Hundreds died in Rohingya camps on Thai-Malaysia border

Asia Middle East Forum

More details have emerged about Thailand’s ugly trade in people now that a marathon trial has ended in Bangkok with 62 people convicted of human trafficking and other serious crimes.

Camps set up by traffickers in the jungle on the Thai-Malaysian border to hold Rohingya and other ‘boat people’ existed for many years prior to government crackdown in mid-2015 that curtailed the brutal trade, a key activist group has said.

Freeland, a Bangkok-based non-government group that fights wildlife trafficking and human slavery, worked with Thai police to identify key figures in the smuggling networks that were rounded up and put on trial.

The group said on Friday it “believes that more than 500 people died in the camps where the people in this particular trafficking chain were held, and that the camps were probably there for at least five years or more.”

It also had “digital forensics experts” able to help…

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Question it!

“The story goes on to talk about a father who is currently trying to get his son back from care after complaining that the council’s actions have emotionally harmed his son.”

Researching Reform

Welcome to another week.

In an unusual article, a Christian publication has accused a local authority of intimidating tactics aimed at parents who refuse to agree to care plans and adoption orders.

The piece begins by detailing a case in which the council in question is now trying to send a mother to prison for speaking out about losing her children to care, even though the children are now adults and the care proceedings are over.

The story goes on to talk about a father who is currently trying to get his son back from care after complaining that the council’s actions have emotionally harmed his son.

Medway Council has repeatedly threatened the father with jail for naming child protection professionals on social media and publicly talking about his son on the internet. The judge in the case has previously stated that the only reason he has not imprisoned the…

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5 Toxic People You Should Avoid Like The Plague!

5 Toxic People You Should Avoid Like The PlagueTravis Bradberry ,   CONTRIBUTOR, OCT 11, 2016.

Toxic people defy logic. Some are blissfully unaware of the negative impact that they have on those around them, and others seem to derive satisfaction from creating chaos and pushing other people’s buttons.

As important as it is to learn how to deal with different kinds of people, truly toxic people will never be worth your time and energy—and they take a lot of each. Toxic people create unnecessary complexity, strife, and, worst of all, stress.


“People inspire you, or they drain you—pick them wisely.” – Hans F. Hansen

It’s often said that you’re the product of the five people you spend the most time with. If you allow even one of those five people to be toxic, you’ll soon find out how capable he or she is of holding you back.


You can’t hope to distance yourself from toxic people until you first know who they are. The trick is to separate those who are annoying or simply difficult from those who are truly toxic. What follows are five types of toxic drainers that you should stay away from at all costs so that you don’t become one yourself.

People Who Are One-Sided

Relationships are supposed to be mutually beneficial. They have a natural give and take. In the workplace, this applies to relationships with people who report to you (they should be getting things done for you and you should be teaching them) as well as with people you report to (you should be learning from them, but also contributing). These relationships grow toxic when one person begins to give a disproportionate amount, or one person only wants to take. It could be a manager who has to guide an employee through every excruciating detail, or a colleague who finds herself doing all the work.

If possible, the best thing to do with this type is to stop giving. Unfortunately this isn’t always possible. When it isn’t, you need to have a frank conversation with the other party in order to recalibrate the relationship.

People Who Are Passive Aggressive

This type takes many forms in the workplace, from the manager who gives you the cold shoulder to the colleague who cc’s e-mails to your boss. One of the most common forms of passive aggression is a drastic reduction of effort. Passive aggressive types have great difficulty receiving feedback, and this can lead them to leave work early or not to work as hard. Passive aggression is deadly in the workplace, where opinions and feelings need to be placed on the table in order for progress to continue.

When you find someone behaving passive aggressively toward you, you need to take it upon yourself to communicate the problem. Passive aggressive types typically act the way they do because they’re trying to avoid the issue at hand. If you can’t bring yourself to open up a line of communication, you may find yourself joining in the mind games. Just remember, passive aggressive types tend to be sensitive and to avoid conflict, so when you do bring something up, make sure to do so as constructively and harmoniously as possible.

People Who Lack Forgiveness And Trust

It’s inevitable that you’re going to make mistakes at work. Some people get so fixated on other people’s mistakes that it seems as if they believe they don’t make mistakes themselves. You’ll find that these people hold grudges, lack emotional intelligence, are constantly afraid that other people are going to do them harm, and may even begin nudging you out of important projects. If you’re not careful, this can stifle upward career movement by removing important opportunities for growth.

