Baztab News

Australia imports $12bn worth of goods at risk of being made by slaves – report

Australia imports $12bn worth of goods at risk of being made by slaves – report

11 Hour The Guardian The Guardian

Electronics, clothes, fish, cocoa and even trafficked human organs at risk of being a product of modern slavery, Global Slavery Index reveals Australia imports nearly US$12bn worth of goods “at risk” of being made using slavery each year, including more than $6bn in computer products and $4bn in garments from China, as well as fish, cocoa and even human organs from around the world, the latest Global Slavery Index reports. The estimated number of slaves in Australia has more than trebled – from 4,300 to 15,000 – not a reflection of an increase in the number of people enslaved in the country but rather a more sophisticated measurement of the size of the global problem. Related: Modern slavery laws must fully decriminalise sex work, advocates say Continue reading...

Civilian deaths in Afghanistan at record high, UN says

Civilian deaths in Afghanistan at record high, UN says

15 Jul 2018 The Guardian The Guardian

Surge in Isis suicide attacks blamed for 1% rise to 1,692 fatalities in first half of yearThe number of civilians killed in Afghanistan reached a record in the first half of the year, despite last month’s ceasefire, with a surge in suicide attacks claimed by Islamic State, the United Nations has said. Deaths rose 1% to 1,692, although injuries dropped 5% to 3,430, the UN assistance mission in Afghanistan said on Sunday in its latest civilian casualty report. Overall civilian casualties were down 3%. Continue reading...

Germany’s interior minister urged to resign

Germany’s interior minister urged to resign

11 Jul 2018 The Guardian The Guardian

Calls for Horst Seehofer to step down after suicide of deported Afghan asylum seekerGermany’s interior minister has come under pressure to resign after one of 69 Afghans deported last week, as part of a tougher line on migration, was reported to have killed himself on his return home. The man was sent back as the minister, Horst Seehofer, fought a campaign within chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition to press for tighter restrictions on migrants. Related: German interior minister pulls out of Merkel's integration summit Continue reading...

Number of UK troops in Afghanistan to rise ahead of Nato summit

Number of UK troops in Afghanistan to rise ahead of Nato summit

10 Jul 2018 The Guardian The Guardian

Theresa May commits 440 non-combat troops to region, bringing total to 1,100Theresa May is increasing the number of British troops serving in Afghanistan to more than 1,000 for the first time in years as she heads to a crunch Nato summit where allies will come under intense pressure from Donald Trump to spend more on defence.The prime minister committed an extra 440 troops to the international body’s capacity building mission in the country as she called on other European countries to match the UK’s 2% of GDP on defence spending. Getting ready to leave for Europe. First meeting - NATO. The U.S. is spending many times more than any other country in order to protect them. Not fair to the U.S. taxpayer. On top of that we lose $151 Billion on Trade with the European Union. Charge us big Tariffs (& Barriers)! Related: The Guardian view on the Nato summit: Europe must come together | Editorial Continue reading...

US service member killed in 'insider attack' in Afghanistan

US service member killed in 'insider attack' in Afghanistan

07 Jul 2018 The Guardian The Guardian

Taliban says the shooting was carried out by a member of the Afghan security force who acted aloneThe US-led coalition headquarters in Kabul has confirmed that a US service member has been killed in an apparent insider attack in southern Afghanistan. Related: Russian pilot found after three decades missing in Afghanistan Continue reading...

Taliban reject Afghan government's offer of peace talks

Taliban reject Afghan government's offer of peace talks

07 Jul 2018 The Guardian The Guardian

Resumption of fighting dashes hopes that Eid ceasefire would bring about extended peaceThe Taliban have rejected the Afghan government’s offer of peace talks, another blow to hopes that an unprecedented Eid ceasefire could be a step towards more lasting peace.Fighting has resumed with full intensity around the country after a brief halt during June. The latest casualties are three children from eastern Ghazni province who were killed by roadside mines at the weekend. Related: Selfies with the Taliban: Afghan women buoyed by ceasefire snaps | Ruchi Kumar Continue reading...

Selfies with the Taliban: Afghan women buoyed by ceasefire snaps | Ruchi Kumar

Selfies with the Taliban: Afghan women buoyed by ceasefire snaps | Ruchi Kumar

06 Jul 2018 The Guardian The Guardian

When Taliban fighters entered the cities of Afghanistan after hostilities were put on hold for Eid, some women took photos. A symbol of female resistance, the images quickly went viral One of the longest wars of our generation took an unexpected turn last month. The Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan accepted the government’s call for a three-day ceasefire during the Islamic festival of Eid al-Fitr.For the first time in years, Taliban fighters – known for their brutality on the frontline of the spiralling conflict – entered the capital, Kabul, and other urban centres in Afghanistan and socialised with the locals. Related: 'I want to empower Afghan women': female prosecutor on a lonely mission Continue reading...

