Showing posts with label Government Crime. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Government Crime. Show all posts

September 7, 2016

Duterte Cursing DPL’s Without Penalty, Until Obama!/Drugs?Contract Out on U:’Duterte’



 Duterte foul mouth Gets Him to pay a price this time with US President Obama


 US President Barack Obama has cancelled a meeting with controversial Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who had earlier called him a "son of a whore".
Mr Duterte was responding to the US president's promise to raise the issue of drug-related extra-judicial killings in the Philippines at their meeting.
The Philippine leader, known for his colorful language, has insulted prominent figures before, but has never said sorry or expressed regrets but this time it has had diplomatic consequences.
He has now said he regrets the remark.
"While the immediate cause was my strong comments to certain press questions that elicited concern and distress, we also regret that it came across as a personal attack on the US president," a statement by his office said. 
 In the past, President Duterte has called Pope Francis the "son of a whore", US Secretary of State John Kerry "crazy" and recently referred to the US ambassador to the Philippines a "gay son of a whore".
Both he and President Obama are in Laos for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit.

Duterte's apology: Analysis by Karishma Vaswani in Laos

Mr Duterte has been forced to apologise for offensive comments before, but this is the first time he has had to confront the reality of his outlandish behaviour on the international stage
It is the president's first overseas trip - an opportunity that many leaders would have used to cement ties with neighbouring countries and superpowers like China and the US. 
Instead Mr Duterte has spent the morning dampening down the controversy he created. 
At the heart of this is the fact that Mr Duterte isn't used to being told what to do; and that he likes to display machismo and bravado, which plays well to his domestic audience. 
But when he sits down for serious discussions with his Asean counterparts over the next couple of days, they'll be looking for Asian discretion and subtlety, not diplomacy Duterte-style. 

How the row escalated

Mr Obama, who flew to Laos after attending the G20 meeting in Hangzhou, China, had been set to raise concerns about human rights abuses in the Philippines. 
But speaking in Manila on Monday before he left for Laos, Mr Duterte bristled at the suggestion, saying the Philippines "has long ceased to be a colony".
"Putang ina, I will swear at you in that forum," he then said, using a Tagalog phrase for "son of a whore" or "son of a bitch".

US President Obama arrives in Vientiane, Laos, on 6 September 2016Image copyrightAP
Image captionBarack Obama is the first sitting US president to visit Laos
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte arrives for the Asean summit in Laos on 6 September 2016Image copyrightAP
Image captionThis is Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's first overseas trip - and already controversial

Mr Obama initially appeared to play down the insult, calling his Philippine counterpart a "colourful character" and saying he had asked his aides to work out if this is "a time where we can have some constructive, productive conversations".
His aides later cancelled the talks. 
Mr Obama's last scheduled trip to Asia as president has not been without incident: he was also caught up in a protocol row with hosts China over his arrival in Hangzhou.

Philippine police in a raid on suspected drug smugglers in Manila on 5 September 2016Image copyrightAFP
Image captionRodrigo Duterte's tough talk on crime helped him to a landslide victory in May's elections

In his comments on Monday, President Duterte pledged to continue with his anti-drugs campaign that has led to the killing of 2,400 suspected drug dealers and users in the Philippines since he took office in June.
"Many will die, plenty will be killed until the last pusher is out of the streets... until the [last] drug manufacturer is killed we will continue," he said.
  • Duterte accuses judges of drugs, He put out links
  • The woman who kills drug dealers for a living:
The UN has repeatedly condemned Mr Duterte's policies as a violation of human rights. In August, two UN human rights experts said Mr Duterte's directive for police and the public to kill suspected drug traffickers amounted to "incitement to violence and killing, a crime under international law".
This round of Asean talks comes against the backdrop of tensions over China's territorial ambitions in the South China Sea - the Philippines and the US are key players in that debate.


The Philippines is in the midst of a brutal war on drugs sanctioned by the controversial President Rodrigo Duterte, which has seen almost 2,000 killings in a matter of weeks. The BBC’s Jonathan Head explores the country’s dark underbelly of dealers and assassins through the story of one woman trapped in a chilling predicament.

When you meet an assassin who has killed six people, you don't expect to encounter a diminutive, nervous young woman carrying a baby. "My first job was two years ago in this province nearby. I felt really scared and nervous because it was my first time.



