see this lying guy named Alejandro Mayorkas (the newly-crowned Fousesquawk Jerk of the Year for 2022) sitting in front of Congress under oath and insisting that the border is secure.

So where do I go to say something?

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

The Passing of Franco Harris


As a lifelong Pittsburgh Steeler fan (beginning in 1955) I want to say a few words about the passing of Steeler great Franco Harris at the age of 72. As all football fans know, the Hall of Fame running back was due to have his number 32 retired by the Steelers this week at a half-time ceremony on Christmas Eve on the 50th anniversary of the so-called "Immaculate Reception". Then, unexpectedly, just days before the ceremony, Franco passed away.

The Immaculate Reception was the most iconic play in team history and came in a playoff game in 1972 against the Oakland Raiders when on 4th and ten with seconds left in the game and the Steelers losing 7-6, Harris caught a pass deflected off a collision between intended receiver John Fuqua and Oakland defensive back Jack Tatum. It resulted in Harris scoring the winning touchdown. I watched it live on television.

Here it is.


 1972 was the first year the Steelers had won any kind of title in the NFL, in this case, their first divisional title. It was two more years before they won their first Super Bowl.

The week prior to the Immaculate Reception, I had driven down from Los Angeles to San Diego to watch the Steelers close out the regular season by defeating the San Diego Chargers and thus, win their first divisional title. For me, it was an important milestone.

Aside from the miraculous nature of the play, to this day, there has been a controversy as to whether Harris actually caught the deflected pass or if it had touched the ground. There was also the question of whether Tatum or Fuqua had first touched the ball. Under the rules at the time, had Fuqua first touched the ball, the pass would have been ruled incomplete.

As to the first question, while most video replays of the play are inconclusive, I once saw a clip from the vantage point of the line of scrimmage which shows clearly that Harris caught the ball off his shoe tops. For some reason, I have never seen that clip again.

As to the second point, no matter how many times I watch it, I can't tell who touched the ball first, Fuqua or Tatum. However, a friend of mine who is a Raider fan points out that Tatum hit Fuqua from behind making it unlikely that he touched the ball first. In addition, I should have also noticed the fact that Fuqua was sent sprawling by the hit, making it even more probable that he touched the ball first.

Before moving on to Franco as a person, I need to say that the Steeler team of the 70s and the players on that team will always be near to my heart for the happiness they gave me as one who had grown up a frustrated fan of the team that had been NFL doormats since their inception in 1933.

1972 was also Franco's rookie season, and he was quickly a fan favorite in Pittsburgh with his "Franco's Italian Army" (Franco's mother was Italian.) These were not just fans in the stands to Franco. He became friends with them and attended many of their get-togethers. Altogether, both in his playing days and in retirement, Franco stayed close to the Pittsburgh community and was known for his humble, friendly nature. There were never any off-the-field issues or controversies. He represented the Steelers well.

Although this has not been a good season for the Steelers, I wanted to watch the game Christmas Eve, coincidentally enough against the now-Las Vegas Raiders. But not having the "beloved" NFL Network channel, I had to be content jumping from YouTube clips that were partially blocked. To make matters worse, while showing the halftime ceremony, the network cut away just as a video presentation was being shown in the stadium.

It is my understanding that today, there will be a final viewing at Acrisure Stadium in Franco's honor. All in all, the Steelers are giving Franco a great sendoff as he deserves. Along with Roberto Clemente, he will always be a beloved figure in Pittsburgh.

Pro-Ukraine Demonstration in Mexico

Last month, we were on vacation in Mexico (Playa del Carmen and Merida). While in Playa del Carmen (near Cancun) we came across a pro-Ukraine demonstration on the main tourist drag. The video I took is below.


Monday, December 26, 2022

"Academic Freedom" at Hamline University

The speech police are alive and well at Hamline University in St Paul, Minnesota. A lecturer has now been fired after having shown a picture of the Islamic prophet Mohammad to his/her class as part of a lecture on Islamic art. The images were not insulting, but Islam objects to the showing of any visual representation of their prophet. So now that complaints have been made by Muslim students, the lecturer has apologized, but the university is showing no mercy. The teacher has now apparently been fired.

The student newspaper, Oracle, posted this report on the controversy apparently prior to the firing of the lecturer. I have submitted a comment, but it is unlikely that it will be posted. You see, I made a reference to the hate that is repeatedly expressed towards Jews and Christians in the Koran, which will forever be ignored by the office of inclusion or whatever they call themselves at Hamline. 

The conservative legal blog, Volokh Conspiracy, has posted a lengthy article on the matter which can be accessed here.

It has been well-documented over the years that freedom of expression does not exist on college campuses. In my opinion, had the professor used his/her classroom to attack Islam or any other religion, the complaints would have been justified. That was not the intent of the professor, and sh/she gave students time and opportunity to remove themselves from the showing if they did not want to see it. Unfortunately, that did not satisfy certain students, nor did it satisfy the campus Office of Inclusion. The practical effect here is that Hamline University is subjecting its students and staff to Sharia law.

