28/03/2015

Spending on Nuclear Weapons — US$105 Billion a Year; US$300 Million a Day, US$12 Million an Hour

Human Wrongs Watch

As hundreds of millions of people across the globe go hungry, the nuclear-armed nations spend close to US$300 million a day on their nuclear forces. (ICAN)*

Source: ICAN-International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Source: ICAN-International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

The production, maintenance and modernization of nuclear forces diverts vast public resources away from health care, education, climate change mitigation, disaster relief, development assistance and other vital services.

Globally, annual expenditure on nuclear weapons is estimated at US$105 billion – or $12 million an hour.

The World Bank forecast in 2002 that an annual investment of just US$40–60 billion, or roughly half the amount currently spent on nuclear weapons, would be enough to meet the internationally agreed Millennium Development Goals on poverty alleviation by the target date of 2015.

Continue reading

28/03/2015

A Home for Mercy

Human Wrongs Watch

‘When last we met Mercy, she was arriving in her foster home, the child of a woman who had died of Ebola infection. See how Mercy’s getting on, in school for the first time, a child embraced by a family joined by love, if not blood.'(UNICEF)*

.

© UNICEF/NYHQ2014–3132/Nesbitt


After Mercy Kennady, 9, lost her mother to Ebola, she made international news when she was found crying, scared and alone, wandering the streets of Liberia. Her journey has taken her from being orphaned, facing stigma and undergoing quarantine to starting anew in the loving home of a foster family.

In November 2014, Mercy waved farewell as she left a UNICEF-supported interim care centre in Monrovia. Children exposed to Ebola stay at the centre for the duration of the virus’s 21-day maximum incubation period, receiving support while waiting to make sure they have not contracted the disease.

28/03/2015

The Boy Who Was Buried Alive and Survived

Human Wrongs Watch

When his village in Nigeria was attacked, 10-year-old Ibrahim witnessed his father’s brutal murder. Then the insurgents came after him. Ibrahim’s story.

(03252015)_Featured_TheBoyNigeria

The crescent-shaped scar on Ibrahim’s head is a visible reminder of his ordeal. UNHCR/Hélène Caux

By Hélène Caux*

25 March 2015 — Thirty-three-year-old Sarratou will never forget the day when dozens of heavily armed men ambushed her village in Nigeria’s Borno State. It was 10 o’clock in the morning and she was at home with three of her four children. The gunshots rang in their ears as they hastily embarked on a 12-kilometre trip on foot towards the Cameroon border.

At the time, her husband and their eldest son, 10-year-old Ibrahim, were caring for their cattle on the outskirts of the village. Although they tried to flee, there was no escape. “My husband got too tired. He was exhausted and could not continue running,” Sarratou says. “Boko Haram caught up with them, and they cut the throat of my husband, in front of our son.”

Continue reading

27/03/2015

5 Facts You Need to Know about Yemen and its Conflicts

Human Wrongs Watch

27 March 2015 (RT)* – One of the poorest and most violent countries in the Middle East, Yemen is also an area of strategic importance for regional players – and some of the world’s most dangerous terror groups. RT explains the underlying reasons behind the nation’s conflicts.
.
Yemen_division_2012-3-11.svg

**Large areas of Yemen are controlled by armed rebel groups rather than the national government. | Author: GeoEvan | Wikimedia Commons

Strategic location

The territory that lies within Yemen’s borders is one of the most ancient cradles of civilization in the Middle East, once known as ‘Arabia Felix’ – Latin for “happy” or “fortunate” – in ancient times. The lands of Yemen were more fertile than most on the Arabian Peninsula, as they received more rain due to high mountains.

But because of declining natural resources, including oil, Yemen and its population of about 26 million are now very poor. Continue reading

27/03/2015

Foreign Policy Is in the Hands of Sleepwalkers

Human Wrongs Watch

By Roberto Savio*

Rome, 27 March 2015 — The United Kingdom has been accused of “sleepwalking” into the Ukraine crisis – and the accusation comes from no less than the House of Lords, not usually considered a place of critical analysis.

**An important vote: the House of Lords voting for the Parliament Act 1911 | Author: Samuel Begg (died 1919) | Source: The Rise of the Democracy, by Joseph Clayton, Project Gutenberg eText 19609 | Wikimedia Commons

**An important vote: the House of Lords voting for the Parliament Act 1911 | Author: Samuel Begg (died 1919) | Source: The Rise of the Democracy, by Joseph Clayton, Project Gutenberg eText 19609 | Wikimedia Commons

In a scathing report, the upper house of the U.K. parliament has said that the United Kingdom, like the rest of the European Union, has sleepwalked into a very complex problem without looking into the possible consequences, letting bureaucrats taking critical political decisions.

It said that it was only when the conflict was well entrenched that political leaders decided to negotiate the Minsk ceasefire agreement, reached by Angela Merkel of Germany, Francois Hollande of France, Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation and Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine, with the notable absence of U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron. Continue reading

27/03/2015

Tactical Nuclear Weapons in Europe – The Dangers Are Very Great Today

Human Wrongs Watch

By John Scales Avery, Ph.D. & Danish Pugwash Group – TRANSCEND Media Service

26 March 2015 — Let us first consider the urgent reasons why all nuclear weapons must be eliminated. Although the Cold War has ended, the danger of a nuclear catastrophe is greater today than ever before.

