Israel’s Ethiopian Jews clash with police at race rally

At least 40 people injured during anti-racism rally in Tel Aviv sparked by brutality against a black soldier.

Israeli riot police have fired stun grenades and water cannon on thousands of ethnic Ethiopian Jewish citizens in an attempt to clear one of the most violent protests in memory in the heart of Tel Aviv.

The protesters, Israeli Jews of Ethiopian origin, were demonstrating on Sunday against what they said was police racism and brutality after a video clip emerged last week showing policemen shoving and punching a black soldier.

Demonstrators overturned a police car and threw bottles and stones at officers in riot gear at Rabin Square in the heart of Israel’s commercial capital.

Israel’s Channel 2 television said tear gas was also used, something the police declined to confirm.

“I’ve had enough of this behaviour by the police, I just don’t trust them any more … when I see the police I spit on the ground,” one female demonstrator who was not identified told Channel 2 before police on horseback had charged.

Read more » Al Jajazeera
See more » http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/05/israel-ethiopian-jews-rally-police-brutality-150503155817247.html

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India to plant 2 BILLION trees along its highways, creating jobs for 300,000 youths

By Michael Graham Richard (@Michael_GR),

India’s Rural Development Ministry has decided to try to tackle two problems at the same time: Youth unemployment and bad air quality. It has unveiled a plan to hire youths – potentially up to 300,000 – to plant 2 billion trees along the country’s highways.
“The length of National Highways in the country is one lakh kilometer [about 62,137 miles]. I have asked officials to come out with a plan to plant 200 crore [2 billion] trees along these stretches which in turn would create jobs for the unemployed on the one hand and protect the environment on the other,” said Shipping and Rural Development Minister Nitin Jairam Gadkari.

Read more » Tree Hugger
See more » http://www.treehugger.com/environmental-policy/india-plant-2-billion-trees-along-its-highways.html

How Western media would cover Baltimore if it happened elsewhere

By Karen AttiahThe Washington Post

If what is happening in Baltimore happened in a foreign country, here is how Western media would cover it:

International leaders expressed concern over the rising tide of racism and state violence in America, especially concerning the treatment of ethnic minorities in the country and the corruption in state security forces around the country when handling cases of police brutality. The latest crisis is taking place in Baltimore, Maryland, a once-bustling city on the country’s Eastern Seaboard, where an unarmed man named Freddie Gray died from a severed spine while in police custody.

Black Americans, a minority ethnic group, are killed by state security forces at a rate higher than the white majority population. Young, black American males are 21 times more likely to be shot by police than white American males.

The United Kingdom expressed concern over the troubling turn of events in America in the last several months. The country’s foreign ministry released a statement: “We call on the American regime to rein in the state security agents who have been brutalizing members of America’s ethnic minority groups. The equal application of the rule of law, as well as the respect for human rights of all citizens, black or white, is essential for a healthy democracy.” Britain has always maintained a keen interest in America, a former colony.

Palestine has offered continued assistance to American pro-democracy activists, sending anti-tear-gas kits to those protesting police brutality in various American cities. Egyptian pro-democracy groups have also said they will be sharing their past experience with U.S.-made counter-protest weapons.

A statement from the United Nations said, “We condemn the militarization and police brutality that we have seen in recent months in America, and we strongly urge American state security forces to launch a full investigation into the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. There is no excuse for excessive police violence.” The U.N. called on the United States to make a concerted effort to make databases of police violence public to improve transparency and cut down on corruption in the justice system.

International analysts predict the seeds of a so-called “American Spring,” fomented by technology. “It’s amazing what social media is doing for the cause of justice in America,” said a political rights analyst based in Geneva. “The black youth of America are showing what 21st-century civil rights activism looks like, using technology, social media and a decentralized organizing strategy to hold authorities accountable and agitate for change. These kids represent what modern-day freedom fighting looks like. The revolution will be tweeted, Periscope-d and Snapchatted.”

Continue reading How Western media would cover Baltimore if it happened elsewhere

Jammu Kashmir Conflict: Potential Variables Leading to Clash of Civilizations in Himalayas

By Nayyar N Khan

Nayyar N Khan is a US based political analyst, peace activist and a freelance journalist. His area of expertise is International Peace and Conflict Resolution.
Nayyar N Khan is a US based political analyst, peace activist and a freelance journalist. His area of expertise is International Peace and Conflict Resolution.

Armed conflicts both on micro and macro level have always played a significant role in shaping the political trends in South Asia when visualized through the prism of modern day evolving tendencies. The entire region has been shadowed by the alarming apprehension of security concerns, cross-border conflicts and poor connectivity. The fragile situation of the one of the thickly populated region in the world has made it one of the least integrated in the world besides having certain common bonds across the international borders. India and Pakistan being two nuclear rivals and key states of the region have always been on forefronts since their creation in 1947. Religion has always been a dominant factor in classifying the geo-political trends while analyzing the Indo-Pak relations. Although India maintained her secular traditions as promised by her founding fathers but in practice religion was one of the fueling elements that impacted the Indian politics. 2014 victory of Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) headed by Prime Minister Modi have altered the designs and corridors of South Asian politics in general and that of India in particular. While Pakistani politicians, on the other hand have consistently failed to identify the common “Political Nomenclature” as a characteristic symbol of their country. Instead of looking for the common bonds among masses to strengthen the democratic character politicians have always preferred to take refuge under the imported umbrella of identification and sadly ignored the true sentiments of the struggling masses. With the new Indian identity after BJP’s victory the dimensions of regional conflicts also shifted from political to more deeply implanted in religious ones.  The conflict over Jammu Kashmir has its historical roots in human rights and right of freedom and development. Over the years and decades both India and Pakistan have turned the Kashmir conflict into a religious one and have deliberately ignored the important variables to find the lasting solution of the conflict.

While, on the other hand, the emergence of China as a regional and global leader and her stature as an influential economic giant has further complicated the regional conflicts in South Asia because of the growing Chinese political influence accompanied by the goods and services of Beijing in the region. At one hand China has influenced the region of Gilgit-Baltistan, a part of disputed state of Jammu Kashmir bordering Xinjiang, while on the other continuous diplomatic muscles are used while determining the border issues with India. Rising fundamentalism within the Chinese territories and counter strategies to tackle and handle the deteriorating situation has widen the range of conflict from territorial to an ideological and regional one ranging from China to Central Asia and on the other side of the border into Pakistan.

NATO and U.S. led invasion of Afghanistan to combat and curb extremism had put a halt on the other regional conflicts in the region. Organized extremist movement in the tribal areas of Pakistan have provided shelter to the Islamic militants of the region that would probably ignite the situation after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Continue reading Jammu Kashmir Conflict: Potential Variables Leading to Clash of Civilizations in Himalayas