Showing posts from October, 2018

Child soldiers of South Sudan

In South Sudan there are still 19,000 children in armed forces, with boys trained to fight and girls taken as 'wives'. by Andreea Campeanu Yambio, South Sudan - On the red, dusty ground in Yambio, under a large mango tree, a group of 30 girls and boys, some wearing military clothes and some with guns next to them, sit in the shade eating biscuits while waiting for the start of the ceremony to release them from the army. The US ambassador and other guests are coming from the capital Juba to attend the event.  They are part of the 900 children released from the armed forces in South Sudan in 2018, the country with one of the largest number of child soldiers in the world. The ceremony consists of them symbolically taking off the military clothes, and receiving blue UNICEF labelled notebooks and schoolbags. According to the UN, there are still 19,000 children in armed forces in South Sudan, a number contested by the army. "We have concerns about the figures published by UNICE…

UN criticises Rohingya deal between Myanmar and Bangladesh

Conditions in Rakhine state ‘not yet conducive’ for return of refugees, says UNHCR Hannah Ellis-Petersen and Shaikh Azizur Rahman Wed 31 Oct 2018 14.33 EDT Rohingya refugee children at a camp in Cox’’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Photograph:  Rehman Asad/Barcroft Images
UN officials have condemned a deal struck between Myanmar and Bangladesh to tartrepatriating Rohingya refugees, with the UN refugee agency confirming they have not been consulted about the plan.

Photo of a Rohingya child

By Guy Birchall
THESE stunning images are the cream of the crop from this years Siena International Photo Awards. The snaps in this gallery have been whittled down from over 48,000 entries from some of the world's finest photographs.This year's winning photo showed Asmat Ara, a Rohingya girl on her first morning in a Burmese refugee camp, shedding a tear after witnessing hellish violence From the fragility of human innocence to the majesty of nature all of life on Earth has been captured in the breathtaking photos.

This years winner showed a tearful Rohingya refugee on the morning after her first night in a camp in Burma having fled appalling violence. Also shown is tiger mauling a deer and an apocalyptic lightning storm over a volcano. The contest, now in its fourth year, allows submission in a range of categories including: Journeys and Adventures, The Beauty of Nature and Sports in Action.

UN investigator briefs Security Council on genocide in Myanmar

UN investigator briefs Security Council on genocide in Myanmar (Burma)
On 24 October the Chair of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar (FFM), Marzuki Darusman, briefed the UN Security Council (UNSC) on the Mission’s recent report. Darusman described the situation in Rakhine State as a “human rights catastrophe that was foreseeable and planned” and said that violations described in the report “undoubtedly amount to the most serious crimes of concern to the international community, threatening the peace, security and well-being of the world.” The FFM report found that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in Kachin, Shan and Rakhine states and that operations against the Rohingya population in Rakhine had “genocidal intent.”
Due to the opposition of some UNSC members to the briefing, it was necessary for a procedural vote to be held in order for it to proceed. Nine UNSC members – Côte d’Ivoire, France, Kuwait, Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Swe…

Fascism in India Alive and Kicking

<img class="size-full wp-image-5424339" src="" alt="" /> UP Chief minister, Yogi Adityanath said he respected the judiciary and understood the constitutional constraints. (Express photo)
Not ruling out the option of promulgating an ordinance to construct the Ram temple in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday said even if the issue could not be resolved by consensus, there were other options to explore.
Adityanath, however, maintained that he respected the judiciary and understood the constitutional constraints, a day after the Supreme Court ignored the UP government’s demand for early hearing in the Ram Janmabhoomi title suit.

