United States continues bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 11/2/17]
French 'rebel valley' farmer fined for helping migrants, vows to continue assisting those in need [France 24 - 10/2/17]:
... Herrou also defended his decision to put up five minors -- a Sudanese youth and four Eritreans -- at his home, saying it was up to local officials "to face up to their responsibilities".
He is one of several people to appear in court in southern France recently charged with illegally assisting migrants who have travelled up through Europe after crossing the Mediterranean in rickety boats.
Their cases have cast a spotlight on the actions of residents of the Roya Valley, dubbed the “rebel valley”, who have been helping migrants across the border from Italy, providing food and shelter, tending to their wounds, and offering lifts to nearby towns.
On January 7, a court acquitted researcher Pierre-Alain Mannoni, who had faced a six-month suspended jail sentence for aiding Eritrean migrants who entered France through the valley. ...
A lorry driver from Spain has been arrested in The Netherlands on suspicion of human trafficking after nine Asian migrants were found in a refrigeration unit in his container.
Three Vietnamese men, three women of the same nationality and three Iraqi men were hidden in the fridge, and one of them called the police as they were frightened of dying from hypothermia. ... Spanish truck driver arrested for transporting migrants to The Netherlands [thinkSPAIN - 11/2/17]
@sol2refugees [10/2/17]: 20 #refugees #deported 2day from #Lesvos 2 #Turkey.2Bangladesh 8Pakistanis 5Nigerian 3Algerian 1Palestinian 1Turkish ...
The number of foreign people who applied for refugee status hit a record high of 10,910 last year, up 44 percent from the previous year, the Justice Ministry said Friday.
Indonesians topped the list.
In 2016 Japan only accepted 28 refugees, an increase of only one from the previous year. ... [Japan Times - 10/2/17]
"WE ARE HUMAN" Indonesia: Refugees in Kupang detention centre protest UNHCR's refusal to resettle them [Hazaras in Indonesia - 10/2/17]
@natashya_g [6/2/17]: Protest by refugees in Jakarta in front of UNHCR. They are asking to accelerate their resettlement.
Stop separating families, we need to join our families plz.
7th day of peaceful protest on Nauru ...
Image: @elahe_zivardar [11/2/17]
Australian unions disingenuously chime in as Myanmar's FOUR MONTH military operation against the Rohingya winds up ---> ... Ged Kearney, President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions said: “The persecution of the Rohingya is a blight on Myanmar's global reputation. The Australian government must now intervene.” ... [ReliefWeb - 9/2/17]
President Barack Obama formally announced the lifting of U.S. sanctions on Myanmar on Friday by terminating an emergency order that deemed the policies of the former military government a threat to U.S. national security. ... [Reuters - 7/10/16]
Great to chat to @BarackObama ... @GedKACTU - President, Australian Council of Trade Unions [15/11/14]
@Sthumoe [10/2/17]: We must do whatever they order: cleaning, building police post, clearing grass and carrying things. ... #Rohingya #Burma
@Sthumoe [9/2/17]: There's no clear indication the aid will reach the #Rohingya, because the area has been in lockdown ...
@4beb3f9924d747e [9/2/17]: A foreigner media [BBC] was threatened by monks while he raised questions abt #Rohingya's crisis..[at their protest against the Food Flotilla] ...
Bangladesh orders work begin on proposal to dump Rohingya refugees on Thengar Char island [Mizzima - 10/2/17]
“Two helicopters were deployed to our village. The helicopters flew over the village for over 20 minutes, firing randomly at the villagers. The first round of attack was carried out from a higher altitude, but in the second and third rounds, they flew just over the rooftops of the houses. Seven members of my brother’s family in-law were killed in the helicopter attack.”
Report of OHCHR mission to Bangladesh: Interviews with Rohingyas fleeing from Myanmar since 9 October 2016 [3/2/17]
Julia Niblett, Australian High Commissioner to Bangladesh
Australian, British and Canadian High Commissoners, IOM and UNHCR inspect Rohingya refugee camp, praise Bangladesh for its durable solutions [Dhaka Tribune - 9/2/17]
... Australian High Commissioner Julia [Niblett] emphasised the need for international efforts to preserve the rights of the Rohingya people when they are sent back to Myanmar. ...
