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Thu, 27 Apr 2017
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Pumpkin

Clueless British MP's review 'two-tier' asylum system that leave refugees homeless and destitute

© Eddie Keogh / Reuters
A cross-party group of MPs is calling for a review of the 'two-tier' asylum system amid concerns that thousands of refugees face destitution and homelessness upon arriving in the UK.

The all-party parliamentary group on refugees said that while asylum seekers who arrive in Britain through resettlement schemes enjoy certain advantages, those who are given refugee status lack basic support.

Although both refugees and those under humanitarian protection have fled persecution in the same way, they are not given equal treatment. The MPs are calling on the government to appoint a minister to redress this imbalance.

Up to 50,000 refugees are thought to have arrived to the UK as refugees in 2012, while a mere 10,000 were granted protection through resettlement schemes in the same period.

Comment: Here's another solution: Stop imposing neoliberal economic shock therapy on the countries these people are coming from. And for goodness sake, stop supporting the so-called humanitarian war efforts at changing other countries' governments. In other words, stop supporting merry old England's policy of bombing their schools, hospitals, housing and infrastructure to kingdom come. Stop doing these things and you won't have to think about the injustice of a 'two tier' asylum system - you bunch of bureaucratic, technocratic, pathocratic nitwits!!


Bandaid

FakeNews: Jihadists mourn after Russians bomb their favorite underground bunker hospital


Our sources tell us the bunker hospital was treating 3,000 Syrian babies in incubators who were being treated for Sarin poisoning.
Russia accused of war crimes after bombing a cave from the Bible


Russia successfully vaporized an Al Qaeda training camp in Idlib Province, Syria, earlier this week.

This is of course completely unacceptable.

Now the 'moderate rebels' have harnessed the power of Twitter to spread stories about Russia barrel-bombing Idlib cat sanctuaries.

The latest allegation: Russia bombed an underground 'hospital', according to very unreliable sources.

USA

Free speech?: Berkeley students file lawsuit over canceled Ann Coulter speaking engagement

© Patrick T. Fallon / Reuters
Political commentator Ann Coulter.
Two conservative groups have filed a lawsuit against the University of California Berkeley for an alleged 'secret policy' which discriminates against outspoken conservative speakers and infringes on First Amendment rights.

Berkeley College Republicans and the Young America's Foundation have filed a joint lawsuit Monday alleging that college and police authorities have failed to protect the constitutional rights of students and unfairly discriminated against conservative speakers appearing on campus.

The suit claims that voices that fall outside of the "campus orthodoxy" have been stifled and alleges that authorities in Berkeley have "systematically and intentionally suppressed constitutionally-protected expression by the plaintiffs... simply because that expression may anger or offend students, UC Berkeley administrators, and/or community members who do not share Plaintiffs' viewpoints."

Stormtrooper

Clashes at Venezuelan anti-govt protest, injuries reported

© Carlos Garcia Rawlins / Reuters
Riot police fire tear gas toward opposition supporters in Caracas, Venezuela April 24, 2017.
Anti-government protesters have shut down main roads and highways across the Venezuelan capital Caracas, leading to confrontations with security forces. Opposition activists claimed they were shot with pellets and have reported injuries.

A special police division, the DCDO, was dispatched to the La California area of the city on Monday, where protesters blocked the Francisco de Miranda Avenue with makeshift barriers of garbage and debris, according to El Nacional.

Tear gas was reportedly fired on protesters next to the Lider shopping center, and opposition activists on social media also claimed that demonstrators were shot at with pellets, leading to a number of injuries.

Cupcake Pink

Utter nonsense: Transgender students 'shouldn't have to declare sex for uni sports teams

© Jonathan Drake / Reuters
Transgender and intersex students should not have to declare their birth gender when applying to university sports teams, the National Union of Students (NUS) is expected to rule.

Students are currently only allowed to join university sports teams based on the sex they were born as rather than what gender they identify with now.

This can act as a "barrier" for trans students, according to a motion due to be debated by the NUS at its annual conference on Tuesday.

Cowboy Hat

Mexican drug lord 'El Chapo' complains about reruns, tap water, poor view at New York prison

© Edgard Garrido / Reuters
Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.
Notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán has been protesting against the conditions of his incarceration that are so stressful defense lawyers claim he is hearing voices.

Since his extradition to the US from his native Mexico, 'El Chapo' has been housed in 10 South, the most secure wing of New York's Metropolitan Correctional Center, dubbed the 'Guantanamo in New York.'