How many times have I asked myself where the UC Irvine inclusion officers were when Jews were being attacked openly on the campus by the words and images presented by the Muslim Student Union/Students for Justice in Palestine and their invited speakers.

Let us suppose for a moment that a professor had used his/her classroom to attack Christianity or Judaism (keeping in mind that the Hamline professor wasn't attacking anything just doing something that Islam does not allow). Had anyone raised objections, the professor and the university would have simply;y claimed the right of academic freedom.

Yes, academic freedom. Under academic freedom, you can attack America, Israel, Western Civilization, Jews, Christians, white people, Republicans, etc. 

But today, a professor in Minnesota is looking for a new job-and will likely have a difficult time getting one at any other university.

Sunday, December 25, 2022

France: European Court of Human Rights Rules Against Eric Zemmour

Eric Zemmour

Eric Zemmour is a former journalist and commentator-turned-unsuccessful presidential candidate in France. Zemmour is outspoken in his criticism of mass Muslim migration into France in particular and Europe in general. His enemies maintain that he is an "Islamophobe" and hate-monger. Zemmour was convicted by a French court for words he made in 2016 "provoking discrimination and hate against the Muslim community". The European Court of Human Rights has just denied his appeal.

Western Europe (and the EU as a whole) does not guarantee the same rights of speech as we have in the US under the First Amendment. What some call hate speech can be a criminal offense in Europe, particularly when it comes to Muslims and immigration. In the Netherlands, Dutch politician Geert Wilders has been targeted more than once in the courts. for his anti-Islam remarks and criticism of immigration-in particular, the Moroccan community. In Austria, housewife turned activist, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolf, has also been prosecuted for her criticism, of Muslim migrations and resultant crime. Worse still, in the UK, anti-Islam activist Tommy Robinson has actually been imprisoned for his activism.

In the US, even hate speech (however you define it) is considered protected speech. The line is not clear, but if you are inciting direct violent action against someone (based on that person's origin or otherwise) the line can be crossed-especially if there is a direct and immediate act of violence based on one's words. Incitement? Look at the legal debate we are having about whether former President Trump was guilty of inciting the assault on the Capitol in his January 6, 2021 speech. 

Eric Zemmour is only facing a 3,000 euro fine for what he said. He will pay it and move on. But the implications are obvious. People in Europe who are angry and fed up with the uncontrolled immigration of mostly young Muslim men and the increasing crime and Islamization of their societies are fearful of saying what people like Zemmour and Wilder say. I have Swedish contacts who tell me that if they criticize the government's immigration policies, they can lose their jobs and actually be blacklisted for future employment. 

The problems of uncontrolled immigration, violent crime, the murders, the rapes, the riots, and the terrorist attacks are what we can term the elephant in the room in Europe. No decent person would advocate violence against Muslim immigrants or any other group of people. Just this week, a 69-year-old Frenchman took a gun and went into a heavily Kurdish neighborhood in Paris and shot three people to death. By his own admission, he was furious at immigrants. (He was already facing previous charges for attacking a migrant camp with a sword.) This cannot be justified, but Europe's leaders have created a monster that threatens to tear their societies apart. As a result, they are facing an angry indigenous populace that feels powerless. More attacks like this one will surely come, regrettably.

I cannot judge the merits or demerits of everything Eric Zemmour has stated. From what I know, his criticisms of Islam and the flood of Islamic migration with the resulting problems I mentioned above, should be considered protected speech. At least in the US.........

for now.

The below article from the conservative French site, Marianne, is translated by Fousesquawk.


"Choice between Islam and France": The CEDH refuses to annul the conviction of Zemmour

By Marianne, with Agence France Press

Posted December 20, 2022 at 11:27

The European Court of Human Rights (CEDH) ruled against the controversial commentator Eric Zemmour on Tuesday and validated his conviction under French justice for provocation to discrimination and religious hate against the Muslim community after his remarks on France 5 in 2016.

Bad times for Eric Zemmour. On Tuesday, the European Court of Human Rights (CEDH) ruled against the president of the Reconquest party and validated his conviction by French justice for provocation to discrimination against the Muslim community after his remarks made on France 5 in 2016. (The Court) held that the French courts had not violated the freedom of expression of the candidate in the last presidential election. The former journalist had made the referenced remarks on September 16, 2016 on the program, C a vous, broadcast live at 7 pm on France 5 as part of the promotion of his book entitled, "Five years for nothing".

In particular, he had stated that Muslims must be given,"the choice between Islam and France," and that France was living, "for the last 30 years under an invasion," affirming that, "in countless French suburbs where numerous young girls are veiled," there is being played out, "a fight to Islamicize a territory, a jihad". He had been initially sentenced by the Paris Criminal Court to a 5,000 fine for "provocation to discrimination, to hatred or violence against a group of people for reason of their origin or adherence to a religion". The sentence had been reduced to 3,000 euros on appeal.  The Court of Cassation had then rejected his appeal.

