themcglynn.com

12 Jul

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

PNN

PMO: Expanding support for settlements underscores Israel’s true intentions

RAMI

Today, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah issued a statement condemning Israel’s plan to support the illegal Kiryat Arba settlement and the Jewish settlers in Hebron with an additional 50 million Shekels.

The continued expansion of illegal settlements and the substantial sums poured into their development shows that Israel’s purported support of a two-state solution is not credible,”

Hamdallah said “It’s only purpose is is to divert the international community from Israel’s true intention: making the creation of a Palestinian state impossible and maintaining the brutal occupation of the Palestinians indefinitely.”

The announcement of the 50-million Shekel plan comes shortly after the Israeli government approved the construction of 800 new housing units for settlers in East Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim; a decision harshly criticized by both the European Union and the United Nations.

The recently published report by the Middle East Quartet has also stated that the continuing expansion of settlements is one of the major obstacles to peace.

“Once again, the Israeli government’s support for the illegal settlements and their extremist inhabitants makes it clear who the aggressor is,” said Jamal Dajani, Director of Strategic Communication and Media at the Prime Minister’s Office.

“Israel tries to portray itself as a victim, when the real victims are the Palestinians. They are the ones who are having their land stolen, their future taken and who are being killed by violent settlers and trigger-happy soldiers…………..

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International tribunal’s ruling will increase pressure on China to scale back military expansion in disputed region

A Chinese coastguard vessel is pictured on the disputed Second Thomas Shoal

A Chinese coastguard vessel on the disputed Second Thomas Shoal, part of the Spratly Islands, in the South China Sea. Photograph: Erik de Castro/Reuters

China has lost a key international legal case over strategic reefs and atolls that it claims would give it control over disputed waters of the South China Sea.

The judgment by an international tribunal in The Hague is overwhelmingly in favour of claims by the Philippines and will increase global diplomatic pressure on Beijing to scale back military expansion in the sensitive area.

By depriving certain outcrops – some of which are exposed only at low tide – of territorial-generating status, the ruling effectively punches holes in China’s all-encompassing “nine-dash” demarcation line that stretches deep into the South China Sea. It declares large areas of the sea to be neutral international waters.

The findings by the Hague tribunal contain a series of criticisms of China’s actions and claims. The court declares that “although Chinese navigators and fishermen, as well as those of other states, had historically made use of the islands in the South China Sea, there was no evidence that China had historically exercised exclusive control over the waters or their resources.

“The tribunal concluded that there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the ‘nine-dash line’.”

China reacted angrily to the verdict. Xinhua, the country’s official news agency, hit out at what it described as an “ill-founded” ruling that was “naturally null and void”………….

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In hospitals, schools and businesses, Israeli Arabs, Jews and Palestinians are working side by side to forge a better future

Siham Sheble Masarwa, an Israeli Arab and head technician of Hadassah Ein Kerem’s catheterisation lab, teaches Jewish Israeli students

Siham Sheble Masarwa, an Israeli Arab and head technician of Hadassah Ein Kerem’s catheterisation lab, teaches Jewish Israeli students. Photograph: Kate Shuttleworth for the Guardian

In a world of conflict, confrontation, deadlocks and dead ends, few crises are as protracted as the Israeli-Palestinian impasse.

But however inauspicious a situation, pockets of humanity can always be found.

The hospital

Within minutes of arriving at the emergency wing of the Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital in Jerusalem with severe chest pain, a 58-year-old heart attack patient is lying on an operating table. A cardiologist and a team of three specialist cardiovascular nurses stand over her.

In a room behind a glass screen beyond the operating table stands the head technician, Siham Sheble Masarwa, an Israeli Arab, who monitors the operation, directing a team of Jewish and Arab medical experts.

Masarwa monitors x-ray images on a screen that show where the blockage is in the woman’s left coronary artery. She has been a nurse at the hospital for 20 years and now runs the catheterisation lab in the intensive cardiac care unit.

The Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital sits on what was an Arab village that was cleared when the Israeli army attacked it in 1948 and the Arab residents fled. Today the hospital is a rare island of calm where Jews, Israeli Arabs and some Palestinian staff work together to treat patients.

Outside, there is a sea of distrust and growing violence between Israelis and Palestinians, with divisive political rhetoric on the rise and the loudest voices pushing for nationalism and more division.

Next door to the lab is the cardiology ward, where Rashad Rizeq, 32, a Palestinian from Ramallah, has been selected for a residency…………

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Explosions and heavy gunfire heard across capital for fifth day as humanitarian crisis worsens and fears grow of return to civil war

Some of the at least three thousand displaced women, men and children taking shelter at the UN compound in Tomping area in Juba.

Some of the at least three thousand displaced women, men and children taking shelter at the UN compound in Tomping area in Juba. Photograph: Beatrice Mategwa/AFP/Getty Images

The humanitarian situation in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, is dire and deteriorating, aid workers say, with hospitals shelled, food supplies running low, tens of thousands of people taking refuge in churches and many more displaced as fighting between government and opposition forces rages for a fifth day.

Explosions and heavy weapons gunfire was heard across the capital of the world’s youngest country on Monday, while local, regional and international powers called for calm amid growing fears about the return of civil war.

The death toll is thought to be more than 300, including scores of civilians, although there are few clear and reliable details on casualties from the fighting.

At least one hospital has been hit by shellfire, along with camps where the United Nations provides protection to people who have been displaced. On Monday streets in Juba were deserted except for people fleeing the ongoing clashes, locals contacted by telephone said………….

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Police released a man arrested last week and are searching for anyone connected to a spree of stabbings and burnings that killed three men and wounded another

San Diego authorities gather evidence from the area where a homeless person was attacked last week.

San Diego authorities gather evidence from the area where a homeless person was attacked last week. Photograph: John Gibbins/AP

A man arrested last week on suspicion of waging a murderous campaign against San Diego’s homeless population has been released without charge, suggesting that a serial killer could still be on the loose.

San Diego’s police department announced on Monday it had released Anthony Alexander Padgett, 36, who was detained last Friday in connection to a grisly spree of stabbings and burnings that killed three men and wounded another.

“I don’t have enough evidence to keep him behind bars right now,” Capt Dave Nisleit told a news conference. “We have discovered exculpatory evidence.”

Nisleit said police had arrested Padgett, who is homeless, because he resembled a suspect in a surveillance video and had been convicted in 2010 of setting fire to a fellow transient.

He was due to be arraigned on Monday charged with murder and attempted murder but police decided against filing charges, the captain said. “I can’t with good confidence move forward with keeping Padgett in custody.”……………

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Judge Barry Williams rules he would go forward with manslaughter, which is the most serious charge against the highest ranking officer in case

Lt Brian Rice, second from left, one of the six members of the Baltimore police department charged in connection to the death of Freddie Gray, arrives to court last week.

Lt Brian Rice, second from left, one of the six members of the Baltimore police department charged in connection to the death of Freddie Gray, arrives to court last week. Photograph: Patrick Semansky/AP

In another blow to the prosecution of the officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, a judge acquitted Lt Brian Rice of assault before the defense even presented its case. Judge Barry Williams called another of the remaining three charges “an extremely close call” but stopped short of dismissing it.

The prosecution rested its case Monday against Rice, the highest ranking officer charged in Gray’s death, after questioning several of Rice’s fellow officers.

Rice initiated a chase against Gray, a 25-year-old African American, after Gray began to run upon making eye contact with Rice last April. Gray died a week after that arrest, as a result of injuries he sustained while in police custody, setting off weeks of protests and unrest in the city………….

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The New Mexico senator who helped halt the auction of a ceremonial shield is attempting to crack down on sacred items sold on international markets

Native American dancers at the Red Rock Park in New Mexico. The bill would prohibit exporting Native American items that are of cultural and historic significance.

