This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 89%. (I’m a bot)Last month, McCollum introduced her latest bill, which aims to get guarantees that US aid is not used in abuses against Palestinian children, the destruction of Palestinian property, the removal of Palestinians from the occupied West Bank, or Israel’s attempts to further annex Palestinian land.While it would not have enough votes to pass, Palestine advocates say the proposal is opening up a much-needed debate around the US aid to Israel and Israeli rights abuses against Palestinians.Not $1 of US taxpayer funds should be used to violate the human rights of the Palestinian people living under Israel’s military occupation.Extended Summary | FAQ | Feedback | Top keywords: Palestinian#1 Israel#2 support#3 rights#4 Congress#5
Does the same thing apply to the Palestinians?We should ask US Presidential Candidate Robert F. Kennedy or US Ambassador Cleo A. Noel or US Ambassador Francis E. Meloy Jr. this question.Oh, that’s right. We can’t. They were all murdered by Palestinians in the name of Palestinian nationalism.
Indian-origin Pushkar Sharma confessed to the unimaginable violence and murder (Representational)New York: An Indian-origin man has been charged with killing and sexually assaulting his 65-year-old mother at their home in New York on the eve of Mother’s Day, according to media reports.Pushkar Sharma, 28, allegedly carried out the deadly attack on Soraj Sharma at their home in Jamaica in Bellerose Manor on Saturday morning. The suspect is accused of grabbing his mother from behind, choking and punching her until she fell to the floor, prosecutors said.”Once down, the son allegedly continued the attack, strangling and punching his mother before sexually assaulting her. The victim lost consciousness and then died,” the New York Post quoted the officials as saying.The suspect told police he “woke up the morning before Mother’s Day “with an uncontrollable urge to hurt someone,” according to a criminal complaint.Pushkar Sharma told police, he continued choking her (mother) until he was pretty sure she was dead, the criminal complaint alleges, reported news agency Press Trust of India.Covered in blood, Sharma gathered his wallet and keys and walked to the 105th Precinct, where he confessed to the unimaginable violence, the New York Daily News quoted police and prosecutors as saying.Soraj Sharma’s daughter found her mother unconscious in the basement, cops said, adding medics rushed her to Long Island Jewish Hospital where she was pronounced dead.What should have been a celebration of Mother’s Day became a brutal, tragic nightmare for a Queens family, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said on Sunday.Sharma was arraigned on Sunday on murder and sexual abuse charges. He was ordered held without bail, and his next appearance is on May 24, the report said.Sharma’s neighbour Kelvin said he knew Sharma had mental health problems, but he was stunned at the slaying.The family was really nice and friendly. I am shocked to know that the son could’ve done this, he said.He recalled a past incident when neighbours called police because Sharma was acting erratically.So, it’s not the first time. He’s been in trouble before, Kelvin said. You can clearly tell that he has some mental health issues. When he had the cops called on him previously, people said that he was not on his medications. Perhaps, the same happened this time around.Sharma’s lawyer, Matthew Thomas of the Queens Defenders, did not immediately return a call seeking comment, the Daily News report said. (Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
Over the past several years, US Congresswoman Betty McCollum has tried to spur a debate in the United States about the billions of dollars that Washington sends to Israel each year.
The Democrat from Minnesota wants to know more about just where the money is going, while ensuring that Israel is not using US military assistance to commit human rights abuses against Palestinians.
Last month, McCollum introduced her latest bill, which aims to get guarantees that US aid is not used in abuses against Palestinian children, the destruction of Palestinian property, the removal of Palestinians from the occupied West Bank, or Israel’s attempts to further annex Palestinian land.
The proposed legislation has the support of more than a dozen members of Congress, and dozens of Palestinian, human rights and Jewish organisations, including J Street – and it has drawn the ire of Israel’s supporters, who argue the massive assistance package ($3.8bn annually) is necessary to protect the US’s top ally in the Middle East.
While it would not have enough votes to pass, Palestine advocates say the proposal is opening up a much-needed debate around the US aid to Israel and Israeli rights abuses against Palestinians.