Discriminatory Intention

The CEDH, the judicial arm of the Council of Europe, "holds that these remarks were not limited to a critique of Islam, but contained, given the context of terrorist attacks in which they were made, a discriminatory intention of a nature to call on the listeners to the rejection and exclusion of the Muslim community. Note that in 2020, Eric Zemmour himself had labeled the CEDH as "the source of evil," in the fight against immigration. On the CNews program, he then declared, "Not all of the unaccompanied minors are rapists, thieves, murderers, but since there are many who become so, the French people must be protected." What would (be good), according to him, would be "to leave the European Court of Human Rights". "It is the CEDH and the European Convention on the Rights of Children that (keeps) us from deporting anyone." It is not sure whether the Court's decision will improve the esteem of the polemicist for this institution. 

Saturday, December 24, 2022

The Latest Attack in Paris

-Le Monde

I have been following the latest tragedy in France, which occurred Friday when a 69-year-old man (a Frenchman only identified as William M.) shot and killed three people in a largely Kurdish neighborhood in Paris while wounding three others. The incident has been followed, both Friday and today, by demonstrations by Kurds which have turned violent. 

 I was tempted to translate a French news report, but due to other items to write about and the fact that the story is still unraveling, I am just going to put down some words in English for the sake of time.

French authorities and French media are not using the words "terrorist attack" to describe the shooting, which took place just outside a Kurdish cultural center. For the moment, the French anti-terror unit is not taking charge of the case. That is angering many in the Kurdish community as well.  According to reports today, it appears the shooter told police as he was being arrested that he did it because he was a "racist". What really irks me about this case is that he had just recently been let out of custody on charges-still in force- that he attacked a migrant camp armed with a sword. The man is a retired railroad worker who is angry about the presence of immigrants/migrants/asylum-seekers etc in France. He is also being described by his family and acquaintances as mentally ill. So the current theory is that this act was carried act by a mentally-disturbed Frenchman out of racist motives. Some officials have had to backtrack over earlier statements that this was the work of a "right-wing extremist". The terms, "right-wing" and "left-wing" have somewhat different connotations in Europe than they do in the US, but it is premature to assign blame for this act to a larger swath of people, almost all of whom would also condemn the attack.

There is still a large belief among many Kurds in France that this attack was ordered by the Turkish government. Many of the protesters have accused Turkey and its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, of being behind the attack.

Whatever the reason behind this despicable attack, it just adds to the long list of tragedies and social problems that France is facing. The country is just getting over the soccer riots and now this.

Friday, December 23, 2022

Sweden: Luna's Story

Back in July, we translated a Swedish article about a 9-year-old girl named Luna who was attacked, beaten, and raped by a teenage refugee boy from Ethiopia. At that time, Luna was fighting for her life.

Luna in July

As an update, we can report that Luna has survived, but she is in a wheelchair, paralyzed, and unable to speak. Her attacker, now 15 years old (they think), is serving time in some psychiatric hospital and will undoubtedly be out and about before long. Luna was not his first victim.

Last week, Luna's family gave an interview to the Swedish daily, Expressen, describing her condition and the public response has been tremendous. 

The crux of the interview is described in this article from the conservative Hungarian website, Remix, in English.

Luna now

Expressen has now posted an article in which Luna's aunt, Emma, describes the outpouring of support from the Swedish public after the initial Expressen interview. It is translated by Fousesquawk. We are also working to provide English subtitles to one of the videos in the article.

*Update: The video by Expressen has now been translated with English subtitles and can be accessed here. Translation by Fousesquawk. Hat tip Gates of Vienna, Vlad Tepes, and RAIR Foundation USA.

Luna's family on the big support: "Feel our thanks"

Posted 22 December 2022 at 18:55

Just under a week has passed since Luna's family chose to tell about the serious crime that has turned their lives upside down.

The support has been enormous- and with that comes the feeling of being less alone in their grief.

"You know who you are-feel our thanks," says Luna's aunt, Emma.

By Katrin Krantz

Staggering. Beyond all expectations.

That is how Luna's aunt, Emma, describes the (just under a) week that has passed since they went out and told Luna's story to Expressen.

Reactions have been strong. Many have reached out to the family.

"This has been hard to take in how big it has become. It feels like all of Sweden stood up and hugged us," says Emma.

She could not have foreseen the wave of warmth and sympathy that came in the wake of the reporting.

"We in the family had an ambition that Luna would be given a voice. That she would not be hidden and forgotten in the statistics, and that we would pursue her case.

They have now made contact with people who have cutting-edge competence and can give advice about, for example, Luna's rehabilitation. In the text, Emma tells how Luna is happy to greet dogs, and many dog owners have reached out and offered canine companionship.

"You become so speechless. It is so wonderful to feel that we are not alone in this darkness," says Emma.

