Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Priest Lives Life As Journey Toward ‘God Of Peace’

Filed under: Nonviolence,Religion and peacebuilding — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 11:13 PDT

ATLANTA—As a young Jesuit, Father John Dear choose to add his own vow of nonviolence, along with the required vows of obedience, poverty and chastity.

A hero of his, Mahatma Gandhi, lived a life of 16 vows, including to “only speak the truth” and “fearlessness,” so Father John’s vows were small in comparison. It was rooted in what he jokingly called a “secret training school of nonviolence” as he studied to be a priest.


Iraq legislators delay US pact vote

Filed under: Middle East — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 11:12 PDT

Iraq’s parliamentary vote on a wide-ranging accord that would allow US troops to stay in the country for another three years has been postponed.

MPs will now vote on the pact on Thursday, after reservations by Sunnis and fierce opposition by Shia groups threatened to derail the agreement altogether.

The agreement has been subject to numerous revisions in an attempt to keep various political factions on board and push the deal through parliament with a respectable majority.

The pact now makes provision for Iraqi supervision of US forces and also meets demands for a clear exit timetable for the 150,000 American troops in Iraq.


US-Iraq: What’s the deal?

Filed under: Middle East — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 11:11 PDT

Michael Schwartz deconstructs the US-Iraq security pact/


Rwanda: NUR Adds Civic and Peace Education to Curriculum

Filed under: News Watch Blog,Rwanda — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 11:10 PDT

The National University of Rwanda [NUR] is in the final stage of setting up a Civic and Peace Education course, to be made compulsory for every student at the university.


Millions join UN in urgent call to step up and eliminate violence against women

Filed under: gender,Human Rights,News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 10:51 PDT

More than five million individuals around the world have sent a clear and unequivocal message to their governments to take decisive action in stopping the relentless cycle of violence against women, at the conclusion of an Internet-based United Nations campaign today.

The UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) launched its Say NO to Violence against Women awareness-raising campaign last year calling on governments to make ending violence against women a top priority.

The initiative amassed more than 5 million names on its website petition, easily surpassing its original target of 1 million signatures.


People of 2008 Finalist: Aid Workers Killed in the Line of Duty

Filed under: News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 10:25 PDT

WASHINGTON – Dozens of humanitarian aid workers were targeted and killed around the world this year. In some countries, particularly severe surges of violence have forced aid organizations to reconsider or suspend life-saving and community building operations…


Palestinian peace activists prevented passage to leave the country

Filed under: Middle East — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 10:16 PDT

The Joint Advocacy Initiative (JAI) manager Nidal Abu Zuluf was rejected passage through the King Hussein (aka Allenby) bridge going to Jordan, as to fly to Egypt for attending the Christian Aid partners meeting, a statement by the JAI said.


The dissident choice

Filed under: News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 10:15 PDT

That Barack Obama is the antithesis of George W. Bush is by now axiomatic. The president-elect is expected to change everything, from the prevailing ideology to the government’s order of priorities to the partisan atmosphere in Washington to even the mood in America.

Amid all these differences, however, there could be an important point of convergence between Bush and Obama: supporting democracy by personally meeting with and acting on behalf of democratic dissidents….


Jobs on the site of the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)

Filed under: Conferences, Events,gender,Human Rights,Jobs, awards, opportunities,News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 10:02 PDT
Monday, 1 December 2008

The AWID website lists jobs around the world. See the listings at

International Standards for Detaining Terrorism Suspects: Moving Beyond the Armed Conflict-Criminal Divide

Filed under: International Law: War,News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:26 PDT

My article addresses the international legal rules for detaining “non-battlefield terrorism suspects”—i.e., suspected terrorists not captured on a conventional battlefield or in the theater of combat. Despite the extensive literature on the rules that govern the “war on terror,” and on the treatment of detainees in particular, there continues to be significant confusion about when, and under what conditions, a state may lawfully detain non-battlefield terrorism suspects. On those questions, two broad strands of thought have emerged. One asserts that the law of armed conflict governs to permit extended detention with minimal legal process; the other claims that human-rights law applies to prohibit detention unless accompanied by the ordinary criminal process. Neither strand tracks international practice. Rather than uniformly adopting one approach or the other—the armed conflict approach or an exclusively criminal one—international actors have been groping for new options.


Follow the responses to this article.


Trampling The Rights Of The Child: The Treatment Of Juveniles In Guantánamo

Filed under: children and youth,Human Rights,International Law: War,News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:25 PDT

According to the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (on the involvement of children in armed conflict), to which the United States has been a signatory since January 23, 2003, juvenile prisoners — those under the age of 18 when their alleged crimes took place — “require special protection.” The Optional Protocol specifically recognizes “the special needs of those children who are particularly vulnerable to recruitment or use in hostilities”, and requires its signatories to promote “the physical and psychosocial rehabilitation and social reintegration of children who are victims of armed conflict.”

In January 2003, four doctors in Guantánamo put together a fascinating document, entitled “Recommended Course of Action for Reception and Detention of Individuals Under 18 Years of Age” (PDF). This was clearly influenced by international agreements regarding the distinctions between adult and juvenile prisoners (including the Geneva Conventions, which were, in general, shredded by the administration), and it laid out, in painstaking detail, how juvenile prisoners held at Guantánamo should be treated.


Emanuel’s Record on Israel Is More Dovish Than the Headlines Suggest

Filed under: Middle East — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:00 PDT

WASHINGTON — The appointment of Rahm Emanuel as president-elect Barack Obama’s new chief of staff drew a wave of jubilation in Israel at the prospect of the son of an Irgun fighter running the White House, and a wave of condemnation in the Arab world for much the same reason. The Israeli press embraced him as “Obama’s Israeli,” while the Arab press derided him as an agent for the Mossad.

A close examination of Emanuel’s voting record during three terms as a Congressman from Illinois, and his involvement with Middle East issues during the Clinton administration, paints a more complex picture of the next president’s gatekeeper. Though known for close ties with the Israelis, Emanuel had never given them a free pass and has consistently supported a dovish policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict….

But a closer look at Emanuel’s actions finds that he does not easily fit in as either an unconditional supporter of Israel, or one who would be willing to push for a peace agreement no matter what. “He is pro-Israel and pro-peace,” said Uri Savir, one of the chief negotiators of the Oslo peace accords.


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