Sunday, February 11, 2018

Shades of the Third Reich

The shocking story of Israel's disappeared babies | Israel News | Al Jazeera

The first consequence is likely to be mounting pressure on the government to open the state's adoption files so that the true extent of the disappearances can be gauged and families reunited.

But Hanegbi's otherwise evasive comments will do little to end suspicions that officials are still actively trying to avoid confronting the most contentious questions: Why were the infants taken from their families? Did hospitals and welfare organisations traffic children in Israel's early years? And were state bodies complicit in the mass abductions?

When asked by Israeli TV programme Meet the Press whether government officials were involved, Hanegbi would say only: "We may never know." Read More

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Brexit: 89% of Britons want dual citizenship after leaving EU, finds survey

89 per cent of UK citizens would like to have a second citizenship and many of them are prepared to spend a considerable amount for the privilege, according to a new survey.

Some 58 per cent admitted Brexit has been the motivating factor in their decision. According to the "Citizenship Survey", conducted by CS Global Partners, three in four participants believed a second passport would give them the ability to travel and explore the world with greater ease.

The second most popular reason was the belief that a second non-UK citizenship would mean "increased freedom and human rights" - with nearly three in five citing this as their concern. One in six people wanted a second passport for business and career opportunities.

CS Global Partners - a law firm specialising in citizenship and residence solutions - spoke to 500 people between the ages of 18 and 50 years old within the last month. Read More

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Pope Francis Shares a Devastating Photo for His New Year Message

As part of his New Year’s address, Pope Francis shared the most important image you’ll see all day.

Pope Francis has printed a card calling for peace and empathy in this New Year as a bleak warning of what the face of global conflict looks like. Featuring one of the most devastating photos to come out of World War II, the card simply reads in Italian “il frutto della guerra,” which translates into English to “the fruit of war.” Read More

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Voices of justice need to be heard

Ahed Tamimi: The voice of justice needs to be heard.

A slap is a physical act not meant to wound, maim nor kill. It is rather, an act born of frustration, of indignation and a stinging rebuke for unwanted action.

Ahed Tamimi is a 16-year-old Palestinian girl who lives in the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh where villagers have resisted the Israeli occupation.

The Israeli occupying army functions as the military defenders of Jewish settlers in the nearby Jewish settlements of Halamish. This is a settler village whose residents steal the Nabi Saleh villagers’ water, and illegally confiscate their farm land to expand the settlement. httjps://

Sunday, December 10, 2017

How will US Jerusalem move affect Israel's far right? By Jonathan Cook

'Tipping point'

"We may remember this date as the tipping point, as the moment when a new consensus emerged in Israel behind the idea of total Jewish supremacy," journalist David Sheen, an expert on Israel's far-right movements, told Al Jazeera.

Similar concerns were expressed by Yousef Jabareen, a Palestinian member of Israel's parliament.

"We can expect to see a move rightwards across Israeli society," he told Al Jazeera. "The centre-left parties were already tacking much closer to the right. They will now want to align themselves with Trump's position. Meanwhile, the right will be encouraged to move to the extreme right."

Both noted that Avi Gabbay - the recently elected leader of the Zionist Union, the official opposition and the party that was once the backbone of the Israeli peace camp - had begun espousing positions little different from those of right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. More

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Why does Canada spy on its own indigenous communities?

6 December 2017 - Indigenous nations have emerged as vocal defenders of land and water, but state surveillance of these groups is disproportionate, and speaks of the broad criminalisation of Indigenous peoples.

“Researchers and journalists have begun to reveal the extent to which Indigenous activists and organisations in Canada are subject to surveillance by police, military, national security intelligence agencies and other government bodies. While security agencies have long looked beyond ‘traditional’ national security threats and set their sights on activists – even in the absence of evidence linking these individuals or organisations to any violent criminal activity – this reality is increasingly the subject of media and public scrutiny. As Jeffrey Monaghan and Kevin Walby have written, the language of “aboriginal and multi-issue extremists” in security discourse blurs the line between threats to national security, matters of ordinary law enforcement, and lawful, democratic advocacy.

