#AceNewsReport – Oct.27: Ordaz told investigators that he was on a methamphetamine binge and hadn’t slept in three days, coming to believe he must exorcize “the devil” inside his two youngest children with “holy water” from church.,,,,
#AceDailyNews says according to Press Democrat News Report: A father has been sentenced to 11-yrs in prison for drowning his daughter in a church baptismal pool ….
He admitted to drowning his youngest, Maria Jose Ordaz Chavarria, in the 1- to 2-foot deep, cross-shaped pool on Nov. 20, 2016, inside St. John’s Catholic Church in Healdsburg.
The 11-year sentence was predetermined, part of a negotiated plea to manslaughter that Ordaz agreed to as he was facing trial on murder charges, which could have put him in prison for 25 years to life.
The plea deal avoided what likely would have been an extremely emotional public trial for him and his family, reliving the night he killed his daughter in a fog of drug-fueled delusions.
Ordaz’s nephew, Alex Castellanos Ordaz, said the family is doing well. Two of Ordaz’s sisters were among those who attended the hearing Wednesday. Castellanos said the family was hopeful that Ordaz can work on his mental health issues in prison and perhaps emerge in a better place.
#AceNewsReport – Oct.27: According to court documents, Xizhi Li, 48, a U.S. citizen who previously resided in Mexico, led a years-long scheme to launder money on behalf of transnational drug trafficking organisations…..
#AceDailyNews reports that Leader of Money Laundering Network: To carry out the scheme, Li and his conspirators used a foreign casino; foreign and domestic front companies; foreign and domestic bank accounts (some of which were opened under fictitious identities; encrypted communications platforms; and false identification documents…..
Li often dealt directly with members of drug trafficking organisations or their representatives to obtain “contracts” to move their drug proceeds. Once Li and his co-conspirators obtained a “contract” to launder drug proceeds, they would engage in financial transactions that were designed to conceal the illicit source of the original proceeds in return for the payment of commissions.
On Aug. 2, Li pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit money laundering. Today, Li signed a consent order of forfeiture for $10,000,000 to the United States pursuant to his plea.
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Jessica D. Aber of the Eastern District of Virginia made the announcement.
The Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Louisville Division and the DEA’s Special Operations Division – Bilateral Investigations Unit investigated this case, with assistance from the DEA’s Office of Special Intelligence, Document and Media Exploitation Unit and the DEA’s offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, Omaha, Atlanta, Newark, Portland Dallas, Mexico City, Merida (Mexico), Guatemala City, Belmopan (Belize), Beijing, Hong Kong, Jakarta (Indonesia), Manila (Philippines), Tokyo, Seoul, Bangkok, Lima (Peru), and Canberra (Australia). The U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Interpol, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) National Targeting Center were partners in the investigation of this case.
This prosecution is part of two investigations supported by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, known as Operation Dark Castle and Operation Taishan Triangle.
Trial Attorneys Kerry Blackburn, Mary K. Daly, and Stephen A. Sola of the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys David A. Peters and Michael P. Ben’Ary of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia prosecuted the case.
#AceNewsReport – Oct.27: Members of the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force have arrested Christine Dunkowski, 47, and Albert Dunkowski, 54, both who were wanted for Flight to Avoid Prosecution and Default in Required Appearance. On October 6th, 2021, the Dunkowski’s skipped out of their Bucks County trial for Endangering the Welfare of 6 of their children. The U.S. Marshals Eastern Pennsylvania Violent Crimes Fugitive Task Force was then asked to assist in the fugitive investigations.
#AceDailyNews WANTED: reports On U.S. Marshals Arrest Bucks County Fugitive Couple on Friday, October 15th, at approximately 10:30am, Deputy Marshals and Task Force Officers from the Delaware and Philadelphia offices apprehended Christine Dunkowski at a motel located in the 1000 block of south Market Street in Wilmington, Delaware….
On October 21st, at 11:30am, Deputies and task force officers from Philadelphia and the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested Albert Dunkowski at a bus stop in the 200 block of Belle Hill Road in Elkton, Maryland. Both arrests were made without incident. These apprehensions were a result of a joint investigation including U.S. Marshal’s Offices in Eastern Pennsylvania, the District of Delaware, the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force, and the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office.
Eric Gartner, U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, said “Crimes against children loom at the forefront of human tragedy. We immensely appreciate the opportunity to support Bucks County DA Matt Weintraub and the Bucks County Detectives’ always diligent efforts to identify, capture and prosecute those that perpetrate such heinous crimes.”
The Eastern Pennsylvania Violent Crimes Fugitive Task Force is a team of law enforcement officers led by U.S. Marshals in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties. The task force’s objective is to seek out and arrest violent crime fugitives. Please seehttps://www.usmarshals.gov/district/pa-e/ for more information on our most wanted fugitives.
#AceNewsReport – Oct.27: On October 23, 2021, Border Patrol Canine Detection teams working the Sierra Blanca Checkpoint on IH-10 encountered a tractor trailer in the primary inspection lane. A K-9 alerted to the trailer; agents then directed the vehicle to the secondary inspection lane.
#AceDailyNews reports that CBP Canine Agents Intercept Tractor Trailer Smuggling Scheme: In the secondary inspection area, agents opened the trailer doors to discover a total of 31 undocumented migrants, from Guatemala and Mexico, were concealed among crushed aluminum.
