Afghanistan:  Unknown gunmen have shot dead a local journalist in eastern Nangarhar province.

Haji Mohammad Zubair Khaksar who was working for government-run Nangarhar Radio and Television network came under the attack while driving in his vehicle in Kharkarano Kala area of Surkh Road District last night. ... [Khaama - 30/1/16]




Hospitals are under fire in Yemen’s war, Jason Cone - Executive Director, Doctors Without Borders - USA [TIME - 29/1/16]:


... U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon was referring to Yemen in part when he said last year that “violations (of international humanitarian law) have become so routine that there is a risk people will think that the deliberate bombing of civilians, the targeting of humanitarian and healthcare workers, and attacks on schools, hospitals, and places of worship are an inevitable result of conflict.”

But the U.N. Security Council, through Resolution 2216—authored by Jordan, co-sponsored by the U.S., the U.K., and France, and passed last April—provided diplomatic cover for what we’re seeing today.

The resolution made pro-forma calls to end violence in Yemen and imposed an arms embargo and travel restrictions on the Houthis, but it made no mention of the Saudi-led coalition’s aerial attacks and demanded nothing of the coalition in general.

In effect, it provided a license to bomb at will and enforce a widespread blockade of goods entering the country.

This set an “anything goes” tone that all sides have embraced  ...






The U.S. Navy sent a ship near a contested island in the South China Sea on Saturday to challenge "excessive maritime claims that restrict the rights and freedoms of the United States and others," a U.S. Defense Department spokesman told CNN.

"This operation challenged attempts by the three claimants, China, Taiwan and Vietnam, to restrict navigation rights and freedoms around the features they claim by policies that require prior permission or notification of transit within territorial seas," Cmdr. Bill Urban said.

"This operation demonstrates, as President Obama and Secretary (Ash) Carter have stated, the United States will fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows. That is true in the South China Sea, as in other places around the globe."

The USS Curtis Wilbur, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Triton Island, part of the Paracel Islands -- an archipelago claimed by the three.

None of them was notified of the move. ... [CNN - 30/1/16]



Russian weapons are being supplied to Fiji at the official request from that country and will be used to boost the efficiency of a peacekeeping mission in the Golan Heights, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday. ... [TASS - 29/1/16]




Three children were killed and three persons were injured in a terrorist rocket attack on al-Qossour neighborhood in Deir Ezzor city on Friday afternoon.

A source in the province told SANA reporter that ISIS’ terrorists targeted al-Qossour neighborhood with two rocket shells which fell on residential buildings in the area surrounding Hassan Attra School, claiming the lives of three children, injuring three persons and causing material damage to citizens’ properties. [SANA - 29/1/16]




Ten dead as refugee boat sinks off western Turkey [Anadolu Agency - 30/1/16]:


Ten people, including five children, drowned off Turkey’s western coast Saturday, the Turkish Coast Guard said, in what is the latest loss of refugees in the region.

Their boat was heading for Lesbos, one of the main Greek islands located just a few kilometers (miles) off Turkey’s Aegean coastline.

Among the casualties were nationals of Afghanistan, Myanmar and Syria.

According to the coast guard, their vessel set off from near Bademli, a village in Canakkale province, before running into trouble during the crossing and sinking.

 A patrol was able to save 43 refugees. ...



Terror attacks continue across Syria and Iraq



US Department of Defense [29/1/16]:

U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, 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.

Airstrikes in Syria

Bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted seven airstrikes in Syria:

-- Near Aleppo, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

-- Near Raqqah, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and an ISIL checkpoint.

-- Near Hasakah, an airstrike struck an ISIL ant-aircraft artillery piece.

-- Near Kobani, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

-- Near Washiyah, three airstrikes struck one large and two small ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

Airstrikes in Iraq

Attack, bomber, fighter, fighter-attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 13 airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with the Iraqi government:

-- Near Beiji, two airstrikes destroyed three ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL vehicles and an ISIL bomb.

-- Near Habbaniyah, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL light machine gun and an ISIL building.

-- Near Haditha, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL building and an ISIL motorcycle.

-- Near Kirkuk, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL heavy machine gun.

-- Near Kisik, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL excavator and an ISIL fighting position.

-- Near Mosul, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and an ISIL mortar firing position and destroyed an ISIL checkpoint.

