Sunday news round-up: March 9th-15th

An ongoing series that gathers some main headlines from the week, for people too busy to keep an eye on the news.

Top Story: Jean-Claude Juncker calls for federal EU army: Citing “Russian aggression”, the EU Commission President has told journalists in Berlin that the EU needs a federal standing army in order to protect the Union’s interests. Juncker told journalists that a federal army would bring permanent peace to the EU and would eliminate the possibility of a war between any EU countries. It would also allow the region to deter Russian aggression, restore foreign policy goals across the globe, and would have been useful during the Ukrainian crisis, Juncker said. Some European nations like France and the UK have been weary of federal EU army proposals because they fear it may undermine the effectiveness of the NATO defense pact.

Israeli Foreign minister calls for Israeli-Arabs to be beheaded: Speaking during a campaign event, Israeli FM Avigdor Lieberman suggested that Israeli-Arabs who do not abide by the nation’s traditions should be beheaded. Mr. Lieberman told a crowd in Herzliya that Israel’s survival depends on “lift[ing] an axe” and “removing” the heads of Arab-Israelis who observe Nakba Day or refuse to serve in the IDF. Despite his comments, Lieberman reaffirmed his commitment to an open and tolerant Israel that respects all nationalities and religious affiliations, but argued that those who mourn the existence of Israel do not belong within its borders. Lieberman is second-highest ranking official in the Israeli government, and also heads the right-wing party Yisrael Beiteinu.

ISIS executes “Mossad spy”: The terrorist group and unofficial state has released a video purportedly showing the execution of Muhammad Musallam, a Palestinian citizen of Israel who ISIS accused of being a spy for Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency. In the execution video, Musallam ‘confesses’ to being a spy who joined ISIS in order to gather intelligence for Israeli forces, and claims to have been encouraged by his father and older brother. After the confession, Musallam is shot in the head repeatedly by a child soldier. Israel and Musallam’s family have denied that he was spying for Israel.

Police kill yet another unarmed black teen in the U.S.: In what’s becoming an epidemic level of fatal police shootings, another unarmed black teenager has been shot to death by police in Wisconsin. 19 year old Anthony Robinson was killed in his apartment by police officer who was responding to a disturbance call. The unidentified officer forced his way into Robinson’s apartment and fatally shot him, and examinations of the scene have revealed that Robinson was not in the vicinity or possession of a gun. This latest shooting comes just days after a DOJ report revealed a gross infestation of racism and corruption in the Ferguson Police Department, now notorious for protecting officer Darren Wilson after he murdered unarmed black teen Michael Brown.

Spanish Senate approves authoritarian “gag” law: The upper chamber of the Spanish Parliament, ruled over by the People’s Party, has approved a controversial “gagging” law, which severely limits the freedom of expression and right to protest in the country. The law makes protesting near government buildings and photographing police a punishable offence, with fines of up to 30,000 Euros. Demonstrating or protesting in widely-used public spaces will also carry a fine of up to 600,000 Euros. All other political parties in Spain are opposed to the legislation, but the right-wing People’s Party, which holds a legislative majority, was able to squeeze the law through.

UK Government sells rubber bullets and tear gas to human rights abusers: The Liberal Democrat-Conservative coalition has approved the sale of £16 million worth of crowd-control equipment to countries that are on the Foreign Office blacklist. Equipment will be sold at the three-day Security & Policing Event with delegates from the governments of Egypt, Kazakhstan, Hong Kong, and Saudi Arabia likely to attend, all of which have been repeatedly accused of human rights abuses. Worst of all, sniper rifles are also being offered at the S&P Event, which is closed from the press and public. Since coming to power, Vince Cable’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has approved millions in export licenses for dangerous equipment to authoritarian countries.

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UN torture experts denied entry to U.S. detention facilities

Mahmoud Abbas approved plan to cause chaos in Gaza

Canadian activists protest Stephen Harper’s “secret police bill”


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