“The vigilance and teamwork displayed by agents and their K-9 partners saved multiple individuals from a potentially dangerous situation.” Big Bend Sector Chief Patrol Agent Sean L. McGoffin stated. “Transnational criminal organizations continue to expose undocumented migrants to unsafe conditions with little to no regard for their well-being.”
The driver and three occupants from the tractor trailer, were turned over to Hudspeth County Sheriff’s Office for prosecution. All undocumented migrants were medically evaluated and processed accordingly.
Big Bend Sector partners with many local and state law enforcement entities to keep our border communities safe. If you see something suspicious, report it by contacting our 24/7 hotline at 1-866-581-7549. Together, we can continue to uphold national security and combat illicit activity:
#AceNewsReport – Oct.27: Launching next spring, a public beta will open the door for accredited researchers outside of government to use the new service: The private beta version will allow a selection of government analysts to compare and combine data held by the ONS and other departments, helping to unlock the full potential of data, inform policy decisions and encourage collaboration across government…..
#AceDailyNews says according to ONS Report: Launches ‘Integrated Data Service’ (IDS) to boost government collaboration on data sharing….
The three projects selected for the private beta and will focus on some of the government’s top priorities:
wage growth – an ONS and HM Treasury collaboration will investigate in detail how wages change across the country, helping inform the government’s “Levelling Up” policy agenda
energy efficiency – working with the Valuation Office Agency to provide better information on the energy efficiency of homes around the country as part of wider work to help measure the UK’s progress towards reaching net zero by 2050
regional issues – a collaboration with Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy to analyse how text from local news sources across the UK can be used to understand concerns of communities around the country
DCMS Minister for State Julia Lopez said: “The Integrated Data Service is a crucial part of our National Data Strategy and will make it easier and quicker for policy makers to access robust evidence for making the decisions that can improve the lives of people across the country.
“Unlocking the power of data will boost the economy, create jobs and help us build back better from the pandemic.”
Joanna Davinson, Executive Director at the Central Digital and Data Office, said: “The Integrated Data Service will provide the public sector with secure access to high-quality data for better research and analysis.
“This is aligned to our vision of having increased availability of data for decision-makers to ensure more data driven policies. In this way, we can enable transformation of the Government’s use of data and support the delivery of efficient public services for users.”
Alison Pritchard, Deputy National Statistician for Data Capability, said: “The Service demonstrates how data held, managed and accessed in a trusted and secure environment can benefit us all by providing essential insight on social and economic factors. I am particularly looking forward to engaging widely to explain how we are protecting the data appropriately and making sure it is put to use for the public good.”
#AceNewsReport – Oct.26: Footage uploaded on Twitter showed police attending to activists near Southwark Bridge, some of whom had glued their hands to the road. One law enforcement officer warned a demonstrator that he would “use force” to move her if she did not remove herself from the path.
Other clips showed a driver attempting to get through the activists as one protester stood with his hands on the front of the car while members sat behind him with the group’s logo. Protesters were then dragged out of the way by civilians, only for them to shuffle back into their original places.
In a statement released on the same day confirming their return, one activist lashed out with accusations that the government “is actively following a path that will lead to the death of millions,” saying this is “genocide.”
He went on: “If you know this and are not joining nonviolent civil resistance then you are complicit. We can’t be bystanders. Short-term disruption or genocide – that’s your choice.”
Insulate Britain announced earlier this month it would take 10 days off ahead of the United Nations COP26 global conference and urged Johnson to use the event to show that he is dedicated to “taking responsibility” for tackling climate issues.
The campaign to insulate Britain’s homes, deemed an integral part of reducing carbon emissions, continues despite court injunctions, under which activists risk imprisonment or unlimited fines for their protests on major roads.
#AceNewsReport – Oct.27: It has been anchored off the island, since being refloated at high water overnight: The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said it will be berthed for an inspection by surveyors.
#AceDailyNews according to BBC England Report: Oil tanker runs aground off Isle of Wight: The Liberian registered Chem Alya ran aground off The Needles shortly after leaving Fawley en route to Eygpt on Monday at about 16:20 BST.
An MCA spokeswoman said the vessel’s hull remained sound “there is no pollution, no ingress of water and it has propulsion and power”.
NCI NeedlesThe stricken vessel was reported to the coastguard by volunteer watchkeepers at The Needles coastguard station
#AceNewsReport – Oct.27: It gives a 10-year hiatus on the caps on green cards, basically unlimited green cards, which mean permanent residence for foreign workers right here in America. These Big Tech companies can hire as many foreign workers as they want. They don’t have to worry about discriminating against American workers they can do it all day long. Just last week, Facebook actually had to settle a multi-billion-dollar suit for discriminating against American workers in favor of foreign workers. This provision basically allows that to happen all day long.”
Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., urged Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., to oppose immigration provisions in the proposed budget reconciliation bill that would make hundreds of thousands more employment-based green cards available – provisions Hagerty calls “the crown jewel of corporate lobbying.” The senator joined “The Ingraham Angle” on Monday to discuss the issue.
AFP Report: Sudanese block roads with burning tyres in protest against arrests
Mon, October 25, 2021, 10:19 AM
Sudanese block roads with burning tyres in protest against arrests
Sudanese citizens take to the streets and block the roads with burning tyres in protest against the military and the arrest of Sudan’s prime minister. Armed forces detained Omar al-Bashir on October 25th over his refusal to support their “coup” after weeks of tensions between the military and civilian figures sharing power since the ouster of the autocrat.