In this piece, we summarise some of what is known about the surveillance practices employed to keep tabs on Indigenous leaders and activists, and describe their impact on Charter-protected and internationally recognised human rights and freedoms.

Indigenous nations and peoples have emerged, worldwide, as vocal defenders of land and water, organising to protect ancestral territories and ways of life. In Canada, while aboriginal and treaty rights are constitutionally recognised and affirmed, the interpretation of those rights is highly contested and a matter frequently before the country’s highest court. Indigenous activists and organisations in Canada have led popular resistance to the development of new oil and gas pipelines, hydroelectric dams, mining operations, and other extractive industries that have significant environmental impact and which frequently encroach on Indigenous territories.

This resistance – with tactics ranging from peaceful protest and strategic litigation to the establishment of creative action camps and blockades – has frequently been met with a forceful police response. Through diligent research and investigative reporting, a pattern of extensive surveillance of these activities has also emerged – implicating law enforcement, intelligence agencies and numerous other government bodies.”

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Civilian exposure to munitions-specific carcinogens and resulting cancer risks for civilians on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques following military exercises from 1947 to 1998

Estimation of legacy public health risks from munitions residues near or at former military test ranges has for the past decades been a challenge to health authorities. Parts of the island of Vieques (PR) were for six decades used for military training, and these are now declared as a Superfund site. ATSDR has conducted site assessments there and found no cause for public health concerns. The reports and findings of ATSDR have since been heavily contested and disputed. This paper provides a case study on cancer risk screening of munitions-specific carcinogens for the full period of military training on Vieques. Added cancer risks and Margins of Exposure for the diferent carcinogens for each year were derived. We found that there is a potential for cancer risk concern related to BaP exposures. Furthermore, there were health risks from TNT exposures. The primary exposure route of these compounds was oral. The period 1992–1997 showed a significantly elevated lung and bronchus cancer incidence rate in Vieques compared to Puerto Rico mainland mainly among women <50 yr and men 50–64 yr. These correlate with high munitions exposures in the period 1977–1984.

Punishing Vieques: Puerto Rico Struggles With Contamination 10 Years After Activists Expel U.S. Navy. Democracy Now

Estimating the human health risks from historical and legacy distributed munitions residues from military test ranges has for the past decades been a challenge to authorities (Phillips & Perry, 2002). This is because there generally is little information available regarding estimating the public health risks of military-unique releases to humans via environmental pathways from past activities (Phillips & Perry, 2002). The aim of this paper is therefore to provide an example of how a risk assessment can be developed to help prioritise further empirical risk research with an emphasis on cancer risks.

We chose the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, which has been used as a military test area for more than six decades by the U.S. military. The Navy engaged two-thirds of the island’s 9000 acres where military exercises tested live ammunition. Testing was open on average 180 days per year (AJPH, 2001). Meanwhile, between 9000 and 14000, inhabitants lived eight miles away from the ranges during the period. The first large-scale war games took place in 1948 involving more than 60 war ships, 350 planes and 50,000 troops from all branches of the military. In the early 1980s, an average of 3400 bombs were deployed, 158 days of naval bombardment, 200 days of air-to-ground combat exercises and 21 days of marines practising invasions per year on the island. Over 15 years from 1983 to 1998, the military deployed more than 17.7 million kg of munitions on Vieques (Davis, Hayes-Conroy, & Jones, 2007).

In 2005, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) listed the Vieques bombing range as a Superfund site (Davis et al., 2007). After the closure and the Superfund status, the US EPA commissioned an assessment of ecological and human health risks. The current conclusion regarding human health risks is that the exposure is not under control – meaning that; (1) contamination has been detected at a site at an unsafe level; and (2) a reasonable expectation exists that people may be exposed to the contamination (US EPA, 2016b).