- 16:53 | In the world European Union approves $2.6 billion funding for migration crisis
The European Commission on Monday approved 2.4 billion euros ($2.6 billion) of aid over six years for countries including Greece and Italy that have struggled to cope with a surge in numbers of immigrants.
- 16:18 | Region Turkey attacks: Deadly violence in Istanbul and Sirnak
Five members of the Turkish security forces have been killed in attacks in the country's south-east and two bombs have exploded in Istanbul.
- 15:56 | In the world The Russian patriotic groups teaching children how to defend their country
This is St Spyridon the Triumphant Orthodox, a patriotic club aiming to “bring children to the church” through sport and military-style training, says their coach, Michael Lysovskiy.
Source: The Guardian
- 15:37 | In the world South Korea: Propaganda broadcasts at North to resume after landmines
South Korea says it plans to resume broadcasting propaganda messages over its de facto border with North Korea in retaliation for landmine blasts that wounded two of its soldiers.
- 15:19 | In the world Two shot in Ferguson amid standoff between police, protesters
Two people were struck by gunfire during a standoff between riot police and protesters on Sunday night in Ferguson, Missouri, after a day of otherwise peaceful rallies commemorating the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white officer one year ago.
- 15:00 | In the world Pakistan child sex abuse: Seven arrested in Punjab
Seven people have been arrested in eastern Pakistan on suspicion of involvement in a child sexual abuse and extortion scandal.
- 14:34 | In the world Greece hopes to conclude negotiations with creditors on bailout within days
Greece hopes to conclude negotiations with international creditors by early on Tuesday at the latest, a Greek official said, as talks continued in Athens on a new multibillion-euro bailout.
Source: The Guardian
- 14:13 | In the world Mikdad: Syria supports the Palestinian people and their just rights
Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister Fayssal Mikdad on Sunday met Director of the Political Bureau at the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in Damascus, Ambassador Anwar Abdul-Hadi, discussing with him the latest developments and political activities in the region.
- 13:45 | In the world Kiwi Kim Chambers finishes record 17-hour, shark-infested Golden Gate swim
New Zealander Kim Chambers has become the first woman to finish a record 30-mile marathon swim from the Farallon Islands to San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.
- 13:18 | In the world Car bomb near Kabul airport causes casualties: officials
A car bomb exploded near the entrance to Kabul airport on Monday causing casualties among both civilians and security forces, officials said, days after series of suicide attacks in the Afghan capital killed dozens and wounded hundreds.
- 13:00 | In the world Istanbul violence: Gunfire and blast in Turkish city
Violence has flared in Turkey's largest city, Istanbul, with two assailants opening fire outside the US consulate, just hours after a car bomb attack on a police station.
- 21:00 | In the world Syria’s envoy to UN: Israel obstructs mission of un Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices in occupied lands
Syria’s permanent Envoy to the UN in Geneva Hussam al-Din Ala said that Israel still obstructs mission of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights in occupied lands and prevents it from reaching the occupied territories, and goes ahead in its endeavors to consolidate its occupation and apply its systemized settlement plans.
- 20:43 | In the world Taliban resignation points to extent of internal divisions in leadership crisis
The high-profile resignation of Tayeb Agha underscores bitter internal divisions in the movement following a recent power transition.
Source: The Guardian
- 20:30 | In the world Italian police arrest 11 suspected of carrying messages for Mafia boss
Using coded messages and meeting in isolated rural spots, a network of supporters has helped alleged Mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro -- on the lam for over two decades -- run his criminal empire.
- 20:19 | In the world Obama issues challenge on climate change with power plant rule
President Barack Obama challenged America and the world to step up efforts to fight global warming on Monday at the formal unveiling of his administration's controversial, ramped-up plan to cut carbon emissions from U.S. power plants.
- 20:10 | In the world German MP Patzelt opens home to two Eritrean migrants
A German conservative MP, Martin Patzelt, has taken two Eritrean refugees into his home and is helping the young men find jobs locally.
- 19:58 | In the world Chinese Winter Olympics anthem is rip-off of Frozen song, say online critics
Songwriter accused of ‘shaming China’ with The Ice and Snow Dance, a song that is claimed to bear a strong resemblance to Disney blockbuster Let it Go.
Source: The Guardian
- 19:44 | In the world Canadian pastor detained in North Korea confesses to crimes
North Korea has released video footage of a Canadian pastor purportedly confessing before a Pyongyang church to committing crimes against the state.