It had said earlier on its official Facebook page that tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets heeding calls by the country’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok to reject the coup.
Defiant protesters remain on the streets of Sudan after the country’s armed forces launched a military coup.
Chanting and waving flags, they have blocked roads in the capital Khartoum and around the country following the takeover.
On Monday coup leader Gen Abdel Fattah Burhan dissolved civilian rule, arrested political leaders and called a state of emergency.
Soldiers opened fire on crowds and reportedly killed ten people.
The coup has drawn global condemnation. Diplomats told AFP news agency the UN Security Council is due to meet on Tuesday to discuss the crisis.
Gen Abdel Fattah Burhan sought to justify the takeover by blaming political infighting. Troops are reported to have been going house to house in Khartoum arresting local protest organisers.
The city’s airport is closed and international flights are suspended. The internet and most phone lines are also down.
Central Bank staff have reportedly gone on strike, and across the country doctors are said to be refusing to work in military run hospitals except in emergencies.
SuppliedThousands of people, including many women and children, protested outside the military compound in Khartoum
World leaders have reacted with alarm to news of the military takeover.
The US has joined the UK, EU, UN and African Union, of which Sudan is a member, in demanding the release of political leaders who are now under house arrest in unknown locations.
Among them are Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and his wife, along with members of his cabinet and other civilian leaders.
BBC Arabic’s Mohamed Osman reported from the capital that a special security unit of the military went to the prime minister’s home early on Monday morning, and tried to persuade Mr Hamdok to agree to the coup, but he refused.
The agreement between civilian and military leaders signed in 2019 was designed to steer Sudan towards democracy but has proven fragile with a number of previous coup attempts, the last just over a month ago.
Gen Abdel Fattah Burhan, who was head of the power-sharing council, said Sudan was still committed to the transition to civilian rule, with elections planned for July 2023.
#AceNewsReport – Oct.26: The concentration of carbon dioxide, the most important greenhouse gas, is now 50% higher than before the Industrial Revolution sparked the mass burning of fossil fuels. Methane levels have more than doubled since 1750. All key greenhouse gases (GHG) rose faster in 2020 than the average for the previous decade and this trend has continued in 2021,
The data shows the climate crisis continues to worsen and send a “stark” message to the nations meeting at the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgowin a week’s time, according to WMO chief Prof Petteri Taalas: “We are way off track.”
The negotiators at the summit must deliver action to keep alive the goal of ending GHG emissions by 2050 and avoiding the worst climate impacts. Only stopping emissions will stabilise the levels of the gases and halt the temperature rises that drive the increasing damage from heatwaves, floods and droughts.
“At the current rate of increase in GHG concentrations, we will see a temperature increase by the end of this century far in excess of the Paris Agreement targets of 1.5C to 2C,” said Taalas. “[Rising levels of GHGs] have major negative repercussions for our daily lives and wellbeing, and for the future of our children and grandchildren.”
“It is hoped Cop26 will see a dramatic increase in commitments,” he said. “We need to transform our commitment into action that will have an impact on GHGs. We need to revisit our industrial, energy and transport systems and whole way of life – the needed changes are economically affordable and technically possible. There is no time to lose.”
The burning of coal, oil and gas is the biggest source of CO2, which is the cause of 66% of global heating. CO2 emissions fell by about 5% in 2020 due to Covid restrictions, compared to 2019. But many billions of tonnes of CO2 were still pumped into the atmosphere, meaning the Covid economic slowdown “did not have any discernible impact on the atmospheric levels of GHG and their growth rates”, the WMO said.
About half of the CO2 from human activities remains in the atmosphere, with the other half soaked up by oceans and trees and plants on land. But the WMO warned that global heating is damaging the ability of the natural world to take up emissions with, for example, the Amazon now having flipped from absorbing CO2 to emitting it as wildfires, droughts and logging destroy trees.
Methane accounts for 16% of global heating and the majority of its emissions are caused by human activity such as cattle farming and fossil fuel production. Methane is a potent and relatively short-lived GHG, so cutting emissions has a rapid impact. Ahead of Cop26, the US and EU pledged to cut methane emissions by 30% by 2030.
The other major GHG is nitrous oxide, responsible for 7% of global heating. These emissions mostly come from the overuse of chemical fertilisers in farming and cattle manure. The GHG data is collected by the WMO’s Global Atmosphere Watch Programme.
Levels of atmospheric GHGs are higher than ever experienced by the human race, and the highest for 3-5 million years. At that time, global temperature was 2-3C hotter and sea level was 10-20 meters higher than today, said Talaas: “But there weren’t 7.8 billion people then.”
“The true success, or failure, of Cop26 will be written in our skies in the form of greenhouse gas concentrations. This WMO report provides a brutally frank assessment of what’s been written there to date. So far, it’s an epic fail,” said Prof Dave Reay, at the University of Edinburgh.
“The small window of opportunity to stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations at a level that meets the Paris climate goals is about to vanish,” he said. “Will this 26th Cop find success where the previous 25 have fallen short? Our atmosphere will bear witness.”
#AceNewsReport – Oct.26: Low wages and feeling undervalued are key factors leading care staff to quit, says the report: Councils say they do not have enough money to pay companies more.
#AceDailyNews says according to a report Homecare costs outstrip funding from councils, they say and it means, despite losing staff faster than they can be replaced, companies are unable to raise wages, says the Homecare Association.
The Homecare Association, which represents some 2,340 care providers, calculates the true minimum cost of providing an hour of homecare in the UK is £21.43.
