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India: Climate emergency message resonates at world’s largest literature festival – UN News special report from Jaipur

UN News Centre - Wed, 29/01/2020 - 18:23
Against the backdrop of India’s famed “pink city” of Jaipur, the world’s largest literature festival hosted the UN’s top representative in the country on Monday, who told audience members attending a special session on the climate emergency, that the Organization is working flat out to slow the pace of damaging climate change. 

The Crime and the TOR-M1 as the Murder Weapon

Foreign Policy Blogs - Wed, 29/01/2020 - 18:16
FILE PHOTO: EDITORS’ NOTE: Reuters and other foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on their ability to film or take pictures in Tehran.  The Tor-M1 anti-aircraft defense system is displayed in a military parade to commemorate the anniversary of the start of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, in Tehran September 22, 2009. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi

At this point the world knows that Iran’s Air Defense shot down a Boeing 737 800 filled with its own citizens, many Canadian citizens, the Ukrainian crew and nationals from a few other countries shortly after launching a ballistic missile attack on Iraq. Evidence shows that two missiles were fired at the plane. This was to ensure it would be destroyed and is sometimes standard practice by the TOR-M1 operators. These actions are a crime against humanity and should be addressed as criminal negligence.

While criminal negligence addresses the lack of intent to commit the crime, it does not always absolve the accused of a charge of First Degree murder in many legal systems. If the accused is so completely negligent in the commission of the act, in this case, if the crew and commanders of the TOR-M1 missile battery we so negligent that they should and have reasonably considered that a passenger aircraft would be in the target zone a few hours after a ballistic missile attack, then they were to blame for the loss. This is because they had the power and decision making ability to mitigate damage or mitigate the losses by their own actions. A defense for them would be that others and their actions contributed to the murder, so the air traffic control, military commanders and strategists, radio operators and even the technician who repaired the radar on the TOR-M1 as well as the country that might have sold it to Iran and did not properly train the crew could be considered in applying a verdict. The country itself is often deemed liable as their defense force is an arm of their government, and foreign governments can claim on the losses of their nationals. If the country destroys or alters evidence, it is obstruction of justice and is a crime as well.

The TOR-M1 is an earlier versions of a fairly modern system that contains its own missiles, usually eight, and has its own radar and equipment to detect and shoot at any enemy targets. It was designed to shoot down aircraft as well as drones at medium range. Because of this, it can be legitimately assumed that a system that is designed to shoot down drones in addition to aircraft could use its systems to determine the difference between those types of targets. Older SAM systems relied on a network of missiles linked to a main radar hub, that is often linked to a larger network and command structure to find targets via a separate radar system and direct the firing units to their targets. The TOR-M1 in question likely was linked to a larger network as well but has the ability to target and fire its own missiles. While the missiles are smaller than longer-range systems like the BUK-M1 that shot down the Malaysia Airlines flight over Ukraine, they often fire more than one round as they are utilized more often to eliminate fast-moving or smaller targets like drones and perhaps cruise missiles. Because anti-Aircraft systems often have their radars targeted first in an assault, the TOR-M1 unit would have been a viable first target if any assault would be made on their area within Iran’s borders.

If the TOR-M1 system would be considered to be operating normally, then the likely case would be that the TOR-M1 operators, their command structure and the larger military command and any political directors of the air defense platform are liable, making the country itself liable for their agents and claims can be made by other countries in International Law. Training for the crew of the TOR-M1 is likely extensive, and those operators and the country that trained them have additional liability in the operation of the TOR because they are considered professionals or experts in its operation. Civil aviation authorities that had the knowledge and were aware of the danger would be considered liable as well based on information they knew at the time during a possible conflict scenario. Nationals of Iran would claim under their legal system, but claims might be made on their behalf if it is determined that their legal system lacks justice in the application of the law for those victims, or that victims were coerced or threatened against claiming rights and compensation in the application of their law.

International legal and political pressure should support locals if justice is seen as being skewed or altered to benefit the criminal actors in this case. While actions in mitigating the losses or suffering may alter the quantum of damages owed by the state to local and foreign victims of the crime, assuming other actors beyond the state and their agents contributed to the crime only serves to reduce the claims owed to victims of the crime as it assumes contributory negligence to those that had no control or power in the situation to prevent or halt the actions by the state and its agents. Placing the onus on foreign agents only serves to reduce compensation to victims duly owed their right to justice. As for Canada, Ukraine and other countries that lost its citizens, they should fully compensate their nationals and claim back those funds from Iran directly. To do this they must be clear on who they will claim has liability in this case.

Out of all of the areas of law, it could be said that Criminal Law, while having the highest burden of proof, also has the simplest formula to determine whether or not guilt can be associated with the criminals being charged. In this case Iran admitted to the crime, the weapon was the TOR-M1 and the two missiles fired murdered everyone on the plane. Any language that shifts blame to another focus is just hurting the victims further.