The frustrating thing about this type of relationship is that it takes one mistake to lose hundreds of “trust points” but hundreds of perfect actions to get one trust point back. To win back their trust, it’s crucial that you pay extra-close attention to detail and that you’re not frazzled by the fact that they will constantly be looking for mistakes. You have to use every ounce of patience while you dig yourself out of the subjective hole you’re in. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

People Who Are Punitive

Punitive relationships are those where one person punishes the other for behavior that doesn’t align directly with their expectations. The major issue with punitive types is that their instinct is to punish, without adequate communication, feedback, and understanding. This belittling approach creates conflict and bad feelings.

To survive a punitive type, you must choose your battles wisely. Your voice won’t be heard if you dive right in to every conflict. They’ll just label you as someone who is too sensitive.

People Who Build Relationships On Lies

These types get so caught up in looking good that they lose track of what’s fact and what’s fiction. Then the lies pile up until they’re the foundation of the relationship. People who won’t give you straight answers don’t deserve your trust. After all, if they’re willing to lie to you, how can you ever really depend on them?

When you remove trust from any relationship, you don’t have a relationship at all. Building a relationship on lies is no different than building a house on a pile of sand. The best thing you can do is to count your losses and move on.

How To Protect Yourself From A Toxic Person

Toxic people drive you crazy because their behavior is so irrational. Make no mistake about it—their behavior truly goes against reason, so why do you allow yourself to respond to them emotionally and get sucked into the mix?

The ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance. TalentSmart has conducted research with more than a million people, and we’ve found that 90% of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control. One of their greatest gifts is the ability to identify toxic people and keep them at bay.

The more irrational and off-base someone is, the easier it should be for you to remove yourself from their traps. Quit trying to beat them at their own game. Distance yourself from them emotionally, and approach your interactions with them like they’re a science project (or you’re their shrink if you prefer that analogy). You don’t need to respond to the emotional chaos—only the facts.

Maintaining an emotional distance requires awareness. You can’t stop someone from pushing your buttons if you don’t recognize when it’s happening. Sometimes you’ll find yourself in situations where you’ll need to regroup and choose the best way forward. This is fine, and you shouldn’t be afraid to buy yourself some time to do so.

Most people feel as though because they work or live with someone, they have no way to control the chaos. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Once you’ve identified a toxic person, you’ll begin to find their behavior more predictable and easier to understand. This will equip you to think rationally about when and where you have to put up with them and when and where you don’t. You can establish boundaries, but you’ll have to do so consciously and proactively. If you let things happen naturally, you’re bound to find yourself constantly embroiled in difficult conversations. If you set boundaries and decide when and where you’ll engage a difficult person, you can control much of the chaos. The only trick is to stick to your guns and keep boundaries in place when the person tries to cross them, which they will.

Bringing It All Together

We may not be able to control the toxicity of other people, but we can control how we respond to them, and this has the power to alter the course of a relationship.

Have you experienced any of these types of toxic relationships? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

Travis co-wrote the bestselling book Emotional Intelligence 2.0 and co-founded TalentSmart.


#HighCourt finds #ExpertEvidence unreliable and lacking independence!

HIGH COURT FINDS EXPERT UNRELIABLE AND LACKING INDEPENDENCE ~ Herbert Smith Freehills – Litigation notes, 24 JULY, 2017.

A recent High Court decision has highlighted once again the importance of ensuring experts are aware of and comply with their duties to the court. It also demonstrates the potential dangers of repeatedly instructing the same expert and the need to ensure an expert is applying the correct legal standard when giving their opinion: The Governors and Company of the Bank of Ireland and another v Watts Group PLC [2017] EWHC 1667 (TCC).

The court concluded that the written and oral evidence of the claimant’s expert quantity surveyor (“V”) was unreliable and the evidence of the defendant’s expert should therefore be preferred wherever there was disagreement between them. The reasons for this conclusion included:

  • V was not, he considered, a properly independent witness. The Bank was his principal client, providing the vast majority of his work and fees. V had spent most of the last few years acting for the Bank as an expert witness in actions against quantity surveyors arising out of the 2008/9 financial crash.
  • He had shown a lack of realism and his criticisms were based on an unrealistic expectation of what the defendant was required to do. He had also applied the wrong test, substituting the approach he would have taken, and the result he would have reached, rather than considering what a reasonably competent monitoring surveyor would have done in the circumstances.
  • He had attempted to mislead the court with a selective quote from RICS guidance.
  • He had adopted an unreasonable approach, failing to make concessions at the experts’ meeting and when giving evidence.

Instructing the same expert on a number of similar matters can be time and cost effective. This case illustrates however that there may come a point where the independence of the expert is called into doubt because of the closeness of the relationship with the instructing party. It also demonstrates the importance of ensuring the experts comply with their duties at each stage of the litigation process, and that they understand and give an opinion on the correct questions.