This covers the minimum wage, travel time, pensions, holidays, training, PPE, office staff and 60p for profit or reinvestment in services.
Private clients who hire care direct from providers pay an average £24.94 for an hour of homecare, according to separate analysis by software company The Access Group.
But private clients are a minority, with the bulk of homecare (about 70%) funded by the state, says the Homecare Association.
Freedom of Information data collected for the Association shows the average paid by councils in Great Britain and health boards in Northern Ireland is £18.45.
The report found that areas with some of the highest levels of deprivation also had the lowest average fee rates for homecare.
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The Homecare Association says with some local authorities still buying homecare by the minute, and little or no funding for better pay, it makes it very difficult to compete with other sectors for staff.
Richard Walker, chief executive of Optimo Care Group in South Yorkshire, has tried to improve pay and conditions for staff, but says his efforts are limited by local authority funding levels.
“We’re simply not competing… so I think people go elsewhere…
“It feels like we’re in a harder position now than we’ve ever been before.”
Richard estimates that, overall, Optimo’s costs outstrip council funding by about 25%, although this varies according to local authority.
“We’re miles away at the moment in terms of the rates that have been paid.”
The staff shortage means the company is having to turn away referrals – and he finds not being able to give people the help they require when they need it “really tough… quite demotivating”.Pay is not “level with the job you do out there”, says Denise Wickson
Among his staff is Denise Wickson, a home carer for 16 years.
For Denise, the work brings “great reward, great satisfaction”.
“I love the job,” she says.
But sometimes she can be up at 05:00 and not finish until 23:00.
“You never get to switch off, you’re always worried, ‘Is it covered?’. You get called and they say you’re needed to go out. I never say no.”
Denise says the money is not “level with the job you do out there”, and some people “just go elsewhere where it’s more money and it’s not unsociable hours”.
The Homecare Association says lack of support in the community can lead to:
hospitals unable to discharge patients who are medically ready
emergency admissions of people whose conditions deteriorate through lack of appropriate care
“It makes little sense to neglect people at home in the community, wait until they reach crisis point, then admit them to the most expensive setting of care in an acute hospital,” says the report.
The Association wants central government to “invest properly” in homecare, raising pay to £11.20 per hour, at a cost of £1.6bn a year across the UK, plus:
a ban on purchasing homecare by the minute
a professional register for care workers
social care workers added to the Shortage Occupation List to make it easier to hire from overseas
The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) said: “Councils may want to pay more for care, but their hands are tied, because they simply do not have the money to do so.”
An ADASS spokesperson urged ministers to use Wednesday’s Spending Review to invest in care and support at home to “lift the pressure on family carers, ensure the viability of high quality home care providers, and properly reward the committed, courageous and compassionate people working in social care”.
The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils in England, said: “Councils work closely with care providers, and understand their concerns about paying a fair price for the cost of care.
“Such is the scale of funding pressures, this is proving harder to achieve and we urgently need new national funding to meet immediate pressures in the social care system.”
The government says a new £162.5m fund will help “bolster” the homecare workforce, while the social care levy, announced last month, includes £5.4bn earmarked for social care over the next three years, with £500m to be spent on the workforce.
But the LGA questions whether the levy will raise enough money to fund crucial reforms, and wants to see a greater share of it go to front-line social care.
#AceNewsReport – Oct.26: The RAC said the increase was partly due to a doubling of the oil price since last year. Some analysts believe the oil price could rise further: The price of unleaded petrol has jumped by 28p a litre since last October, the RAC said, meaning it now costs £78.61 to fill a family car…..
#AceDailyNews says according to a BBC Business Report: Fuel prices were last around this level in April 2012: It is now £15 more expensive to fill up an average family car than a year earlier, said the RAC, which called the new high a “dark day for drivers”.
“This will hurt many household budgets and no doubt have knock-on implications for the wider economy,” a spokesman for the RAC said.
The organisation said that other costs, aside from oil, had also pushed up fuel prices.
Retailers had increased their profit margins by 2p a litre from around 5.5p in April last year to 7.5p a litre.
The RAC said retailers, particularly the smaller, independent ones, were trying to rebuild their profits after the steep fall in sales prompted by the first UK lockdown in spring last year.
In addition to this, the ethanol component of unleaded petrol was doubled to 10% last month in the more eco-friendly E10 fuel, but as ethanol is more expensive than petrol, that added about 1p a litre.
Duty paid on fuel is currently 57.95p a litre, more than the cost of the combined bio and petrol components, which amount to around 50p.
VAT, currently around 24p a litre, is applied on top of all other elements of the petrol price, including duty and the retailer’s profit margin.
Petrol and diesel cars are slowly being phased out as part of pledges to tackle climate change.
The government says it will ban the sale of these from 2030.
The introduction of the E10 fuel as standard this summer is also part of that drive.
The Department for Transport says bringing in this new fuel could cut carbon emissions by 750,000 tonnes a year, the equivalent of taking 350,000 cars off the road.
#AceNewsReport – Oct.26: Authorities said the container ship Zim Kingston remained anchored at Constance Bank off the coast of British Columbia and an emergency zone has been established within hundreds of meters from the vessel.
#AceDailyNews says according to PressTV Report: Authorities said on Saturday that the ship had been bound for Vancouver when it caught fire and the ship is on fire and expelling toxic gas,” the Canadian Coast Guard said in a statement on its website: It is still unclear what caused the blaze.
