themcglynn.com

13 Jul

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

English Online International Newspapers

Nearly all of these are English-edition daily newspapers. These sites have interesting editorials and essays, and many have links to other good news sources. We try to limit this list to those sites which are regularly updated, reliable, with a high percentage of “up” time.

View All>>

untitledeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee21

The mysterious case of Trump’s friend Jim

© Bertrand Guay, AFP | French police officials and investigators gather near the entrance of Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris after a man attacked police with a hammer, June 6, 2017.

Text by NEWS WIRES

The way Trump tells it — Jim is a friend who loves Paris and used to visit every year. But Jim doesn’t go to Paris anymore, Trump says, because the city has been infiltrated by foreign extremists.

Whether Jim exists is unclear. Trump has never given his last name. The White House has not responded to a request for comment about who Jim is or whether he is on the trip.

Trump repeatedly talked about the enigmatic Jim while on the campaign trail, but his friend didn’t receive widespread attention until Trump became president. For Trump, Jim’s story serves as a cautionary tale — a warning that even a place as lovely as Paris can be ruined if leaders are complacent about terrorism.

Jim’s biggest moment in the spotlight was during a high-profile Trump speech in February at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland. Trump explained that Jim “loves the City of Lights, he loves Paris. For years, every year during the summer, he would go to Paris. It was automatic, with his wife and his family.”

Trump one day asked Jim: “How’s Paris doing?”

“‘Paris?” Jim replied, as relayed by Trump. “‘I don’t go there anymore. Paris is no longer Paris.'”

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, responded by tweeting a photo of herself with Mickey and Minnie Mouse inviting Trump “and his friend Jim” to France to “celebrate the dynamism and the spirit of openness of #Paris.”

France’s then-Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault also took to Twitter, noting that 3.5 million American tourists had visited France last year.

The Jim story highlights differences on immigration between Trump and major European leaders, including Trump’s host in Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron.

Trump has put immigration at the core of his anti-terrorism strategy. He proposed a Muslim ban during the campaign and is fighting in the courts to temporarily bar travelers from six Muslim-majority nations as well as refugees.

Macron is an outspoken critic of discriminatory policies against France’s Muslim population. He favors strong external European Union borders and he’s also called for a united European policy on immigration so that countries like Greece are not disproportionately affected by the influx of refugees.

Trump believes European policies fall short of any credible efforts to protect the public. He has vowed to push forward with a plan to build a wall along America’s southern border with Mexico and he advocates for “extreme vetting” to “keep terrorists out.”

Trump never endorsed Macron’s election opponent, far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, but in an interview with The Associated Press, he noted that terrorist attacks in France would “probably help” her win since “she’s the strongest on borders and she’s the strongest on what’s been going on in France.”

Trump has criticized several European leaders, accusing them of lax counterterrorism policies. He lashed out at London Mayor Sadiq Khan after an attack on London Bridge last month. In a February speech, Trump denounced Sweden’s policies and talked about “what’s happening last night in Sweden.” Swedish officials sought clarification because there were no known attacks in their country that night.

Trump took to Twitter to explain: “My statement as to what’s happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden.”

untitledeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee21

 

World Politics

United States

Ethics experts describe omission of meeting with Donald Trump Jr and Russia lawyer as ‘consciousness of guilt’ and say it warrants re-evaluation of clearance

, theguardian.com

Donald Trump Jr has admitted meeting a Russian lawyer he was told could help to damage Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. The president’s son admits he could have handled the situation better, but claims he did not tell his father about the meeting because ‘it was nothing’

Jared Kushner’s White House security clearance should be “re-evaluated” after the revelation that he attended a now notorious meeting with Donald Trump Jr and a Russian lawyer, according to a former White House ethics tsar.

Democratic senators were still more forceful on Wednesday, one saying of Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser: “I don’t know why he still has a job.”

Kushner is facing growing pressure over his presence at the June 2016 meeting, which email correspondence published by Trump Jr said was intended as part of a Russian government effort to damage Hillary Clinton’s election campaign.

