By Karolina Tagaris ATHENS (Reuters) - Athens's half a million Muslims are set to get their first official mosque in more than a century. The city has not had a formal mosque since it drove out occupying Ottomans in 1833, and Deputy Foreign Minister Ioannis Amanantidis told parliament last year that it was the only European capital "to be deprived of such a religious space". For years Muslims have resorted to praying in hundreds of makeshift sites, in crowded basements or dark warehouses targeted by racist attackers. In May, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras declared building a mosque long overdue. The government, he said, would push ahead "out of respect for the Muslim residents in our capital, but also because we are obliged to actively defend our values." The new mosque - a 1,000 square meter building without a minaret, split over two levels - is expected to be ready in April in an old naval base in an industrial, rundown part of Athens. "We need the mosque for our new generation, for our youth ... to feel equal in law, equal in society," said Greece's Muslim Association spokeswoman Anna Stamou, a Greek who converted to Islam. Friday prayers in the underground garage where she and her family went were recited in Arabic and Greek. Men knelt down to pray on its humid crimson carpet, ventilation pipes barely above their heads. Plans to build a mosque began in 1890 with an act of parliament, but all fell through, including one timed for the 2004 Olympics. The latest effort split the ruling coalition and Tsipras's right-wing partners voted against a bill to speed up construction. Critics say Athens, kept afloat by international funds since 2010, cannot spare the 800,000 euros to build it. Golden Dawn, the ultranationalist party third in popularity in polls, says migrants are burdening state resources at a time of crisis. Others still associate mosques with Turkey, its Muslim neighbor and longstanding rival. For months last year a dozen Greek nationalists occupied the mosque site and set up a homeless center, calling it "a hot spot for Greeks" drawing a contrast with centers on Greek islands for mainly Muslim refugees and migrants arriving from Turkey. Messages still on the compound's boarded up gate are stark: "No mosque," graffiti reads. "Muslims out." A poster plastered on a wall depicts a minaret in a circle with a line through it. Muslims "are enemies of Christ, Orthodoxy and our country," it says. "They should go back from where they came." Golden Dawn says it will step up its protests. "We have done many protests and of course we will do much more," lawmaker Ilias Panagiotaros said at a rally in January. Around him, a few hundred supporters raised flaming torches and waved the Greek flag alongside the party's red-and-black flag featuring its swastika-like emblem. "With the help of God - I repeat that - this mosque will not have a good end," he said. (Editing by Dominic Evans)
- The Independent
‘It was my pleasure to crush a white nationalist insurrection’: DC officer injured in Capitol riot speaks out
Daniel Hodges recounted pro-Trump mob’s attempt to crush him inside a doorway during siege on 6 January
- The Telegraph
Joe Biden believes a patched-up relationship with Boris Johnson will help to decide the "destiny of the world" as the president-elect is set to head to the UK for his first foreign visit outside of North America, sources have told the Telegraph. A close friend of Mr Biden said the leaders will bury differences over Brexit as British officials said they expected the UK to be one of the first foreign destinations, in what would be a major diplomatic coup for Mr Johnson. Mr Biden is due to be sworn in on Wednesday. Sources who would be closely involved in any visit have circled the G7 summit in June, hosted in the UK, as the potential date for the new president’s trip across the Atlantic. Mr Biden opposed Brexit, and feels strong loyalties to his ancestral home in Ireland. He warned repeatedly last year, including directly to Mr Johnson, that the Good Friday Agreement must not become a "casualty of Brexit". But a friend of Mr Biden told The Telegraph: "Boris is a conservative, Joe's a moderate [Democrat] so I think they can get over it. I think they'll end up getting along. "Joe's view will be that they'll have the destiny of the world on their shoulders so he'll want to overcome any political differences. "I think there'll be more empathy than there was between Boris and Donald Trump. Boris seemed to get along with Trump, but I don't know if he really did."
