82 Chibok schoolgirls released by Boko Haram reunited with families

By Allen Cone

The 82 Nigerian Chibok schoolgirls captured by Boko Haram more than three years ago were reunited with their families Saturday.

Bahir Ahmad, the personal assistant to the president, announced the news on Twitter, writing it was an “emotional” welcome at the capital, Abuja.

“I am really happy today, I am Christmas and New year, I am very happy and I thank God,” said Godiya Joshua, whose daughter Esther was among those freed, in a report by The Telegraph.

The girls were released two weeks ago. The remaining 113 are supposedly still captured.

In 2014, 276 girls were kidnapped. Boko Haram released 21 girls in October and another 50 or so escaped on their own since being abducted.

“We have trust in this government, definitely they will rescue the rest safely and back to us alive,” said community leader Yakubu Nkeki.

Five commanders from the extremist group were exchanged for the girls’ freedom. Swiss government and the International Committee of the Red Cross helped negotiate their release.

Some refused to return after becoming radicalized.

The two groups of girls — earlier this month and October — were reunited with family members Saturday. Nigeria’s Channel TV showed the young women laughing and embracing.

Families in the remote Chibok community had been waiting word on whether their daughters were freed.

Officials told the parents that the girls would remain in government custody until they complete psychosocial and medical therapies.

“The children are being rehabilitated and we believe that in due course they will be properly aligned with their families,” Abidemi Aremo, an official in the Women Affairs Ministry, told the parents at a facility of the secret police in Abuja.

Source: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2017/05/20/82-Chibok-schoolgirls-released-by-Boko-Haram-reunited-with-families/4371495305326/

Edited for mb3-org.com

Arrests on civil immigration charges are up 38% in 100 days since Trump’s executive order

By Nigel Duara

Federal immigration agents have arrested more than 40,000 people since President Trump signed executive orders expanding the scope of deportation priorities in January, a 38% increase over the same period last year.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting Director Thomas Homan said Wednesday that Trump has “opened the aperture” of charges that immigration agents are permitted to prosecute, a departure fromObama administration priorities which targeted immigrants in the country illegally who have serious criminal convictions.

“There is no category of aliens off the table,” Homan said.

In late January, Trump stripped away most restrictions on who should be deported. A Los Angeles Times analysis revealed that more than 8 million people who crossed the border illegally could now be considered priorities for deportation.

Trump’s orders instruct federal agents to deport not only those convicted of crimes, but also those who aren’t charged but are believed to have committed “acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense.”

The new numbers, released in a press call with reporters, suggest that Trump’s pledge to step up deportations is bearing fruit, at least in some parts of the country.

Although the president’s plan to build an expanded new wall on the Mexican border has been stymied – Congress refused to include funding for it in a recent budget deal – his new border security priorities appear to be having a significant impact on immigration enforcement.

According to calculations by Los Angeles Times, as many as 8 million people living in the country illegally could be considered priorities for deportation under Trump’s new policy. Under the Obama administration, about 1.4 million people were considered priorities for removal.

The stepped-up immigration arrests have not been reflected in Southern California, where the detention rate has remained relatively flat, and agents say they have done little to change their enforcement strategy.

Homan said that, in his estimation, federal agents are happier with Trump’s directives than they were under Obama’s more cautious approach.

“When officers are allowed to do their jobs, morale increases,” said Homan, who also served under Obama. “I think morale is up.”

Homan said the paucity of people trying to enter the country illegally, a number which has reached a record low, means agents have more time to spend on removals from the nation’s interior.

According to the new ICE data, nearly 75 percent of those arrested in the 100 days since Trump signed his new executive orders on immigration are convicted criminals, with offenses ranging from homicide and assault to sexual abuse and drug-related charges.

But there has also been a significant increase in the number of non-criminals arrested. A total of 10,800 people were arrested whose only offense was entering the country illegally, more than twice the 4,200 such immigrants taken into custody in the first four months of 2016.

“While these data clearly reflect the fact that convicted criminals are an immigration enforcement priority, Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly has made it clear that ICE will no longer exempt any class of individuals from removal proceedings if they are found to be in the country illegally,” the agency said in its report.

Migrant advocates were quick to condemn the administration’s priorities.

