- 11:58 | In the world Top choice blocked for U.N. digital privacy investigator post
The Estonian picked as the U.N.'s first digital privacy investigator was blocked on Friday by the German president of the Human Rights Council after activist groups said she would not be a strong enough critic of U.S. surveillance.
- 11:32 | In the world China firm 'plans to punish unapproved staff pregnancies'
A Chinese firm reportedly plans to ask its staff to seek approval before they get pregnant, provoking scorn in the state-run press and on social media.
- 11:15 | In the world Not enough shut-eye makes you more impulsive and can fuel addiction
Previous research has shown individuals working in today's 24-hour-a-day global economy often times sleep less or at irregular times, resulting in poor sleep and prolonged sleep deprivation, which affects decision-making.
Source: The Daily Mail
- 11:00 | In the world Pope Francis can expect warm welcome and tough questions in South America
Pope Francis is expected to be confronted by a host of thorny issues when he touches down in Quito, Ecuador on Sunday to begin a seven-day tour of South America, including a contentious case involving a 10-year-old rape victim in Paraguay who has been refused access to an abortion.
Source: The Guardian
- 10:36 | In the world Greece deeply divided as vote on Europe looms
After years of living on borrowed money and paying the price with savage austerity, Greeks will vote Sunday for more of the same (more or less) or for a rupture with Europe that could spell disaster.
- 10:19 | In the world Cancer patient becomes Colombia's first legal euthanasia case
A 79-year old Colombian man has become the first person in the country to die legally by euthanasia.
- 20:00 | In the world How being obese could help you fight cancer
The results shocked researchers, who had predicted obese patients would not react as well to treatments for stage 4 colorectal cancer because of their increased risk of developing the disease and it returning.
Source: The Daily Mail
- 19:37 | In the world Obama administration spied on German media as well as its government
An investigation by the German parliament is publicly raising questions as to whether the Obama administration not only spied on journalists in that country but interfered in the exercise of the free press under the guise of U.S. national security.
- 19:21 | In the world Iran nuclear talks in endgame, negotiators push on sticking points
A year and half of nuclear talks between Iran and major powers were creeping towards the finish line on Friday as negotiators wrestled with sticking points including questions about Tehran's past atomic research.
- 18:55 | In the world Greece debt crisis: Tsipras urges 'No' to 'blackmail'
Greek PM Alexis Tsipras has called on voters to reject "blackmail" when they vote in a bailout referendum on Sunday.
- 16:14 | In the world New study warns of dangerous climate change risks to the Earth’s oceans
The study concludes that global warming beyond the international limit of 2°C above pre-industrial temperatures would pose serious threats to marine ecosystems and their millions of human dependents.
Source: The Guardian
- 15:46 | In the world ISIS 'emir of suicide bombers' killed in coalition airstrike, U.S. says
Al-Harzi played a key logistical role for ISIS, overseeing efforts to get jihadists and weapons into Iraq and Syria to fuel the militant organization's war machine, according to U.S. authorities.
- 15:19 | In the world France refuses asylum request by Wikileaks founder Assange
Assange has been living for the past three years in Ecuador's London embassy, where he took refuge to avoid extradition to Sweden over alleged sex crimes.
- 15:00 | In the world Syria military resists major rebel assault in Aleppo
The Syrian military has carried out a series of air strikes after rebel forces launched a major assault to take control of the northern city of Aleppo.
- 14:30 | Region Turkey reinforces Syria border, Davutoglu says no incursion planned
Turkey has deployed additional troops and equipment along part of its border with Syria as fighting north of the city of Aleppo intensifies, security sources said, but Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said there were no immediate plans for any incursion.
- 12:56 | In the world Russia’s Tartous base will continue its missions, Russian Navy source stresses
The Russian Naval General Staff said Thursday that the Material-Technical Support Point for the Russian Navy in Tartous city will continue to carry out the tasks in the fulfillment of its missions regardless of the developments in Syria.
- 12:19 | In the world French woman jailed for nine years for killing eight of her newborn babies
A French court has jailed a woman for nine years for killing eight of her newborn babies, after a harrowing trial in which she lied about having had an incestuous relationship with her father.
