Archive | July 1, 2017

Nigerian Widows Sue Shell over Complicity in Executions*

Nigerian Widows Sue Shell over Complicity in Executions*

In recent years, Shell has faced lawsuits in several countries over oil spills and environmental damages in the Niger Delta.

The widows of four men executed by Nigeria’s military government in 1995 have filed a civil lawsuit against oil giant Shell for alleged complicity in a military crackdown.

Esther Kiobel, the widow of Barinem Kiobel, and three other women whose husbands were hanged in 1995, served a writ in a Dutch court this week, following a 20-year battle with the oil company.

Facilitated by the Nigerian government, Shell’s oil activity in the Niger Delta resulted in decades of pollution in local communities. In protest, the Ogoni people launched the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP, led by Ken Saro-Wiwa, in the 1990s.

The government crackdown on the movement ultimately led to the hanging of Saro-Wiwa, Kiobel’s husband, and seven other men, who became collectively known as the Ogoni nine.

The four widows allege that Shell provided support to the crackdown and seek compensation and an apology from the largest oil producer in Nigeria.

“Shell and the military regime formed an alliance in the events leading to the deaths of the Ogoni 9,” the writ said.

“Their relationship was one of mutual dependence: the Nigerian state was dependent on the income from oil that Shell generated; in turn, Shell was dependent on the benevolence and protection of the regime to pursue its activities in Nigeria and in this way realize a substantial part of its turnover.”

Amnesty International, which has supported Kiobel’s legal team, also claimed that Shell encouraged security forces and military authorities to stop the protests, even though the company knew this would lead to human rights violations.

“Shell was reckless in raising Ken Saro-Wiwa and MOSOP as a problem, significantly exacerbating the risk to Saro-Wiwa and those linked to MOSOP,” said Audrey Gaughran,  Senior Director of Research at Amnesty International.

“Shell knew full well that the government regularly violated the rights of those linked to MOSOP and that it had targeted Saro-Wiwa.”

In response, Shell branded the allegations as “false and without merit” and denied any involvement in the executions.

“We have always denied, in the strongest possible terms, the allegations made by the plaintiffs in this tragic case,” Shell said in a statement. “The executions of Ken Saro-Wiwa and his fellow Ogonis in 1995 were tragic events that were carried out by the military government in power at the time. We were shocked and saddened when we heard the news of the executions.”

“SPDC (Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria) did not collude with the authorities to suppress community unrest and in no way encouraged or advocated any act of violence in Nigeria. In fact, the company believes that dialogue is the best way to resolve disputes,” it added.

In recent years, Shell has faced lawsuits in several countries over oil spills and environmental damages in the Niger Delta.

Source*

Related Topics:

Shell Oil Faces Second Lawsuit in Five Years over Spills in Nigeria*

Nigeria Signs Deal for 36 Oil Wells*

Nigerians Tell U.K. To Stop Money Laundering for Corrupt Individuals*

Destroying Nigeria Vital to World Entropy *

External Hands in Nigeria’s Strife!

Oil vs. Communities: The Case of the Niger Delta

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CIA officer – ‘we have no business being in Syria’*

CIA officer – ‘we have no business being in Syria’*

U.S. shoots down a third Iranian drone.

What is the U.S. mission in Syria?

‘Our aim is no outcome’.

The U.S. strategy is to let the Syrian war linger, let the combatants bleed to death.  That suits Israel just fine.  Israel supports the terrorists, except when they threaten Israel’s interests.  Otherwise they assist the terrorists.  So does the USA.   Two knowledgeable U.S. commentators explain the war.  From RT America.

Israel is getting more active, trying to stop Iran supplying Hezbollah in Lebanon.  The U.S. is doing Israel’s bidding.  Trump has devolved his responsibility to his generals – Mattis for the most part.  U.S. involvement can only grow.

