Posts tagged with "government"

Treatment of Afghan Interpreters

Approximately one month, the Director of Faith Matters, Fiyaz Mughal, highlighted the plight of Afghan Interpreter, Mohammed Nabi, and how he was sleeping rough on the streets of Athens. Nabi’s case was initially documented and he was assisted by Jess Webster, who works with refugees in Greece.

Having heard of the case, the petition by the Director of Faith Matters, has now reached over 116,000 signatories within 5 weeks. It is now being backed by the Sun on Sunday and has also been highlighted by the Daily Mail and the Metro. Yet, the Government have made no headway in addressing this issue. There is therefore a groundswell of public opinion backing Nabi’s case, yet the politicians refuse to even acknowledge this case.

Mohammed Nabi worked for ISAF and British forces in Afghanistan between 2008-2011. He has received numerous commendations for his work with British Forces such as from the 1st Battalion of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment. He was instrumental in interpreting Taliban commands in real time when in the field with British soldiers and thereby he was key to tracking Taliban troop movements and attack points against British soldiers.

Speaking to Mughal in Athens he said that:
“My role was to work with commanding officers and I was the bridge between Afghan forces and British commanding officers. When officers from the British army went to speak to village elders, I was with them. There was an unwritten command that Taliban leaders gave to their forces to kill Afghan Interpreters first so that British and ISAF forces would be blind in the field. I was at risk of suicide bombers in such situations in villages as they tried to target British commanding officers and their interpreters”.

Nabi left working with the British armed forces after 1 year, (in 2009), because of threats from senior Afghan commanders made against his family and against him. He rejoined ISAF and British forces within 3 months of leaving since his skills were suited to armed forces work and he could not find other work and served again as an Afghan interpreter until 2011.

In 2016, an attempted kidnap against him failed and ‘night knocks’ against his front door raised threat levels against him and he fled on foot through Iran and into Turkey where he lounged for 18 months with no assistance from aid agencies who were assisting families. They were therefore not focused on assisting young single men.

Repeated attempts to highlight his case and the threat to his four children and wife failed in Turkey and he was left destitute and penniless, where he took up shepherding for basic subsistence. Each month though, saw the Taliban makes gains and come closer to his village and Nabi said that the policy of the Taliban to the children of people who assisted ISAF forces was to call them ‘sons of snakes, who were snakes themselves’. In other words, the children of Afghan interpreters were at serious of attack.

In 2016, to highlight his case he left Turkey and ended up being arrested in Greece and jailed. He was eventually released and claimed asylum though ended up penniless sleeping on a park bench in Athens where the Director of Faith Matters met up with him.

Speaking about the plight of Afghan Interpreters and in particular Nabi’s case, Fiyaz Mughal OBE, who developed the petition and who worked with the Sun on Sunday to highlight his case, said:

“Nabi has been denied entry into the UK and given no assistance when he approached UK Government agencies. How can this be right when he saw Afghan colleagues die in battle and Nabi was there saving British lives by interpreting Taliban commands whilst rounds went over his head. The only possessions he has are the plastic-coated commendations from officers because of his work in the field. It is disgusting the way that this man has been treated.

“The treatment of Afghan interpreters is a national disgrace and what the petition and the support from national newspapers shows is that the public care, whilst politicians have shown little courage in addressing this matter. I believe that anyone who has served more than a year in Afghanistan supporting our armed forces and who can show that their lives are in danger because of their work, must be let in. We relied on them to keep our armed forces safe, and now they need our help. This national disgrace must end and I will keep speaking out”.

Complaint Against Google, Facebook, Twitter, Apple and Instagram

Just recently, Larry Klayman who is the founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch and former U.S. Department of Justice prosecutor, announced filing a class action lawsuit which alleges social media giants such as Google/YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, and Instagram conspired by entering into an explicit or tacit agreement, in parallel to each other, to restrain trade in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act. See Freedom Watch v. Google/YouTube et. al (Civil Action Number 18-cv-2030, U.S. District Court for District of Columbia).

Complaint alleges intent and effect of this agreement in restraint of trade is to quash and/or limit advocacy by conservatives and pro-Trump pubic interest groups, advocates, and others to further leftist anti-conservative agendas of these social media giants and help bring down the Trump presidency, nullifying the vote for the president by millions of citizens. These alleged illegal and anticompetitive actions are an integral part of the so-called “resistance” to remove President Trump and install a leftist government over the 50 states.