Source: ICAN

Source: ICAN-International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

There are 16,300 nuclear weapons in the world today, of which 15,300 are in the hands of Russia and the United States.

Several thousand of these weapons are on hair-trigger alert, meaning that whoever is in charge of them has only a few minutes to decide whether the signal indicating an attack is real, or an error.

The most important single step in reducing the danger of a disaster would be to take all weapons off hair-trigger alert.

Bruce G. Blair, Brookings Institute, has remarked that “It is obvious that the rushed nature of the process, from warning to decision to action, risks causing a catastrophic mistake… This system is an accident waiting to happen.”

Fred Ikle of the Rand Corporation has written, “But nobody can predict that the fatal accident or unauthorized act will never happen. Given the huge and far-flung missile forces, ready to be launched from land and sea on both sides, the scope for disaster by accident is immense… In a matter of seconds, through technical accident or human failure, mutual deterrence might thus collapse.”

Continue reading

27/03/2015

“Losing Sight of Middle East Peace Akin to ‘Pouring More Oil’ on Region’s Flames”

Human Wrongs Watch

New York — As Israeli and Palestinian parties do not appear ready to recommence talks, the international community must consider presenting a viable framework for negotiations, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process on 26 March 2015 said today during his final briefing to the Security Council, noting that “this may be the only way to preserve the goal of the two-State solution.”

UNRWA estimates around 17,000 destroyed or damaged homes, rendering 100,000 people homeless in Gaza. Photo: UNRWA Archives/Shareef Sarah

UNRWA estimates around 17,000 destroyed or damaged homes, rendering 100,000 people homeless in Gaza. Photo: UNRWA Archives/Shareef Sarah

“Upon leaving this position, I cannot but express an overriding feeling that I have been part of a peace process in which a can is kicked down an endless road,” said Robert Serry, who served as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative to the Middle East for the last 7 years. Replacing Serry will be Nikolay Mladenov, former head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq.*

“Losing sight of reaching peace between Israel, Palestine and the wider Arab world altogether – I have repeatedly warned the Council that we may be heading in this direction – would be tantamount to pouring more oil on the regional flames,” he added.

Continue reading

27/03/2015

2014 ‘Devastating’ Year for Palestinians – UN Humanitarian Report

Human Wrongs Watch

Amid a surge in hostilities and an ongoing blockade, 2014 was a traumatic year for millions of people living in the occupied Palestinian territory, a senior United Nations humanitarian official on 26 March 2015 said, as the Organization released its latest report on the situation on the ground.

House demolished in Gaza following Israeli airstrike in 2012. Photo: OCHA/M. El Halabi

“Continued occupation undermines the ability of Palestinians to live normal lives,” UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the territory, James Rawley, said in conjunction with the release of the 2014 Annual Humanitarian Overview by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).*

“Were these factors removed and related policies changed, international humanitarian assistance would not be necessary here,” he added, while acknowledging that last year had been a “devastating” one for Palestinians in both Gaza and the West Bank.

Continue reading

26/03/2015

Record-breaking Year for Asylum Claims: 8 Key Trends

.
OXFORD, 26 March 2015 (IRIN)* – 2014 was a year of records for asylum claims, according to an annual round-up released today by UNHCR, which noted that 866,000 claims were made in the world’s industrialized nations, double the figure for 2013.
.

That figure will undoubtedly grab headlines, but the report reveals many other important trends. IRIN has highlighted a few of them:

• For the fourth year running, Germany was the largest recipient of new asylum claims (with 434,000) among this group of industrialised countries.

Over the same period, Sweden registered the largest number relative to its population size – 24.4 applicants per 1,000 inhabitants.

The United States, although the second largest recipient of new asylum seekers, averaged only 1.3 applicants per 1,000 nationals.

Continue reading

26/03/2015

Iran Condemns Saudi Strikes in Yemen as a ‘Dangerous Step’, Denounces ‘US-backed Aggression’

Human Wrongs Watch

26 March 2015 (Middle East Eye)* — Saudi Arabia and a coalition of regional allies launched a series of airstrikes in Yemen on Wednesday night against the Houthi militia, which the movement’s spokesman has called a “declaration of war”.
.
Middle East Eye

Middle East Eye

At least 17 civilians have been killed in the capital Sanaa during the overnight offensive, although local medical sources have said that this number could yet rise.

The airstrikes also targeted al-Daylami airbase and the adjacent international airport in north Sanaa, as well as the presidential complex seized by the rebels in January, military sources told AFP.

Witnesses said residents were helping civil defense officials to search for any more victims under the rubble of the houses damaged in the raids.

The homes are located in a neighbourhood adjacent to the international airport and an air base targeted in the raids, said local residents.

Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 168 other followers

%d bloggers like this: