Law & Order

In Venezuela, a High-stakes Gambit

The Venezuelan National Assembly’s chairman, Juan Guaidó, has declared himself interim president, with the support of several foreign governments. Phil Gunson ICG Unless the Venezuelan military backs his move, it is unlikely to topple incumbent President Nicolás Maduro and could unleash greater repression and even outside military intervention. What is happening in Venezuela? On 23 January, amid a mass opposition demonstration that brought hundreds of thousands onto the streets of the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, opposition politician Juan Guaidó, chairman of ... Read More »

Shutdown enters 33rd day with no breakthrough in sight as US Senate sets votes

There was no sign of quick relief for 800,000 federal workers going without pay because of the partial government shutdown as the U.S. Senate scheduled votes on competing proposals to end the… WASHINGTON – Reuters Hurriyet Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he planned to hold a vote on Jan. 24 on a Democratic proposal that would fund the government for three weeks but does not include the… Its prospects appeared grim. The House of Representatives has passed several similar bills, but Trump has rejected ... Read More »

Immigration advocates to meet with Pence on deal to protect Dreamers, end shutdown

WASHINGTON – A group of immigration advocates is planning to meet Thursday with Vice President Mike Pence and top adviser and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner to see if there is a… Franco Ordoñez Miami Herald Trump may also “pop in” to the meeting being organized with officials from the League of United Latin American Citizens, Libre Initiative, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and… On Saturday, Trump spoke from the Oval Office and offered Democrats a three-year extension of protections ... Read More »

Bogotá Bomb Shatters Peace Talks with Colombia’s Last Guerrillas

After Bogotá’s deadliest bombing since 2003, the government is likely to crack down hard on Colombia’s last guerrilla group, the ELN. In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Senior Analyst for Colombia Kyle Johnson says any new military campaign should distinguish between ELN factions and is unlikely to inflict a lasting defeat on the rebels. What happened? On 17 January, a car drove into the General Santander police academy in Bogotá and exploded, killing 21 police officers and injuring 68 more. Though the perpetrator also died, the ... Read More »

Turkey’s Unjust Justice System: Armenian MP Under Attack

Turkish prosecutors have filed a motion to strip an Armenian lawmaker of his parliamentary immunity over his outspoken criticism of the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Uzay Bulut Gatestone Institute Invoking Article 301 of the Turkish penal code — which states that “insulting the Republic of Turkey, the Turkish nation or Turkish government institutions” is punishable by a prison sentence — the prosecutor’s office of Diyarbakir began proceedings against Garo Paylan, who was elected in 2015 to Turkey’s Grand ... Read More »

Fleeing family violence to another country and taking your child is not ‘abduction’, but that’s how the law sees it

Fiona (not her real name) came to Australia from New Zealand as a 19-year-old backpacker. Gina Masterton The Conversation Here, she met a man, got married and had two boys. The domestic violence began after her first son’s birth, and Fiona endured it for several years. In 2017, when her children were eight and ten, Fiona summoned the strength to leave her husband. Not being an Australian citizen, she found she wasn’t eligible for government assistance, so Fiona fled back ... Read More »

Two arrested over Northern Ireland car bomb

Two men were arrested early on Jan.20 over a car bomb attack in Northern Ireland‘s Londonderry and police were looking into whether the New IRA militant group was responsible, officers said. LONDONDERRY – Reuters Hurriyet The men in their twenties were detained hours after the explosion on Jan. 19 outside the city’s courthouse, Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton told a news conference. “Fortunately it didn’t kill anybody but clearly it was a very significant attempt to kill people here in this community,” he said. Hamilton said the main focus of ... Read More »

DR Congo: A Recount and Talks to Find a Way Out of the Crisis

The DR Congo is facing a major political crisis over the 30 December election’s result. ICG A recount would allow subsequent negotiations to take place on the basis of a clear understanding of who won. A dispute over the results of the DR Congo’s 30 December election cast a dark shadow over what should be a historic transition of power but a surprisingly robust reaction by regional actors offers a genuine chance for a course correction. According to official tallies, ... Read More »

