Mormon Choir Singer Quits To Avoid Performing For “Tyrannical, Fascist” Trump

First, we had the downtrodden, disaffected Radio City Music Hall Rockette, Phoebe Pearl, who raged against her employer’s decision to perform at Trump’s inauguration saying she was “embarrassed and disappointed” by the upcoming performance.  She even posted a cute picture to her instagram account, in protest, declaring that Trump is “Not My President!”

Rockkette

 

Now, Jan Chamberlin, formerly of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, is seeking her 15 minutes of fame.  Rather than sing at the President-elect’s inauguration next month, Chamberlin has decided to quit the famed group in epic fashion with a Facebook rant saying the choir is implicitly “endorsing tyranny and fascism by singing for this man” while going on to compare Trump to Hitler on multiple occasions.  Here’s a little taste of the rant:

I’ve tried to tell myself that it will be alright and that I can continue in good conscience before God and man.

 

But it’s no use. I simply cannot continue with the recent turn of events. I could never look myself in the mirror again with self respect.

 

I also know, looking from the outside in, it will appear that Choir is endorsing tyranny and facism by singing for this man.

 

History is repeating itself; the same tactics are being used by Hitler (identify a problem, finding a scapegoat target to blame, and stirring up people with a combination of fanaticism, false promises, and fear, and gathering the funding).

 

I only know I could never “throw roses to Hitler.” And I certainly could never sing for him.

Since when did singing and/or dancing at a political event become an implicit endorsement of a candidate?  Here’s a BREAKING NEWS FLASH for all you disaffected, liberal “artists”: Literally zero people care about your political views so get over yourself, as soon as possible, please. 

For the record, having a nice singing voice and/or a talent for dancing gives you about the same level intellectual authority to share your political views as to pilot NASA’s first manned mission to Mars…though we wouldn’t necessarily discourage you from pursuing the latter.

 

And here is the full statement courtesy of Chamberlin’s Facebook page:

Dear Family and Friends,

 

This is the message I have sent to Choir:

 

Dear President Jarrett and Choir,

 

Today is my birthday. (Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you………..)

 

It is with a sad and heavy heart that I submit my resignation to you and to Choir. I’m am praying that Jesus will help me get through this email before I totally break down.

 

I thank you all for 5 very meaningful years. There are many memories and experiences which I will cherish and hold dear in my heart.

 

Since “the announcement”, I have spent several sleepless nights and days in turmoil and agony. I have reflected carefully on both sides of the issue, prayed a lot, talked with family and friends, and searched my soul.

 

I’ve tried to tell myself that by not going to the inauguration, that I would be able to stay in Choir for all the other good reasons.

 

I have highly valued the mission of the Choir to be good- will ambassadors for Christ, to share beautiful music and to give hope, inspiration, and comfort to others.

 

I’ve tried to tell myself that it will be alright and that I can continue in good conscience before God and man.

 

But it’s no use. I simply cannot continue with the recent turn of events. I could never look myself in the mirror again with self respect.

 

I love you all, and I know the goodness of your hearts, and your desire to go out there and show that we are politically neutral and share good will. That is the image Choir wishes to present and the message they desperately want to send.

 

I also know, looking from the outside in, it will appear that Choir is endorsing tyranny and facism by singing for this man.

 

And Choir’s wonderful image and networking will be severely damaged and that many good people throughout this land and throughout the world already do and will continue to feel betrayed. I believe hereafter our message will not be believed by many that have loved us and adored what we have stood for.

 

I know that I too feel betrayed.

 

Tyranny is now on our doorstep; it has been sneaking its way into our lives through stealth. Now it will burst into our homes through storm.

 

I hope that we and many others will work together with greater dilligence and awareness to calmly and bravely work together to defend our freedoms and our rights for our families, our friends, and our fellow citizens. I hope we can throw off the labels and really listen to each other with respect, love, compassion, and a true desire to bring our energies and souls together in solving the difficult problems that lie in our wake.