Kushner was required to disclose all meetings with foreign government officials over the past seven years when he applied for security clearance for his White House role. He initially failed to mention the Trump Jr meeting, then included it on a supplemental form.

Norm Eisen, the former ethics tsar in Barack Obama’s administration, told the Guardian on Wednesday: “Given the nature of the meeting, it stretches credibility to say he simply forgot it when he initially filled out his forms. That puts him on the hook for false statements liability, possibly. At any rate, it increases his exposure.

“The pattern of omission by Mr Kushner and others in Donald Trump’s circle of their Russia connections increasingly points to a consciousness of guilt.”

Crucial to the question of whether Kushner is charged with making false statements is intent. His lawyer has claimed the omissions were an honest mistake.

Eisen, now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, said: “I think, certainly, the security clearance should be re-evaluated. One must balance the principle of innocent until proven guilty with the less prudential standards that go into giving a security clearance.

The pattern of omission by Kushner and others in Donald Trump’s circle increasingly points to a consciousness of guilt.

Norm Eisen

“Once a security clearance is granted it’s much harder to take away, and if this pattern of omission had been known when the security clearance was being considered, I doubt it would have been conferred.”

Trump Jr released a series of emails on Tuesday that revealed he had eagerly agreed to meet a woman he was told was a Russian government lawyer offering damaging information about Clinton. Trump Jr and the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, claim they ended up talking primarily about sanctions banning the adoption of Russian children by American citizens.

The president defended his eldest son on Wednesday, using Twitter to praise his performance in a Fox News interview. In the interview with Sean Hannity, Trump Jr admitted that, with hindsight, he would have done things differently.

“My son Donald did a good job last night,” the president wrote. “He was open, transparent and innocent. This is the greatest witch hunt in political history. Sad!”

Christopher Wray, Trump’s nominee to lead the FBI, told a Senate confirmation hearing he did not consider special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference to be a witch-hunt.

Kushner kept his usual low profile but faced growing calls to step down after months in which he said nothing while Trump and his associates repeatedly and misleadingly denied contacts with Russians. Whereas Trump Jr is a private citizen and businessman, Kushner is potentially more vulnerable because he is a member of the administration with security clearance.

On Capitol Hill, Democratic senators were happy to talk about Kushner. Connecticut’s Chris Murphy, a member of the Senate foreign relations committee, said: “I don’t know why Jared Kushner still has a job. He allowed the president of the United States, the vice-president, every spokesperson in the White House to openly lie about his contacts with the Russian government.

“You don’t think the Republicans would be calling for the resignation of an Obama official who allowed the president and the vice-president to openly lie about a major national security issue? He watched his father-in-law go on TV and say, ‘No one in my campaign talked to the Russian government.’

“He knew that was false. Either he didn’t alert the president or the vice-president, or there’s a much bigger problem, and the president and the vice-president knew that they were lying.”

New Mexico’s Martin Heinrich, a member of the Senate intelligence committee, said Kushner should not maintain his security clearance until investigators get to the bottom of what transpired between the Trump campaign and the Russians.

“There’s this collective amnesia situation going on over there, where everybody suddenly forgot all of these meetings with Russian interests,” Heinrich said. “It’s just not credible.”

Heinrich would not say if Kushner should resign, but was terse when asked about his role as one of the president’s top advisers. “Then he should act like a senior adviser,” Heinrich said.

Asked if Kushner should lose his White House position, Democrat Brian Schatz of Hawaii told the Guardian: “That’s the decision that the president gets to make but let me put it this way, if he were not related by marriage to the president, I think he’d be already gone.”

Read Full Article>>

Donald Trump Jr and the Russia connection – video explainer>>

The unanswered questions from Donald Trump Jr’s Russia emails>>

Trump backs son and blasts Russia ‘witch hunt’>>

Trump on Putin: ‘We get along very, very well’ – video>>

Red Cross says there are more than 300,000 suspected cases in country where civil war has decimated health facilities

Yemenis, suspected of being infected with cholera, receiving treatment at a hospital in the capital Sana’a.