 

Related Topics:

What the Media Won’t Tell You about Syria*

Ron Paul: Why The Hell Are We Attacking Syrians Fighting ISIS?*

Rothschild’s Israel Pushes Russia and U.S. Towards Nuclear Confrontation Over Syria*

U.S. Dismissive of International Agreement Banning Aircraft Over Syrian Safe Zones*

U.S. Admits Using Radioactive Weapons in Syria that Left Thousands of Iraqi Babies Deformed*

U.S. Intensifies Operations in Syria and Iraq amidst Syrian Truce*

U.S.-U.K. Paid “White Helmets” Help to Block Water to 5 Million Thirsty Syrians*

14+ U.S. Coalition Military Officers Captured by Syrian Special Forces in East Aleppo Bunker*

U.S. Congress Passes Controversial Bill Dangerously Escalating Violence in Syria*

Unity on U.S. Hands Off Syria Coalition*

Funded by U.S. Latest ‘iconic image’ designed to Demonize Russia and to Keep Syrian Blood Flowing*

U.S. Officials Blow the Whistle on Secret CIA, MOSSAD Operation in Syria*

U.S.-Sponsored Genocide in Syria*

Father Daniel in Syria: “There Never Was a Popular Uprising in Syria”*

 

Violence Erupts Following Saudi Demolition of Historic Shia Homes*

Violence Erupts Following Saudi Demolition of Historic Shia Homes*

By Ian Greenhalgh

Clashes have erupted between Saudi security forces and Shia gunmen after the demolition of centuries-old homes in the Shia town of al-Awamiya.

Al-Awamiya is home to Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr who was executed by Saudi Arabia

 

[Editor’s note: This civil unrest in the Shia dominated eastern region of Saudi Arabia is not only due to the attempts by the House of Saud to demonise Shias, it is a symptom of the growing unrest inside the Saudi kingdom caused by the people’s dissatisfaction with the cruel and barbarous totalitarian and religious extremist regime they are forced to suffer under.

The demonisation of Saudi Shias is part of the ongoing Saudi efforts to demonise and antagonise Iran, a Shia nation. The Sauds are Sunnis and they have been perhaps the primary driving force behind the Shia-Sunni split that has arisen in the Middle East in recent decades. Ian]

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Saudi Arabia is demolishing centuries-old homes in a Shia town, leveling a historic district that officials allege has become a hideout for local militants.

The destruction has sparked shoot-outs in the streets between Saudi security forces and Shia gunmen and stoked sectarian tensions that resonate around the region.

The violence in the Shia town of al-Awamiya, which is centered in the Sunni kingdom’s oil-rich east coast, adds a new source of instability at a time of increasing confrontation in the Gulf.

Tensions between Saudi Arabia and its Shia-led rival Iran have spiked in recent weeks, with the kingdom and its allies severing ties with neighbouring Qatar, demanding among other things that it cut ties with Iran.

Bulldozers began demolishing al-Awamiya’s historic district on 10 May, with plans to tear down several hundred homes.

At least six security officers, six alleged militants and a number of civilians have been killed in al-Awamiya’s skirmishes, shootings and bombings this year.

Violence flared as government contractors began tearing down the town’s historical center.

The old district is known as al-Mosawara, Arabic for the “walled fortress”, named for its 400-year-old walls that protected the area from raiders.

Interior Ministry spokesperson Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki told AP that “terrorists in al-Awamiya… have increased their armed violence” since the start of the “development project in al-Mosawara”.

Security forces patrol the town’s streets in armoured vehicles, frequently coming under fire from militants. Police say a South Asian construction worker was killed by an improvised explosive device targeting the demolition team.

Activists say security forces frequently open fire in the streets. A two-year-old boy died when shots were fired at his parents’ car, a shooting that activists blamed on police.

The sensitive security operation in al-Awamiya now rests with newly appointed Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud. The 33-year-old was installed earlier this month at the same time that King Salman declared his own 31-year-old son, Mohammed, as next in line to the throne.

The new interior minister’s father, Prince Saud bin Nayef, is the governor of the Eastern Province, where al-Awamiya is located and where most Saudi Shias live.

‘Collective punishment’

Though the Eastern Province sits atop most of Saudi Arabia’s oil reserves, al-Awamiya lacks basic services like a functioning hospital. It has no major ports. Garbage sits uncollected for weeks on the streets. Youth complain of rampant unemployment. The town is surrounded by checkpoints. Power has been cut to certain quarters.

