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Israel jails Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi

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Socialist Worker UK – Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi was sentenced to eight months in prison last week for standing up to an Israeli soldier.

Ahed was arrested after slapping a soldier who had entered the yard in front of her house in the occupied West Bank.

Footage of the confrontation spread on the internet, gathering widespread support.

It was an inspiring act of defiance against a heavily armed enforcer of a military occupation that has lasted more than 50 years.

The same day that Ahed was convicted, Israeli soldier Elor Azaria had his sentence cut by a third.

Azaria was convicted of manslaughter after video showed him calmly shoot a man in the head as he lay on the floor.

Azaria will spend less time in prison than many Palestinian children do for throwing stones.

The Great March of Return

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Since the 30th March, thousands of Palestinians have been congregating in Gaza each week to take part in a series of protests called “The Great Return March”. The Israeli government have reacted to unarmed demonstrators with violence, issuing orders for live ammunition to be used. As of the 15th April, 35 Palestinians have been killed and 2,800 injured. Organised as a peaceful demonstration, and supported across Palestinian society, the weekly protests are to:

– Reaffirm the right of return
International law declares Palestinian refugees have the right to return to the
homes from which they were forcibly expelled in 1948 and in 1967. 70% of
Gazas population are recognised by the UN as refugees.

– Bring an end to the decade long Israeli imposed siege of Gaza (PSC Gaza Factsheet)
Ten years of illegal blockade have isolated Gaza from the world and triggered
major socio-economic and health crises. 80% of the population are
dependent on humanitarian aid to survive, and 42% of essential medicines are
currently at zero stock. The UN warns Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020
unless urgent action is taken. As it stands, 97% of the water is not safe for
consumption and there are electrical blackouts for around 16 hours each day.

Israel responds with violence

Israel deployed hundreds of snipers along the border of Gaza, who continue to open fire using live ammunition on unarmed Palestinian civilians. As of the 15th April – 35 Palestinians have been killed, 1,297 shot, and a further 1,554 suffering from other injuries.

The Israeli government have ignored calls for an independent investigation and have indicated they will continue to order the use of lethal force against demonstrators.

With “The Great Return March” continuing up until May 15th (to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the 1948 “Nakba”), the only thing that can prevent more Palestinians being gunned down is the force and weight of international public opinion. We need you to take action!

“Israeli soldiers were not merely using excessive force, but were apparently acting on orders that all but ensured a bloody military response to the Palestinian demonstrations. The result was foreseeable deaths and injuries of demonstrators on the other side of a border who posed no imminent threat to life.”

– Eric Goldstein, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch

By: PSC

Harvey Weinstein’s Wife’s Fashion Label Marchesa Is in Big Trouble

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It was once the go-to fashion house for every aspiring actress on the red carpet.

However the 2018 Golden Globes may have sounded the death knell for Georgina Chapman’s fashion label Marchesa, after not a single actress wore a stitch of the brand founded by Harvey Weinstein’s estranged wife to this year’s ceremony.

In the course of several months of damaging revelations it has emerged that not only did Weinstein finance his wife’s brand he also pressured actresses to wear the clothes on the red carpet.

And apart from one statement in which she confirmed she was leaving her husband, and expressed sympathy for his victims, Chapman has said nothing publicly about the scandal.

This silence may, of course, be based on strict legal advice and a noble desire to protect her two children with Weinstein, but her incredibly low profile has done nothing to put clear blue water between her brand and her husband’s behavior.

Indeed, it has increasingly appeared from many accounts that Marchesa was just one more vector used by Weinstein to assert control over the careers (and bodies) of women. It’s hard to believe that Chapman had no idea her husband had anything to do with the stars such as Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Lopez and Renee Zellweger who showed up at her studio for fittings to wear her dresses on the red carpet.

“He was the mastermind behind Marchesa—orchestrating deals and using his influence in terms of the celebrity connections for her on behalf of the brand,” an L.A. fashion publicist told the Hollywood Reporter of Weinstein. “They both benefited from the relationship, but she certainly knew about his bad behavior.”

