Archive for April 2nd, 2015

02/04/2015

Yemenis Rush to Buy food and Fuel as Conflict Escalates

Human Wrongs Watch

By Almigdad Mojalli*
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SANA’A, 1 April 2015 (IRIN) – Yemen’s war continued to escalate on Wednesday, with Saudi-led airstrikes in most major cities and firefights across the country.
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Saudi Arabia and its allies are seeking to depose Houthi rebels who claimed control of the capital Sana’a last September.

After another night of heavy bombing on Tuesday, thousands of people scrambled to get out of Sana’a for the relative safety of the countryside.

At petrol stations across the city, residents queued for hours to fill their cars after rumours that the warplanes were targeting vehicles carrying petrol. On Monday, 14 civilians were killed and another 31 wounded after a strike hit a petrol tanker in the central governorate of Ibb.

Many petrol stations had run dry by the afternoon.

“We are waiting to get fuel because we heard that Saudi jet fighters started targeting the gas and fuel vehicles. I am really worried because in that case, people won’t be able to move,” Majid Nassar, 22, explained.

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02/04/2015

Twelve Years after Iraq Invasion, Middle East Engulfed by War

Human Wrongs Watch

By Bill Van Auken*

1 April 2015 — With the launching of the US-backed military intervention in Yemen, virtually the entire Middle East is engulfed by military conflict, a state of affairs that has no precedent, with the possible exception of the two world wars fought in the 20th century.

Source: Socialistworker.org

Source: Socialistworker.org

Washington’s pursuit of policies from one conflict to the next that are seemingly at odds with one another has provoked mounting expressions of concern from major US think tanks and editorial boards—not to mention nominal allies in Europe—over “strategic incoherence.”

To describe as glaring the contradictions that riddle US foreign policy in the Middle East does not do them justice.

In Yemen, the Obama administration has announced its full backing, with the provision of logistical assistance, arms (including cluster bombs) and targeting intelligence, to an intervention spearheaded by Saudi Arabia, the other Sunni oil monarchies and the Egyptian regime of Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

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02/04/2015

British Firms Could Be Linked to Slavery, Murder and Ecological Abuse Overseas – NGO

Human Wrongs Watch

1 April 2015 (RT)* – Hundreds of British firms operating abroad may be implicated in severe human rights abuses such as modern slavery, poverty-level wages, beatings, killings and environmental damage, an international NGO warns.
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**The inspection and sale of a slave" | Author: Brantz Mayer | Wikimedia Commons

**The inspection and sale of a slave” | Author: Brantz Mayer | Wikimedia Commons

A report released by the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre on Wednesday found that British businesses impact heavily on communities and individuals around the globe.

The NGO’s research suggests UK firms are linked to human rights scandals worldwide, many of which occur in developing nations.

This improper conduct is compounded by “critical weaknesses” in UK regulation that leave victims in foreign states defenseless against firms’ “negligent or reckless” practices, the research found.

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02/04/2015

A Global Network to Tacke 'Monumental' Employment Challenge

Human Wrongs Watch

1 April 2015 – As the Economic and Social Council concluded its three-day segment on boosting integration of the three pillars of sustainable development, the body’s Vice-President said he would work with the United Nations labour agency to follow-up on delegates’ work by launching an international entity to help address the issue of providing employment and decent work to people around the world.

Youth unemployment | Photo: ILO

Youth unemployment | Photo: ILO

“I am pleased to inform you that I and the Director-General of ILO are working towards launching a Global Network of Stakeholders on Employment Creation and Decent Work for Sustainable Development,” said Vladimir Drobnjak, Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).*

“We are holding consultations with the potential members of this network. This network will be Council’s contribution towards addressing this global challenge of monumental proportions.”

Drobnjak said the outcome of this week’s work would serve as an important contribution to ECOSOC’s high-level segment, including the high-level political forum on sustainable development and he stressed his confidence that countries and regions had had an opportunity to learn important lessons from one another regarding the issues at hand.

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02/04/2015

'It’s about More than Mines’ – International Mine Awareness Day

Human Wrongs Watch

1 April 2015 – As the world marks the tenth anniversary of the passing of the global mine ban treaty and commemorates International Mine Awareness Day, the head of the United Nations’ office dealing with the threat they pose stressed today the importance of looking beyond the effects of just anti-personnel mines.

Unexploded ordnance (UXO) in and around the Goma-Kibati area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) being cleared. UN Photo/Sylvain Liechti

Unexploded ordnance (UXO) in and around the Goma-Kibati area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) being cleared. UN Photo/Sylvain Liechti

Agnès Marcaillou, Director of the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), told reporters in New York the significance of the commemoration had expanded over the years and that now it was “mine awareness week” rather than just “mine awareness day.”*

The theme for this year is ‘More Than Mines’, she said, explaining that an evolution had taken place since the mid-1990s, when the focus had been on anti-personnel landmines and civil society had rallied together to conclude a treaty banning landmines that had since become a cornerstone of international humanitarian law.

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