Tag Archives: Antony Blinken

US Reportedly Working to Stop ICC From Issuing Arrest Warrant for Netanyahu

“There is absolutely no reason for Biden to be involved in this,” said one analyst. “But once again, Biden steps in to protect Netanyahu from the consequences of the war crimes he commits.”

By Jake Johnson. Published 4-28-2024 by Common Dreams

Screenshot: YouTube

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly growing increasingly concerned that the International Criminal Court is preparing to issue arrest warrants for him and other top government officials for committing war crimes in the Gaza Strip.

The Times of Israel reported Sunday that the Israeli government, in partnership with the U.S., is “making a concerted effort to head off” possible arrest warrants from the ICC, which first launched its war crimes investigation in the occupied Palestinian territories in 2021.

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UN Warns of ‘Catastrophic’ Imminent Escalation in Sudan

Warring factions in North Darfur state must “avoid locating military installations within or near densely populated areas, including towns and camps for internally displaced people,” said one U.N. official.

By Julia Conley. Published 4-26-2024 by Common Dreams

Sudanese soldiers. Photo: ITSS Verona/Public domain

The United Nations’ top humanitarian affairs officials on Friday called for an immediate deescalation of hostilities in Sudan, where rival factions in the military government have been fighting for a year and where an attack on the city of El Fasher is reportedly imminent.

About 800,000 people in the city, the capital of North Darfur state, are in “extreme and immediate danger,” U.N. aid operations director, Edem Wosornu, told the U.N. Security Council earlier this week, as she reported that clashes between the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a paramilitary group, and the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) are nearing El Fasher.

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What does a state’s secretary of state do? Most run elections, a once-routine job facing increasing scrutiny

By John J. Martin, University of Virginia. Published 2-29-2024 by The Conversation

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger with Governor Brian Kemp. Photo: Brad Raffensperger/Facebook

They may be the most important government officials you can’t name. Their decisions have the potential to alter election results. Scholars have referred to them as the “guardians of the democratic process.”

Who are these unknown, but essential, officials?

State secretaries of state.

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Despite Human Rights Concerns, El Salvador’s Bukele Reelected in Landslide

“Human rights violations have been constant during the Bukele administration,” said one activist. “We can only expect it to continue growing.”

By Brett Wilkins. Published 2-5-2024 by Common Dreams

Donald Trump and Nayib Bukele in 2019, Photo: Public Domain

As right-wing Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele on Sunday night declared victory in his bid for a constitutionally proscribed second term, critics underscored the human rights costs of a state of emergency that’s sacrificed civil liberties in the name of security.

Although votes are still being counted, there was no doubt on Monday of Bukele’s landslide reelection to another five-year term. The self-described “world’s coolest dictator” claimed to have won 85% of the vote, a figure roughly equal to exit polling figures published by Salvadoran and international media.

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Human Rights Watch to Mexico: Don’t Help US ‘Tear Apart’ Its Asylum System

The group sent a letter to the Mexican president Thursday asking him not to agree to any deal that would see more asylum seekers expelled to Mexico without having their cases considered.

By Olivia Rosane. Published 1-19-2024 by Common Dreams

Asylum seekers arrive in Tijuana, Mexico in 2018. Photo: Daniel Arauz/flickr/CC

Human Rights Watch sent a letter to Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Thursday asking him not to broker any deal with the United States that would allow more asylum seekers to be sent to Mexico without due process.

The letter, also addressed to Secretary of Foreign Relations of Mexico Alicia Bárcena Ibarra, was sent one day before the pair were set to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington, D.C.

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‘Let Gaza Live!’: A Month Into Israeli War, Massive US Protests Demand Cease-Fire

“We came here to let our voices be heard,” said one demonstrator in Washington, D.C. “Every human is entitled to basic human rights, not killing kids, not torturing people.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 11-4-2023 by Common Dreams

Protesters marching in New York City. Photo: PRO_NYC/X

Huge crowds of protesters filled the streets of Washington, D.C. and other U.S. cities on Saturday to demand a cease-fire in Israel’s war on Hamas, which has killed and wounded thousands of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip over the past month.

