#AceNewsGroup says to All its Readers “Thank You for 1000 Likes on Our Posts”


WP Like Button#AceNewsGroup says today marks another milestone for our group and it is all thanks to you the readers kind support and all your likes, as we have reached 1000 and we could not do it without your support.

So all l can say is a great big thank you from the Ace News GroupThanks in all languages   

 

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#AceWorldNews says “We Need a Concerted Action to Eradicate Modern Day Forms of Slavery”


Am I not a man emblem used during the campaign...
Am I not a man emblem used during the campaign to abolish slavery. The image is from a book from 1788, so there can be no effective copyright. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to the  “Top United Nations officials marking the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery ” yesterday with a call for concerted action to eradicate the contemporary forms of this heinous practice.

“It is vital that we give special consideration to ending modern-day slavery and servitude which affects the poorest, most socially excluded groups – including migrants, women, discriminated ethnic groups, minorities and indigenous people’s,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon <“http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp“>said in his message for the Day, observed annually on 2 December.

The International Day marks the date in 1949 of the adoption by the General Assembly of the UN Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others. The focus of the day is on eradicating contemporary forms of slavery, such as trafficking in persons, sexual exploitation, the worst forms of child labour, forced marriage and the forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict.

Today, 21 million women, men and children are trapped in slavery all over the world, according to the UN International Labour Organization (ILO), which has teamed up with prominent artists, athletes and advocates in its campaign to “End Slavery Now.”

Mr. Ban noted that there has been important progress in the last year, including stronger legislation and greater coordination by a number of countries to combat slavery. Also, more and more businesses are working to ensure their activities do not cause or contribute to contemporary forms of slavery in the workplace and their supply chains.

“I strongly support these initiatives and urge all Member States to ratify the Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, develop robust and effective domestic legislation and boost enforcement on the ground.  The partnership of the private sector in implementing these efforts is critical,” said the Secretary-General.

Slavery
Slavery (Photo credit: quadelirus)

He also urged continued support for the UN Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, which has helped restore human rights and dignity to tens of thousands of children, women and men for over 20 years, he said.

General Assembly President John Ashe said in his message that the Day serves as a reminder to all people that, much like its historical antecedent, modern slavery is an egregious violation of a person’s basic human rights. “The majority of those who suffer are the most vulnerable and marginalized in society,” he <“http://www.un.org/en/ga/president/68/news/international_day_for_the_abolition_of_slavery2013.shtml“>stated.

“Each year, hundreds of thousands of men, women and children are kidnapped and sold into bondage across international borders. Trafficking in persons is an issue of great global concern and affects almost all countries,” Mr. Ashe noted.

“This inhumane activity continues to flourish owing to vast economic disparities between nations, increasing flows of labour and commodities across international borders and transnational organized criminal networks.”

He called on Member States to eradicate slavery in all its forms; to boost initiatives that promote social inclusion; and to end all forms of discrimination. “We must promote and protect the rights of those most vulnerable within our societies, and help to restore the dignity of victims of slavery.”

New York, Dec  2 2013 11:00AM

 

Cameron’s Visit to China the People Or the Profit


Camerons Visit to China#AceWorldNews says the British Prime Minister David Cameron flew into China saying he wanted to lay the groundwork for a multi-billion-dollar free trade deal between Beijing and the European Union, despite growing unease about his own country’s membership in the bloc.On a three-day visit with a delegation of around 100 business people, the largest-ever British mission of its kind, Cameron said he wanted his country to play an important role in China’s expansion as the world’s second biggest economy is talking about opening up its markets.“China’s transformation is one of the defining facts of our lifetime,” Cameron wrote in Caixin, a Chinese weekly news magazine, on the eve of the visit.

“There is a genuine choice for every country over how to respond. They can choose to see China’s rise as a threat or an opportunity. Britain’s answer is clear. We want to see China succeed,” continued Cameron.

Cameron’s push for an E.U.-China trade deal will irritate the European Commission, which is understood to be strongly opposed to such a move on the grounds that it risks flooding the bloc with cheap Chinese imports and comes as the bloc is embroiled in a dispute with Beijing over solar panel exports.

It is also likely to be seized upon by political opponents, as he has put a question mark over Britain’s continued membership of the 28-nation E.U. by promising Britons an in/out referendum on leaving the bloc if re-elected in 2015.

“I now want to set a new long-term goal of an ambitious and comprehensive E.U.-China Free Trade Agreement,” Cameron wrote.

“And as I have on the E.U.-U.S. deal, so I will put my full political weight behind such a deal which could be worth tens of billions of dollars every year,” promised Cameron.

Cameron is expected to raise the subject in a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Monday. His office said he was the first European leader to champion such a deal in this way.

He had already discussed the idea of an E.U.-China trade deal with other E.U. member states, it added. Such a deal would address services liberalization and better intellectual property rights protection.

Cameron told reporters on the plane to Beijing he was aware the idea was not universally popular among E.U. member states, but said it could be a chance to tackle Beijing on intellectual property rights and trading standards.

“It’ll be the normal thing in the EU which will be a discussion where there will be some skeptics. There will be some enthusiasts and I think the enthusiasts have the wind in our sails,” said Cameron.

Human Rights

British finance minister George Osborne opened the door to further Chinese investment in Britain during a visit to Beijing last month, during which he announced less stringent rules for Chinese banks operating in London in a push to make the British capital the main offshore hub for trading in China’s currency and bonds.

He also paved the way for Chinese investors to take majority stakes in future British nuclear plants.

Camerons Visit to Dalai LamaCampaigners have often accused Cameron of putting trade before human rights. On this trip, activists want him to raise what they say are rights abuses in Tibet.

A senior source in his office said before the trip that Britain had turned the page on a rift with China over Tibet, adding that Cameron had no plans to once again meet the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader-in-exile, after their meeting last year angered Beijing.

Asked on the plane whether he would be raising Tibet, Cameron was non-committal, but said nothing was “off limits” in Britain’s relationship with China.

As permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, Cameron said the two countries would also discuss Iran and North Korea.

Cameron visited a training academy for Jaguar Land Rover sales staff in Beijing on Monday to mark its official opening as the carmaker unveiled a deal worth 4.5 billion pounds to provide 100,000 cars to the National Sales Company in China.

England’s Premier League is also expected to announce an agreement with the Chinese Super League to develop football in China and boost the Premier League’s profile.

Xavier Rolet, the chief executive of the London Stock Exchange, is travelling with Cameron.

The business delegation also includes Andrew Witty, the chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline. The company was drawn into a bribery case in China earlier this year which resulted in police detaining four Chinese GSK executives.

Peter Humphrey, a British man running a risk advisory group, was also detained and is still being held.

VOA NEWS  

 

Security Council: Reports on LRA “Massacres in Villages and Mutilating of Boys to Prevent Them Becoming Child Soldiers and Forcing Girls into Sexual Slavery”


Rebels in the north of the Central African Rep...
Rebels in the north of the Central African Republic (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#AceHumanRightsNews says reiterating its strong condemnation of war crimes and crimes against humanity by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and its use of children in armed conflict, the Security Council today demanded that the group immediately cease all hostilities, release all abductees’, and disarm and demobilize.

Issuing presidential statement the Council urged the United Nations Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), the UN political and peacekeeping missions in the region, and the Organization’s other relevant presences, to enhance their support for the implementation of the UN Regional Strategy to address the threat and impact of the activities of the LRA. It called on the international community to support the implementation of the Strategy where possible.

The LRA, notorious for carrying out massacres in villages, mutilating its victims and abducting boys for use as child soldiers and forcing girls into sexual slavery, was formed in the 1980s in Uganda and for over 15 years its attacks were mainly directed against Ugandan civilians and security forces, which in 2002 dislodged it. It then exported its activities to Uganda’s neighbours, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Central African Republic (CAR) and South Sudan.

English: Shaded relief map of the Central Afri...
English: Shaded relief map of the Central African Republic. Cropped caption: Base 802739 (B01340) 2-01 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The 15-member body reiterated its strong support for the African Union Regional Cooperation Initiative against the LRA, commending the “significant” progress by the African Union Regional Task Force. It urged all regional Governments to fulfil their commitments under the Initiative and provide basic provisions for their security forces.