-- Near Ramadi, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

-- Near Sinjar, two airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions and two ISIL light machine guns.

-- Near Tuz, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL vehicle bomb.




US Central Command releases results of Iraq and Syria civilian casualty assessments between July 27 and October 15, 2015 [Media Release - 29/1/16]





‏@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [29/1/16]:  




Baghdad: A roadside bomb exploded today morning near grocery at Amiriya intersection west of Baghdad killing a person and wounding 7.............





Baghdad: A roadside bomb exploded today morning near market of selling sheep in Mada'in district south of Baghdad killing a person and wounding 5.........




On Jan. 27, the Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, launched a website devoted to helping families cope with the changes associated with transitioning into civilian life, the officials said.

The site, located at, includes several videos for children and adults, an activity book called “My Story, My Big Adventure Activity Book,” and other resources that military parents can use to help their families communicate through the transition process, the officials said.  ... [US Department of Defense - 29/1/16]



@moas_eu [30/1/16]:   Last night's #SAR of 38 people, including 8 children, all from #Iraq & #Afghanistan. #Agathonisi #MOASAegean





@moas_eu [30/1/16]:   Stella & her 3 children safe & sound after fleeing the civil war in #Syria. #Agathonisi #RefugeeCrisis #RefugeesGr





@guardiacostiera [30/1/16]:   Soccorsi #strettodisicilia:Nave Dattilo e Nave Fiorillo @guardiacostiera salvano 216 migranti a bordo di due gommoni  







‏@munduhurbila [29/1/16]:   La vida parece más fácil cuando ves a un padre cuidar de su hijo pequeño #Lesbos #refugees #refugeesGr




US:  Government agencies under fire over handling of unaccompanied children [American Immigration Council - 29/1/16]:


Earlier this week, it was reported that in 2014, when thousands of Central American children arrived at our border seeking protection from severe violence at home, government agencies released some children to human traffickers and abusers. These children were forced to live and work in dangerous conditions.

At the time, the government agency which released the children, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR)—part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)—was under increased pressure to process and release the children, and it adjusted its policies to expedite the process.

Although ORR has since taken steps to tighten their screening and oversight measures, these tragic events were the focus of an intense Senate hearing this week. ...




Responding to Democratic Officials statement on raids reported last night, Tania Unzueta, Policy Director for the #Not1More Campaign explained, “The Administration’s denial of raids is the latest in its Orwellian approach to its immigration policy. When ICE agents push their way into your home and takes your relatives away to a detention center, that’s a raid. Democrats cannot hide the terror the Administration is causing behind semantics or further attempts to stigmatize our community. In fact, what’s been exposed since the new year is that ICE’s activities are far more frequent and far-reaching than many people had thought.”  ... [#NOT1More - 29/1/16]



Salvadoran Woman Speaks from Detention After Multiple Seizures in ICE Custody [Democracy Now - 29/1/16]:

And in Texas, immigration authorities have prevented a Salvadoran woman detained at the for-profit South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas, from attending her medical appointments for epilepsy.

 Twenty-seven-year-old Susana Arévalo is in the process of seeking asylum in the United States. She was detained on January 2 as part of the Obama administration’s controversial raids against Central American families seeking asylum after fleeing violence in their home countries.

She said she has had more than six epileptic seizures while in ICE custody, but that ICE officials have refused to release her and her son so she can return to Atlanta, where she was living, to continue her medical treatment. Susana Arévalo spoke to Democracy Now! by phone from detention earlier this week.


Susana Arévalo: "We’ve been here for more than 22 days, and the authorities have not given us any answers. I have my treatment in Atlanta, and my son also. I have an appointment January 27, and they haven’t let me leave so I can continue my outside treatment. My son also has his appointment. He has to begin therapy for neurological delays. Since I’ve been in the custody of immigration, I’ve had more than six epileptic episodes, and they have not let me leave."



Refugees: There is a "better way", despite the Australian political, media and human rights establishment pretending that there isn't.


End mandatory detention and hold a Royal Commission into all aspects of Australia's refugee policy from 1992 onwards - with a focus on Operation Sovereign Borders - as well as the media's complicity in propagandising the “stop the boats”, “deterrence”, "people smugglers" and “regional resettlement” lies.

Government and opposition politicians to be held accountable for their role in the torture, refoulement, exile, disappearance and death of refugees, and immediately cease these activities.