Yemenis, suspected of being infected with cholera, receiving treatment at a hospital in the capital Sana’a. Photograph: Mohammed Huwais/AFP/Getty Images

Ali Muhammad’s entire family are sick. In the months since his home district of Abs in northern Yemen was hit by a cholera outbreak, he has lost both parents and all six of his children have fallen ill.

“Cholera is everywhere,” he said, according to a testimony provided by Médecins Sans Frontières, who are caring for his eldest daughter at a cholera treatment centre in Abs. “The water is contaminated and I don’t drink it. We have tanks, but we don’t get water regularly. The situation cannot be worse.”

As the area grapples with both the cholera epidemic, which began to spread in April, and the impact of the country’s civil war, the life of the qat harvester has become harder and harder. “Everybody is sick and in rough shape, and their poor financial condition does not enable them to move from one health centre to another.

“My father got sick and although we hospitalised him, he passed away. My mother died as well. And I am just like many others.”

The Abs district was the scene of a deadly airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition last August that demolished a hospital supported by MSF, killing 19 people, including one of the aid agency’s staff members, and injuring 24.

Less than a year later, as the ongoing conflict hits an stalemate, creating the largest humanitarian crisis in the world, the MSF cholera treatment centre in Abs town alone is receiving more than 460 patients daily, which is more than anywhere else in the country.

The International Committee of the Red Cross warned on Monday that the cholera epidemic in Yemen was spiralling out of control, reaching a milestone of over 300,000 suspected cases. More than 1,600 people have died. Children account for nearly half of all suspected cholera cases in the country, according to the UN’s children agency.

Sana’a-based Taha Yaseen, from the Mwatana Organisation for Human Rights, said obstacles that stand in the way of controlling and containing cholera today in Yemen, include but are not limited to the ongoing war.

“During [the war] almost all health facilities and healthcare services reached a point of thorough collapse and thus are unable to respond to the increasing need to address fatal diseases and civilian victims. Many hospitals [have] shut down and many others were hit either by air or ground strikes, occupied by militias or used as military barracks,” he told the Guardian.

“Most [people] cannot afford even the transportation from their countryside areas or displacements communities to the nearest medical centres to treat them for cholera,” he added.

MSF’s Roger Gutiérrez, who has just returned from a seven-month service in Abs, said the wards in the hospital there, the only public hospital in the area, “are bursting at the seams … what’s happening in Abs sums up the current state of Yemen.”

The district hosts more internally displaced people than anywhere else in the country but most health facilities are not functioning; there is a lack of staff and medical supplies are running short.

“When a plane flies overhead, many patients and staff feel that fear, that vulnerability. For seconds everything stops,” he said, according to a testimony provided by MSF. “You see mothers disconnecting their children’s feeding tubes so they can run out of the hospital’s nutrition ward.”

Ayed Ali, a Yemeni caretaker based in al-Sharq district of Hajjah governorate, said most people in the area drink from exposed wells and tanks, “no matter the water is clean or not”. “There are no salaries and no services,” he said, according to MSF. “Even public hospitals are down. There are no drugs. If you have money, you get treatment. Otherwise, you’ll die.”

The conflict in Yemen is between Houthi rebels controlling the capital Sana’a, who are allied with former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who led the country from 1990 to 2012, and forces loyal to the ousted president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia has led a US-backed military intervention in Yemen, aimed at reinstating Hadi, who lives in exile in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, and countering advances of Iran-backed Houthis.

Read Full Article>>

untitledeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee21

Exclusive Activists, wildlife rangers and indigenous leaders are dying violently at the rate of about four a week, with a growing sense around the world that ‘anyone can kill environmental defenders without repercussions’

See the names of all defenders who have died so far this year here. Read more from the project here.

