B’TSELEM: Israeli politician calls for Gaza human rights group to be shut down

Jerusalem – VIJAY SHAH via the Jerusalem Post

An Israeli politician has called on the country’s most senior government lawyer to dismantle a human rights organisation in the country after its leader spoke up on the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, the Jerusalem Post reports.

Nava Boker, a member of the Knesset (Israeli parliament) allied with the secular centre-right Likud party, issued a request to the Attorney General, Aluf Avichai Mandelblit, to order the closing down of human rights group B’Tselem after its director-general, Hagai El-Ad, spoke on the Palestinian crisis in front of the United Nations Security Council this past Thursday.

 

Boker also appealed to the Israeli Corporations Authority, which regulates businesses and non-profits in the country, to close down the charity run by El-Ad. The minister claimed that B’Tselem is anti-national and anti-democratic. After El-Ad made his speech, he was called a ‘wretched collaborator’ by the Israeli ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, the Post reported.

El-Ad responded to the mudslinging from the ambassador by stating: “I am not a traitor, nor am I a hero,”

“The heroes are the Palestinians who endure this occupation with courage and perseverance; who wake up in the middle of the night to find soldiers barging into their homes; who know that if a loved one is killed, impunity is all but guaranteed to the perpetrators; who stay on their land knowing that it is only a matter of time before the bulldozers arrive.”

The charity’s head also responded to the demands for his organisation’s shuttering by Boker. He said: “We would be happy to close B’Tselem and our initiative after the end of the occupation, not a minute earlier,”

“Until then, we invite members of Knesset and the general public to join us in the struggle to end it.”

B’Tselem, also known by its official English name of the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, was founded in 1989 to document violations of international law and human rights in the Palestinian Territories as well as foster the development of a human rights culture within Israel.

SOURCES:

HEM Businesses, HEM News Agency, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/hem-businesses

Aaron Huber, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/kycisrael

“LIKUD MK CALLS ON ATTORNEY GENERAL TO DISMANTLE B’TSELEM” – KYC Israel, KYC Israel Research Services Ltd https://www.kycisrael.com/likud-mk-calls-on-attorney-general-to-dismantle-btselem/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

“LIKUD MK CALLS ON ATTORNEY GENERAL TO DISMANTLE B’TSELEM” – The Jerusalem Post/Jpost Inc. (21 October 2018) https://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Likud-MK-calls-on-attorney-general-to-dismantle-BTselem-569884

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Hagai El-Ad, Samer Badawi, and Leila Hilal” – New America, Flickr (17 September 2014) https://www.flickr.com/photos/newamerica/15267818722

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MAN SHOOTS AT CHILD: 14-year-old African-American boy shot at just for asking directions

Rochester Falls – VIJAY SHAH via Metro

UK tabloid newspaper Metro reported this past Friday on an allegedly racially-motivated shooting of a 14-year-old African-American student by a white American homeowner, after the student asked for directions when he missed his bus. The homeowner is currently on trial for the incident.

The boy, Brennan Walker, was experiencing difficulties getting to his destination after missing the scheduled transport due to oversleeping, and knocked on the door of Jeffrey and Dana Ziegler in the town of Rochester Falls, in Michigan. Dana Ziegler noticed Walker walking towards her door and thought the boy was intending to burglarise her home.

 

She answered the door and began speaking with Walker. Ms Ziegler added: “I saw a black person standing at my door and I screamed at him and I asked him what he was doing there.

‘He tells me that he is going to school and at that point he approaches the door, forward momentum, comes forward, opens the screen door, and puts his hand on the door handle again, as though he’s coming into my house.”

In a court statement, Ms Ziegler admitted she became panicked and began screaming. She said: “I was screaming as loud as I possibly could, saying somebody is breaking into my house.”. Her screams woke her husband Jeffrey, who was asleep. He came downstairs with a shotgun they kept for protection. Jeffrey then left the property, chasing after the boy and firing shots at him. Mr Ziegler claimed that he was only firing warning shots and did not realise he was targeting a child until he reviewed home CCTV footage of his front garden. In the footage, Walker is seen waiting around near the front door, and moves forward at one point. After a few seconds of standing there, the boy immediately starts running out of frame, as Mr Ziegler comes out into the front yard with the gun and takes a shot at the fleeing child.