Sunday, 24 October 2021 10:33 AM [ Last Update: Sunday, 24 October 2021 10:33 AM ]
RT World News A blaze that erupted on the Malta-flagged MV Zim Kingston ship on Saturday morning has been “stabilized,” the Canadian Coast Guard announced. Containers carrying hazardous material had caught fire, sending toxic gas into the air.
The coast guard made the statement on its official Twitter account at 3pm local time, posting footage of water being sprayed onto the vessel, which had been anchored in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, near the British Columbia city of Victoria.
The fire on the #ZimKingston has been stabilized. Depending on weather tomorrow, hazardous materials firefighters will board the ship to fight any remaining fires and ensure the fire is out. pic.twitter.com/IKIhY5Ayrm— Canadian Coast Guard (@CoastGuardCAN) October 24, 2021
The fire having been stabilized, officials will seek to board the ship on Monday, depending on weather conditions, to ensure the blaze has been completely extinguished and all hazardous materials have been secured.
After the fire began late on Saturday, officials asked other ships to remain at least two nautical miles away from the vessel, imposing an emergency zone over concerns about the blaze “expelling toxic gas.”
“Smoke coming from the vessel is being tracked from air-quality monitoring stations around the Greater Victoria area, and local health authorities are being provided with those results,” the coast guard said, adding that nearby residents were not in danger, and nor was there a threat to local ports.
To ensure the safety of the crew, 16 people were evacuated while the blaze was being tackled, with five remaining on board to keep the ship secure. It is thought the hazardous material caught fire after “excessive listing due to extreme weather.”
With strong winds expected in the area, emergency towing vessels, tugs and the coastguard will remain on site to monitor the situation overnight.
Local media reported that two containers loaded with chemicals weighing in total more than 52,000 kilograms were on fire: The Canadian Coast Guard said ten containers were currently burning, adding that the fire continued to spread but the ship itself was not on fire: The agency said it was working with its US counterpart to track 40 containers that had fallen overboard, saying they posed a significant risk to mariners: Ten to sixteen crew members from the ship were evacuated while five others had remained behind to fight the flames.
“This is extremely concerning. The ship and containers are very close to Victoria, BC, and a big storm is forecast to hit tonight. We… are worried this may be yet another environmental disaster,” said David Boudinot, president of Surfrider Foundation Canada, an environmental organization.
Eikon Refinitiv data shows the Maltese-flagged Zim Kingston is managed by Cyprus-based Danaos Shipping Co Ltd.
#AceNewsReport – Oct.26: This decision, made with a heavy heart, has been driven by Hong Kong’s national security law, which has made it effectively impossible for human rights organizations in Hong Kong to work freely and without fear of serious reprisals from the government,” said Anjhula Mya Singh Bais, chair of Amnesty’s International Board.
#AceDailyNews says according to Amnesty International Report: On closure Hong Kong offices: The local ‘section’ office will cease operations on 31 October while the regional office – which is part of Amnesty’s global International Secretariat – is due to close by the end of 2021. Regional operations will be moved to the organization’s other offices in the Asia-Pacific.
“Hong Kong has long been an ideal regional base for international civil society organizations, but the recent targeting of local human rights and trade union groups signals an intensification of the authorities’ campaign to rid the city of all dissenting voices. It is increasingly difficult for us to keep operating in such an unstable environment.”
There are two Amnesty International offices based in Hong Kong: a local membership section focused on human rights education in the city; and a regional office which carries out research, advocacy and campaigning work on East and Southeast Asia and the Pacific. All of the regional office’s work will continue from new locations.
“We are deeply indebted to Amnesty members and staff who over the last 40 years have worked tirelessly to protect human rights in and from Hong Kong. From successfully pushing for the full abolition of the death penalty in Hong Kong in 1993, to exposing evidence of excessive use of force by police during the 2019 mass protests, Amnesty in Hong Kong has shone a light on human rights violations in the darkest of days,” said Agnes Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International.
“In the wider region, our research and campaigning has tackled subjects including freedom of expression in North Korea, conscientious objection to military service in South Korea, the right to housing in Mongolia, Japan’s wartime atrocities against “comfort women”, and the crackdown on human rights lawyers in China.
“Moreover, Amnesty International Hong Kong’s education programmes – from classroom talks to a documentary film festival – have enhanced awareness of human rights not only in the city’s schools but among the general public as well. No one and no power can demolish that legacy.”
The national security law, imposed by the Chinese central government, was enacted on 30 June 2020. It targets alleged acts of “secession”, “subversion of state power”, “terrorist activities” and “collusion with foreign or external forces to endanger national security”.
Its sweeping and vaguely worded definition of “national security”, which follows that of the Beijing authorities, has been used arbitrarily as a pretext to restrict the human rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, as well as to repress dissent and political opposition.
Amnesty documented the rapid deterioration of human rights in Hong Kong one year after the enactment of the national security law in a June 2021 briefing.
“The environment of repression and perpetual uncertainty created by the national security law makes it impossible to know what activities might lead to criminal sanctions. The law has repeatedly been used to target people who have upset the authorities for any number of reasons – from singing political songs to discussing human rights issues in the classroom,” said Anjhula Mya Singh Bais.
“The pattern of raids, arrests and prosecutions against perceived opponents has highlighted how the vagueness of the law can be manipulated to build a case against whomsoever the authorities choose.”
A government crackdown targeting activists, opposition politicians and independent media has recently expanded to include civil society organizations. At least 35 groups have disbanded since the law was enacted, including some of the city’s largest unions and activist groups.