- 19:36 | In the world Greece expects bailout deal with lenders in two weeks
A bailout worth up to 86 billion euros ($94.5 billion), needs to be settled by Aug. 20 if Greece is to pay off debt of 3.5 billion euros to the European Central Bank that matures on that day.
- 19:24 | In the world California fires: Evacuation orders given to 13,000
Evacuation orders have been given to 13,000 people in California as firefighters struggle to contain some 20 wildfires.
- 19:15 | In the world How Google quietly revved up its very own car company
Documents obtained by the Guardian reveal the tech giant created Google Auto LLC to help develop its self-driving cars even as it courted big car makers.
Source: The Guardian
- 19:00 | In the world At Least 25 Dead, Dozens Injured After Military Plane Crashes in Syria
According to a military source, military aircraft has crashed into a residential area near the northwestern Syrian city of Jericho in the Idlib Governorate killing at least 25 people.
- 18:37 | In the world Special Report: State Department watered down human trafficking report
In the weeks leading up to a critical annual U.S. report on human trafficking that publicly shames the world’s worst offenders, human rights experts at the State Department concluded that trafficking conditions hadn’t improved in Malaysia and Cuba.
- 18:21 | In the world Kosovo votes for new war crimes court
Kosovo's parliament voted to change the constitution on Monday and create a war crimes court, which the West wants to try ethnic Albanian former guerrillas for alleged war crimes including organ harvesting.
- 12:59 | In the world Iran uses fabricated WikiLeaks cable to smear UN rights rapporteur
Iran has launched a sophisticated smear campaign against the UN special rapporteur investigating its human rights violations by widely spreading a fabricated WikiLeaks cable purporting to show he received bribes from Saudi Arabia.
Source: The Guardian
- 12:30 | In the world Putin promises protection for ancient Crimea ruins
Historians fear Sevastopol authorities will damage Unesco world heritage site Chersonesus, an ancient Greek city, to attract orthodox believers.
Source: The Telegraph
- 12:15 | In the world Kerry says United States, Egypt return to 'stronger base' in ties
The United States and Egypt are returning to a "stronger base" in bilateral ties despite tensions and human rights concerns, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday after talks with his Egyptian counterpart.
- 11:53 | Region Turkish troops killed in 'Kurdish PKK suicide blast'
Two Turkish soldiers have been killed and 31 wounded in a suicide attack by Kurdish PKK militants, the Turkish military says.
- 11:26 | In the world New Taliban leader purportedly rejects peace process 'propaganda'
The reported new leader of the Taliban denies that the Sunni Islamist group is attempting to work toward a peace process with the Afghan government.
- 11:12 | In the world Australia Speaker Bronwyn Bishop quits over expenses scandal
Bronwyn Bishop, the Speaker of Australia’s parliament and political mentor of Australian prime minister Tony Abbott, resigned on Sunday in disgrace following weeks of accusations that she used taxpayer money to pay for extravagant travel arrangements.
Source: The Telegraph
- 10:47 | In the world Another lion was illegally killed by an American in April, Zimbabwe says
Amid an international outcry over a US hunter accused of illegally killing a well-known lion named Cecil in early July, authorities in Zimbabwe alleged that a second American killed a lion in an illegal hunt with a bow and arrow several months ago.
Source: The Guardian
- 10:29 | In the world U.S. Democrats see 'fire wall' holding to preserve Iran deal
U.S. backers of the Iran nuclear deal are increasingly confident of enough Democratic support to ensure it survives review by Congress, despite fierce opposition by majority Republicans and a massive lobbying drive.
- 10:15 | In the world Jerusalem Gay Pride: Israel teenage stabbing victim dies
Shira Banki, 16, was one of six people attacked at the event on Thursday.
- 21:00 | In the world Music to a patient's ears: Surgeons 'perform better when listening to their favourite songs'
While previous studies have shown that listening to music during operations can lower the stress levels of surgeons, there is limited information on the effects of music on technical performance while completing a surgical task, such as closing incisions.
Source: The Daily Mail
- 20:46 | In the world Syrian Kurdish forces say 'provocative' Turkey targeting them
A Kurdish militia fighting Islamic State in Syria accused Turkey on Saturday of targeting it at least four times in the past week and called on U.S-led forces to "clarify" their approach toward Ankara in light of this.
- 20:29 | In the world Palestinian toddler's death sparks protests
A Palestinian teen died Saturday after he was shot by Israeli troops during clashes sparked by the killing of a toddler in an arson attack, Palestinian medical officials said.