“We came here to let our voices be heard and our hearts and hoping we’ll change the way people see this conflict,” 70-year-old Manar Ghanayem told The Washington Post in the nation’s capitol, where demonstrators gathered in and around Freedom Plaza.

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US State Dept. Officials Told Not to Use Terms ‘De-Escalation/Cease-Fire’ About Gaza

“This is unconscionable and will leave an indelible stain,” said one critic, who urged “resignations and collective action” to protest the reported policy.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 10-13-2023 by Common Dreams

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Photo: GPA Photo Archive/flickr/CC

As Israel on Friday bombarded civilians in Gaza and prepared for a ground invasion in response to Hamas’ recent attack, U.S. State Department leadership reportedly instructed officials not to publicly use some terms that would advocate for less violence.

According to HuffPost, which reviewed official emails, “State Department staff wrote that high-level officials do not want press materials to include three specific phrases: ‘de-escalation/cease-fire,’ ‘end to violence/bloodshed,’ and ‘restoring calm.'”

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‘Frightening Escalation’: Palestinian Rights Group Says Director Detained by Israeli Agency

A human rights attorney argued that the Biden administration’s refusal to condemn Israel’s smear of leading Palestinian organizations as terrorists “has led to this day.”

By Jessica Corbett  Published 8-21-2022 by Common Dreams

Defense for Children International-Palestine said that director general Khaled Quzmar was detained by the Israeli security agency known as Shin Bet on August 21, 2022. (Photo: DCI-P/Twitter)

Human rights advocates around the world responded with alarm after one of the Palestinian groups targeted by Israeli officials announced Israel’s security agency detained its leader for a couple of hours Sunday.

Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCI-P) said in a series of tweets that director general Khaled Quzmar was in the custody of the agency, known as Shin Bet or Shabak, “as Israeli authorities again escalate attacks” against it and other civil society groups. Continue reading

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Calls to ‘Stop the Deal’ as US Military Contractor Moves to Buy NSO Group

“NSO Group should not be rewarded for its facilitation of human rights violations and dangerous business practices with a lucrative offer from a U.S. defense contractor,” said one campaigner.

By Kenny Stancil  Published 6-14-2022 by Common Dreams

Photo: NSO Group/Facebook

Digital rights advocates sounded the alarm on Tuesday following reports that U.S. military contractor L3Harris Tech plans to acquire NSO Group, a private Israeli firm widely condemned for selling surveillance technology to repressive governments across the globe.

NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware has been used to crack down on dissidents and journalists, worsening “human rights abuses around the world, from Palestine to El Salvador to Poland,” advocacy group Access Now said in a statement urging U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration to “stop the deal.” Continue reading

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‘Fox News Model’ Fomenting Divisions Within Democratic Societies, Global Watchdog Warns

“The ‘Fox News-ization’ of the media poses a fatal danger for democracies because it undermines the basis of civil harmony and tolerant public debate,” said the leader of Reporters Without Borders.

By Kenny Stancil   Published 5-3-2022 by Common Dreams

Members of Truth Tuesdays and Rise and Resist gathered at the first weekly “Fox Lies Democracy Dies” protest outside the NewsCorp Building in New York City on November 23, 2021. Photo: Diane Greene Lent/flickr/CC

A global press freedom watchdog group warned Tuesday in its annual report that media polarization within and between countries—driven by the rapid spread of right-wing disinformation on social media and the proliferation of pro-authoritarian propaganda—is “fueling increased tension” and escalating the likelihood of violence.

The 20th World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) assesses the state of journalism around the globe. The 2022 edition details the “disastrous effects of news and information chaos”—the product of “a globalized and unregulated online information space that encourages fake news and propaganda.” Continue reading

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