The Hollywood Reporter claimed Weinstein pressured Felicity Huffman to wear his wife’s label when publicizing her 2005 movie, Transamerica. Huffman later confirmed that Weinstein threatened to pull financial support for the film if she didn’t wear the brand to the 2005 ceremony. She showed up in a flowing white Marchesa gown that year.

The Daily Mail reported that Sienna Miller was similarly pressured to wear Marchesa in 2007, the year she made another Weinstein movie, Factory Girl. Weinstein himself admitted to “maybe” helping Renee Zellweger pick a Marchesa dress for the premiere of Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason.

The future of Chapman’s once red carpet-friendly label, named after the Marchesa Luisa Casati, an eccentric 20th-century Italian heiress, and famed for its focus on intricate featherwork and fantastical detailing, now seems bleak.

Gaza: Israeli Army Killed 52 Palestinians and Injured more than 2410

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Palestine Chronicle – The Ministry of Heath in Gaza said 52 Palestinians were killed on Monday in Gaza and more than 2410 others wounded as the Israeli army fired live ammunition, tear gas and firebombs at protesters assembled along several points near the fence with Israel.

Gaza-based photojournalist Abdallah Aljamal contributed these photos to the Palestine Chronicle from todays, Monday, May 14, protests.

For Further Details and Photos Click here.

Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council presents first-ever Medical Travel Media Awards (MTMA) 2018

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Recognising excellence in medical travel journalism – Calls for global media entries

KUALA LUMPUR, 4 October 2018 – Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC), is calling for participation from both international and local journalists, as well as media agencies for the inaugural Medical Travel Media Awards (MTMA) 2018. The prestigious global medical travel journalism award, supported by Supernewsroom, introduced five categories to honour and recognise media organisations and journalists who have contributed towards building awareness of Malaysias medical travel industry.

Speaking at the launch of MTMA 2018, Chief Executive Officer of MHTC, Sherene Azli said the award is part of the agencys purview to raise Malaysias profile as a leading global destination for healthcare.

MTMA 2018 is part of Malaysia Healthcares campaign journey to pave the way towards Malaysia Year of Healthcare Travel 2020 (MYHT2020). Malaysia Healthcare aims to position the nation as the Asian hub for fertility and cardiology, as well as the leading global destination for healthcare travel. This is in line with the countrys aim of achieving RM2.8 billion in revenue with an estimated economic impact of RM10 billion towards the total GDP contribution.

Malaysia is already recognised internationally as a preferred medical travel destination due to its easily accessible, and competitively affordable world-class quality healthcare. Malaysias cutting-edge technology and state-of-the-art facilities in the fields of cardiology and fertility have propelled the country into a hub for both these treatments.

“The media has played a significant role through its reporting on Malaysias medical travel industry. MHTC recognises and acknowledges the support given by the media fraternity not only in Malaysia but around the world in our initiative to position Malaysia as a leading global healthcare destination. The awards aim to honour the best in medical travel journalism in categories covering print, television, radio and online,” said Sherene.

A total of five categories will be contested at the Medical Travel Media Awards 2018. The categories are:

  • Medical Travel Media Award (Best Print Feature)
  • Medical Travel Media Award (Best Broadcast Feature)
  • Medical Travel Media Award (Best Online Feature)
  • Medical Travel Journalist of the Year
  • Medical Travel Editorial Team of the Year

For the first three categories, each winner will receive a cash prize of RM8,000 and a trophy. The award criteria will be based on the reporters journalistic flair in providing engaging, thought-provoking feature and insightful reporting. The key element that should be present is the reach or share-ability of the feature on social media platforms.

For the fourth category, Medical Travel Journalist of the Year, the winner will receive a cash prize of RM8,000 and a trophy. This award will be presented to a journalist who has provided the most timely, accurate and original news reporting on Malaysias medical travel industry in any print, broadcast or online media.