Asylum seekers currently incarcerated offshore must be brought to Australia so their claims can be assessed.

Similarly, asylum seekers currently incarcerated onshore must have their claims assessed ASAP.

All funding to the IOM must be ceased and the UNHCR reinstated as the primary referral agency.

Apologise - and pay reparations to - PNG, Nauru and Indonesia, and begin fulfilling our obligations under the UN Refugee Convention.

Start behaving like a South-East Asian nation and discontinue all policies of exceptionalist isolationism which have made us a regional pariah.





Media continue covering up Australia's responsibility for an escalating regional human rights scandal with PR for right-wing ALP gab fest (i.e. Centre for Policy Development "Track II Dialogue on Forced Migration") [Sydney Morning Herald - 30/1/16]







Which country on this map of  South East Asia is a supposedly a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention?




Australia stopped accepting UNHCR refugees in late 2014 [Guardian - 11/12/15]





Australia has not resettled UNHCR approved refugees since October 2014 [SBS - 10/7/15]





Syrian man returned from Manus Island gulag by Australian government injured - and his father killed - during shelling [ABC - 20/10/15]





The lengths to which the Australian immigration department has gone to facilitate the repatriation of traumatised Syrian asylum seekers detained in offshore detention centres has been extensively revealed in departmental emails obtained under freedom of information laws. ... [Guardian - 19/8/14]





ALP and LNP vote against Greens Senate motion to save Rohingya [Senate Hansard - 24/6/15]:

Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (15:39): I move:

That the Senate—

(a) expresses concern at the disturbing reports aired on the Four Corners television program on 22 June 2015;

(b) notes:

(i) that only 412 Rohingyans have been resettled in Australia through Australia's humanitarian program since 2008, and

(ii) the Government's recent refusal to provide assistance or resettlement for Rohingyans currently in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, and stranded at sea off these three countries; and

(c) urges the Government to:

(i) contribute to the search and rescue mission for thousands of migrants, including Rohingyans, currently stranded at sea,

(ii) resettle some of the Rohingyan migrants rescued by Indonesia and Malaysia, and

(iii) resettle an increased number of Rohingyans in the 2015 humanitarian program, increasing the number of the program if necessary.

The PRESIDENT: The question is that the motion be agreed to.


The Senate divided [15:39]

(The President—Senator Parry)


Ayes ...................... 13

Noes ...................... 33

Majority ................. 20


Di Natale, R

Hanson-Young, SC

Lazarus, GP

Ludlam, S

Madigan, JJ

Milne, C

Rhiannon, L

Rice, J

Siewert, R (teller)

Waters, LJ

Whish-Wilson, PS

Wright, PL

Xenophon, N


Back, CJ

Bilyk, CL

Brown, CL

Bullock, J.W.

Bushby, DC

Cameron, DN

Canavan, M.J.

Colbeck, R

Edwards, S

Fawcett, DJ

Fifield, MP

Gallagher, KR

Heffernan, W

Ketter, CR

Leyonhjelm, DE

Lindgren, JM

Lines, S

Marshall, GM

McEwen, A (teller)

McGrath, J

McKenzie, B

McLucas, J

Moore, CM

Nash, F

O'Neill, DM

Parry, S

Peris, N

Polley, H

Ruston, A

Ryan, SM

Urquhart, AE

Wang, Z

Williams, JR

Question negatived.





Hard-line Buddhists call for political control in Rakhine [UCA News - 29/1/16]





Malnutrition spikes in Myanmar's Rakhine state after floods - EU agency [Reuters - 28/1/16]




Myanmar’s Rohingya genocide is aided by friends in high places [Mint Press - 28/1/16]





93 Shacks of unregistered refugees evicted in Kutupalong makeshift camp in Bangladesh [Burma Times - 25/1/16]:


A group of foresters and police led by sub-district land officer of Ukhiya and Camp in Charge of Kutupalong camp went to western side of registered camp where the unregistered refugees have been residing in their self made shacks and evicted 93 shacks, according to source.

A refugee from registered camp said, there is a field between the registered and unregistered camp where most of the registered refugee children play in and at one stage the unregistered refugees are belonging the field day by day.

So, a conflict was erupted between them centering the belonging of the field where a registered refugee was seriously wounded.

