The commander of an army brigade loyal to Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, Yemen’s resigned president, has been killed in clashes with Houthi Ansarullah fighters while a shaky truce is in place in the war-torn country.

According to loyalist military sources and medics, a Houthi sniper fatally shot Major General Zaid al-Huri, early Wednesday in the northeast of Sana’a Province. 

They said the Houthi fighters fired a mortar round in the same area, wounding six loyalist soldiers. ... [Press TV - 13/4/16]

 

 

 

 

 

 

A suicide bomber detonated an explosives belt near a football stadium in the southern Yemeni city of Aden, killing at least four people, witnesses said.

Eight people were wounded in the attack on Tuesday, which appeared to target young men queueing to sign up for the military. ... [Al Jazeera - 12/4/16]

 

 

 

War strands 1,000s of Yemenis in Egypt, separated from their families [UNHCR Media Release - 12/4/16]

 

 

 

Iraqi lawmakers held an all-night sit-in at parliament protesting efforts by powerful political blocs to maintain control of key government posts, pushing the speaker to convene an emergency session Wednesday.

The demonstration followed chaotic scenes in parliament Tuesday sparked by the postponement of a vote on a new cabinet that Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi wants to include technocrats instead of party-affiliated ministers. ... [ENCA - 13/4/1/6]

 

 

 

Turkey's military struck Islamic State targets in northern Syria in response to rockets that hit the southeastern Turkish border town of Kilis for the third straight day on Wednesday, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said.

More than 20 people have been wounded this week alone as multiple rockets struck Kilis, home to an estimated 110,000 Syrian refugees, which has been frequently hit by shells from across the border, a region controlled by Islamic State. ... [Reuters - 13/4/16]

 

 

 

Turkey’s airstrikes empty villages in Iraq’s Dohuk Province - locals say villages are bombed continuously [Antiwar.com - 10/4/16]

 

 

 

Georgia executes man for 1996 murder of female neighbour [Reuters - 12/4/16]

 

 

 

Bombs continue raining down upon Iraq and Syria

 

US Department of Defense [13/4/16]:

 

U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Iraq and Syria yesterday, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Strikes in Syria

Attack and fighter aircraft conducted two strikes in Syria:

-- Near Hawl, a strike destroyed an ISIL fighting position.

-- Near Mara, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

Strikes in Iraq

Attack, fighter and ground attack aircraft conducted seven strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

-- Near Huwayjah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL assembly area.

-- Near Hit, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed six ISIL machine gun positions and four ISIL fighting positions.

-- Near Mosul, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed four ISIL assembly areas and an ISIL fighting position.

-- Near Qayyarah, a strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle bomb.

-- Near Tal Afar, a strike produced inconclusive results.

...

 

 

 

Syrian journalist shot by ISIL in Turkey dies [Al Jazeera - 13/4/16]

 

 

 

The Defense Department knows that the whole family serves when a military member serves.

April is the Month of the Military Child, a time to highlight the contributions and sacrifices made by military children.

It’s also a chance to catch up on what the department does for military families. ... [US Department of Defense - 12/4/16]

 

 

 

‏@juliadruelle [13/4/16]:  A lot of tear gas continue to be shot in #Idomeni, yet the wind is bringing it back... to Macedonia.

 

 

 

 

@juliadruelle [13/4/16]:  10s of #refugees gathered at the fence in #Idomeni: "Open the border!". Greek police present. Tear gas was shot f MK

 

 

 

‏@juliadruelle [13/4/16:  Glimpse of #Idomeni: Adnan from Syria plays the tanbur at dusk by the fire. #refugeeGr

 

 

 

@AlbaFerrs [13/4/16]:  Miércoles, 13 de abril de 2016. 53.661 #refugiados atrapados en #Grecia. El mapa, los números y los campamentos.