Additionally, the winner will also receive a grand prize of a 3-day-2-night Malaysia Healthcare Experience whereby the journalist will get a chance to experience first-hand Malaysia Healthcares services and hospitality.

ICRD Analysis: Syrian Refugees Need Safe and Legal Pathways for Resettlement

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Syria remains a deadly and hostile country while its civil war is underway. This means civilians continue to require protection and refugees will need assistance in terms of resettlement and safe passage to third countries.

From its pre-conflict population of 20.5 million, 6.15 million people are internally displaced and 13.5 million people need humanitarian assistance.

By the end of October 2017 there were 5.31 million Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries.

Conditions for refugees remain precarious and there are a number of risks for those who reside in camp settings, including:

Lack of access to psychological support.
Protection concerns for unaccompanied minors.
Sexual and gender-based violence.
Poor health and bad hygiene.
Lack of protection to harsh weather conditions.
Limited financial resources.
While funding from donors to help humanitarian organisations is still vital and allows for much needed protection and assistance mechanisms to be put in place, there can be no alternative to asylum and resettlement to allow refugees to continue their lives and enjoy their full entitlement to rights in as safe an environment as possible.

In 2015, the EU asked 27 countries to take 160,000 refugees but by September 2017 only 29,162 had been taken in. The UK, who was not part of this scheme eventually agreed to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees by 2020 through its own national Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Programme (VPRP).

However, many refugees are still making dangerous journeys from their country of origin, which exacerbates their suffering.

That’s why more safe and legal pathways are needed to ensure protection of Syrian refugees.

The UK position
The UK government settled on accepting 20,000 Syrian refugees. There has been opinion that the UK should accept more. The UK government has made clear though that it prefers to provide humanitarian funding to support those within the country believing that offering resettlement would encourage people to make the dangerous journey to the UK.

While aid can help attend to urgent needs there are many hard to reach areas in Syria, including those that are besieged. That means that humanitarian convoys can be denied entry. And so-called safe zones cannot truly protect the civilian population who have suffered disproportionately from the conflict. In addition Syrians are at risk of sexual violence, enforced disappearances and forced conscription as well as the recruitment of child soldiers. Evidence of torture and extra-judicial executions have also been uncovered.

Statement by Sameh Habeeb on the allegations of AntiSemitism by right wing writer on Sunday Telegraph

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I, Sameh Habeeb, was a co-founder and former co-editor of the Palestine Telegraph website, an open source platform; as with all open source platforms, this unfortunately includes people who may submit anti-Semitic, Islamophobic and racist comments and views. But allegations of anti-Semitism have to be proved, rather than asserted.

I totally reject that criticism of Israeli policy is anti-Semitic. The accusations against me fall within the wider context of the anti-Labour campaign against Jeremy Corbyn. The Sunday Telegraph (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/…/anti-semitic-activist-select…/“) article is yet another attempt to silence any effective voices in the #Labour Party that are critical of Israel and its supporting organisations in the UK.

The #Palestine Telegraph was founded by a group of Palestinians living in Gaza, in response to the ongoing Israeli siege and the 2008-2009 Israeli war against Palestinians living in in Gaza. During the war, Israel committed war crimes. The website was volunteer-run and an open public platform, such as WordPress.com, Blogspot.com and Medium.com, open to citizen journalists and the public to publish their views. Whenever I was notified or came to know about any content that was racist, including anything anti-Semitic, I took immediate action, removing the articles and banning the publication of any submissions by writers who publish such hate and conspiracy stories. In other words, I was on the forefront in the fight against anti-Semitism.

This is in contrast to the #Telegraph newspaper, which continues to publish anti-Semitic and Islamophobic content online.