 

In the show Wicked, the Wizard makes a really interesting statement. He says “ I create conflict to stay in power.” This scenario can keep us perpetually distracted and at odds with each other and keep us from working together to solve important issues. This also allows those in office to do whatever they want to unchecked. I believe this has been done to us, both cunningly and intentionally. I believe we have a lot more in common than we have in difference, and if we will listen to each other, we can learn a great deal from one another.

 

And we can learn to work together to defend our freedoms with sensibility and integrity.

 

When I first auditioned and entered Choir, it was to follow deep personal impressions, and to honor my late father, who was among the best of men. Now I must leave Choir for the same reasons. My father ( who was an expert airforce bomber) hated tyranny and was extremely distraught over the holocaust. He and Mom both loved people greatly.

 

I have deep patriotic feelings for this country and for the freedoms of people everywhere throughout the world. I am troubled by the problems we face which seek to destroy our love for liberty and respect for humanity internationally.

 

History is repeating itself; the same tactics are being used by Hitler (identify a problem, finding a scapegoat target to blame, and stirring up people with a combination of fanaticism, false promises, and fear, and gathering the funding). I plead with everyone to go back and read the books we all know on these topics and review the films produced to help us learn from these gargantuan crimes so that we will not allow them to be repeated. Evil people prosper when good people stand by and do nothing.

 

We must continue our love and support for the refugees and the oppressed by fighting against these great evils.

 

For me, this is a HUGELY moral issue. “ as he died to make men holy, let us live to make free” ( The first time I heard this beautiful piece, I was 11 years old; my brother Jim was singing in Honor Choir. IT”S message sent inspirational electricity through my soul and penetrated every fiber of my being. THIS is Choir’s true message, and we don’t want it lost by giving the opposite message).

 

James 1:27 “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” This scripture has been resonating with me a lot lately.

 

I only know I could never “throw roses to Hitler.” And I certainly could never sing for him.

 

Much love to you all. I wish you all blessings and happiness.

 

My heart is shattered and broken…………. but my conscience is clear. And THAT, really is all that matters.

 

Respectfully,

 

Jan Chamberlin

The post Mormon Choir Singer Quits To Avoid Performing For “Tyrannical, Fascist” Trump appeared first on crude-oil.top.

Sudan journalists protest seizure of newspaper

Sudanese journalists organised a sit-in today in front of the National Council for Press and Publications (NCPP) to protest the repeated confiscation of the Al-Jareeda newspaper by the Sudanese security and intelligence agencies. The journalists delivered a memorandum to NCPP head Fadlallah Muhammad, complaining against the increasing violation of press freedoms in the country. Muhammad stressed to the protesters that the NCPP stood with the newspapers and rejected their seizure by the government. The memorandum said: “The print-runs of the Al-Jareeda newspaper have been confiscated by the National Intelligence and security services 11 times in one month…in a fierce attack on freedom of expression which is the first of its kind in the history of the Sudanese press.” The memo […]

Sudan journalists protest seizure of newspaper

Sudanese journalists organised a sit-in today in front of the National Council for Press and Publications (NCPP) to protest the repeated confiscation of the Al-Jareeda newspaper by the Sudanese security and intelligence agencies. The journalists delivered a memorandum to NCPP head Fadlallah Muhammad, complaining against the increasing violation of press freedoms in the country. Muhammad stressed to the protesters that the NCPP stood with the newspapers and rejected their seizure by the government. The memorandum said: “The print-runs of the Al-Jareeda newspaper have been confiscated by the National Intelligence and security services 11 times in one month…in a fierce attack on freedom of expression which is the first of its kind in the history of the Sudanese press.” The memo […]