The class action complain can be found here.

The complaint is first of its kind in the wake of mourning proof that social media giants are illegally restricting free speech of conservatives, and promoting free speech from leftist sources such as CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and others.

“Our inert and compromised Attorney General Jeff Sessions is unwilling to take strong action through his Antitrust Division as he has become the darling of the left given his refusal to prosecute Hillary Clinton, John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, prominent Democrats and others who have allegedly committed crimes, while giving Robert Mueller carte blanche to proceed with his ‘witch hunt,” says Klayman.

“Freedom Watch seeks to right this discrimination against conservatives by social media giants. Our complaint asks for injunctive relief and over a billion dollars in damages, including punitive damages, pales in comparison to what the Commission of the European Union has already levied against such social media giants as Google for alleged ruthless tactics in stifling competition.”

For more information, contact daj142182@gmail.com: (4240 274-2579.

Media contact: Adrienne Mazzone

SOURCE: Freedom Watch

Donald Trump × a “March on Washington”

Dr. Charles Steele, Jr., President and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), is calling on “all people of good will”, who are outraged by President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration policies, to join the SCLC at its 60th Annual Convention July 12 -15, 2018 in Washington, which will focus on the current conditions of global racism and poverty. Dr. Steele, who heads the organization co-founded and first led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., believes the people’s desire to send a strong message about immigration, poverty and other critical matters in the U.S. could lead to another massive March on Washington like the historic rally inspired by Dr. King nearly 55 years ago on August 28, 1963.

“We’re witnessing partisan political gamesmanship when we should be talking about protecting children,” said Dr. Steele regarding President Trump’s most recent “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which has spark hundreds of demonstrations across the nation. “Separating children from their parents at the border is an abomination! This is a humanitarian disgrace.”

Dr. Steele, who has been actively involved with The Civil Rights Movement for more than 40 years, says he is hopeful that President Trump can find empathy for the thousands of immigrants affected by his policy.

“I recommend that the President considers the human aspect of this tragic situation and not merely the politics,” said Dr. Steele. “Immigrants are trying to get to America because they’re being terrorized in their own homes. They’re faced with daily violence, poor living conditions, and their human rights are being threatened every day.”

Dr. Steele, who is in Brazil examining the international concerns of poor people, added, “I will get a global perspective on the problems afflicting the poor and really highlight their concerns at this year’s conference.”

The 60th Annual Convention will also have a heavy focus on mobilizing large groups of people of color to “get out and vote”. There will be various workshops and panels on the power of voting.

“People are mad, people are moved, and people are fed up. It’s time to use this energy in a constructive manner,” said Dr. Steele, who believes if the people unify around another SCLC- inspired massive rally it can surpass the 250,000 who gathered in Washington in 1963.

The SCLC Convention will run from July 12 to 15 at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C, 999 9th Street NW. For more information about the 60th Annual SCLC National Convention, please visit their website at nationalsclc.org.

ABOUT THE SCLC: Established in 1957, the SCLC, whose first president was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is a now an international organization made up of chapters and affiliates with programs that affect the lives of all Americans: north, south, east, and west. Its sphere of influence and interests has become international in scope because the human rights movement transcends national boundaries.