In addition to all the greetings, many have also chosen to give money to a collection that is going to Luna.

When the collection is finished, Emma will report the total-and all the greetings that came in at the same time will be saved.

"We are going to make a folder with all the messages that Luna can look at," says Emma.

Hope for the future

The family is now going into the Christmas holidays with a wave of warmth behind them and strong feelings of support and less worry about Luna's future in practical terms.

"Imagine, for example, if Luna can have access to a handicap-equipped car and can go and visit Grandma and Grandpa when she wants. And later, when it is worn out (car), maybe she won't need a new one," says Emma hopeful for the future.

Emma and Luna's story has been noted in several media. This week, Expressen was present on TV4's "After Five", where Justice Minister Gunnar Strömmer was also present and said that he wanted to see a "Luna's Law" passed. That means a change in the Privacy Law that would ensure that important information is shared among authorities like police, schools, and social services.

Emma is taking the family's case public even if it requires energy, she continues.

"I do it so I can live with myself. I see it as my duty as a human being."

Luna's mood goes up and down, and for her parents, life centers around her daily condition. There is no room for spending energy or planning for other things.

Now they will celebrate Christmas together. A restaurant in Skellefteå has offered to deliver Christmas food so that they can focus on socializing and being with Luna.  But Emma wants to send a greeting to all who reached out in any way.

"We don't have time to thank every person, but you know who you are, feel our thanks."

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Netherlands: Two Syrian Brothers Arrested for Terrorism


This news is just breaking in the Netherlands. On Wednesday night, Dutch police broke into a residence and arrested two Syrian brothers, ages 20 and 22 on suspicion of terrorism. The police had to deploy some sort of flash-bang device(s) to break into the house and disorient the suspects. Some neighbors say they also heard shots in addition to the loud bangs. Information from Dutch news sources is limited at this point.

The below article from today's Telegraaf is translated by Fousesquawk.

Elite police unit arrests two Syrian brothers for suspicion of terrorism.

By Nick Bruls and Claire Van Dyke

One hour ago in Domestic

On Wednesday evening, with a great show of force, the elite police unit DSI arrested two Syrian brothers on Crostolostraat (Street) in Stein (Limburg) for suspicion of terrorism.


Heavily-armed police arrested two men in a row house (2nd from left) on Crostolo Street in Stein

-De Limburger

A police spokesperson confirmed the arrests of the men, aged between 20-22 years, and says that the investigation was focused on Limburg, but did not want to comment on the substance of the suspicions. The Special Intervention Service (DSI), the unit utilized in terror threats and arrests of armed persons, used force in the entry around ten pm. Neighbors heard four loud bangs. The police stated that measures were used to break in or to disorient the suspects. Witnesses say shots were also fired.


The arrested men are brothers in their early twenties and of Syrian origin. Neighbors say that during the operation, heavily-armed police ordered them to stay inside.

Stein Mayor Marion Leurs doesn't want to comment and calls it, "a matter for the police".

In shock

Zaam Wonen, the corporation that rents out the residence that was raided, says it is awaiting official reports from the police. "If what we hear is true, then we have a problem. Then that would be in violation of the rental agreement and (would) have consequences," says Director Karel Smitsmans, who did not want to go into detail. " We are just as surprised and shocked as the neighborhood. We have never received  alarming signals about this family."

Deep into the night, the investigators were busy with the investigation on Crostolostraat in the Stein neighborhood of Nieuwdorp. And according to neighbors, a police dog and drone have been deployed in the operation. The suspects are in custody and being questioned.

Sweden: Two Muslim Schools Being Shut Down by Authorities

*Update: Here's the subtitled video referred to below. Hat tip Vlad Tepes and Gates of Vienna for subtitling. Translation by Fousesquawk.

"Iman School-A Swedish school with a Muslim profile"

Swedish authorities are withdrawing permission for two Muslim schools, one in Stockholm and the other in Uppsala, to continue operations. Their decision is largely based on a warning from Swedish intelligence (Säpo) that the pupils are at risk of being radicalized due to the Islamist orientation of the schools.

The below article from SVT (Swedish State TV) is translated by Fousesquawk. The article contains a video that we are working on subtitling in English.

Caption: Iman School in Uppsala, located in Slavsta, is not allowed to continue its operation. Photo: Alberto Lozano/SVT

Independent Muslim schools not allowed to continue operation

Updated today at 09:00. Posted today at 06:40

Both independent Muslim schools, Framsteg (Progress) School in Stockholm and Iman School in Uppsala, cannot continue with their operations. That is the content of two rulings from the Administrative Court in Stockholm.

The Administrative Court ruled that the leadership of the respective foundation "does not fulfill the fitness requirement according to the school law and that the Framsteg School Foundation lacks the economic means to adhere to the regulations that apply for operation," the court writes in a press release.