Bangladesh border guards turn back 7 Rohingya refugees boats [bdnews24.com - 12/12/16]
Over a dozen of persecuted Rohingya people including babies/children were killed as the Burmese Border Guard Police (BGP) ‘indiscriminately’ opened fire on Rohingya-boats on Sunday (Dec 4) night as they were fleeing from the violence in northern Maungdaw. ... [RVision TV - 7/12/16]
US Customs and Border Protection shoot at migrant boat near Bahamas, Coast Guard transfers passengers to Homeland Security for investigation [US Coast Guard Media Release - 10/2/17]:
... Transferred ashore were one Cuban national who is a lawful permanent resident of the U.S., one Ecuadorian migrant, one Jamaican migrant, six Chinese migrants and six Sri Lankan migrants.
The lawful permanent resident was the suspected operator of the vessel and is being investigated for human smuggling. ...
Hundreds of immigrants arrested in routine US enforcement surge [Reuters - 10/2/17]:
... The enforcement actions took place in Atlanta, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and surrounding areas, said David Marin, director of enforcement and removal for the Los Angeles field office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Only five of 161 people arrested in Southern California would not have been enforcement priorities under the Obama administration, he said.
The agency did not release a total number of detainees.
The Atlanta office, which covers three states, arrested 200 people, Bryan Cox, a spokesman for the office, said.
The 161 arrests in the Los Angeles area were made in a region that included seven highly populated counties, Marin said. ...
The Obama administration is not done rounding up families of newly arrived Central American migrants.
Five months after his administration conducted holiday raids on immigrant homes in Georgia, Texas, and North Carolina, President Obama plans to revive his targeted enforcement actions with a series of raids this spring, Reuters reported Thursday.
As always, there are humanitarian (one might even say moral) concerns with how such enforcement actions will affect the people who’ve fled their home countries for the United States.
And then there are the political concerns.
The month-long raids, Reuters reported, will take place in May and June and, if they’re like the raids which took place in early January, would likely target newly arrived migrants from Central America who immigration officials have deemed ineligible for humanitarian relief.
The raids are widely considered a response to a renewed uptick in border crossings by migrants fleeing El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, where forced conscription into gangs, rampant sexual violence, and the world’s highest murder rates have pushed tens of thousands to flee their home countries. ... [The Nation - 13/5/16]
Official Palestinian Authority (PA) sources told Ma'an on Friday that the chief of the PA's general intelligence service Majid Faraj recently visited Washington D.C along with a delegation of Palestinian officials.
Faraj and his delegation met with security officials of the new US administration.
The visit, according to the official sources, was a "very important first step” toward more frequent visits and more communication between the PA and the administration of newly elected president Donald Trump.
Sources said different issues were discussed during the meetings with US officials in preparation for “serious dialogue between both sides,” though the exact issues discussed remained unclear. ... [Maan - 10/2/17]
East Jerusalem teen tells of medical negligence he faced in Israeli prisons [Maan - 10/2/17]
Israeli soldiers clash with youth in Aida refugee camp, 2 arrested [Maan - 10/2/17]
Two Palestinians killed in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza [PNN - 9/2/17]
The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on Wednesday has instructed the Foreign Ministry to reprimand Belgian ambassador to Israel, Olivier Belle, over meetings with Israeli leftist and anti-occupation organizations.
The blast came in light of Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel’s meeting with the leaders of Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem, during his visit to Israel. ... [PNN - 9/2/17]
Canada concerned by Israel’s settlement regulation law [PNN - 9/2/17]
In a warning cable to Jerusalem on Tuesday, Israel’s Ambassador to Ireland Ze’ev Boker reportedly informed Jerusalem of Dublin’s intentions to possibly recognize Palestine as a state soon.
An Israeli official was quoted in a Haaretz report Thursday as saying an announcement from Dublin on Palestine recognition had already been possible, but Israel’s passing of a controversial law legalizing wildcat settlements made such a decision far more likely.
The reported message comes just days after the Knesset passed the Regulation Law, which retroactively legalizes several thousand homes in West Bank settlements built illegally on privately owned Palestinian property. ... [Times of Israel - 9/2/17]
Israel downgrades diplomatic ties with New Zealand, Senegal over UN Security Council vote [i24 - 10/2/17]
China is willing to expand cooperation with New Zealand, said visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi here on Friday.
