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)