Human Rights

No safe haven in Gaza

Philippe Lazzarini, head of the UN Relief & Works Agency, said today that there is no haven in besieged Gaza for civilians, including in UN shelters and Israeli-designated “safe zones.” More than 16,000 Gazans have reportedly been killed by Israel’s response to Hamas terrorists’ October attack. [node:read-more:link]

Jewish extremists barred from U.S

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced today that the U.S. will travel bans on “dozens” of extremist Jewish settlers implicated in a rash of attacks against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. It comes at a sensitive moment in U.S.-Israeli relations as President Joe Biden’s administration has firmly backed Israel since an October attack by Hamas touched off a massive Israeli response which has killed thousands of civilians in Gaza. [node:read-more:link]

New Zealand undoing indigenous policies

The two-month-old right-wing coalition government of New Zealand has unleashed a wave of protests by announcing plans to roll back indigenous affirmative action and limit official use of the Māori language. The initiative would reinterpret the Treaty of Waitangi, the country’s founding document signed by British colonists and Māori chiefs in 1840. [node:read-more:link]

Freedom of speech defended

Ruling on a teacher’s lawsuit against a school board in Waterloo, Ontario Superior Court Justice James Ramsay ruled that the board’s chairman at the time, Scott Piatkowski, acted “with malice or at least, with a reckless disregard for the truth” by ousting her from a board meeting in 2022 during discussion of gender issues. Awarding now-retired Carolyn Burjoski $30,000 in costs November 23, Ramsay said Piatkowski had infringed on her constitutional right to freedom of speech. [node:read-more:link]

Memorial project problematic

The federal government has postponed the unveiling of a $7.5-million Victims of Communism monument in Ottawa after it was pointed out that it did not include, among other things, a key Korean War battle involving Canadian troops. [node:read-more:link]

Netherlands shifting to right?

Populist politician Geert Wilders said today that he is ready to join the next Dutch coalition government after his right-wing party won an estimated 37 of the 150 parliamentary seats in a general election. Among other things, he has pushed for a referendum to withdraw from the European Union as well as calling for tighter immigration controls and “de-Islamization.” [node:read-more:link]

Far-right leader for Argentina

With Argentina struggling with annual inflation to 143% and 40% of its citizens living in poverty, their new far-right president, Javier Milei, is promising a radical overhaul of how his country will function. He has promised to replace his country’s currency with the U.S. dollar, shut down ministries, cut welfare benefits, eliminatine public works, privatize key industries, relax gun controls, abolish abortion and permit the sale of human organs. [node:read-more:link]

More Canadians out of Gaza

Eighty-four more Canadian citizens, permanent residents and family members left Gaza November 19, Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly announced. It boosted the official evacuee count to 460 but others are still waiting clearance to cross the border into Egypt. [node:read-more:link]

UNSC weighs in on Gaza

The UN Security Council adopted its first resolution November 16 since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war, calling for “urgent and extended humanitarian pauses” in Gaza to address the escalating crisis for Palestinians. Israel immediately rejected the resolution which had 12-0 support on the UNSC with the U.S., Britain and Russia abstaining. [node:read-more:link]

RCMP bodycam plan stalls

More than three years after the federal govenment announced plans to equip RCMP officers with body cameras in 2023-2024, the procurement is on hold. Motorola was awarded the contract earlier this year but the RCMP now is considering the second-ranked bidder due to unspecified testing issues. [node:read-more:link]

Bureaucracy bows to lawsuit

Evacuating the wife of a Canadian permanent resident out of war-torn Gaza required the threat of a lawsuit. Global Affairs Canada initially said she could not leave unaccompanied by her husband, a Canadian permanent resident. But he was in Vancouver and their lawyer, who filed suit in Federal Court, withdrew it after she was permitted to leave on her own accord. [node:read-more:link]

Rwanda deportation plan scuttled?

Britain’s high court ruled today that its government’s plan to deport third-country asylum seekers to Rwanda is unsafe, but Prime Minister Rishi Sunak almost immediately promised legislation to address the issue. Blocked for yeaars by legal challenges, the concept is that persons arriving in Britain from “dangerous” countries would be denied asylum and sent to the East African state country with an abysmal human rights record. [node:read-more:link]

Israeli tactics called genocidal

Lawyers representing Palestinian victims of israel’s war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip have complained to the International Criminal Court that Israel’s actions amount to genocide. The initiative could result in arrest warrants for Israeli leaders. “It is clear for me that there are all the criteria for the crime of genocide,” the French leader of the complainants said. “This is not my opinion, it’s the reality of law.” [node:read-more:link]

Class-action legal fees cut

The federal government and the lawyers who worked on the $23-billion class-action suit over First Nations child welfare have agreed to a deal on legal fees. Rather than the $80 million they had sought, the five firms have agreed to $55 million plus $5 million for ongoing work to implement the settlement. [node:read-more:link]

Gaza evacuees increase

The number of Canadian citizens, permanent residents and family members evacuated from Gaza rose to 453 November 12 when 237 crossed into Egypt. They joined 107 last week, according to Global Affairs, which also said nine others crossed with the help of an undisclosed third party. [node:read-more:link]


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