Mr Ziegler said: “I wanted to fire more up in the air, more towards my shoulder, and I didn’t get the chance to because like I said, it was slippery, and I didn’t have a good grip on the gun.”

“I felt extremely remorseful. I was – I was just shocked.”

Ms Ziegler claimed that Walker did not look like a student due to his size and build. She said: “He didn’t look like a child. He was a rather big man standing there, and also, if he was going to school, we have no schools in our area.”

Mr Ziegler said if he could have done anything differently, he would have given Brennan a lift to school. A detective told the court that the Zieglers had been burgled three times between 2009 and 2010.

Fortunately, Walker managed to escape serious harm and was able to testify at the trial. The US has been rocked by a series of shootings involving young African-American (black) men targeted by people, usually in law enforcement, of predominately white backgrounds. The racial overtones of many of these often fatal incidents has led to riots such as the Ferguson unrest of 2017 and nationwide protests by activist groups such as Black Lives Matter.

SOURCES:

Rabia Ali/Facebook.

Metro, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/

“Man shoots at black boy, 14, who asked for directions when he missed his bus” – Metro/Associated Newspapers Limited (12 October 2018) https://metro.co.uk/2018/10/12/man-shoots-at-black-boy-14-who-asked-for-directions-when-he-missed-his-bus-8031172/?ito=social

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:Black Lives Matter protest.jpg” – Otto Yamamoto & The All-Nite Images, Flickr via Wikimedia Commons (28 November 2014) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Black_Lives_Matter_protest.jpg

 

FLACQ CAR ACCIDENT: Child dies after collision

Bon Accueil – VIJAY SHAH via LOVINA SOPHIE and L’Express

 

A 12-year-old boy from the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius has died after being struck by a car in the Flacq district of the island’s east, according to local newspaper L’Express.

The child, named in the report as Krish Khunkhun, a resident of the town of Bon Accueil – around 15 kilometres from Mauritius’ capital, Port Louis – was admitted to hospital after being struck by a pick-up truck yesterday. The vehicle had been reversing at the time, L’Express noted.

Khunkhun was admitted to the district hospital in intensive care soon after the accident, but tragically passed on from his injuries this morning. The truck driver, a 30-year-old local identified as Avinash Ramyad, was detained by police. Though he passed a breathalyser test, he was found to be driving without a licence and was duly arrested. Ramyad is scheduled to appear at the Bail and Remand Court today.

Police in the neighbouring community of Brisée-Verdière have opened a case into the fatal accident and plan to carry out a post-mortem to establish the direct causes of the little boy’s death.

SOURCES:

Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984

l’express, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/lexpressmaurice

“Accident: admis en soins intensifs, un enfant de 12 ans décède” – Lovina Sophie, lexpress.mu/La Sentinelle Ltd (6 October 2018) https://www.lexpress.mu/article/340561/accident-admis-en-soins-intensifs-un-enfant-12-ans-decede

IMAGE CREDIT:

“THINK! Road Safety” – Mikey, Flickr (19 June 2010) https://www.flickr.com/photos/raver_mikey/4901176890

WTM LONDON: Tourism event to hit Excel Centre early November

London – VIJAY SHAH

London-based events company Reed Exhibitions is bringing its keynote tourism business event, the World Travel Market, to the famous Excel exhibition centre in east London on the 5th November, 2018, HEM News Agency exclusively reports.

The influential and highly popular exhibition, which can attract up to 51,000 visitors from the world of tourism, aims to bolster London’s position as a world-class centre of international tourism expertise and industry, particularly as there are concerns over this and London’s and the UK’s own statuses as tourism destinations of note, post Brexit in 2019.

