Archive for November 26th, 2012

26/11/2012

‘President Morsi Is a Fascist Dictator’ — Egyptian Revolutionary, Political Forces

Human Wrongs Watch

By Shahira Amin for RIA Novosti*, Cairo, November 26 — The highly-controversial constitutional declaration that Egypt’s Islamist President Mohamed Morsi issued on Thursday, dramatically extending his powers, has polarized the country and plunged it deeper into political and economic turmoil.

Photo: Stefan Rousseau | http://www.number10.gov.uk | Wikimedia Commons

The Presidential decree puts President Morsi above judicial oversight, preventing the dissolution of both the constituent assembly (the 100-member panel currently drafting the country’s new constitution) and the Shura or Consultative Council.

It has also allowed him to dismiss the highly unpopular Mubarak-appointed Public Prosecutor Abdel Meguid Mahmoud and replace him with Judge Talaat Ibrahim, who headed the Independence of the Judiciary Movement.

Revolutionary and political forces almost immediately united to condemn the decree, with some describing President Morsi as a “fascist dictator.”

Sunday saw the third straight day of clashes between Morsi’s supporters (mostly Muslim Brotherhood members) and his opponents. These clashes, although intermittent, left one person dead in the Nile Delta City of Damanhour.

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26/11/2012

Obama to Produce a Manual on When Drones Can Kill… Legally!

Human Wrongs Watch

By RT*, 26 November 2012 — US President Barack Obama has fast-tracked the creation of a new rulebook on when it is ‘legal’ to use drones for targeted killings. Obama reportedly feared that drones would be abused in a potential new administration after the November elections.

**A MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle prepares to land after a mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan | U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson | Source: USAF Photographic Archives (image permalink)

Two anonymous Obama administration officials claimed that explicit rules were being developed to establish clear standards and procedures for when “lethal action is acceptable,” the New York Times reported.

The administration wanted to accelerate the codification of these rules when there was a possibility that Obama would lose the November 6 presidential elections, and the “levers might no longer be in our hands,” one of the officials said.

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26/11/2012

Ban ‘Killer Robots’ … Before It’s Too Late!

Washington, DC – Governments should pre-emptively ban fully autonomous weapons because of the danger they pose to civilians in armed conflict, Human Rights Watch said in a new report. “These future weapons, sometimes called “killer robots,” would be able to choose and fire on targets without human intervention.”

© 2012 Russell Christian for Human Rights Watch

The 50-page report, “Losing Humanity: The Case Against Killer Robots,” [2] outlines concerns about these fully autonomous weapons, which would inherently lack human qualities that provide legal and non-legal checks on the killing of civilians. In addition, the obstacles to holding anyone accountable for harm caused by the weapons would weaken the law’s power to deter future violations.

“Giving machines the power to decide who lives and dies on the battlefield would take technology too far,” said Steve Goose [3], Arms Division director at Human Rights Watch.

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26/11/2012

Climate Cash Debate Rages as Doha Summit Opens

By EurActiv*, 26 November 2012 — The EU will not commit to renew climate funding which runs out in 2013 ahead of talks at the Doha climate summit, which opens today (26 November). But new climate aid may be announced in the conference’s second week.

Image from EurActiv

Development NGOs reacted angrily to an EU statement on 23 November which said only that in Doha, the EU would “discuss with its developing country partners how major flows of EU climate finance can continue in 2013-2014”.

“If the EU and other developed countries are serious about making climate action a reality for the period 2013-2020, they can’t afford to come to Doha empty handed,” Lies Craeynest, Oxfam’s EU policy adviser told EurActiv.

“Vague promises to increase support in developing countries won’t help communities who are facing the impacts of climate change now,” she said.

Senior EU officials believe that most member states have factored climate aid into their medium term financial plans and leaders are likely to announce commitments at the conference itself.

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