“There are difficult days ahead for human rights in Hong Kong, but Amnesty International will continue to stand with the people of Hong Kong. We will fight for their rights to be respected and we will be vigilant in our scrutiny of those who abuse them,” said Agnes Callamard.
“While leaving the city that we have called home for decades is devastating, we do so proud of our achievements over that time, and confident that the strength of Amnesty’s 10 million-plus supporters worldwide will enable us to continue our work together to end human rights abuses everywhere.”
Amnesty International is a global human rights movement of 10 million people, with operations in more than 70 countries. The organization holds governments around the world accountable to equal standards under international law.
Amnesty’s local Hong Kong section works principally on building awareness of human rights issues in the city and is funded primarily by individual donations from the Hong Kong public.
The Hong Kong regional office – which has a sister location in Bangkok – conducts research, campaigning and advocacy work across the region including on mainland China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Mongolia, Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei, Singapore, Timor-Leste, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific islands.
The overwhelming majority of Amnesty’s income comes from individuals the world over. These personal and unaffiliated donations allow the organization to maintain full independence from any and all governments, political ideologies, economic interests or religions. Amnesty neither seeks nor accepts any funds for human rights research from governments or political parties.
#AceNewsReport – Oct.26: Presiding judge Reinhold Baier of the superior regional court in the southern German city handed down the verdict to Jennifer Wenisch, 30, in one of the first convictions anywhere in the world related to the Islamic State group’s persecution of the Yazidi community….
Wenisch was found guilty of “two crimes against humanity in the form of enslavement”, as well as aiding and abetting the girl’s killing by failing to offer help and membership of a terrorist organization.
Wenisch and her IS husband “purchased” a Yazidi woman and child as household “slaves”, whom they held captive while living in then IS-occupied Mosul, Iraq, in 2015, the court found.
“After the girl fell ill and wet her mattress, the husband of the accused chained her up outside as punishment and let the child die an agonizing death of thirst in the scorching heat,” prosecutors said during the trial.
“The accused allowed her husband to do so and did nothing to save the girl.”
Wenisch’s husband, Taha al-Jumailly, is also facing trial in separate proceedings in Frankfurt, where the verdict is due in late November.
Identified only by her first name Nora, the Yazidi girl’s mother has repeatedly testified in both Munich and Frankfurt about the torment allegedly visited on her child.
Morality police –
The defense had claimed the mother’s testimony is untrustworthy and said there was no proof that the girl, who was taken to hospital after the incident, actually died.
Wenisch’s lawyers had called for her to receive just a two-year suspended sentence for supporting a terrorist organization.
When asked during the trial about her failure to save the girl, Wenisch said she was “afraid” that her husband would “push her or lock her up”.
At the close of the trial, according to the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung, she claimed she was being “made an example of for everything that has happened under IS”.
According to other media reports, Wenisch converted to Islam in 2013 and travelled the following year via Turkey and Syria to Iraq where she joined IS.
Recruited in mid-2015 to the group’s self-styled hisbah morality police, she patrolled city parks in IS-occupied Fallujah and Mosul.
Armed with an AK-47 assault rifle, a pistol and an explosives vest, her task was to ensure strict IS rules on dress code, public behavior and bans on alcohol and tobacco.
In January 2016, she visited the German embassy in Ankara to apply for new identity papers. When she left the mission, she was arrested and extradited days later to Germany.
Wenisch’s trial, which began in April 2019, is one of the first examples of court proceedings over the Islamic State group’s brutal treatment of Yazidis.
Universal jurisdiction –
A Kurdish-speaking group hailing from northern Iraq, the Yazidis were specifically targeted and oppressed by the jihadists beginning in 2015.
Prominent London-based human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, who has been involved in a campaign for IS crimes against the Yazidi to be recognized as a “genocide”, was part of the team representing the Yazidi girl’s mother.
Germany has charged several German and foreign nationals with war crimes and crimes against humanity carried out abroad, using the legal principle of universal jurisdiction which allows crimes to be prosecuted even if they were committed in a foreign country.
A handful of female suspects are among those who have appeared in the dock.
In November 2020, a German woman named as Nurten J. was charged with crimes against humanity allegedly committed while she was living in Syria as a member of Islamic State.
In October 2020, another German court sentenced the German-Tunisian wife of a rapper-turned-jihadist to three-and-a-half years in prison for having taken part in the enslavement of a Yazidi girl in Syria.
#AceNewsReport – Oct.26: Abdul Gaffer, 25 (09.05.96), of Grangefield, Marquis Road, pleaded guilty to manslaughter on Thursday, 23 September.
#AceDailyNews Court Report: Three men have been convicted following the ‘fatal stabbing’ in Haringey in 2020: Tyrese Annan, 20 (23.02.01), of Sterling Road, Tottenham and Mizuki Brown, 25 (23.04.96), of Margery Street, WC1, were found guilty of the manslaughter of Jemal Ebrahim after a three-week trial at the Old Bailey on Friday, 22 October: They will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on Tuesday, 26 October.