“It’s collective punishment,” Ameen al-Nimr said of the situation in al-Awamiya. He left the town in late 2011 at the height of protests there and now resides in the U.K.

The demolition is “erasing the identity of the area and its history”, he said.

Three United Nations experts on cultural rights have also criticised the demolition, saying the “destruction erases the traces of this historic and lived cultural heritage”.

They said in a statement that the Saudi government has “ignored our concerns” and its only response “has been these violent actions”.

Riyadh says the district’s roughly 500 houses are being demolished because they do not comply with safety standards. It also accuses Shia militants of using al-Mosawara’s narrow alleys as “a safe haven” to “plan and carry out their terrorist operations”.

Al-Awamiya, a town of 25,000-30,000 residents, has long been a flashpoint of tensions with the kingdom’s Shias, who complain of discrimination at the hands of Saudi Arabia’s ultra-conservative Sunni clerics.

Prominent Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr rallied thousands in al-Awamiya during Arab Spring protests in 2011, linking their movement for social justice and greater rights with the Shia-led sit-ins in nearby Bahrain.

Nimr was executed last year for his role in the protests. His execution sparked backlash in Iran that led to the ransacking of the Saudi Embassy and a complete severing of ties between the two countries.

The immediate response in his hometown of al-Awamiya, however, was more muted – the result of years of police crackdowns and arrests.

At least 51 people – 30 of them from al-Awamiya – have been killed in related violence in the Eastern Province between March 2011 and 1 June of this year.

The interior ministry says militants there fired a rocket-propelled grenade at police in May, killing an officer.

Local activists say the gunmen are armed locals defending themselves. Activists on the ground deny RPGs were used, according to activist Malik al-Saeed, who fled al-Awamiya in late 2015 over fears of arrest.

Al-Saeed says the demolition of al-Mosawara is intended to deepen rifts between Sunnis and Shias in Saudi Arabia.

“It’s meant to keep us (Shias) hated and sow fear among the public against Iran.”

Source*

Related Topics:

Israeli Fighter Jets in Saudi Arabia to Prevent Coup?*

Terror Attacks in Iran Were Joint Saudi-Israel-U.S. Project*

Israel Backs Saudi Arabia in Confrontation with Qatar*

Saudi Arabia Abandons Islamic Calendar as Part of Cost-Cutting Measures*

Saudi Forces Violated Regulations against Iraqi Hajj Pilgrims*

Saudi Arabia Uses Israeli Firm G4S to Make E-Bracelets for Hajj*

Qaradawi Responds to Violations of al-Sheikh and the Saudi Council of Senior Scholars with al-Azhar, Cairo*

Wahhabism, Saudis and the Divided Ummah*

U.S., Saudi, Turkey, Discuss Delivering Weapons to Terrorists against Assad*

How Saudi Arabia is Sponsoring Religious Eugenics*

Sunni Volunteers to ‘protect’ Shia Mourners in N. Pakistan*

Saudi Arabia Facing Flack from both Sunni and Shia Leaders*

Loneliness and “Sunni-Shia Hatred: Diseases We Must Fight”*

Sunnis ,Shi’as Pray for Unity Week after Bombing*

Lebanese Shia, Sunnis Unite Against Sectarian Strife*

Rouhani urges Muslims to Unite against ‘great plot’*

Queen Elizabeth Warns Of ‘Holy War To End All Wars’ *

Dutch Citizen Files Suit against Israeli Commanders for Attack on Family Home during 2014 Gaza War*

Dutch Citizen Files Suit against Israeli Commanders for Attack on Family Home during 2014 Gaza War*

Ismail Zeyada, a Dutch citizen of Palestinian origin, has started a civil lawsuit holding two Israeli commanders responsible for the attack on his family home in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge. Six of Ziada’s family members were killed in the July 2014 attack: his mother (70), three of his brothers, his sister-in-law and a 12-year old nephew. One of two guests were also killed. The family home was located in Al-Burayj, a Palestinian refugee camp in central Gaza.