 

The event is regarded globally for its selection of travel industry experts and exhibitors, of which 5,000 are expected to pitch for stands at WTM 2018. Thought leaders will host eighty different seminars over three days. WTM will also feature a host of different attractions to show innovation and forward-thinking in the travel and tourism industry. These include Inspiration Zones, which will ‘encourage inspiring regional-focused content on a range of subjects and sectors, as well as networking events’, according to the official website. There will also be a special feature, the Travel Forward event, which will launch its first edition at WTM. Travel Forward will showcase the latest technological innovations for tourism firms and travel agencies. There will also be opportunities for business networking and environmental awareness, with the World Responsible Tourism Day detailing responsible tourism events and sessions running throughout the show.

World Travel Market will run from 5-7 November at the Excel Centre in Silvertown, Newham borough. The event is one of the longest-running specialised in the tourism sector, beginning as ‘World Travel Market London’ in 1980. The very first show took place at Olympia London and was opened by the Duke of Kent and Miss World, Kimberly Santos of Guam. The show was attended by 350 exhibitors and 7,753 trade visitors. Since then, Reed Exhibitions, the event’s current organiser, has spun off sub-events dedicated to Arabia and Latin America, as wel as launching a themed magazine for the WTM community.

SOURCES:

World Travel Market, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/wtmlondon/

“Registration is now open” – wtm London/Reed Exhibitions http://london.wtm.com/landing-pages/registration/?campaign=Facebook-Ads-Remarketing-last180days-busypic&source=facebook&medium=social-media

“Show features” – wtm London/Reed Exhibitions http://london.wtm.com/about-the-show/show-features/

“The history of World Travel Market…” – wtm London/Reed Exhibitions http://www.wtm.com/about/history/

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Stalls at World Travel Market, 2009” – flowcomm, Flickr (9 November 2009) https://www.flickr.com/photos/flowcomm/4124009167

TURKISH CARGO: Mexico City added as new freight hub

Ankara – VIJAY SHAH via Avrupa Gazete

Cargo airline Turkish Cargo has announced it will be operating new flights to Mexico City from October this year, according to Anglo-Turkish news site Avrupa Gazete today.

The firm, one of the fastest growing in Turkey, currently operates 84 destinations for the transit of cargo, and the capital of Mexico will become Turkish Cargo’s eighth Latin American hub. Currently the airline delivers to 300 destinations across five continents.

 

The new routes will be serviced with Boeing 777F craft, and will in fact consist of two separate legs due to the distance involved. The first part of the journey will operate from Turkey to Madrid in Spain, and then onwards to Mexico. Returning planes from Mexico will run along the Istanbul-Bogota-Curaçao-Maastricht route or via Houston in the US.

The new route will be a boost in Turco-Mexican economic relations with Turkey keen to import its products, such as fresh flowers, technological products and automobiles to Mexico and to tap into the Latin American’s nations key export markets of vehicles, chemicals, petrochemical products, textiles, fish, medicine, flowers and other perishable items. This forms part of Turkey’s new ambitions to be a global trading power, especially with markets in Africa and Asia, alongside South America.

Turkish Cargo is the freight arm of Turkish Airlines, the flag carrier of Turkey, which began operations in 1933. Its cargo division was sheared off into a separate company in 2000 and specialises in both domestic and international cargoes as well as postal carriage services.

SOURCES:

HEM Businesses, HEM News Agency, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/hem-businesses

avrupaseriilan.com, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/seriilanlar

“Turkish Cargo, Mexico City’yi kargo uçuş ağına ekledi” – Avrupa/Avrupa Gazete (16 September 2018) https://www.avrupagazete.co.uk/sirket-haberleri/turkish-cargo-mexico-city-yi-kargo-ucus-agina-ekledi-h277842.html

“Corporate Information” – Turkish Cargo https://www.turkishcargo.com.tr/en/about-us/corporate-information

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Turkish Airlines Cargo Airbus A330-243F TC-JDS “Trakya” ” – M.Oertle, Flickr (22 December 2013) https://www.flickr.com/photos/kambui/22046763843/

FLIC-EN-FLAC ACID ATTACK: Mauritian businessman targeted for the second time

Flic-en-Flac – VIJAY SHAH via KENDY ANTOINE and defimedia.info

As attacks involving dangerous chemicals such as acids and ammonia are becoming frequent in the United Kingdom, it seems that, worryingly, the trend for such vicious crimes, has spread abroad. On the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, a local business person made the news there after he was attacked with acid, for the second time.