Man wrongly arrested for Berlin attack fears for family

Author: 
AFP
Sat, 2016-12-31
ID: 
1483141692886422700

LONDON: The Pakistani man wrongly arrested for the Berlin truck attack on Friday said he had told German police he could not even drive and was now afraid for the safety of his family back home.
Naveed Baloch, an asylum seeker, told the Guardian newspaper he had just left a friend’s house and was crossing a street when he saw a police car approaching fast and picked up his pace.
He said he was arrested and taken to a police station, where he was undressed and photographed.
“When I resisted, they started slapping me,” the 24-year-old, who has been living in a secret location provided by police since his release because he says he is afraid for his life, told the British daily.
Baloch, who sought refuge in Germany as a member of a secular separatist movement in Balochistan, said he struggled to communicate because no translator could be found who could speak his native Balochi.
“I calmly told them I cannot drive at all. Neither can I even start a vehicle,” he said. Baloch was arrested on Dec. 19 in the hours after the attack on a Christmas market in the heart of Berlin in which 12 people were killed.
Police released Baloch 24 hours later, after failing to find evidence of his involvement.
They instead identified rejected Tunisian asylum seeker Anis Amri as the prime suspect.
Amri was shot dead by Italian police on Dec. 23 after fleeing a manhunt in Germany.
Baloch, a shepherd by profession, said members of his family in the village of Mand in Balochistan in southwest Pakistan had received threatening phone calls following his arrest.

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Guterres seeks to breathe new life into UN

Author: 
AFP
Sat, 2016-12-31
ID: 
1483141692946423300

THE UNITED NATIONS: Antonio Guterres assumes the reins of the United Nations on Sunday hoping to breathe new life into the world body.
The Portuguese former prime minister, 67, will become the first onetime head of government to lead the UN, succeeding South Korea’s Ban Ki-moon for a five-year term.
His unanimous election has energized UN diplomats who see him as a skilled politician who may be able to overcome the divisions crippling the United Nations.
One Western ambassador regretted only that a woman wasn’t picked to take the post for the first time, adding with a smile that “except for the gender, he is perfect.”
Guterres faces a monumental task grappling with complex crises in Syria, South Sudan, Yemen, Burundi, North Korea and elsewhere — overseeing a clunky entrenched bureaucracy and a bitterly divided Security Council that will leave him little room to maneuver.
Donald Trump’s arrival in the White House on Jan. 20 likely will further complicate his task.
Guterres has acknowledged that “the secretary general is not the leader of the world,” but rather that his work depends on the goodwill of the world’s great powers.
After two terms under Ban, widely criticized for lacking initiative and charisma, some diplomats are banking on a change of style and personality to revitalize the UN.
An engineer by training and a practicing Catholic, Guterres fought for migrants’ rights as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005 to December 2015.
He served as prime minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002, anchoring his country to the European Union and working to raise living standards.
He has laid out three priorities for change: Working for peace, supporting sustainable development and improving internal UN management.
One issue looms above the others, however.
“My deepest regret on leaving office is the continuing nightmare in Syria,” Ban recently declared.
The UN has looked on helplessly as the Syrian Army laid siege to the fighters’ stronghold of Aleppo, the country’s second city, backed by Russia and Iran.
Their sole concession to the UN was to allow a small handful of observers to follow the evacuation of thousands of civilians.
“Too little, too late,” one diplomat said.
Guterres inherits the portfolio with Moscow and Ankara spearheading a nationwide cease-fire effort.
Ban has already gone through two Syria mediators — Kofi Annan and Lakhdar Brahimi, who both resigned — before appointing Staffan de Mistura, who has appeared exasperated over the UN’s powerlessness over the conflict.
The same helplessness and at times disunity has marked the UN’s response to the civil war that ravaged South Sudan for three years. A US initiative to impose an arms embargo failed, winning only seven votes from the 15 countries that sit on the Security Council.
The approximately 13,000 peacekeepers deployed in the country have been criticized for failing to protect the civilians crowding UN bases.
Elsewhere on the continent, accusations of rape have permanently tarnished the reputation of UN peacekeepers in the Central African Republic.
Guterres has acknowledged the criticism, saying “it is time for the United Nations to recognize its shortcomings and to reform the way it works.”
“The United Nations needs to be nimble, efficient and effective.”

