1. Berkeley student who recorded attack rips university response
The student who recorded a conservative activist being punched in the face on the U.C. Berkeley campus tells Fox & Friends that he wants to see the suspect apprehended and prosecuted.
2. ISIS bride's attorney on Trump administration denying her return to US
The lawyer for the family of the Alabama woman-turned ISIS wife in Syria tells America's Newsroom that Hoda Muthana is a U.S. citizen who wants to face the American legal system and pay her debt to society.
3. Marine Le Pen on the rally against anti-Semitism: "we have not been invited"
Recently, French politicians participated in a large rally against anti-Semitism. In an interview with Europe1, Marine Le Pen, leader of National Rally explains that she was not invited but also explains that it has been the policies of parties over the last 30 years, both left and right, that created the problem because “they have allowed Islamist fundamentalist anti-Semitism to install itself in France, which is incontestably the origin of anti-Semitism today.”
4. Over 100 migrants rescued at sea, sent to Libya
Doctors Without Borders says 116 migrants have been “forcibly returned” to Libya after a day and a half at sea.
The group, known by its French acronym MSF, says in a Tweet that the people, including 21 women and children, disembarked in the western coastal city of Khoms early Thursday. MSF provided water, food, blankets and hygiene kits to the group, which also included a pregnant woman and 6-month-old baby.
Libyan Coast Guard Spokesman Brig. Gen. Ayoub Gassim confirmed a boat carrying mainly Africans was rescued in the Mediterranean Sea, but rejected the term “forcibly returned,” saying the Libyans “rescued them from the sea ... for their safety.”
5. EU Border Agency confirms Salvini’s populist migrant policies working
The European Union (EU) border agency Frontex has released new statistical data showing that the tough migrant policies of Italian populist Interior Minister Matteo Salvini have drastically reduced illegal migration.
The EU agency revealed that the Mediterranean migrant route numbers had dropped from 118,962 in 2017 to 23,276 in 2018, a decline of around 80 percent following the formation of the populist coalition government of Salvini’s Lega and the Five Star Movement Il Giornale reports.
According to the data, the number of illegals in 2018 is the lowest amount since 2012 and showed that while Italy had sen a massive decline due to Salvini’s policies, socialist-led Spain had seen a 157 percent rise in crossings by the sea in 2018.
6. LGBTQ group severs ties with tennis great Martina Navratilova after remarks on trans athletes
A LGBTQ organization announced Tuesday it was severing ties with tennis legend Martina Navratilova after comments she made regarding trans athletes.
Athlete Ally, a nonprofit whose mission is “to end rampant homophobia, transphobia in sport and to activate the athletic community to exercise their leadership to champion LGBTQ equality,” said they were removing the tennis great as their organization's ambassador and from their advisory board.
The group said Navratilova’s recent assertions in an op-ed she penned for the Sunday Times about trans athletes were “transphobic, based on false understanding of science and data, and [perpetuated] dangerous myths that lead to the ongoing targeting of trans people through discriminatory laws, hateful stereotypes and disproportionate violence.”
7. Royal gendarmerie crashes same-sex Moroccan wedding in Marrakech
Rabat – On the night of Saturday, February 16, two Moroccan men aged 24 and 26 held a wedding ceremony in a remote resort in the ochre city, Marrakech, until the Royal Gendarmerie interrupted.
The wedding, attended by Middle Eastern businessmen and other LGBTQ Moroccans, took place in a luxurious tourist complex in Saada, a rural town near Marrakech.
The wedding organizers reportedly asked guests to switch off their phones during the ceremony to avoid the leaking of photos or videos of the wedding. [...]
The gendarmerie, with the help of some local residents who had reported the wedding, chased and arrested eight guests. Others managed to escape the scene by car.
Same-sex marriage is illegal under Article 489 of the Moroccan Penal Code, which criminalizes “lewd or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex.” It is punishable by 6 months to 3 years’ imprisonment and a fine of MAD 120 to 1,200.
8. Israeli intelligence warns of 150,000 ISIS members deployed around the world
The Israeli Directorate of Military Intelligence (Aman) has rung the alarm on the near defeat of ISIS in Syria, fearing it would turn into an elusive organization that carries out attacks around the world.
According to Israeli news website Walla, Aman estimated the number of ISIS militants between 150,000 and 200,000 around the world, pointing out that most of their activities have been transferred to the desert in Syria, which is not fully under regime control.
Walla reported that Israel was worried that ISIS members would return to their countries of origin and attack Israelis, Israeli embassies, and Jewish individuals after revelations that Tel Aviv has helped the US in its war against the group in Syria.
It also said that Israel was also concerned by the report on ISIS fighters gathering in parts of the Golan Heights controlled by Syria, as well as in Egypt’s Sinai.
9. German police detain 2 in alleged Islamic extremist plot
BERLIN (AP) — A German-Moroccan couple was arrested Thursday in central Germany on charges they were planning an Islamic extremist attack. A series of raids included searches of the homes of 12 other suspects, Frankfurt prosecutors said.
Frankfurt prosecutor Nadja Niesen said authorities believe the suspects were in the early stages of planning an attack in Germany.
“There was not yet a concrete attack target that we're aware of,” she said.
The couple, both 26 and German-Moroccan dual nationals, tried to travel with their two young children to Syria in 2016 to join the Islamic State extremist group, but were captured in Turkey and deported back to Germany, Niesen said.
They were arrested at their home in the Raunheim area, southwest of Frankfurt in the state of Hesse. Overall, some 200 police officers raided 15 homes in Ruesselsheim, Biebesheim, and Raunheim in Hesse as well as one in Kerpen in North Rhine-Westphalia.
10. Denmark’s parliament passes “paradigm change” asylum bill
New legislation providing for what has been described by its proponents as a “paradigm shift” in Denmark’s refugee and asylum policy was passed by parliament on Thursday.
The government, the Danish People’s Party and the Social Democrats all voted in favour of the legislation, which has been the subject of criticism by humanitarian organisations.
A key aspect of the bill is its shift in focus from integration to future repatriation in Denmark’s approach to those who seek refuge in the country, including UN quota refugees and others who do not have permanent status.
Minister for Immigration and Integration Inger Støjberg said that she did not know how many refugees would be sent to home countries as a result of the new legislation.