Archive for August 19th, 2012

19/08/2012

Israel Falsifies Documents to Deport Sudanese Migrants – Reports

Human Wrongs Watch

By RT*Israel has deported Sudanese asylum seekers by issuing documents with purposefully incorrect nationalities, a recently published report by the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism revealed.

**Photo: Tamar Dressler/IRIN – South Sudanese children at a protest against Israeli government directive to return home.

­More than 100 Sudanese nationals in Israel were given passports or birth certificates incorrectly labeling them as citizens of South Sudan, the report said.

Israel has no repatriation agreement with Sudan, but can deport the asylum-seekers to the country’s neighbor, which seceded last year from the North.

The revelation comes two months after Israel initiated a controversial ‘emergency plan’ to deport 60,000 African migrants.

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19/08/2012

One Million Sign to End Violence Against Women in Pakistan

Human Wrongs Watch

By UN Woman* — A high profile campaign to end violence against women (VAW) in Pakistan has culminated ceremonially with the signature of its one millionth supporter – the country’s President.

**Photo credit: Sherkashmiri

UN Women launched the One Million Signatures Campaign during the annual  16 Days of Activism in Pakistan in 2011, in partnership with a country-wide network of women’s organizations, the EVAWG Alliance.

The campaign has seen more than 450,000 community members and social media users mobilized, along with at least 1,500 Pakistani women leaders.

Pakistanis from all walks of life, including a plethora of celebrities and politicians, have publicly signed postcards in support of EVAWG goals, while Charters of Demand have been gathered from 57 districts, many with a focus on reforming laws, policies and services to better serve women.

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19/08/2012

Ice in Arctic Disappearing Far Greater Than Predicted

By EurActiv* — Sea ice in the Arctic is disappearing at a far greater rate than previously expected, according to data from the first purpose-built satellite launched to study the thickness of the Earth’s polar caps.

Image: EurActiv

Preliminary results from the European Space Agency’s CryoSat-2 probe indicate that 900 cubic kilometres of summer sea ice has disappeared from the Arctic ocean over the past year.

This rate of loss is 50% higher than most scenarios outlined by polar scientists and suggests that global warming, triggered by rising greenhouse gas emissions, is beginning to have a major impact on the region. In a few years the Arctic ocean could be free of ice in summer, triggering a rush to exploit its fish stocks, oil, minerals and sea routes.

Using instruments on earlier satellites, scientists could see that the area covered by summer sea ice in the Arctic has been dwindling rapidly.

But the new measurements indicate that this ice has been thinning dramatically at the same time. For example, in regions north of Canada and Greenland, where ice thickness regularly stayed at around five to six metres in summer a decade ago, levels have dropped to one to three metres.

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19/08/2012

How Bad Is the Food Crisis?

Human Wrongs Watch

By IRIN* – Lower output forecasts for US maize and soybeans and wheat from Russia in 2012/13 have been jumped on by the international media as evidence that a food crisis is almost certainly on the way.

Photo: Hannah McNeish/IRIN. Many people are already living in a food crisis

But a range of economists and food experts are also warning against overreaction that could create panic, causing governments to apply export controls that would restrict supplies of grains. This would affect markets and push prices still higher, they say.

“Increasingly pessimistic outlooks for the US corn and Russian wheat crops this year have certainly driven prices up for both commodities, with maize reaching a record high last week following the USDA [US Department of Agriculture] announcement [that the maize crop was going to be even smaller than expected],” said Christopher Barrett, a professor of applied economics at Cornell University in the US.

The US, the world’s largest producer of maize, is expected to produce its smallest crop since 2006/07, the USDA said in its August forecast.

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19/08/2012

Serb Military Official Transfered to Portugal to Serve Sentence for War Crimes

Human Wrongs Watch

A former Serb military official was transferred to Portugal to serve a 20-year sentence for crimes committed against non-Serb prisoners of war, the United Nations war crimes tribunal set up in the wake of the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s announced on 17 August.

A standard cell at the UN Detention Unit in The Hague | UN

On 27 September 2007, Mile Mrkšic, a former Colonel within the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA), was sentenced by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to 20 years in prison “for aiding and abetting the murder, torture and cruel treatment of prisoners, as well as the inhumane conditions of detention at the hangar of Ovcara near the Croatian town of Vukovar between 20 and 21 November 1991.”

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