Archive for January 26th, 2013

26/01/2013

“Duck and Cover” Indian Style

Human Wrongs Watch

By , IPPNW*, 25 January 2013 – India now has its own T. K. Jones, although we may never know the name of the actual person in the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Defence and State Disaster Response Force who wrote an advisory on what to do in the event of a nuclear attack that was published in the Greater Kashmir newspaper this week.

duckcover

Source: IPPNW

Jones, for those who didn’t get as far as the Cold War in high school history, was a Deputy Under Secretary of Defense in the Reagan administration, who preached that nuclear war would not be nearly as bad as people thought. (He was right. Most people, then as now, had no idea how bad it would really be.)

His infamous line — “If there are enough shovels to go around, everybody’s going to make it” — was adapted by journalist Robert Scheer for the title of a book debunking nuclear civil defense. [1]

T. K. Jones played only a small part in the civil defense cottage industry that churned out bucketloads (or should I say shovelsful) of misinformation and false assurances beginning in the 1950s.

Fallout shelter designs and supplies, Geiger counters, and air raid drills were part of the common experience of growing up for an entire generation or three.

A series of “educational” films offered instructions on how to behave in the event of a nuclear attack. The most iconic and ridiculous of these was Duck and Cover, with Bert the Turtle, which did little more than create a generation with persistent neck and back problems. You can watch it on YouTube.

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26/01/2013

Crisis in Former French Colony ‘Has Far-reaching Impact on Rest of West Africa’

Human Wrongs Watch

The ongoing crisis in Mali is having far-reaching effects in West Africa and the Sahel, a United Nations envoy said* on 25 January, stressing that the situation there illustrated the fragility of the region.

A Malian refugee woman in Mangaize, northern Niger. Many Malians have fled to neighbouring countries because of the general insecurity and humanitarian situation in the country's north. Photo: UNHCR/H. Caux

A Malian refugee woman in Mangaize, northern Niger. Many Malians have fled to neighbouring countries because of the general insecurity and humanitarian situation in the country’s north. Photo: UNHCR/H. Caux

“As developments unfold in Mali, the risks for infiltration and destabilization are real in some of the countries bordering Mali, as illustrated by the efforts of neighbouring countries to tighten security along the borders,” the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for West Africa, Said Djinnit, told the Security Council in a briefing today.

Djinnit, who heads the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA), said the situation in Mali has heightened the overall terrorism threat in the subregion, adding that the international community must remain mindful of the limitations faced by Mali’s neighbours, and enhance support in the areas of border control and counter-terrorism, among others.

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26/01/2013

Caught in Conflicts and Disasters, Millions of Children Need Second Chance at Life

Human Wrongs Watch

By Priyanka Pruthi, New York, 25 January 2013 (UNICEF*) – Displaced from their homes by violence, victims of the 22-month-long conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic are now facing bone-chilling temperatures in makeshift shelters in Lebanon. The brutal winter, snowstorms, widespread flooding and severe food shortage have brought the worst upon them.

© UNICEF/NYHQ2013-0007. Waves of Syrian refugees arrive every day in neighbouring countries, often settling in such makeshift encampments as this one in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. They need shelter, food, water and medical assistance.

© UNICEF/NYHQ2013-0007. Waves of Syrian refugees arrive every day in neighbouring countries, often settling in such makeshift encampments as this one in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. They need shelter, food, water and medical assistance.

UNICEF has been on the ground, struggling with limited resources, to prevent the refugees from losing their lives, and losing hope. It’s hard to imagine and understand the scale of crises like the one in the Syrian Arab Republic.

Waves of Syrian refugees are arriving in neighbouring countries every day with nothing but the clothes on their backs. They need shelter, they need food, they need clean drinking water, they need medical assistance – and they need to know they’re not alone.

Through its Humanitarian Action for Children 2013, UNICEF is asking the international community to come forward and help the most vulnerable women and children of the world. The organization is in need of US$1.4 billion to assist children in emergencies across 45 countries. It is support not only for emergencies but also for strengthening nations, building resilience and helping them recover and rebuild on their own steam.

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26/01/2013

‘Atrocities’, Bodies Everywhere, and 400,000 Refugees in Former French Colony

Human Wrongs Watch

By Hélène Caux and William Spindler in Bamako, (UNHCR)*, 25 January 2013 – The UN refugee agency on Friday renewed its call for increased international aid for hundreds of thousands of forcibly displaced Malian civilians, warning that stepped up aid was vital to prevent a worsening of the humanitarian situation across the Sahel region.

http://baherkamaleng.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/51028a126.jpg

This 10-year-old boy escaped recent fighting in the Malian town of Diabaly and found refuge in the capital, Bamako | UNHCR

Since the start of the conflict in northern Mali a year ago, more than 150,000 refugees have fled to neighbouring Mauritania, Niger and Burkina Faso, while nearly 230,000 have sought safety in other areas inside Mali. Mali’s population is estimated at 15 million inhabitants.

In Bamako, Mali’s capital, the number of internally displaced people (IDP) is now estimated at close to 50,000. Most are living in poor neighbourhoods with little or no access to housing or vital services such as clean water, education and health.

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26/01/2013

Washington DC Police ‘Mishandle’ Sexual Assault Cases

Washington, DC, 24 January 2013 – Victims of sexual assault in Washington, DC, are not getting the effective response they deserve and should expect from the district’s Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), Human Rights Watch said* in a new report. “Sexual assault cases are too often not properly documented or investigated and victims may face callous, traumatizing treatment, despite official departmental policy to the contrary.”

(Left to right) Eleanor, Roxanne, and Marisa, who all reported sexual assaults to the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), stand in front of the Capitol Building in Washington, DC.© 2012 Mariam Dwedar/Human Rights Watch

(Left to right) Eleanor, Roxanne, and Marisa, who all reported sexual assaults to the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), stand in front of the Capitol Building in Washington, DC. © 2012 Mariam Dwedar/Human Rights Watch

The 196-page report, “Capitol Offense: Police Mishandling of Sexual Assault Cases in the District of Columbia,” [2] concludes that in many sexual assault cases, the police did not file incident reports, which are required to proceed with an investigation, or misclassified serious sexual assaults as lesser or other crimes.

Human Rights Watch also found that the police presented cases to prosecutors for warrants that were so inadequately investigated that prosecutors had little choice but to refuse them and that procedural formalities were used to close cases with only minimal investigation.

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