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Mali sends 2 people without passports back to France

Author: 
AP, AFP
Sat, 2016-12-31
ID: 
1483141692926423000

GAO, Mali: Authorities in Mali have returned two people to France after French authorities apparently deported them to this West African country without proof of their nationality.
Government spokesman Djeneba Deme said Friday the passengers’ nationality was not immediately known and that they were flying only with a travel document issued by the EU.
The incident comes amid tensions between the EU and African countries over the repatriation of illegal migrants. An untold number of West Africans attempt the dangerous passage to Europe by desert and sea each year in hope of a better life.
A Mali government statement says the country will not accept any visitors presumed to be Malian without a passport or Mali-issued travel documents.
French officials declined to comment, saying they were unaware of the case.

Libya prison ordeal recounted
Dozens of Malian migrants kept locked up in Libyan jails after failing to make it onto boats bound for Europe have arrived home, with some reporting maltreatment by authorities in the unstable north African nation.
The group of 159 Malians including several children arrived in Bamako on a flight chartered by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), according to an AFP journalist at the scene.
Around 40 were detained in Libya’s notoriously grim jails for living in the country illegally, according to regional civil protection director Bakary Daou, and had requested deportation.
“Given the difficulties that they encountered in Libya, they accepted coming back to the country voluntarily,” Daou told AFP.
The government would work with the IOM to ensure they were safely returned to their loved ones, Daou added.
Racist attacks and maltreatment were the norm, the returnees said, confirming they were attempting to reach Europe through the well-trodden smuggling route taken by many west Africans through Niger and Libya.
AFP saw at least three unaccompanied minors and several clearly unwell people among the group.
“In all of Libya’s prisons, they hit people and treat them badly, especially black Africans,” said Ibrahim Bidane Sy, a migrant who spent three months in one jail.
“I was in prison without communicating with my family or friends… luckily the IOM helped me to get out,” he added.

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Underage girls trapped in Pakistan bride exchanges

Author: 
AP
Sat, 2016-12-31
ID: 
1483141692836422400

JAMPUR: Mohammad Ramzan can neither hear nor speak, and he has a childlike mind. But he knew his wife, Saima, was too young when she was given to him as a bride.
The 36-year-old Ramzan smiles, eager to please, as he uses his fingers to count out her age when they married. One, two, three . . . until 13, and then he stops and looks at her, points and nods several times.
The girl’s father, Wazir Ahmed, says she was 14, not 13, but her age was beside the point. It mattered only that she had reached puberty when he arranged her marriage as an exchange: His daughter for Ramzan’s sister, whom he wanted to take as a second wife.
His first wife, Saima’s mother, had given him only daughters, and he hoped his second wife would give him a son. But Sabeel wouldn’t marry him until her brother had a wife to care for him.
She would be a bride in exchange for a bride.
“We gave a girl in this family for a girl in their family,” Ahmed says. “That is our right.”
In deeply conservative regions such as this one in the south of Punjab province, the tribal practice of exchanging girls between families is so entrenched, it even has its own name in Urdu: Watta Satta, which means give and take.
A girl may be given away to pay a debt or settle a dispute between feuding families. She might be married to a cousin to keep her dowry in the family or, as in this case, married for the prospect of a male heir.
“If it is not done, our society thinks parents have not fulfilled their religious obligation,” says Faisal Tangwani, regional coordinator for the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan in nearby Multan.
Ahmed sits inside the mud-walled compound where he lives now with his two wives. Outside, stray dogs roam in packs of three and four.
He says that the fact that Ramzan is nearly three times his daughter’s age is irrelevant. But the legal marrying age here is 16, and in a rare move, police did investigate Saima’s marriage after they received a complaint, possibly from a relative involved in a dispute with her father.
Ramzan and Ahmed were jailed for a few days, but Saima testified in court that she was 16 and they were released. She says she told the authorities she was 16 to protect her father and husband.
In Saima’s world of crushing poverty, where centuries-old tribal traditions mix with religious beliefs, a crippling cycle traps even the perpetrators with a life’s burden: A father who longs for a son to help support his family; a wife who must provide that son; a daughter who must become a mother even when she is still a child.
Saima’s mother, Janaat, agrees with marrying off her daughters early. She says girls are a headache after they reach puberty. They can’t be left at home alone for fear of unwanted sexual activity — or worse, the daughter leaves home with a boy of her choice.
“That would be a shame for us. We would have no honor. No. When they reach puberty quickly, we have to marry them,” she says. “Daughters are a burden, but the sons, they are the owners of the house.”
She says she accepted her husband’s marriage to another woman; after all, it’s her fault he only has daughters.
“I feel shame that I don’t have a son. I myself allowed my husband to get a second wife,” she says.
Her husband’s new wife, Sabeel, says she agreed to marry Ahmed because of her brother. She wanted him to have a wife.
“No one had been willing to give their daughters to my brother,” she says.