During talks with his New Zealand counterpart Murray McCully, Wang said the China-New Zealand relations have achieved a leaping development since the two countries established diplomatic ties 45 years ago. ... [Xinhua - 10/2/17]
Boris Johnson pressed for UK to keep selling bombs to Saudi Arabia after air strike killed 140 at funeral [Independent - 10/2/17]
Yemen rebels call on UN to investigate bombings, dismiss peace envoy [Reuters - 10/2/17]:
Rebels controlling Yemen's capital called on the United Nations on Friday to take action to end violence that has destroyed large parts of the country and to investigate bombings carried out by a Saudi-led coalition.
In a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the Houthi movement urged the U.N. to investigate a Saudi-led airstrike on a funeral in Sanaa last year and not renew the term of U.N. peace envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed.
"The United Nations should take a serious stance against the foreign aggression in Yemen and end the air and naval blockade imposed by Saudi Arabia," the letter quoted Saleh al-Sammad, a Houthi official, as saying.
The statement is a blow to the U.N., which has sought since 2015 to end fighting between the Iran-aligned Houthis and a Saudi-led alliance of mainly Gulf states in a conflict that has unleashed mass hunger and disease and killed over 10,000 people.
Ould Cheikh Ahmed, who has served as United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen since April 2015, has brokered several ceasefires, which have however foundered within days.
Earlier this week, Yemeni government forces backed by Gulf Arab troops recaptured control of the Red Sea city of al-Mokha in a push that paved the way for an advance on Hodeidah, the country's main port city.
The U.N. said on Friday that the Saudi-led coalition had intensified air strikes on Hodeidah, possibly trapping civilians and hampering a humanitarian operation to import vital food and fuel supplies.
The statement also expressed concern that civilians in al-Mokha had been deliberately targeted by Houthi-linked gunmen during the battle for control of the port.
Across Yemen, some 12 million people, roughly half the population, face the threat of famine and conditions are worsening, the United Nations warned on Wednesday as it appealed for $2.1 billion to fund food and other life-saving aid.
@narrabyee [10/2/17]: 6 Yemeni political parties demand UN Sec Gen Antonio Guterres to change his envoy to Yemen over failure&being biased with Saudis. ...
@narrabyee [9/2/17]: Anod Hakami, Yemeni girl who was playing with neighbors when US-backed Saudi war criminals bombed her house killing family leaving her alone
Medea Benjamin asks Obama about 16-year-old Anwar Al-Awlaki [May 2013]
Yemen: Urgent plea to warring parties to spare civilians [International Committee of the Red Cross - 10/2/17]
A Norfolk-based missile destroyer is on its way to Yemen.
According to a report from the U.S. Naval Institute, the USS Cole is being repositioned in reaction to an attack in the Red Sea.
A Houthi explosive-laden suicide boat reportedly rammed into a Saudi Al Madinah-class frigate.
The crash killed two sailors from the Royal Saudi Naval Forces.
The USS Cole originally left on an independent deployment in December to Europe and the Middle East. ... [Yahoo - 6/2/17]
US General John Nicholson: Thousands more US troops needed in Afghanistan [Antiwar.com - 9/2/17]
Allegations of civilian casualties in Sangin air raids being investigated [Pajhwok - 10/2/17]
Officials confirmed on Friday that 11 members of one family, including eight men and three women, were killed when a rocket hit their house in Sangin district on Thursday night. ... [TOLO News - 10/2/17]
"Kabul terrorist attacks mastermind" killed in security forces raid [Pajhwok - 10/2/17]
11 "Taliban insurgents" killed in Uruzgan air and ground operations [Khaama - 9/2/17]
President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and US President Donald Trump discussed issues of mutual interest during a phone conversation earlier tonight.
The Office of the President, ARG Palace, said the two leaders discussed counter-terrorism and other issues, including Afghanistan and regional security as well economy. ... [Khaama - 9/2/17]
At least six employees of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were shot dead in northern Afghanistan.
According to the preliminary reports, the ICRC employees were shot dead by the loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group.