McCollum’s effort has also gained renewed attention this week as Israeli authorities threaten to evict several Palestinian families from the illegally occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah to make way for Jewish settlers.
Police violence against Palestinians in #SheikhJarrah who only want to remain in the homes they’ve lived in for generations is state-sponsored persecution. NO U.S. taxpayer dollars should support the annexation of Palestinian land or destruction of Palestinian homes. #HR2590
— Rep. Betty McCollum (@BettyMcCollum04) May 6, 2021
“Police violence against Palestinians in #SheikhJarrah who only want to remain in the homes they’ve lived in for generations is state-sponsored persecution,” McCollum tweeted on May 6. “NO U.S. taxpayer dollars should support the annexation of Palestinian land or destruction of Palestinian homes.”
Speaking to Al Jazeera over email before the latest violence in Jerusalem, McCollum explained her bill and what she hopes to achieve.
Al Jazeera: Why is this bill necessary?
Betty McCollum: Millions of Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are subject to repressive conditions under Israeli military occupation that systematically violate their human rights. US military aid to Israel enables the occupation. My bill prohibits US funds from supporting or enabling human rights abuses.
Not $1 of US taxpayer funds should be used to violate the human rights of the Palestinian people living under Israel’s military occupation.
Al Jazeera: The measure has drawn considerable attention in Congress and among groups that work on Israel-Palestine issues in the US. Why do you think that the idea of conditioning US aid to Israel is so controversial?
McCollum: In Congress, Israel is viewed as a special democracy that shares our values, as well as important bilateral security goals. But Israel’s military detention of Palestinian children, the demolition of Palestinian homes, and the unilateral annexation of Palestinian lands are actions not supported by the American people and they do not reflect our values.
The dehumanisation of the Palestinian people has been such an effective narrative that 75 percent of Congress wants absolutely no restriction on US military aid to Israel, effectively supporting the systemic repression of Palestinian society.
Al Jazeera: Have you seen a shift at all among US lawmakers when it comes to Washington’s unconditional support for Israel? If so, how do you explain those changing attitudes?
McCollum: There is a core group of very courageous colleagues who seek the facts and speak the truth. They are willing to stand up for Palestinian rights because they recognise Palestinians as human beings who have rights and deserve to be treated with dignity. The majority of Congress finds it convenient to demonise Palestinians and support Israel’s policies of systemic persecution. There is also a group that is uncomfortable with Israel’s actions, but are unwilling to challenge the status quo.
Change will not be made overnight or through one bill. It will come when the American people no longer tolerate our tax dollars being used to support the systemic persecution of the Palestinian people – and the public pressure on elected officials is significant enough to effect change.
Al Jazeera: Over 300 members of Congress recently signed a letter calling for aid to Israel to be unconditional. “Reducing funding or adding conditions on security assistance would be detrimental to Israel’s ability to defend itself against all threats,” it reads. What is your response to this?
McCollum: By refusing to place clear restrictions on US military aid to Israel, Congress is effectively giving Israel the green light to abuse the human rights of Palestinian children, demolish Palestinian homes, and to annex Palestinian land.
Congress knows systemic persecution and human rights abuses are being perpetrated by Israel against the Palestinian people, and this letter says: ‘We do not care, and in fact, we will continue to look the other way!’
Israeli police aim their weapons during clashes with Palestinians in the compound that houses Al-Aqsa Mosque, amid tension over the possible eviction of Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah [Ammar Awad/Reuters]Al Jazeera: What level of support do you believe your bill has in Congress?
McCollum: The goal of my bill is to acknowledge the humanity of the Palestinian people and condemn their repression. At a moment in US history where systemic racism and discrimination in our own country is being exposed and rejected, why is our government helping to fund the repression and abuse of the Palestinian people?
It is my hope that civil society, faith-based groups, and advocates for civil and human rights will pressure Congress to restrict US support for Israel’s military occupation and the dehumanisation of the Palestinian people.
“It’s completely unacceptable that security forces keep committing grave human rights violations such as those that occurred in Jacarezinho against residents of the favelas, who are mostly Black and live in poverty,” Jurema Werneck, executive director of Amnesty International Brazil, said in a statement, calling it a “massacre”.