Source: The Guardian
- 12:00 | In the world Germany says new reports of U.S. spying harm security ties
Germany is taking seriously the latest reports about U.S. spying on senior government ministers and they are putting strains on vital security cooperation between the two countries, Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman said on Thursday.
- 11:45 | In the world Islamic State militants 'destroy Palmyra statues'
The Islamic State group has published photographs of militants destroying what it says are artefacts looted from the ancient ruins of Palmyra in Syria.
- 11:34 | In the world ISIS threatens residents of Turkish border villages with Syria, Turkish daily
Locals of Turkish border villages with Syria warned that they are in danger in light of spreading Islamic State in Iraq and Syria “ISIS” terrorist organization in the border villages with Syria as ISIS is using those villages to cross into Syria.
- 11:21 | In the world Iranian actor apologises after tweeting support for US gay marriage ruling
A leading Iranian actor has apologised after coming under pressure over a tweet he posted in support of a historic US supreme court ruling on gay marriage.
Source: The Guardian
- 10:58 | In the world Syrian Islamist insurgents launch battle to seize government-held Aleppo
The fall of Syria's main commercial hub would be a major blow for President Bashar al-Assad, restricting his control mainly to a belt of territory stretching north from Damascus to the Mediterranean coast.
- 10:25 | In the world 6 U.N. peacekeepers killed in Mali
Six U.N. peacekeepers were killed and five others were injured Thursday in an attack on their convoy in the West African nation of Mali, the United Nations said.
- 10:17 | In the world Greek debt crisis: IMF says extra 50bn euros needed
Greece will need an extra 50bn euros ($55bn) over the next three years to stabilise its finances under the existing, disputed bailout plans, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says.
- 18:00 | In the world Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner's divorce 'fuelled by the actor's growing closeness to his ex Jennifer Lopez'
Fans were saddened when Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner confirmed they were filing for divorce after ten years of marriage this week.
Details: The Daily Mail
- 16:38 | In the world Hillary Clinton lobbied by Cherie Blair to meet Qatari royal, emails reveal
Cherie Blair repeatedly pressured Hillary Clinton to meet a leading Qatari royal when Clinton was US secretary of state, according to newly released emails that raise fresh questions about the lobbying activities of all three political families.
Source: The Guardian
- 16:15 | In the world Mila Kunis & Ashton Kutcher Expecting Twins
A new report claims that not only is Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher pregnant, but they’re having twins.
Source: Hollywood Life
- 15:47 | In the world United States seeks extradition of 7 FIFA officials from Switzerland
U.S. officials have requested the extradition of seven high-ranking FIFA officials arrested in Switzerland in May. They are suspected of taking bribes worth over $100 million in connection with soccer tournaments.
- 15:30 | In the world Plight of Greek pensioners heaps pressure on Tsipras
Long lines of pensioners jostling to get into a limited number of banks opened specially to pay out retirement benefits have become a powerful symbol of the misery facing Greece and the problems mounting for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
- 15:12 | In the world BBC to cut more than 1,000 jobs
An unexpected increase in the number of households saying they do not watch live TV so do not pay for a licence has been blamed for the shortfall.
- 14:58 | In the world Ferry capsizes in the Philippines, at least 36 dead
A boat carrying 189 people has capsized in the central Philippines, minutes after leaving port, the Philippine National Red Cross said Thursday.
- 11:00 | In the world Rihanna becomes recording industry's top digital singles artist
Grammy-winning R&B singer Rihanna is the first artist to surpass more than 100 million cumulative digital singles, the Recording Industry Association of America said on Wednesday.
- 10:29 | In the world 'Whistleblowers' challenge Australia's law on reporting refugee conditions
More than 40 doctors, nurses, teachers and other humanitarian workers have signed an open letter to the Australian government, challenging a new bill that could put whistleblowers in jail for disclosing the conditions of Australian detention centers.
