The Nation Sunday Print Edition - page 10

Page 10
Sunday, November 16, 2014
The Nation
Prime Minister Narendra
Modi on Saturday reiterated
that black money stashed in
the foreign banks is a priority
for his government and sought
a close global coordination
and cooperation in the issue.
At an informal meeting
of leaders of the five-nation
BRICS bloc in Brisbane, Modi
set the tone on this key issue
ahead of the G20 summit in
the wake of his commitment
to bring back every penny of
black money stashed abroad.
“Repatriation
of
black
money kept abroad is a key
priority for us,” Modi told the
BRICS leaders.
Calling for close coordina-
tion on the issue of black
money kept abroad, Modi also
said this unaccounted money
is also linked to security chal-
lenges.
As India makes attempts to
retrieve the black money, the
Prime Minister has already
made it clear that close coop-
eration to retrieve the black
money from abroad is a key
issue for him.
The G20 host Australia yes-
terday vowed a “very aggres-
sive” crackdown on tax avoid-
ance. India is also seeking
strong action by the Group of
20 industrialised and emerg-
ing economies against tax ha-
vens.
“A key issue for me would
be to highlight the importance
of international cooperation
against black money,” Modi
had said, as he is set to renew
the country’s commitment
at the G20 summit to a global
response to deal with cross
border tax avoidance and eva-
sion.
(India Today)
Beirut (AFP):
The Islamic State group is
locked in a war of attrition in the Syrian bor-
der town of Kobane, where Kurdish fighters
backed by US-led air strikes are mounting
fierce resistance.
Two months after IS launched a major of-
fensive to try to capture the strategic prize on
the Turkish frontier, the jihadists have failed
to defeat the town’s Kurdish defenders.
“Several weeks ago, it looked like Kobane
would fall, but it is now clear that it will not,”
said Romain Caillet, a French expert on ji-
hadist movements.
“IS controls more than half of the town but
is unable to advance further,” he told
AFP
.
Buoyed by a string of victories in Syria
and Iraq, IS launched a major offensive on
September 16 to seize Kobane and expand its
self-proclaimed Islamic “caliphate”.
The jihadists believed they would quickly
conquer the small town in northern Syria,
which was little known to the outside world
before the deadly fighting broke out.
Even the United States and Turkey warned
in October that the town was teetering on the
brink.
IS took over dozens of villages surround-
ing Kobane, known in Arabic as Ain al-Arab,
besieging the town’s Kurdish fighters.
On October 6, the jihadists reached the
gates of Kobane, triggering panic among ci-
vilians.
Tens of thousands fled across the border
into Turkey in fear of the reputed brutality
of the IS fighters.
The jihadists, equipped with advanced
weaponry seized from Iraqi and Syrian
troops, then fought their way into central Ko-
bane.But their advance has since faltered in
the face of fierce Kurdish resistance and US-
led bombings on IS targets.
According to the Syrian Observatory for
Human Rights, more than 600 jihadists and
nearly 370 Kurdish fighters have died in the
battle for Kobane.
The fighting also killed around 24 civilians
in Kobane, which used to be home to around
150,000 people, most of them Kurds.
Islamic State faces war
of attrition in Kobane
The so called ‘Caliph’ Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
(AFP)
Modi says repatriation of
black money is vital
Brisbane (AFP):
China on Saturday
urged BRICS nations to speed up the cre-
ation of a development bank as an alterna-
tive to the Western-dominated global finan-
cial system.
The BRICS group of emerging economic
powers - which also includes Brazil, Rus-
sia, India, and South Africa - agreed in
July to form the New Development Bank
to finance infrastructure projects and an
emergency reserve fund. The Chinese have
already chosen a site for the future Shang-
hai headquarters of the US$50 billion facil-
ity and China’s vice finance minister Zhu
Guangyao is keen to get moving.
“All (countries) share the view that they
should speed up the process to have it com-
pleted as quickly as possible,” he said on
the sidelines of the G20 summit in Austra-
lia. “And each country will identify feasible
projects for the bank as quickly as possible,
so that at the moment the bank is launched
it will be able to immediately carry out (fi-
nancing) processes.”