Serious deficiencies

The deficiencies in the respective leadership are serious and of such a character and extent that the  oversight authorities have had reason to withdraw the foundation's approval as principals," says Judge Eva Furberg in a press release.

School calls for emergency meeting

SVT (Swedish State TV) Uppsala has been in contact with the school's rector, Khodor Ali. In a text message, he comments on the ruling: This is an unfair decision. The board has called for an emergency meeting to go over the decision and after that, to make a decision on the next step."

The School Inspectorate decided to withdraw the permits for both schools in May of this year. The Authority based its decision on, among other things, Säpo's (Swedish Intelligence) warning that pupils were being influenced toward an Islamist ideology and were at risk of being radicalized. 

The Administrative Court's rulings can be appealed

In the video, hear how Maged Askkar, who is in the leadership group for the Iman School in Uppsala, reacts after the School Inspectorate's earlier decision that the school must close.

Video caption: Hear Maged Ashkar at the Iman School on how he sees the risk of radicalization at the school. Photo: SVT


*Update: It appears this story actually dates back to the first week of May 2022. It is unclear why it reappeared in SVT in December. The above video also appeared in the May reportage from SVT.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Dutch Government Offers Formal Apology for Slavery

Statue of Tula (center) in Curaçao 

On Monday, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, made a formal apology for his nation's historical role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The Netherlands, which was then a major maritime power, was heavily involved in the slave trade between Africa and its Caribbean colonies, as well as Suriname. Rutte's apology came after a long and at times awkward debate over how it should be carried out. Rutte made his apology in a speech Monday in the Hague while government officials met locally with the Caribbean region islands/nations involved.

The full text of Rutte's apology can be accessed here. (Hat tip NL Times)

At the same time, the Dutch government is announcing steps to further the study and recognition of the slave trade. July 1, 2023 will be the first day of commemoration of the slave trade. That date will mark the 150th anniversary of the abolition of slavery by the Netherlands.

The below article from yesterday's Aruban daily, Diario in Papiamentu is translated by Fousesquawk. Tula, who is mentioned in the article, was the leader of the 1795 slave revolt in Curaçao that was brutally put down by the Dutch. Tula himself was tortured to death. A statue in his honor stands on the beachfront site where he was executed.

A personal note:

In 2002, I published a book on the history of the Papiamentu creole language, which is spoken in the Dutch Antillean islands of Curaçao, Aruba, and Bonaire.  (The Story of Papiamentu; A Study in Slavery and Language, University Press of America) Papiamentu is one of many creole languages that were born of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. It is a mostly Spanish/Portuguese-based creole with some Dutch and African vocabulary and other influences mixed in. My interest in writing the book came from my own study of Papiamentu and the fascinating and still debated origins of the language itself. In order to conduct the proper research, I needed to also learn to read Dutch since most of the literature on Papiamentu comes from Dutch sources.

Apology from Dutch Cabinet for Slavery Past


Oranjestad (Aruba). This afternoon during a  speech, Prime Minister Mark Rutte apologized for the actions of the Dutch nation in the past, for the death of all those slaves worldwide who suffered due to the slave trade, to their children, and all those descendants up to the present day.

The Prime Minister expressed his apology at the National Archives in the Hague in the presence of representatives of organizations who stand for the recognition and consequences of slavery. In Suriname, Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, members of the Cabinet are engaging locally with organizations and authorities involved concerning the meaning of the apology at the end of his speech.

Prime Minister Rutte: 

"We are doing this, and doing it today standing at the cusp of an important year of commemoration, we can find a way forward together. We not only share the past. We also share the future. So today, we are putting a comma, not a period." 

The Prime Minister's apology and conversations with members of the Cabinet, on the other hand, is an important part of the reaction of the Cabinet to the report, Chain of the Past, presented in July 2021 by the advisory council of the group, Past Dialog on Slavery. Within this, the Cabinet received a recommendation to recognize, offer an apology for, and reparations for slavery in the Kingdom. The response of the Cabinet to the report was sent to the First and Second Chambers today.

At the end of the speech, the Prime Minister, together with the three vice premiers, Kaag, Hoekstra, and Schouten, as well as Ministers Bruins-Slot and Dijkgraaf entered into a conversation behind closed doors with those present. 

Reaction of the Cabinet

The Cabinet has made 200 million euros available for measures in the areas of awareness, involvement, and study. The programming and destination of funds are being developed in conjunction with the descendants of those affected.

In addition, the Cabinet is proposing to set up an independent committee of commemoration. The committee of commemoration will make sure that in the years to come, there will a large and dignified commemoration for the past slavery on July 1, together with the Caribbean segment of the Kingdom, Suriname, and other nations.  The Cabinet wants to use the coming commemoration year 2023, together with social groups and the foundation of the Committee of Commemoration, to see how the annual commemoration remains organized ever grander, more dignified, and annually in a cohesive manner.