New Zealand’s parliament on Wednesday unanimously declared that severe human rights abuses were taking place against Uyghur people in China’s Xinjiang region, but did not label the situation a genocide because of a government objection.All parties discussed and supported a motion by the smaller ACT Party but only after it was watered down to drop the word “genocide” from the text.In parliament, ACT’s deputy leader, Brooke van Velden, said she had to insert the phrase “severe human rights abuses” instead, in order to secure the approval of the ruling Labour Party, led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Edit Credit to OP there comment from this week’s discussion on a different statement by New Zealand’s Prime Minister.Kiwi here. Most of our foreign policy commentary doesn’t make r/worldnews news , but when it does there is often a misinformed view that we are a Chinese vassal state or something ridiculous of that sort. Here’s some context to Ardern’s comments:New Zealand has sought to diversify trade away from a reliance upon China for some time now, having experienced the dangers of dependence on one export market once before in our history (before the UK joined the EEC/EU, and imposed barriers on our products, almost a quarter of our exports went to Britain). New Zealand was a founding signatory of the TPP, then CPTPP as a Pacific Rim bloc which excludes China, only signed RCEP in the hope that India would later rejoin it as they are a major market we have restricted access to (RCEP was not signed to access Chinese market despite their inclusion, as our existing bilateral FTA with the PRC has better conditions in China than RCEP), we are negotiating a post-Brexit UK FTA, FTA with the European Union, have aggressively chased a FTA with the United States under both Democrat and Republican administrations (but been turned down by both), signed PACER Plus to support the Pacific islands with free trade whilst excluding China, are developing a Trans-Tasman Single Economic Market to deepen integration with Australia, jointly negotiated with Canberra the ASEAN-NZ-AUS FTA, and a range of other measures. If we get US and Indian market access, we will finally have trading arrangements with the major world markets. Trump’s protectionism and India dropping bilateral and RCEP talks has delayed this, but that’s not our fault. NZ has done all it can to open alternate markets, and do the opposite of putting all eggs in one basket. Our Foreign Minister even said this during a speech on China:In thinking about long-term economic resilience we also understand that there is value in diversity. Just as the Council has noted, it is prudent not to put all eggs into a single basket. The New Zealand government will continue to work with business to pursue a range of trade opportunities.Those were those opportunities. If the US wants to support a Pacific region not dependent upon China, they need to do their part in trade. Our previous foreign minister put it beautifully:We have a choice. We either work together to ensure the regional rules of commerce protect the fundamental pillars our firms need to succeed – open markets, enforcement of contracts, access to independent judiciaries, and penalties for corruption and nepotism. Or we leave the rules to be written by others, placing our companies’ livelihoods in jeopardy.The point is backed by the numbers. Though US exports to the world have grown by 5.3 percent on average per year since 1990, the share of US total exports to New Zealand dropped, from nearly 18 percent to 10 percent. Meanwhile, imports from our regional partners with whom we have FTAs have grown significantly in relative terms over the same period. China’s exports to New Zealand, for instance, have grown on average by 17 percent per year. And China’s share of total exports to New Zealand has grown from 1 percent to 20 percent during that time – becoming our largest source of imported goods. The shift is even more drastic for the US share of imports across Asia. In 1990, 17.4 percent of all goods imported to Asia came from the US, whereas by 2018 that share had fallen to just 7.4 percent. Put another way, the US has lost half of its market share in Asia over a 28 year period.Essentially, we sent our last foreign minister to Washington DC and told the Trump administration that they are losing the Pacific to China because they remain protectionist. That’s the trade argument. As for turning a blind eye to China’s horrific human rights violations, New Zealand is unable to legally impose unilateral sanctions on any country without a UN mandate. But, it has been anything but silent:Joint Statement by Australia and New Zealand on XinjiangJoint Statement by New Zealand and Australia on Hong KongNew Zealand and Australia welcome sanctions on ChinaNew Zealand signs letter to the president of the United Nations Human Rights Council over PRC abuse of UighursNew Zealand signs international letter gravely concerned about the human rights situation in XinjiangNew Zealand Prime Minister raises abuse of minorities