The incidences of torture and ill-treatment around the world have not been diminishing and the need for effective prevention is “as great as it ever has been,” a United Nations human rights expert on 21 October 2014 said as he urged Member States to do more to tackle domestic corruption in order to prevent such episodes of abuses.
A mother and her children at a detention centre in Greece. Photo: UNHCR/J.Björgvinsson
“There is a clear connection between torture, ill-treatment and corrupt practices,” the chairperson of the UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture (SPT), Malcolm Evans said as he presented the SPT’s annual report to the General Assembly’s main body dealing with social, humanitarian and cultural issues (Third Committee) in New York.
“Effective torture prevention must tackle corrupt practices too,” he added.
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On the heels of last week’s visit to Gaza, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 21 October 2014 told the Security Council today that promises made at a recent donor conference on rebuilding the war-ravaged enclave must “quickly materialize” into concrete assistance on the ground, especially as winter approaches.
UNRWA estimates around 17,000 destroyed or damaged homes, rendering 100,000 people homeless in Gaza. Photo: UNRWA Archives/Shareef Sarah
“Nothing could have prepared me for what I witnessed in Gaza. I saw mile after mile of wholesale destruction,” Ban recalled as he briefed the 15-member body on his first visit to Gaza since this past summer’s conflict.*
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By Johan Galtung*, 13 Oct 2014 – TRANSCEND Media Service — More senseless bombing of Muslims, more defeats for USA-West, more ISIS-type movements, more West-Islam polarization. Any way out?.
**Photo: An American F/A-18C Hornet aboard the USS George H.W. Bush prior to the launch of operations over Iraq | Author: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Margaret Keith | Wikimedia Commons
“ISIS, Islamic State in Iraq-Syria, appeals to a Longing for the Caliphate” writes Farhang Johanpour in an IPS column. For the Ottoman Caliphate with the Sultan as Caliph–the Shadow of God on Earth–after the 1516-17 victories all over till the collapse of both Empire and Caliphate in 1922, at the hands of the allies England-France-Russia.
Imagine the collapse of the Vatican, not Catholic Christianity, at the hands of somebody, Protestant or Orthodox Christians, meaning Anglo-Americans or Russians, or Muslims. A center in this world for the transition to the next, headed by a Pope, the apostolic successor to The Holy Spirit, an emanation of God in Heaven. Imagine it gone.
And imagine that they who had brought about the collapse had a tendency to bomb, invade, conquer, dominate Catholic countries, one after the other, like after 2 Bush wars in Afghanistan-Iraq, 5 Obama wars in Pakistan-Yemen-Somalia-Libya-Syria, and “special operations”. Would we not predict  a longing for the Vatican, and  an extreme hatred of the perpetrators? Fortunately, it did not happen.
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Dubai, 10 October 2014 (IRIN)* –The World Food Programme (WFP) is facing a US$40 million deficit for its Afghanistan programmes, as aid agencies fear that foreign troop withdrawal will lead to decreasing budgets for humanitarian action.
**Photo: Mohammad Popal/IRIN | Displaced children from Helmand in southern Afghanistan (File photo)
WFP has already decreased the size of food packages for hundreds of thousands of people and the agency’s country head said that without more support they will have to take “dramatic” measures, which could including stopping assistance altogether for some groups.
US-led foreign troops are due to cease combat operations as part of their staggered withdrawal at the end of 2014, though thousands of troops will remain in the country in other capacities.
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Human Wrongs Watch
By Stephen Graham, Nairobi, 2 October 2014 (IRIN)* – The failure of peace talks and the end of South Sudan’s wet season could unleash fresh fighting between government forces and rebel factions, propelling millions of people in the world’s youngest nation back towards a man-made famine, analysts and humanitarian workers warn.
**Photo: Stephen Graham/IRIN | Delivering food by air is prohibitively expensive
Nine months of bad-tempered negotiations have yet to produce a firm ceasefire, let alone a political deal to end a conflict punctuated by atrocities. Skirmishes have continued in areas close to where thousands of civilians are crammed into UN bases. There are fears that both sides have used the seasonal lull to re-arm.
Surging violence would roil plans by the UN and humanitarian partners to use the dry season to patch up roads and other infrastructure and pre-position critical supplies before the meagre returns from the current disrupted harvest run out in early 2015. The rains usually begin to ease by late October.
“It is going to be a combination of a quieter environment for the people of this country, plus the continuation of a large aid operation, that will help people get through the dry season,” Toby Lanzer, the UN humanitarian coordinator in South Sudan, told IRIN. “If either of those two are absent, disaster will occur.”
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