 

 

 

@drivaspacheco [13/4/16]:  6 buses stopped near #Katsikas. The refugees don't want to go inside the camp, they came yesterday night #refugeesgr

 

 

 

 ‏@drivaspacheco [13/4/16]:  #Katsikas greece's mainland. People sleep over stones, floods, snakes, no waterproof tents #refugeesgr  

 

 

 

 ‏@guardiacostiera [13/4/16]:   #CanalediSicilia #SAR #NaveDattilo CP940 #GuardiaCostiera salva 121 #migranti su un gommone a largo coste libiche

 

 

 

 

‏@MSF_Sea [13/4/16]:   ... 2,154 #people were rescued from 17 separate boats in the waters between #Libya and #Italy yesterday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A man who has admitted hijacking a domestic EgyptAir flight and diverting it to Cyprus is claiming political asylum on the island, claiming he is afraid of how he could be treated by Egyptian authorities because of his political beliefs, officials said Wednesday.

Cyprus' Interior Minister Socrates Hasikos told The Associated Press that 59-year-old Seif Eddin Mustafa's asylum claim is being examined while a request by Egyptian authorities for his extradition proceeds. ... [Ekathimerini - 13/4/16]

 

 

 

‏@InsurrectNews [13/4/16]: Day 25 of protests by #refugees at the Australian govt's refugee camp on #Nauru. #RefugeeStruggle #CloseTheCamps

 

 

 

NAURU ISLAND. 1945-09-14. A JAPANESE POW EXPLAINING THE MEANING OF THE JAPANESE NAVY INSIGNIA ON HIS CAR RADIATOR TO PRIVATE TRANSTON, 222ND AUSTRALIAN SUPPLY DEPOT PLATOON. [Australian War Memorial]

 

 

NAURU ISLAND. 1945-09-14. PILOT OFFICER L. MARQUIS, INTERPRETER, RAAF, CHECKING THE DETAILS OF A JAPANESE 25MM ANTI-AIRCRAFT GUN FOUND SOON AFTER THE ISLAND WAS OCCUPIED BY TROOPS OF THE 31/51ST INFANTRY BATTALION. [Australian War Memorial]

 

 

 

Congratulations to Nauru!

 

 

 

"tweeted" by ‏@AmbCefkin - US Ambassador, Judith B. Cefkin [13/4/16]

 

 

 

Questions linger after mysterious death of wife of Nauru's Justice Minister [ABC - 24/2/16]

 

 

 

... It’s unusual that they [Connect Consortium - who run "settlement" services for refugees exiled on Nauru] haven’t encountered any allegations of rape or sexual assault, because there are many. Such as the story of Beth, a young Ethiopian refugee who was released into the Nauruan community in May. Allegedly Beth, whose name I have changed, was sitting on the beach with some other Ethiopian women when local men gave her a drink. Beth began to feel woozy, before being dragged into bushes by two or three men and raped. They then poured fuel on her and set her alight. I have seen photographs of her after the assault. Her left breast is so badly burnt that the skin has blackened and lifted from the flesh. 

As a result of the rape, Beth became pregnant. A solemn Christian, the thought of abortion appalled her but she decided to go through with it. Beth was flown to Brisbane for the termination where, not long after, she attempted to hang herself with a bed sheet. She is now back on Nauru. 

...

These are not isolated incidents. I have another letter, also written by a Somali woman, who recounts a similar story. Sarah, whose name I have also changed, was offered a lift by a man at the supermarket’s bus stop.

“In car, man said I have to get something from my home first. When we got there dogs came out barking. Man said get out of car, dogs won’t hurt you. Dogs came close to attacking me. I asked him to call dogs away. He said get inside the house – they don’t know you – if you go inside they think you are part of family.

“I went inside. Dogs came in too. Man took off all his clothes and showed me his private parts. I wet my pants and soiled my pants. This is reason I left Somalia – this fear of rape – I see it happen to many. Then he said I don’t care and hit my face very hard. He said dogs will kill you if you don’t suck my private part. Then I have no choice.”   ... [The Saturday Paper - 22/8/15]

 

 

 

Nauru: A ‘Human Dumping Ground’, Julie Morse [Pacific Standard - 12/4/16]:

 

 

...  As the camps continue to take a toll on their physical and emotional well-being, the refugees of Nauru remain stranded in a depressing and mysterious state of limbo.

