Archive for December 6th, 2012

06/12/2012

Egypt’s Ongoing Constitutional Crisis Raises Specter of New Revolt

Human Wrongs Watch

Cairo, 6 December 2012 – At least five tanks deployed outside the Egyptian presidential palace in a street where supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi had been clashing into the early hours of the morning, witnesses said, Al Jazeera reported at noon on 6 December, adding that Egyptian state news agency said the military deployment around the palace was to secure the building. Read the following report by Shahira Amin.

**Mohamed Mursi. Photo credit: Marzouk113 | Wikimedia Commons.

**Morsi. Photo: Marzouk113 | Wikimedia Commons.

By Shahira Amin for RIA Novosti*, 4 Demeber 2012 – Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC), which was to have ruled on Sunday on the legality of the 100-member Islamist-dominated Constituent Assembly that has been drafting Egypt’s new post-revolution constitution, indefinitely postponed its session after judges were barred entry to the courthouse.

The court was to have decided on the dissolution of the Shura, or Consultative Council (the upper house of parliament), but thousands of President Mohamed Morsi’s supporters camped out overnight outside the court in what the judges claimed was a bid to delay the session.

A member of the Gamaa Islamiya group outside the courthouse told Al Jazeera English that the rally was meant to prevent the judges from “trying President Morsi for high treason.”

A day earlier, President Morsi had announced that the draft charter would be put to a popular referendum on 15 December, provoking an outcry from Egypt’s secularists, leftists, and political forces.

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06/12/2012

Thousands of US Troops Arrive Near Syrian Shore

Human Wrongs Watch

By RT*, 6 December 2012 – The [aircraft carrier] USS Eisenhower, an American aircraft carrier that holds eight fighter bomber squadrons and 8,000 men, arrived at the Syrian coast yesterday in the midst of a heavy storm, indicating US preparation for a potential ground intervention.

**Middle East map | By W123 | Wikimedia Commons

**Middle East map | By W123 | Wikimedia Commons

While the Obama administration has not announced any sort of American-led military intervention in the war-torn country, the US is now ready to launch such action “within days” if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad decides to use chemical weapons against the opposition, the Times reports.

Some have suggested that the Assad regime may use chemical weapons against the opposition fighters in the coming days or weeks.

The arrival of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, one of the 11 US Navy aircraft carriers that has the capacity to hold thousands of men, is now stationed at the coast of Syria, DEBKAfile reports.

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06/12/2012

Japan Deploys Warships Ahead of N.Korean Launch

Human Wrongs Watch

Tokyo, December 6 (RIA Novosti*) – Tokyo began deploying warships on Thursday in anticipation of a rocket launch by North Korea later this month, media reports said.

Source: kasamaproject.org

**Source: kasamaproject.org

Japan has sited three Aegis-class air defense ships – the Kongo, Myoko and Chokai – in Japanese territorial waters, to intercept the missile or any debris from it if it threatens Japanese territory, Kyodo news agency reported on Thursday.

Land-based Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles have also been delivered to Miyako Island in Okinawa Prefecture.

Japan’s Defense Ministry said it plans to deploy the PAC-3 interceptors in several different locations – Naha and Nanjo on Okinawa Island, Ishigaki Island and Miyako Island.

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06/12/2012

Denmark, Finland, New Zealand the Least Corrupted; Afghanistan, N. Korea, Somalia the Most

Human Wrongs Watch

Denmark, Finland and New Zealand tie for first place with scores of 90, helped by strong access to information systems and rules governing the behaviour of those in public positions, while Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia once again cling to the bottom rung, according to a new report*.

Source: Transparency International

Source: Transparency International.

A growing outcry over corrupt governments forced several leaders from office last year, but as the dust has cleared it has become apparent that the levels of bribery, abuse of power and secret dealings are still very high in many countries, according to Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2012, which shows corruption continues to ravage societies around the world.

“Two thirds of the 176 countries ranked in the 2012 index score below 50, on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean), showing that public institutions need to be more transparent, and powerful officials more accountable.”

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06/12/2012

Nigeria: Death Stalking Lead-Poisoned Children

Human Wrongs Watch

Abuja — The Nigerian government’s failure to produce promised funding to address the worst lead poisoning outbreak in modern history is leaving thousands of children to die or face lifelong disability, the Nigerian Youth Climate Action Network (NYCAN) and Human Rights Watch* said on 6 December 2012.

Lead poisoning in Nigeria

A young boy sits on a stack of ore sacks in the mining processing site in Bagega village. © 2011 Marcus Bleasdale/VII for Human Rights Watch

The organizations opened a social media campaign on December 6, 2012, urging people to post comments to President Goodluck Jonathan’s official Facebook page, asking him why he has broken his promise to release funding for the cleanup of lead-contaminated areas in Zamfara State.

“More than 400 children in Zamfara State have died from lead poisoning according to official estimates,” said Babatunde Olugboji, deputy program director at Human Rights Watch.

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