A local government official in Jawzjan confirmed that the ICRC workers were executed in Qoshtapa district. ... [Khaama - 8/2/17]
In an interview about US involvement in the Syrian Civil War, President Bashar al-Assad said he would welcome US military involvement in the fight against ISIS, provided the intervention was coming with a willingness to coordinate with the Syrian military.
That’s a statement the Syrian government has made in the past, saying they view unilateral intervention as a potential violation of their sovereignty, and want all the anti-ISIS moves to be coordinated with their own ongoing anti-ISIS operation.
At the same time, Assad rejected President Trump’s talk of creating “safe zones” in northern Syria, saying the only way to create safe zones of any meaningfulness would be to defeat the terrorists in the country, making all of Syria a “safe zone.” ... [Antiwar.com - 10/2/17]
Russian Defense Ministry rejects reports of alleged use of Tochka-U missiles in Syria [TASS - 9/2/17]:
... US Fox News TV Channel reported earlier on Thursday that the Russian military had allegedly fired two Tochka-U and four Iskander tactical missiles against the armed opposition in the Syrian province of Idlib.
Russian airstrike kills three Turkish soldiers in Syria [Antiwar.com - 9/2/17]
Syrian Army liberates last hilltops overlooking Hayyan Gas Fields in west Palmyra [AMN - 10/2/17]
Syrian Army continues offensive in Al-Bab despite advances by Turkish forces inside city [AMN - 10/2/17]
In the first high-level visit since a rapprochement deal between the two countries mended a longstanding rift, a Turkish government minister arrived in Israel Tuesday to attend a regional tourism exhibition in Tel Aviv. ... [Times of Israel - 8/2/17]
A person was killed and 12 others were injured in terrorist rocket attacks on the residential neighborhoods of Homs city and its countryside.
SANA reporter in Homs said that terrorist groups fired a number of rocket shells on the residential neighborhoods of Homs city, one of which landed in al-Hamraa neighborhood, claiming the life of a person and injuring 3 others. ... [SANA - 10/2/17]
UN Resident Coordinator in Syria condemns attack on Syrian Red Crescent relief center in Aleppo [SANA - 10/2/17]:
United Nations Resident Coordinator in Syria Ali al-Zaatari condemned on Thursday the attack on a relief center of the Arab Red Crescent in Syria (SARC) in al- Hamdaniyeh neighborhood in Aleppo city that took place on Wednesday.
Rocket shells fired by terrorist organizations hit houses and the relief center in the abovementioned neighborhood, leaving 2 people killed and 14 others injured.
A SARC employee was among the dead and 7 other employees were injured, three of them in critical condition. ...
A discredited multi-million pound Government probe into allegations against Iraq war veterans will be shut down within months, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT) will close in the summer and around 20 ongoing cases will be dealt with by the Royal Navy Police.
He also confirmed around 90% of misconduct cases involving British troops who served in Afghanistan are being dropped. IHAT is estimated to have cost £34 million of the £60 million originally set aside for the investigation.
Sir Michael announced the measures after a scathing report by MPs branded Ihat an "unmitigated failure".
The inquiry was established by the MoD in 2010 to probe claims of abuse of Iraqi civilians by troops following the 2003 invasion. ... [ITV - 10/2/17]
Mass graves found in Anbar province; 41 killed in Iraq [Antiwar.com - 9/2/17]:
Since the war on the Islamic State militants began, Peshmerga forces have sent 1,300 wounded personnel to Turkey for medical treatment, but none of the cases took part in the Mosul operation.
Although the Kurds initially participated on the outskirts of Mosul, they have done no fighting within the central districts.
That has been reserved for Iraqi Army personnel.
This figure does not include every wounded soldier as some were likely treated and released in Kurdistan itself. ...
Iraq puts out fires at Qayyara oil field in northern Iraq – ministry [IraqiNews.com - 9/2/17]
Islamic State militants caused damages to nearly 1000 houses in eastern Mosul since they took over the city in 2014 and until security forces recaptured that region, an official said Thursday. ... [IraqiNews.com - 9/2/17]
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [9/2/17]: Nineveh: News agencies: An aerial strike has targeted 17 Tamouz neighborhood at the right side of Mosul.
11 February 2017