The Bank of Ireland lent money to a developer for a residential development in York. The developer later went into liquidation causing a loss to the bank of approximately £750,000. The Bank sought to recoup that loss from Watts, quantity surveyors who had prepared an Initial Appraisal Report (IAR) commenting on the developer’s proposal, the bill of quantities, costs estimates, projected cash flow and the build programme.

In support of its negligence claim against Watts, the Bank relied on expert evidence from a quantity surveyor, V.


The judge (Mr Justice Coulson) observed that although it was commonplace for counsel to submit that “their” expert’s evidence should be preferred wholesale to that of the expert on the other side, that was not usually a justified approach. In this case however he had concluded that the written and oral evidence of V was unreliable, so wherever V disagreed with W, Watts’ expert, he should prefer W’s evidence.


The judge concluded that V was not a properly independent witness. The Bank was his principal client, providing the vast majority of his work (and fees) and he had spent most of the last few years acting for the Bank as an expert witness in actions against monitoring quantity surveyors arising out of the 2008/9 financial crash. Until this case, the cases had been resolved by ADR. V was unaware, the judge thought, of the difference between acting as the Bank’s advocate in a mediation and his duties to the court when giving evidence.

Lack of realism

Watts were paid £1,500 for producing the IAR. V’s reports and associated work to criticise it cost 30 times that amount. This was a clear indication that the criticism made of Watts’ work was based on an unrealistic expectation of what they were required to do. The length and number of V’s reports confirmed the judge in his view that V was prepared to go to any lengths to shore up the Bank’s case.

Attempt to mislead

V’s view was that Watts were obliged to start from scratch and produce their own detailed breakdown of the construction costs. In support of that view, he relied upon RICS guidance which he quoted as saying “the Project Monitor… may have to develop his or her own elemental breakdown of construction costs to prove or disprove the Developer’s figures.” That was misleading as the full quote made clear that this was in the context of smaller developments, inexperienced clients/contractors and hand holding exercises, none of which applied on the facts. This misuse of a source document was contrary to V’s duty to the court.

Wrong test

V’s oral evidence made it plain that he was applying the wrong test. He was not looking to see what a reasonably competent monitoring surveyor would have done in the circumstances and to test Watts’ performance against that benchmark. Instead he was setting out what he claimed he would have done, line by line, figure by figure.


V’s approach was unreasonable. He made no concessions at the experts’ without prejudice meetings and in his reports and oral evidence he sought to maintain criticisms over Watts’ later reports which the Bank had not pleaded. He had on occasion sought to advocate the Bank’s case in his evidence, whether right or wrong.


The judge referred to the well-known passages in The Ikarian Reefer [2001] 1 WLR 603 regarding the duties of an independent expert. He concluded that V did not comply with those duties and he was not confident that he was aware of them or had had them explained to him.

So far as the underlying case is concerned, the judge rejected the allegations of negligence made against Watts. In any event, if there had been negligence, no loss was caused by it and applying the principles from SAAMCO as explained in BPE Solicitors v Hughes-Holland [2017] UKSC 21 no loss had been identified as being recoverable in law from Watts (essentially because Watts would only have been responsible for the financial consequences of the information they provided being inaccurate, not for the financial consequences of the Bank entering into the transaction). Moreover, the true cause of the Bank’s loss was its own errors in making the loan.


Thank you for such a biting and cogent soliloquy Finola. It exposes the callous disregard for Truth and lays bare the blind pursuit of profit by organs of the State at the expense of its victims. What a flagrant waste of taxpayers money – not in our names!
“I have pondered much on the nature of Truth,
my way having lain in courts of justice,
where men deal in an inferior substitute called “evidence.”
~ A. Lieck, ‘Narrow Waters’ [1937]



What if process ruled

And all were controlled

And all were in secret

And all were enrolled

Means  justified the end

No one trusted a friend

Words were as read

Truth tangled and dead

And all was a market

Where scavengers ate

Hungry for more from an innocent’s plate

The laws were the tools

The public the fools

The ‘us’ made ‘them’

As all became spies

And all lived in fear

Of  all their  own lies

And all were in Hell

But  thought they were wise

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Ten Myths About Israel

“The book, Ten Myths About Israel exposes other Zionist myths such as 1) Palestine Was An Empty Land, 2) The Jews Were a People Without a Land, 3) Zionism is Judaism, 4) Zionism Is Not Colonialism, 5) The Palestinians Voluntarily Left Their Homelands in 1948, 6)The June 1967 War Was a War of No Choice, 7) Israel is the Only Democracy in the Middle East, 8) The Oslo Accord of 1993 Was/Is a Genuine Peace Process, 9) The Palestinians Second Intifada of the 1980’s Began a Terrorist Movement Against Israel, and 10) The Victory of Hamas in the election of 2006 Began a Terrorist Movement Against Israel.”