“At the end of the day, the major concerns have not been resolved. The people in Nauru have no idea of what will happen to them,” Mark Isaacs, a community worker and author of The Undesirables: Inside Nauru, writes in an email.

“People (including children) are still housed in tent accommodation with limited health services, at risk of sexual and physical abuse. There is no independent authority in Nauru monitoring the actions of the service providers or the well-being of the detained.”

The United States has maintained an apathetic stance on Nauru.

When Pacific Standard reached out to Nauru Ambassador Judith Cefkin for her thoughts on the refugee camp conditions, she sent back only a boilerplate response: “We encourage all countries to work with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees to find durable solutions for refugees and asylum seekers.”

For now, a cloud of censorship will prevent this little speck in the Pacific from attracting much attention.

 

 

 

US Ambassador Cefkin with the Republic of Nauru media team [US Embassy Suva - 17/8/15]

 

 

 

UnitingJustice Australia has made a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee about the conditions and treatment of asylum seekers and refugees at the regional processing centres in the Republic of Nauru and Papua New Guinea. [11/4/16]:

 

Recommendations 1.

The regional detention and processing centres on Nauru and Manus Island should be closed. All people seeking asylum should be transferred to the Australian mainland where they should reside in the community while their claims for protection are assessed. ...

 

 

 

Deportee wins case to return to Australia [RNZI - 13/4/16]:

 

 

 A father of three is about to become the first New Zealander to return to Australia after winning his visa back.

Adam Taylor was jailed for unlawful wounding and chose to be deported to Auckland rather than face being held on Christmas Island.

He appealed and has won his case, and will tomorrow return to Australia, which he calls home.

Mr Taylor moved to Australia with his family when he was eight-years-old. He has a life in Australia, a partner and three children.

The 24-year-old told Checkpoint Australian officials had ruined his life.

"I have nothing to go back to except for my children. I don't have a house anymore, I don't have a job - I only have the clothes in my bag.

"I could have stayed there and had everything I had, but because they've sent me back here I have to go back and start my whole life from scratch."

He lived in a backpackers when he returned to New Zealand, then travelled throughout the country with a new job he got.

However, it was easy for other detainees who've been returned to New Zealand to go back to crime.

"If you've got nothing to come back to, unless you're a strong person, you're never going to make it. You're going to turn back to your old ways.

"I've seen other people go straight down. One of them had nothing at all...I don't know where he is."

While he had a long road ahead of him, and didn't expect life to be easy, he said he now knew he could do anything.

 

 



Demonstrations in support of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua have been taking place in cities across Indonesia's Papua region today.

Ground reports said large peaceful demonstrations have been held in the seven main cities of Papua and West papua provinces: Jayapura, Yakuhimo, Manokwari, Fak-Fak, Merauke, Timika and Sorong.

The demonstrations have been voicing support for the Liberation Movement to become full members of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

The Movement was last year granted observer status in the MSG, whose full members are Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Fiji, Solomon Islands and the Kanaks of New Caledonia.

Indonesia was last year granted associate member status at the MSG and has been opposed to the Liberation Movement's participation in political representation of West Papuans.

Early reports from the Papua cities today indicated large numbers of security forces were being deployed to the demonstrations.

West Papua Media reported that by mid afternoon in the Jayapura rally, eleven demonstrators had been arrested and subsequently released. [RNZI - 13/4/16]

 

 

 

@FreeWestPapua [13/4/16]: Solidarity from #Vanuatu artist Smol Fyah with this song for a #FreeWestPapua …

 

 

 

4 die in gold mine collapse in central Vietnam [Thanh Nien News - 13/4/16]

 

 

 

Basamuk Refinery temporarily shuts down after death of Chinese worker [PNG Loop - 13/4/16]

 

 

 

Unusual deep sea creatures and fish and other marine creatures are dying in Namatanai, New Ireland Province, from a cause the local people are yet to find out.