- 10:15 | In the world Greece crisis: Eurozone rules out talks until after referendum
Eurozone finance ministers have ruled out any further talks on a fresh bailout for Greece until the country holds its referendum on Sunday.
- 18:42 | In the world Mozambique LGBT activists move on to next battle after anti-gay law scrapped
Gay rights activists have welcomed the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Mozambique but said they still face a long struggle for full equality.
Source: The Guardian
- 18:15 | In the world To many ordinary Iranians, nuclear deal means money, food and jobs
Years of tightening international sanctions, designed to counter Iranian evasion and secrecy and guarantee that Iran's nuclear program can have no military dimension, have closed hundreds of factories and halved living standards.
- 17:58 | In the world Czechs detain Russian speaker suspected of attack on defense minister's house
Czech police have detained a Russian-speaking man and charged him with a petrol bomb attack on the house of the country's defense minister last month, a spokesman said Wednesday.
Source: The Daily Star
- 17:30 | In the world Militants attack Egyptian army checkpoints in Sinai, kill 30
Islamic militants on Wednesday unleashed a wave of simultaneous attacks, including a suicide car bombing, on Egyptian army checkpoints in the restive north of the Sinai Peninsula, killing at least 30 soldiers.
- 17:09 | In the world Video shows Syria rebel group executing 18 ISIS fighters
The video, which emerged overnight, shows fighters from Jaysh al-Islam (Army of Islam) wearing the orange prison clothes that ISIS victims often sport.
Source: The Daily Star
- 16:54 | In the world How two glasses of cranberry juice a day could cut your risk of stroke, heart disease and diabetes
Researchers took measurements of health indicators from the participants, including blood pressure, blood sugar levels and blood lipids.
Details: The Daily Mail
- 16:25 | In the world De Mistura will submit report on outcomes of his mission next Monday
UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq said Tuesday UN envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura will submit next Monday to the UN a report on the outcomes of his mission and his recommendations for the steps to be taken.
- 16:12 | In the world US and Cuba to announce agreement to re-open embassies
Barack Obama will announce on Wednesday that the US and Cuba have reached an agreement to open embassies in Havana and Washington, a senior administration official said.
Source: The Guardian
- 16:00 | In the world Greece is on the brink of collapse
Greece officially missed its $1.7 billion payment to the International Monetary Fund at 6pm ET on Tuesday.
- 15:43 | In the world Toyota's top female executive steps down after arrest in Japan
Toyota Motor Corp said on Wednesday that Julie Hamp, its first female managing officer, had resigned following her arrest last month on suspicion of illegally importing the painkiller oxycodone into Japan.
- 15:30 | Region Iran nuclear talks: Deadline extended to 7 July
Iran and six world powers have extended into next week their talks on finding a comprehensive agreement of Tehran's nuclear programme.
- 14:21 | In the world Rights group says airstrikes in Yemen killed many civilians
Airstrikes carried out by the Saudi-led coalition on Saada City in northern Yemen which is controlled by Shiite rebels killed dozens of civilians in an apparent violation of the laws of war, Human Rights Watch said in a report Tuesday.
- 14:00 | In the world State Department to release new batch of Clinton emails
The U.S. State Department said it would release 3,000 pages of emails from the account of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton at 9 p.m. EDT on Tuesday (0100 GMT on Wednesday).
- 13:34 | In the world Marine Le Pen to stand in French regional elections
The far-right French politician Marine Le Pen has announced she will stand in regional elections in December, a move that will test her popularity before the 2017 presidential vote.
Source: The Guardian
- 13:15 | In the world Pope Francis to visit 9/11 memorial during U.S. trip
Pope Francis will lead an ecumenical meeting for peace at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York during his first trip to the United States in September, according to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
- 12:49 | In the world Ebola crisis: Liberia quarantine after death
Liberia's authorities have quarantined the area where a 17-year-old boy died of Ebola.
- 12:30 | In the world Over 100 feared dead after Indonesia military plane crashes
More than 100 people were feared dead after a military transport plane plowed into a residential area shortly after take-off in northern Indonesia on Tuesday, in what may be the deadliest accident yet for an air force with a long history of crashes.