  • Often called "ice" or "crystal meth" in the West, Shabu is the term used for a pure and potent form of amphetamine in the Philippines and other parts of Asia.
  • Shabu costs about 1,000 Philippines peso per gram ($22; £16)
  • It can be smoked, injected, snorted or dissolved in water
  • The Philippines is home to industrial-scale labs producing tones of the drug - which is then distributed throughout Asia. 
  • Mr Duterte describes it as a pandemic, afflicting millions of his fellow citizens. It is also very profitable. He has listed 150 senior officials, officers and judges linked to the trade. Five police generals, he says, are kingpins of the business. But it is those at the lowest levels of the trade who are targeted by the death squads.
According to the police more than 1,900 people have been killed in drug-related incidents since he took office on 30 June. Of those, they say, 756 were killed by the police, all, they say, while resisting arrest. The remaining deaths are, officially, under investigation. 
In practice most will remain unexplained. Nearly all those whose bloodied bodies are discovered every night in the slums of Manila and other cities are the poor - pedicab drivers, casual labourers, the unemployed. Often, found next to them are cardboard signs warning others not to get involved in drugs. This is a war being fought almost exclusively in the poorest parts of the country. People like Maria are used as its agents. 

Duterte's war on drugs 

Since 1 July 

1,900
drug deaths
  • 10,153 drug dealers arrested 
  • 1,160 deaths still being investigated 
  • 756 suspects killed by police 
  • 300 officers suspected of involvement 
AFP
But it is a popular war. In Tondo, the shantytown area next to Manila port, most of the residents applaud the president's tough campaign. They blamed the "shabu" scourge for rising crime, and for destroying lives, although some worried that the campaign was getting out of hand, and that innocent victims were being caught up in it. 
One of those being hunted by the death squads is Roger - again not his real name.
He became addicted to shabu as a young man, he says, while working as a casual labourer. Like many addicts he began dealing to support his habit, as it was a more comfortable job than labouring. He worked a lot with corrupt police officers, sometimes taking portions of the drug hauls they confiscated in raids to sell.


Roger, not his real name, is a drug dealer and an addict.Image copyrightJONATHAN HEAD

Now he is on the run, moving from place to place every few days to avoid being tracked down and killed.
"Every day, every hour, I cannot get the fear out of my chest. It's really tiring and scary to hide all the time. You don't know if the person right in front of you will inform on you, or if the one facing you might be a killer. It's hard to sleep at night. One small noise, I wake up. And the hardest part of all is I don't know who to trust, I don't know which direction to go every day, looking for a place to hide."


A woman sweeping the front of her house in Happyland a dump site in Tondo, ManilaImage copyrightCARLO GABUCO

He does feel guilt about his role in the trade of this destructive drug.
"I do truly believe that I have committed sins. Big time. I have done many awful things. I've wronged a lot people because they've become addicted, because I'm one of the many who sells them drugs. But what I can say is that not everyone who uses drugs is capable of committing those crimes, of stealing, and eventually killing. I'm also an addict but I don't kill. I'm an addict but I don't steal."
He has sent his children to live with his wife's family in the countryside, to try to stop them being exposed to the drug epidemic. He estimates that between 30% and 35% of people in his neighbourhood are addicts.


A girl sleeping on the side of the street in Parola Tondo Area, Manila CityImage copyrightCARLO GABUCO

So when President Duterte stated several times during his presidential campaign that he would kill drug dealers, throw their bodies into Manila Bay, did Roger not take that threat seriously?
"Yes, but I thought he would go after the big syndicates who manufacture the drugs, not the small time dealers like me. I wish I could turn the clock back. But it is too late for me. I cannot surrender, because if I do the police will probably kill me."


Many families living inside a warehouse beside a dumpsite in Happyland Tondo, Manila.
Maria, not her real name, now carries out contract killings as part of the government-sanctioned war on drugs.

She is part of a hit team that includes three women, who are valued because they can get close to their victims without arousing the same suspicion a man would.

Since President Duterte was elected, and urged citizens and police to kill drug dealers who resisted arrest, Maria has killed five more people, shooting them 
all in the head. 

Maria, not her real name, is an assassin for hire.
She is part of a hit team that includes three women, who are valued because they can get close to their victims without arousing the same suspicion a man would
Maria also regrets the choice she has made. 
"I feel guilty and it is hard on my nerves. I don't want the families of those I have killed to come after me."
She worries about what her children will think. "I do not want them to come back at us and say that they got to live because we killed for money." Already her older boy asks questions about how she and her husband earn so much. 
She has one more hit, one more contract to fulfill, and would like that to be her last. But her boss has threatened to kill anyone who leaves the team. She feels trapped. She asks her priest for forgiveness at confession in church, but does not dare to tell him what she does. 