Naomi Watong, a local woman from Konos village in the Central New Ireland district of Namatanai told Loop PNG that the sea creatures have been dying since Saturday April 9, 2016 at around 12 midday  until  now (April 13).

She said the villagers found out about the dead fishes when alerted by children who went out for a swim on that day.

“We went and got the fish and other creatures like octopus and shells but the sea was very hot. The dead sea creatures were also very hot,” she told Loop PNG via mobile phone.

She said the fish and other creatures continue to die the next day (Sunday) which has made the people very suspicious.

Watong said currently, their sea is covered with and awful smell from the dead fish and other creatures.

She said villages affected include Komalabu, Konos and Karuselatkonogogo.

Watong said she has alerted the Disaster office in Kavieng and are still awaiting their officers to check the situation. Meanwhile she said the people are blaming the Solwara 1 project in the province for the cause of the dead sea creatures but that is yet to confirmed.

She said at that time of incident, two big vessels were out on the ocean at the Solwara 1 project site which might be the cause of the problem.

The villages were facing right towards the Solwara 1 project. [PNG Loop - 13/4/16]

 

 

 

New Ireland businessman Walter Schnaubelt has told the people of Konoagil that the K430 million oil palm project launched yesterday would change their lives.

 ...

Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch launched the project witnessed by fellow Cabinet Ministers Malakai Tabar and Douglas Tomuriesa, public servants, police and the people of Namatanai in New Ireland.

“This is not a small project. This is a very big project. We will plant close to 35,000 hectares in the first stage,” he [Schnaubelt] said.

“In the second stage, we will move this up to 50,000 hectares.”

Schnaubelt said benefits would start flowing in when the land was cleared to start planting oil palm. ... [The National - 13/4/16]

 

 

 

Defence officials from the Philippines and Vietnam will meet this week to explore possible joint exercises and navy patrols, military sources said, shoring up a new alliance between states locked in maritime rows with China.

Ties have strengthened between the two Southeast Asian countries as China's assertiveness intensifies with a rapid buildup of man-made islands in the Spratly archipelago, to which Vietnam and the Philippines lay claim.

Both states are also on the receiving end of a renewed charm offensive by the United States, which is holding joint military exercises in the Philippines to be attended this week by U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter. ... [Channel News Asia - 13/4/16]

 

 

 

Hiroshima survivors look to Obama visit for disarmament, not apology [Reuters - 13/4/16]:

 

... Miki Tsukishita, 75, remembers watching something shiny falling from the sky over Hiroshima that morning. He ran back into his house shouting: "The sun is falling down". That shielded him from direct exposure to the blast, heat and radiation.

Tsukishita was among those who placed an advertisement in the Washington Post in 1983 urging then-President Ronald Reagan to visit Hiroshima.

Tsukishita wants Obama, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in part for his push for nuclear disarmament, to use his influence to persuade leaders of other nuclear-armed countries to visit Hiroshima too, so they understand the inhumanity of atomic weapons.

"What really matters is not repeating the tragedy. I want him to say to other nuclear states 'I've come to Hiroshima, so should you'," he said. ...

 

 

 

The Republic of Nauru joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today when Finance Minister David Adeang signed the IMF’s Articles of Agreement at a ceremony in Washington D.C. ... [Media Release - 12/4/16]

 

 

 Globalization of Indifference

 

 

Image:  ‏@cpcatrambone [11/4/16]

 

 

 

Support Nauru protesters! Close The Camps! Bring Them Here! [Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney]:

 

14 April at 16:45–18:00 Railway Square Central Station Sydney

 

 #CloseTheCamps #BringThemHere

At 4pm every afternoon since Palm Sunday (it will be day 26 when we assemble), asylum seekers in Nauru's family detention camp (RPC3) have protested for freedom.

Many have been suffering in this Australian funded hellhole for more than 1,000 days.

...

Despite beatings by Wilson Guards, despite DIBP dismissing their concerns, despite fences erected to impede their protests, and despite having mobile phones confiscated for taking photos, these asylum seekers bravely continue their daily protests. Join us this Thursday to express our solidarity with their struggle for freedom. ...