Welcoming steps taken to deliver an enhanced, comprehensive and “more regional” approach to the humanitarian situation, the Council underlined the primary responsibility of States in the LRA-affected region to protect civilians.  In that context, it welcomed efforts by the DRC, South Sudan, Uganda and the CAR, in coordination with the African Union, to end the LRA threat, urging additional efforts from those countries, as well as others in the region.

Further, the Council expressed serious concern that the increased security vacuum in the CAR continued to negatively affect counter-LRA operations. As LRA attacks have reportedly taken place outside the Task Force’s principal area of operations, it emphasized the need for strong coordination among the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA), the Task Force, and the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (MISCA) in the context of protecting civilian activities and counter-LRA operations.

Regionally, the Council encouraged the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) to reinforce efforts to address the LRA through improved responsiveness to imminent civilian threats, training and capacity-building of the Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC) and implementation of the disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, reintegration, and resettlement programme to encourage further LRA defections.

In addition, the Council urged MONUSCO and the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to enhance their cooperation with the Regional Task Force to coordinate operations, patrols and protection of civilians strategies, and to provide logistical support within their existing mandates and resources.  It took note of reports of a LRA base in the disputed enclave of Kafia Kinga, on the border of the Central African Republic, and between South Sudan and Sudan.

New York, Nov 25 2013  7:00PM

Congress the Other Day Forced Asbestos Victims and Their Families to Release Private Information that will Put Them at Risk of Identity Theft


United States House of Representatives Seal
United States House of Representatives Seal (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

 

#AceWorldNews  says ” Asbestos Victims React To House Vote On H.R. 982 a few days ago that requests them to release private information ,that will put them at risk of identity theft”

 

Leaders of the Asbestos Cancer Victims Rights Campaign today reacted strongly to the 221-199 vote to pass the FACT Act, H.R. 982, by the House of Representatives.

 

Susan Vento, widow of Rep Bruce Vento (D-MN):

 

“I’m deeply disappointed in the vote, but grateful to the Members of Congress who stood up for asbestos victims and their families in opposing legislation that hurts cancer victims. We will continue to oppose this legislation and ensure that it never becomes law.”

 

Judy Van Ness, widow of Naval Veteran Richard L. Van Ness, commented after the vote:

 

Congress today forced asbestos victims and their families to release private information that will put them at risk of identity theft. This delays and could deny badly needed compensation to victims and their families.”

 

Contact: Joy Howell, ACVRC
202-828-7838, c-202-302-5932

 

 

 

 

 

 

English: photograph of Bruce Vento from http:/...
English: photograph of Bruce Vento from http://bioguide.congress.gov (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

SOURCE  Asbestos Cancer Victims Rights Campaign

 

Asbestos Cancer Victims Rights Campaign

 

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ –

 

 

 

“International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women”


#AceWorldNews says that on 25 November 2013 it was “International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women”   

On 25 November 2013, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the British High Commission recalled the recent visit of The Duchess of Cornwall to Women In Need (WIN)’s Colombo Crisis Centre during Her Royal Highness’ stay in Sri Lanka.

Established in 1987, WIN provides services and support for women and children subject to domestic and other forms of violence. They operate in all nine provinces in the country.

WIN’s work covers several areas: medical, psychological counselling, temporary shelter and legal. They provide crisis intervention services in hospitals, a 24 hour hotline accessible to women who are subject to violence, counselling desks in six police stations island-wide and training for counsellors. WIN is the only organisation in the country that offers a multi-faceted approach to victims/survivors of violence. WIN also works with men and boys on a campaign called “Men against Violence Against Women”.

 

ICC Announces Arrest of Four Men Linked to Trial of Former Dr Congo


English: International Criminal Court (ICC) logo
English: International Criminal Court (ICC) logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#AceWorldNews says four people have been arrested for alleged witness tampering in the war crimes trial of former Congolese vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba, the International Criminal Court (ICC) today announced.

The four men are accused of “corruptly influencing witnesses before the ICC and presenting evidence that they knew to be false or forged,” according to a <“http://www.icc-cpi.int/en_menus/icc/press%20and%20media/press%20releases/Pages/pr962.aspx“>news release  from The Hague-based Court.

It is alleged that the suspects were part of a network for the purposes of presenting false or forged documents and bribing certain persons to give false testimony in the case against Mr. Bemba, whose trial started in November 2010.

The four men, arrested today and yesterday following a warrant issued on 20 November by Judge Cuno Tarfusser, include Mr. Bemba’s Lead Counsel Aimé Kilolo Musamba taken into custody by Belgian authorities, and Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo, a member of Mr Bemba’s defence team and case manager, who was arrested in the Netherlands.

English: DR Congo 2006 presidential election c...
English: DR Congo 2006 presidential election candidate Jean-Pierre Bemba (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The two other men are Fidèle Babala Wandu, a member of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Parliament and Deputy Secretary General of the Mouvement pour la Libération du Congo – who was taken into custody in the DRC – and Narcisse Arido, a Defence witness, who was arrested by French authorities.

“On behalf of the Court, the Registrar of the ICC, Herman von Hebel, expressed his gratitude to the States’ authorities for their cooperation,” the ICC said, adding that these are the first arrests made in relation to such charges before the Court.

Mr. Bemba is the alleged President and Commander-in-Chief of the Mouvement de libération du Congo being tried for two counts of crimes against humanity (rape and murder) and three counts of war crimes (rape, murder and pillaging) allegedly committed in the Central African Republic (CAR).

Established by the Rome Statute of 1998, the ICC can try cases involving individuals charged with war crimes committed since July 2002. The Security Council, the ICC Prosecutor or a State Party to the court can initiate any proceedings, and the ICC only acts when countries themselves are unwilling or unable to investigate or prosecute.

New York, Nov 24 2013  6:00PM

 

Nearly 3.5 Million Garment Workers in Bangladesh, Beset by Industrial Accidents and a Staggering Loss of Life, will get Essential Support to Improve Working Conditions


Flag of the International Labour Organization....
Flag of the International Labour Organization. Based on an image at Flags of the World. Français : Drapeau du Organisation internationale du travail Italiano: Bandiera dell’Organizzazione Internazionale del Lavoro (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#AceWorldNews says nearly 3.5 million garment workers in Bangladesh, recently beset by industrial accidents and a staggering loss of life, will get essential support to improve working conditions, strengthen labour inspection and upgrade building and fire safety at their workplaces, thanks to a new programme in partnership with the United Nations.

“The rapid growth in Bangladesh’s garment industry has provided vital jobs to women and men and is helping to pull them and their families out of poverty. However, there is an urgent need for decisive and collaborative action to make decent work a reality,” stated Guy Ryder, the Director-General of the UN International Labour Organization (ILO).

“This programme will improve conditions of work, especially safety, and help generate sustainable economic growth and investment,” he added in a news release.

The new multi-year programme, carried out in partnership with the Governments of the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Canada, will boost the efforts already underway by Bangladesh and its partners in the ready-made garment (RMG) sector.

The RMG sector is vital to the economy of Bangladesh, which exported goods worth $19.3 billion for the 11 months that ended in May 2013 – nearly 12 per cent more than a year earlier.

Among other things, the programme will focus on supporting the Bangladeshi National Action Plan for Fire and Building Safety, developed in the wake of the Rana Plaza collapse this April. The Plan calls for an assessment of all active export-oriented, RMG factories in Bangladesh to be completed by 31 December 2013.

Graduates at TVET Reform Project RMG Course Gr...
Graduates at TVET Reform Project RMG Course Graduation (Photo credit: ILO in Asia and the Pacific)

The Plan is supported by other parallel initiatives focused on the RMG sector in Bangladesh, namely the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh – signed by over 80 leading clothing brands and retailers – and the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, a binding five-year initiative undertaken by North American apparel companies and retailers to improve safety in more than 500 factories.

The Netherlands, as the current co-chair of the donor coordination group in Bangladesh, strongly supports the adherence to international labour standards on workplace safety and protection of worker’s rights.

“Never in the history of the garment sector have we seen such an opportunity for improvement of labour conditions. With the signing of this agreement, the Netherlands with the ILO and our fellow donors will allow millions of workers in Bangladesh to live healthy and decent lives,” said the country’s Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen.

ILO noted that during the past year, the RMG industry in Bangladesh has been rocked by several major industrial accidents leading to large-scale worker protests calling for improved building and fire safety, better working conditions and higher minimum wages. These actions have resulted in work disruptions in hundreds of factories.

