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#Balkans #ButcherOfBosnia Ratko #Mladic sentenced to life in prison for #genocide

Ratko Mladic sentenced to life in prison for genocide | AL JAZEERA | 22 November 2017

Former Bosnian Serbian commander Ratko Mladic has been sentenced to life in prison for genocide and war crimes during the Balkans conflicts over two decades ago.

The presiding judge of International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on Wednesday found that the 74-year-old general “significantly contributed” to genocide committed at Srebrenica.

Previous judgments already ruled that the massacre of about 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica was genocide.

Judge Alphons Orie ruled that the perpetrators of crimes committed in Srebrenica intended to destroy the Muslims living there.

The judge also ruled that Mladic carry out and personally oversaw a deadly campaign of sniping and shelling in Sarajevo.

Bosnian Serb wartime general Ratko Mladic appeared in court the receive the verdict [Peter Dejong/Reuters]

Bosnian Serb wartime general Ratko Mladic appeared in court the receive the verdict [Peter Dejong/Reuters]

Mladic, dubbed the “Butcher of Bosnia”, was accused of 11 counts – including genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by his forces during the war in Bosnia from 1992 and 1995.

The court said, however, it was “not convinced” of genocidal intent in six other municipalities, in line with previous judgments.

The former general initially appeared relaxed as he listened intently to the verdict but was later removed from the courtroom after he shouted at the judges when he was refused an adjournment.

His lawyer said Mladic needed a break for treatment of high blood pressure.

Wednesday’s verdict was long awaited by tens of thousands of victims across former Yugoslavia, and dozens gathered early outside the courtroom in The Hague, many clutching photos of loved ones who died or are among the 7,000 still missing.

Mladic’s trial was the last before the tribunal and came as the court in The Hague prepared to close its doors next month.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA NEWS

 


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RatkoMladic

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Ratko Mladic jailed for life over Bosnia war genocide | BBC News | 22 November 2017

Former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic has been jailed for life for genocide and other atrocities in the 1990s Bosnian war.

Known as the “Butcher of Bosnia”, Mladic led forces during the Srebrenica massacre in 1995 and siege of Sarajevo in which more than 10,000 died.

The UN tribunal in The Hague convicted him on 10 of the 11 charges.

Mladic, 74, was not in court when the sentence was read out. He had been removed for shouting at the judges.

The judges had rejected a request by his lawyer to halt proceedings because of Mladic’s high blood pressure.

Mladic had been on trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) since 2012. His case is the court’s last.

The massacre in Srebrenica left more than 7,000 Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) men and boys dead, while more than 10,000 people died during the siege of Sarajevo.

Victims and their family members watch a television broadcast of the court proceedings of former Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic in the Memorial centre Potocari near Srebrenica,Image copyrightREUTERS
Image captionVictims and their relatives watched the verdict in a memorial centre near Srebrenica

At the end of the war in 1995 he went into hiding and lived in obscurity in Serbia, protected by family and elements of the security forces.

He was indicted for genocide and crimes against humanity but evaded justice for 16 years. He was finally tracked down and arrested at a cousin’s house in rural northern Serbia in 2011.

At the start of the session, Mladic appeared relaxed, smiling and gesturing to the cameras.

The verdict was watched by victims and their relatives in a memorial centre near Srebrenica, and followed by dozens of people who gathered outside the courtroom, carrying pictures of those who died or were still missing.

What happened at Srebrenica?

In early July 1995, Bosnian Serb forces besieged an area near the town of Srebrenica. It had been designated a United Nations “safe zone” and was being guarded by 600 lightly-armed Dutch UN soldiers.

The Serbs attacked from the south, prompting thousands of Bosniak civilians and fighters to flee north to Srebrenica. By 10 July some 4,000 had gathered there. The Serb advance continued, and a bigger surge of refugees fled north to the main Dutch base in Potocari.

Media caption“The soil here is soaked with blood” – survivor Mevludin Oric

Gen Mladic summoned the Dutch commander, Col Thom Karremans, and demanded that the Bosniaks disarm to save their lives.

On 12 July, some 15,000 Bosniak men of military age broke out of the enclave. They were shelled as they fled through the mountains. Some were also killed after surrendering.

Buses then deported an estimated 23,000 women and children to Bosniak territory, while the Serbs separated out all males from age 12 to 77 for “interrogation for suspected war crimes”.