The 2023 commemorative year, which will begin July 1, 2023, will consist of a number of big events throughout the entire Kingdom. The King himself feels personally involved in what will be the theme and what will be presented on July 1 at the commemoration and celebration in Amsterdam. The coming year of commemoration will provide a lot of space for social, cultural, and educational initiatives within the community.

The next steps

The Cabinet sees today's apology as a first step. Aside from the apology, the Cabinet is announcing in its response, its intention to give the past of slavery a strong position in education, at a point where young people come in contact with history.

The Cabinet is putting the same force to increase knowledge and consciousness by means of maintaining and developing museums, archives, and protection of cultural heritage, as much in the Netherlands (European) as in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom and other affected countries.

Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba are deciding on their specific wishes in these areas. The Cabinet is contributing in the development of a national museum of slavery along with an associated center of knowledge. The further study of the past years of slavery will produce necessary data in these institutions. It will also make the process of changing family names related to slavery easier.

As for the hero of the Curaçaon resistance, Tula, the Cabinet has announced an official rehabilitation in his honor. The funds will also make possible the rehabilitation in honor of other heroes of the resistance in an adequate manner.



Monday, December 19, 2022

The January 6 Committee Referral

 The "bi-partisan" January 6 Committee has now sent a criminal referral to the Justice Department alleging former President Trump violated four laws surrounding the events of January 6, 2021. The referral is non-binding meaning that the DOJ can conduct its own investigation of the charges, announce that no charges will be filed, or they can simply ignore it. 

Even given the fact that this is a politically biased Justice Department under Merrick Garland and his minions, in my view, there is no legal justification for indicting Trump in connection with the January 6 riot at the US Capitol.

The referral includes:

 Conspiracy to defraud the federal government; 

Obstruction of an official proceeding, in this case, Congress’ certification of electoral votes; 

Conspiracy to make a false statement

Inciting or assisting those in an insurrection.

While I agree with those who consider Trump's words and actions on January 6 to be reprehensible, I don't see how they are criminal. Trump believed and still believes that the election was stolen from him. Whether that is true or not, he has always had the Constitutional right to express that opinion.

As for his speech on January 6, he told the crowd to "march peacefully and patriotically to the Capitol..." That is exculpatory. Had he told them to actually invade the Capitol and stop Congress from certifying the election result, that would be a different story, but he did not do that.

The fact that he waited several hours to make any statement, and then told the rioters how much he loved them etc, but please go home is irrelevant. It was a horribly-worded statement, but it was not criminal.

Incitement is a difficult charge to prove. You must make a clear and direct link between what someone says and the resultant action. The fact that Trump expressed his view to the crowd that the election was fraudulent is not incitement in itself.

Personally, I don't think it was a good idea to hold the speech and the rally on January 6. There were indications already from the government's own intelligence sources that there might be trouble. That still doesn't make it incitement. In fact, in the days leading up to January 6, President Trump authorized the use of the National Guard, but Congress and the city of Washington DC failed to take the necessary steps.

So was there a failure of intelligence or a failure to act on good intelligence? Trump's detractors point out that this point is irrelevant and does not excuse those who rioted or those who may have incited them (Trump). That is true, but the National Guard authorization does go to Trump's defense to show that he did not want there to be any trouble or violence on January 6.  If he really wanted there to be a riot at the Capitol and Congress to be prevented from certifying the election, why would he authorize the use of the National Guard?

Lynn Cheney (R-WY) today stressed the fact that on that day, after it was reported that there were threats against Vice President Mike Pence, Trump tweeted that Pence had failed to do the right thing (in not stopping the certification). Did that place Pence in a more precarious situation? Of course. It was reprehensible for Trump to say it publicly especially given the timing. But was it criminal? Did it constitute incitement in the legal sense? I don't think so.

What I saw of CNN and MSNBC's coverage today struck me as to how cautiously the talking heads were responding to the news. Former FBI official Chuck Rosenberg pointed out that DOJ cannot be happy about all the witness/interviewee statements that are going to be released by the Committee to the public. This greatly complicates their own investigation since the publication of what witnesses told Congress could potentially affect what future witnesses may tell investigators. I am no fan of Mr Rosenberg, but he is correct.

It goes without saying that if Trump is actually prosecuted, it is going to tear the country apart. I believe everyone should be equal before the law-even former presidents. But as I see things now, if this Justice Department actually brings charges based on this referral, it will confirm my perception that it is a political arm of the Democrat party. I should stress here that I am not a lawyer, just a former federal agent. But even if they manage to bring a conviction before a jury in say, Washington DC, I don't see it standing in the appellate courts.

The World Cup

This article first appeared in New English Review.

Now that the 2022 FIFA World Cup is in the history books (unless there are any more riots in Europe courtesy of the Moroccan diaspora) I feel like making a few observations.