ILO members
ILO members (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“The Bangladeshi authorities are responding to these concerns and supporting the programme, which will start with a complete fire safety and structural assessment of all active RMG factories and, where necessary, initiate remedial action,” said the agency.

The programme also has the support of Bangladeshi employers’ organizations and unions. The Government for its part is moving to significantly improve the capacity of its inspection system by equipping and training current and new factory inspectors and introducing oversight to address integrity and increase transparency.

Additionally, the programme will train workers, supervisors and managers in the RMG sector to improve their capacity to ensure workplace safety including the prevention of violence.

Sixty Years of Chinese Censorship – Still People Do Not Have Freedom


English: Reporters Without Borders 2009 Press ...
English: Reporters Without Borders 2009 Press Freedom Index world map. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2 May 1956 – “Let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend”

A speech by Mao in May 1956 launched the Hundred Flowers, a movement of openness that was followed by a crackdown on intellectuals. It was a notable example of Mao’s use of the press. Both movements, the Hundred Flowers and its ensuing corollary, the Anti-Right Movement, were launched through the media.

His first speech seemed to partially lift the threat that had been hanging over journalists until then. Mao himself encouraged intellectuals to criticise the party with the aim of improving it. People’s Daily announced shortly afterwards that it would cover both socialist and capitalist countries, and all subjects, “agreeable or not.” In another sign of openness, the head of Xinhua went to London and Paris to seek inspiration from the way European news agencies worked. A People’s Daily editorial went to so far as to criticise the haste of political leaders “to do everything overnight.”

The first “dazibao” – calling for the creation of a “democratic garden” – was posted on a wall at the prestigious University of Beijing on 17 May 1957. The poster, in which the author expressed his views in large characters, would soon be adopted by the Party as a recurrent tool for encouraging the masses and later civil society to express their grievances.

This period of openness did not last. The counter-movement, an Anti-Right campaign, was launched in June 1957. An editorial in People’s Daily on 8 June denounced those who were trying to use the rectification campaign (the Hundred Flowers) to wage class struggle. In the end, around 400,000 “rightists,” including many journalists and intellectuals, would be sent to re-education camps.

Extract Courtesy of Reporters without Borders – de veronique   

This Article should not be alter or changed in anyway without express permission of the writer. Thank you Editor   

No Miranda Rights in 1944 Caused African-American Boy Named George Stinney To Be Falsely Accused Without Any Representation in South Carolina in the 1950’s – But after 70 Years Could Justice Soon Be Served


George Stinney, 1944, executed at age 14 years old
George Stinney, 1944, executed at age 14 years old (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“In a South Carolina prison on June 16, 1944, guards walked a 14-year-old Black boy, bible tucked under his arm, to the electric chair. He used the bible as a booster seat. At 5′ 1″ and 95 pounds, the straps didn’t fit, and an electrode was too big for his leg. The switch was pulled, and the adult sized death mask fell from his face. Tears streamed from his wide-open, tearful eyes, and saliva dripped from his mouth. Witnesses recoiled in horror as they watched the execution of the youngest person in the United States in the past century.

George Stinney was accused of killing two White girls, 11-year-old Betty June Binnicker and 8-year-old Mary Emma Thames. Because there were no Miranda rights in 1944, Stinney was questioned without a lawyer and his parents were not allowed into the room. The sheriff when said that Stinney admitted to the killings, but there is only his word — no written record of the confession has been found. Reports even said that the officers offered Stinney ice cream for confessing to the crimes.

Stinney’s father, who had helped look for the girls, was fired immediately, and ordered to leave his home and the sawmill where he worked. His family was told to leave town prior to the trial to avoid further retribution. An atmosphere of lynch mob hysteria hung over the courthouse. Without family visits, the 14-year-old had to endure the trial and death alone.

The court appointed Stinney an attorney — a tax commissioner preparing for a Statehouse run. There was no court challenge to the testimony of the three police officers who claimed that Stinney had confessed, although that was the only evidence the prosecution presented. There were no written records of a confession. Three witnesses were called for the prosecution: the man who discovered the bodies of the two girls and the two doctors who performed the post-mortem. No witnesses were called for the defense. The trial took place before a completely White jury and audience (Blacks were not allowed entrance), and lasted two and a half hours. The jury took ten minutes to deliberate before it returned with a guilty verdict.”

A few years ago, a family claimed that their deceased family member confessed to the murders of the two girls on his deathbed. The rumored culprit came from a well-known, prominent White family. Members of the man’s family served on the initial coroner’s inquest jury, which had recommended that Stinney be prosecuted.

The legal murder of George Stinney will forever haunt the American legacy. Although the world and this nation have undoubtedly changed for the better, race still often collides with justice and results in tragedy. Cases like George Stinney’s cannot be erased, should never be forgotten, and are an important chapter in the story of Blacks in America.”

Courtesy of : Timothy Rae Ofwgkta Havens whose mother is Sarita Havens of #IloveHistoryandResearch saw this story on the internet the other day and it messed with my emotions. It’s about an African-American boy named George Stinney who was falsely accused without any representation in the South Carolina in the 1950’s.

Editor’s Comment: This story moved me so much l just had to publish and spread the news about this little boy. Though according to a recent article in related articles below from RT.com Civil Rights Activists are calling for a new investigation.

In their article, they state the youngest American to be executed in the twentieth century may be granted a new trial nearly 70 years after his death because a growing group of supporters, citing new evidence, have pushed for a new trial. so maybe one day we may see #justice4people          

Universal Credit Simplifying the Welfare System by Making People Pay


Ace News Group For a while l have followed the roll-out  by the UK Government of  their “Universal Credit” scheme, its is billed by politicians as the way to simplify the welfare system ,by guiding people back into work!

Of course as with all “Government Initiatives” there is a person tasked to front this policy in this case it is Iain Duncan Smith and so far he is keeping a lot of people in this country happy with the result! The reason being that the emphasis is for those that work and pay their taxes, whilst the scroungers get it all for free! Now everyone wants a government to spend their taxes wisely, so it is a winner as far as it goes!

So concept good on the face of it, but as my personal investigations have uncovered, behind what looks good for some, hides the real truth for others! In this instance the part in this latest system about “Making Sure Work Pays” well my insider source says it does, for the contracted service companies that get paid for providing a job, any job, as long as you work!  Now the pay can be low, the conditions can be unfair and the consequences can lead to tribunals and even dismissal ,as my source has confirmed. But as long as you do not turn up on the unemployment register as an applicant claiming welfare benefits ,that suits this government just fine!

As a lot of people are aware a number of employers have signed up to this contract and it enables these companies to get cheap labour, on short-term contracts and unburden the register for the unemployed, massaging the figures and making this government, look as if they are looking after the people’s interest.

So it is a real vote winner for the government, welfare system and unemployment!

But these companies do not care about all that, they just want you to work in any job, and of course they get paid for providing such a service, but according to my source their tactics are not very humane, their interview techniques are questionable and their methods would lead one to believe we are back in the 1930’s not living in this day and age. The problem is that my source had to take a job working on a third-party contract for a Property and Maintenance Services company ,providing their services to the NHS and on a 24 hour call-out arrangement, being told  that he would receive a vehicle, mobile phone and only be on call-out every two weeks. Sounds great and so with no choice he took it ,against my best advice as the contract was exceptionally onerous, to say the least!

That was 6 months ago, since that time the mobile phone, has one feature the employer can ring him, no call back or checking procedure, the van never arrived, he now works every weekend using his own vehicle, and never sees his wife ,or his very ill house bound mother! His time at the company has gone from bad to worst as refusal to do these hours, has brought him into conflict and recently before the disciplinary board, and he is now awaiting an appeal!

Now upon reading this you would think that these are all excuses ,he does not want to work! Well l can tell you l have known this person all of my life, and he is nearly 60 years old now! He has worked all his adult life from the age of 16, but has been unlucky like so many to be made redundant 4 times, and he has always done his job to the best of his ability!

So you might say, why is this situation not well-known, well of course these so-called interviews are carried out behind closed doors, so nobody gets to see or hear how they get you to agree to a job! This can include standing you in the middle of a room full of people and publicly humiliating you, saying you are lazy and a burden on the state, so if you do not take the job we offer you, we can make a phone-call and stop your benefits! Of course they couch it in such a manner, saying words like we could, as we have been given the job of getting you off the unemployment register and into work.

