1. Finnish Presidential campaign video
Finnish presidential candidate, Suomi Takaisin, released a video commercial for the upcoming federal election addressing concerns about the threats posed by open borders and multiculturalism.
2. London: Muslim Enclave Votes to “Ban Trump”
A London borough – which has the highest percentage of Muslims in the UK – has voted to ban U.S. President Donald J. Trump for the area, declaring him a “bigot”.
The council has been at the centre of serious corruption scandals, including the removal of an Islamist mayor who was found guilty of bribing Muslim groups and wielding “undue spiritual influence” on Muslim voters.
The anti-Trump motion, proposed by Councillor Ohid Ahmed and Councillor Oliur Rahman, passed by a majority vote this week.
3. Police called in after primary school is “intimidated” into dropping hijab ban
Police have been called in after a top-rated primary school was “intimidated” into dropping a ban on Muslim girls wearing hijabs.
St Stephen's in Newham, East London, was bombarded with thousands of emails – many allegedly abusive or threatening violence against staff – after it ruled that girls aged under eight should not wear headscarves.
In the face of the protests, the chairman of the governors, Arif Qawi, announced his resignation on Friday and the school said it had reversed its ban after “speaking to the school community”.
4. Syria: Turkish ground troops enter Afrin enclave
Turkish ground troops have crossed into northern Syria as part of Ankara's campaign to rid the border area of Kurdish fighters, Turkey's PM says.
Binali Yildirim said the aim was to establish a 30km (19-mile) "safe zone" deep inside Syria, Turkish reports say.
But the Kurdish YPG militia says it has repelled Turkish troops in Afrin.
Turkey's operation, announced Saturday, risks increasing tensions with the US, which was supporting the YPG in the fight against Islamic State jihadists.
The YPG (Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units) is part of a US-backed alliance with a number of ethnic Arab militias called the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The SDF has said it will have no choice but to defend itself if attacked.
More on this can be found at The Daily Star.
Euronews video from the 20th:
“Turkish planes have started bombing Kurdish targets in the Syrian city of Afrin on Saturday, as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced this morning the beginning of a ground operation against Kurdish forces in Syria.”
This video dated January 21, shows Kurdish defenders destroying a Turkish tank:
Syrian Kurdish YPG says Turkish warplanes bomb Afrin.
Turkish Backed Forces Deployed To the Area For Afrin Operation
5. German city BANS more refugees as violence by asylum seekers, right-wing extremists escalates
New refugees are being turned away from a city in Germany, amid fears over rising violence between migrants and right-wing extremists.
Officials in Cottbus, which lies 120km southeast of Berlin, issued the temporary ban after two male Syrian teenagers were arrested on suspicion of injuring a German teenager in the face with a knife.
Just days earlier, a 15-year-old Syrian asylum seeker and his father were ordered to leave the city, after he was allegedly involved in an assault, alongside two other Syrian youths aged 14 and 17.
6. Desperate victims try to flee to safety as Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel burns
7. Mother of five who posted ISIS propaganda on Facebook will NOT face jail
Moves to overturn the sentence of a mother-of-five who was spared jail after calling for terrorists to attack the west and posting Islamic State propaganda online have been rejected.
Farhana Ahmed was handed a suspended sentence after posting the hateful material in Facebook group Power Strangers, the membership of which swelled from 721 members to 1,480 in the two months after she joined.
Attorney General Jeremy Wright had argued that the non-custodial term imposed in the case of Farhana Ahmed was “unduly lenient” after she admitted encouraging terrorism.
Using the alias Kay Adams, she expressed approval for the terror that hit Paris and published speeches by IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as well as his deputy.
8. ISIS bomb plot foiled in France as police arrest man “with explosives”
FRENCH authorities have charged a 33-year-old man who police believe was plotting a terror attack after pledging allegiance to ISIS, sources say.
The man, who had pledged allegiance to the terror group in a video was arrested near the southern city of Nimes on Tuesday.
A source close to the investigation said: "This is the first attack foiled this year.”
Bomb-making materials were reportedly discovered at his house, however, there was no initial indication of what his intentions were or possible target. [...]
The man was also charged with "associating with terrorist criminals" and placed in custody.
The source said: “The investigation started when police saw on social media an attempt by a man in the Nimes region with Islamist leanings trying to procure a weapon.”
9. Anti-Merkel militias form in Germany:
10. Arab Journalist: “Stop Funding Racist U.N. Palestinian Refugee Agency Until It Crumbles and Disappears”
TEL AVIV – President Donald Trump is right in withholding aid to the “biased and racist” U.N. so-called Palestinian refugee agency that seeks to destroy Israel, a Kuwaiti columnist said Wednesday.
In his column in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Watan, Abdallah Al-Hadlaq called for all funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to cease until it “crumbles and disappears.”
On Thursday, the Trump administration said it is for now withholding $45 million it pledged last month to the Palestinians as part of a “West Bank/Gaza Emergency Appeal” led by UNRWA. The $45 million is separate from the $65 million the U.S. informed UNRWA in a letter sent earlier this week that it is withholding “for future consideration.”
The U.S. is UNRWA’s single largest donor, providing about $300 million annually.