The man, aged 67, and living in the resort town of Flic-en-Flac on the island’s west coast, was attacked with a corrosive substance by a passing motorcyclist on August 31, his birthday, according to local French-language media Défi Media. He had unlocked the gate outside his home when the assailant rode past and splashed him with acid thrown from a pot. The victim suffered chemical burns to his arm and most of his face and was admitted to the burns unit at Victoria Hospital Candos in the nearby town of Quatre Bornes.

 

It was the second time the businessman, who was not named in the original report, was targeted, according to a statement he gave to Défi Media‘s reporters. He was the victim of a similar attack previously in the town of Rose Hill where a passenger of another motorbike hurled acid at him. That time, the victim managed to escape the brunt of the attack, although some acid struck his arm.

He reported the first attack to the police, but no arrests were made. The business person told media that he was afraid for his life, and he believed the attacks were due to people angered by his refusal to engage in unspecified immoral business practices for them.

The victim’s damaged articles of clothing were sent for analysis at Mauritius’ Forensic Scientific Laboratory (FSL) to establish the type of chemical used in the attack. Local crime investigators are also looking at CCTV footage of the time and place of the crime to prove the identities of the perpetrators.

SOURCES:

Reddy Ashanah.

Radio CONSEIL POLITIQUE . , Mauritius/Ile-Maurice, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/groups/radioplusilemaurice/

Defimedia.info, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/www.defimedia.info/

“À Flic-en-Flac : un homme d’affaires victime d’une attaque à l’acide pour la seconde fois” – Kendy Antoine, Defimedia.info/LE DEFI MEDIA GROUP (8 September 2018) https://defimedia.info/flic-en-flac-un-homme-daffaires-victime-dune-attaque-lacide-pour-la-seconde-fois

IMAGE CREDIT:

“1 bedroom Studio Flat for rent from 2 to 3 people in Flic en Flac” – iha HOLIDAY ADS https://www.iha.co.nz/studio-flat-for-rent-flic-en-flac_1676

GCC BUSINESS: Saudi sovereign fund welcomes new special advisor

Riyadh – VIJAY SHAH via SAEED AZHAR and Reuters


A sovereign fund in Saudi Arabia has appointed a new special advisor formerly associated with the chemicals manufacturer Dow, and who was a chief executive officer there, the Business News desk at news agency Reuters reported this morning.

The state fund, run by the royal government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, appointed Andrew Liveris, who was previously U.S. firm Dow’s chairman and CEO, today in an announcement. In English the fund trades under the name Public Investment Fund (PIF) and manages more than USD 250 billion (GBP 192.8 billion) in state assets. The fund plans to more than double its portfolio to USD 400 billion (GBP 309 billion) by the year 2020, Reuters reported. The PIF is run by the Saudi Council of Economic and Development Affairs on behalf of the kingdom, and in July 2018, bought a 5% minority stake in American electric car maker Tesla.

Liveris’s new role will see him work with the PIF on essential and significant matters, as well as help PIF strengthen its collection of assets and give input on the contribution of PIF companies to Saudi Arabia’s ambitious economic plan, Vision 2030.

Liveris is an Australian national, currently residing in Midland, in Michigan state of the U.S. He served at Dow for fourteen years before retiring in April this year.