- 12:07 | In the world Iran nuclear talks extended; Iranians meet key obligation
Pushing past a Tuesday deadline, world powers and Iran extended negotiations for a comprehensive nuclear agreement by a week as the U.N. nuclear agency prepared to announce Tehran had met a key condition - significantly reducing its stocks of enriched uranium that could be used for atomic weapons.
- 11:45 | In the world ISIS lays mines on Syrian-Turkish borders
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria “ISIS” terrorists laid mines on the border line between Syria and Turkey near Karkamis city in the province of Gaziantep, Turkish Milliyet newspaper said Monday.
- 11:28 | In the world How to avoid tummy bugs and other nasties during the heatwave
Every year, one million people suffer from a bad bout of food poisoning, according to the Food Standards Agency, and numbers rise in the warmer months as millions of us enjoy alfresco dining.
Details: The Daily Mail
- 11:00 | In the world Russia's Rosneft charged over pipeline leak that caused oil to come out of taps
Russia’s environmental watchdog has opened a case against state-owned oil corporation Rosneft after a pipeline leak resulted in oily water filling backyards and flowing out of locals’ taps in Siberia.
Source: The Guardian
10:55 17/02/2014 » Society
Scholars call for reexamination of ECHR judgment on Genocide denial case
Concerned genocide scholars issued an open letter highlighting ”historical and conceptual inaccuracies” in the European Court’s decision on Dogu Perinçek v. Switzerland, and called on the government of Switzerland to request a reexamination of the Court’s judgment, The Armenian Weekly reports.
Below is the full text of the letter, released on Feb. 14.
An Open Letter to:
Madame la Conseillère fédérale
Cheffe du Département fédéral de justice et police (DFJP)
Palais fédéral ouest
After having read the European Court’s decision on Dogu Perinçek v. Switzerland (ECHR. 370, 230, 17 December, 2013) we, as concerned genocide scholars, believe it imperative to respond to historical and conceptual inaccuracies that are articulated in the decision, and we believe those inaccuracies have serious ethical and social significance.
We do not take issue with the notion of freedom of expression, something that scholars agree is most often an essential part of open, democratic society. We are, however, concerned about elements of the Court’s reasoning that are at odds with the facts about the historical record on the Armenian genocide of 1915 and at odds with an ethical understanding of denialism.
The decision asserts that: 1) “genocide as a precisely defined legal concept was not easy to prove”; 2) “the Court doubted that there could be a general consensus as to the events such as those at issue, given that the historical research was by definition open to discussion and a matter of debate, without necessarily giving rise to a final conclusion or to the assertion of objective and absolute truths”; the court uses the phrase “heated debate” in referring to the current political context surrounding the Armenian genocide.
First, it is the overwhelming conclusion of scholars who study genocide (hundreds of independent scholars, who have no affiliations with governments, and whose work spans many countries and nationalities and the course of decades) that the Ottoman mass killings of Armenians conforms to all the aspects of Article 2 of the U.N. CPPC definition of genocide.
In 1997, the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS), the major body of scholars who study genocide, passed a resolution unanimously recognizing the Ottoman massacres of Armenians as genocide. The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) prepared an analysis for the Turkish Armenian Reconciliation Commission (TARC) in 2003, stating that “the Events [of 1915] include all of the elements of the crime of genocide as defined in the Convention (UNCPPCG).
In 2000, 100 leading Holocaust scholars signed a petition in The New York Times affirming the events of 1915 were genocide and urging worldwide recognition. An Open Letter from the IAGS to Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, in June, 2005, enjoined the Turkish government to own up to “the unambiguous historical record on the Armenian genocide.” The only three histories of genocide in the 20th century that genocide-studies theorists (such as William Schabas) agree on are the cases of the Armenians in Turkey, in 1915; the Jews in Europe, in 1940–45; and the Tutsis in Rwanda, in 1994. The destruction of the Armenians was central to Raphael Lemkin’s creation of the concept of genocide as a crime in international law, and it was Lemkin who coined and first used the term Armenian Genocide in 1944.