 

Activists call for justice in the case of Honduran indigenous environmentalist Berta Cáceres, who was killed last year. Photograph: Marvin Recinos/AFP/Getty Images

Last year was the most perilous ever for people defending their community’s land, natural resources or wildlife, with new research showing that environmental defenders are being killed at the rate of almost four a week across the world.

Two hundred environmental activists, wildlife rangers and indigenous leaders trying to protect their land were killed in 2016, according to the watchdog group Global Witness – more than double the number killed five years ago.

And the frequency of killings is only increasing as 2017 ticks by, according to data provided exclusively to the Guardian, with 98 killings identified in the first five months of this year.

John Knox, UN special rapporteur on human rights and the environment, said: “Human rights are being jettisoned as a culture of impunity is developing.

“There is now an overwhelming incentive to wreck the environment for economic reasons. The people most at risk are people who are already marginalised and excluded from politics and judicial redress, and are dependent on the environment. The countries do not respect the rule of law. Everywhere in the world, defenders are facing threats.

“There is an epidemic now, a culture of impunity, a sense that anyone can kill environmental defenders without repercussions, eliminate anyone who stands in the way. It [comes from] mining, agribusiness, illegal logging and dam building.”

Mexican indigenous leader and opponent of illegal logging Isidro Baldenegro López was killed in January.

In May, farmers in Brazil’s Maranhão state attacked an indigenous settlement, hacking with machetes at the hands of their victims in another land conflict that left more than a dozen in hospital. There have also been killings of environmental defenders and attacks on others in Colombia, Honduras, Mexico and many other countries since the new year.

Most environmental defenders die in remote forests or villages affected by mining, dams, illegal logging, and agribusiness. Many of the killers are reportedly hired by corporations or state forces. Very few are ever arrested or identified.

This is why the Guardian is today launching a project, in collaboration with Global Witness, to attempt to record the deaths of everyone who dies over the next year in defence of the environment. We will be reporting from the world’s last wildernesses, as well as from the most industrialised countries on the planet, on the work of environmental defenders and the assaults upon them.

Billy Kyte, campaign leader on this issue at Global Witness, said that the killings that make the list are just the tip of an epidemic of violence.

“Communities that take a stand against environmental destruction are now in the firing line of companies’ private security guards, state forces and contract killers,” he said. “For every land and environmental defender who is killed, many more are threatened with death, eviction and destruction of their resources.

“These are not isolated incidents. They are symptomatic of a systematic assault on remote and indigenous communities by state and corporate actors.”

Around the world, the number and intensity of environmental conflicts is growing, say researchers. An EU-funded atlas of environmental conflict academics at 23 universities has identified more than 2,000, ranging over water, land, pollution, evictions and mining.

“These are just the reported ones. There could be three times as many. There is much more violence now,” said Cass business school researcher Bobby Banerjee who has studied resistance to global development projects for 15 years.

“The conflicts are happening worldwide now because of globalisation. Capitalism is violent and global corporations are looking to poor countries for access to land and resources. Poor countries are more corruptible and have weaker law enforcement. Companies and governments now work together to kill people,” he said.

The 2016 Global Witness data shows that the industries at the heart of conflict were mining and oil, which were linked to 33 killings. Logging was in second place worldwide – with 23 deaths, up from 15 the previous year – followed by agriculture. That ranking could change. In the first five months of this year, the most striking trend is that for the first time agribusiness is rivalling mining as the deadliest sector, with 22 deaths worldwide – just one short of the total for the whole of last year.

Read Full Article>>

untitledeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee21

untitledeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee21

World Politics

United States

Ethics experts describe omission of meeting with Donald Trump Jr and Russia lawyer as ‘consciousness of guilt’ and say it warrants re-evaluation of clearance

, theguardian.com

Donald Trump Jr has admitted meeting a Russian lawyer he was told could help to damage Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. The president’s son admits he could have handled the situation better, but claims he did not tell his father about the meeting because ‘it was nothing’

Jared Kushner’s White House security clearance should be “re-evaluated” after the revelation that he attended a now notorious meeting with Donald Trump Jr and a Russian lawyer, according to a former White House ethics tsar.