- 18:15 | In the world Myanmar floods: President declares state of emergency
Myanmar's president has declared a state of emergency in four regions after heavy floods left 27 people dead.
- 18:00 | In the world Eat carrots, stop multi-tasking and go for a walk three times a week
Interestingly, the researchers looked at participants' brains after death looking for evidence of the physical signs of dementia, including brain lesions and plaques.
Details: The Daily Mail
- 17:30 | In the world Syrian army advances on plain after rebel offensive: monitor
The Syrian army and allied militia have regained control over several northwestern villages from insurgents on a plain crucial for defending costal areas that Damascus holds, a group monitoring the war said on Saturday.
- 17:21 | In the world Palestinian youth killed after arson attack sparks violence in West Bank
A Palestinian youth has been killed by Israeli forces in Ramallah in the wake of violent West Bank clashes that erupted after an 18-month-old toddler was killed in an arson attack in Duma yesterday morning.
Source: The Guardian
- 17:00 | In the world Iraqis protest over Baghdad heatwave power cuts
Hundreds of Iraqi protesters have taken to the streets of Baghdad to protest against power shortages as the country experiences a heatwave.
- 16:39 | In the world Libyan symbol of freedom now facing years behind bars
She poured her beer on one of the customers and later threw a glass at the other, leaving a bloody gash serious enough for sutures.
- 16:15 | In the world Ebola vaccine trial proves 100% successful in Guinea
A vaccine against Ebola has been shown to be 100% successful in trials conducted during the outbreak in Guinea and is likely to bring the west African epidemic to an end, experts say.
Source: The Guardian
- 15:47 | In the world Bin Laden relatives reportedly killed in private jet crash in Britain
A private jet crashed in southern England on Friday, killing four people on board, a spokesman for Britain's Hampshire police service said, and Saudi and British media said the passengers were relatives of deceased al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.
- 13:30 | In the world New Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour calls for unity
The new leader of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Akhtar Mansour, has called for unity in an audio message, saying that the group will continue fighting.
- 12:18 | In the world Greek debt crisis: IMF wary of third bailout
The fund could however join in later, provided both the eurozone and Athens take steps to address IMF concerns.
- 12:00 | In the world Fruit and veg are getting sweeter - but are now 'less nutritious and have fewer health benefits', scientists claim
Children have sweeter tooths than adults. Peter van der Toorn, who leads the vegetable breeding division of Syngenta in the Netherlands told New Scientist.
Source: The Daily Mail
- 11:39 | In the world Greece's Tsipras challenges party bailout critics to showdown
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras challenged hard-left rebels in his Syriza movement on Thursday to put their opposition to new bailout negotiations to an immediate membership ballot, as he seeks to assert his control over the ruling party.
- 11:23 | In the world Two dead in Legionnaires' disease outbreak in New York
Thirty-one cases of the flu-like disease have been reported since mid-July in the South Bronx.
- 11:05 | In the world Egypt court delays al-Jazeera verdict
A long-awaited verdict in the retrial of al-Jazeera journalists charged in Egypt was unexpectedly delayed on Thursday, with two of the defendants barred from entering the court.
Source: The Guardian
- 10:42 | In the world After Russia U.N. veto, countries seek court for Flight MH17 prosecutions
The five countries investigating the downing of a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine a year ago are considering setting up an independent international tribunal after Russia vetoed attempts to establish a U.N.-backed court to prosecute suspects.
- 10:30 | In the world Jerusalem Gay Pride: Six stabbed 'by ultra-Orthodox Jew'
Police have arrested a man after six people were wounded in a stabbing at the Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem.
- 21:00 | In the world Stress could be the reason you never lose weight, expert warns
Cells in the abdomen have more receptors for the stress hormone cortisol than any other part of the body, so most of that fat gets stored around the tummy.
Source: The Daily Mail
- 20:45 | In the world Al-Jaafari. Fighting terrorism priority for Syria
Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari stressed Wednesday that the Syrian government supports all efforts leading to solve the crisis in Syria and considers fighting terrorism as a priority.
- 20:18 | In the world Taliban leader Mullah Omar is dead, says Afghan government
Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Taliban leader, was declared dead by the Afghan government on Wednesday, ending years of fierce speculation over the reclusive figurehead’s whereabouts, but raising fresh questions over efforts to negotiate an end to decades of war.
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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