Saturday, 6 August 2011
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad to “immediately end” the use of troops against civilian protesters.
In a telephone call to the Syrian leader, Mr Ban also said the use of mass arrests against protesters must be stopped, the UN said.
It was the first contact between the two men since April.(...more)
This article by Steven Rosen about the legality of a Palestinian state and a short response by Josh Keating touch on this issue. In short, Rosen argues for some independent legal standard for determining statehood (and Palestine doesn’t meet it), such as the Montevideo Convention, while Keating basically argues that there are no such standards(...more)
Suddenly, old dangers become new again. As South African activist and retired Anglican bishop Desmond Tutu says: “The nuclear power crisis in Japan’s Fukushima power plant has served as a dreadful reminder that events thought unlikely can and do happen. But it must not take another Hiroshima or Nagasaki … before (some leaders) finally wake up and recognize the urgent necessity of nuclear disarmament.”
Worldwide, many powerful movements are calling for the total abolition of nuclear weapons. But it would seem that nuclear catastrophes, through accident, miscalculation or terrorism, cannot be eliminated without recognizing that nuclear power reactors have a close connection to atomic weapons.
At noon on Saturday, Aug. 6, Project Ploughshares and Hamilton’s Mundialization Committee are reviving the tradition of holding a public observance at City Hall to commemorate the 1945 nuclear devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and their citizens by the world’s first atomic bombs.(...more)
The International Day of the World’s Indigenous People (9 August) was first proclaimed by the General Assembly in December 1994, to be celebrated every year during the first International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People (1995 – 2004).
In 2004, the Assembly proclaimed a Second International Decade, from 2005 – 2015, with the theme of “A Decade for Action and Dignity.”(...more)
This week, Israel’s Defense Ministry agreed to make an extraordinary payment – an award of almost $150,000 to a Palestinian family in Gaza.
It is the first pay-out to any party claiming harm during the course of Operation Cast Lead – Israel’s three-week offensive in Gaza that began at the end of 2008, according to the Ministry and human rights organizations
The settlement was negotiated by the Gaza-based Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) on behalf of the family of a mother and daughter killed by Israeli soldiers during Cast Lead. The payment is to be made to the family in return for their dropping the claim against the Israeli military.(...more)
His name is Daniel. He is tiny, but he is feisty. He has to be. Over the course of only a few weeks, he has experienced more upheavals than most people do in a lifetime. When he opens his eyes, he looks wise beyond his days.
The 15th of July marked the first month of his life. A month ago, he would have fitted into the palm of a hand. Now, it takes two hands to cradle him. He lives with his parents in a tent, at the Al Hayet Transit Camp near the Tunisian border with Libya which was established by the Tunisian Red Crescent and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). His grandparents watch over him anxiously, his young aunt – a medical student – warily monitors his progress, and his ‘big uncle’, all of ten-years-old, stands guard, ready to come to Daniel’s defence at a moment’s notice.
His parents merely smile at him, as the parents of newborns always do. For them, he is a miracle.
And indeed, he really is.(...more)