What they do not say is that for everyone who takes a job they received a payment, so the incentive to get people a job, any job is paramount as more that stop taking benefits, the more money they make!

Conclusion: 

At present there is an appeal under-way and the story of this tribunal will be written in part two, but suffice to say for now my source has asked me not to share his name ,or the name of the company! Also l will eventually after more investigation name the company tasked by this government to carry-out these recruitment services and where in the country this took place!

Of course for all those that want to look at the government’s way of providing Universal Credit here is a link explaining it all, together with a small  snippet the scheme:

Department of Work and Pensions Introducing Universal Credit:

We are introducing Universal Credit in 2013 for people who are looking for work or on a low-income. Universal Credit brings together a range of working-age benefits into a single payment. It will:

  • encourage people on benefits to start paid work or increase their hours by making sure work pays
  • smooth the transitions into and out of work
  • simplify the system, making it easier for people to understand, and easier and cheaper to administer
  • reduce the number of people who are in work but still living in poverty
  • reduce fraud and error

Read More at: https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/simplifying-the-welfare-system-and-making-sure-work-pays

or download this PDF: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/253919/uc-faqs.pdf

UN: Security Council Echoes Condemnation and Pledges On-Going Support to Protect all Civilians of Dr Congo


The Coat of arms of the Democratic Republic of...
The Coat of arms of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Security Council today condemned “in the strongest terms” the attacks by M23 rebels against the United Nations Mission in North Kivu in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), resulting in the death of a Tanzanian peace keeper.

In a statement to the press, the members of the Security Council expressed their condolences to the family of the peace keeper killed in the attack, as well as to the Government of Tanzania and to the UN mission, known by the French acronym, MONUSCO.

Council members also called on the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo swiftly to investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice.

“They also expressed their condolences for the loss of civilian lives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in Rwanda following shells landing on its territory,” the statement says, stressing that the members of the Council reiterated their full support for MONUSCO and called on all parties to cooperate fully with the mission.

The Council in its statement echoes a similar expression of condemnation by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who yesterday pledged the Organization’s ongoing commitment to take “all necessary actions” to protect civilians in the country.

According to UN chief’s statement, the attacks occurred as MONUSCO supported action being carried out by Congolese Government Forces (FARDC) to protect civilians on the Kiwanja-Rutshuru axis, 25 kilometres north of Goma, which the main city in the vast country’s eastern region.

Further to the statement, Mr. Ban said the UN remains committed to taking all necessary actions in line with Security Council resolution 2098 (2013) to protect civilians in eastern DRC.

By that resolution, adopted in late March, the Council approved the creation of its first-ever “offensive” combat force, intended to carry out targeted operations to “neutralize and disarm” the notorious M23, as well as other Congolese rebels and foreign armed groups in the east.

In the past year, clashes have continued sporadically throughout the DRC’s eastern region, with rebels briefly occupying Goma, in November 2012. The fighting has displaced more than 100,000 people, exacerbating an ongoing humanitarian crisis in the region which includes 2.6 million internally displaced persons and 6.4 million in need of food and emergency aid.

UN:Expert on Democracy States there can be No Democracy without Freedom of Opinion


English: The United Nations Security Council C...
English: The United Nations Security Council Chamber in New York, also known as the Norwegian Room Français: La Salle de réunion du Conseil de sécurité des Nations Unies à New York Nederlands: De Zaal van de Veiligheidsraad van de Verenigde Naties in New York (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There can be no democracy without freedom of opinion, a United Nations independent expert said today, highlighting the importance of access to information as he also presented his ideas on making the main bodies of the UN – the General Assembly and the Security Council – more democratic.

“You should not be subjected to the pressures, the intimidation, whether by Government or by the private sector, which would force you into self-censorship,” Alfred M. de Zayas, Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, told the UN News Centre following a briefing to journalists in New York.

“If you censor yourself, if you cannot articulate your needs, if you cannot articulate your priorities, then whatever you do, putting a little cross in a ballot box, etc, does not represent your view. It is an act of desperation,” he stressed.

Earlier in the day, Mr. de Zayas spoke to the General Assembly’s main social, humanitarian and cultural body (Third Committee), to which he presented 35 recommendations on international and national diplomacy, as well as studies to be carried out ranging from self-determination to issues related to indigenous people’s, war and peace and civil society.

“One of the problems that we have in the human rights community is that special interests often forget the interests of other victims, and there’s competition among victims expressions that are unnecessary,” he said, adding also that some victims are viewed as being “privileged” while others are more “excluded.”

Among those recommendations is the idea of establishing a world parliamentary assembly, or a UN parliamentary assembly, as a consultative body to the General Assembly, which would enhance the possibility of citizens participating in global decision-making and give greater voice to civil society.

Mr. de Zayas also highlighted international democracy deficits prevalent in the UN Security Council, and advanced the idea of phasing out the veto power available to the 15-member body’s five permanent States – China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States.

“The UN system is not very democratic, everyone knows that the Security Council is not democratic,” said the independent expert.

Speaking following a press conference heavily attended by representatives of indigenous groups, Mr. de Zayas said he wanted to show a “degree of solidarity” them.

He urged a workshop to be held which would focus on implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples whom he called “the forgotten victims” and “the unsung heroes.”

“You cannot turn the clock back, you cannot give the island of Manhattan back to the indigenous, but on the other hand, you can ensure that the indigenous can maintain their way of life,” Mr. de Zayas said.

He also called for the media to take up the issue and inform the public about the Declaration.

Independent experts or special rapporteurs are appointed by the Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work.

UN:Justice Must be Integral to Future Sustainable Development Agenda


United Nations UN has stated that Justice must be integral to any future  SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Agenda, as Justice, security and development cannot be promoted one at the expense of the other, either through reductionism or strict sequencing, a United Nations independent expert today urged following his briefing to the General Assembly.

Pablo de Greiff, Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence spoke to journalists in New York after briefing the General Assembly’s main social, humanitarian and cultural body (Third Committee) on his work.

“An interest in justice and rights is part of popular aspirations that ought to be captured by ongoing development discussions,” Mr. de Greiff said, telling the international community and particularly those involved in creating a sustainable development agenda following the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), about the relevance of justice and rights.

Referring to his report, the Special Rapporteur said that the MDGs and other development frameworks have failed to track either existing legal obligations or popular aspirations related to justice.

He highlighted the importance of transitional justice measures as mitigating some of these developmental blockages, in particular if a comprehensive approach is pursued.

Human rights violations, when left unaddressed can have an effect in creating a downward shift in people’s expectations,” he said, adding that people will shift their preferences downward rather than live in a permanent state of defeated expectations.

The UN independent expert also said that massive human rights violations undermine social trust and civic participation by having a marginalizing effect not just on the victims but on  other members of society, undermining their trust in trust in each other and in the institutions of the State.

Mr. de Greiff also raised the concerns associated with continuing to silo security, justice and development, keeping resources available for them different tracks.

Any new development agenda must satisfy a sort of “Tunisia test”, the Special Rapporteur said, which also stress good governance and equitable access to justice systems.

“Even from the point of view of security and development, failing to take justice seriously makes it more difficult for security forces to achieve their proper goal,” he said.

United Nations Human Rights Council logo.
United Nations Human Rights Council logo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Special rapporteurs are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back, in an unpaid capacity, on specific human rights themes.

 

UN:Security Council Recognised and Encouraged Active Contribution of Organisation of Islamic Co-operation


Map of nations in Organization of the Islamic ...
Map of nations in Organization of the Islamic Conference (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Security Council today recognized and encouraged the active contribution of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in the work of the United Nations in the fields of peacemaking, preventive diplomacy, peacekeeping and peace building.

Reading out a statement, Ambassador Agshin Mehdiyev of Azerbaijan, which holds this month’s rotating presidency of the Council, said the 15-member body “recognizes and further encourages” the active contribution of the OIC in the work that aims to realize the purposes and principles embodied in the UN Charter.

“The Council notes the commitment of both the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to foster a global dialogue for the promotion of tolerance and peace, and calls for enhanced cooperation to promote better understanding across countries, cultures and civilizations,” according to the statement.