The post The Crime and the TOR-M1 as the Murder Weapon appeared first on Foreign Policy Blogs.

Le service public de la petite enfance, une réussite française en danger

Le Monde Diplomatique - Wed, 29/01/2020 - 17:55
Menace d'extinction de la protection maternelle et infantile, pénurie de pédopsychiatres, dégradation de la qualité de l'accueil en crèche… Dans le domaine de la petite enfance aussi, les appétits du commerce sont chaque jour davantage servis par les autorités. Une évolution qui compromet (...) / , , , , , , - 2020/02

Zone de rêve collectif

Le Monde Diplomatique - Wed, 29/01/2020 - 15:54
Nos avenirs nous appartiennent. Encore faut-il les imaginer et les rendre contagieux. Un collectif d'auteurs de science-fiction, ou plutôt de « science-friction », choisit de créer des outils de libération des imaginaires, et de les propager. / France, Fiction, Littérature, Science - (...) / , , , - 2020/02

The Wounded Presidency, Part Two

Foreign Affairs - Wed, 29/01/2020 - 06:00

Just after 10:30 AM on August 7, 1998, two truck bombs exploded within minutes of each other outside the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing 224 people—12 of them Americans—and wounding more than 5,000 others. In the days that followed, the FBI and the CIA briefed U.S. President Bill Clinton on those they believed were responsible. “This one is a slam dunk, Mr. President,” said the CIA’s basketball-loving director, George Tenet. “There is no doubt that this was an al Qaeda operation.”


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2019: A deadly year for migrants crossing the Americas

UN News Centre - Tue, 28/01/2020 - 23:00
More than 800 people died last year crossing deserts, rivers and remote lands while migrating across the Americas, making 2019 one of deadliest years on record, the UN migration agency said on Tuesday.

Yemen: Escalation in fighting must stop ‘before it’s too late’, Griffiths tells Security Council

UN News Centre - Tue, 28/01/2020 - 21:37
The UN Special Envoy for Yemen told an emergency session of the Security Council on Tuesday that a recent upsurge in violence between pro-Government and rebel forces following weeks of relative calm, had to end “before it’s too late”.

West Darfur tensions could see 30,000 flee across Sudanese border to Chad: UN refugee agency

UN News Centre - Tue, 28/01/2020 - 21:30
The number of people fleeing to Chad to escape ongoing tensions in Sudan’s West Darfur state, could reach 30,000 in the coming weeks, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said on Tuesday. 

New UN finance panel to push Global Goals forward

UN News Centre - Tue, 28/01/2020 - 20:40
The President of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday encouraged Member States to support a new panel that has been set up to help make the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) a reality, by 2030.  

Tenir une grève longue

Le Monde Diplomatique - Tue, 28/01/2020 - 19:19
À la mi-janvier, plus de 4 millions d'euros avaient été récoltés pour soutenir les travailleurs mobilisés contre le projet de réforme des retraites. Apparues au XIXe siècle, les caisses de solidarité ont rarement suffi à compenser les pertes de salaire dues à la grève. C'est pourquoi le mouvement ouvrier (...) / , , , , , , , , , - 2020/02

Iraq: UN human rights report voices concern over conduct of ISIL fighter trials

UN News Centre - Tue, 28/01/2020 - 18:15
A new UN report published on Tuesday shows that while considerable effort has been made by Iraqi authorities to bring former ISIL terrorist fighters to justice, there are “serious concerns” about the fairness of the proceedings. 

Au nom du bien-être de l'enfant

Le Monde Diplomatique - Tue, 28/01/2020 - 17:18
L'Union européenne définit désormais comme « maltraitance » l'« absence de disponibilité affective » ou l'« incapacité à favoriser l'adaptation sociale de l'enfant ». Des principes qui s'imposent en premier lieu aux mères. / Enfance, Femmes, Idées, Santé - (...) / , , , - 2011/05

Foreign Affairs Quiz

Foreign Policy Blogs - Tue, 28/01/2020 - 15:43

The post Foreign Affairs Quiz appeared first on Foreign Policy Blogs.

Iraqi human rights activist Al Hamadani praises elimination of Soleimani

Foreign Policy Blogs - Tue, 28/01/2020 - 15:39

TEHRAN, IRAN – (Photo by Pool / Press Office of Iranian Supreme Leader/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Iraqi human rights activist Ammar Al Hamadani is a strong supporter of the State of Israel and seeks the establishment of an Israeli Embassy in Baghdad.  He also supports compensation for Jewish refugees from Arab countries and has done much work in order to promote improved Israeli-Iraqi relations.  Given his strong sympathy for the Jewish people and the State of Israel, he praised US President Donald Trump for eliminating Al Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani, emphasizing that the move greatly assisted not only Israel’s national security but also the well-being of Iraqi protesters like himself, who envision a future where Iraq and Israel are living in peace with one another.    