Hundreds of men were held in trucks and warehouses.

On 13 July 1995 the first killings of unarmed Bosniaks took place in a warehouse in the nearby village of Kravica.

The Dutch peacekeepers handed over about 5,000 who had been sheltering at their base. In return, the Bosnian Serbs released 14 Dutch peacekeepers who had been held hostage at Nova Kasaba, a Serb base.

Over four days, up to 8,000 Bosniak men and boys were murdered by Bosnian Serbs at sites around Srebrenica.

What was the siege of Sarajevo?

Bosniaks under attack in Sarajevo, Apr 92Image copyrightAFP
Image captionApril 1992: Bosniaks take cover from shelling in Sarajevo

Civilians in the Bosnian capital endured a brutal siege in 1992-1995 at the hands of Bosnian Serb forces, who fired down into the city from the surrounding hills. The death toll was more than 10,000.

It was part of what prosecutors call a Serb “criminal enterprise” to spread terror among Bosniaks and Croats, and to drive them from areas claimed as Serb territory.

 

 

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#MoralBankruptcy #StateLimits #FamilyLaw Courts are a revolving door for too many parents!

Family courts are a revolving door for too many parents |  | THE GUARDIAN | 20 November 2017

 

Family drug and alcohol courts can help break the patterns that blight children’s lives; this innovation should be shared

For too many parents the family court is a revolving door, with child after child removed often for the same reasons.

For too many parents the family court is a revolving door, with child after child removed, often for the same reasons. Photograph: Alamy

How do we upgrade the family justice system so that it disrupts patterns of family violence, drug abuse and mental distress, which blight children’s lives, at great human cost and expense to the taxpayer?

These behaviours of violence, drug abuse and mental distress are passed down from generation to generation. They are amplified by traumatic childhoods, social isolation and social injustice. Standard care proceedings fail to address them.

For too many parents, the family court is a revolving door, with child after child removed, often for similar reasons. Indeed, the parents themselves have often been subject to care proceedings as children. Our conventional model of family justice is not working for children. There is a need to innovate.

That is why my trust, the Tavistock and Portman, has developed a family drug and alcohol court (FDAC); and we want to spread the concept.

Few parents want their child to suffer and most parents in difficulty want to solve their problems. The UK needs a psychologically-informed approach: the FDAC does this.

It is based on a process known as “trial for change”, which aims to give parents the best possible chance to overcome their problems while testing whether they can meet their children’s needs in a set timescale. Families work intensively with a specially trained judge and a therapeutic team that can include child protection social workers, specialists in adult substance misuse and domestic abuse, psychotherapists, psychologists and psychiatrists. The skills mix depends on individual circumstances.

And it works. Independent evaluation found families and professionals report a better experience of justice, the outcomes for children and families are better, and the public purse is better invested. Recent research shows that families receiving the FDAC model are three to four times more likely than families receiving standard care proceedings to be doing well three years after the proceedings came to an end.

The FDAC is about problem solving. It recognises that parents often do not know how to sort things out for themselves; they may feel ashamed and frightened they will be judged and punished. By treating parents with empathy and compassion, they feel heard and able to retain their dignity. This is not a soft option – the motivation and hard work has to come from the parents.

The judge, therapeutic team and other professionals give parents every possible encouragement but they are realistic about the challenges and whether parents are on track to meet their children’s timescales.

Why is the FDAC not commonplace?

The way we account for public spending can often get in the way of doing the smart thing. Despite the evidence, the cost of upgrading the model becomes a barrier to achieving change and making significant savings to the public purse.

How do we expand the FDAC approach?

The Tavistock and Portman has successfully bid for government Life Chancesfunding by developing a social investment case for the FDAC and a social impact bond has been developed. The bond is a form of outcomes-based commissioning, engaging social investors, who provide both capital and expertise. In this case, it will give local authorities upfront investment to establish an FDAC. The local authority will repay the investors only when the service meets agreed outcomes.

The bond will enable hard-pressed local authorities to help families turn their lives around, without the fear that the service will run out of funding halfway through the process. This opportunity for long-term sustainable funding – in this case over seven years – also gives time to collect robust evidence about the outcomes the FDAC achieves. Above all, it gives hope to more children and their families.