SOURCES:

HEM Newsbreakers, HEM News Agency, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/hem-newsbreakers

Reuters Business, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/ReutersBiz

“Saudi sovereign fund appoints ex-CEO of Dow Chemical as special adviser” – Saeed Azhar & Alison Williams, Reuters – Business News/Thomson Reuters (2 September 2018) https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-pif/saudi-sovereign-fund-appoints-ex-ceo-of-dow-chemical-as-special-adviser-idUSKCN1LI0BF?feedType=RSS&feedName=businessNews&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+reuters%2FbusinessNews+%28Business+News%29

FANFAN: Pioneering Mauritian musician passes away

Pamplemousses – VIJAY SHAH via Mo Ti News

Louis Gabriel Joseph, one of the pioneers of the national music of Mauritius, has passed away aged 88 yesterday, local news site Mo Ti News reports. Known among his peers and generations of listeners as ‘Fanfan’, Joseph passed on from age-related issues at the Hospice Saint Jean de Dieu in the town of Pamplemousses, in the island’s north.

 

Fanfan was widely revered as one of the signature personalities behind the development of sega music as a popular genre from the 1940s until fairly recently. Sega is a musical style peculiar to Mauritius, sung in Mauritian Creole (Kreol, or simply Mauritian) to the beat of drums, triangles and more recently, keyboards and synthesizers. It was developed by people of mixed African and French origins, most descendants of slaves who used their heritage of African music to get over the drudgery of their lives and enjoy what little spare time they could get.

Joseph was a stalwart and proponent of ‘sega tipik’ (typical or traditional sega), which was in vogue until around the 1980s before it was usurped by other genres, many from outside the island.

During his career, which began after the Second World War, Joseph recorded fifty songs. He cut his first record, titled “Ma Bolema”, in 1949, and released his last production, “Kito Lev Néné”, fifty years later under the Ballerina Music label. Joseph considered himself a guardian of the traditional form of sega, a dying art now, and with contemporaries such as Serge Lebrasse and Ti Frère, tried to actively promote the cultural values of his country.

SOURCES:

Mo Ti News, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/motinews/

“[Vidéo] Musique locale : Fanfan s’éteint à 88 ans” – Mo Ti News (18 August 2018) https://moti.news/video/video-musique-locale-fanfan-seteint-a-88-ans

“The Recording Industry in Mauritius” – Sabrina Quirin and In-House DRC, Music in Africa (30 September 2016) https://www.musicinafrica.net/magazine/recording-industry-mauritius

VIDEO CREDIT:

“Fanfan: «Mo dimann Dieu le Père ramass mwa»” – l’express, YouTube (via Mo Ti News) (28 July 2016) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxMoPmS_dmI

SCOOTER HATERS: Electric scooters attacked by angry Californians

Santa Monica – VIJAY SHAH via FOX News and other sources

The U.S. state of California is well known for being at the vanguard of revolutionary new technologies, especially if they are environmentally friendly. Its also the birthplace of many a technological trend that has spread across the world. According to Fox News, however, there is one new eco-transport trend that has not only irritated some locals in the Golden State, it’s pushed them to commit vandalism against the objects fuelling that same trend.

Electric two-wheeled scooters, usually popular with youngsters, have become the latest must-have kind to the environment mode of transport. A firm called Bird even has public banks of scooters you can pay to borrow for the day, just like the bicycle docks found in many world cities. But some Californians in the south of the state, sick to death of the new vehicles appearing in random locations and getting in their way, have taken to setting them on fire or throwing them into the Pacific Ocean, Fox News reports.

 

Another report from local paper the Los Angeles Times claims that city hygiene workers in Santa Monica have found several scooters left for dead amidst the spray of the sea and abandoned in public bins. A policeman in the city of Venice even claimed to have seen dumped scooters stacked up high in piles of ten, but the dumping has not been reported to authorities.

Most of the scooters found dumped are branded ones issued by Bird. Marked with the company logo in simple black and white livery, the company rents out the scooters to the public for as little as US $1 a day and the firm currently operates across the United States and in Paris, France. The problem of scooters being dumped and vandalised has become so commonplace that one wit opened up a Instagram account, Birdgraveyard (@birdgraveyard), that chronicles and celebrates the various unfortunate final resting places of the two-wheelers across California.