Veteran US Diplomat Fears for Missing & Displaced Immigrant Children

Former U.S. Ambassador of Senegal Harriet L. Elam-Thomas, who currently sits on the advisory board of the University of Central Florida‘s The Center for the Study of Human Trafficking and Modern-Day Slavery program, is concerned about the welfare of approximately 1,500 missing immigrant children, as well as the most recent group separated from their parents at the border.
As someone who has personally witnessed human trafficking, I know how crucial it is for us to police the police, says Elam-Thomas. What is the vetting process for those responsible for these children? Who is accountable for keeping track of them? There needs to be a thorough investigation into their safety, and the loopholes that make children vulnerable in a foreign country with no parent to protect them.
A Career Minister, with 42 years in the U.S. Department of Americas Foreign Service serving in France, Turkey, Greece and Africa, the former Ambassador is heartbroken by the inhumane treatment of immigrant families seeking asylum.
My heart is heavy, my soul is troubled and my faith in my country is being tested each and every day. Where is our conscience? Where is our sense of justice? Where are our morals? Where are we?
Historically, America has a different approach to non-Western or Eastern European refugees or laborers attempting to immigrate to the U.S. The Polish, Irish, Lithuanians, and other white immigrants had the privilege to acquire ambiguous last names and assimilate into society. Black, brown and yellow people cannot hide or become invisible.
Despite our frequent condemnations of other nations human rights violations, our history of human rights violations is not one for which we can be proud. A country that was founded on slavery, racism and unequal treatment of others is repeating the ugly history we would like to forget. I still remember images of children torn from their mothers’ arms and sold at the slave markets. The new Smithsonian Museum – The National Museum of African American History and Culture begins with that sobering history. Scores of people of all races visit there on a daily basis (8,000 per day). Sadly, our current Administration continues to be insensitive to the suffering of innocent children. I doubt the toddlers,orthose young teenagers seeking asylum with their parents, are members of M-13.
From 1942-1945, the U.S. Government instituted laws to intern Japanese citizens after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Japanese internment camps have come to be considered one of the most atrocious violations of American civil rights in the 20th century.
Until the presidents recent executive order, America was guilty, yet again, of manifesting the total opposite of the values that supposedly sets America apart from so many other governments. I cannot imagine being abroad and trying to explain the U.S. Government policy to foreign audiences this past month, or year.
Silence is consent. The unanimous outrage of so many citizens sparked change. We all must continue to use our voices and speak out against the atrocities happening on American soil.
Ambassador Harriet L. Elam-Thomas is Director of the University of Central Florida Diplomacy Program and author ofDiversifying Diplomacy: My Journey from Roxbury to Dakar.” Elam-Thomas’ stellar career with the U.S. Department of America’s Foreign Service spanned forty-two years, during which time President Bill Clinton appointed her to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to Senegal
The retired Ambassador will be in New York City from
June 25-July 2, 2018, to launch an initiative titled,
“CIVILITY STRATEGIES: HEALING APPROACHES THAT UNITE PEOPLE AND STRENGTHEN DEMOCRACY.

DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT

“People with disabilities are entering the workforce in unprecedented numbers?” It’s worth looking at the reports that show how “no group has felt the benefits of accelerated economic growth more than Americans with a disability”

Indeed, people with disabilities experienced a four-fold increase in job opportunities last year – unprecedented growth

In states across the country, Governors are undertaking new efforts to expand job opportunities for all. For example, Gov.Edwards recently launched a task force focused on employment for Louisianans with disabilities. Gov. Walker just signed historic legislation that makes Wisconsin an Employment First and commits resources to expanding competitive, integrated employment. Remarkable progress and remarkable leadership.

During the Meeting of the National Governors Association (NGA), our team and partner organizations spoke 1-on-1 with thirty-four different Governors. In each meeting we advocated for policies and practices that will expand economic opportunities. For several Governors, we had the chance to honor them with an award for their leadership and their continuing commitment to these issues.

At the end of the day, there are hundreds of self-advocates, community organizations and state leaders in a position to drive this change forward. Your involvement can move progress even faster! Expanding opportunities requires leaders across the public sector, the private sector and advocates to join forces and find solutions. First, check out where your state ranks and what challenges impact opportunities. You can also see what your state has done or is already doing to expand jobs for people with disabilities. We have written in-depth reports about what each of the 50 states is doing to advance opportunities for Americans with disabilities. image-2018-04-18 (1)

THE ECONOMIST x OPEN FUTURE

The Economist, a leading source of analysis on international business and world affairs, today announced “Open Future”, an editorially driven initiative (www.economist.com/openfuture) which aims to remake the case for The Economist’s founding principles of classical British liberalism which are being challenged from all sides in the current political climate of populism and authoritarianism.

“Although the world has changed dramatically since James Wilson founded The Economist to fight against the Corn Laws, the liberalism we have championed since 1843 is as important and relevant as ever,” said Zanny Minton Beddoes, editor-in-chief, The Economist.  “Yet the core tenets of that liberalism—faith in free markets and open societies—face greater resistance today than they have for many years. From globalization to free speech, basic elements of the liberal credo are assailed from right and left.”

Content for Open Future will be developed and organised around five themes: Open Society (diversity, and individual rights versus group rights); Open Borders (migration); Open Markets (trade, markets, taxes and welfare reform); Open Ideas (free speech); and Open Progress (the impact and regulation of technology). In addition to content from The Economist editorial staff, the Open Future hub will feature commentary from outside contributors, including from those with dissenting points of view.