  • Paul Burstow chairs the Social Care Institute for Excellence and the north London-based Tavistock and Portman NHS foundation trust 

#OFSTED #Diversity Absurd & prejudiced to suggest that #hijab ‘sexualises’ girls!

It is absurd and prejudiced to suggest that hijab ‘sexualises’ girlsDr Sana Ramiz | THE GUARDIAN  Letters | 20 November 2017

Will Ofsted now extend primary school inspections so that they cover questions about skullcaps and turbans as well as female headgear, asks Dr Sana Ramiz

Two young girls wearing Muslim headscarfs walk hand-in-hand into the a primary school in London.

 

‘As a Muslim mother, I do not believe … that my daughters should wear hijab before they are young women. Yet, in an attempt to copy my mother, I stubbornly wore hijab as a young girl against the wish of my parents,’ writes Dr Sana Ramiz.

Photograph: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Amanda Spielman, head of Ofsted, says “creating an environment where primary school children are expected to wear the hijab could be interpreted as sexualisation of young girls” (Inspectors to question girls in primary school who wear hijab, 20 November). These inspections and the accusation that hijab “sexualises” girls are absurd and reek of prejudice.

As a Muslim mother, I do not believe, according to Islamic jurisprudence, that my daughters should wear hijab before they are young women and I will never coerce them to wear hijab at any stage. Yet, in an attempt to copy my mother, I stubbornly wore hijab as a young girl against the wish of my parents then. So, I would like to ask Amanda Spielman, will Ofsted inspectors be “questioning” young girls copying their mothers, whether by wearing hijab, lipstick or stilettos?

The argument that hijab, as a religious headgear, “sexualises” girls is flawed. If it does then it also “sexualises” women. Many Muslim women view hijab as an article of faith and modesty that liberates them from objectifying societal expectations, and this is what I will teach my daughters.

Amanda Spielman is arguing that a certain garment sexualises girls. If so, will Ms Spielman be extending this “inspection” to cover other items of clothing? Do short skirts sexualise girls more than trousers? What about girls’ weather-exposed shoes compared to well-padded boys’ shoes? Will Ms Spielman focus only on girls, or are boys wearing skullcaps and turbans bound to be “sexualised” too?

Shockingly, the NSPCC reported that 31% of women in the UK experienced sexual abuse in childhood. Ofsted needs to get its priorities right instead of targeting a minority Muslim population and excluding the voice of Muslim parents.
Dr Sana Ramiz
Manchester


 

Hariri Back In Beirut, Withdraws Resignation

Burning Question on latest geopolitical faux pas:
Is (dual-citizen businessman) Hariri a Saudi or Hizbollah puppet or, was he simply blackmailed in Riyadh?

ThereAreNoSunglasses

[Hariri says postpones resignation upon Aoun’s request]

Hariri back in Beirut to tackle political crisis

BEIRUT: Prime Minister Saad Hariri arrived in Beirut late Tuesday night, 17 days after he announced his shock resignation from Riyadh where his stay had raised fears over his freedom of movement and the country’s stability. Upon arriving at Beirut airport shortly before midnight, Hariri was received by a number of security officers before he headed in a convoy to the tomb of his late father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, on Martyrs’ Square in central Beirut where he paid his respects on the eve of Lebanon’s Independence Day.

“I tell the Lebanese ‘Thank You,” MTV quoted Hariri as saying.

The prime minister had flown from Paris via Egypt and Cyprus, where he held talks centering on maintaining stability in Lebanon.

Hariri’s return had been anxiously awaited by Lebanon’s…

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Trafficking Children In Care – Question It!

Another damning indictment of foxes running henhouses at taxpayers expense.
Call it for what it is: state-sponsored kidnapping!
What else should we expect when both arms of the state are so often detached from reality, ie, the executive in the form of the local authority reporting fake facts as opinion evidence and the judiciary in the form of the judge at court rubber-stamping it?
Where is the public outcry??

Researching Reform

Welcome to another week.

Javed Khan, Chief Executive of Children’s charity Barnardo’s has told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that children who escape from care do so because traffickers “feed them a web of lies, leading them to fear the authorities.”

The claim comes after statistics revealed that 16% of children referred to Barnardo’s own fostering network had been sexually exploited or abused, and 17% were trafficked. These figures are likely to be a conservative estimate, as it is often difficult to assess the full extent of children being exploited.