Full disclosure first. As a 77-year-old American who never played soccer in his youth and could care less about the sport, I confess that I know little about the game though it is not really complicated. To me, watching soccer on television is akin to watching a golf tournament on TV and waiting to see a hole-in-one. Truth is I played soccer one time in my life when I was in Ecuador at the age of 48, which is a story in itself. But that's just me. I am a tiny minority in a world that is crazy about soccer. But here in the US, I have a lot of company.

I only watched two matches in this World Cup (in both cases just the second half). I cheered the USA victory over Iran because of our history with that lousy regime, and I cheered the French victory over Morocco even though I knew that thousands of miles away, someone would die because of Morocco's defeat. (I was right.) As for the final, I only watched the last few minutes of OT and the shootout (won by Argentina) because, it was, admittedly, a great match. Had the Argentines held their 2-0 lead, I would not even have turned it on.

The first point I would like to discuss is the political backdrop surrounding the games. Enter the president of FIFA, a curious Swiss fellow named Gianni Infantino. He put himself front and center of the political issues in his statement at the beginning of the games that the West should not give moral lectures to Arab countries (like Qatar), rather the West should apologize to the Arab/Muslim world.

Then, Mr Infantino proceeded to portray himself as being in solidarity with all the victims of the world, migrant workers, gays, Muslims, Arabs, and others. But in the same breath, he cautioned the rest of us not to engage in political statements during the games. Enjoying soccer-or football, if you prefer- was more important. Protest on your own time. What was he referring to?

The sad fact is that there was nothing but controversy surrounding these games. First of all, the 2022 games were awarded to Qatar only after many palms were greased-as is usually the case with the notoriously corrupt FIFA. Infantino himself, has been the object of considerable allegations of corruption in his tenure as FIFA president.

In addition, the country (which is about the size of Connecticut) did not have enough stadiums to hold the games involving so many countries. Qatar solved that problem by having seven new stadiums hastily built by foreign workers laboring in slave-like conditions in 100+degree heat. People are still debating how many of these foreign workers died in building all these stadiums.

As if that wasn't bad enough, during the games, a scandal broke out of Belgium involving allegations of bribery of European Union politicians by-guess who-Qatar.

Qatar is a controversial country in its own right. They support the Muslim Brotherhood and groups like Hamas, all while pretending to be a moderate ally in the war on terror. They are also the home of the propaganda news network, Al Jazeera.

Another issue at play was gay rights-in a country that does not respect gay rights. Some teams and players wanted to don rainbow garb to show their respect for gay rights. That didn't go over well with the Qataris, so it didn't go over well with FIFA and Mr Infantino.

Then there was the presence of Iran in the games at a time when that country is reeling over the police murder of a woman who wasn't wearing her hijab in the required manner. That has led to protests in the streets, arrests, shootings, and now hangings of protesters. The Iranian government actually threatened the families of the Iranian players with arrest and torture if the players "misbehaved". One had to feel bad for the Iranian players having to perform under such pressure.

I will probably be accused of hypocrisy here since I am not a supporter of the likes of Colin Kaepernick, Brittney Griner, and Megan Rapinoe for their refusal to stand for our National Anthem at their own sporting events due to grievances they have with certain aspects of our history. Maybe so, but I would argue that Qatar's treatment of gays and migrant workers, as well as their support for terrorist entities, are very current and relevant issues when they are hosting the World Cup, which they basically bought with bribes.

Then there is the matter of Morocco. Aside from the waving of Palestinian flags by the Moroccan team, what should have been a feel-good story of a cinderella team actually reaching the semi-finals against mighty France was ruined by the comportment of its fans in Europe, specifically, France, the Netherlands, and Belgium, where they have large communities. As the Moroccan team was knocking off countries like Belgium, Spain, and Portugal, joyous street celebrations in Europe turned into riots, with innocent people and police being assaulted, and resultant property damage.

That was when they were celebrating.

Then came the 2-0 defeat at the hands of the hated French. In numerous French cities like Paris, Lyon, Montpelier, Nice, and others, anger was the cause of the riots, the attacks, and the burning of cars and businesses. On Wednesday evening in Montpelier, a mob of Moroccan fans surrounded a car and proceeded to rip out a French flag hanging from a rear window. In panic, the driver took off to escape the mob, and in so doing, ran over and killed a 14-year-old Moroccan boy. It turns out that the driver (who is still being sought) was a member of the Gypsy community in Montpelier. That has led to assaults upon local Gypsies by young North African thugs. 

The World Cup, Ladies and Gentlemen.

As things wrapped up, there was Gianni Infantino hailing this year's Cup as the greatest ever (he said that before the final match) and guaranteeing that after North America hosts the 2026 games, soccer will be the number one sport in America.

Sorry, Mr Infantino. We have hosted the World Cup before (1994) and it still has not caught on here. Having actually attended the 1990 World Cup in Italy, I can well appreciate the fever of the fans. I have seen it and experienced it. But before soccer becomes number one in North America, it must first surpass American football, baseball, basketball, and even hockey. The "good news" is that President Biden's open border policies will soon result in millions of soccer fans arriving on our shores. But I digress.