 

 

 

... Printing his books and travel expenses, however, have proved more costly than anticipated.

The demand for his books is high and he is constantly receiving requests for copies, however having sold out a month ago, many opportunities to spread his work further have been missed.

 In light of the funding issues that Ravi has experienced, we've decided to crowdfund the cost of printing 1000 books. This will allow Ravi's insightful and haunting poetry to reach 1000 more people.

Amplifying the voices of those who have firsthand experience of the detention regime is critical to generating greater awareness, understanding and ultimately social change. ... ['From Hell to Hell' book printing]

 

 

 

No justice for these people under Turnbull OR Shorten.  Resist both or expect worse.  FREE THE REFUGEES! [Guardian - 13/4/16]:

 

... In the early hours of the morning of 27 October 2015, an Iranian asylum seeker, Reza Alizadeh, hanged himself in a public stairwell at Brisbane airport.

He had lived on a succession of bridging visas since 2013.

In the same month an Afghan, Khodayar Amini, set himself on fire while on a video call with two refugee advocates.

He said he feared being detained again.

In June, Raza, another Afghan, jumped in front of a Perth train.

He was living on a bridging visa and had been interviewed by police a day earlier.

 In October 2014, a 29-year-old Tamil, Leo Seemanpillai, set himself on fire outside his house.  He suffered burns to 90% of his body and died in hospital.

And in February of that year, Rezene Mebrahta Engeda drowned himself in the Maribyrnong river, reportedly out of concern he was about to be deported back to Eritrea.

But those violent tragedies are the visible exceptions to the invisible rule.

Tens of thousands of others on bridging visas are trapped in a dispiriting cycle of hardscrabble survival.

...

Haleema told the Guardian her children suffered because of the financial strictures of life on a bridging visa.

“Most of my money go to rent. I have only $100 left [each week] and it’s not enough,” she says.

“I sometimes can’t buy milk and bread for the house. I can’t buy fruit. I just buy second-hand fruit, the rotten ones [that] no one buy. If I buy rice, I can’t buy bread.

“Most of the time I give potato to my children. I can’t buy anything else. I can’t buy shoes and uniforms for my children going to school.” 

...

A Tamil asylum seeker says, on condition of anonymity, that he has been consistently re-interviewed – asked the same questions over and over again – about his claim for protection.

“Every time we go to a meeting we get asked the same questions about why we came. They are trying to make us trip up and make a mistake. Every time we go they ask, ‘Why did you come?’

“It sounds to us like they are saying, ‘You should not have come.’ They are accusing us of the wrong thing. But we had to come, we had no choice, our lives were in danger. We had to flee. They know that but still they ask us.”  ...

 

 

 

Queensland needs a Human Rights Act [13/4/16]:

 

 

Aimee McVeigh from the campaign for a Human Rights Act for Queensland has spoken to the ABC's Emma Griffiths about the need for a Human Rights Act for Queensland.

"It would shock many Queenslanders to know that there is currently no system that protects our Human Rights here in Queensland", says Aimee.

The full interview is available here.

 

 

 

Last night [12/4/16] Caxton Legal Centre held a debate about the Queensland Human Rights Act, which was recorded by ABC Radio National's Big Ideas program.  They say it will be broadcast in the next 2/3 weeks - evidently AFTER submissions to the inquiry are due (18 April).    What's the fucking point of that?

 

 

 

Queensland Human Rights Inquiry

 

 

 

Lawyers Weekly [15/2/16]:

 

... The recent High Court decision on offshore detention of asylum seekers is a prime example of the damage that can be done in the absence of adequate human rights protections, according to Professor Williams.

In the current legislative context, “it becomes almost expected that [human rights breaches] will happen as opposed to being something that should be avoided”, he said.

Through his research, which he will share at the upcoming seminar, Professor Williams explores “just how deep the human rights problem goes” in Australia.

