1. “Christmas terror plot foiled”: Bomb squad called in after police arrest four men over “Islamist-related” plans
Police have raided five properties and arrested four men on suspicion of plotting a “Christmas terror attack”.
Specialist counter terrorism police officers arrested three men, aged 22, 36 and 41, at addresses in Sheffield on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.
A 31-year-old man was arrested at an address in Chesterfield on suspicion of the same offence.
All four were arrested by anti-terror police working with MI5 in the “Islamist related” investigation, with people evacuated from their homes and schools placed on lock down.
2. Sex robot expo in venue switch after “terror threat from OFFENDED Islamic extremists”
The Third International Congress in Love and Sex with Robots has been rocked by terror threats from Muslim extremists.
The two-day conference, which started today, was supposed to take place at Goldsmiths University, where it was held last year.
But organisers have been forced to move the controversial meeting of computer scientists, AI experts and robot ethicists to a secret venue for security reasons.
The second annual conference was due to be held in Iskamdar, a Malaysian state, in 2015, but was banned by police for being “illegal”. [...]
He said: “The event was originally supposed to be held at Goldsmiths University.”
“There were some threats that police had found from Muslim extremists.
“We took precautions because those groups are international.
“Robot sex is against the Muslim religion, it's equated to homosexuality.”
3. Pastor Calls Vandalism At Hayward Church A “Hate Crime”
HAYWARD (KPIX 5) — A disturbing scene was recently found outside a church in Hayward where statues of children were found beheaded.
For 60 years those who attend St. Bede’s Catholic Church in Hayward have passed by a group of statues out front depicting Mary’s appearance to the children of Fatima.
But lately, they’ve become a symbol of man’s cruelty.
“I’m just heartbroken to see how this happened,” said one young parishioner.
“How? What heart do you have that could do this?” said an outraged older woman who attends the church.
A few weeks ago, a vandal defaced the statues, breaking off Mary’s hands and the heads of the three children and a lamb. It’s not the first time it’s happened. The statues have been damaged three times in the last few years.
4. Islamic Preacher Warns: Beardless Men Cause “Indecent Thoughts” Because “They Look like Women”
Beardless men sow confusion in pious Muslim society because clean-shaven men sometimes “cannot be distinguished from women” and can cause “indecent thoughts”, according to a Turkish Islamic preacher.
Speaking on the private religious station Fatih Medreseleri (Madrasahs) TV on Dec. 16, preacher Murat Bayaral blasted men who shave, saying they cause confusion for other men who might consider them to be feminine.
His advice consists of the simple mantra: Grow a beard and be a man.
Bayaral said: “Men should grow beards. One of the two body parts that separate men from women is the beard,” according to Hurriyet Daily News.
5. Austria launches new migrant policy: Benefits cut, phones seized and money taken
AUSTRIA has introduced a hardline new migrant policy following the swearing-in of its new coalition government.
The Conservative People’s Party (OVP) and the far-right Freedom Party (FPO) both ran their campaign on an anti-migrant policies.
And the new government has quickly rolled out a series of migrant rules for those arriving in the country.
Phones will be seized upon entry, allowing border officials to analyse mobile data to determine migrants’ identities.
Money will also be taken from migrants and put towards the cost of caring for people arriving in the country.
And benefits will be stopped for some migrants who have not yet 'paid into' the country.
6. Saudi video shows kingdom's troops as 'liberators' of Tehran
Computer-generated video predicts cakewalk for Saudi army in war with Iran, but social media users mock content and production values.
The Iranian speedboats skim the waves as they zero in on their victim: a defenceless Saudi humanitarian aid ship. Under provocation, a Saudi frigate fires at the attackers.
All-out war quickly ensues in a blitz of missiles and bombs, but it is decidedly one-sided. Saudi technology is irresistible, and its armies are soon seen marching through Tehran as liberators, freeing citizens waving banners of the Saudi king, capturing Iran's hated leaders and ultimately securing peace for Mecca, the holiest site in Islam.
7. Montreal couple cleared of terror charges, boyfriend guilty of explosives-related offence
A young Montreal couple who said they were planning to visit Greece in 2015 were cleared by a jury Tuesday of accusations the trip was really part of a covert plan to join the terrorist group ISIS.
El Mahdi Jamali, 20, and Sabrine Djermane, 21, were each facing three charges:
* Attempting to leave Canada to commit a terrorist act.
* Possession of an explosive substance.
* Committing an act under the direction of, or for the profit of, a terrorist organization.
Djermane was found not guilty on all three charges. Jamali was found guilty of possessing an explosive without a lawful excuse, which carries a maximum sentence of five years, compared to the 14 he faced under the original explosives charge.
8. Video shows some changes new Austrian coalition government are putting into effect right away
9. Armed transport police for Manchester and Birmingham
British Transport Police (BTP) is scaling up counter terrorism operations in Manchester and Birmingham.
New firearms, dog and “behavioural detection” units "solely dedicated to counter-terrorism" are to be created in the cities the force said.
Supt Ricky Twyford said it is the first time the force has based armed officers outside London and gives “enhanced capability” against terrorism.
He said the move is not in response to any direct threat to the rail network.
Assistant Chief Constable Alun Thomas said London-based officers have been “patrolling trains and stations” around the country since early this year.
“But in the current climate, we know how important it is to make sure we have specialist and highly trained officers in the right place at the right time to keep people safe,” he said.
Supt Twyford said the new units will be permanent and that Manchester is a "central strategic location in the north".
10. PALACE ASSAULT: Ballistic missile intercepted over Saudi Arabia capital Riyadh just seconds before it slammed into royal palace
Saudi air defences intercepted a ballistic missile fired towards the city, Saudi-owned channel al-Arabiya reported in a news flash quoting a Saudi-led military coalition official.
A ballistic missile was launched at the Saudi capital, a Houthi spokesman said.
Mohammed Abdussalam said on Twitter that a Volcano 2-H ballistic missile was fired towards al-Yamama royal palace.
Bloomberg reporter Vivian Nereim tweeted: "Loud boom heard in central Riyadh - big enough that we felt it shake our tower."
The Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information tweeted: "Coalition forces confirm intercepting an Iranian-Houthi missile targeting south of Riyadh.
“There are no reported casualties at this time.”