Homes in Tondo, ManilaImage copyrightCARLO GABUCO

Does she feel any justification carrying out President Duterte's campaign to terrorise the drug trade into submission?
"We only talk about the mission, how to carry it out," she says. "When it is finished we never talk about it again."

But she wrings her hands as she speaks and keeps her eyes shut tight, pursued by thoughts she does not want to share
.
Maria and her husband come from an impoverished neighbourhood of Manila and had no regular income before agreeing to become contract killers. They earn up to 20,000 Philippines pesos ($430; £327) per hit, which is shared between three or four of them. That is a fortune for low-income Filipinos, but now it looks as if Maria has no way out.

President Duterte came to power promising to crack down on crime and drugs

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte attends the 115th Police Service Anniversary at the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Manila on August 17, 2016.

 Contract killing is nothing new in the Philippines. But the hit squads have never been as busy as they are now. President Duterte has sent out an unambiguous message.
Ahead of his election, he promised to kill 100,000 criminals in his first six months in office.
And he has warned drug dealers in particular: "Do not destroy my country, because I will kill you." 
Last weekend he reiterated that blunt view, as he defended the extrajudicial killings of suspected criminals.
"Do the lives of 10 of these criminals really matter? If I am the one facing all this grief, would 100 lives of these idiots mean anything to me?”   

Originally posted on .bbc.com/news/world-asia. Edited for and by adamfoxie*blog









January 22, 2016

When your Government Kills you to save you money: Flint, Michigan




                                                                       


Free Press reporter Katrease Stafford spent Thursday talking to residents of Flint to find out how they are dealing with the city's water crisis, which has left them without potable water because of lead and other contamination in the lines that resulted when the city was switched from Detroit water to water drawn from the Flint River. It's a crisis that is drawing increased national attention and has put Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder in the cross hairs of the controversy.

My wife has lupus. I don’t want her bathing in this.
 Thirsty Governor? Here this is for you!
Wiggins, 62, has lived in Flint for more than 50 years and said he's floored and disgusted with the handling of the city's water crisis. Wiggins was one of dozens who came to get a case of water, filters and lead testing kits at the fire station on Martin Luther King Blvd. in Flint Thursday.

"I quit drinking this water a long time ago," he said. "Why do we have to go through this? Everyone has to bathe in this. You can't use bottled water. It's not enough with them only giving out one at a time. My wife has lupus. I don't want her bathing in this. We don't want that stuff seeping into our skin. I mean, what type of affect does it really have on us?"

Wiggins said he's concerned for his sick wife, elderly mother and several other seniors who are unable to drive to get free water.

"What about them?" Wiggins said. "We've got a lot of elderly, home-bound people who can't get out. Who's helping them? The fact we even have to do this doesn't make sense."

Ready to pack up and leave

Maxine Perry is filled with dread and terror whenever she thinks about how long her family ingested potentially contaminated water at her Flint home.  
"We're just doing the best we can, all things considering," Perry, 59, said, as she watched a National Guard member distribute water at a Flint fire station. "But I'm about ready to pack up and leave. I am so terrified. I'm terrified for my children and their children. Just absolutely terrified."

Perry, who has lived in Flint for more than 40 years, has four children and said she can't help but worry about the impact the water has had on them and others throughout the city.


Michigan State Police and National Guard members gave Flint residents bottles water, filters and lead testing kits Jan. 21. Katrease Stafford Detroit Free Press

"You want to know the truly sad part of all of this?" Perry asked. "It's really our children. We don't yet fully know how this will change them. ... I'm not going to say Flint failed us, but the government failed us. We just don't know what to do. ... It's just not right."

"Someone is finally trying to help us"

Jaquetta Avery had a feeling something might have been wrong with her water when sores began to develop around her 14-year-old daughter's mouth every time she brushed her teeth.

Jaquette Avery, 30, inspects a bottle to get her water tested that she received along with a water filter and bottled water from National Guard Specialist Drew Cross, 24, on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016.  
"My oldest daughter, for some odd reason, she just kept getting these sores around her lips," Avery,30, recalled. "She said, 'Mama, it's only happening after I brush my teeth.' She's 14, she's a teenager, so she's old enough to know when something isn't right."

Avery was grateful Thursday when Michigan State Police and National Guard members knocked on her door to give her two cases of water, a filter and a test kit.

