Tag Archives: much

Much more than 9,000 killed because begin of Ukraine conflict: UN

Posted December 09, 2015 22:32:12

An unexploded rocket in field near the village of Dmitrivka. Photo: An unexploded rocket in field near the village of Dmitrivka. (AFP: Dimitar Dilkoff)

More than 9,000 people have been killed since the conflict in Ukraine began, a United Nations report says, warning that even though fighting had abated, millions were in precarious situations.

The UN human rights office hailed “a sharp de-escalation of hostilities” in the conflict zones in eastern Ukraine since the warring sides signed a new truce on September 1, following a fragile truce agreed in Minsk in February.

In its latest report on Ukraine, the rights office said that between August 16 and November 15, 47 civilians were killed and 131 injured in the conflict zones of eastern Ukraine — sharply down from the previous three-month period.

But nonetheless, at least 9,098 people — including civilians, soldiers and militia members — have perished since the beginning of the conflict in mid-April 2014 until the middle of last month, with another 20,732 injured, the report said.

Fifty-two per cent of the casualties since August were caused by landmines and other explosive devices, the report said, underscoring “the urgent need for extensive mine clearance and mine awareness actions on both sides of the contact line”.

Ukraine’s emergencies ministry said that by last month it had cleared the separatist Donetsk and Lugansk regions in the former Soviet republic’s once-booming industrial heartland of more than 44,000 mines.

But the warring sides and foreign monitors are struggling to estimate how many unexploded devices remain.

“Mapping of the minefields is so far incomplete and inaccurate, and sign-posting is urgently required to warn the population about their presence,” the report said, cautioning that the arrival of snow would make the situation even more dangerous, since it would cover and even displace booby-traps.

Serious human rights concerns

The rights office meanwhile warned that “serious human rights concerns persist”, including “continuing impunity, torture and an absence of the rule of law in the east”.

The humanitarian situation also remained dire for many of the nearly three million living in the affected areas, as well as for the more than 1.5 million who have been displaced inside Ukraine.

“Civilians in the conflict-afflicted eastern parts of Ukraine end the year as they began it, in a very difficult humanitarian and human rights situation,” UN human rights chief Zeid Raad Al Hussein said in a statement.

A rescuer stands in a food storage unit in Ukraine. Photo: A rescuer stands in a food storage unit destroyed during shelling between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists. (AFP: Aleksey Filippov, file)

“Elderly people have no access to their life savings, people with disabilities have little assistance, and reduced access to healthcare has left many in dismal, precarious, even life-threatening situations,” he cautioned.

The report said civilians in areas controlled by armed groups in the rebel strongholds of Donetsk and Lugansk continued to face serious rights abuses, including killings, forced labour, and extortion, while the government forces were slammed for using arbitrary and secret detention.

Mr Al Hussein reminded all sides in the conflict that they can be held criminally accountable for the human rights abuses in territories under their control.

The report stressed that “amnesty cannot be provided for individuals responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity and grave human rights violations, including summary executions, torture or similar cruel inhuman or degrading treatment, and enforced disappearances”.

To reach a lasting peace, all sides must fully implement the Minsk Agreements, it said.

But it warned that the “continuing presence of foreign fighters”, including some identified as members of the Russian military, “as well as the reported influx of heavy and sophisticated weaponry from the Russian Federation and the lack of effective control by the government of Ukraine of the state border with the Russian Federation remain the major impediments to this solution”.

AFP

Topics: unrest-conflict-and-war, territorial-disputes, world-politics, ukraine

Agen Sabung Ayam

‘No much more infant parts’: Reports suggest motive for abortion clinic shooter

Posted November 29, 2015 14:56:22

The man accused of opening fire at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado and killing three people said “no more baby parts” while he was being arrested, according to reports citing law enforcement sources.

Key points

  • Reports say man accused of shooting said “no more baby parts” as he was arrested
  • Anti-abortion activists had recorded officials discussing obtaining tissue from aborted foetuses
  • Suspect Robert Dear has history of run-ins with police

The utterance would appear to reference the controversy surrounding the organisation’s health services, which include abortion, and its role in delivering foetal tissue to medical researchers.

It could hint at a possible motive for the deadly shooting, though NBC reported that its sources said investigators still did not know what had motivated gunman Robert Lewis Dear, who surrendered to police after a five-hour siege at the clinic.