The commanders are Benny Gantz, chief of staff during the operation, and Air Force commander Amir Eshel. Last Monday a writ of summons was sent to the Israeli Ministry of Defense. Both men have six weeks to accept liability and settle the case with Zeyada. Assuming this will not happen, the case will be brought before a Dutch civil court that will have to judge if it has jurisdiction in this matter.

Zeyada’s attorney, well-known human rights lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld, points out that there are solid arguments to be made why a Dutch civil judge should accept the case. Most important is the fact that Zeyada, as with most Palestinians, has no access to the Israeli legal system where the case belongs in the first place. Secondly, Israel already dealt with the Zeyada case – under military law – judging that the five-story family house was in fact an “active command and control centre” for Hamas. Zegveld is straight forward about that argument: ‘The issue is that you can’t bomb a house inhabited by civilians. Deliberately killing six of them, without necessity, is considered a war crime.’

It should be noted that a total of 18,000 private houses were destroyed during Operation Protective Edge.

News about the Zeyada case broke last Tuesday in the Dutch television program Brandpunt. Part of the program, titled ‘In Search of Justice’, was shot on location in Gaza where Ismail Zeyada’s brother Hasan, a psychologist working with traumatized children, still lives. In the program witnesses of the attack explain that there was nothing military-related going on in the family home even though one of the killed brothers was an active member of Hamas; he was found under the rubble in his underwear. The killed guest, paying a visit to the Zeyada family, was also a member of Hamas. This is the scene described by Israel as an active Hamas command centre – and as a legitimate reason to blow the house apart, including its civilian residents.

Attorney Zegveld summarizes: ‘More than two thousand Palestinians were killed in fifty days. The standard narrative is that all these people were supposedly in the direct vicinity of terrorists, so in order [for Israel] to win the war they all had to die.’ Zegveld says it’s time that Israel is called to account for these practices, and sees the Zeyada case as a small but significant step toward that goal. She calls the case unique – the first time Israeli military commanders are being kept responsible for their acts in a civil court case.

It’s not the first time the Zeyada case made headlines. In August 2014, just weeks after the fatal attack on the Zeyada house, a 91-year old Dutchman called Henk Zanoli returned his Yad Vashem medal, awarded to him for hiding a Jewish boy during the Second World War. Zanoli, a relative of Ismail Zeyada’s wife, protested the hypocrisy of honoring him as ‘The Righteous Among The Nations’ for saving one Jewish life, while taking the lives of six of his Palestinian family members.

Source*

Related Topics:

Operation Protective Edge: The Dead Have Names*

Operation Protective Edge: UK Approved £7m Israeli Arms Sales, Why?

London’s Metropolitan Police and Operation Protective Edge*

Above the Law: Israel Denies U.N. Team Entry to Investigate Operation Protective Edge*

Calls to Prosecute Foreigners Who Volunteered for Operation Protective Edge*

Operation Protective Edge: Life without Water and Electricity*

U.S. and Israel Intimidating U.N. to Fix Israel’s Global Standing*

War Crimes Suit Filed in Switzerland against Former Israeli Minister*

U.N. Approves US$600-m Budget Cut to Peacekeeping*

U.N. Approves US$600-m Budget Cut to Peacekeeping*

 

A Sudanese boy rides a donkey past a U.N.-African Union mission in Darfur (UNAMID) armoured vehicle in the war-torn town of Golo in the thickly forested mountainous area of Jebel Marra in central Darfur on June 19, 2017. (Photo: AFP)

 

The United Nations yesterday approved a nearly US$600-million cut to its peacekeeping budget following pressure from the United States to reduce funding to the world body.

The General Assembly approved by consensus the annual budget expected to total US$7.3 billion, down from the current US$7.87 billion spent on peace missions worldwide.

U.N. member states agreed to US$6.8 billion to finance 14 missions, but an additional US$500 million earmarked for peacekeeping in Haiti and in Sudan’s Darfur region will get final approval in December.

The United States, the biggest financial contributor to peacekeeping, had sought a nearly US$1 billion cut to the bill and the European Union had also pushed for savings to bring costs down to US$7.3 billion.