A spokesperson with the scooter firm told Fox: “We do not support the vandalism or destruction of any property and are disappointed when it takes place,’

‘Nor do we support the encouragement, celebration or normalization of this behavior.”

Bird appealed for people who spot damaged vehicles to report the sightings to the company directly.

Opponents of scooter rental schemes like Bird’s say the vehicles are often carelessly left in public places and they are an eyesore. Some cities in the US originally opposed Bird expanding into their streets but relented and allowed them in, due to their enviro-credentials. The Californian town of Beverly Hills, however voted to ban scooters for six months, citing safety concerns. The town’s council member, Lili Bosse, said last month: “If you imagine just walking on the sidewalk and somebody on a scooter at 15 miles an hour hits you, it can be fatal…”

SOURCES:

Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984

Chris, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/Chris_1791

“Southern Californians are tossing electric scooters into ocean, burning them: report” – Fox News, Greg Norman and Associated Press, Fox News channel/FOX News Network, LLC. (13 August 2018) http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2018/08/13/southern-californians-are-tossing-electric-scooters-into-ocean-burning-them-report.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

“Bird” – Bird https://www.bird.co/

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:Bird scooters on the sidewalk in San Jose.jpg” – Grendelkhan, Wikimedia Commons (30 May 2018) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bird_scooters_on_the_sidewalk_in_San_Jose.jpg

BA FLIGHT: Indian family allegedly discriminated against, made to leave plane due to crying child

New Delhi – VIJAY SHAH via ALIX CULBERTSON and Sky News

The UK national air carrier British Airways (BA) has been accused of racism after a family hailing from India was evicted from a flight after a child in their group would not stop crying, reported Sky News.

The child’s father claims he was subjected to ‘humiliation and racist behaviour’ and Indians are demanding a boycott of the airline, according to the report.

 

The father, AP Pathak, a civil servant, was travelling with his family from London City Airport to Berlin on the 23rd July, 2018, was placing his three-year-old son in a special child seat when the infant began to cry. Pathak’s wife began consoling the child. It was at that point that Pathak alleged a cabin crew member approached them and threatened to throw the child out of one of the plane’s windows while directly scolding the little boy.

The crew member then returned a second time where he also said the family would be ‘offloaded’ if the child refused to stop crying. The response of the unnamed crew member was said to have left the Pathaks ‘petrified’, Sky News reported.

The plane was then returned to the terminal, where security officers boarded it. The Pathaks were approached and were forced to give up their boarding passes. Another family, also Indian, were also relieved of their passes. Both families were then marched off the aircraft.

In a complaint letter about the flight written to India’s aviation minister, Suresh Prabhu, the father also claimed that the same crew member also made racial comments about ‘bloody’ Indians.

Representatives of BA have claimed the Pathaks were repeatedly asked to sit their son down and fasten his seatbelt for safety reasons, otherwise the plane would not have been able to take off.

The controversy has made headlines in the media in India, where many have urged Indians to stay away from BA. Some critics on social media described the treatment of the two families as ‘shameful’. A small number though said that BA was right in their decision to remove the Pathaks, with one saying “I don’t feel bad about this at all, we Indians don’t respect or value our Indian resources, be it trains or airplanes, this is good learning for us”. Another, identified as Khushi tweeted: “Indian parents start howling too when kids start howling – three-year-olds outside India are taught how to behave socially.”

SOURCES:

Shere Singh/Facebook.

“Indian family thrown off British Airways flight over ‘crying child’ ” – Alix Culbertson, Sky News/Sky UK (9 August 2018) https://news.sky.com/story/indian-family-thrown-off-british-airways-flight-over-crying-child-11466706

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Condor Airplane on Grey Concrete Airport · Free Stock Photo” – Pixabay via Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/condor-airplane-on-grey-concrete-airport-163792/