“[The problem] actually goes well beyond asylum seekers [and] anti-terror laws and [is] entering all sorts of other areas of law as well,” he said.

While Professor Williams is advocating for reform, he said it is unlikely that change will occur federally in the current political climate.

 “At the federal level, there's not much on the horizon because really to get that you've got to have political will and at the moment neither party is showing that,” he said.

In fact, the government appears to be travelling in the opposite direction with respect to human rights – with the full blessing of the opposition, he continued.

“We keep lowering the bar on respecting human rights standards and there just hasn't been any political pushback to that,” he said.

“So, in fact, rather than there being strong and vigorous debate in parliament, often these provisions will sail through.

“The combination of lack of legal checks and a political culture that is quite willing to see such law enacted means that we have a very permissive system when it comes to breaching human rights.”  ...

 

 

 

ABC, 7.30 Report [26/11/11]:

JESSICA van VONDEREN: Imagine living in a country where you could be picked up off the street and sent to jail without going through a courtroom. Well you do. Early this year police in Brisbane took a young mother into custody at her local shopping centre and locked her up for seven months. Her so called crimes were unpaid fines, mostly for traffic offences, some dating back ten years. Accumulated during a time when she was homeless. She was released from jail only after the prisoners legal service took up her case. Now the legal fraternity in Queensland is calling for a permanent change to the system to make sure no one goes to jail without the approval of a judge or a magistrate. Karen Berkman explains.

...

KAREN BERKMAN: Susan gave birth to baby Fabian while she was in the Brisbane Women's Prison.

SUSAN BEBBINGTON: Because I had a really bad birth with Fabian in there and you never get over that. I was handcuffed during my ultrasound handcuffed during, when I was in labour. It was horrible. It was the most hardest birth I've had. And then being there on my own.

KAREN BERKMAN: Corrective Services denies that she was handcuffed, but Sisters Inside, who lobby for the rights of women in prison, say it's a battle they've been having for years.

DEBBIE KILROY: We have a pregnant woman who then gives birth in handcuffs. Now Corrective Services have been very clear to us that that policy exists no longer. But it obviously does exist.

...

KAREN BERKMAN: Paying rent, and with only limited education, she just scrapes by from week to week while the State has spent a fortune locking her up.

MATILDA ALEXANDER [Prisoners Legal Service]: Well taxpayers have in fact spent $61,600 incarcerating this woman. It hasn't solved her problems in relation to employment, it hasn't given her stable accommodation, it hasn't drawn her or her family out of poverty, in fact, it's made all those situations a lot worse.

 

 

 

 

... When I get home, it's late at night

I pour a drink and watch the fight

Turn off the TV, look at a book

pick up the phone, fix some food

Maybe I'll sit up all night and day

waiting for the minute I hear you say

 

I could leave you

say good-bye

or I could love you

if I try

and I could

and left to my own devices

I probably would ...

 

 

 

'Left to My Own Devices', Pet Shop Boys [1988]

 

 

 

US Capitol Police arrest dozens more Democracy Spring protesters [ABC 7 - 13/4/16]

 

 

 

‏@TheYoungTurks [12/4/16]:  March To The U.S. Capitol: ..  #DemocracySpring 

 

 

 

In this episode of Days of Revolt, Chris Hedges interviews Dr. Margaret Flowers, activist and Green Party candidate for the Senate in the state of Maryland.

They confront corporate power’s influence in the U.S. two-party electoral system, and detail the forms of resistance that can transcend it. ... [VIDEO - teleSUR - 11/4/16]

 

 

 

Immigration detention is being addressed at the state and local level in a variety of ways. In Indiana, local advocates are opposing a new private detention facility, and in California, legislators are attempting to limit private detention and enforce national detention standards. ... [American Immigration Council - 12/4/16]

 

 

 

Complaint against CBP over failed policies regarding return of belongings [Hold CPB Accountable - 12/4/16]

 

 

 

Perez, C.Y. v. United States, 3:13-cv-01417-WQH (S.D. Cal., Third Amended Complaint filed Dec. 22, 2015) [Hold CPB Accountable - 12/4/16]:

 

 

This case challenges CBP and U.S. Border Patrol’s excessive use of force pursuant to the agency’s “Rocking Policy,” which permits the use of lethal force against persons throwing rocks and other objects in the direction of border patrol agents.  Maria Del Socorro Quintero Perez filed a lawsuit against the United States, DHS, CBP, the Office of Border Patrol, and various Border Patrol supervisors and agents in their individual capacities for the wrongful death of her husband, Jesus Alfredo Yañez Reyes. ...