He was hospitalized in Chittagong hospital in critical condition.

On 24th of Jan, 2016 at around 11. am, a group of foresters and police led by Land Officer of Ukhiya and Camp in Charge of Kutupalong camp went there and uprooted 93 shacks which the unregistered refugees have living in as houses, said a local man.

A refugee from Makeshift said, “we have escaped persecution in Burma and settled temporarily here. We are not getting any kind of supports from any quarter. We most of the refugees are beggers and some are working as daily labors to support our families. We have built our shacks collecting and buying materials with hardship. Now our huts are ousted from here which is a great concern”.




Woodside ASX Announcement [21/1/16]:


... Myanmar

Discovered gas at the Shwe Yee Htun-1 exploration well in Block A-6 in the Rakhine Basin, located offshore Myanmar.

The discovery of gas and reservoir quality rock substantially de-risks the petroleum system, identified leads in the block and our adjacent acreage. On 4 January 2016 Woodside announced that approximately 15 m of net gas pay was interpreted within the primary target interval.

The net gas pay has increased to approximately 32 m following completion of nuclear magnetic resonance and resistivity image logging, formation fluid sampling and pressure testing.

The Thalin-1 well in Block AD-7 was spudded on 20 January 2016. Extensive 2D and 3D seismic surveys (including gravity and magnetic data acquisition) over Blocks A-4, A-7, AD-2 and AD-5 commenced in late 2015 and will continue into Q2 2016.

Programs of extensive seabed coring in these blocks are also planned to commence in 2016. The AD-7 Production Sharing Contract was amended to provide for the expansion of Block AD-7, adding 1,100 km2 (70%) to the Block’s area. A 1,200 km2 3D survey will be acquired mainly in the expansion area in early 2016.




‘Zero progress’ on tens of thousands of disappearences in Sri Lanka [Tamil Guardian - 29/1/16]




Sri Lanka’s Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, Karunasena Hettiarachchi, refused to released land claimed by Tamil villagers, stating that it was needed to build a navy camp for “national security”.  ... [Tamil Guardian - 29/1/16]





Nearly four decades after fleeing Cambodia as a child, a tearful Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz returned to his home country in December 2010 on the U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer he commanded.

After dropping anchor off the coast of Sihanoukville, he embraced long-lost relatives as Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” played over loudspeakers.

It was a hero’s welcome for Mr. Misiewicz, a man who had become a symbol of the American dream.

“America is truly the land of opportunity. It’s the one country on Earth where you start from the rice fields of a war-torn country and rise to command a U.S. Navy destroyer. It doesn’t get any better,” he said at the time.

Mr. Misiewicz’s fall from grace has been equally dramatic.

On Thursday, the 48-year-old U.S. Navy commander pled guilty to bribery charges as part of a plea deal struck more than two years after he was charged, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Mr. Misiewicz admitted to accepting bribes including cash, prostitutes and other gifts in exchange for handing over U.S. Navy secrets, the statement said. ... [Cambodia Daily - 30/1/16]




The brother-in-law of Ta Mok —the Khmer Rouge’s Southwest Zone commander—told the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia on Thursday that he was involved in rounding up Vietnamese in Takeo province’s Tram Kak district after the regime took control of the country. ... [Cambodia Daily - 29/1/16]





Japan on Friday restarted its third nuclear reactor since a country-wide shutdown in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in 2011, after a court ruled it was safe despite opposition from local residents. ... [Japan Today - 30/1/16]




Japan puts military on alert for possible North Korean missile test [Reuters - 29/1/16]




Bank of Japan adopts negative interest rates [Australian Financial Review - 29/1/16]



Japan's Economy Minister Akira Amari has said he is resigning amid corruption allegations.

Mr Amari unexpectedly made the announcement at a press conference in Tokyo on Thursday.

But he again denied personally receiving bribes from a construction company, as had been alleged by a Japanese magazine.

The development will be seen as a significant blow for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Mr Amari, who has been minister of state for economic and fiscal policy since late 2012, has been widely described as one of Mr Abe's most trusted members of parliament.

As Japan's lead negotiator for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, Mr Amari was expected to travel to New Zealand next week to sign the agreement. ...  [BBC - 28/1/16]




Four miners who had been trapped underground for 36 days in a collapsed Chinese gypsum mine have been rescued, state media reported on Friday.