Democratic senators were still more forceful on Wednesday, one saying of Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser: “I don’t know why he still has a job.”

Kushner is facing growing pressure over his presence at the June 2016 meeting, which email correspondence published by Trump Jr said was intended as part of a Russian government effort to damage Hillary Clinton’s election campaign.

Kushner was required to disclose all meetings with foreign government officials over the past seven years when he applied for security clearance for his White House role. He initially failed to mention the Trump Jr meeting, then included it on a supplemental form.

Norm Eisen, the former ethics tsar in Barack Obama’s administration, told the Guardian on Wednesday: “Given the nature of the meeting, it stretches credibility to say he simply forgot it when he initially filled out his forms. That puts him on the hook for false statements liability, possibly. At any rate, it increases his exposure.

“The pattern of omission by Mr Kushner and others in Donald Trump’s circle of their Russia connections increasingly points to a consciousness of guilt.”

Crucial to the question of whether Kushner is charged with making false statements is intent. His lawyer has claimed the omissions were an honest mistake.

Eisen, now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, said: “I think, certainly, the security clearance should be re-evaluated. One must balance the principle of innocent until proven guilty with the less prudential standards that go into giving a security clearance.

The pattern of omission by Kushner and others in Donald Trump’s circle increasingly points to a consciousness of guilt.

Norm Eisen

“Once a security clearance is granted it’s much harder to take away, and if this pattern of omission had been known when the security clearance was being considered, I doubt it would have been conferred.”

Trump Jr released a series of emails on Tuesday that revealed he had eagerly agreed to meet a woman he was told was a Russian government lawyer offering damaging information about Clinton. Trump Jr and the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, claim they ended up talking primarily about sanctions banning the adoption of Russian children by American citizens.

The president defended his eldest son on Wednesday, using Twitter to praise his performance in a Fox News interview. In the interview with Sean Hannity, Trump Jr admitted that, with hindsight, he would have done things differently.

“My son Donald did a good job last night,” the president wrote. “He was open, transparent and innocent. This is the greatest witch hunt in political history. Sad!”

Christopher Wray, Trump’s nominee to lead the FBI, told a Senate confirmation hearing he did not consider special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference to be a witch-hunt.

Kushner kept his usual low profile but faced growing calls to step down after months in which he said nothing while Trump and his associates repeatedly and misleadingly denied contacts with Russians. Whereas Trump Jr is a private citizen and businessman, Kushner is potentially more vulnerable because he is a member of the administration with security clearance.

On Capitol Hill, Democratic senators were happy to talk about Kushner. Connecticut’s Chris Murphy, a member of the Senate foreign relations committee, said: “I don’t know why Jared Kushner still has a job. He allowed the president of the United States, the vice-president, every spokesperson in the White House to openly lie about his contacts with the Russian government.

“You don’t think the Republicans would be calling for the resignation of an Obama official who allowed the president and the vice-president to openly lie about a major national security issue? He watched his father-in-law go on TV and say, ‘No one in my campaign talked to the Russian government.’

“He knew that was false. Either he didn’t alert the president or the vice-president, or there’s a much bigger problem, and the president and the vice-president knew that they were lying.”

New Mexico’s Martin Heinrich, a member of the Senate intelligence committee, said Kushner should not maintain his security clearance until investigators get to the bottom of what transpired between the Trump campaign and the Russians.

“There’s this collective amnesia situation going on over there, where everybody suddenly forgot all of these meetings with Russian interests,” Heinrich said. “It’s just not credible.”

Heinrich would not say if Kushner should resign, but was terse when asked about his role as one of the president’s top advisers. “Then he should act like a senior adviser,” Heinrich said.

Asked if Kushner should lose his White House position, Democrat Brian Schatz of Hawaii told the Guardian: “That’s the decision that the president gets to make but let me put it this way, if he were not related by marriage to the president, I think he’d be already gone.”