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‘War not over’ after Boko Haram ousted from key bastion

Author: 
AFP
Sat, 2016-12-31
ID: 
1483141692826422200

KANO: Nigeria has recently trumpeted a major victory in its battle against Boko Haram, claiming that its army has routed the militants from their forest bastion, but the war against them is far from over.
After years of devastating battles and a recent surge in attacks, the fear in Nigeria is that Boko Haram will simply decamp from the Sambisa forest enclave to other areas nearby.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari announced on Christmas Eve that a months-long campaign had led to the “final crushing of Boko Haram terrorists in their last enclave in Sambisa Forest.”
The Nigerian military said troops were chasing fleeing Boko Haram militants, claiming that the fight against the militants was in its final stages. But on Thursday, Boko Haram’s elusive leader Abubakar Shekau appeared in a video to dispute the government’s claim.
“We are safe. We have not been flushed out of anywhere,” Shekau said in the 25-minute video, flanked by masked armed fighters. As access to the conflict zones is heavily restricted, claims from both sides cannot be independently verified.
According to a military source who asked not to be named, Boko Haram rebels have been “tremendously weakened and are trying to avoid confrontation … by hiding in some obscure locations.”
Rebels routed from Sambisa have reportedly fled to areas on the edge of the forest, islets on Lake Chad as well as villages on the Cameroon border.
“They were sighted in large numbers in … the Kala-Balge area,” said a vigilante helping in the fight, referring to a region near Cameroon.
The head of the fishermen’s union in Borno state, the epicenter of Boko Haram’s seven-year insurgency, said some fighters had regrouped on Lake Chad, which straddles Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad.
It provides the jihadists with a “convenient sanctuary,” with its 400 islets covered with dense vegetation that makes aerial detection and ground operations dangerous, Abubakar Gamandi said.
“The islets are between one and two square kilometers and the fresh water and abundant fish in the lake make them habitable,” said Gamandi, who has fished in Lake Chad for 40 years.
Abu Musab Al-Barnawi, the leader of a Boko Haram faction recognized by Daesh, has already been living on the lake since his group split from Shekau’s leadership in August, residents and vigilantes say.
Should Shekau and his troops move there, it is unclear whether the two rival factions will end up battling each other.