The idea put forth by the Court that crimes of genocide may only apply to the events in Rwanda and at Srebrenica because they were tried at the ICC is incomplete. Crimes of genocide have been assessed as historical events by scholars for decades now, and both the crimes committed against the Armenians by the Ottoman Turks in 1915 and those committed against the Jews of Europe by the Nazis in the 1940s were deemed genocide by Lemkin. As legal scholars have noted, crimes of genocide can be tried retroactively, and William Schabas has pointed out that in the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem, in 1961, the word genocide was used retroactively to designate crimes committed against the Jews.
Further, under Article 10, “the Court clearly distinguished the present case from those concerning the negation of the crimes of the Holocaust. . . . because the acts that they had called into question had been found by an international court to be clearly established.” We would note that the perpetrators of the Holocaust were prosecuted at the Nuremberg Trials (1945–46), not for the crime of genocide, but for “crimes against humanity,” even though Raphael Lemkin had previously created the term “genocide.” The Armenian case, contrary to the Court’s assertion, does have a clear legal basis for its authenticity. First, “crimes against humanity” was the very phrase coined by France, the United Kingdom, and Russia in their 1915 joint declaration in response to the massacres of the Armenians by the Ottoman Turkish government. After WWI, the Ottoman government convened military tribunals (1919–20) to try 200 high-level members of the military and government for premeditated mass murder of the Armenian population. The ICTJ decision of 2006 also affirms such a legal basis.
The Court also decided, on the basis of Article 17 (prohibition of abuse of rights), that “The rejection of the legal characterization as ‘genocide’ of the 1915 events was not such as to incite hatred against the Armenian people.” Yet the ECtHR states (para 19) that “the negation of the Holocaust is today the principal motor of anti-Semitism.” We would note similarly that the denialism of the Armenian genocide in Turkey resulted in the assassination of Armenian Turkish journalist Hrant Dink, and has resulted in violence to others in Turkey.
In referring to the Armenian genocide as “an international lie,” Mr. Perençik reveals a level of extremism that belies all sense of judgment. We believe that the Court makes a misstep when it privileges Turkey’s denialism (a country with one of the worst records on intellectual freedom and human rights over the past decades) as a “heated debate.” As the IAGS has written in an Open Letter on denialism and the Armenian genocide (October, 2006), “scholars who deny the facts of genocide in the face of the overwhelming scholarly evidence are not engaging in historical debate, but have another agenda. In the case of the Armenian Genocide, the agenda is to absolve Turkey of responsibility for the planned extermination of the Armenians—an agenda consistent with every Turkish ruling party since the time of the Genocide in 1915. Scholars who dispute that what happened to the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in 1915 constitutes genocide blatantly ignore the overwhelming historical and scholarly evidence.”
As noted genocide scholar Deborah Lipstadt has written: “Denial of genocide whether that of the Turks against the Armenians, or the Nazis against the Jews is not an act of historical reinterpretation . . . . The deniers aim at convincing innocent third parties that there is another side of the story . . . when there is no other side.” We believe that the Court’s decision and reasoning contributes to denialism and this has a corrosive impact on efforts for truth and reconciliation, and ethics.
We believe it important that the government of Switzerland request a reexamination of the Court’s judgment in this case.
Taner Akçam, Kaloosdian/Mugar Professor, Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Clark University
Margaret Lavinia Anderson; Professor of the Graduate School (Current); Professor of History emerita; University of California – Berkley
Joyce Apsel, Master Teacher of Humanities, New York University; Past President, International Association of Genocide Scholars
Yair Auron, head, Department of Sociology, Political Science and Communication, The Open University of Israel
Peter Balakian, Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor of the Humanities, Colgate University
Annette Becker, Professor of History, University of Paris, Ouest Nanterre La Defense; senior member, Institut Universitaire de France
Matthias Bjornlund, archival historian; Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS), Copenhagen
Donald Bloxham, Professor of Modern History, University of Edinburgh
Hamit Bozarslan, Director, EHESS, Paris
Cathy Caruth, Frank H. T. Rhodes Professor of Humane Letters, Cornell University
Frank Chalk, Professor of History; Director, Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies
Israel Charny, Past President International Association of Genocide Scholars; Director, Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide, Jerusalem
Deborah Dwork, Rose Professor of History; Director of the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Clark University
Helen Fein, Independent Scholar; former executive director of Institute for the Study of Genocide (New York)
Marcelo Flores, Professor of Comparative History; director, The European Master in Human Rights and Genocide Studies, University of Siena
Donna-Lee Frieze, Prins Senior Fellow, Center For Jewish History, New York City; Visiting Fellow, Alfred Deakin Research Institute, Deakin University, Melbourne.