The initiative launches with a debate between Larry Summers and Evan Smith about no-platforming and free speech at universities. Mr Summers is the Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus at Harvard University. He served as Secretary of the Treasury for President Clinton and as the Director of the National Economic Council for President Barack Obama. Evan Smith is a Research Fellow in history at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia and is writing a book on the history of no-platforming.

A special report on the future of liberalism written by editor-in-chief Zanny Minton Beddoes will appear in the newspaper’s 175th anniversary edition dated September 15th. And on that Saturday, the newspaper will host the Open Future Festival, to be held simultaneously in Hong Kong, London and New York. There will also be an Open Future essay contest for young people; surveys and other data visualizations; podcasts; social-media programs and new video from Economist Films.

IGTOA

The International Galapagos Tour Operators Association (IGTOA) has called upon the government of Ecuador to limit land-based tourism growth in the Galapagos Islands and to regulate more carefully this rapidly growing sector of the islands’ tourism industry.

In a letter sent to Ecuador’s Tourism Minister, Enrique Ponce de León on Feb. 5, IGTOA expressed its concern that the rate of growth in land-based tourism over the last decade is unsustainable and may result in irreversible harm to the islands’ famed ecosystems and extraordinary wildlife.

Between 2007 to 2016, according to Galapagos National Park statistics, overall visitor arrivals in the Galapagos Islands increased by 39 percent (from about 161,000 to over 225,000). During that same period, the number of visitors participating in land-based tours increased from around 79,000 to 152,000 (a 92 percent increase), while ship-based tourism actually decreased, from approximately 82,000 visitors to just over 73,000 (an 11 percent percent drop).

“Many of our member companies sell land-based tours to the Galapagos.  We are not opposed to land-based tourism per se, and, properly regulated, we support it,” said Jim Lutz, IGTOA’s Board President and the President of Vaya Adventures.  “But the reality is that 100 percent of the growth in Galapagos tourism in the last 10 years is due to growth in land-based tourism. And unlike ship-based tourism, where there is a de facto limit on the total number of passengers, there is no limit whatsoever on the number of people who can engage in land-based trips.  It is simply not sustainable to have never-ending growth in land-based tourism in this fragile environment.”

From the 1970s to the early 2000s, the vast majority of Galapagos tourists participated in ship-based tourism, which has long been recognized internationally as a model for limited, well-regulated tourism. Ecuador’s government has placed stringent quotas on the total number of berths (beds) allowed on the Galapagos cruise ship fleet and has placed a cap of 100 as the maximum number of passengers any ship can carry. There are no similar restrictions or regulations governing land-based tourism. If the current rate of growth continues unabated, there will be more than one million visitors per year in the Galapagos Islands in less than 35 years.

The international media is beginning to take note of the potential implications of this uncontrolled tourism growth. Both CNN and guidebook publisher Fodor’s recently placed the islands on their lists of destinations not to visit in 2018, citing concerns about the increasingly negative impacts of tourism there.

In 2007, UNESCO took the extraordinary step of placing the islands on its List of World Heritage Sites in Danger in response to a variety of threats, including unrestrained tourism and population growth. The islands were removed from the list in 2010, but in July 2016 UNESCO once again rang the alarm bells by releasing a report that cited Ecuador’s lack of a clear strategy to discourage rapid tourism growth as a source of grave concern.

“There’s no other place on Earth like Galapagos, a place where you can really get up close and personal with the wildlife,” says IGTOA board member Marc Patry, of IGTOA member company CNH Tours. “I’ve always been impressed by the work the government of Ecuador has done to strictly manage ship-based tourism there.  But frankly, I’m not seeing any evidence that it’s dealing with land-based tourism with a similar degree of concern.  We’re seeing a tsunami of growth in that sector. Unless something is done soon, it risks undermining all the good work that has been done to date,” said Patry, who was with the Charles Darwin Research Station for four years, followed by 11 years working at UNESCO’s World Heritage Center.

According to scientists, uncontrolled tourism growth poses several serious threats to the Galapagos Islands. Chief among them is the potential for devastating new invasive species to arrive as cargo shipments and passenger plane arrivals increase. Highly invasive Wild Blackberry, for example, has led to the loss of 99 percent of endemic Scalesia forests on the two largest islands, Isabela and Santa Cruz.  With any increase in land-based tourism comes more shipments of cargo, more infrastructure, more roads, and more pressure for continued growth, something that will only become harder to stop the longer it continues.