“The issue should be settled as soon as possible as the responsibility of maintaining law and order in the state is on us. Though consensus remains the best solution, there are many other ways to thrash it out,” the CM said.
The Sup…

Brazil, Fascism and the Left Wing of Neoliberalism

byRob Urie
With Jair Bolsonaro’s electoral victory in Sunday’s runoff election for president of Brazil, a global resurgence of the radical right is indisputable. Mr. Bolsonaro is a particularly ugly representative of this movement, both politically repressive and culturally intolerant. The question being asked in the bourgeois press is: what psychological malady is taking hold that could persuade voters to elect such a person?
The framing poses the resurgence as inexplicable, as the result of the fundamental flaw of democracy: the voters. A litany of failures is redistributed downward. Because Mr. Bolsonaro is politically repressive and culturally intolerant, the electorate must want political repression and cultural intolerance. Because Mr. Bolsonaro is a gender bully and homophobic, voters must be gender bullies and homophobic.
Missing from explanations of the rise of Mr. Bolsonaro is that for the last decade Brazil has experienced the worst economic recession in the country’s histo…

Did the Saudis Bury Jamal Khashoggi’s Body Facing Mecca?

byRobert Fisk
I knew just what Jamal Khashoggi’s murder really meant in the context of the Middle East last week when I realised just who I’d have to call to explain it to me. Whom would I telephone to learn what was going on? Why, of course, I’d call Jamal Khashoggi. And that’s why his murder is so important. Because he was, as he knew, a lone and important Arab journalist who did not listen – not any more — to His Master’s Voice. And that, of course, was his problem.
This disgusting, dangerous, frightening, dirty murder – and don’t tell me a man of 60 who dies in a “fistfight” with 15 men isn’t murder – shows not just the Saudi government up for what it is, but it shows us up for what we are, too. How come we keep falling in love with Arab states – Israel does this, too – and then cry out with shock when they turn out to be extremely unpleasant and very violent?
To answer this question, there are already several clues. Trump’s initial reaction that the Saudi story was “credible” – w…

Gaza's drinking water spurs blue baby syndrome

Gaza - The unshaven doctor with circles under his eyes enters the children's ward at Al Nassar hospital in Gaza City. It's a Thursday evening, almost the weekend. The ward is bleak and eerily quiet, but for the occasional wail of an infant. At each cubicle, sectioned off by curtains, it's a similar image: A baby lies alone in a bed, hooked up to tubes, wires and a generator; a mother sits in silent witness at the bedside. Dr Mohamad Abu Samia, the hospital's director of paediatric medicine, exchanges a few quiet words with one mother, then gently lifts the infant's gown, revealing a scar from heart surgery nearly half the length of her body. At the next cubicle, he attends to a child suffering from severe malnutrition. She lies still, her tiny body connected to a respirator. Because electricity runs only four hours a day in Gaza, the baby must stay here, where generators keep her alive. "We are very busy," the overwhelmed doctor says. "Babies suffering…

PLO Suspends Recognition of Israel

Jason Ditz
The Central Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has moved to fully withdraw from the Oslo Accord on Monday, announcing that they are ending their commitment to the deal, and halting all security coordination with Israel.
Halting security cooperation with Israel is a huge move, and it also comes with an announcement that the PLO will withhold recognition of the State of Israel, until such time as Israel agrees to recognize the State of Palestine.
The 1993 Oslo Accord was intended to increase cooperation during a brief transition period leading to Palestinian statehood. With Israel’s far-right leadership having long insisted that the Palestinians will never have an independent state, many in the PLO have argued that security cooperation was just making the permanent Israeli occupation cheaper and giving them legal cover to do things in violation of international law in the occupied territories.
The collapse of the Oslo Accord could greatly increase the cost…

A message from Dr. Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid

Hate is killing us - not just people, but America itself.  A white supremacist killed 11 worshippers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburg last SaturdayAnother white supremacist murdered two Black customers in a Jeffersontown, Kentucky grocery store after failing to attack a predominantly Black church minutes before the attackThese killings happened in the same week that 12 bombs were sent to CNN, and leading Democrats, including former United States Presidents Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton

Thank God that all of the culprits were caught. Law and order is still intact.

But rising hate, fear, and anger must concern us all. 

And election time is the action time! Translate your anger into energy to restore check and balance to our government.

Action Items Write a message of love and solidarity to “Tree of Life” Synagogue from you individually and from your organization: 5898 Wilkins Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15217GOTV (Get Out The Vote) Vote early. This is the best way to vote! Learn: Vote ea…