Myanmar News | Rohingya Women

Women report mass rapes and looting by military as violence against Rohingya explodes in northwest Myanmar
  • Locals from U Shey Kya village allege that soldiers stormed their homes, committed mass rape, stole valuables, and burned homes, accusations dismissed as “illogical” and “propaganda” by governmental spokespeople.
  • The raids in northern Rakhine State follow coordinated attacks by an emergent group of Rohingya militants on multiple border patrol posts, leading to nine police officers’ and five soldiers’ deaths.
  • Many homes in the village were left with only women after men evacuated from fear of being indiscriminately identified as insurgents, with many fearing disregard of recently imposed political constraints on the Burmese military.

Read more:
Exclusive: Rohingya women say Myanmar soldiers raped them amid crackdown on militants” (Reuters)
Dozens of rapes reported in northern Rakhine State” (The Myanmar Times)
Calls Grow for Access to Western Myanmar in Face of Military Lockdown” (The New York Times)

(Image Credit: Ye Aung Thu/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images, via The New York Times)

France News | Migrants & Refugees

Shelterless migrants arrive on streets of Paris, leading to denunciation by French president
  • More than 6,000 migrants and refugees seeking to enter the U.K. from France have been funneled into shelters and streets around France following the forced evacuation of the “Jungle” camp in Calais.
  • Paris security officials estimate an increase in the number of unsheltered asylum-seekers from around 1,500 to 2,000-2,500 in just a few days.
  • Hundreds of tents and cardboard flooring mark attempts by migrants to shelter themselves from the cold as Paris’s shelter supply—fewer than 1,000 beds—has been far outstripped by demand in the French capital.

Read more:
More migrants pitch tents on Paris streets as Calais camp shuts” (Reuters)
Migrants: à Paris, le campement de Stalingrad s’agrandit” (Radio France Internationale, in French)
French President Vows to Clear Paris Streets of Migrant Camp” (The New York Times)

Pakistan News | Shiite Muslims

Gunmen kill at least 4 Shiite Muslims, injure others in Karachi
  • The victims were attending a religious gathering in the North Nazimabad neighborhood of Pakistan’s largest city.
  • The shooting was carried out by the Al Alami faction of the Sunni militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.
  • The attack follows the recent massacre of more than 60 police cadets by Al Alami in coordination with the Islamic State.

Read more:
Gunmen kill four at Shi’ite Muslim gathering in Karachi” (Reuters)
Five killed, several injured in sectarian attack on Nazimabad majlis” (The Express Tribune)
5 killed as gunmen target Shia gathering in Karachi” (The Nation)

U.S. Feature | Native Americans

The Dakota Access Pipeline Protests, from Land to Twitter


Source: Al Jazeera YouTube

Though having only recently had the spotlight of the national media trained on them, the Dakota Access Pipeline protests have been a months-long clash between, on the one hand, Standing Rock Sioux tribe members, indigenous and non-indigenous allies, and environmental activists, and, on the other, proponents of the nearly 1,200-mile long oil pipeline from western North Dakota to southern Illinois. Indigenous protesters have made recourse to both litigation and direct action in an attempt to halt construction on a pipeline slated to come within a half-mile of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. The protests have drawn both state and federal intervention, with the National Guard having been brought to protest sites, violent clashes between police and protesters, a legal tango between the Obama administration and district court judges, and increasing pressure on the U.S. presidential candidates to take a stand on the issue.

At issue is what activists say has been a failure on the government’s part to engage Native communities, conduct a thorough environmental and cultural impact assessment ahead of the pipeline’s construction, confront tribe members’ concerns about the potential for water contamination, and adhere to laws regarding the preservation of sacred cultural sites. The approach of the bitter North Dakotan winter has punctuated current protests with a question mark as activists and advocates seek to perpetuate the recently gained media momentum and mobilize public opinion—and, by extension, political pressure—against the pipeline’s construction.