- National Review
Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) warned Friday that one third of Republican voters could leave the party if GOP senators vote in impeachment proceedings to convict President Trump. Paul made the comments in an interview on Fox News’s The Ingraham Angle. The senator’s remarks come amid an increasing divide between congressional Republicans who oppose impeaching the president, and a smaller number who support the measure following the riots at the Capitol on January 6. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) is reportedly hopeful that Republicans can use impeachment to purge Trump from the GOP, although he would need the support of at least 16 additional Republican senators to vote to convict. “Look, I didn’t agree with the [Capitol] fight that happened last week, and I voted against overturning the election, but at the same time, the impeachment is a wrongheaded, partisan notion, [and] if Republicans go along with it, it’ll destroy the party,” Paul said during the interview. “A third of the Republicans will leave the party,” Paul continued. “This isn’t about, anymore, the Electoral College, this is about the future of the party, and whether you’re going to ostracize and excommunicate President Trump from the party. Well, guess what,? Millions of his fans will leave as well.” While a majority of Americans believe Trump should be removed from office immediately, just 17 percent of Republicans support expelling Trump from the presidency, according to an Axios–Ipsos poll released on Thursday. Support for Trump among Republicans has fallen since the Capitol riots, however 60 percent believe the party should continue to follow Trump once he leaves office, an ABC News/Washington Post poll found.
- Associated Press
In the week since a mob laid siege to the U.S. Capitol, the House has impeached President Donald Trump. Twitter and other social media sites have banned Trump and thousands of other accounts. Officer Eugene Goodman isn't saying whether he thinks he saved the Senate, as many of the millions who've viewed the video believe.
A 1st Armored Division soldier at Fort Bliss, Texas has been charged with sexually assaulting three women over the past year, including a fellow soldier who was found dead a year on New Year's Eve.
- Yahoo News Video
A friendly $100 wager over the 2020 presidential election has landed in a Florida small claims court.
The white woman caught on tape getting into a physical altercation with a Black female security guard the evening before the Capitol riots lost her job at UMass Hospital. The termination occurred after her daughter went viral for exposing her identity on social media. On January 5th, Therese Duke and a group of pro-Trump protesters that included other family members were filmed harassing Ashanti Smith, a security guard working at Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington D.C.
- The Week
President Trump is known for going off script, but his premature presidential election victory declaration in the early hours of the morning on Nov. 4 wasn't a completely spur-of-the-moment decision, Axios' Jonathan Swan reports.In the first installment of a reported series on Trump's final two months in office, Swan writes that Trump began "choreographing election night in earnest" during the second week of October following a "toxic" debate with President-elect Joe Biden on Sept. 29 and a bout with COVID-19 that led to his hospitalization. At that point, Trump's internal poll numbers had reportedly taken a tumble, Swan notes.With that in mind, he reportedly called his first White House chief of staff, a stunned Reince Priebus, and "acted out his script, including walking up to a podium and prematurely declaring victory on election night if it looked like he was ahead." Indeed, in the lead up to Election Day, Trump reportedly kept his focus on the so-called "red mirage," the early vote counts that would show many swing states leaning red because mail-in ballots had yet to be counted. Trump, Swan reports, intended to "weaponize it for his vast base of followers," who would go to bed thinking he had secured a second-term, likely planting the seeds of a stolen election. Read more at Axios. > As I've been writing, the plan was to steal the election all along. Fantastic reporting here. https://t.co/k8C73o8vH7> > -- Jonah Goldberg (@JonahDispatch) January 16, 2021More stories from theweek.com 5 more scathing cartoons about Trump's 2nd impeachment Trump's vaccine delay is getting suspicious GOP officials are reportedly worried controversial pro-Trump House members could run for Senate, governor
European governments said the credibility of their COVID-19 vaccination programmes was at risk on Friday after U.S. pharmaceutical firm Pfizer announced a temporary slowdown of deliveries of its vaccines. Shots developed by Pfizer with its German partner BioNTech began being delivered in the European Union at the end of December, but around nine of the 27 EU governments complained of "insufficient" doses at a meeting this week, a participant said. Pfizer initially said deliveries were proceeding on schedule, but then on Friday announced there would be a temporary impact on shipments in late January to early February caused by changes to manufacturing processes to boost output.
