Daily Archives: August 5, 2016

Japan heightens security alert, protests latest DPRK missile launch

People's Daily Online

People’s Daily Online

(Xinhua) 10:04, August 03, 2016

TOKYO, Aug. 3 — Japan on Wednesday condemned a missile launch by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and lodged an official protest with Pyongyang saying the launch was in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions.

Defense Minister Gen Nakatani told a press briefing that what was believed to be a Nodong medium-range class ballistic missile flew for around 1,000 kilometers and landed in seas off Oga Peninsula, to the west of Akita Prefecture, in Northern Honshu.

Nakatani said that the missile landed within what Japan describes as its exclusive economic zone in the Sea of Japan and said his agency is currently “analyzing the situation.”

The defense minister also said that his agency and the coast guard were currently determining whether any damage had been caused to aircraft vessels in the vicinity.

“The launch is in defiance of clear UN Security Council resolutions and is an extremely problematic act from the standpoint of securing the safety of aircraft and vessels at sea,”the Japanese government was quoted as saying in a statement.

Nakatani ordered the nation’s Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to be on high alert following the launch, which is believed to have taken place from an area in the South Hwanghae province which lies to the southwest of the DPRK capital Pyongyang and is the first such kind to have landed in what Japan believes to be its territorial waters.

The spate of recent launches, government officials here have said, have been a show of defiance against UN Security Council resolutions slapped on the DPRK for its ongoing nuclear and ballistic missile technology programs which are banned under the council’s resolutions.

The DPRK in addition to a number of missile launches and attempts has also conducted four nuclear test which have also been resolutely condemned by Japan and the UN Security Council.

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Chicago releases 'shocking' video of police shooting unarmed teen

CHICAGO— Authorities released disturbing video footage Friday showing the moments before and after Chicago police fatally shot an unarmed 18-year-old car theft suspect in the back.

Shortly before the release of the footage captured by police cameras, the head of the city agency tasked with investigating police-involved shootings and accusations of major misconduct by Chicago Police officers described the footage of the encounter with the teen, Paul O’Neal, as “shocking and disturbing.” The officers can be heard cursing at O’Neal as he lays lifeless on the ground, bleeding from his back.

“Please bear in mind that this video material, as shocking and disturbing as it is, is not the only evidence to be gathered and analyzed when conducting a fair and thorough assessment of the conduct of police officers in performing their duties,” Sharon Fairley, the chief administrator of Independent Police Review Authority said in a statement. “To that end, IPRA is conducting a full and thorough investigation of the entire incident including the use of force, the pursuit, body camera usage and all other possible policy and procedural violations that occurred during the incident.”

Superintendent Eddie Johnson quickly relieved three officers of their police powers after the department’s preliminary investigation concluded the officers violated department policy during their encounter with O’Neal, who was unarmed and driving a stolen Jaguar at the time of the incident.

O’Neal allegedly sideswiped a Chicago police vehicle and another car parked nearby before he took off running from police. Two police officers shot at O’Neal while he was still in the vehicle and a third officer fired at the suspect, fatally wounding him, as he tried to flee the scene.

In the graphic videos, police can be seen shooting at the stolen car and giving chase to the suspect and firing several shots at him as he tries to run through a residential neighborhood on the city’s South Side.

In one of the videos, one of the responding officer’s responds, “They shot at us too, right?”

Another officer, who fired his weapon at the suspect in the stolen car, responded: “He almost hit my partners, I (expletive) shot at him.” The same officer can later be heard grousing that he’s going to be put on desk duty for 30 days, as the department requires anytime an officer is involved in a shooting. He also asks another officer: “Who was shooting in the alley?”

In a second police body camera video, officers can be seen handcuffing O’Neal as he lies face down on the ground with blood saturating his shirt. One officer placed his boot atop O’Neal’s leg as the teen was cuffed.

In a police dashcam video, one officer can be seen firing off several rounds at the stolen vehicle as it speeds down the residential street. Another dashcam video captures the moment the stolen vehicle hits the squad car.

The release of the video footage comes as the department is in the midst of a Justice Department civil rights investigation, launched last year following the court-ordered release of dashcam video that showed a white officer shoot a black teen 16 times on a city street. The officer in that incident, Jason Van Dyke, awaits trial on first-degree murder charges for the death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

Following widespread outrage over the McDonald video, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel vowed quicker dissemination of videos of police-involved shootings and set guidelines for the release of all police shooting videos within 60 days of an incident.

The video released Friday did not include footage from the perspective of the officer who fatally shot O’Neal as he tried to run away from the scene, because the officer’s body camera did not capture it. Police said they are trying to determine why the body camera was not working at the time of the incident.

Johnson, the police superintendent, invited the family of O’Neal and several activists to view the videos on Friday morning before they were released to the public.

William Calloway, a Chicago activist who was among those that viewed the video, told reporters he was overwhelmed by the images.

“I’m just tired of seeing us get killed,” Calloway said.

Johnson said in a statement the department “will be guided by the facts and should wrongdoing be discovered; individuals will be held accountable for their actions.”

“The shooting of Mr. O’Neal has raised a lot of questions about whether departmental policies were followed,” Johnson added. “While IPRA conducts a thorough investigation, we will not wait to look for ways we can learn from this incident.”

