Sunday news round-up: August 31st – September 6th

Top Story: Gaza could be “uninhabitable” by 2020, says UN: An annual report released by the UN’s Conference on Trade and Development claims that building factors of devastation in the Gaza Strip could make the entire territory unlivable for it’s some 1.8 million residents. In the report, which mentions the three successive bombing campaigns against Gaza as a key factor in the devastation, the UN alleges that Israel’s blockade on goods coming in and out of the crammed territory has “ravaged the already debilitated infrastructure of Gaza, shattered its productive base, [and] left no time for meaningful reconstruction”. The UN also states that unless the blockade is immediately lifted, international reconstruction efforts and government donations will not meaningfully reverse the devastation. Israel’s latest assault on the Strip, codename Operation Protective Edge, left over 500 Palestinian children dead and displaced more than 500,000 residents, and destroyed 148 schools, 15 hospitals and over 200,000 homes.

Iceland one of few European states open to solving refugee crisis: The Icelandic public has reacted angrily to a government proposal to accept a mere 50 refugees from Syria and Iraq, labelling it wholly inadequate and tantamount to ignoring their suffering. In a poll obtained by the Reykjavik Grapevine, Icelandic residents from all political backgrounds and ideologies lambasted the proposals, which would only see approximately 0.0008% of the total refugees from the Near East given safe haven on the island. In contrast to the government’s views, more than 11,000 Icelanders have offered their homes for Syrian refugees after an online group encouraged people with space to come forward. Bryndis Bjorgvinsdottir, who set up the group, said that the refugees “are our future spouses, best friends, the next soul mate, a drummer for our children’s band, the next colleague, Miss Iceland in 2022, the carpenter who finally finishes the bathroom, the cook in the cafeteria, a fireman and television host”.

Jeremy Corbyn under fire for belief in due process of law: Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn faced criticism across the political spectrum this week after comments emerged from 2011 where he told press that Osama Bin Laden should have stood trial for his crimes against humanity. The frontrunner of the contest, whose views on the economy are supported by a wide margin of the public, was speaking to Press TV and was asked to comment about the War in Afghanistan and the War on Terror in general. Corbyn told the interviewer that the bombing of the World Trade Centre was a “tragedy” and expressed dismay that Bin Laden was assassinated by U.S. forces instead of being made to stand trial for his crimes. Corbyn commented that “the solution has got to be law and not war”. Predictably, politicians from Lib Dem leader Tim Farron to Labour’s Kevan Jones have slammed Corbyn for his comments, because apparently the U.S. and her allies have the right to kill anybody they want to without charging them with a crime first.

Molina resigns, could face jail time: U.S.-backed mass murderer Otto Molina has resigned from Guatemalan office after massive public protest and legislative pressure. The now-former Guatemalan President, who participated in ethnic cleansing campaigns against Mayans in the 1980’s, was stripped of immunity by the Congress of the Republic amidst an ongoing corruption scandal that has claimed the jobs of his top ministers. Although Molina fervently denies involvement, his resignation coupled with the stripping of immunity leaves the possibility of prosecution and eventual jail time open. Indeed, that possibility was strengthened this week as Molina stood in court to defend himself and was stripped of leaving the country, which borders Mexico to the North and Honduras to the East. Predictably, U.S. media has praised the corruption trial and totally omitted their government’s role in pushing Molina into power to begin with.

UN to investigate Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms: The UN is set to investigate and determine whether welfare minister Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare cuts and reforms constitute “grave violations” of human rights, it has been revealed. Specifically, the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is set to investigate whether the some 2,000 benefit claimant deaths are linked to being unduly declared fit for work, and whether the £30 cut to Employment and Support Allowance has caused significant mental harm to claimants. Now, thanks in part to the outcry of disabled people’s charities, UN Special Rapponteur Catalina Aguilar will soon land in Britain, meet with charities, and begin her investigation. This is not the first time the Cameron regime has been targeted by international human rights organizations, when another UN investigator lambasted the so-called Bedroom Tax as a gross breach of human rights that was driving people to suicide.

Watchdog recommends changing wording of EU referendum: The Electoral Commission has waded into an already charged debate over 2017’s referendum on EU membership by suggesting that the current wording could be biased. The EC expressed dissatisfaction with the current wording: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union?” and branded it incomplete, suggesting that “…or leave the European Union?” should be tacked on to the end to properly explain both options. The government and anti-EU campaigners have welcomed the suggestion as a much-needed balance, whilst others have praised it for reducing confusion that a “yes/no” answer might otherwise cause. Because apparently choosing between a three letter word and a two letter word is too frightening for the British public.

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