The operation to save the men trapped more than 200 metres underground took two hours as they were hauled up to the surface one by one in a narrow capsule, according to state broadcaster CCTV. ... [Channel News Asia - 29/1/16]





South Korean Court: Chemicals caused Samsung chip worker's ovarian cancer [Jakarta Post - 29/1/16]:



A court said Friday that exposure to carcinogens at a Samsung chip factory caused a worker's ovarian cancer in the first ruling in South Korea to link the disease with chemicals that chip workers were exposed to.

The Seoul Administrative Court said it saw a "significant causal relationship" between the disease and even a low level of toxic chemicals because the worker Lee Eun-joo was exposed to carcinogens over a long period.

Lee died in 2012 after battling ovarian cancer for more than a decade.

She worked at a Samsung chip factory for six years since 1993 when she was 17.

The court said the glues that Lee used to put a silicon wafer on a lead frame contained formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, and phenol, a known promotor of tumors, according to its material safety data sheets.

The court also blamed many night shifts and the factory's ventilation system.

It ordered a government agency to compensate her family.

The court also said the agency should be less stringent in deciding eligibility for compensation when the cause of the disease is not completely clear cut.

In South Korea, a government agency levies companies and oversees insurance for workers with occupational diseases.

Banolim, an advocacy group, says it has details of more than 200 current or former Samsung workers suffering from grave diseases such as leukemia.

Of them, 76 have died. Less than a dozen cases had a causal relationship recognized by courts or the government.

Samsung recently agreed on preventive measures but remains deadlocked over other issues after many workers opposed the company's compensation plan announced last year.





Zika outbreak epicenter in same area genetically-modified mosquitoes released in 2015 [Zero Hedge - 29/1/16]






The two sides in a lawsuit over government contracts for disabled workers argued over whether secret recordings that detail bid-rigging should be sealed, though WikiLeaks made the tapes public months ago.

U.S. District Judge David Bartick heard arguments Monday from defendant SourceAmerica as to why the court should seal secret recordings held by plaintiff Bona Fide Conglomerate which SourceAmerica claims contain confidential client-attorney information.

The hearing was the latest stop in a long-running feud between Bona Fide and SourceAmerica. Most recently, Bona Fide sued in 2014 claiming SourceAmerica breached a previous settlement by - as the allocating agency for the government's AbilityOne program to provide procurement opportunities for services by the disabled - stiffing Bona Fide on contract awards in favor of bids by companies run by SourceAmerica's board of directors. ... [Courthouse News Service - 27/1/16]




Canada cuts off some intelligence sharing with US out of fear for Canadians’ privacy [The Intercept – 29/1/16]




US Air Force C-130 Reservists train Afghans for the first time [Khaama - 29/1/16]




At least three senior Taliban leaders were killed along with twenty five other militants in the latest counter-terrorism operations led by the Afghan National Army (ANA) forces, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said Friday. ... [Khaama - 29/1/16]




The High Peace Council (HPC) on Friday said that the Taliban has shown willingness to participate in direct talks with the Afghan government. ... [TOLO News - 29/1/16]




Iran ambassador recounts Saudi airstrike on embassy in Yemen [Press TV - 29/1/16]




At least four people were killed and 18 others wounded in a suicide bomb attack on a Shia mosque in eastern Saudi Arabia, the Interior Ministry has said.

Saudi authorities prevented two suicide bombers from entering Imam Rida Mosque in Mahasen neighbourhood in the al-Ahsa region during Friday prayers, Saudi state news agency SPA reported, citing a statement by the ministry's spokesman. ... [Al Jazeera - 29/1/16]





Seven Palestinians injured in Gaza clashes [Maan - 29/1/16]




Israeli forces on Friday shot and wounded a Palestinian farmer with live fire near the al-Maqbara al-Sharqiya area of the northern Gaza Strip, medical sources said.

The farmer was reportedly hit in his foot and taken to the Indonesian Hospital for treatment. No further details of his identity or condition were provided. ... [Maan - 29/1/16]






Hacked images from Israel’s drone fleet [The Intercept -29/1/16]:

… This image is from a March 2008 internal NSA newsletter celebrating the successful capture of video from the cockpit of an Israeli F-16 during unrest in the Gaza Strip.

