Headlines for Thursday, January 3, 2013
- Year: ÿþ2
- Length: 6:02 minutes (5.52 MB)
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India charges six in connection with Delhi gang rape
Amid continuing protests over last month’s brutal gang rape of a 23-year old student in New Delhi, the Indian police today formally charged six men with kidnapping, rape and murder. FSRN’s Bismillah Geelani reports.
After the public out-cry, the government set up a special fast-track court for the case. All six men accused have already been arrested and are now facing murder charges. The 23-year old rape victim died from her injuries in a Singapore hospital last week. Dharmenra Kumar, Special Commissioner of Police, indicated the government will seek the death penalty in the case.
“A special public prosecutor of eminence has been appointed to conduct the trial on a day-to-day basis. It will be our endeavor to ensure the harshest punishment in the book to the culprits.”
The government has also appointed a judicial commission to investigate the incident and a separate panel to review existing rape laws. Bismillah Geelani, FSRN, New Delhi.
Palestinians clash with Israeli forces in West Bank after raids
For the second time in three days, Israeli military forces raided a Palestinian town in the West Bank. Israel says they were searching for suspected militants. The action prompted violent clashes with local residents. Today’s raid in Jenin left several people injured. FSRN’s Ghassan Bannoura reports:
Thursday’s attack started when undercover Israeli troops entered the city and arrested Amjad Ighbariyah. The army says that Ighbariyah is with the Islamic Jihad group - a clam disputed by Jenin residents. Journalist Ra’ed Abu Baker witnessed the attack.
“The army operation was targeting Amjad Ighbariyah, despite that fact that he is just a teacher in the local public school, and works as a part-time baker at a local store due to the bad finical situation and the delay of salaries for public employees.”
When residents discovered the undercover soldiers, local youth hurled stones at them. The Israeli Army claims protesters threw firebombs as well. Armed Israeli soldiers then entered the city and fired back. At least 15 people were injured. Among them was 90-year old Amneh Hisnawi, who was attacked by military dogs at her home. Israel conducted a similar operation on Tuesday at the neighboring village of Tamoun. Ghassan Bannoura, FSRN, Bethlehem.
Rights groups ask Thailand to recognize fleeing Rohingya as refugees
More than 70 of Myanmar’s ethnic Rohingya who recently landed by boat in Thailand are being sent home by the government, despite concerns for their safety. As FSRN’s Ron Corben reports from Bangkok, human rights groups are pushing the government to provide support for the refugees often persecuted in their home country.
The refugees, which included as many as 20 children, were headed to Malaysia, but Thai authorities allowed them to come ashore January 1st because of the poor condition of their boat. The group was later deported to their home country, which is also known as Burma. This is just the latest in a string of ethnic Rohingya fleeing their homes via boat. The largely Muslim group is denied citizenship in Myanmar, rendering them stateless. In addition, clashes with local Buddhist communities in Rakhine state left dozens dead and injured last year. Human Rights Watch is calling on Thailand to halt the deportations and recognize the Rohingya as refugees. The Myanmar caucus of the regional coalition ASEAN said Thailand needed to follow Malaysia’s example and allow United Nations access to the asylum seekers. Ron Corben, FSRN, Bangkok.
Drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen kill at least 16
The US launched drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen over the past day. International media report that two strikes in the northwest tribal region of Pakistan killed Taliban commander Maulvi Nazir and 12 others. In southern Yemen, a strike killed three people, reported to be suspected Al Qaeda militants. According to Reuters, this is the fifth drone attack in Yemen within the past 10 days. It’s unclear whether the strikes also killed or injured civilians. These drone strikes come on the heels of a decision by a New York federal court yesterday supporting the Obama administration’s effort to keep under wraps legal opinions justifying drone use against terrorist suspects, including US citizens, in other countries. The ruling comes after a Freedom of Information Act request from the ACLU and the New York Times. District Court Judge Colleen McMahon did indicate that releasing the information would benefit the public debate on the controversial issue. The ACLU says it plans to appeal the decision.
Illinois lawmakers consider gun control legislation
After a federal court struck down Illinois’s concealed weapon ban last month, state lawmakers are now considering two new pieces of gun control legislation. The bills cleared committees earlier this week and are now before the House and Senate. FSRN's Evan Davis has more.
House Bill 1263 would ban the sale and possession of a range of semiautomatic or "assault" –type weapons. It also would ban attachments and grant state Police authority to license and regulate public shooting ranges. Certain semiautomatic hunting rifles are exempted. And people who own the banned weapons would be allowed to keep them, as long as they register with the state police. Another bill before the Illinois House would prohibit magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, although similar previous-ownership rules would apply. The NRA and the Illinois State Rifle Association are urging their members to oppose the bills, with the Illinois group claiming on its website that the legislation would "end gun rights completely." But after the school shooting in Connecticut, proponents for tighter gun control laws have gained momentum, especially calls to limit magazine size. Illinois lawmakers have until January 9 to pass the bills. That's when the current legislative session concludes. Evan Davis, FSRN.