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Facts: Russia’s hacking of US election

Author: 
AFP
Sat, 2016-12-31
ID: 
1483140244856353400

MOSCOW: Russia has pledged retribution after the US turfed out dozens of diplomats and imposed sanctions over alleged cyberattacks aimed at skewing the presidential election.
Moscow has consistently denied it was behind the hacking and insists Washington has never provided any firm proof of its guilt. Therein lies the problem: Irrefutable evidence determining the identity of the hackers and the reason for their attacks is hard, if not impossible, to find. Here is what is known so far about the “who, what and why” of the hacking strikes during the recent US election campaign.
• May: US National Intelligence Director James Clapper warns of cyberattacks against the campaigns, without specific reference to any source.
• June 15: CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity firm hired by the Democratic National Committee to investigate break-ins in its computer systems, points to two separate Russian intruders.
“Both adversaries engage in extensive political and economic espionage for the benefit of the government of the Russian Federation and are believed to be closely linked to the Russian government’s powerful and highly capable intelligence services,” it says.
CrowdStrike says hacking entity Cozy Bear, linked to Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency, intercepted Democratic Party communications from June 2015 on, while Fancy Bear, linked to Russia’s security service (FSB), targeted and stole DNC dossiers related to then Republican frontrunner Donald Trump beginning in March. A month later, the WikiLeaks website begins publishing the pirated material.
• Sept. 5: US President Barack Obama warns Russian President Vladimir Putin over the hacking during a private meeting in China, according to US officials.
• Oct. 7: The 17 US intelligence agencies conclude the Russian government is behind the cyberattacks and that they are “intended to interfere with the US election process.” Meanwhile, WikiLeaks publishes a near-daily dose of e-mails stolen from the Gmail account of John Podesta, chairman of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, up until just before the election. SecureWorks, another cybersecurity consultant, says Podesta’s e-mails were hacked by the same groups who hacked the DNC.
• Dec. 9-10: The Washington Post and New York Times report that the CIA concluded Moscow intended to help Trump’s campaign by releasing the hacked material; the billionaire president-elect dismisses the CIA conclusion as “ridiculous.” Russia denies all claims.
• Dec. 12: Leading Congressional lawmakers call for an investigation into Russia’s role in the cyberattacks.
• Dec. 15: Republican Senator Lindsey Graham reveals his campaign accounts were also hacked by Russians ahead of the November vote.
• Dec. 29: Obama announces a barrage of punishment for Moscow over the alleged attacks, including the deportation of 35 suspected intelligence agents and sanctions against the GRU and FSB intelligence agencies; the FBI and Department of Homeland Security also release a briefing to provide “technical details regarding the tools and infrastructure used by the Russian civilian and military intelligence Services to compromise and exploit networks and endpoints associated with the US election.”
The talents of Russian state-serving hackers are now the stuff of legend.
Descended from the tradition of Soviet economic espionage, they broadened the scope to also probe and punish political targets.
Russia was blamed for a cyberattack on Estonia in 2007, when the Baltic state’s main Internet sites crashed after being flooded with surplus requests, in a so-called distributed denial of service, or DDoS, attack. It knocked out the national emergency hotline for more than an hour.
Other Russian neighbors including Ukraine and Georgia, as well as states which have strained relations with Moscow, have endured similar attacks.
The US election hacking looks like a Russian state-sponsored strike, Andrey Soldatov, editor-in-chief of Agenta.ru and a specialist on Russian secret services and cybercrime, told AFP.
“Given Russia’s history of cyberattacks, I would think this is a case of coordination between private and government actors, involving informal actors coordinated by those at the highest levels,” Soldatov said.
The campaign hackers did not need innovative technical skills to strike; simple “phishing” e-mails, which invite e-mail readers to click on a link, were enough to get the hackers in.
Experts have not converged on whether Russia set out to help Trump clinch a White House victory, as Clinton’s team says.
Soldatov says it is likely that the Kremlin sought to weaken the position of the former secretary of state, whom it views as “a kind of sworn enemy” and has blamed for inciting unrest after Russia’s own elections in 2011.
“But I’m not certain the principal goal was to get Trump elected. These guys at the Kremlin are believers in conspiracy theories,” he said, noting that up until the Nov. 8 vote Moscow had warned that potential voter fraud could steal the election from Trump.

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