The newsletter describes a “14-second-long video” captured on January 3, 2008, which “showed an ‘unbroken line’ running through the targeting display, indicating that the target being tracked was on the ground.”

On that same day, Israeli airstrikes and shelling from tanks reportedly killed nine people in Gaza.

The F-16 display was captured by operators of satellite surveillance systems at Menwith Hill, an important NSA site in England, working “closely with a GCHQ site in Cyprus for tip-offs.” ...



The academic boycott against Israel continues to broaden, with a new petition signed by 168 academics and researchers in Italy calling to suspend all agreements with Israeli universities as well as the Technion, Israel's Institute of Technology in Haifa.


The Italian academics and researchers, who belong to seven separate universities across Italy, claimed in their petition that the Technion engages in military research and develops weapons that the IDF uses to "repress the Palestinian people."   ...  [Ynet - 29/1/16]





Japan condemns Israeli settlement activity [IMEMC - 28/1/16]




At least eight people have been killed and 28 others injured in an attack in Nigeria's restive northeast, witnesses said.

A teenage suicide bomber on Friday blew himself up in a grain market in the town of Gombi in Adamawa state, AFP news agency reported, citing witnesses. 

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. ... [Al Jazeera - 29/1/16]




‘Waves of violence’ by rebels in eastern DR Congo forces thousands to flee – UN [Media Release - 29/1/16]




Two senior United Nations officials today disclosed the names of some of the countries whose troops are accused of sexually exploiting and abusing minors in the Central African Republic (CAR), including both non-UN and UN forces tasked with maintaining peace and security in the conflict-torn nation. ... [UN Media Release - 29/1/16]




Algeria says army kills 4 "Islamists" [Ahram - 29/1/16]





Burundian police say they are holding two foreign journalists who were among 17 people swept up in a military operation.

Le Monde on Friday demanded the immediate release of Jean-Philippe Remy and British photojournalist Philip Edward Moore, who were on assignment for the French newspaper. ... [Ahram - 29/1/16]




In upstate New York, 12 protesters, including former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, have been arrested after blockading the main entrance of Hancock Air National Guard Base, where U.S. drones are piloted remotely. The blockade was made up of 30 life-sized cutouts of the late peace activist Jerry Berrigan, who died in July at the age of 95. [Democracy Now - 29/1/16]



US to withhold some Clinton emails with top secret information [Reuters – 29/1/16]




UN experts urge US to address legacies of the past, police impunity and ‘crisis of racial injustice’ [Media Release - 29/1/16]:

... From 9 to 29 January, a delegation of the UN Working Group of experts on people of African descent visited Washington D.C., Baltimore, the town of Jackson, Mississippi, Chicago, and New York City, to address current concerns, and assess progress made in the fight against racial discrimination, ‘Afrophobia,’ xenophobia, and protecting and promoting the human rights of African- Americans.

The Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, visiting delegation, which also included human rights experts Sabelo Gumedze and Ricardo A. Sunga III, welcomed various efforts undertaken by the Government to address the issue, like a ban on solitary confinement for juveniles in the federal prison system announced this week.

The Group noted that the US has a growing human rights movement which has successful advocated for social change. Following the epidemic of racial violence by the police, civil society networks calling for justice together with other activists are strongly advocating for legal and policy reforms and community control over policing and other areas which directly affect African Americans.

However, the experts expressed serious concerns about the police killings, the presence of police in schools, and violence targeting the African American community with impunity, and racial bias in the criminal justice system, mass incarceration and the criminalization of poverty which disproportionately affects African Americans. ...




Syrian opposition to go to Geneva as peace talks open [Reuters - 29/1/16]







... Meanwhile, on the humanitarian front, speaking to reporters at the regular bi-weekly press briefing in Geneva earlier today, Bettina Luescher, for the UN World Food Programme (WFP), said there are an estimated 4.6 million people were besieged in 18 areas.


Asked if WFP has considered air-dropping supplies, Ms. Luescher said this was a “very hard thing to pull off,” requiring a safe airspace as well as a secured area on the ground, where large packages could land safely. There also had to be people on the ground to distribute those goods. That is not possible under the current situation. Trucks are the safest way to deliver aid at the moment, she explained. [UN Media Release - 29/1/16]







Dutch jets join bombing of Syria [Al Jazeera - 29/1/16]




30 January 2016