Archive for February 16th, 2013

16/02/2013

Becoming Refugees Once More: Palestinians from Syria Return to Gaza

Human Wrongs Watch

Gaza City, (IRIN*) – Ahmed Dweik’s family knows a thing or two about the refugee experience.

**Photo: Ahmed Dalloul/IRIN | Israeli bombing of Gaza in November 2012 caused widespread damage

**Photo: Ahmed Dalloul/IRIN | Israeli bombing of Gaza in November 2012 caused widespread damage

Theirs started in 1948, when his father fled his Palestinian home town as Israeli forces captured the village of West Batani near Ashdod in present-day Israel.

From there, he settled in a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, further south, until the 1967 Arab-Israeli war pushed him to search for an easier life abroad. He went first to Egypt to study, then to Yemen to find work.

That is where Dweik was born. But like his father, he too sought better opportunities, migrating to Syria to look for a better paying job and settling close to Yarmouk, the largest camp for Palestinian refugees in Syria.

“But what happened to my father after the 1967 war happened to me in 2012,” Dweik told IRIN.

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16/02/2013

‘Bribes Are Not Crimes,’ Says Mr. Berlusconi!

Human Wrongs Watch

By Transparency International* , 14 February 2013 – Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi turned the fight against corruption on its head when he said in a televised interview (following the arrest of the ex-CEO of an Italian defence company) that “Bribes are a phenomenon that exists and it’s useless to deny the existence of these necessary situations.” He added, “These are not crimes. We’re talking about paying a commission to someone in that country. Why, because those are the rules in that country.”

Berlusconi | Source: Transparency International

Berlusconi | Source: Transparency International

Paying bribes is a crime not only in Italy, but it is against the law for Italian companies to use cash to grease the wheels of commerce overseas.

Italian law makes clear that bribery by executives is illegal and adds that companies should establish anti-corruption systems to be in compliance with the law. Public officials have a responsibility to not only obey the law, but also speak in support of existing laws, former premiers included.

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16/02/2013

Warmest Decade Brings Record Temperatures, Weather Extremes

Human Wrongs Watch

By Janet Larsen*, Earth Policy Institute, 13 February 2013 – In recent years weather events have whiplashed between the extremes of heat and cold, flooding and drought. Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases—largely from the burning of coal, oil, and natural gas—have loaded up in the atmosphere, heating the planet and pushing humanity onto a climatic seesaw of weather irregularities.

**Thunderstorm near Garajau, Madeira, Portugal | Credit: Don Amaro from Madeira Islands, Portugal | Wikimedia Commons

**Thunderstorm near Garajau, Madeira, Portugal | Credit: Don Amaro from Madeira Islands, Portugal | Wikimedia Commons

High-temperature records in many places are already being broken with startling frequency, and hotter temperatures are in store.

Without a dramatic reduction in fossil fuel use, we will veer even further away from the “normal” temperatures and weather patterns that civilization is adapted to.

The world has warmed by 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius) since the Industrial Revolution, with most of the rise in temperature coming since the 1970s. Such rapid warming is unprecedented over at least 20,000 years.

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16/02/2013

Arab Women’s Virtual Uprising Goes Physical

Human Wrongs Watch

By Waging Nonviolence* – In late 2011 four Arab women, inspired by the success of the Arab Spring demonstrations but horrified by the backlash against the women who had protested side-by-side with men in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Syria, decided to start their own Facebook group. They called it “The Uprising of Women in the Arab World.”

(Facebook/The uprising of women in the Arab world) | Source: Waging Nonviolence.

(Facebook/The uprising of women in the Arab world) | Source:
Waging Nonviolence.

Founded by activists Daila Haidar and Yalda Younes from Lebanon, Sally Zohney from Egypt and Farah Barqawi from Palestine, the group calls on men and women from all ethnic, social and religious backgrounds to unite in the face of discrimination “to say no to violence against women, no to their allegiance to men, no to repression and abuse, no to their treatment as second class citizens” and to demand the full application of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for Arab women as well as men.

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