Why the West won’t act on China’s Uighur crisis

Western nations have criticized but failed to impose punitive measures for China’s internment of as many as one million Uighur Muslims in de facto concentration camps David Hutt Asia Times As evidence mounts of China’s internment of almost one million Muslim Uighurs in the country’s far western region, Western nations have largely failed to respond to the reported abuses, a… In what some critics have referred to as a campaign of “ethnic cleansing”, Chinese authorities have since late 2017 corralled ... Read More »

Revolt and Repression in Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwean government’s decision to hike fuel prices has sparked fierce opposition.  Piers Pigou What triggered this explosion of unrest? In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Senior Consultant Piers Pigou explains how economic hardship is driving ordinary citizens to unprecedented acts of resistance. On 12 January, in response to persistent fuel shortages compounded by manipulation and mismanagement of a currency crisis, President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced a fuel price hike of over 200 per cent to $3.31 per litre – making the ... Read More »

How to navigate dinner conversations about pill testing

Here are some answers for you to put the arguments against pill testing in their scientific resting place David Caldicott, Matt Noffs and Gino Vumbaca The Guardian The support for pill testing continues to grow. Polling released this week shows pill testing is supported by a majority of Australians, including a majority of Liberal-National voters. Europeans have been successfully conducting pill testing at music festivals for over two decades. Despite this, a few pollies are adding some straw man arguments ... Read More »

Kenyan president says Nairobi attack over as ‘terrorists’ killed

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Jan. 16 that gunmen who stormed an upmarket hotel complex, killing 14 people, had been “eliminated” after an almost 20-hour siege in which hundreds of… NAIROBI – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The attack was claimed by the Al-Qaeda-linked Somali group Al-Shabaab, which has repeatedly targeted Kenya since it sent its army into Somalia in October 2011 to fight the jihadist group. At least one suicide bomber blew himself up and gunmen engaged security forces in numerous shootouts during the assault on ... Read More »

Family of ‘beautiful’ teen plead for pill testing after suspected festival drug overdose

The family of the latest young person to die of a suspected overdose at a music festival has pleaded with NSW Premer Gladys Berejiklian to show ”strong leadership” and introduce pill testing. Sarah Keoghan & Lucy Cormack The Age Central Coast teenager Alex Ross-King, 19, died after taking a suspected dose of pills at the FOMO festival in Parramatta at the weekend. Family members of the teenager have pleaded with the government to introduce pill testing in “legacy” of her death, ... Read More »

Rights of prisoners with intellectual disabilities must be respected

Study exposes shortcomings in treatment of prisoners with IDs, treatment they are entitled to George Winter The Irish Times In 2006, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was adopted, promoting autonomy, choice, independence, equality and participation. The CRPD includes provision for those with intellectual disability (ID). This is typically diagnosed if individuals have an IQ below 70; an impaired ability to effectively interact with society on all levels and care for themselves; and have had developmental ... Read More »

Rahaf and Hakeem: why has one refugee captured the world’s attention while another is left in jail?

When it comes to Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun and Hakeem al-Araibi, the reasons are varied but likely include the age-old non-science of what makes news and what doesn’t Helen Davidson The Guardian Australia, Thailand and the Gulf states have been inextricably linked in two global news stories lately, when two young people faced being forcibly returned to the places and people they fled simply because they happened to step foot in Bangkok. Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, an 18-year-old Saudi woman, was on ... Read More »

Why Australia should not have a public register of child sex offenders

To many, “sex offender” conjures a specific image: stranger abduction, child victim, sexual assault, murder. Danielle Harris Brisbane Times Such horrible things do happen but’s it extraordinarily rare. It’s so horrible that it makes the news. And it happens so rarely that it makes the news every time it happens, and when it happens it shakes us to our core. As a child, I was keenly aware of the fates of Sian Kingi and then of Ebony Simpson, and of ... Read More »