CASE NOTES: The court heard police were called to Russell Road, N15, on 13 May 2020 to reports of a stabbing: Jemal was found seriously injured and was treated at the scene by LAS medics. He was then taken to a north London hospital where he later died from his injuries: A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as a stab wound to the leg after his femoral artery was severed: It was the prosecution case that Brown and Annan arrived at the scene in a silver Nissan Qashqai driven by Gaffer on a ‘ride-out’ intent on attacking any member, or perceived member, of a rival gang: CCTV footage showed that Jemal was chased into an alleyway between Braemar Road and Southey Road. He was chased out of the alleyway by three youths, at least two of whom were armed with large knives: At least two of the youths caught up with him and then ran off. CCTV captured three men running back towards the silver Nissan Qashqai and then getting in, before it rapidly left the area. It was the prosecution case Annan and Brown were involved in the chase and stabbing and Gaffer was the driver of the car: CCTV analysis tracked the movement of the Nissan, which stopped in Effingham Road, N16. Brown, Annan and Gaffer were all then identified walking along streets in this area a short time later: All three were arrested and charged in connection with Jemal’s death on 15 June 2020: Five days after Jemal’s killing, in an apparent ‘tit for tat’ act of violence, Chad Gordon was shot dead on the Wiltshire Gardens Estate, just off Green Lanes. At least one of the gunmen involved in the shooting was a friend of Jemal Ebrahim. Chad was the victim of mistaken identity and had no gang links whatsoever.
Detective Inspector Andy McDonald, said: “Jemal Ebrahim was a young man who was endeavouring to make the best of his life. Having gone to China to study business and learn their language. He had a bright future ahead of him. He had returned to the UK and his return to China was hampered by Covid restrictions. Sadly, he was befriended and exploited by other young men in the locality who were embroiled in an all too common problem within our great city – postcode ‘gang’ wars. Where sadly, Jemal paid with his life as a result of the unprovoked, violent and indiscriminate actions of those that have been found / pleaded guilty: Young men who were prepared to drive to a neighbouring part of London in a vehicle armed with large knives. This stupid, pointless and cowardly attack resulted in several revenge ‘tit for tat’ incidents, where shots were fired before the tragic murder of Chad Gordon: This has been an extensive and diligent investigation by my team. However, we have been unable to positively identify and bring to justice two other men who were in the vehicle used by the attackers, and are equally as guilty. Whilst I am pleased that these verdicts can bring some closure to Jemal’s family, this investigation is not over.
“If anyone has any information that can lead to the identity and conviction of these individuals can I urge you to contact 020 8358 0200quoting Operation SCHOLES or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 where your information will be treated in the strictest confidence.”
#AceNewsReport – Oct.26: Fadi Akiki, a representative of the military court, has meanwhile instructed the army intelligence to summon LF leader Samir Geagea and take his statement based on information provided by arrested LF supporters….
#AceDailyNews says according to Naharnet News Desk Report: Ain al-Remmaneh Residents to Sue Nasrallah over ‘Attack’ the residents have prepared “a complete file backed with testimonies, evidence and videos proving that Ain al-Remmaneh came under a deliberate attack,” the daily added….
Seven people were killed on October 14, including five Hizbullah and Amal Movement members, during a protest organized by the two groups to demand Tarek Bitar, the judge investigating Beirut’s devastating port blast, be removed.
Hizbullah and Amal accused the Lebanese Forces party, which supports the probe, of being responsible for sniper fire against the protesters that ignited street clashes. The LF denies the charges.
Twenty-six people were arrested after the violence in the Tayyouneh-Ain al-Remmaneh area, most of them LF supporters. Geagea has denied responsibility for the deaths, saying that residents of Ain al-Remmaneh had “defended” themselves against “Hizbullah militiamen who tried to enter their homes.” He also said that four Ain al-Remmaneh residents were injured at the hands of violent protesters, some by handgun shots, before any rounds were fired from the neighborhood.
#AceNewsReport – Oct.26: The government has come under pressure to help low-paid employees and younger workers, who are among the worst hit by the #COVID19#pandemic.
#AceDailyNews says according to BBC Business Report: National Living Wage set to rise to £9.50 an hour in the budget on Wednesday: This is a 6.6% increase in the minimum wage for all those aged 23 and over – more than twice the current 3.1% rise in the cost of living: It will take effect from 1 April next year.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the increase “ensures we’re making work pay and keeps us on track to meet our target to end low pay by the end of this Parliament”.
But Labour’s shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, Bridget Phillipson, described it as an “underwhelming offer” that would be mostly swallowed up by tax rises, universal credit cuts and higher energy bills.
Minimum pay rates for younger workers are also set to go up.
The National Minimum Wage for people aged 21-22 will rise from £8.36 to £9.18 an hour and the Apprentice Rate increases from £4.30 to £4.81 an hour.
Minimum wage increases from 1 April:
National Living Wage for over-23s: From £8.91 to £9.50 an hour
National Minimum Wage for those aged 21-22: From £8.36 to £9.18
National Minimum Wage for 18 to 20-year-olds: From £6.56 to £6.83
National Minimum Wage for under-18s: From £4.62 to £4.81
The Apprentice Rate: From £4.30 to £4.81
The minimum wage that workers should get depends on their age and whether they are apprentices.
The National Minimum Wage is the minimum pay per hour to which almost all workers are entitled.
The National Living Wage is higher than the National Minimum Wage. It applies to workers who are 23 or older.
Employers often worry that a higher minimum wage will lead to more unemployment, as they will be forced to lay off workers in order to afford the increases.
But independent experts maintain there has been little or no evidence of job losses as a result of rising minimum wage levels.
About half of the two million jobs paid at this level are in retail, hospitality, cleaning and maintenance.
This time last year, there were concerns that hard-pressed small businesses would find it difficult to afford such rises.