Addressing claims by John F. Kelly, Trump’s secretary of Homeland Security, that the administration is only focusing on criminals, and Wednesday’s numbers, Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice Education Fund, said the majority of people targeted cannot be considered “serious criminals.”

“These guys spin, distort, exaggerate, and dissemble almost as much as the president they work for,” Sharry said. “The false claims are aimed at providing cover for an agenda that calls for the deportation of millions. Instead of targeting serious criminals, they are targeting every immigrant they can get their hands on and calling all of them criminals.”

While deportations of migrants caught near the border are generally a quick matter, Homan said, the removal processes for so-called “interior deportations” take longer. He expects the overall pace of removal proceedings to slow down as fewer border crossers are removed and interior deportations make up a larger share of all removals.

Without providing specific numbers, Homan said assaults on federal agents conducting arrests are up 150% over the same period last year. Homan attributes the increase to “noncompliance” — meaning actively resisting arrest.

Federal agents must also contend with jails that refuse to allow ICE agents inside. Such jails contend that immigration enforcement is outside the scope of their duties, and some also say the presence of immigration enforcement agents adversely affects relations with local migrant communities.

Homan said jails that do not allow ICE agents inside to make arrests force the agents to capture migrants on the street, a far more dangerous and expensive proposition.

“If the jail lets them go, we have to send a team of officers,” Homan said. “One officer can make a safe arrest inside a facility. If the jail doesn’t cooperate, we have to go get them.”

Edited For mb3-org.com

Russia Prosecutor General, investigate mass murder and torture of LGBT people in Chechnya

Over a hundred men have been rounded up in Chechnya recently, subjected to humiliation and torture, solely upon suspicion of being gay.

Media suspects mass murders. At this point three men have been confirmed as killed. Early in April Novaya Gazeta published two articles, “Honor Killings” (No 34, 3 April 2017) and “Reprisals Against Chechen Gays” (No35, 05 April 2017), in which a witness stated, “the detained were tortured, violated with a bottle, electrocuted. Some were beaten nearly to death and returned to their relatives like a sack of bones. I definitely know of two deaths…” (More info in NYTimes article)

According to the same paper, the “gay hunt” is being carried out by local law enforcement as a “prophylactic” measure. Targets for such “prophylactics” in Chechnya are many: the use of alcohol and light narcotics, extramarital sexual relationships, “incorrect” appearance, suspicion of extremism, even just traffic violations. This time the cause is an issue that locals traditionally don’t speak about. Those close to the killed haven’t come forward to authorities, fearing their families could be “shamed,” and also because of unofficial support for “honor killings” on the part of authorities themselves. Check also this Dazed article for more info.

We demand a full investigation of all the facts about unlawful repression in Chechnya of LGBT population, punishment for the guilty parties and an end to the practice of extra-judicial violence and killings in the republic.

Sign now!

Αθήνα: Βίαιη προσαγωγή από ΜΑΤ στην Στουρνάρη

Μόλις τώρα (12:38) 3 ματατζήδες έριξαν στο έδαφος και προσαγάγουν έναν περαστικό που περπατούσε στο πεζοδρόμιο της Στουρνάρη. Ήταν τελείως σαν ενέδρα, out of the blue. Περπατούσε μόνος του στην πλευρά του Πολυτεχνείου και όρμηξαν πάνω του από το στενό. Όσο τον είχαν κάτω φώναξε «I speak only French». Τον πήραν προς την Πατησίων. ΥΓ Πρέπει […]

via Αθήνα: Βίαιη προσαγωγή από ΜΑΤ στην Στουρνάρη —

ΣΥΒΧΨΑ: Να σταματήσει τώρα η είσπραξη χρημάτων για τα ταμειακά ελλείμματα από τους εργαζόμενους στα public

Έχει περάσει ήδη πάνω από ένας μήνας από τη στιγμή που ως Σύλλογος αναδείξαμε το ζήτημα των ταμειακών ελλειμμάτων στα public. Έπειτα από τη σχετική τριμερή συνάντηση που είχαμε με την εργοδοσία στο Υπουργείο Εργασίας, προχωρήσαμε σε ένα κύκλο εξορμήσεων σε χώρους δουλειάς με μοίρασμα της ανακοίνωσης που παραθέτουμε εκ νέου πιο κάτω. Ωστόσο, και […]

via ΣΥΒΧΨΑ: Να σταματήσει τώρα η είσπραξη χρημάτων για τα ταμειακά ελλείμματα από τους εργαζόμενους στα public —

Chinese in Paris want French government assurance after police kill local

Paris Protest Polizeigewalt (picture alliance/dpa/C.Yichen)

After police shot and killed a Chinese man in Paris, protesters clashed with police. The case has caused diplomatic tension between France and China and heightened concerns among local Chinese, Jake Cigainero reports.