Breakthrough made in fight to end virginity testing in Afghanistan

Breakthrough made in fight to end virginity testing in Afghanistan

05 Jul 2018 The Guardian The Guardian

New policy will stop clinics and hospitals from performing examinations that lead to imprisonment and exclusionIn a prison in the Balkh province of Afghanistan, more than 200 girls and young women are crammed into dirty prison cells. Many have been here for months – and some for more than a year. When they are eventually released, they face a future defined by shame, exclusion and destitution.Their crime is that they all failed a virginity test performed by a health professional at a clinic or hospital. Related: 'I want to empower Afghan women': female prosecutor on a lonely mission Continue reading...

The Observer view on why Britain’s role in torture must be revealed in full | Observer editorial

The Observer view on why Britain’s role in torture must be revealed in full | Observer editorial

01 Jul 2018 The Guardian The Guardian

The intelligence and security committee has revealed the scale of abuse. We now need an inquiry with access to all witnessesThat the UK was complicit in torture and rendition after 9/11 was well known, largely thanks to the work of investigative journalists. But what was not known until the publication last week of two reports by the parliamentary intelligence and security committee (ISC) was the sheer scale. The statistics are shocking. British intelligence officers were present at, or knew about, hundreds of incidents, working alongside the CIA and other American partners in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo.Scattered throughout the reports is overriding concern not for human rights but fear of offending the US, and of being excluded from the intelligence gained through methods that breach international law. The UK inquiry began in 2010 under a judge, Sir Peter Gibson, but he ended up publishing only an interim report, stymied by a lack of cooperation. The ISC took up the investigation but, like Gibson, also gave up. Given the restrictions it worked under, the committee did a commendable job. But it acknowledged there were still too many gaps, too many unwilling to testify and too many obstructions – such as Theresa May, who refused to allow four key officers in the intelligence agencies and the military to give evidence. Continue reading...

British intelligence officers linked to man waterboarded 83 times

British intelligence officers linked to man waterboarded 83 times

30 Jun 2018 The Guardian The Guardian

MI6 put questions to Abu Zubaydah despite knowing of sustained torture, report saysBritish intelligence officers put questions to a man despite knowing he had been subjected to appalling abuse, including being waterboarded 83 times, according to damning evidence contained in a UK parliamentary report published this week.In the years after 9/11, Abu Zubaydah was the only CIA prisoner who went through all 12 of the agency’s “enhanced interrogation techniques”, including being beaten, deprived of sleep and locked in a small box. Related: UK's role in rendition and torture of terrorism suspects – key findings Continue reading...

Dying refugee receiving care at Gold Coast hospital after Nauru move

Dying refugee receiving care at Gold Coast hospital after Nauru move

28 Jun 2018 The Guardian The Guardian

Border Force let Afghan man, 63, with lung cancer receive palliative care in Australia after intense campaignThe 63-year-old Afghan refugee moved to Australia at the weekend for palliative care is being cared for in a Gold Coast hospital and has received visits from Queensland’s Hazara community.Ali, whose full name is withheld to protect his family, has terminal lung cancer. He had been held on Nauru for five years, but the care he was receiving in the Australian-run processing centre on the island was, according to doctors, “totally inadequate”, and he faced a painful and protracted death without specialist palliative care. Related: Dear America, we can teach you a few things about cruelty to refugees. Love, Australia | Brigid Delaney Continue reading...

How can you condemn Trump but stay silent on British brutality? | Aditya Chakrabortty

How can you condemn Trump but stay silent on British brutality? | Aditya Chakrabortty

26 Jun 2018 The Guardian The Guardian

It’s far easier to criticise events on the US-Mexico border than to admit the UK government’s shameful behaviourOver the past few days, as condemnation has rained down on Donald Trump for ripping toddlers from the arms of their immigrant parents, my thoughts have turned to a small, scared boy far closer to home. Five thousand miles separate the Texas-Mexico border from Folkestone in Kent, where Bashir Khan Ahmadzai sleeps in a child-sized bed underneath a calendar that is two years out of date. However dire, his situation will not draw the TV anchors or be commemorated by a Getty photographer. Yet the more I turn over his story, the more troubled I am not just for him, but for what it says about our politics and our media.To scream at the barbarian in the White House, to denounce Italy’s thuggish deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini, to shudder at Hungary’s leader, Viktor Orbán: such acts come easily to decent politicians and pundits. And so they should, because each of these men normalises a racist brutalism. Yet to stop there is merely to play liberal pantomime. The harder, but just as essential, task is to look away from the TV screens and headlines and spot signs of the same casual racist brutalism at home, in our political system, in a case such as that of Ahmadzai. Related: Trump's family separation policy is as damaging to America as Abu Ghraib | Michael H Fuchs Related: Inspired by Trump, the world could be heading back to the 1930s | Jonathan Freedland Continue reading...