Authorities have not discussed a motive for the attack at the Colorado Springs clinic, which left a police officer and two civilians dead and nine people injured.

Shortly after the media reports, attorney-general Loretta E Lynch released a statement in which she condemned the shooting.

“This unconscionable attack was not only a crime against the Colorado Springs community, but a crime against women receiving healthcare services at Planned Parenthood, law enforcement seeking to protect and serve, and other innocent people,” she said.

Vicki Cowart, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains, said the shooting was an “appalling act of violence targeting access to health care and terrorising skilled and dedicated health care professionals”.

“Eyewitnesses confirm that the man who will be charged with the tragic and senseless shooting… was motivated by opposition to safe and legal abortion,” she said.

Dear, 57, was taken into custody at the Planned Parenthood clinic and jailed ahead of a court appearance scheduled for Monday (local time).

It was not clear if Dear, a South Carolina native who appeared to have moved to Colorado last year, had retained an attorney.

The shooting was believed to be the first fatal attack at an abortion provider in the United States in six years, although it was not known if it was related to the clinic’s abortion services.

Police said a total of 24 people who had at one point been in a hostage situation were evacuated unharmed from the Planned Parenthood building, while some 300 people hunkered down in surrounding businesses.

US president Barack Obama said the suspect was armed with an assault weapon and had held hostages at the Planned Parenthood centre, from which he opened fire at people outside.

“This is not normal. We can’t let it become normal,” a clearly frustrated Mr Obama said in a statement.

“If we truly care about this – if we’re going to offer up our thoughts and prayers again, for God knows how many times, with a truly clean conscience – then we have to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war on our streets to people who have no business wielding them.”

Planned Parenthood ‘discussed obtaining tissue from foetuses’

Colorado Springs police secure scene of shooting Photo: The gunman shot dead three people, including a police officer, and wounded nine others. (AFP: Justin Edmonds)

The Colorado Springs centre has been repeatedly targeted for protests by anti-abortion activists.

Planned Parenthood came under fire this year after officials of the organisation were secretly recorded by an anti-abortion group discussing how to obtain human tissue from aborted foetuses.

The videos have triggered protests over the national non-profit organisation’s role in such activities and have become an issue in the 2016 presidential election race as conservatives in Congress seek to cut off Planned Parenthood’s federal funding.

Planned Parenthood has strongly denied doing anything illegal or unethical.

At least eight workers at clinics providing abortions have been killed since 1977, according to the National Abortion Federation, most recently in 2009 when doctor George Tiller was shot to death at church in Wichita, Kansas.

Gunman had history of run-ins with police

Except for his name and age, police have only said that Dear recently resided in rural Hartsel, Colorado, about 95 kilometres west of Colorado Springs.

Official records showed that he has a history of brushes with the law.

Dear lived in a trailer parked 45 metres off the highway, sharing it with a woman who may have been his wife though she rarely left the property, according to Zigmond Post Jr, who lives about a quarter of a mile away.

Mr Post told Reuters that he first met Dear when a pair of dogs escaped from his property and Dear locked them in his yard.

Dear was friendly when Mr Post arrived to retrieve the dogs but took the opportunity to complain about US president Barack Obama.

The handcuffed suspected gunman at the Planned Parenthood clinic. Photo: Robert Dear has a history of run-ins with police. (Reuters: Rick Wilking)

Mr Post said he believed the woman was still living in Dear’s trailer on Saturday morning when police, SWAT teams and firefighters arrived to search it.

He said he heard a single gunshot from inside before they entered.

Court records did not show any criminal convictions for Dear in South Carolina, but law enforcement officers were called on several occasions after complaints about him.

According to the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office, Dear’s wife accused him of assaulting her at their home in 1997, but she declined to file charges against him.

In 2002 he was accused of shooting a neighbour’s dog with a pellet gun, and that same year he was arrested after being accused of hiding in the bushes at a neighbour’s house and leering at her.

Court records showed he was charged with peeping to invade someone’s privacy, but the charge was dismissed by a judge and a restraining order was issued against him.

The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office also said that Dear had been arrested for animal cruelty in 2003. No court record was available online for that case.

Reuters/AFP

Topics: murder-and-manslaughter, abortion, crime, law-crime-and-justice, united-states

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