during meeting with Chinese PresidentFor all of these reasons, New Zealand was warned by China that it’s eyes would be “plucked out”. We didn’t stop, though. In addition, New Zealand invested a billion dollars over four years in a foreign affairs strategy – the Pacific Reset – that sought to reassert our influence and contain China’s within the South Pacific island countries.Next: the recent clickbait headlines regarding our apparent ‘betrayal’ of the Five Eyes alliance, which is again alluded to within this article. The UKUSA agreement text, as shown in the declassified HW 80/2 file on the UK national archives website, states the following:Scope of the AgreementThe agreement governs the relations of the above-mentioned parties in Communication Intelligence matters only. However, the exchange of such collateral material as is applicable for technical purposes and is not prejudicial to national interests will be effected between the Communication Intelligence agencies in both countries.Ardern responded to the Murdoch media allegations that we were the weak link in Five Eyes by asserting the following:”The point we’re making is Five Eyes is a security and intelligence platform – not every issue we speak on as New Zealand is a security and intelligence issue. It’s all about making sure we’re partnering or speaking with the right cohort at the right time.”The UK and Australian media do not even know what the Five Eyes alliance is. It is a spying alliance. It is not a trade pact, defence pact, or human rights tribunal. As I’ve already made clear – we do speak out. But not through an unrelated organisation. A mass surveillance bloc of Western spy agencies has nothing to do with this issue, and as I’ve already quoted – the UKUSA/Five Eyes agreement has no legal basis for making such statements.Thankfully the Australian Foreign Minister recognized this position as legitimate, even if the Australian media hasn’t:”Now my view is that countries will choose to address issues of concerns in whichever forum they themselves determine appropriate and consistent with their respective national interest. But our respect for each other – Australia, the United States, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Canada – is enduring, and continuing, and one which we particularly in Australia value enormously.”TL;DR – New Zealand is ready to stand up and condemn China on their civil and political rights violations, but we need further support to diversify trade. FTAs with India and the United States would be essential to this. We haven’t been silent though, and this is the latest step taken by our government to stand against Beijing despite their warning last year that continued action would result in our “eyes being plucked out”.
New Zealand’s parliament will not debate a motion that would label the abuses of the Uyghur people in Xinjiang as acts of genocide.Parliament opted instead on Tuesday to water down the language, and discuss concerns about human rights abuses in the region in more general terms.It is expected the new, motion will pass unanimously on Wednesday. However, it marks no deviation from the country’s current position.The foreign minister, Nanaia Mahuta, had already put out a statement in March, voicing “grave concerns about the growing number of credible reports of severe human rights abuses against ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang”.The ACT party deputy leader and foreign affairs spokesperson, Brooke van Velden, filed the original motion. She said the Labour party, which holds a majority in New Zealand’s parliament, would not support the motion unless “genocide” was removed from its wording.“It’s a sad state of affairs that we’ve needed to soften our language to debate hard issues,” she said in a statement.The New Zealand government has been under increasing pressure both domestically and from international allies to take a stronger stance on the situation in Xinjiang.By refusing to allow the genocide motion to move on to the debate stage, New Zealand’s government has moved out of step with some of its traditional partners, including Britain, Canada and the US.British MPs voted in April to declare China was committing genocide, and Britain and the EU have taken joint action with the US and Canada to impose sanctions on Chinese officials involved in the mass internment of Uyghur Muslims.In April, New Zealand’s stance was strongly criticised during the British parliamentary debate, with the Conservative MP Bob Seely saying the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, was “in a hell of an ethical mess”.On Tuesday, an open letter from Uyghurs in New Zealand called on parliament to declare the situation genocide. “We understand that New Zealand is not a military superpower, or a trade superpower, however, New Zealand is a moral superpower. We can influence the fate of the 20 million Uyghur people suffering back home,” it read.