The Reuters article published in Turkey’s Daily Sabah, goes on to reference Department of Education statistics which show that over 50,000 children in England are in foster care, with thousands disappearing more than once.

2017 was also the worst year for the UK in relation to child trafficking, with the UK being the most prominent country of origin for…

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Saudi Royal “Purge” Is Young Prince Shaking-Down Relatives For 70% of Their Wealth

Don’t forget what happened to King Faisal. This sly usurper may yet rue the day he got too greedy and ruthless and sold out Palestine.

ThereAreNoSunglasses

Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal [Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud/Facebook]

According to the Financial Times (FT) the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohamed Bin Salman, is negotiating a settlement with some of the country’s most well-known figures who have been detained under corruption charges since the beginning of the month.

In some cases, Saudi officials are demanding 70 per cent of the suspect’s wealth in exchange for their release.

It was widely suspected that Bin Salman’s anti-corruption purge was part of a wider strategy to raise money for the country’s depleting treasury, which has grappled with a recession triggered…

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Hijab: Ofsted should be addressing schools not little girls

#OFSTED #Islamophobia #UnfairDiscrimination
“The real question for Ofsted to answer should be ‘why are primary school uniform policies allowing hijab for girls under the age of puberty when Islamic laws state otherwise’. Anything else will simply not address the elephant in the room.”

WOMEN UNITED BLOG

On Friday, a group of campaigners and activists met with Amanda Spielman, Chief Inspector of Schools, to discuss the hijab as part of school uniform policy for one in five primary schools in the UK. Following the meeting, Ms Spielman announced that children will be asked ‘why they wear the hijab to school’ in an article published by the Sunday Times under the headline ‘Inspectors to quiz girls in hijabs’.

If true, then the focus of Ofsted seems to me to be misguided. Surely, Ofsted should be holding the primary schools to account that have allowed this change to their school uniform policies rather than quizzing little girls? After all, the expected answer from girls as young as four and five who wear the hijab will more likely than not is that their parents want them to wear it or that they are wearing it because their mothers…

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Video: Heartless Hammond – ‘there are no unemployed people’

Typical BS from the nasty party of swingeing cuts and rampant austerity while all too many grapple with whether to eat or heat! Yet, there’s plenty money in the kitty to bomb middle-eastern countries …

The SKWAWKBOX

Useless and out-of-touch Chancellor Phillip Hammond this morning warmed up for this week’s Budget by reminding us all just how useless and out of touch he is.

Asked on this morning’s Marr show about unemployment, Hammond claimed:

There are no unemployed people.

Marr had to remind him of the facts:

This Tory, who is supposed to be managing the nation’s finances, can’t tell the difference between zero and 1.4 million.

We have a Chancellor who is so remote and heartless that he ‘forgets’ 1.4 million unemployed people who – along with our disabled, our vulnerable and the huge numbers of workingpoor – are suffering appalling hardship.

If anyone thinks Hammond is going to announce a budget this week designed to do any more than fake an improvement in their situation, they need to watch this video over and over until the scales fall from their eyes…

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#ParentalAlienation Divorcing parents could lose children if they try to turn them against partner

Divorcing parents could lose children if they try to turn them against partner | THE GUARDIAN | 17 November 2017

Measures being trialled to prevent ‘parental alienation’ feature penalties including permanent loss of contact with child

Parental alienation is estimated to be present in 11%-15% of divorces involving children.
 Parental alienation is estimated to be present in 11%-15% of divorces involving children. Photograph: Alamy

Divorcing parents could be denied contact with their children if they try to turn them against their former partner, under a “groundbreaking” process being trialled by the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass).

The phenomenon where one parent poisons their child against the other is known as parental alienation, the ultimate aim of which is to persuade the child to permanently exclude that parent from their life.

Cafcass said it had recently realised parental alienation occured in significant numbers of the 125,000 cases it dealt with each year.

Sarah Parsons, the assistant director of Cafcass, said: “We are increasingly recognising that parental alienation is a feature in many of our cases and have realised that it’s absolutely vital that we take the initiative. Our new approach is groundbreaking.”

In addition, contact between the parent and child could be restricted or refused for a number of months. In the most extreme cases, the alienating parent will be permanently banned from any contact with their child.

Parental alienation is estimated to be present in 11%-15% of divorces involving children, a figure thought to be increasing. Other research has found that about 1% of children and adolescents in North America experience parental alienation.