 

 

 

Gallegos v. United States of America, et al (S.D. Texas, Amended Complaint filed June 23, 2015) [Hold CPB Accountable - 12/4/16]:

 

This case challenges the actions of two U.S. Border Patrol agents, who shot dead an unarmed man on the Mexican side of the U.S.-Mexico border in 2012. Nora Lam Gallegos, on behalf of herself and her minor children, brought a lawsuit against the United States and various Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents in their individual capacities for the wrongful death of her husband, Guillermo Arevalo Pedraz (“Arevalo”).  ...

 

 

 

Chicago police officer fatally shoots teenager during foot chase [Reuters - 12/4/16]

 

 

 

In Chicago, aldermen have approved nearly $6.5 million to settle lawsuits involving Chicago police and the deaths of two African-American men.

The largest settlement goes to the family of Philip Coleman, who died in 2012 after being repeatedly tased and dragged from his cell.

Coleman had reportedly suffered a mental health crisis; when his parents pleaded with officers to take him to a hospital instead of jail, a sergeant allegedly told them, "We don’t do hospitals, We do jail."

The second settlement goes to the family of Justin Cook, who in 2014 was stopped for a traffic violation, suffered an asthma attack and died after Chicago police refused to give him his inhaler. ... [Democracy Now - 12/4/16]

 

 

 

South Carolina: Officer avoids jail time after killing motorist in his driveway [Democracy Now - 12/4/16]

 

 

 

Death by gentrification: Alex Nieto killed by hail of police bullets in a changing San Francisco [Democracy Now – 12/4/16]:


We look at the case of Alex Nieto, a 28-year-old Latino man fatally shot by San Francisco police in March 2014.

The police officers accused in the killing claimed that Nieto pointed a stun gun at them, which they mistook for a pistol.

Officers Richard Schiff, Nathan Chew, Roger Morse and Lt. Jason Sawyer fired dozens of shots at Nieto. According to the medical examiner, he was hit by at least 10 bullets.

Last month, a jury unanimously found that the police did not use excessive force in responding to Nieto.

Nieto’s family had filed a federal wrongful death civil lawsuit in August 2014, arguing in court that Nieto did not act aggressively and was carrying the weapon for his job as a security guard.

We speak with Adriana Camarena, a writer, community advocate and co-founder of the Justice for Alex Nieto Coalition; and author Rebecca Solnit, who wrote a piece for The Guardian headlined "Death by gentrification: the killing that shamed San Francisco."

Camarena also talks about last week’s San Francisco police killing of a homeless man, Luis Gongora, within 30 seconds of their arrival.

...

 

 

 

 

Israeli approval for settler units more than doubles in 2016 [Maan - 12/4/16]

 

 

 

Israeli bulldozers under the surveillance of Israeli military drones razed Palestinian lands near Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday for the seventh day in a row, locals said. ... [Maan - 12/4/16]

 

 

 

 

Some 75,000 Palestinians in Gaza, half of them children, remain displaced after their homes were destroyed during Israel’s assault in July and August 2014, according to a new United Nations study.

Nearly 500,000 people – more than one in four of Gaza’s 1.8 million residents – were displaced during the onslaught that killed more than 2,200 Palestinians, including more than 550 children.

Approximately 100,000 remained without shelter by the time a ceasefire was declared on 26 August 2014. An estimated 18,000 homes were rendered uninhabitable as a result of the 51-day onslaught and only 3,000 have been rebuilt. ... [Electronic Intifada - 11/4/16]

 

 

 

Activists called for a boycott campaign against Dutch international courier company TNT Express after its staff reportedly refused to deliver parcels to Palestinian recipients, allegations the company denied.