By Jake Cigainero

His family says he was holding scissors because he had been cutting fish. French police claim he attacked them, and shot him in self-defense. Authorities have opened an investigation into the death of a Chinese national, and China is calling for more protection for its citizens in France.

Paris’ Chinese population is now looking for more security and assurance from the French government. Tamara Lui, president of the association “Chine de France – Francais de Chine” in Paris, says the city’s Chinese inhabitants already felt unsafe in the streets of some neighborhoods, especially after a Chinese shopkeeper was killed in a mugging last year.

Now after police shot someone from their community under unclear circumstances, she says they don’t know where to turn.

“Because this drama was caused by the police, we don’t know what to do. Today it’s them who kill us,” Lui told DW. “We don’t know anymore who we can ask for help.”

Read: As French suburbs rage against police, some take a different tack

Monday night about 150 people gathered outside the police commissariat in Paris’s 19th district to protest the death of a Chinese man killed by police at his home. The northeast area of the city is home to one of Paris’s largest Chinese communities.

The demonstration in front of the police station began peacefully but deteriorated later in the evening when security forces tried to disperse the crowd. By the end a police car and trashcans had been set on fire, and police detained 35 people. Three officers were lightly injured. Protests continued Tuesday evening, where clashes with police were smaller than the previous night.

Differing accounts

According to police, officers responded to a call on a family dispute Sunday evening. They say Shaoyo Liu, a 56-year-old father of five, tried to attack them when they broke through his door, and so one officer opened fire. A police spokesman told French media that the officer acted in self-defense.

The family’s lawyer, Calvin Job, said they “totally contest” the police’s version of events, and that Liu didn’t try to injure anyone. Job told French media that Liu had been cutting fish with one of his daughters when police attempted to enter the apartment. Security forces allegedly broke down the door and shot Liu at pointblank range in front of his children.

French police face off with members of the Chinese communityProtesters faced off with police again on Tuesday

Police say it was a neighbor who called emergency services and reported hearing shouting. The Liu family’s lawyer also denies that there was any shouting from the Liu apartment. Le Figaro reported that in 2012 Liu was arrested at his home and sent to a psychiatric hospital after a call to police from the same neighbor.

The case has put pressure on diplomatic relations between France and China. China’s foreign ministry summoned a French diplomat in Beijing to explain and demanded France better protect “the security and rights” of its national citizens. They also asked that French authorities thoroughly investigate to “shed light on this case.”

France’s foreign ministry responded that the safety of Chinese people in the country was a high national priority.

The Chinese government’s statement was assuring as it let expats to know that the government still supported them even in other countries, Lui says.

In previous years, China has called on France to reinforce security measures for its citizens after a string of robberies targeting Chinese tourists.

Community members feel unsafe

Lui says the Chinese community is “an extremely easy target for delinquents,” especially in the suburbs. The police shooting of Shaoyo has only diminished their confidence in French security forces.

Demonstrators and police in front of a police stationAround 150 demonstrators came together on Monday to protest the police shooting

“We don’t exactly feel protected by the state,” says Lui, who has been in France more than 20 years. “There isn’t a sufficient police presence in the streets. There aren’t enough cameras. So we don’t feel protected in some neighborhoods.”

Read: Riots in Paris after alleged baton rape by policeman

Last September, thousands of protestors from the community marched in Paris after shopkeeper Zhang Chaolin died from injuries in a robbery in the northern suburb of Aubervilliers.

In the same Paris neighborhood as the most recent drama, a Chinese supermarket’s sliding door glass remains cracked from an attempted robbery in February. A woman who did not want to be identified said it was not the first time. She added that Chinese have become less safe in the streets of Paris.

Lui says the Chinese population frequently feels like police response comes very late and that victims wait a long time. She says since a lot of Chinese expats don’t speak French well, it’s difficult for them to explain when reporting crimes, and that they feel the police aren’t very welcoming or helpful to them.