Wolfgang Gust, Independent Scholar, Director armenocide.com.de Hamburg
Herbert Hirsch, Professor of Political Science, Virginia Commonwealth University; co-editor, Genocide Studies International
Marianne Hirsch, William Peterfield Trent Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Professor in the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality; Columbia University
Tessa Hofmann, Prof. h.c. Dr. phil, Frie Universitat Berlin, Institute for East European Studies
Richard Hovanissian, Professor Emeritus, Armenian and Near Eastern History at the University of California, Los Angeles; Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Chapman University and the University of California, Irvine
Raymond Kevorkian, Historian, University of Paris-VIII-Saint Denis
Hans-Lukas Kieser, Professor of Modern History, University of Zurich
Mark Levene, Reader in Comparative History, University of Southampton, UK
Robert Jay Lifton, MD; Distinguished Professor Emeritus, The City University of New York
Deborah Lipstadt, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies, Emory University
Wendy Lower, John K. Roth Professor of History, Claremont McKenna College
Robert Melson, Professor Emeritus, Purdue University; Past President, International Association of Genocide Scholars
Donald E. Miller, Professor of Religion; Director, Center for Religion and Civic Culture, University of Southern California
A. Dirk Moses, Professor of Global and Colonial History, European University Institute, Florence and Senior Editor, Journal of Genocide Research.
James R. Russell, Mashtots Professor of Armenian Studies, Harvard University
Roger W. Smith, Professor Emeritus of Government, College of William and Mary; Past President, International Association of Genocide Scholars
Leo Spitzer, K.T. Vernon Professor of History Emeritus, Dartmouth College
Gregory Stanton, Research Professor in Genocide Studies and Prevention, George Mason University; Past President, International Association of Genocide Scholars
Yves Ternon, Historian of modern genocide, independent scholar, France
Henry C. Theriault, Professor of Philosophy, Worcester State University; Co-Editor-in-Chief, Genocide Studies and Prevention
Eric D. Weitz, Dean of Humanities and Arts and Professor of History, The City College of New York/Graduate Center
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18:23 04/07/2015 » Society
Between June 28 and July 4, Azerbaijan violated the ceasefire about 300 times, according to latest data of Defense Army of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic . Frontline units of Azerbaijani troops fired over 6,000 shots at Armenian positions in the indicated period, the press service of NKR Defense Ministry said. The frontline units of NKR Defense Army responded duly to offensive actions of the Azerbaijani side and took necessary measures for efficient defense of frontline positions
18:17 04/07/2015 » Politics
Civic activist David Sanasaryan convened today a media briefing near the barricades on Bagramyan Avenue in central Yerevan where a group, which has split from other protesters, is holding a rally against a rise in electricity prices. “I have something to say near the barricades on Bagramyan Avenue,” the activist declared. “Today we are starting a decisive stage of this movement. We are entering an important stage,” D. Sanasaryan told reporters. He said they ...
18:06 04/07/2015 » Society
A class 12 student allegedly committed suicide on Friday in Jharkhand’s Dumka district after her parents turned down her repeated pleas to construct a toilet at home as they wanted to save money for the 17-year-old’s marriage, police said. Khushbu Kumari, a resident of Dudhani colony in the town, was found hanging from the ceiling of her room by family members, the police added, according to Hindustatimes.com. The tragedy underlined a growing awareness on hygiene ...