Read:
A History of Native Americans Protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline(Mother Jones)
What to Know About the Dakota Access Pipeline Protests” (TIME)
The Standing Rock Sioux ‘know what they’re doing’ in North Dakota” (Public Radio International)

Additional:
Tension Between Police and Standing Rock Protesters Reaches Boiling Point” (The New York Times, October 2016)
Tribe Says Police Are Violating The Civil Rights Of Dakota Access Pipeline Opponents” (The Huffington Post, October 2016)
Dakota Pipeline Company Buys Ranch Near Sioux Protest Site, Records Show” (NBC News, September 2016)
The Legal Case for Blocking the Dakota Access Pipeline” (The Atlantic, September 2016)

(Image Credit: James MacPherson/AP, via TIME)

U.S. News | Sikhs

Assailants face hate crime charges following attack on Sikh man in California
  • The attackers had thrown beer cans at Maan Singh Khalsa‘s car in Richmond, California, and then physically attacked him, including knocking off his turban, forcing his head down, and cutting more than 10 inches of his hair.
  • Unshorn hair is a religious mandate for observant Sikhs, and the specific targeting of his hair led to the hate crime designation.
  • The attack follows years of similar targeting of Sikhs in the U.S., with many mistaken for Muslims and subject to violence because of their religious wear.

Read more:
2 Face Hate Crime Charges in Attack on Sikh Man in California” (The New York Times)
Two men charged with hate crime in attack on Sikh in California” (Reuters)
Sikhs under attack” (CNN)

(Image Credit: The Sikh Coalition, via The New York Times)

U.S. News | Somali Muslims

Muslims of Somali descent targeted in Kansas bomb plot
  • Three men were arrested on charges of domestic terrorism after a plot to bomb an apartment complex in Garden City, Kansas housing a large number of immigrant Somali Muslims.
  • The conspirators went by the name “The Crusaders” and had come under surveillance during an eight-month investigation by the FBI.
  • The failed plot comes amidst a wave of anti-Muslim attacks in the U.S., with 2015 and 2016 having had the highest number on record.

Read more:
Attack on Somalis in Kansas thwarted, feds say” (CNN)
3 Held in Bomb Plot Against Somalis in Kansas” (The New York Times)
Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes Reach ‘Levels Not Surpassed’ Since 9/11: Analysis” (NBC News)

(Image Credit: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters, via NBC News)

France & U.K. News | Refugees & Migrants

France and U.K. resettle asylum-seekers in preparation for dismantlement of Calais camp
  • The government—with the help of more than 10,000 refugee aid agencies—has begun moving an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 asylum-seekers out of the Calais camp (known as the “Jungle”) and into “reception centers” throughout the country.
  • The UK has committed to accepting unaccompanied children across the border, although local agencies have expressed concern about a lack of planning to facilitate the transfer process.
  • The asylum-seekers are expected to spend an average of two months in the centers under the supervision of social workers before being again relocated while their asylum applications are processed, though some report having languished in limbo for longer.

Read more:
Migrants begin new life outside France’s ‘Jungle’ camp” (Reuters)
Calais migrant camp will be razed soon: French minister” (AFP via The Local)
Children in Calais Jungle to arrive in UK ‘in days’” (BBC)

(Image Credit: Regis Duvignau/Reuters)


 

Vietnam News | Writer-Activists

Vietnamese government detains blogger following post listing deaths under police custody
  • Blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh (“Me Nam,” or “Mother Mushroom”) was arrested on charges of propagandizing against the state, which carries a sentence of up to 12 years in prison.
  • Quynh’s posts included a report on more than 30 civilians who had died in police custody, which roiled a government largely intolerant of criticism.
  • She had previously been arrested in 2009 for receiving funding from Viet Tan, an activist group based in California.