The relatively quick release of video from the Chicago incident comes after video of police-involved shooting incidents taken by witnesses in Minnesota and Louisiana last month set off days of protests around the country.

The killings of Philando Castille and Alton Sterling also led to retaliatory ambushes against police officers in which five officers in Dallas and three in Baton Rouge were killed.

“As with every investigation, where we believe information can be released to the public without jeopardizing the investigation, we do so, even if it is before the 60-day timeline outlined in the city’s transparency policy,” Fairley said. “We have made that determination here, so we are releasing this information that we understand is of utmost public interest.”

Follow USA TODAY Chicago correspondent Aamer Madhani on Twitter: @AamerISmad

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Answer – VP/HR – Situation of the inhabitants of the Choucha refugee camp – E-004573/2016

The EU is aware of the situation in Choucha and the very difficult living conditions and uncertain legal situation of the people living there. The EU has been active through both its diplomatic contacts and financial assistance to help find solutions for vulnerable people lacking sufficient protection in Tunisia.

The EU has been consistently encouraging the Tunisian government to adopt a legal framework providing for the protection of refugees, migrants and asylum-seekers in the framework of its political dialogue as well as in successive ENP(1) progress reports(2). The EU also provides financing and technical assistance to assist Tunisia’s ongoing efforts in this area via various projects funded under EU instruments.

Close coordination on this specific issue is assured with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and EU implementing partners, which have helped people return to their countries and resettled others since the camp’s closure and, actively work on solutions for the remaining people. The EU, along with some Member States, supports non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and relevant organisations — the IOM and the Red Cross — also through regional initiatives such as the ‘START’ project (Stabilising at-risk communities and enhancing migration management to enable smooth transitions in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya) and the newly launched Regional Development and Protection Programme.

The situation of refugees, migrants and asylum-seekers in Tunisia and across the region remains a major concern for the EU. Areas of further EU assistance, within the framework of the Valletta Conference on Migration held in November 2015, are under identification under the North Africa window of the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.

(1) European Neighbourhood Policy.
(2) See e.g. p. 4, 8 and 13 of the 2014 Progress Report (available in French at: http://eeas.europa.eu/enp/pdf/2015/tunisie-enp-report-2015_en.pdf).

Tackling human trafficking is a global concern

Guatemala and Zimbabwe have joined global efforts to raise awareness on the plight of the victims of human trafficking. Photo: UNODC5 August 2016 – In recent days, two countries in different parts of the world have stepped up their efforts to address human trafficking in their respective national contexts. The worldwide Blue Heart Campaign against Trafficking in Persons welcomed its two newest partners, as Guatemala and Zimbabwe joined global efforts to raise awareness on the plight of the victims of this crime.

In Guatemala, the Blue Heart Campaign was launched in the past days at the National Palace, in the country’s capital, with the attendance of Government representatives and the diplomatic community. During the official launching ceremony, attendees proceeded to sign the Blue Heart Pact, highlighting their commitment to tackle human trafficking. A parallel launch took place in the city of La Antigua, aiming to promote the full involvement of local municipalities in the activities carried out in the context of the campaign.

The Government of Zimbabwe, for its part, launched in the country’s capital, Harare, its Trafficking in Persons National Plan of Action (NAPLAC), while also adopting the Blue Heart Campaign, coinciding with the recent commemoration of the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.

During his keynote address, Emmerson Mnangagwa, Vice President of Zimbabwe, acknowledged the technical support provided to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Trafficking in Persons by UNODC, the International Organization for Migration, and the Secretariat of the Southern Africa Development Community in the development of the NAPLAC. He also discussed the significance of the World Day as one to raise awareness on the plight of victims of trafficking in persons and to promote and protect their rights.

The Blue Heart Campaign is a global initiative to combat human trafficking and raise awareness around its impact on society. To date, it has been adopted by 16 countries, and seeks to encourage involvement and inspire action to help stop this crime through awareness raising efforts and online promotion, including arranging a variety of art, culture and sporting events. It also builds political support to fight the criminals behind trafficking.

Further information:

Blue Heart Campaign against Human Trafficking

UNODC’s work on Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling

UNODC in Central America and the Caribbean

UNODC in Southern Africa

Congo’s Political Crisis: What is the Way Forward?

While a presidential election was initially scheduled for November 27 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Congolese government and election officials now state flatly that the election will not occur. President Joseph Kabila is constitutionally bound to step down after his second term, which is near completion. But if elections do not happen, it is clear that Kabila will attempt to serve until another round of elections are held. A remarkably unified opposition has called for adherence to the Congo’s constitution and holding to the prescribed election schedule and President Kabila’s departure from office at the end of his present term. This deep disagreement means that the DRC could be headed back into a spiral of violence and war, both of which it knows all too well. The DRC’s current political environment is also generating other questions about democracy promotion across Africa and the U.S. role in the region.

On August 15, the Africa Security Initiative, part of the Brookings Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence, will host an event focused on the DRC and the broader region. Thomas Perriello, President Barack Obama’s special envoy to the Africa Great Lakes region, will share his thoughts and detail his experiences there. Special Envoy Perriello will be joined by Anthony Gambino, former USAID mission director for the Democratic Republic of Congo. Michael O’Hanlon, Brookings senior fellow, will moderate the discussion.

Following conversation, panelists will take audience questions.