The budget, however, fell short of what U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had sought from member states.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the financing is “meaningfully smaller than what we had last year” but that the world body will “make every effort to ensure that the mandates are implemented”.

“We cannot overstate the value of peacekeeping,” said Dujarric.

“It remains the most cost-effective instrument at the disposal of the international community to prevent conflicts and foster conditions for lasting peace.”

U.N. officials have repeatedly argued that the cost of peacekeeping is a fraction of military expenditures worldwide.

Most of the budget cuts will come from the closure of the mission in Haiti, a sharp drawdown of peacekeepers in Darfur along with some downsizing to the large peace operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

After the budget deal was reached in a General Assembly committee on Wednesday, US Ambassador Nikki Haley claimed victory and vowed there would be deeper cuts in the future.

“Just five months into our time here, we’ve already been able to cut over half a billion dollars from the U.N. peacekeeping budget and we’re only getting started,” Haley said.

Washington pays 28.5 per cent of the peacekeeping budget and 22 per cent of the U.N.’s core budget of US$5.4 billion.

While the United States pushed for the biggest cut, European countries and Japan also wanted to rein in the budget while Russia and China did not put up opposition to moves to streamline missions, diplomats said.

China, Japan, Germany, France along with the United States are the five top financial contributors to peacekeeping.

Italian Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi, whose country is among the top 10 peacekeeping financiers, said that while the cuts were “substantial”, the “operational activities in all locations have been protected and preserved”.

Ambassador Elbio Rosselli of Uruguay, whose troops serve in Haiti and in the Democratic Republic of Congo, said better management of the missions could help cushion the blow from the budget cuts.

“It’s going to hurt,” Rosselli told reporters, but “there are problems in peacekeeping that are not exclusively related to funding”.

The Security Council on Thursday approved a major drawdown of peacekeepers from the UNAMID mission in Darfur but kept the force levels for the MINUSMA operation in Mali unchanged.

Yesterday, the United Nations officially closed its mission in Ivory Coast, ending its 13-year presence in the West African country.

The United Nations has about 95,000 peacekeepers serving in its missions worldwide.

Source*

Related Topics:

Over 100 U.N. Peacekeepers ran a Child Sex Ring in Haiti, and were ever Jailed*

U.N. Peacekeeper Gang Rapes*

With Cover-ups UN Quietly Offers DNA Tests for ‘Peacekeeper Babies’ & Sexual Abuse Claims*

U.N. ‘Peacekeeping’ Force Open Fire on Protesters in Haiti*

 

Iraqi Top Cleric Hailed by Iraqi Prime Minister in his Role in the Fight against ISIS*

Iraqi Top Cleric Hailed by Iraqi Prime Minister in his Role in the Fight against ISIS*

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has thanked top Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani for his fatwa against ISIS terrorists, noting his 2014 religious decree has saved the country.

Ayatollah Sistani issued a fatwa in June 2014 – shortly after ISIS terror group launched its assault in Iraq – calling on all Iraqi citizens to defend their country.

The move succeeded in mobilizing volunteer forces behind army troops on the battlefield against the terrorist group.

“Citizens who are able to bear arms and fight terrorists, defending their country and their people and their holy places, should volunteer and join the security forces to achieve this holy purpose,” said a representative of Ayatollah Sistani in his sermon at Friday prayers in the holy Iraqi city of Karbala at the time.

It came after Iraqi government forces suffered heavy blows on the battle ground against ISIS.

Abadi offered his “deep thanks” on Friday to Ayatollah Sistani for “his great and continuing support to the heroic fighters.”

He also said that the top cleric’s call “saved Iraq and paved the way for victory” over ISIS terrorists.

The remarks came a day after the Iraqi government announced it had recaptured Mosul’s landmark Grand al-Nuri Mosque, from where ISIS’s leader proclaimed the group’s caliphate three years ago.