"I'm happy someone is finally trying to help us out," Avery said, while examining a kit she plans to use to test her water.

In late 2015, Avery switched over to just using bottled water for most of her family's daily needs, such as drinking, cooking and brushing their teeth. But Avery said it's costly to buy so much water when her family goes through two and a half cases of bottled water each day. Avery even uses bottled water to feed her dog because she's fearful it might get sick from the tap water.

"The kids, my four daughters, they were slipping up and using the tap water to brush their teeth and I told them no, go ahead and use the bottled water to brush your teeth," she said. "It's better to be safe than sorry.When we take showers, I tell them to be quick, don't prolong it."

Avery can't help but wonder why state officials were mum on the water crisis as time progressed.

"I feel like they knew this for quite some time and it wasn't right for us to be kept in the dark," Avery said. "My two youngest daughters, they're not paying attention but the two older ones, they think it's creeping them out. I personally just feel like,how and why did this happen? We need answers."

"I can't wash my kids or my grand kids"
Thousands of water bottles are being handed out of the Flint Fire Station 3 in Flint on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016. 
Robin Simpson is livid.

She's angry over what she believes is an inadequate response to Flint's water crisis from state officials.

And she's also mad that President Barack Obama didn't visit Flint during his trip to Michigan on Wednesday so he could personally witness residents' suffering. .

"It's sad to me that Obama came yesterday to Detroit yesterday, but he didn't show the right type of love," Simpson, 54, said. "We're 65 miles from Detroit and they could have brought him here first. even just 15 minutes, just to apologize for the suffering we're going through. Obama really hurt my feelings. Don't address us from Detroit, come here. It's sad we're going through this."

Simpson said her water "smells and is rusty."

"We got sick a lot," Simpson said, while rubbing her granddaughter's head. "It's said I can't wash the kids or my grandkids."

Simpson said several of her daughter's friends and their children believe they were sickened over the past several months from the water.

"One girl, her son just threw up a lot," Simpson said. "My daughter said, 'You have to stop drinking it, but we didn't have no free water. It's bad. I never thought this city would go through this. It used to be a beautiful place for you to buy a home."

“I don't know who to blame"                          
 (GOP) Gov. Rick Snyder
"The Governor of the state of Michigan has been aware of the problem for two years when the first report came out indicating high levels of lead in the water. The city made a cost measure switch by switching the reservoir of drinking water. Why bring it from another municipality when we have it here? That was being done because the water they had in Flint was bad to start with. It looked bad, it smell rotten and it had a silent killer. These facts were kept secret by the Governor and a few that would not rock the boat.”* 
National Guard PFC Kyle Holmes hands over a water filter to Kathryn Brown, 57, who says that she even gives her cat bottled water, in Flint on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016.  
Kathryn Brown stopped drinking her water about a year ago after a thick, black-colored sludge began to come out of her kitchen faucet.

Brown, scared and confused, had no clue what was going on, but her family immediately decided to stop consuming the water.

"I'll tell you, we don't even use that water for our cats," Brown, 57, said. "It's a really funky, black-ish, gray mess."

Brown said it was hard at first to get used to used so much bottled water daily, but it's become part of her life.

"The response from the National Guard has been wonderful," Brown said, standing in her door Thursday as she watched National Guard members knock on her neighbors' doors. "But beyond that, I don't know who to blame or whose to blame. It's a shame that our ex-mayor just went right along with everything that's happening now."

Drinking and bathing in "poison"

Robert Jackson wishes he heeded the multiple warnings from friends and family who implored him not drink the "poison" running through the faucet of his Flint home.

Flint resident Robert Jackson, 54, shows of some marks left on his arm that he believes are the result of drinking contaminated Flint tap water at Flint Fire Station 3 in Flint, on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016.  
Not listening their warnings came with a painful price.

A large, painful blistery rash on his upper left arm, to be exact.

"I was steady drinking it," Jackson said, as he took off his coat to show the rash." My mother and them said, 'Don't drink it,' but I saw the mayor drinking it so I thought it was OK if he was. But then all of a sudden, last summer, I got a bunch of red bumps and it started getting bigger and bigger."

That was enough to force Jackson to quit drinking the water, but he still has remnants of the rash on his arm.

"It's nerve-wracking," Jackson said. "I've been taking a bath in this stuff, been drinking it, cooking with it. I didn't know it was that bad."

Jackson said he's worried about his dog because he's been forced to continue to give him the water because he can't afford to buy more bottled water.