- Architectural Digest
When it came to the lighting in his home, Pardo drew inspiration from the insides of fruits, nuts, and seeds, as well as sea creatures and machine parts.Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- Associated Press
Pakistani authorities sacked a local police chief and 11 other policemen for failing to protect a Hindu temple that was set on fire and demolished last month by a mob led by hundreds of supporters of a radical Islamist party, police said Friday. The 12 policemen were fired over “acts of cowardice" and “negligence" for not trying to stop the mob when it attacked the temple, with some having fled the scene. Another 48 policemen were given various punishments following a probe into the attack, the police statement said.
- The Independent
‘Following the events of January 6th, I’ve decided to part ways with the office,’ said comms director Ben Goldey
- The Telegraph
Government must 'get a grip' of what is now a full-blown crisis in the fishing industry, say fishermen
Scotland's fishermen have told Boris Johnson his Brexit trade deal leaves them with the "worst of both worlds" amid export delays and collapsing market prices. In a letter to the Prime Minister, the Scottish Fishermen's Federation (SFF) said the industry was facing "mounting financial losses" and the only way to ensure a fair price was a 72-hour round trip to land catch in Denmark. Elspeth Macdonald, the trade group's chief executive, said there was "huge disappointment and a great deal of anger about your failure to deliver on promises made repeatedly to this industry." She accused him of having "spun a line" about a 25 per cent uplift in the UK's quota and demanded urgent details of promised compensation for the disruption. Her concerns were echoed by Scotland's seafood processors, who said ministers in both London and Edinburgh need to "get a grip" of the long delays exporters are facing. A third of fishing boats in Scotland are tied up at harbours and the industry is estimated to be losing £1 million per day. Exporters warned they face possible bankruptcy amid a suspension of road deliveries due to border delays. Transport company DFDS stopped exports last week after delays in getting new paperwork introduced following the expiry of the Brexit transition period for EU border posts in France. It aims to resume the service on Monday. Paperwork has to be approved before consignments can be sent to DFDS's warehouse in South Lanarkshire and then on to English Channel ports. In her letter to the Prime Minister, Ms McDonald said: "Many fishing vessels are tied to the quay wall.” She added: "This industry now finds itself in the worst of both worlds. Your deal leaves us with shares that not only fall very far short of zonal attachment, but in many cases fail to ‘bridge the gap’ compared to historic catches, and with no ability to leverage more fish from the EU, as they have full access to our waters. "This, coupled with the chaos experienced since 1st January in getting fish to market means that many in our industry now fear for their future, rather than look forward to it with optimism and ambition."
- The Week
FBI says over 100 people arrested for Capitol siege, including 'liberal activist,' Confederate flag bearer
FBI Director Christopher Wray, in his first public comments since the Jan. 6 violent siege of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Trump, said Thursday that law enforcement has arrested more than 100 people in connection with the assault and is aware of "an extensive amount of concerning online chatter" ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's Jan. 20 inauguration.Most of those arrested so far have been far-right militants, off-duty police, retired military personnel, GOP officials, QAnon adherents, and white supremacists. For example, the man photographed carrying a Confederate battle flag through the Capitol, Kevin Seefried, and his son, Hunter Seefried, surrendered to the FBI in Delaware on Thursday, the Justice Department said.Embed from Getty ImagesAuthorities also arrested "liberal activist" John Sullivan on Thursday, making him, Politico says, "the first person to be charged who appears to have been active in liberal causes." Sullivan, who filmed the siege, claims he was just following the rioters as a "journalist," but the FBI said his own video showed him to be a booster of the lawlessness and even an active participant.Trump supporters, including Rudy Giuliani, and conservative media outlets pointed to Sullivan's arrest to bolster their counterfactual claim that "antifa" or Black Lives Matter were actually behind the assault on the Capitol. But "even before his arrest, left wing activists had described concerns in that community, going back some time, that Sullivan was a provocateur working with others, including his brother James, who has ties to the Proud Boys and runs a pro-Trump organization," Marcy Wheeler notes at EmptyWheel.> pic.twitter.com/oRri9hyHGv> > — New York City Antifa (@NYCAntifa) January 7, 2021"Sullivan's presence in the Capitol, and his previous record of anti-Trump activism, has been the focus of frenzied attention in the right-wing media," Robert Mackey reports at The Intercept, while "left-wing organizers have been keen to stress that they ejected Sullivan from their ranks months ago." Since adopting the nom de guerre "Activist John" last summer, Mackey notes, Sullivan has been blacklisted by "left-wing organizers associated with Black Lives Matter and antifascism in Utah, California, and the Pacific Northwest" who say he's "either a right-wing infiltrator or a dangerously naive amateur."More stories from theweek.com 5 more scathing cartoons about Trump's 2nd impeachment Trump reportedly began 'choreographing' premature victory speech weeks before election Trump's vaccine delay is getting suspicious
- Associated Press
With a chainsaw in his car, Ahmed Abdelal tours the Gaza Strip, asking around for people wanting to cut down trees, regrow orchards or make way for construction. One of the few remaining woodcutters in the Palestinian territory, Abdelal, who learned woodcutting from his father, is struggling to scratch out a living in a traditional job that is less and less in demand. Job opportunities are rare in this Palestinian enclave wedged between Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea, and so are green spaces.