UK judges are increasingly recognising the phenomenon. One wrote about a case where she was forced to transfer residence to re-establish a relationship between a child and an alienated parent. “I regard parental manipulation of children, of which I distressingly see an enormous amount, as exceptionally harmful,” she said in her summary.

Parental alienation occurs on a spectrum from mild to extreme, all of which can be extremely damaging to the children involved. Experts admit they are only now beginning to understand the range of ways it manifests itself.

Parsons said: “We have reached a much clearer position on parental alienation recently, which we want to send a very clear, strong message about.

“The current, popular view of parental alienation is highly polarised and doesn’t recognise this spectrum. We want to reclaim the centre ground and develop a more nuanced, sophisticated understanding of what’s going on.”

Parental alienation occurs almost exclusively when parents are separating or divorcing, particularly when legal action is involved. It is, however, different to the common acrimony between divorcing parents and is internationally recognised as a distinctive form of parental psychological abuse and family violence, undermining core principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN convention on the rights of the child.

In the US and Canada, “parenting coordinators” are ordered and supervised by courts to help restore relationships between parents and children identified as alienated. In Mexico and Brazil, alienating a child from a parent is a criminal act.

Until now, cases of parental alienation in the UK have relied on Cafcass caseworkers recognising incidents on a case-by-case basis. Many parents, however, say their experiences of alienation have been missed or compounded by the social work and family court system, often leading to permanent estrangement from their child.

From spring 2018, all frontline Cafcass caseworkers will be given a new set of guidelines called the high conflict pathway, which will itemise the steps social workers must take when dealing with cases of suspected alienation. The pathway will spell out exactly when children should be removed from the alienating parent and placed with the “target parent”.

The guidelines, which will also affect how cases are dealt with in family courts, were sent out at the beginning of this month to judges, lobby groups including Families Need Fathers, experts, doctors and lawyers for a three-month consultation.

Alongside the guidelines, Cafcass has developed a 12-week intense programme called positive parenting, designed to help the abusive parent put themselves in their child’s position, and give them skills to break their patterns of behaviour.

A trial of it will start shortly, with 50 high-conflict families being sought across the country. After an evaluation in spring, the programme will be rolled out nationwide.

If it does not work, psychiatrists, psychologists and mental health experts will be brought in. If the alienating parent continues to perpetuate the abuse, however, contact with their child will be limited to supervised visits.

In extreme cases, care proceedings will be initiated and the parent will lose contact with their child. “Our priority, however, is to preserve the relationship with both parents,” Parsons said.

Jerry Karlin, the chair and managing trustee of Families Need Fathers, said Cafcass’s new approach was “very welcome news”.

“The demonising of a parent has long been recognised as damaging the child not only at the time of separation, but reaching into his or her adult life,” he said. “Parental alienation is identified as the single biggest issue among those who come to FNF seeking help.”

Case study – Robert (not his real name)

“I’ve lived through and witnessed the inexorable alienation of my older daughter over the past five years, which has culminated in complete loss of contact. I will not have seen or heard from her for three years this coming January. We had a fantastic, loving relationship for the first 12 years of her life.

“I know from what my younger daughter has told me that in numerous insidious and not so insidious ways, my ex-wife put an intolerable amount of stress on my eldest daughter. It eventually became too emotionally traumatic for her to see me. She eventually sent me a short email, saying she wanted to break off all contact with me. I’ve not heard from her since.

“The pain of being subject to parental alienation as a target parent is a truly soul-destroying thing to live through. In my darkest days, I can remember being out driving at night and thinking that maybe I just wouldn’t turn the wheel when I came to the bend with the high stone wall. This is a horrible form of child abuse that is struggling to get out from under the rock of prejudice and ignorance.”

Why Does Israel Keep Attacking Syria?

American exceptionalism to rule of international law is trumped only by the criminal state of Israel, which with typical hubris, detests peace. An inkling of historical research reveals its course of conduct of attacking its neighbours belligerently to try and achieve hegemony in the entire middle-east.

Fig Trees and Vineyards

In the above video we see a political analyst expressing disappointment that Putin has not spoken out against Israel’s repeated airstrikes on Syria. It’s a legitimate concern, and one which I’ve expressed previously myself. Interestingly, however, almost at the same time the video was uploaded by Press TV, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov angered the Israelis by describing Iran’s presence in Syria as “legitimate.”

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