During the meeting which preceded the statement, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon <“http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp?nid=7233“>urged the OIC and all leaders to “do everything possible to repair rifts and rebuild confidence between Muslim communities as well as stem the influence of radical armed groups and violent extremists.”

The UN chief urged partnerships to be strengthened between the UN and OIC which “could be uniquely placed” to launch a major initiative with partners to help end the “profoundly worrying” heightened tensions between Sunni and Shia communities in Syria and other parts of the world.

“This upheaval that has caused the loss of so many civilian lives and represents such a threat to wider security,” Mr. Ban stressed in his remarks to the 15-member Council.

The UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has been “making progress” in dismantling and destroying the Syrian chemical weapons programme, said Mr. Ban, while urging continued efforts to reach a comprehensive political agreement “which reflects the will of the Syrian people.”

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150 px (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Highlighting other regions where the OIC would play a positive role, the top UN official highlighted that organization’s potential role to help break the status quo in the occupied Palestinian territory and forge a way forward in the Middle East peace process within the agreed frame.

He also cited the OIC’s plans to visit Myanmar and welcomed the delegation’s “constructive engagement” to reduce tensions.

Mr. Ban also highlighted the OIC’s efforts in Afghanistan and Sudan, and urged further partnerships in Mali, following the milestone presidential election there.

Noting that the OIC and its member States have made significant efforts to mitigate the terrorist threat, the UN chief stressed the importance of addressing the conditions conducive to the spread of extremism and terrorism, including by strengthening efforts to peacefully resolve conflict, promote the rule of law, protect human rights and ensure good governance.

“Terrorism is not associated with any particular religion, culture or people’s,” he said. “However, in recent years, terrorist violence has disproportionately affected countries that are members of OIC, from the Sahel and North Africa to the Middle East and South Asia.”

He noted that the importance of intercultural dialogue between and within faiths “is more important than ever” and urged continued efforts to foster a culture of peace and co-existence through efforts such as the UN Alliance of Civilizations.

In 2005, an initiative of Spain and Turkey created the UN Alliance of Civilizations, a forum where civil society, governments and the private sector could learn from each other and stand up for tolerance and inclusively and against extremism and polarization.

 

Nineteen Islamist Groups Fighting to Topple President Bashar al-Assad have Rejected Outright a Mooted US-Russian #Peace Initiative for #Syria


Courtesy of Voice of Russia

19 Islamist rebel groups bow out of Syria peace talks

Photo: EPA

Nineteen Islamist groups fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad have rejected outright a mooted US-Russian peace initiative for Syria dubbed Geneva 2, a statement said.

“We announce that the Geneva 2 conference is not, nor will it ever be our people’s choice or our revolution’s demand,” the groups said in a late Saturday statement read in an online video by Ahmad Eissa al-Sheikh, chief of the Suqur al-Sham chief.

“We consider it just another part of the conspiracy to throw our revolution off track and to abort it.”

The statement also warned that anyone who went to such talks would be committing “treason, and … would have to answer for it before our courts”.

The statement comes weeks after dozens of major rebel groups across Syria said the Western-backed opposition umbrella grouping the National Coalition had “failed”.

The Geneva talks slated for next month aim to bring rebel and regime representatives to the table in a bid to seek a negotiated end to the Syrian conflict, which according to a rights group has claimed more than 115,000 lives since it erupted in March 2011.

The National Coalition is to meet on November 9 to decide whether to take part in the peace talks but has stated emphatically it will only attend if there are guarantees they Assad will step down.

Assad for his part has said “the factors are not yet in place” for such talks, and he has repeatedly rejected negotiations with any group with ties to the rebels or to foreign states.

Among the signatories to Saturday’s statement are powerful Islamist groups Liwa al-Tawhid, Ahrar al-Sham, Suqur al-Sham and Ahfad al-Rasul, which has fought against Al-Qaeda-affiliated fighters in Syria.

Read more:

Kerry and Lavrov discuss planned Syria conference

Lavrov, Brahimi agree to continue work on convocation of Geneva-2 conference

UN Syria peace envoy says Iran should come to Geneva talks

Geneva-2: Obama knows Americans can’t use force – expert

Syria opposition to decide November 9 on Geneva talks

 Voice of Russia, AFP
Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_10_27/19-Islamist-rebel-groups-bow-out-of-Syria-peace-talks-5278/