Firms are already saying price rises will be passed on to consumers, but this bit of inflationary pressure was mostly baked in to the system, says the BBC’s economics editor, Faisal Islam.
The government has already committed to put the National Living Wage on a pathway to well over £10 an hour, or more formally two-thirds of typical wages, and thus to “abolish in work poverty” by 2024, our editor adds.
He says the government will claim that this makes up for cuts to universal credit, but although the cash increase is impressive, much will be gobbled up by rising prices and it is not necessarily the same people in receipt of both.
Giving millions of workers a 6.6% pay rise sounds generous and will be a welcome boost to many pay packets.
It also follows the government’s – and particularly the prime minister’s – narrative of pushing towards a higher-wage economy.
Yet this would be no bumper pay day for low-income families.
They spend a higher proportion of income than others on heating and lighting their homes. Hefty gas and electricity bill rises, on top of recent increases this month, are inevitable in the spring. Prices in the shops are going up and many economists believe the increases could last longer than previously expected.
Finally, a National Living Wage rise is not compensation for welfare cuts, such as a removal of the £20-a-week universal credit uplift, as the Institute for Fiscal Studies has consistently pointed out.
Not all of those receiving benefits are in work, and for low-income employees who are, a rise in wages can mean a reduction in their benefits.
The move comes as households face an economic squeeze from the soaring cost of energy and rising consumer prices.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is also eager to begin balancing the books after the strain of financing pandemic emergency measures, with higher taxes likely to be in the offing.
Measures to trim public spending have already begun with the end of the £20-a-week temporary increase to universal credit payments, which was brought in at the start of the pandemic and withdrawn again earlier this month.
#AceNewsReport – Oct.25: Moscow and Beijing, which staged naval cooperation drills in the Sea of Japan earlier in October, have cultivated closer military and diplomatic ties in recent years at a time when their relations with the West have soured.
#AceDailyNews says according to a Reuters report Chinese and Russian Warships Hold First Joint Patrols in the Pacific as the naval manoeuvres have been closely watched by Japan which said earlier this week that a group of 10 vessels from China and Russia sailed through the Tsugaru Strait separating Japan’s main island and its northern island of Hokkaido video below ……
“The group of ships passed through the Tsugaru Strait for the first time as part of the patrol,” Russia’s defence ministry said in the statement. The strait is regarded as international waters.
“The tasks of the patrols were the demonstration of the Russian and Chinese state flags, maintaining of peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, and guardianship of the subjects of maritime economic activities of the two countries,” the ministry added.
Reuters: Reporting by Polina Devitt Editing by Peter Graff
#AceNewsReport – Oct.25: Carren Monga opened fire at Abdul Xasan from the back seats of a stolen VW Golf in March 2020 and when sentenced in January was told he’d spend a minimum of 27 years behind bars…..
#AceDailyNews WM Police UPDATE Report: Drive-by shooting killer identified for first time as name ban lifted: We can now name a man jailed for life almost a year ago for shooting dead a teenager in a Coventry street after a judge lifted reporting restrictions.
22nd October 2021
Officers are able to name 15-year-old accomplice Riaz Ahmed, who was driving the Golf, but as Monga had outstanding court matters against him the judge imposed an identify ban on the gunman: However, the 19-year-old was sentenced last Friday (15 Oct) on two counts of conspiracy to burgle and the judge has now accepted our appeal to lift the order.
CASE NOTES: Getaway driver Ahmed sped away from the murder scene in the Golf Type R – stolen in Rugby the previous day – and arranged for others to set it on fire in an attempt to destroy forensic evidence: But the pair weren’t on the run for long: We quickly identified them as potential suspects and both were arrested in the early hours of the next morning after we raided their home addresses in Coventry: Both were electronically tagged at the time due to their suspected involvement in other offences – and we seized tagging information that showed they were in the street at the time of the murder: Shotgun cartridges found in the burned out car were also matched by ballistics experts to spent cartridges recovered from the murder scene: Despite strong evidence against them the pair denied murder – but following a four week trial at Birmingham Crown Court they were found guilty of conspiracy to murder: Monga received jail terms of 24 and 36 months for the Coventry burglary conspiracy – he struck at addresses in Beake Avenue, Greens Road and Boswell Drive in Coventry – which will run concurrently to his life sentence: Both he and Monga were linked to the C2 gang in Coventry while the victim – who’d been arrested just days before the murder for possessing an imitation gun – was connected to a rival group known as RB7: A post mortem revealed he suffered two gunshot wounds to his back which caused catastrophic internal injuries. He died in the street: Ahmed – now aged 16 – is serving a minimum of 18 years in youth detention followed by prison.
Monga shot Mr Xasan – himself just 19-years-old – as he walked in Harnall Lane, Hillfields just after 2.30pm on 13 March 2020.
Detective Superintendent Scott Griffiths led the investigation: He said: “I’m grateful to the judge for allowing us to now identify Carren Monga as the murderer. It’s important we show justice being served to Mr Xasan’s family, friends and the wider public: These sentences must act as a stark warning about the dangers of gang affiliation: you run the risk of serious injury or death, or the possibility of spending much of your life locked up. There has to be a better option for young people: We can help people who want to turn their backs on gang culture. Along with our partners including charities and support groups, we can help young people make better choices: But for those who insist on affiliating themselves to violent gangs there is a very strong possibility they are going to be seriously injured, killed or spend much of their life locked up in jail.”