Read Full Article>>

Donald Trump Jr and the Russia connection – video explainer>>

The unanswered questions from Donald Trump Jr’s Russia emails>>

Trump backs son and blasts Russia ‘witch hunt’>>

Trump on Putin: ‘We get along very, very well’ – video>>

Red Cross says there are more than 300,000 suspected cases in country where civil war has decimated health facilities

Yemenis, suspected of being infected with cholera, receiving treatment at a hospital in the capital Sana’a.

Yemenis, suspected of being infected with cholera, receiving treatment at a hospital in the capital Sana’a. Photograph: Mohammed Huwais/AFP/Getty Images

Ali Muhammad’s entire family are sick. In the months since his home district of Abs in northern Yemen was hit by a cholera outbreak, he has lost both parents and all six of his children have fallen ill.

“Cholera is everywhere,” he said, according to a testimony provided by Médecins Sans Frontières, who are caring for his eldest daughter at a cholera treatment centre in Abs. “The water is contaminated and I don’t drink it. We have tanks, but we don’t get water regularly. The situation cannot be worse.”

As the area grapples with both the cholera epidemic, which began to spread in April, and the impact of the country’s civil war, the life of the qat harvester has become harder and harder. “Everybody is sick and in rough shape, and their poor financial condition does not enable them to move from one health centre to another.

“My father got sick and although we hospitalised him, he passed away. My mother died as well. And I am just like many others.”

The Abs district was the scene of a deadly airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition last August that demolished a hospital supported by MSF, killing 19 people, including one of the aid agency’s staff members, and injuring 24.

Less than a year later, as the ongoing conflict hits an stalemate, creating the largest humanitarian crisis in the world, the MSF cholera treatment centre in Abs town alone is receiving more than 460 patients daily, which is more than anywhere else in the country.

The International Committee of the Red Cross warned on Monday that the cholera epidemic in Yemen was spiralling out of control, reaching a milestone of over 300,000 suspected cases. More than 1,600 people have died. Children account for nearly half of all suspected cholera cases in the country, according to the UN’s children agency.

Sana’a-based Taha Yaseen, from the Mwatana Organisation for Human Rights, said obstacles that stand in the way of controlling and containing cholera today in Yemen, include but are not limited to the ongoing war.

“During [the war] almost all health facilities and healthcare services reached a point of thorough collapse and thus are unable to respond to the increasing need to address fatal diseases and civilian victims. Many hospitals [have] shut down and many others were hit either by air or ground strikes, occupied by militias or used as military barracks,” he told the Guardian.

“Most [people] cannot afford even the transportation from their countryside areas or displacements communities to the nearest medical centres to treat them for cholera,” he added.

MSF’s Roger Gutiérrez, who has just returned from a seven-month service in Abs, said the wards in the hospital there, the only public hospital in the area, “are bursting at the seams … what’s happening in Abs sums up the current state of Yemen.”

The district hosts more internally displaced people than anywhere else in the country but most health facilities are not functioning; there is a lack of staff and medical supplies are running short.

“When a plane flies overhead, many patients and staff feel that fear, that vulnerability. For seconds everything stops,” he said, according to a testimony provided by MSF. “You see mothers disconnecting their children’s feeding tubes so they can run out of the hospital’s nutrition ward.”

Ayed Ali, a Yemeni caretaker based in al-Sharq district of Hajjah governorate, said most people in the area drink from exposed wells and tanks, “no matter the water is clean or not”. “There are no salaries and no services,” he said, according to MSF. “Even public hospitals are down. There are no drugs. If you have money, you get treatment. Otherwise, you’ll die.”

The conflict in Yemen is between Houthi rebels controlling the capital Sana’a, who are allied with former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who led the country from 1990 to 2012, and forces loyal to the ousted president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia has led a US-backed military intervention in Yemen, aimed at reinstating Hadi, who lives in exile in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, and countering advances of Iran-backed Houthis.