The Robben Island Declaration Timeline of History


In support of Occupied Palestine l thought l would provide a post with a link below ,out-lining their plight and request for freedom of 
Palestinian people have struggled for decades for justice and the realisation of their inalienable rights. These rights have been repeatedly reaffirmed by countless United Nations resolutions. Universal values, international legality and human rights cannot stop at borders, nor admit double standards, and must be applied in Palestine. This is the way forward to a just and lasting peace in the region, for the benefit of all its people’s. 
Occupied PalestinePlease read more and add your support by re-blogging their great article at: http://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com/2013/10/27/the-robben-island-declaration-for-the-freedom-of-marwan-barghouthi-and-all-palestinian-prisoners-by-mrn1sa/
Timeline of Events:  
1421
Chinese fleet rounds the Cape of Good Hope and most likely sets food on the Island. In 1421, Chinese Emperor Zhu Di dispatched a huge armada of ships to sail around the world. The armada split into four fleets under the overall command of Admiral Zheng He. In August of 1421, the fleet rounded the Cape of Good Hope and relatively accurately mapped the continent for the first time. While we have no evidence of the crews setting foot on either Robben Island or the mainland, it is presumed that they would have done so.
1488
Portuguese discover the Island. Some 67 years later the Portuguese were the first Europeans to round the Cape. The skipper of the 2nd Ship of the Portuguese explorer Bartholomew Dias was probably the first European to set foot on Robben Island to remove meat and eggs.
1496
Portuguese set up a base in cave which they name ‘Portugal Cave’. In 1496, the Portuguese landed again on Robben Island and set up base in a cave which they called Portugal Cave. The present day harbour was built next to the cave which was to become the whaler Murray’s abode at Murray’s Bay. The cave no longer exists.
1501
Antonio de Saldanha and his men kill animals on the Island. Antonio de Saldanha retreated to Robben Island after a skirmish with the Khoe on the mainland, where he was wounded. On Robben Island, de Saldanha and his men set about killing as many penguins, seals and tortoises as they could. It is because of the many seals that were on the Island that the Dutch were later to name the island Robben, the Dutch word for seal.
1591
Sheep are introduced to the Island. Sir James Lancaster & Admiral Raymond were the first to introduce sheep to Robben Island, so that they would multiply and provide for future visitors. This was an important recognition of the strategic importance of the island to maritime traffic and a form of international cooperation. This practice of leaving livestock was continued in 1608 by the Dutch Admiral Cornelius Maaklof.
1611
Island is used as a mail station. Through records it is clear that by the time John Saris was retrieving mail from a rock on Robben Island, the practice of using the island as a mail-station was a common maritime practice. Robben Island was a post office of sorts, and played an important role in international communications.
1614
Chief Xhore chases British convicts to Robben Island. After being lured aboard the British ship the Hector in 1613, Chief Xhore and a companion were kidnapped and taken to England. Xhore’s companion later died en route. Sir Thomas Smythe of the British East India Company had designs for colonising the Cape of Good Hope, by sending out 100 convicts annually. Xhore was to be trained as an interpreter and facilitator of this plan, but Xhore hated his time in England and constantly demanded to be returned home. A year later, he was returned to Table Bay.
Xhore had learnt much about the British, and this knowledge ultimately lead to his effective resistance against Sir Thomas Smythe, who had tried to settle the Cape with convicts. Xhore chased the settlers off to Robben Island, but later in 1625, Xhore was killed by the Dutch. Xhore’s sons participated in the first Khoe-Dutch war in 1658, and among other marks made on history, Xhore will be remembered as the first black South African to go to England.
Convicted prisoners, sent to the Cape by Sir Thomas Smythe, escape to Robben Island.
Under the patronage of King James I of England, Walter Peyton was sent to the Cape with nineteen convicted prisoners from Newgate Prison by Sir Thomas Smythe of the British East India Company. The aim of this was to establish a Penal Colony and supply station.
An ex-officer and convicted highwayman by the name of Crosse was left behind as a leader of 10 convicts set ashore with guns, ammunition and supplies. The convicts soon got into conflict with the Khoe, lead by Chief Xhore. Having received more supplies and a longboat from the passing ship of Edward Dodsworth, Crosse fled from the mainland to Robben Island with 8 men and one boy.
1616
Nine months after having been left at the Cape, the British ship ‘New Years Gift’ collected 3 survivors off Robben Island. Ironically it was Chief Xhore who told the British visitors about the men then stranded on Robben Island. Crosse saw the ships at anchor and was washed out to sea and drowned during trying to reach the ships with a raft made from the wrecked long-boat.
1617
Three more convicts are placed on Robben Island. Under orders, English Captain Benjamin Joseph once more deposited 3 convicts on Robben Island in 1617, but a few days later a fifth ship in the fleet, picked them up again for unknown reasons.
1620
Robben Island, along with Table Bay, is claimed by the British. Table Bay and Robben Island were formally claimed by the British as crown possessions of King James I of England. Thereafter, the English practiced a very casual approach to the possession, and the Cape remained a hospitable sojourn for all international maritime traffic.
1632
Chief Autshumato is trained and taken to Robben Island with other Peninsula Khoe.
In a similar move to the 1613 events surrounding Chief Xhore, the English took Chief Autshumato to Bantam in Java for a year (probably 1631) where he was taught the essentials of the English language. In 1632, in an act of assisted migration, Autshumato and 20 other Peninsula Khoe were then taken to Robben Island by the English to act their as postal and maritime monitoring agents.
In the same year, Autshumato convinced the Dutch to bring over 30 more Peninsula Khoe to Robben Island. Thus it came to be that Autshumato acted as an agent for both the Dutch and the English. Autshumato was able to communicate in English, Dutch, French and Portuguese, and became an astute diplomat, yet official history portrays him as an ignorant beachcomber.
Autshumato is also recorded as saying to visiting French ship in 1632 that he was “Au service de messejieurs Holandois et de messejieurs les Anglois.” [In the service of the Dutch men and English men]
1636
Ringleader of a mutiny attempt banished to Robben Island
The former Governor of Batavia, Hendrik Bouwer, arrived in Table Bay in 1636 and ruled on a mutiny attempt which happened on one of the ships in the Dutch fleet. The ringleader was keelhauled, banished and abandoned on Robben Island.
1638
Khoe leave Robben Island. By 1638, due to the depletion of food (penguins, seals, cormorants and eggs) on the island, the Khoe moved back to the mainland.
1639
Khoe re-introduced to Island
The Europeans had grown use to the safe haven and services offered on Robben Island, so in 1639 Johan Albrecht von Mandelslo deposited fifteen Goringhaicona Khoe on Robben Island, 4 men, 8 women and 3 children, to continue to offer a service.
1652
Jan van Riebeeck and Captain Sijmon Turver land on Robben Island
With a permanent Dutch settlement established on the mainland, van Riebeeck attempted to land on Robben Island in July 1652 and almost got killed in the rough seas and south-easterly squall. On 14 September, he successfully landed on the island with Captain Sijmon Turver, exactly where today’s harbour stands. Soon after this, regular parties were sent out to collect penguins, eggs and seals.
1654
Robben Island used as a food station. At this time, The Cape mainland settlement was still insecure and inhospitable, and Robben Island was used as an emergency ‘pantry’ for the Cape Town VOC garrison. The garrison at this stage was largely comprised of Javanese Mardijkers. A vegetable garden was established and flocks of sheep introduced.
An overseer of the island was appointed by van Riebeeck, Corporal Robbeljaert who was put in charge of a few shepherds who were also sent to the Island. Rabbits and dassies were also introduced, and in June 1655 van Riebeeck also organised pig breeding on Robben Island. Several more men were then sent to the island to engage in caring for the animals and gardens.
1657
Lighthouse erected and the first prisoners introduced
A small Platform was erected on the highest point on Robben Island, upon which a fire was kept burning at night, when ships of the DEIC could be seen off the port. This was also the first year that an official group of prisoners was sent to the island, even although Robben Island had not yet been established as a convict workstation.
1660
The first recorded ship wreck is that of the Schapejacht in August 1660.
1662
Robben Island becomes a formal prison
Jan van Riebeeck concluded his time as Commander at the Cape in 1662. He was succeeded by Zacharias Wagenaar, who was attributed as the man who promoted Robben Island as a formal organised prison where prisoners could be put to hard labour quarrying for blue stone and lime.
1673
Convicts escape the prison on Robben Island
Five Khoe convicts achieved what was thought to be impossible. They managed to steal a rudderless boat and successfully made it back to the mainland.
1675
Two slaves sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island
Two slaves were sentenced for stealing food (vegetables) and had their ears cut off. They were also sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island where they were kept in chains.
1682
Exiles and other captives kept in slavery
An Englishman scholar, David Tappen, captured by the Dutch and forced to serve on the Dutch ships, spent time on Robben Island and wrote the following:
“On Robben Island are set the rebellious rulers brought from the East Indies, where they must end their lives in very bad conditions, since many of them who are now at the Cape must now work like slaves for their living, and often get more kicks than ha’pence for their hard tasks such as carrying wood and stones, burning lime etc. To this Robben Island come not only the rebellious East India rulers and other black folk, but also rebellious Dutch who are kept in slavery there for some years.”
1686
Slaves prisoners on Robben Island. Prisoner lists of 1686 show numerous slave names as prisoners on Robben Island, names such as Jacob van Macassar and Arrie van Bengal. Many Chinese slave/convicts were also sent to Robben Island.
1690
Successful escape from Robben Island by swimming to the mainland. In 1690, a convict by the name of Jan Rykman successfully escaped Robben Island by swimming to the mainland.
1693
Falsely accused sent to Robben Island. Dorha, a successful Chainouqua trader, (loyal to the Dutch) and his brother-in-law (of the Hessequa) are banished to Robben Island by Simon van der Stel and the Council of Policy, on trumped-up charges (latter repealed by the DEIC) to rob Dorha of his amassed cattle and curtail his successful trading system.
Dorha, as a successful trader in the inland areas, was a threat to the corrupt company officials who were dominating the trading processes. Dorha was a victim of a volte-face plot, which saw the company officials ally themselves to his enemy Koopman, leader of the Soeswa. In 1695, Dorha was exonerated and released from banishment on Robben Island but never regained his former prestige and was murdered by Koopman in 1701.
1694
Shipwreck on Robben Island
The yacht Dageraad from Goude Bay ran ashore on the Western side of the island. Sixteen of the crew were drowned.
1716
Sheikh Noorul Mubeen was exiled from the Indonesian Archipelago and banished to Robben Island, but escaped by unknown means. Legend has it that he swam to the mainland where he was found by slave fishermen and hidden on the mountainside. A Karamat shrine in Oudekraal marks his burial-place.
1743
The Prince of Madura was banished to Robben Island with 7 of his followers, after being captured by the Dutch in the Straits of Madura. He died on Robben Island in 1754 and his body was returned to Batavia after a petition by his son.
1744
Tuan Matarah Sayed Abduraghman Motura (Matirim) was exiled from the Indonesian Archipelago (probably Sumatra) and banished to Robben Island where he died. A Karamat shrine on Robben Island marks his burial place and is visited by pilgrims.
1780
A Prince of Tadore in the Tiranate Islands, Tuan Guru, who traced his ancestry to the Sultanate of Morocco, together with Callie Abdul Rauf, Noro Imam and Barodien were said to have conspired with the English against the Dutch.
They were captured by the Dutch and brought to the Cape as state prisoners and incarcerated on Robben Island. Tuan Guru was later released to the mainland in 1792, and Barodien and Rauf died on Robben Island. Taun Guru died in 1807 and a Karamat Shrine marks the place of his burial on Signal Hill.
1786
Tuan Nuruman arrived in Cape Town as a slave and was housed in the Slave Lodge. In 1786, he was found guilty of assisting a group of fellow slaves in an escape bid and sent to Robben Island. Years later, when released from the Island he settled as a freed slave and officiated as an Imam. He died in 1810 and a Karamat Shrine marks his grave on Signal Hill.
1806
Murray installed himself as a Whaler on the island, next to the present-day harbour, and settled in Portugal Cave with his wife and children. Since then the Bay was called Murray’s Bay.
1846
The first lepers were moved (from Hemel en Aarde, near Hermanus) to Robben Island and housed in existing buildings.
1858
Cemetery below Minto’s Hill is established, and acts as a burial ground for staff of the island during the Leprosy Settlement and Convict Station until 1923.
1864
Robben Island Lighthouse was built on Minto Hill. In 1938, a self-contained generating plant was installed to produce electric lighting of 464 000 candle-power. A fog-horn was installed in 1925.
1873
Langalibalele, Chief of the AmaHlubi, and his people worked in Kimberley and in the process acquired arms. Fearing an uprising, the Hlubi were ordered to surrender their arms by the British. They refused and fled towards Basutholand for refuge but were waylaid by troops at the top of the Drakensberg Pass. Langalibalele was brought back in chains and tried for treason and rebellion. He was sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island. The Cape Town township Langa is named after him.
1880
A small restaurant and refreshment station is opened. The Island population was then 1070 of whom 800 were male.
1882
A gardening campaign was started by Dr. Impey and Lady Loch, and was promoted by the famous brewer Mr. Ohlsson who paid for a plantation to be laid out on the western shore at his expense. Much of this was destroyed in the Second World War for security reasons.
Over 70 000 trees were planted at this time including thorn trees, tamarisks, firs, pines, wattles, manatoka, cypresses, acasia, salinga and belhambra. The gardening campaign was at its strongest from 1882-1912.
During this time, Franz Jacobs lead a protest and wrote to petition the Queen to improve the terrible Leper conditions on Robben Island.
1886
Chaplain and Dr. Ross oppose female lepers being brought to the Island because of intercourse between male and female lepers.
The postmaster brings out the first Robben Island Newspaper, the Robben Island Times. It cost two pounds a year to produce.
1887
Female leper is block built to the north of Murray Harbour.
1890
New buildings are built for male lepers, in the area that stretches from village to the leper cemetery south of Murray Bay.
1892
Tramway line is built. A 18inch gauge tramway line was laid from the boathouse to the general stores and ran to all of the key off-loading points of the island. Trolleys were drawn by mules.
1893
A Library is opened with 1548 volumes. A magistrate’s court was also started and the librarian doubled as resident magistrate, Mr L Powys-Jones. The Island school ceased to be a mission school and became a government school.
1894
Guest house is built for the resident chaplain of the Dutch Reformed Church
The post of chaplain became necessary with the increase in leprosy patients. 
1895
Residence built for the Commissioner of the Island. The Commissioner was brought in as an administrator when the surgeon-superintendent of the hospital had difficulties subduing violence and dissatisfaction among leprosy patients about their forced residence on the Island. The building would later become a mess hall for officers in WW2.
The Church of the Good Shepherd is consecrated in 1895. This was a Leper Church for men designed by Sir Herbert Baker. A carved figure of the Good Shepherd was brought from Oberammergau (famous for religious plays). A Leper church for women was called the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin. A Catholic Chapel and a Dutch Reformed church was also established.
1896
Faure Jetty completed. This jetty acted as a replacement jetty as the one below an old Convict station was destroyed by storms.153 trips were made in 1896 by the steam ferries Tiger, Magnet and Pieter Faure.
1910
Leper Children and Anglican Nuns move to the Island. The Anglican sisterhood took over the children’s leper home, catering for 26 children, into their care. They were recalled to England in 1926 and the children returned to the compounds.
1913
After years of argument, the government agreed to remove the mental patients from the island so that they may be integrated into more humane institutions of care on the mainland.
1930
Lepers removed from Robben Island
1931
All leper buildings, with the exception of the Church of the Good Shepherd, are burned and demolished.
1939
Island acts as Military base. The Department of Defence established fortress Robben Island to guard Table Bay. Murray Harbour, an airstrip and gun batteries were built. A maze of tunnels and bunkers were carved into the island. It was a military fortress in every aspect and home to thousands of servicemen and women.
The vast majority had no idea of Robben Island’s painful past and little consciousness of the pain that would be coming, yet these men and women had been mobilised to fight fascism and Nazism in Europe.
1950’s
Robben Island is used as a naval base. Robben Island was taken over by the SA Navy as SAS Robben Island with a population of 1200 – 1500.
1959
Declaration of Robben Island as an Apartheid era Prison. The National Party Minister of Justice declared that the island would once more serve as a prison. As far as possible, all military installations were to be dismantled and relocated to the mainland. Access to the island was to be restricted and suitable prison structures constructed.
1961 – 1991
Maximum security prison for political prisoners.
1961 – 1996
Medium security prison for criminal prisoners. The first political prisoners began to arrive in 1961. These early prisoners had to participate in the completion of Robben Island’s maximum security prison structures. Along with ANC and PAC prisoners, there were members of many other organisations including the SA Congress of Trades Unions, the SA Communist Party, South West African Peoples Organisation, National Liberation Front, the Non-European Unity movement, the Liberal Party, AZAPO, the APDU, BCM, UDF and others.
After the Rivonia trial in 1964, Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki and other senior ANC leaders were sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island. Over the next three decades, thousands of political cadres of all persuasions and all ranks were brought by ferry to be imprisoned on the island. PAC leader, Robert Sobukwe, was initially sentenced to three years imprisonment; because the government were not prepared to release him, they passed a special law in parliament which allowed them to keep Sobukwe in prison without charges, indefinitely. It was called the Sobukwe clause.
After the unbanning of political organisations and the release of Nelson Mandela by FW de Klerk in 1990, a slow process of releasing all political prisoners unfolded.
1962
January, Nelson Mandela leaves South Africa for military training.
March, Mandela receives training from the Algerian National Liberation Front at bases of the latter across the border in Morocco.
1991
All political prisoners had been released from Robben Island.
1996
The last of the Common Law Prisoners leave the island
1997
1 January, The Robben Island Museum was officially opened.
1999
Robben Island became a World Heritage site. The museum and heritage site is visited by thousands of tourists each year.