"I've been giving it to my dog," he said. "But I've got a big bucket under my garage and when it fills up with the rainwater, I give him that."

He said Flint residents feel betrayed.

"I think everybody is upset,"Jackson said. “To get a surprise like this and find out you're drinking poison and washing up in it, it's wrong."

, Detroit Free Press

August 11, 2015

10 Nations and the Death Penalty for being Gay


                              
Saudi Arabia is  No. 3 among the world’s most avid executioners
 
Ten nations with large Muslim populations have laws providing for the death penalty for same-sex activity. How many actually impose the death sentence is a difficult question.
According to the 2015 State-Sponsored Homophobia reportfrom ILGA, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association:
In relation to death penalty, eight States officially legislate for it, but only five (Mauritania, Sudan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Yemen) actually implement it.  …
Further, some provinces in Nigeria and Somalia officially implement the death penalty.
 Somali pirates

Nigeria and Somalia bring the total to 10, as cited in this article’s introductory sentence:  “Ten nations with large Muslim populations have laws providing for the death penalty for same-sex activity.” That total would be extended to 13 by adding Brunei Darussalam (law scheduled to take effect in 2016), Iraq (executions imposed despite the lack of a law allowing for them) and the Islamic State (executions imposed by an entity that acts as a nation but without international recognition as such). 
Egypt 
However, news coverage in each of those nations is unreliable at best, so specific evidence of executions for same-sex intimacy is rare.  In some countries, the death penalty for homosexual behavior may only be threatened, not carried out.
In Sudan, the death penalty is in frequent use, but there are no recent reports of executions for same-sex intimacy.  Sudan ranked at No. 6 worldwide in number of executions (23+) in 2014, just below the United States, with 35, according to Amnesty International.
Similarly, Yemen is No. 7 in frequency of executions overall, but the death penalty apparently has not been imposed recently for homosexual activity.   Researchers for Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board reported more than 10 years ago, “Information on whether such sentences have been carried out was not found.” More recently an article on Yemen’s gay community in The Tower magazine stated, “Traditionally, that death penalty is not enforced, but citizens have been imprisoned for their sexual orientation.”
Saudi Arabia is  No. 3 among the world’s most avid executioners, with 90+ in 2014.  At least in the past, beheadings were imposed for homosexual behavior, including three men in 2002. Imprisonment and lashings are a more common punishment for same-sex activity.
Iran is No. 2 in the world for frequency of executions, behind China.  Those include executions for homosexual activity, although the facts are often unclear or misrepresented in such cases. (See, for example, “Bogus hanging in Iran, bogus tweets in Egypt” and “Series of public hangings in Iran, including 2 for sodomy.”)
Evidence is a bit clearer about two war-torn areas — Iraq and the territory controlled by  Daesh/the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).  The ILGA report notes that “a sixth State, Iraq, although [the death penalty is] not in the civil code, clearly has judges and militias throughout the country that issue the death sentence for same-sex sexual behaviours. … We are also aware that in the Daesh(ISIS/ISIL)-held areas the death penalty is implemented (although a non-State actor, it is listed in the report). ” For examples, see:
This photo accompanied the Iran Human Rights report on three men who were hanged in Shiraz on Aug. 3.
These three men, hanged in Iran in 2014, may have been convicted 
and executed for same-sex activity. (Photo courtesy of Iran Human Rights)
In some nations, the death penalty is on the books but is not imposed. ILGA states:
Brunei Darussalam is due to activate the death penalty for same-sex sexual acts in 2016, but it seems likely that like PakistanAfghanistan and Qataralthough it is on the statute, it will not be implemented.
According to the U.S. Department of State, Mauritania belongs in this category too.  A U.S. Department of State cable from 2009, released by WikiLeaks in 2011, indicated that Mauritania has never imposed the death penalty for homosexual activity or any other crime.
Here is a summary of all the information above in list form — a best-information-available list of 13 countries/regions where executions for homosexual activity are carried out or are provided by current or future law:
Nations with such laws on the books; executions have been carried out
Nations with such laws on the books; no recent executions reported
Nations with such laws on the books in part of the country; executions have or may have occurred
Nations with such laws on the books; no executions reported
Nation where such a law is scheduled to take effect in 2016
Nation with no such a law on the books; executions are carried out by militias and others
Not recognized as a nation; carries out executions


Featured Posts

Human Rights Campaign Testifies Against Judge Neil Gorsuch

LGBTQ groups have come out in strong opposition to the nomination of Neil Gorsuch as U.S. Supreme Court Justice, ar...