Swedish Supreme Court Blocks Extradition Request From Turkey

 Hat tip Fria Tider

The whole issue of Turkey's objections to the entrance of Sweden into NATO has taken another turn. The Swedish Supreme Court has blocked the extradition of a Turkish citizen to Turkey. The unidentified man in question is charged by Turkey with being a member of the Gulen movement, which Turkey considers a terror organization, and also suspected of being involved in the 2016 attempted coup in Turkey.

The problem according to the Court is that the former charge is not a crime in Sweden while the latter charge is. What I take that to mean is that the inclusion of the membership in Gulen has invalidated the extradition. Thus, if Turkey were to revise its request and charge only participation in a coup attempt, extradition might be successful. The Court, however, has also expressed a concern for persecution on one's political beliefs.

It will be interesting to see how this goes further and how it will affect Turkey's stance as to the admittance of Sweden into NATO. Turkey's main complaint against Sweden is that the country is "harboring" people involved in terrorist acts against Turkey, i.e. Kurds and Gulen Movement members.

The below article from the Swedish alternative news site, Fria Tider, is translated by Fousesquawk.

Supreme Court halts  deportation of Coup Turk-Could cost Sweden entrance into NATO

Posted 19 December 2022 at 13:24

Domestic- In a case where Turkey is requesting one of its citizens be extradited for being involved in the country's coup attempt in 2016, the extradition has been blocked by the Supreme Court, even though Turkey has made it clear that this can prevent Sweden from being admitted into NATO.

"It is clear that in this case, there are several obstacles to extradition. It applies to the requirement that double criminal liability is not fulfilled in regard to the one suspected crime," says Justice Petter Asp, one of the judges who took part in the decision in a press release.

"There is also the question of political crimes. There is also a risk of persecution based on this person's political views. Extradition, therefore, can not take place," he says further.

The person (in question) is considered to have been part of the so-called Gulen Movement. The crime which the extradition request is based on is partly that the person is suspected of participation in the coup attempt in Turkey in 2016, and partly that he is suspected of being in the organization itself.

The Supreme Court has now expressed itself to the government on the issue.

As to suspicion that the person was part of Gulen, the Supreme Court finds that is already a hindrance to extradition on the grounds that what he is accused of is not a crime in Sweden. Suspicion of participating in a coup attempt, on the other hand, and suspicion of assisting a rebellion is a crime in Sweden.

The Supreme Court further finds a hindrance to extradition since there is the question of so-called political crime, i.e. crimes that are directed against the state and that are political in nature. 

As to the fact that the person was earlier granted refugee status in Sweden on the grounds of a risk of persecution because of his political views, the court also finds that there are obstacles to extradition according to Section 7 in the extradition law.

This section, among other things, addresses the risk of persecution based on a person's political views.

The Supreme Court's opinion means that the government-which ultimately has to decide on the issue-does not have to ability to grant the extradition request.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Belgium Calls on Its Citizens to Leave Iran

The Belgian Foreign Ministry has advised its citizens not to travel to Iran and for those already in the country to leave as soon as possible. This comes after one of Belgium's citizens was sentenced to 28 years in prison under obscure circumstances.

As the below 7 Sur 7 article (translated from French by Fousesquawk) states, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been practicing hostage diplomacy since its creation in 1979. It is high time for every civilized country to isolate Iran. Belgian's move is a step in the right direction.

Caption below photo: Protests in Teheran via Reuters

Belgium calls on its nationals to leave Iran as soon as possible

(The Ministry) of Foreign Affairs Sunday called on Belgian citizens traveling in Iran to leave the country as soon as possible due to the risks of arbitrary detention they are exposed to in view of the deterioration in the context of security, (the Ministry) announced in a press release.

"All Belgian visitors, including bi-nationals, are exposed to an elevated risk of arrest, arbitrary detention, and unfair trial. This risk equally concerns persons simply on a tourist visit. In case of arrest or detention, respect for fundamental rights and security of persons are not guaranteed," they explained.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Belgian Embassy has only a "very limited" capacity to assure consular protection to nationals who might be arrested as well as guarantee a consular presence during a trial.

Vigilance and precautions

"Therefore, Belgian nationals, including bi-nationals, are formally advised not to travel to Iran for whatever reason. Belgian nationals who, despite this warning, are currently in Iran, are advised to exercise the greatest vigilance and take necessary measures to assure their security," the press release specifies, which advises people to avoid gatherings and to report their presence with the embassy by registering on "travelers online".

Since February 24, a Belgian humanitarian worker, Olivier Vandecasteele, has been detained in Iran in inhumane and degrading conditions. Fifteen days ago, he was been condemned to 28 years in prison for reasons that remain obscure with benefitting from a fair trial.

Since its creation in 1979, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been practicing hostage diplomacy. Several other citizens of Western countries find themselves in a situation similar to Mr. Vandecasteele.