“Soleimani is a dangerous terrorist,” he declared.  “He murdered and kidnapped Iranian and Iraqi protesters.  He attacked American forces in Iraq, killing American, British and coalition forces.  He attacked the Saudi oil wells.  He destabilized the security and stability of the Arab Gulf states by blackmailing them and interfering in their internal affairs.  He attacked the military base in Kirkuk, killing an American citizen.  He stormed the US Embassy in Baghdad, endangering American diplomats.  Furthermore, he planned to launch a major terror attack against American forces after storming the American Embassy.”

Al Hamadani believes that all of Iran’s actions against the US are designed in order to compel the Americans to return to the nuclear deal and to lift sanctions against Tehran: “US President Donald Trump correctly dealt with the Iranian provocations, using the military solution as well as diplomatic and political means by inviting the Iranian regime to negotiate.”  Al Hamadani does not believe that Iran will attack the US directly but rather will use its proxies against the Americans following the elimination of Soleimani.  He does not think that this will escalate into an Iranian-American war but rather will be a war of attrition, where America’s proxies fight against the mullah’s regimes militias.

In light of this, Al Hamadani urges the United States to support the Iranian and Iraqi protesters, stressing that if Iraq successfully expels Iran from the country, it will greatly weaken the mullah’s regime for it will be harder for Iran to get around the US imposed sanctions.  To date, Iran has been using Iraq in order to bypass US-led sanctions.  He claims by getting Iran expelled by Iraq via supporting the Iraqi protesters, Iran could end up finding itself in a situation where they are forced to renegotiate the nuclear deal so that it is more favorable to the US for they will be heavily pressured by domestic protests and will have lost one of their main proxies, Iraq. 

Al Hamadani emphasizes that the Iranian militias that attacked the US Embassy in Baghdad don’t represent most Iraqi people: “Most Iraqis view the storming of the American Embassy in Baghdad to be a cowardly, treacherous and terrorist act.  They view America to be an ally and friend of Iraq.  This harms the interests of the Iraqi people and threatens its foreign policy.  American forces should remain in Iraq and not withdraw for if they leave Iraq, Iran will occupy Iraq and threaten the security of the State of Israel and its allies in the region.”   For this reason, he urged America to support the Iraqi and Iranian protesters rather than withdraw from the Middle East.     


The post Iraqi human rights activist Al Hamadani praises elimination of Soleimani appeared first on Foreign Policy Blogs.

FROM THE FIELD: Sourcing clean water in Ghana

UN News Centre - Tue, 28/01/2020 - 15:25
Communities in northern Ghana are benefiting from the rehabilitation of water sources which is expected to boost livelihoods and build resilience against climate change, thanks to a project supported by the UN Development Programme (UNDP). 

En 1961, le tournant du procès Eichmann

Le Monde Diplomatique - Tue, 28/01/2020 - 15:17
Des centaines de personnes se sont rassemblées, le 15 février 2000, pour assister à une discussion philosophique sur la mémoire. Bernard-Henri Levy et Alain Finkielkraut, invités de l'Institut d'études levinassiennes, tentaient de dégager le « sens » d'Auschwitz et le caractère unique de l'Holocauste. (...) / , , , - 2001/04

Nearly 5 million children in need due to rising violence in central Sahel: UNICEF

UN News Centre - Tue, 28/01/2020 - 01:35
A surge in violence in the central Sahel region in Africa means nearly five million children will need humanitarian assistance this year, up from 4.3 million, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned on Tuesday. 

‘Carry our stories forward’: Holocaust survivors share powerful testimonies at UN

UN News Centre - Tue, 28/01/2020 - 00:27
When the Nazis invaded Poland, overnight, nine-year-old Theodor Meron became “a refugee, out of school, out of childhood and constantly in clear and present danger”, the man who would later become a Judge for International Criminal Tribunals told the United Nations Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony on Monday.

UN health agency team in China to strengthen coronavirus response through partnership

UN News Centre - Mon, 27/01/2020 - 23:56
The head of the UN World Health Organization (WHO) is in China to discuss the novel coronavirus outbreak with senior Government officials. 

Qui a peur de Big Brother<small class="fine"> </small>?

Le Monde Diplomatique - Mon, 27/01/2020 - 19:02
Selon la Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertés, de 22 % à 37 % des informations du fichier informatisé des infractions constatées de la police française sont erronées. Néanmoins, un vote du Sénat, le 15 juillet, a permis l'assouplissement des lois de contrôle des fichiers d'Etat ! (...) / , , , , , , , , , - 2004/08