Read Full Article>>

untitledeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee21

Exclusive Activists, wildlife rangers and indigenous leaders are dying violently at the rate of about four a week, with a growing sense around the world that ‘anyone can kill environmental defenders without repercussions’

See the names of all defenders who have died so far this year here. Read more from the project here.

Activists call for justice in the case of the murder of Honduran indigenous environmentalist Berta Cáceres, who died last year.

Activists call for justice in the case of Honduran indigenous environmentalist Berta Cáceres, who was killed last year. Photograph: Marvin Recinos/AFP/Getty Images

Last year was the most perilous ever for people defending their community’s land, natural resources or wildlife, with new research showing that environmental defenders are being killed at the rate of almost four a week across the world.

Two hundred environmental activists, wildlife rangers and indigenous leaders trying to protect their land were killed in 2016, according to the watchdog group Global Witness – more than double the number killed five years ago.

And the frequency of killings is only increasing as 2017 ticks by, according to data provided exclusively to the Guardian, with 98 killings identified in the first five months of this year.

John Knox, UN special rapporteur on human rights and the environment, said: “Human rights are being jettisoned as a culture of impunity is developing.

“There is now an overwhelming incentive to wreck the environment for economic reasons. The people most at risk are people who are already marginalised and excluded from politics and judicial redress, and are dependent on the environment. The countries do not respect the rule of law. Everywhere in the world, defenders are facing threats.

“There is an epidemic now, a culture of impunity, a sense that anyone can kill environmental defenders without repercussions, eliminate anyone who stands in the way. It [comes from] mining, agribusiness, illegal logging and dam building.”

Mexican indigenous leader and opponent of illegal logging Isidro Baldenegro López was killed in January.

In May, farmers in Brazil’s Maranhão state attacked an indigenous settlement, hacking with machetes at the hands of their victims in another land conflict that left more than a dozen in hospital. There have also been killings of environmental defenders and attacks on others in Colombia, Honduras, Mexico and many other countries since the new year.

Most environmental defenders die in remote forests or villages affected by mining, dams, illegal logging, and agribusiness. Many of the killers are reportedly hired by corporations or state forces. Very few are ever arrested or identified.

This is why the Guardian is today launching a project, in collaboration with Global Witness, to attempt to record the deaths of everyone who dies over the next year in defence of the environment. We will be reporting from the world’s last wildernesses, as well as from the most industrialised countries on the planet, on the work of environmental defenders and the assaults upon them.

Billy Kyte, campaign leader on this issue at Global Witness, said that the killings that make the list are just the tip of an epidemic of violence.

“Communities that take a stand against environmental destruction are now in the firing line of companies’ private security guards, state forces and contract killers,” he said. “For every land and environmental defender who is killed, many more are threatened with death, eviction and destruction of their resources.

“These are not isolated incidents. They are symptomatic of a systematic assault on remote and indigenous communities by state and corporate actors.”

Around the world, the number and intensity of environmental conflicts is growing, say researchers. An EU-funded atlas of environmental conflict academics at 23 universities has identified more than 2,000, ranging over water, land, pollution, evictions and mining.

“These are just the reported ones. There could be three times as many. There is much more violence now,” said Cass business school researcher Bobby Banerjee who has studied resistance to global development projects for 15 years.

“The conflicts are happening worldwide now because of globalisation. Capitalism is violent and global corporations are looking to poor countries for access to land and resources. Poor countries are more corruptible and have weaker law enforcement. Companies and governments now work together to kill people,” he said.

The 2016 Global Witness data shows that the industries at the heart of conflict were mining and oil, which were linked to 33 killings. Logging was in second place worldwide – with 23 deaths, up from 15 the previous year – followed by agriculture. That ranking could change. In the first five months of this year, the most striking trend is that for the first time agribusiness is rivalling mining as the deadliest sector, with 22 deaths worldwide – just one short of the total for the whole of last year.

Read Full Article>>

untitledeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee21

untitledeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee21

Comments are closed.

© 2022 themcglynn.com | Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS)

Global Positioning System Gazettewordpress logo