Rehmat's World

 The English edition of Israeli historian Dr. Ilan Pappe’s 2016 book, Ten Myths About Israel, was released in May, 2017. Ilan Pappe, a self-hating Jew, lives in exile in Britain like Israeli author Gilad Atzmon. Ilan Pappe is also author of 2006 book, The Ethnic-cleansing of Palestine. Both books have been largely ignored by the Western mainstream media.

In his latest book, which he published in German language, titled, What’s Wrong with Israel? The Ten Main Myths of Zionism, the author debunks ten founding myths created by the World Zionist Organization in order to establish an European colony in the Islamic Heartland – Palestine. I have exposed some of these myths in the past (here, here).

The two greatest Zionist lies about Jewish occupation of Muslim-majority Palestine was that 1) the biblical God promised Palestine to Jews (here), and 2) there was no…

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Antibiotics: Side Effects and Alternatives


Kelly Brogan MD
July 15, 2017

We use a lot of antibiotics. For coughs, cuts, urinary tract infections, and many times “just in case.” You could be considered reckless or ignorant if you opted to not use them. “But you could die of a deadly infection that could kill you!” chants the choir of voices entrained by a system that sees dangerous enemies lurking behind every life experience.

What may surprise you is that the real danger could lie in assaulting your body with an “anti-life” (the actual meaning of the word!) chemical that could very well be a Russian Roulette of unintended harms. Some of these harms are so significant that they could change the course of your entire life as you know it. Given that, I bet that if you knew that there were effective, safe “alternatives,” you’d seriously consider them.

To make your own…

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The clash between open justice and one’s good name

UK Human Rights Blog

Khuja (formerly known as PNM) v. Times Newspapers [2017] UKSC 49, Supreme Court, read judgment

The outcome of this case is summed up in its title, an unsuccessful attempt to retain anonymity in press reporting.  It is a stark instance of how someone involved in investigations into very serious offences cannot suppress any allegations which may have surfaced in open court, even though no prosecution was ever brought against them.

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Gaza civilians demand action from the ICC

“The procedure concerns three crimes:
– the blockade of Gaza
– the Israeli aggression in the summer of 2014
– the Israeli settlement of Palestine.

At a press conference in The Hague prior to submitting the complaint to the ICC, Mr Devers said that it was time for prosecutor to move the case forward.

“It is two years since Palestine has been under preliminary examination,” he said. “In Gaza, we think two years is too long.””

Today In Gaza

Palestinian victims today urged the Prosecutor of the ICC to move her preliminary examination of Palestine into a full investigation, with a complaint drafted by 40 lawyers from the Gaza Bar representing some 50 Palestinian trade unions, associations and civil society organizations plus 448 individual victims. The action was filed with the ICC by Maître Gilles Devers.

Palestinians file lawsuit against Israel at ICCThe procedure concerns three crimes:
– the blockade of Gaza
– the Israeli aggression in the summer of 2014
– the Israeli settlement of Palestine.

At a press conference in The Hague prior to submitting the complaint to the ICC, Mr Devers said that it was time for prosecutor to move the case forward.

“It is two years since Palestine has been under preliminary examination,” he said. “In Gaza, we think two years is too long.”

At a simultaneous press conference in Gaza attended by the lawyers and complainants, Basman AlAshi, Chief Executive…

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Black faces and white workplaces (PART 1)

“In other words, we create, fix and respond to each other, intersubjectively according to collective and historical configurations we share as member of a particular social system. These historical patterns of relational configurations are more likely to become embodied and reproduced under certain circumstances. For example, when those whose body don’t belong, dare challenging power structures.

The issues here are consequently not simply representational. In the same sense that Black and Brown employees may experience terror and behave as though the historical traumatic agent was re-occurring, employers embody persecution and often sadism, by behaving as though they once again were colonial persecutory powers. Unconsciously. “

Race Reflections

This post is the summary and write- up of a few Twitter threads I wrote focused on self-care for people of colour working in white institutions. The reflections presented below are based on conversations I have had with people of colour, some of whom have become seriously distressed and quite psychologically unwell in white organisational settings. Many have spoken of becoming suicidal. Others have retired on ill health grounds. Some have sought me as a friend or more formally as a therapist to help them make sense of their experience.

The level of psychological injury and disability people of colour sustain at work because of racism, is still an unknown quantity. Nonetheless, my aim here is not to try and quantify but, using an analytic framework primarily, to attempt and formulate what I am recurrently untrusted with. I have to say though, that I too as a Black woman, am…

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