Source*

Related Topics:

Iraq Declares ‘fall’ of ISIS as Military Retakes Landmark Mosul Mosque*

Top Shia Cleric behind Iraq’s anti-Corruption Drive*

Formerly U.S. Detained ISIL Leader’s Speech Full of Flaws Say Iraqi Clerics*

Life returns to Hammar Marshes, Iraq*

Washington Preventing Iraq from Turning to Moscow*

Iraqi Security Forces Find Mass Graves of ISIS Members*

Syrian Army, Hezbollah Reaches Border with Iraq for the First Time in Years*

The Irreligiosity of IS, ISIS/ISIL*

Starbucks, Caffè Nero, Costa Coffee Caught Selling Drinks Infected With Faecal Bacteria*

Starbucks, Caffè Nero, Costa Coffee Caught Selling Drinks Infected With Faecal Bacteria*

Drinks sold by U.K.’s top three coffee chains — Starbucks, Caffe Nero, and Costa Coffee — contain traces of faecal coliform bacteria, an undercover investigation by BBC has revealed.

Faecal coliforms, which contain several disease-causing pathogens, can cause ear infections, dysentery, typhoid fever, viral and bacterial gastroenteritis, and hepatitis A. E. coli is a type of fecal coliform bacteria commonly found in the intestines of animals and humans.

Seven out of 10 ice samples at Costa Coffee were found to be contaminated with bacteria found in feces. Starbucks and Caffè Nero tested positive for fecal coliforms in three out of 10 ice samples. The presence of faecal coliform bacteria in ice is a strong indication of sewage or animal waste contamination.

Rob Kingsley, an expert in food-borne pathogens and a research leader at Quadram Institute Bioscience, told The Guardian the findings were alarming:

“Coliforms are an indicator of faecal contamination which means that essentially anything which is in faeces could be in that ice, meaning other, more dangerous bacteria could be present.

“It is an indicator that somewhere there has been some kind of breakdown in hygiene or the source of the water used for this ice. I would certainly think twice about eating something which may contain faecal contamination at that level, where it is detectable.”

Tony Lewis, head of policy at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, told the BBC’s consumer-affairs “Watchdog” program the results are concerning:

“The level of contamination of faecal bacteria concerns me a great deal. The bacteria found are opportunistic pathogens — the source of human disease. These should not be present at any level never mind the significant numbers found.”

A “disappointed” Costa Coffee reviewed its food safety procedures, updated its ice-handling guidelines, and is in the process of introducing new ice equipment storage.

Starbucks is conducting its own investigation into the claims saying the coffee chain takes hygiene “extremely seriously” and “nothing is more important than customer safety“.

A Caffè Nero spokesman asserted “a thorough investigation is now under way and the appropriate action will be taken”.

Margarita Gomez Escalada, a microbiologist and senior lecturer at Leeds Beckett University who carried out the analysis for the BBC program, admitted that other pathogens might also have been present in the ice samples, but would not have been picked up in the analysis:

“It was most likely that ice was contaminated by being touched by unclean hands, but ice machines and ice buckets might have compounded the issue if they were not properly cleaned. The fact that we have found so many bacteria, it just increases the risk [of getting sick].

“Some of the bacteria we identified were actually what we call opportunistic pathogens, which are bacteria that to healthy people do not often cause disease, but they cause disease to people [whose] immunity is reduced.”

Should you think twice before you order a chilled drink at these award-winning coffee chains? Lewis says no:

“The public should not give up their iced coffees. It is not something to panic over. The companies take hygiene seriously and have taken action, and environmental health had been notified. The public should be reassured, this will have been dealt with.”

Source*

Related Topics:

Pepsi by Law Can Keep Adding Carcinogens to Your Soda*

Your Body Cries Out for Water*

Bacteria Resistant To ALL Antibiotics Now In the U.K.*

When Man Thinks He’s God, he Releases GMO Cholera Bacteria into our Environment*

Is Your Stomach Reproducing GMO Bacteria?

The Silver That Destroys 650 Different Pathogens and Heals Inflammation In 72 Hours*

Gluten is not The Real Reason Wheat is Toxic*

Pacific Islands Just Banned Western Junk Food to Promote Health*

Pesticide Residues Detected in Almost all European Foods*

Quaker Oats Sued Over Glyphosate Found in ‘All Natural’ Foods*

Canada’s New Food Labels won’t Include GMO Info.*