Read more:
Vietnam Arrests Mother Mushroom, a Top Blogger, for Criticizing Government” (The New York Times)
Vietnam detains blogger after police custody deaths post” (Reuters)
Dissident blogger faces prison in Vietnam” (Deutsche Welle)

(Image Credit: Jonas Gratzer/Civil Rights Defenders, via The New York Times)

Global News | Uyghur Muslims

Uyghur activist wins prestigious human rights award
  • Chinese scholar Ilham Tohti, famed as a moderate bridge between Uyghur and Han Chinese cultures, was awarded the Martin Ennals Award, a human rights prize awarded by a jury including representatives from organizations such as Amnesty International.
  • Tohti is a prominent advocate for Uyghur rights and visibility, including drawing attention to the oppression of Uyghurs by the Chinese government in Xinjiang.
  • The Chinese government sentenced Tohti to life in prison in 2014, accusing him of ties to terrorism and promoting dissidence in the country.

Read more:
Ilham Tohti 2016 Martin Ennals Award Laureate for Human Rights Defenders (Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders)
Ilham Tohti, Uighur imprisoned for life by China, wins major human rights prize” (The Guardian)
Chinese Uighur wins prestigious rights award” (Reuters)

(Image Credit: Andy Wong/AP, via The Guardian)

Mexico News | Haitian Migrants

End of special immigration protections diminishes hopes of Haitians looking to cross into U.S. from Mexico
  • Thousands of Haitians have become trapped in Mexico as an ongoing migration crisis has been exacerbated by the recent destruction wrought by Hurricane Matthew in their home country.
  • The U.S. recently ended special protections for Haitian migrants in the country in place since the 2010 earthquake that killed more than 200,000, though activists have begun pressuring the government to renew them in light of the most recent natural disaster.
  • Monitors estimate as many as 40,000—many coming from an economically distraught Brazil—may be en route throughout the Americas as they pay upwards of thousands of dollars to pass through the most legally treacherous parts.

Read more:
Far from Hurricane Matthew, a Haitian crisis flares in Tijuana” (Reuters)
Haitians, After Perilous Journey, Find Door to U.S. Abruptly Shut” (The New York Times)
Haitians throng at U.S.-Mexico border despite deportation policy” (AP via CBS News)

(Image Credit: Adam Ferguson/The New York Times)

Poland News | Women

Plans for near-total abortion ban fail following massive protests in Poland
  • The measure was defeated 352-58 after as many as 100,000 women dressed in black took to the streets across the country for “Black Monday” protests.
  • Pushed by the conservative Law and Justice party (PIS) and the Catholic church, the proposed law would have limited legal abortion to instances where the woman’s life was in danger, with women and doctors both facing imprisonment for conducting abortions.
  • Poland currently has some of the strictest limitations on women’s reproductive rights in Europe, with abortion allowed only in cases of rape, incest, danger to the woman’s health, or identification of serious fetal abnormality.

Read more:
Poland’s parliament rejects near-total ban on abortion after protests” (The Guardian)
Black Monday: Polish women strike against abortion ban” (BBC)
After mass protests, Poland won’t back total abortion ban” (AP via The Washington Post)

(mage Credit: Czarek Sokolowski/Associated Press, via The Washington Post)

Kuwait News | Americans

Militant rams truck into car carrying Americans in Kuwait
  • An Egyptian national rammed a truck into a car carrying five Americans, with the Kuwaiti state news agency reporting the assailant had been carrying explosives.
  • While the Americans were unhurt, the attacker was transported to the hospital after sustaining injuries.
  • Authorities have claimed to have thwarted multiple attacks by the Islamic State in the country in the last few months after the deadliest militant attack in decades took place in a Shiite mosque in 2015.

Read more:
Kuwait arrests suspected Islamist after truck attack on Americans” (Reuters)
Kuwait arrests Egyptian with links to Islamic State after attack on US nationals” (Egypt Independent)
Kuwait arrests Egyptian after failed suicide attack on 5 U.S. soldiers” (AP via Global News)