- Miami Herald
Cindy Falco Dicorrado may have wanted a bagel at an Einstein Bros. Bagels near Boca Raton but she may have had to settle for eating one in a Palm Beach County jail the next morning.
- Associated Press
No criminal charges will be filed against a former temporary elections worker authorities have said mistakenly discarded nine military ballots ahead of the November presidential election, a federal prosecutor announced Friday. Officials have previously blamed the decision to toss out the ballots on an unidentified and improperly trained contract worker who had been handling mail-in ballots for the county for two days. The ballots were later retrieved from the trash and were counted with other mailed ballots after the Nov. 3 election.
The communications director for Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, a firebrand Republican freshman who boasts about carrying a gun to work, has quit after less than two weeks on the job.Why it matters: Ben Goldey’s resignation cited last week's insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, which followed efforts by Boebert and lawmakers to block certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. The Hill veteran’s departure highlights the deep divide among Republicans over President Trump’s conduct.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.What we’re hearing: Goldey said in a statement to Axios: "Following the events of January 6th, I’ve decided to part ways with the office. I wish her and the people of Colorado’s Third District the best."Between the lines: Boebert is a strident Trump supporter firmly on the right flank of the House GOP caucus. She was clear about her views during her campaign, but they have suddenly become politically toxic following last week's attack. * Boebert’s quickly become a lightning rod by railing against “fraudulent” votes for Biden in a floor speech ahead of the attack, and by making a show — including in an ad filmed on the Hill — of her desire to carry a handgun in the Capitol. * Goldey, by contrast, has a more establishment pedigree. He was the press secretary at the Department of Interior until this year, and previously worked for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.Be smart: Goldey’s resignation underscores larger Republican divisions, particularly in the House, where ten GOP members - including conference chair Rep. Liz Cheney - voted to impeach Trump on Wednesday. * The same divisions are evident on the other side of the Capitol. Sen. Ted Cruz's communications director, Lauren Blair Bianchi, also resigned on Monday, reportedly over Cruz's role in the effort to deny certification for Biden. * Trump has fueled the split since the election, demanding the president-elect’s win be overturned, helping incite the violence at the Capitol last week and remaining defiant about his behavior even as he faced his second impeachment by the House yesterday.Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.
A couple of Capitol rioters told the FBI an officer shook their hands and said 'it's your house now' as insurrectionists stormed the US Capitol
Bobby Bauer and a relative were identified among those who breached the Capitol after an unknown caller tipped off the FBI.
- Associated Press
Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard conducted a drill Saturday launching anti-warship ballistic missiles at a simulated target in the Indian Ocean, state television reported, amid heightened tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program and a U.S. pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic. Footage showed two missiles smash into a target that Iranian state television described as “hypothetical hostile enemy ships” at a distance of 1,800 kilometers (1,120 miles). Iranian state television described the drill as taking place in the country’s vast central desert, the latest in a series of snap exercises called amid the escalating tensions over its nuclear program.