03/05/2015

World Water Week Journalist Grant

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) on 1 May 2015 opened the door to applications for the 2015 World Water Week Journalist Grant. The World Water Week will be held in Stockholm on 23-28 August 2015.

Planet Earth in dew, macro on leaf. Conceptual design. Elements of this image furnished by NASA. | Source: SIWI

Planet Earth in dew, macro on leaf. Conceptual design. Elements of this image furnished by NASA. | Source: SIWI

Are you passionate about water and development? Have you covered these topics in your work but want a chance to see more, learn more and interview major actors in the water community?*

Have you looked for an opportunity to report on a global water meeting, where world leaders, policy makers, and academics meet representatives from the private sector and civil society to discuss some of the world’s most urgent development issues? Apply for the World Water Week Journalist Grant!

SIWI offers three journalists from low or low-middle income nations the opportunity to visit Stockholm and World Water Week which takes place between 23-28 August 2015.

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03/05/2015

Ban Nuclear Weapons – Now!

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

Statement of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) to the Treaty of Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, UN Headquarters, New York

How’s your government doing at the NPT RevCon? Follow along with this interactive map from ICAN Austria showing you the best (and worst!) of the NPT Review Conference

How’s your government doing at the NPT RevCon?
Follow along with this interactive map from ICAN Austria showing you the best (and worst!) of the NPT Review Conference

The humanitarian initiative began here five years ago, when the NPT Review Conference expressed its deep concern at the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons.

Since then, a fundamental shift has been under way. Concerns about the impact of nuclear weapons on people and the environment have become central to disarmament discussions.

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02/05/2015

A Boy Called Bibi

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

By Uri Avnery*

2 May 2015

THERE ARE two different opinions about Binyamin Netanyahu. It is difficult to believe that they concern the same person.

Uri Avnery

Uri Avnery

One is that Netanyahu is a shallow politician, devoid of ideas and convictions, who is led solely by his obsession to remain in power.

This Netanyahu has a good voice and a talent for making shallow speeches on television, speeches devoid of any intellectual content – and that’s all.

This Netanyahu is highly “pressurable” (a Hebrew word invented almost solely for him), a man who will change his views according to political expediency, disclaiming in the evening what he has said in the morning. None of his words should be trusted. He will lie and cheat anytime to assure his survival.

The other Netanyahu is almost the exact opposite. A principled patriot, a serious thinker, a statesman who sees danger beyond the horizon. This Netanyahu is a gifted orator, able to move the US Congress and the UN plenum, admired by the great mass of Israelis.

So which of these descriptions is true?

Neither. Continue reading

02/05/2015

Migrant Smuggling in Asia Generates Annual Value of $2 Billion for Criminal Groups

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

In a new report, UNODC warns that the smuggling of migrants poses a significant threat to Asia, generating an annual value of $2 billion for criminal groups and leading to deaths and human rights abuses.

UNODC

UNODC

The report, entitled Migrant Smuggling in Asia: Current Trends and Related Challenges, analyzes the smuggling of migrants in 28 states from the Middle East to the Pacific and finds that criminal networks are creatively exploiting gaps between demand and regular migration, with smuggling fees to get to some destinations now reported as high as $50,000.*

The report also stresses that a significant number of migrants use smugglers to cross borders in order to seek a better life, but end up in human trafficking situations. Far away from home and working illegally, smuggled migrants have little ability to assert basic rights and become vulnerable to abuse, trafficking and exploitation.

Southeast Asia continues to serve as an important source, transit and destination for migrant smuggling, with the majority of smuggling taking place within the region but with routes also reaching countries as far as Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States.

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02/05/2015

Death Trap Nurseries: The Tragic Underbelly of Israel’s Migrant City

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

‘Children’s garages’ where five infants died are the result of discrimination against poor migrant workers in South Tel Aviv’

Felicia’s Gan in south Tel Aviv. Felicia received support to improve her nursing skills, yet she says she still lacks enough money to offer a proper space for the kids to play (MEE/Julie Couzinet)

02/05/2015

US Locks Up Asylum-seeker Families

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

By Philippa Garson*
.
New York, 2 May 2015 (IRIN)* – An aggressive strategy by the United States to deter thousands of people fleeing violence in Mexico and Central America includes keeping women and children in detention for months while they await asylum hearings.