References

 

#SYRIA, Chemical Weapons Watchdog Adapts to War Publicity #Peace


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150 px (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FEATURE: WORKING ALONGSIDE UN IN SYRIA, CHEMICAL WEAPONS WATCHDOG ADAPTS TO WAR, PUBLICITY

After years of remarkable but largely unheralded success at ridding the world of mustard gas and deadly nerve agents like sarin and VX, inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) have now been thrown into entirely new territory – working amid Syria’s bloody civil war and in the glare of the media following a surprise Nobel Peace Prize win two weeks ago.

The acronym “OPCW” would likely have been met by blank stares a few weeks ago.  Now, even though the organisation has been thrust into the limelight, relatively few people understand its mandate or the dangerous work undertaken by its inspection teams.

“This is an organisation that for 16 years has carried out its work very quietly. I would say we have even shunned publicity…but now, we’re trying to make it work for us,” said Franz Ontal, head of inspector training for the <“http://www.opcw.org/“>OPCW.

In an interview with UN News Centre, Mr. Ontal, himself a former inspector, spoke of efforts to ensure that the 27-member team, working jointly with the United Nations in the embattled suburbs of Damascus, will carry out its tasks in a high-pressure setting while maintaining staff safety.

He added, not without some pride, the watchdog agency is honoured by the Nobel win and that its inspectors are well-prepared for both the hostile environment in Syria and the media spotlight.

Earlier this month, the UN Security Council endorsed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s proposal to deploy up to 100 UN and OPCW experts in a multi-phase operation to carry out its resolution on eliminating Syria’s chemical weapons material and equipment, scheduled for completion by 30 June, 2014.

The Council passed its measure after Syria agreed to join the Chemical Weapons Convention following a chemical weapons attack in late August that killed hundreds of people in the Ghouta suburb. An initial UN-led team that was headed to inspect that incident came under sniper fire. While no one was injured, one vehicle in the convoy was severely damaged, forcing the team to postpone its activities for a day.

WMD world map
WMD world map (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Both incidents threw into stark relief the deepening crisis in the country, where more than 100,000 people have already lost their lives and some 6.5 million others have been driven from their homes since protesters first sought the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad’s Government in March, 2011.

The UN has called the OPCW into service as the implementing body of the 1997 Convention. It is responsible for monitoring and verifying chemical weapons destruction and has carried out inspections in Iraq and continues to work with, among others, the United States and Russia in destroying large stockpiles. In a recent success, the OPCW oversaw the destruction of 85 per cent of post-conflict Libya’s mustard sulphur agent.