Regarding questions about anti-Semitism, I will not let proponents of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and racism determine what is deemed acceptable and what is not. I am open to any fair investigation by the Labour Party or any other side to scrutinise the accusations against me. I am committed to the Labour Party and its ideas and principles that stand for justice for all oppressed peoples. And I am confident that my name will be cleared. There must be due process; this trial by media and trial by hysteria is not conducive to democracy and British values.

-End-

[contfnewc]

War on Want: ISRAEL MUST END ITS ILLEGAL DETENTION POLICIES

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Israel is holding over 6,000 Palestinians as political prisoners.

  • 356 of the political prisoners are children under the age of 18.
  • 427 of the political prisoners are being held in administrative detention, without being charged or standing trial.
  • Human rights defenders, including journalists, lawyers, and NGO workers, are targeted with arrest and detention.

Israels detention policies and practices violate international law.

  • Israeli authorities routinely transfer political prisoners from occupied territory into Israel, a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
  • Ill-treatment and torture are systematic and widespread in Israeli detention and interrogation centres, a violation of the universally binding prohibition on torture.
  • The UK government has an obligation under international law to ensure that the Fourth Geneva Convention is respected by other signatories, including Israel. The UK also has third state responsibility to take action when a state breaches the universally binding principles of international law.

The UK government must press Israel to end its illegal detention policies.

Ahed Tamimi Offers Israelis a Lesson Worthy of Gandhi

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By Jonathan Cook in Nazareth

Sixteen-year-old Ahed Tamimi may not be what Israelis had in mind when, over many years, they criticised Palestinians for not producing a Mahatma Gandhi or Nelson Mandela.

Eventually, colonized peoples bring to the fore a figure best suited to challenge the rotten values at the core of the society oppressing them. Ahed is well qualified for the task.

She was charged last week with assault and incitement after she slapped two heavily armed Israeli soldiers as they refused to leave the courtyard of her family home in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah. Her mother, Nariman, is in detention for filming the incident. The video quickly went viral.

Ahed lashed out shortly after soldiers nearby shot her 15-year-old cousin in the face, seriously injuring him.

Western commentators have largely denied Ahed the kind of effusive support offered to democracy protesters in places such as China and Iran. Nevertheless, this Palestinian schoolgirl – possibly facing a long jail term for defying her oppressors – has quickly become a social media icon.

While Ahed might have been previously unknown to most Israelis, she is a familiar face to Palestinians and campaigners around the world.

For years, she and other villagers have held a weekly confrontation with the Israeli army as it enforces the rule of Jewish settlers over Nabi Saleh. These settlers have forcibly taken over the village’s lands and ancient spring, a vital water source for a community that depends on farming.

Distinctive for her irrepressible blonde hair and piercing blue eyes, Ahed has been filmed regularly since she was a small girl confronting soldiers who tower above her. Such scenes inspired one veteran Israeli peace activist to anoint her Palestine’s Joan of Arc.

But few Israelis are so enamored.

Bitcoin under THREAT as XRP Ripple set to SOAR

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Bitcoin is quickly being caught up by rival cryptocurrencies which offer more features but money manager Brian Kelly has revealed why Ripple, the second largest digital currency, is controversial.

Speaking to CNBC, he said: “Ripple’s somewhat controversial here in the decentralised world because Ripple is a centralised currency.

“It was premined 100 percent by the Ripple company.

“Now what they’ve done to alleviate a lot of those fears is they’ve locked up a lot of the Ripple that they own.”

XRP is the cryptocurrency that powers Ripple’s blockchain technology to send money across the world in real time settlements.

Ripple has attracted tens of millions of dollars worth of investment leading to it being dubbed the bitcoin that banks like.

Mr Kelly said that Ripple has calmed some of the concerns by slowly making the cryptocurrency available in the future.

He said: “They’re going to slowly mete it out over the next several years, this has alleviated some of the concern.

“That being said, purist denaturalised coin people don’t necessarily like what Ripple has done.

“I happen to like that they have several banks using it, and they have a company that is out there trying to make the value of the currency go high.”

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