It would be stupid to think we have moved on from war. Look around | Margaret MacMillan

It would be stupid to think we have moved on from war. Look around | Margaret MacMillan

24 Jun 2018 The Guardian The Guardian

The distinguished historian, this year’s Reith lecturer, argues we can never be complacent about global conflictMany of us – and as a Canadian I certainly include myself – have lived so long in what historians are starting to call the Long Peace that we have come to assume that war is an abnormality. Something that may afflict others, from different cultures in far-off places. War for us, we think, belongs firmly in the past. And it is true that large parts of the world have not had to endure state-to-state wars for decades. The majority of the world’s nations have also been spared the scourge of civil wars, although many have known violence from revolutionary insurrection. Stephen Pinker and others have also argued that we are conducting our internal affairs with greater civility and point to declining levels of homicide and physical assault around the globe. (His own country, the United States, is an outlier here with much higher murder rates than in Canada or Europe.)In my BBC Reith Lectures, I am arguing that we should be careful not to assume that the peaceful parts of the world are particularly virtuous or that they represent a clear trend for humanity’s moving away from war. We have been fighting each other for a very long time – as far as we can tell, from the moment we started to organise ourselves and settle down as agriculturalists. And much of the world today is at war: in Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, the great lakes district of Africa or Sudan. There are also the “frozen” conflicts so favoured by Vladimir Putin’s regime – in eastern Ukraine, for example – that at any moment could ignite wider struggles. Related: Why is the world at war? Continue reading...

Dying refugee moved from Nauru to Australia after intense campaign

Dying refugee moved from Nauru to Australia after intense campaign

23 Jun 2018 The Guardian The Guardian

Exclusive: Doctors say Afghan refugee hasn’t got long to live and should be allowed dignity and respect in his last daysA dying Afghan refugee held on Nauru for five years has been transferred to Australia for palliative care after a sustained campaign of pressure from doctors, medical peak bodies, the media, members of the public and even members of the Australian Border Force. Related: Dear America, we can teach you a few things about cruelty to refugees. Love, Australia | Brigid Delaney Related: ‘No way to die’: peak medical bodies call for dying refugee to come to Australia Related: Deaths in offshore detention: the faces of the people who have died in Australia's care Continue reading...

'We thought we'd never get out': a refugee from Manus starts life in the US

'We thought we'd never get out': a refugee from Manus starts life in the US

19 Jun 2018 The Guardian The Guardian

Abdull Grafar Ghulami was suddenly taken to Kentucky from Manus Island as part of the Australia-US refugee deal. Now he is forging a new life, despite the weight of the past and four lost yearsIt is a hot and sticky 25C in Louisville, Kentucky, and the young man is dressed accordingly in a polo shirt, bermuda shorts, long white socks and shoes. Like a local, Abdull Grafar Ghulami refers to the city as “Luhvul” and points out that aside from thoroughbred horse racing and Kentucky whisky, Louisville’s claims to fame are as the home of Muhammad Ali and Colonel Sanders.Ghulami, 24, is proudly driving an older model car. He smoothly navigates the sharp turns of the city’s overhead highway maze. The GPS tracker he consults is the only outward indication that he is not yet entirely at home in this city. Related: Australia's refugee deal 'a farce' after US rejects all Iranian and Somali asylum seekers Continue reading...

Record 68.5 million people fleeing war or persecution worldwide

Record 68.5 million people fleeing war or persecution worldwide

19 Jun 2018 The Guardian The Guardian

As data shows one in every 110 people is displaced, UN special envoy Angelina Jolie warns of ‘terrible human consequences’ of Syria’s aid shortfallThe number of people forced to flee their homes rose to a record high in 2017, with 16.2 million people newly displaced around the world. The figure includes people who have been displaced for the first time, and those who have been forced from their homes multiple times.The figure of 68.5 million displaced people – 3 million higher than the total population of the UK – includes 25.4 million refugees, 40 million internally displaced and 3.1 million asylum seekers. Continue reading...

Taliban refuse to extend truce with Afghan forces

Taliban refuse to extend truce with Afghan forces

17 Jun 2018 The Guardian The Guardian

Militants posed for selfies with soldiers and handed out red roses during Eid ceasefireAfghanistan’s first taste of peace in 17 years is expected to end after the Taliban refused to extend a three-day ceasefire during which civilians, militants and soldiers hugged and danced together over the festival of Eid.The Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said: “The ceasefire ends tonight [Sunday] and our operations begin tomorrow, inshallah [God willing].” Continue reading...

Isis claims deadly suicide bombing as Afghans celebrate Taliban ceasefire

Isis claims deadly suicide bombing as Afghans celebrate Taliban ceasefire

16 Jun 2018 The Guardian The Guardian

At least 25 people killed in Nangarhar province as country marks first truce in 17 yearsAt least 25 people have been killed in a suicide bombing in eastern Afghanistan as elsewhere across the country jubilant scenes marked the first ceasefire between the Taliban and Afghan government in 17 years.Isis, which is not part of the ceasefire, claimed the attack in Nangarhar province, near the city of Jalalabad. Continue reading...