About the International Galapagos Tour Operators Association (IGTOA)

IGTOA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit association of travel providers dedicated to the complete and lasting protection of the Galapagos Islands. Through its Galapagos Traveler Conservation Fund, IGTOA raises money to support critical Galapagos conservation initiatives and educates travelers about the challenges facing the islands. Since 1997, IGTOA has donated over $1 million in support of Galapagos conservation initiatives, including efforts to improve the biosecurity of the islands and combat invasive species. See: http://www.igtoa.org/.

OXYGEN’S SNAPPED x AILEEN WUORNOS

America’s first female serial killer, Aileen Wuornos, captivated the nation’s attention when she was found guilty for brutally murdering six men, and confessing to a seventh between November 1989 to November 1990. In the two-hour “Snapped: Notorious – Aileen Wuornos,” premiering Sunday, March 25th at 6pm ET/PT, Oxygen Media takes a closer look at the turbulent trial that was the first of its kind. Was Aileen Wournos afforded a just trial, or did the media frenzy cause unfair bias among the jury? For a sneak peek, please visit here.

Aileen Wuornos was a self-professed “highway prostitute” who rose to infamy when she was arrested for the deaths of several men in central Florida. Aileen ultimately confessed to the killings as self-defense, but the jury unanimously convicted her on six counts of first degree murder and sentenced her to death. The special will uncover everything from the complexities of the case to the biased media reports. Through new interviews with those closest to Aileen and her trial, the special will delve deeper into two vastly different perspectives – was she the cold-blooded killer the country made her out to be? Or was she an abuse victim that was forced to protect herself?

Abu Dhabi x World Ocean Summit 2019

Government of Abu Dhabi Announced as Host of World Ocean Summit 2019.

This year’s World Ocean Summit, held in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, has brought together over 500 leaders from the private sector, civil society and government to explore the development of a sustainable ocean economy through innovative financing and technologies as well as bold new efforts to implement the world’s sustainability commitments. It is the largest World Ocean Summit yet, and underscores The Economist Group’s doubling down on this topic, in no small part through announcing the launch of the World Ocean Initiative, an effort that will translate the momentum and focus of the World Ocean Summit into a year-round programme on the ocean that leverages the full capabilities of The Economist Group.

Carrying this momentum forward, The Economist Group is pleased to announce the Government of Abu Dhabi as the host of World Ocean Summit 2019. Abu Dhabi has a close relationship with the ocean, through its history as a centre for pearl diving, its resilient coral reefs and its mangroves sea grass meadows that provide valuable services in the face of climate change.

Bringing the World Ocean Summit to Abu Dhabi presents a unique opportunity to amplify the conversations on the sustainable development of the ocean in the Middle East and the wider region, and equally provides a platform for Abu Dhabi to share its innovative approaches to conservation, and developing a vibrant and sustainable ocean economy, with the rest of the world.

The challenges facing the ocean are global, and the World Ocean Summit 2019, which will be held March 5th-7th, will bring the bold discussions and diverse audiences that characterise the World Ocean Summit into a new part of the world, and host stimulating conversations on the topics of ocean financing, governance and innovation. A key priority for World Ocean Summit 2019 will be to foster greater cooperation and collaboration between different groups, and to serve as a bridge between the development of economic policies and protecting the marine environment. It intends to build a truly global community for the creation of a sustainable ocean economy. Through the World Ocean Initiative, The Economist Group will build a programme of work across these topics and themes throughout 2018 to ensure that we continue to play a role in fostering progress against the global community’s commitments on the ocean.

 

To know more about World Ocean Summit 2019 in Abu Dhabi, watch video here.

Heartland Institute Experts React to FDA

The advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration voted 5-to-4 to reject a claim from Philip Morris International Inc. that “Switching completely to IQOS presents less risk of harm than continuing to smoke cigarettes.” Phillip Morris claims that using their IQOS device, which heats tobacco rather than burn it, could reduce the risk of tobacco related health issues compared to cigarettes.

“How many more smokers will have to die on the FDA’s watch until they catch up to the rest of the world when it comes to supporting harm reduction technologies?” Director of Government Relations John Nothdurft said. “The rest of  the world is far ahead of the United States in terms of supporting policies that help smokers quit or at a minimum move to less harmful alternatives such as heat-not-burn products, e-cigarettes, and snus.”