Prisoners in 10 South aren't permitted to go outside, and spend 23 hours a day locked in a cell, constantly monitored by security cameras.

Star of David

IDF fire tear gas & rubber bullets at supporters of Palestinian hunger-striking prisoners

© Issam Rimawi / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images
Beit-el checkpoint in Ramallah, West Bank on April 24, 2017.
At least nine people have been injured in the West Bank after Israeli soldiers reportedly fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse protesters who marched in support of the Palestinian prisoners' mass hunger strike.

Clashes broke out between Israeli forces and Palestinian youths on Monday night after the Fatah movement organized a march in the city of Al-Bireh, in the center of the occupied West Bank and 15 kilometers (9.5 mi) north of Jerusalem.

Marching from Yasser Arafat Square in central Ramallah towards the Israeli Beit El checkpoint north of the Al-Bireh city, the activists called on the international community to support the Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli jails.


Star of David

Netanyahu issues Holocaust Remembrance Day warning

© NOWTHEENDBEGINS.COM
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday threatened to destroy those who call for the destruction of Israel, in a speech to mark the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day.

"Iran and the Islamic state want to destroy us, and a hatred for Jews is being directed towards the Jewish state today," he said at a ceremony in Jerusalem's Yad Vashem memorial. "Those who threaten to destroy us risk being destroyed themselves," Netanyahu warned. "From being defenseless people, we have become a state with a defensive capacity that is among the strongest in the world," he said.

Six Holocaust survivors lit torches in memory of the six million Jews killed by the Nazis during the 1939-1945 World War II.

Israel will also come to a standstill for two minutes at 10 am local time (0700 GMT) on Thursday as sirens wail in remembrance of the Jewish victims of Nazism.

Radio stations and television channels on Sunday were broadcasting programmes about the genocide. More than 213,000 Holocaust survivors live in Israel today, many of them below the poverty line, according to survivors' groups.

Comment: Nothing like threats of retaliatory violence, destruction and annihilation to honor a Remembrance Day for violence, destruction and annihilation. Netanyahu is remarkably adept in keeping hatred alive while bragging at the prowess and resources of Israel's defense (offense) capabilities.

A remembrance day, while a reminder of the past, should evoke some sort of change that makes the world a better place, at least to honor those who were sacrificed. Unfortunately, that is not, and never will be Israel.


Arrow Down

Cartel turf wars: Mexico's unrelenting violence climbs to new highs

© AP / Enric Marti
Onlookers watch as police officers and forensic investigators inspect the site where an unidentified man was shot at the El Coloso neighborhood, in Acapulco, Mexico, May 12, 2016.
In March, Mexico had more than 2,000 homicide cases in a month for the first time since summer 2011, when the country was mired in the throes of a bloody cartel war.

The country also had more killings in the first quarter of 2017 than in the start of any year in at least two decades, according to government data released Friday.

Unlike in 2011, when a bloody cartel fight in Ciudad Juarez pushed the national body count to new heights, the current violence has been spread over a number of states.

In January, 25 of the country's 32 states saw increases in homicides compared to the same month in 2016.

Throughout Mexico, there were 2,020 homicide cases in March, up roughly 11% from February. For January through March, there were 5,775 killings around the country, up 29% from the same period in 2016.

Comment: Conspicuously absent from the discussion is the role the US plays in the highly lucrative drug trade:


Passport

Austrian official suspected of selling residence permits to migrants and asylum seekers

© Reuters
Omar, a 27-year-old cook originally from Deraa stands in front of the asylum processing centre in Traiskirchen, Austria, October 13, 2015.
Austrian official, working for the Lower Austrian Foreign Office of the Federal Office for Foreign Affairs and Asylum (BFA), is suspected of having sold residence permits to the migrants and refugees.

According to a report in the Saturday edition of Die Presse, the allegedly corrupted official was in charge of issuing residence permits and is said to have demanded up to 2,500 Euros per issuing a single one. The residence permits were sold to the refugees and migrants from the refugee camp in a town of Traiskirchen, located in the district of Baden in Lower Austria.

The State Prosecutor's Office for Economic Crime and Corruption confirmed the existence of an ongoing investigation. According to spokeswoman Ingrid Maschl-Clausen, the official is suspected to be involved in the acts of bribery and corruption.

The allegedly corrupted official has already been suspended in Autumn 2016. The number of residence permits sold is assumed to be in the "single-digit range". If suspicion of bribery turns out to be legitimate, the asylum seekers involved will have to repeat the whole process of obtaining a residence permit.