Yet, while the agency has tackled many challenges in the past, its current mission in Syria is different, said Mr. Ontal, underscoring that the war-time setting has added “another layer of concern” to the inspectors’ work.

Normally confronted with stress related to dealing with hazardous materials, they are also carrying out their dangerous task while wearing flack vests and helmets to protect them from stray bullets and flying shrapnel.

“These are two levels of stress that should never meet, but this is the environment in which we are working in Syria,” he said.

Under such conditions, the joint OPCW-UN team will use the spotlight “to show that we are carrying out our duties responsibly.” Indeed, Mr. Ontal said: “We are in Syria to do a job. We want to show that we are not there to take sides. We are impartial and we plan to carry out our work in a professional and transparent way.”

The inspectors have been on the ground since early October but are just now wrapping up their first week of activities with the UN under the Council’s official mandate.

Spokesman Michael Luhan said this week the OPCW is confident Syria will meet the 1 November deadline for destroying all equipment used in the production chemical agents. He also flagged another milestone reached, adding that a complete, official, inventory of all Syria’s chemical weapons, munitions, and production facilities, was expected to be delivered to the Organisation’s headquarters ahead of schedule.

Still, despite steady progress and cooperation on the ground, Mr. Ontal worries.

“I’m an inspector myself. So I feel I speak from both sides and say that we just want to get everybody back home safely,” he said, noting that the organisation has a very good safety record – there have been injuries but no casualties – “and we want to keep that record and end our mission in Syria with no casualties.”

“Also, I want us to do a good job. This is a tremendous responsibility given to us by the international community and we want to complete it in the safest most effective, efficient and transparent way.”

‘Please Release Him’ Plea for Detained Journalist


Editors Comment:  This story below is the extract that has been translated from Chinese {Simplified Han} that has been copied and pasted as Chen wrote! No  changes have been made and the link and my thanks for his provision of such is detailed at the bottom of this extract! I make no apologies for the grammar – as it was just translated as he wrote!  

It is a plea by a Chinese reporter to release this journalist from detention: world.time.com  commented as follows:

English: New building of the city administrati...
English: New building of the city administration of Changsha, Hunan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New Express has a message for China’s censors: We may be small, but we have backbone.  On Wednesday the Guangzhou-based newspaper published a front-page call for the release of its reporter Chen Yongzhou. Chen was detained by police in Hunan province while investigating a state-linked firm. The three-character headline, ‘Please Release Him’ was printed in a large, bold font above the fold.

Extract: Completely without any changes as follows:    

Our readers, our reporter Chen Yongzhou Zoomlion reported financial problems, and then he was captured provinces Changsha police on charges of alleged damage to business reputation.In this regard, we want to cry –   Please release   my newspaper, though small, poor bones, there are so two of the   newspaper commentator ■   If you are a reporter, wrote some criticism of a company report. One day, the police caught your uncle.   Please do not excited.People are justified – “alleged damage to business reputation crimes” – none of your days, dozens of days, look always be right?   Now, the New Express reporter Chen Yongzhou we, unfortunately, has become the hapless guy.   We would like to draw your own two ears.   Because we always thought that as long as done responsibly reported that there would be no problem; event of a problem, we advertised corrections, apologize; really serious, court, lost the case, how lose lose on how the close to close, that is deserved.   But the fact is, we are too naive.   Chen Yongzhou get through the three days and three nights, finally saw the lawyer, said that he could boil a thirty days, and more, can not say it.   Tears.   It should be said, our understanding of this sudden blow to keep a great deal of restraint – on Friday morning, the man was taken away, we did not say anything; On Saturday, we did not say anything; Sunday, we did not say anything; Monday we did not say anything; yesterday, we did not say anything.   Because we always want to, human security is the first one, if forbear under the table and effort can change back to a lively splash colleagues, is worth – the reader dwellers, especially peers forgive, we do without regard to justice, there is no sacrifice and devotion to the revolutionary courage, really weak, really selfish, really shameful. However, we do not regret it. Because the police although not a gun, very powerful, Zoomlion has given Changsha pay a lot of taxes, is very powerful, but after all, are still class brethren, there are contradictions also contradictions among the people thing.  If God can give us a chance, we would say: The policeman, in conjunction Brother, I beg you, put Chen Yongzhou it!   If God only gives us a chance to speak, we would say: We carefully checked Guo Chen Yongzhou right Zoomlion of all 15 critical reports, only the fallacy of “advertising and entertainment expenses 513 000 000″ written in the wrong the “advertising costs 513 million.” If policeman discovered my newspaper, although power to do and not to explore the evidence, please publicity, we must take my hat off.Because we still believe – at least there are so few days – you, like us, with full respect for the law.  We want to thank the four Changsha police uncle, is that you shut one eye, last night, Chen Yongzhou shivering little wife to safety from their own home away from home.   We also thank you, there is no atmosphere on the use of high-grade secret weapon, you identified the suspect, the economic center director in one fell swoop. Incidentally, he was really not at home, afraid to go home a few days earlier on. Really.   Oh, and Gao Hui, beloved Zoomlion Assistant Chairman, we have a few months ago has sued you infringement, I hope you face to the point, what should a complaint, we will not suddenly take you down to – – Each year, we pay very little tax, the turnover is far from tens of billions.   Your fellow Hunan Zeng wrote a couplet, “meaning the spring to feed a regiment, propped two poor bones.” My newspaper, though small, poor bones, there are two of you.

Courtesy and with thanks to http://epaper.xkb.com.cn/view.php?id=891639

#freedom

#Syria has fully co-operated with Joint OPCW-UN Mission to Destroy Chemical Arsenal #Peace


150 px
150 px (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Syrian Government has been fully cooperating with the destruction of its chemical weapons programme, the head of the joint mission of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations today said.

“To date, the Government of Syria has fully cooperated in supporting the work of the advance team and the OPCW-UN Joint Mission,” said Special Coordinator Sigrid Kaag in a <“http://www.un.org/sg/offthecuff/index.asp?nid=3144“>statement from Damascus.

She noted that the timeframes are “challenging” given the goal of eliminating the country’s chemical weapons programme in the first half of 2014.

Inspections so far have been conducted at 17 sites, the OPCW confirmed today. At 14 of these sites, the inspectors carried out activities related to the destruction of critical equipment to make the facilities inoperable.

“The Technical Secretariat continues to assist Syria in Damascus in finalising its initial formal declaration covering its chemical weapons and related facilities,” the OPCW noted on its website.

Meanwhile, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is racing against time to help Syrians prepare for oncoming winter as temperatures across the region are already dropping.

Spokesperson Adrian Edwards <“http://www.unhcr.org/526659cb6.html“>told journalists in Geneva that UNHCR relief aid has been delivered to some 2,500 people who have now been evacuated from Mouadamiya in Rural Damascus, where thousands are still believed to be trapped.

In addition to monitoring the general condition and protection concerns of these internally displaced people, UNHCR delivered relief items including mattresses, blankets, cooking sets, hygienic supplies and other aid.

WAGGGS-UNHCR badge
WAGGGS-UNHCR badge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Humanitarian agencies have been denied access to Mouadamiya for months, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Its chief, Valerie Amos, reiterated in recent days calls on all parties to agree an immediate pause in hostilities there and to allow humanitarian agencies unhindered access to evacuate the remaining civilians and deliver life-saving treatment and supplies in areas where fighting and shelling is ongoing.

Last week, through local partners, UNHCR delivered aid within the hard-to-reach city of Raqqa to more than 10,000 people. Raqqa, located in northern Iraq, hosts internally displaced people from Deir es Zour and from Aleppo, 160 kilometres to the west.

“UNHCR observed that many of the displaced are living in buildings that lack windows, doors and electricity. People in this area will soon urgently require thermal blankets and plastic sheets to deal with winter temperatures,” Mr. Edwards said.

The conflict, which began in March 2011, has claimed over 100,000 lives, sent more than 2 million people fleeing for safety to neighbouring countries and displaced 4.5 million within Syria.

“Virtually every town and city across Syria is affected by the conflict or hosts traumatized, displaced people,” the spokesperson said.

Women told us they lacked privacy in the collective shelters, Mr. Edwards noted. He added concerns about the vulnerability of women, many heading broken households.

In addition, the UN agency is worried about the impact of the crisis on young people, almost two million of whom have dropped out of school and a growing number of which are being exploited for labour or recruited into armed groups.