Boycott campaign co-organizer Suhaib Zahdah told Ma’an on Monday that “the issue surfaced after TNT employees refused to deliver mail parcels to their Palestinian recipients.” ... [Maan - 12/4/16]

 

 

 

Palestinian Universities condemn Israel’s violations of right to education in Al-Quds University [PNN - 12/4/16]

 

 

 

 

Israeli police abusing detained children, says Human Rights Watch [PNN - 11/4/16]:

 

... In two of the three cases, the police interrogated the children without a parent or guardian present; in the third, a parent was able to be present only after the interrogation had begun. All three children reported that police officers hit and kicked them after they were in custody.

They said were made to spend hours outside in the cold in the early morning and at night, handcuffed in chairs in police compounds.

A video from a store security camera documenting the arrest of the one of the children, Fayez B., 15, appears to show at least seven police officers in riot gear participating in the arrest, including slapping and dragging the 53-kilogram boy and placing him in a chokehold.

“It was a terrifying night,” Fayez told Human Rights Watch. The boy’s father arrived during the arrest and said a police officer punched him in the face when he asked what was happening. ...

 

 

 

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Sunday overnight have kidnapped ten Palestinians from cities across the occupied West Bank, including minors and a female journalist. ... [PNN - 10/4/16]

 

 

 

A senior Fatah official was assassinated in a car explosion near the southern Lebanese city of Sidon on Tuesday, in the latest violence to strike Lebanon's Palestinian refugee camps in recent days.

Fatah security official Fathi Zeidan was killed and four of his escorts wounded when his car was blown up in Mieh Mieh refugee camp four kilometers east of Sidon.

Lebanese media reported a bystander may also have been killed in the blast. ... [Maan - 12/4/16]

 

 

 

Netanyahu admits Israeli responsibility for Syria airstrikes [First Post - 12/4/16]

 

 

 

Anti-IS group Syrian journalist 'shot in head' in Turkish city [Ahram – 10/4/16]:

A Syrian journalist who opposed Islamic State (IS) group militants was in intensive care Sunday after being shot in the head by a masked gunman in southern Turkey, reports and activists said.

Mohammed Zaher al-Shurqat was walking down a street in the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep close to the Syrian border when he was targeted by the gunman, the Dogan and Anatolia news agencies reported.

El-Shurqat worked for a channel called Aleppo Today TV which is strongly opposed to IS group militants who have taken control of much of Syria's northern Aleppo province.

He was immediately hospitalised and is in intensive care, the Turkish reports said, without giving further details.

According to Ibrahim al-Idelbi, a Syrian activist in Gaziantep, this was the second attempt against Shurqat's life in three months.

Idelbi told AFP in Beirut that Shurqat was a rebel commander who had fought President Bashar al-Assad's troops and a media activist in his home town, Al-Bab, until IS took over. He became a journalist with Aleppo Today after he moved to Turkey.

Citing a friend who visited Shurqat in hospital in the southern Turkish city, Idelbi said he was "still alive".

Another activist, Assaad al-Achi, confirmed the report.

"When Daesh took control he started a programme on Aleppo Today against Daesh," he said, speaking to AFP via the Internet in English and using an Arabic acronym for IS group.

Turkish police have studied security camera footage and interviewed witnesses and believe the shooting was carried out by a member of IS, Dogan added in its report.

Several Syrian journalists who fled the country's five year civil war use Gaziantep as a base but it has become an increasingly dangerous location from which to report.

A Syrian activist who produced documentaries hostile to the Islamic State group, Naji Jerf, was shot dead in Gaziantep in December in a crime that caused international concern.

At the end of October, IS group claimed responsibility for killing young activist Ibrahim Abdelkader and his friend Fares Hamadi.

They were found decapitated in a house in the city of Sanliurfa just east of Gaziantep.

 

 

 

 

13 April 2016

HOME