Following a peak in arrivals last year of children and families, mostly from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, President Barack Obama’s administration was under pressure to introduce tough measures to stem the flow.

As well as beefing up border controls and expediting deportations, the response has included expanding the use of family detention.

Figures from the last six months showing that the number of people caught at the border has fallen 28 percent compared to the same period last year suggest these strategies are working, even if there is no indication that the domestic and gang-related violence spurring people to flee has abated.

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02/05/2015

US “Grand Strategy” for War against China Laid Out

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

By Nick Beams*

2 May 2015 (WSWS)* – The advanced stage of discussions in US foreign policy circles over the pursuit of an ever-more aggressive policy toward China has been revealed by the recent release of a chilling report under the auspices of the influential Council on Foreign Relations.

**(US) Army Rangers take part in a raid during operation in Nahr-e Saraj, Afghanistan Author: DVIDSHUB | Wikimedia Commons

**(US) Army Rangers take part in a raid during operation in Nahr-e Saraj, Afghanistan Author: DVIDSHUB | Wikimedia Commons

Entitled “Revising US Grand Strategy Toward China,” the report is nothing less than an agenda for war. It is authored by Robert D. Blackwill and Ashley J. Tellis, both of whom have close connections to the US State Department and various American foreign policy think tanks.

The report cites a publication produced during World War II defining “grand strategy” as one that “so integrates the policies and armaments of a nation that the resort to war is either rendered unnecessary or is undertaken with the maximum chance of victory.” This is not merely a concept of war but “an inherent element of statecraft at all times.”

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01/05/2015

China, Russia to Hold First-ever Joint Mediterranean Naval Exercise

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

01 May 2015 (RT)* – The Russian and Chinese Navies are to hold a joint exercise in the Mediterranean Sea in mid-May, a first in that part of the world. A total of nine warships from the two countries are to participate, Beijing said.

**Map of the Mediterranean Sea with subdivisions, straits, islands and countries | Author: O H 237 | Wikiemdia Commons

**Map of the Mediterranean Sea with subdivisions, straits, islands and countries | Author: O H 237 | Wikiemdia Commons

“The aim is to deepen both countries’ friendly and practical cooperation, and increase our navies’ ability to jointly deal with maritime security threats,” Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said on Thursday in a monthly news briefing.

“What needs saying is that these exercises are not aimed at any third party and have nothing to do with the regional situation,” he added, saying that the Chinese Navy would contribute its warships currently on an anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden. Continue reading

01/05/2015

How for-Profit Prisons have Become a Big Lobby

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

New York, 01 May 2015 – Pressenza* – The Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s detention budget includes a mandate from Congress that at least 34,000 immigrants remain detained on a daily basis, a quota that has steadily grown each year, even as the undocumented immigrant population in the United States has leveled off.
How for-Profit Prisons have Become a Big Lobby.

Source: Pressenza

Private prisons have profited handsomely from that policy, owning nine of the 10 largest ICE detention centers, according to a report released this month by Grassroots Leadership.

In 2009, in the midst of a multi-year decline in the undocumented immigrant population, Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV), then Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security,

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01/05/2015

Refugee Businesses Promise Brighter Future for Azraq Camp

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

By Charlie Dunmore*

Azraq Refugee Camp, Jordan, 30 April 2015 (UNHCR) Syrian residents at Jordan’s Azraq refugee camp were given a taste of things to come on Thursday, as they bought clothes, sweets and falafel and queued for haircuts at a temporary marketplace opened to mark the camp’s first anniversary.

© UNHCR/C.Dunmore | Mohammad, 42, from Syria’s southern Dara’a governorate arranges artificial flowers in colorful displays in his temporary shop in Jordan’s Azraq refugee camp. The shop is part of a week-long marketplace opened to mark the camp’s first anniversary. UNHCR officials hope the market will become a permanent fixture in the camp by the end of June.

Dozens of aspiring Syrian business owners showcased their wares and services at the bustling souk, and expressed the hope that the week-long market would soon become a permanent feature of camp life.

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