Native American dancers at the Red Rock Park in New Mexico. The bill would prohibit exporting Native American items that are of cultural and historic significance. Photograph: Hector Mata/AFP/Getty Images

A US senator who helped halt the auction of a ceremonial shield from a Native American tribe in New Mexico is now attempting to crack down on the theft and sale of sacred Native American artifacts in international markets.

Democrat Martin Heinrich of New Mexico introduced a bill to the Senate that would prohibit the export of Native American items that are of cultural and historic significance. It would also increase the penalties from a maximum of five years to a maximum of 10 years for individuals who steal and illegally traffic these items.

Native American artifacts have been appearing at international auction houses over the last few years.

In May, bidding for a shield used in religious ceremonies at Acoma Pueblo was scheduled to begin at the Eve auction house in Paris. But the bidding was canceled after tribal leaders claimed the shield was stolen from an elder’s home during a break-in decades ago.

The Safeguard Tribal Objects of Patrimony (STOP) Act would also establish a two-year amnesty period during which people who have illegally possessed significant Native American items could return them without fear of prosecution.

In addition, it calls on government agencies to conduct an investigation to better understand the scope of the theft and illegal sale of tribal artifacts, and to work with tribal leaders to address the issue.

Navajo Nation council speaker LoRenzo Bates said the bill would not only benefits indigenous people now, but also “preserves our cultural wisdom and items to be utilized for generations to come”……………..

US politics

Election 2016

Latest Election Minute

Opinion

Feigning ignorance or a lack of complicity is no longer acceptable – we must all work together to counter endemic prejudice in America

Nicholle Ramsey, right, Mike Leutgeb Munson, center, and Spencer Klausing carry a banner during a peaceful gathering and march, Saturday, July 9, 2016, in Winona, Minn., to support the Black Lives Matter movement and to condemn the killing of Philando Castile. A suburban St. Paul police officer who killed the black driver reacted to the man’s gun, not his race, his attorney said Saturday, giving the most detailed account so far of why the officer drew his own weapon during the traffic stop. (Taylor Nyman/Winona Daily News via AP)

‘Why have we inured ourselves to their suffering, their sorrow, their fear, their desires, their dreams?’ Photograph: Taylor Nyman/AP

It is time for a collective reckoning, a moral accounting, a radical self-appraisal and calling out, fellow white Americans. Our explicit and implicit participation in crimes against black people has gone on for too long.

What allows us to justify murder? What selfish gene prevents us from intervening in the face of blatant injustice? What history of lies and distortions have we sold ourselves that keep us in our isolated boxes of superiority and denial? What truth would we have to tell about ourselves to unravel these strangulating tentacles of racism and violence?

What systems would we have to abandon or lose or claim as bankrupt?

Which one of us hasn’t seen the outright slaughter going on in the recent videos of police shootings, and the videos before them, and the lynchings before them?

Who doesn’t know the history of the very intentional policies that created abject conditions that so many black people are forced to live in: the poverty, the lack of opportunities, education, jobs, the exclusion? Which one of us doesn’t understand the daily terror that occupies the lifeblood of every black woman, man and child in America which inhibits their ability to breath, live and thrive? Which one of us hasn’t noticed the prisons filled with millions of black folks who are held and incarcerated at a rate 14 times higher than whites?

And if we don’t see or know these things, why the hell don’t we? Why have we created and allowed such a distance between us and the black people around us? Why have we inured ourselves to their suffering, their sorrow, their fear, their desires, their dreams?

It’s time now to put our white asses on the line for the freedom of our black sisters and brothers – time to be willing to forfeit our privilege and status; time to admit the failure of a racist ideology and framework. Time to stop criticizing the tactics or methods or emotions of revolutionary movements that rise with bravery, heart vision, passion, patience and heroic kindness in response to the most grotesque atrocities, murders, degradations, terror, isolation and exclusion…………

 

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