Lui suggests the police and the Chinese community should work together to improve the reception of Chinese inhabitants when they go to report crimes. “But not just for us, for everyone and other populations.”

“We’re like others. Maybe we are seen as easy targets because Chinese people have a reputation of being quiet, not causing trouble, not speaking French well. All of this constitutes a type of myth about the Chinese,” says Lui. “But we’re not the only victims.”

Source :http://www.dw.com/en/chinese-in-paris-want-french-government-assurance-after-police-kill-local/a-38183731

New Ferguson Video Adds Wrinkle to Michael Brown Case


In the two and a half years since Michael Brown, a black 18-year-old, was shot and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., the explosive case has been parsed in intricate detail. Witnesses offered varying descriptions of the fatal encounter. Investigators examined bloodstain evidence on the street where Mr. Brown died. And the police released a security video from a nearby store that showed Mr. Brown pushing a worker and taking cigarillos minutes before the shooting.

But a second, previously unreported video from that same convenience store included in a new documentary is raising new questions about what happened in the hours before the shooting on Aug. 9, 2014.

The footage shows Mr. Brown entering the store, Ferguson Market and Liquor, shortly after 1 a.m. on the day he died. He approaches the counter, hands over an item that appears to be a small bag and takes a shopping sack filled with cigarillos. Mr. Brown is shown walking toward the door with the sack, then turning around and handing the cigarillos back across the counter before exiting.

Jason Pollock, a documentary filmmaker who acquired the new tape, says the footage challenges the police narrative that Mr. Brown committed a strong-armed robbery when he returned to the store around noon that day. Instead, Mr. Pollock believes that the new video shows Mr. Brown giving a small bag of marijuana to store employees and receiving cigarillos in return as part of a negotiated deal. Mr. Pollock said Mr. Brown left the cigarillos behind the counter for safekeeping.

“There was some type of exchange, for one thing, for another,” Lesley McSpadden, Mr. Brown’s mother, says in Mr. Pollock’s documentary, “Stranger Fruit,” which premiered Saturday at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Tex., and examines the shooting from the family’s perspective.

But Jay Kanzler, a lawyer for the convenience store and its employees, strongly disputes that version of events, and said the new footage is unrelated to Mr. Brown’s later visit to the store.

“There was no transaction,” Mr. Kanzler said. “There was no understanding. No agreement. Those folks didn’t sell him cigarillos for pot. The reason he gave it back is he was walking out the door with unpaid merchandise and they wanted it back.”

Regardless of what happened at the store in the early-morning hours, the new security footage does not resolve long-simmering questions about Mr. Brown’s encounter with Officer Darren Wilson along a Ferguson street that day. Officer Wilson, who claimed that he feared for his life and had been assaulted by Mr. Brown, was cleared of criminal wrongdoing by a county grand jury and federal civil rights investigators. He resigned from the Police Department.

Mr. Brown’s death and the sometimes violent protests that followed raised broad questions about how police officers treat black people, both in the St. Louis area and across the country, and many remain steadfast in their belief that Mr. Brown was murdered.

Protesters were particularly offended by the Ferguson Police Department’s decision to release the video that showed Mr. Brown shoving the store clerk, perceiving it as part of an effort to defame and demonize the young man. Ms. McSpadden, who also spells her first name as Lezley, questioned why that tape was released publicly while her son’s earlier visit to the store had been kept quiet.

“They destroyed Michael’s character with the tape, and they didn’t show us what actually happened,” said Mr. Pollock, who spent more than two years in Ferguson conducting research for his documentary, and who questions the decision to not charge Officer Wilson. “So this shows their intention to make him look bad. And shows suppression of evidence.”

The St. Louis County Police Department briefly mentioned Mr. Brown’s early-morning visit to the store in a lengthy report on the case, which tipped Mr. Pollock off to the existence of an additional video.

Sgt. Shawn McGuire, a spokesman for the county police, said in an email on Saturday that footage of the earlier encounter had not been released because it was not relevant to the investigation.

He added later that he could not confirm the video’s authenticity.

Spokesmen for the city of Ferguson and the St. Louis County prosecutor’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Saturday.

Mr. Brown’s parents have filed a federal lawsuit against Officer Wilson, the city of Ferguson and the former Ferguson police chief. A civil trial is scheduled to start next year.