“We are desperate. For those of us in New Zealand, the most painful torture we face is social isolation … our friends, relatives and colleagues back home are either in prisons, concentration camps or subject to omnipresent surveillance and a total lack of freedom.”Evidence has emerged from China of mass internment of the Uyghur minority, as well as forced sterilisation, forced labour, and allegations of mass rape and torture in Xinjiang. Interviews with guards and detainees at the camps in February found “they experienced or saw evidence of an organised system of mass rape, sexual abuse and torture”. Analysis in March by the US-based thinktank, the Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy, found China had breached every single article of the UN genocide convention in its treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, and was committing a genocide.China has strongly denied accusations of human rights abuses.So far, the New Zealand government has been attempting to balance its human rights commitments with the demands of its largest trade partner. Near the end of 2020, the value of exports to China alone surpassed the value of New Zealand’s next four largest trading partners – Australia, the US, UK, and Japan – combined. Trade to China accounts for about a third of New Zealand’s dairy exports, almost 60% of forestry products and more than 40% of meat, according to Stats NZ.The trade minister, Damien O’Connor, put the economic stakes bluntly when approached by reporters as he walked to Labour’s caucus discussion of the “genocide” motion on Tuesday.“Clearly the Chinese government wouldn’t like something like that … I have no doubt it would have some impact [with trade]. That’s hardly rocket science,” O’Connor said, according to a report by Stuff.The opposition leader, Judith Collins, also said New Zealand’s trade relationship with China was the “elephant in the room” in the discussion“If you’re looking at trade, at the moment, clearly we are [beholden to China] in terms of trade. So 29-30% of our trade goes to China,” she told Stuff.Australia is providing a vision of what a collapse in that trade relationship might look like. Following a diplomatic rift, China has retaliated with tariffs, import restrictions and a warning to its citizens not to travel to Australia. An analysis last year found China’s declared and undeclared sanctions against Australia cost the country around AU$47.7bn (£26.5bn) last year.The Green party foreign affairs spokesperson, Golriz Ghahraman, said it was clear the issue of trade and how it could be affected by the genocide label “is a central concern for government”, given the two major parties had both commented on it. She said it should have no bearing on how New Zealand condemned atrocities.“It’s unsettling to know that we’re that open about saying we could prioritise trade over mass torture and death,” Ghahraman said “I’m dismayed that the government – or anyone – would turn their minds to trying to balance our profits as a nation, when we’re talking about the mass torture of a Muslim minority by another government. That is unacceptable as a consideration.”The original motion, with genocide wording, had clear support from two minority parties: ACT and Green. Ghahraman said that while the party supported the original motion, alone it was insufficient. “Seeing strong language like genocide is appropriate – but it has to trigger action,” she said. She said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade had no way to tell whether New Zealand trades in goods produced by the forced labour of Uyghur detainees.“We’re not just talking about a normal trade sanction – we’re talking about literally buying goods that were produced through an atrocity.”On Monday, Ardern said in a speech that New Zealand’s differences with China were becoming “harder to reconcile”.“There are some things on which China and New Zealand do not, cannot, and will not agree,” she said. “This need not derail our relationship, it is simply a reality.”Ardern has declined to reveal whether, in her personal view, the events in Xinjiang constituted genocide.
This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 70%. (I’m a bot)Mexico’s president has apologised to the indigenous Mayan people for abuses committed against them over the five centuries since the Spanish conquest.”We offer the most sincere apologies to the Mayan people for the terrible abuses committed by individuals and national and foreign authorities in the conquest, during three centuries of colonial domination and two centuries of an independent Mexico,” Mr Lopez Obrador said.It isn’t entirely surprising that Andrés Manuel López Obrador is the president to make this official apology to the Mayan people: he first made his name as a vocal activist for indigenous rights in his home state of Tabasco.Extended Summary | FAQ | Feedback | Top keywords: people#1 Mayan#2 Obrador#3 Mexico#4 centuries#5
“However, by revisiting our history, we can analyse the present and realise that we are still facing the loss of human lives but now at the hands of organised crime, because of malnutrition, and the tireless search for the dream and opportunities that so many people pursue.”