Chinese state media has said the BRICS
bank aims to reduce Western dominance
of the global financial system, while
criticising multilateral agencies like the
World Bank and the International Mon-
etary Fund. For the past 70 years, the In-
ternational Monetary Fund and the World
Bank have been the pillars of the world’s
economic system, coming to the rescue of
countries in trouble and supporting devel-
opment projects, respectively.
But the Bretton Woods institutions are
regularly criticised for their inability to re-
flect the growing and important contribu-
tions of the major emerging economies to
the global economy. Since their creation in
1944, the IMF and the World Bank have only
been led by Americans and Europeans.
BRICS leaders in Brazil last July
(AFP)
China urges swift move
on BRICS Bank
Brisbane (AFP):
US President Barack Obama
on Saturday warned of the dangers of outright
conflict in Asia, as China squares off against
rival claimants over disputed territories, but
vowed that Washington would remain anchored
in the region.
In a speech at Brisbane’s University of
Queensland, Obama insisted that his “pivot” of
US policy back to Asia was real and here to stay.
In the talk, given on the margins of the G20
summit, the president reviewed the stunning
economic progress seen in East Asia since World
War II.
“Yet alongside this dynamism, there are genu-
ine dangers that can undermine this progress,”
he said, citing North Korea for one and adding:
“Disputes over territory -- remote islands and
rocky shoals -- that threaten to spiral into con-
frontation.”
China is locked in dispute with four South-
east Asian countries over lonely outcrops in the
South China Sea and with Japan over another
set of islets.
Obama repeated his insistence given inBeijing
this week, after talks with Chinese President Xi
Jinping, that the United States welcomes the rise
of China provided it is a peaceful and responsible
player on the world stage. But China, he stressed
in Brisbane, must “adhere to the same rules as
other nations, whether in trade or on the seas”.
And the United States will continue to be
“frank where there are differences” with Bei-
jing, Obama said.
An effective security order for Asia must be
based “not on spheres of influence, or coercion
or intimidation where big nations bully the
small”, he said, but on alliances built on respect.
Four members of the Association of South-
east Asian Nations (ASEAN) -- Brunei, Malaysia,
the Philippines and Vietnam -- claim parts of the
South China Sea, a key shipping lane believed to
be rich in undersea gas deposits.
But China says almost all of the sea is its own,
including waters near to the shores of its small-
er neighbors.
Obama insisted that his “pivot” of US policy back
to Asia was real
(AFP)
Obama warns Asian
territorial rows could
‘spiral into confrontation’
Indian PMModi is in his first official tour in Australia
(AFP)
After serving 16 years in pris-
on on double murder charges
they were wrongfully convicted
for, two NewYork Citymen have
reached a $9 million settlement
deal with local and state offi-
cials.
The case dates all the way
back to 1989, when two men
were killed during a drive-by
shooting in Manhattan’s Lower
East Side that also left two other
people wounded. Both Anthony
Ortiz, 44, and Danny Colon were
charged in the killing. They
were found guilty in 1993.
However, the prosecution’s
case against the two men rest-
ed largely on the testimony of
Anibal Vera, a drug addict who
knew Colon and was facing
time in prison on other charg-
es,
Reuters
reported. Vera first
claimed that he heard Ortiz
and Colon were involved, then
told prosecutors that the two
men had confessed to carry-
ing out the murders.
What went unsaid during
the trial, according to court
documents, was that Vera had
agreed to testify after secur-
ing deals from prosecutors.
As a result, the case was over-
turned in 2009 and the two
men were released in 2010.
Shortly afterwards, Colon and
Ortiz sued New York City, the
state, and the New York City
Housing Authority, since the
killings occurred at a city
housing project.
Under the terms of the new-
ly reached settlement, Ortiz
will receive $6.5 million and
Colon will get $2.5 million, The
Wall Street Journal
reported.
(RT)
Brisbane (AFP):
The United Na-
tions Saturday (Nov 15) called on G20
leaders to intensify their response to
the deadly Ebola outbreak inWest Af-
rica, warning of amajor food crisis if
they fail to act.
Speaking in Brisbane, where the
two-day G20 leaders meeting is being
hosted by Australia, UN Secretary-
General Ban Ki-moon joined with
international aid agencies in urging
concrete actions to fight the disease.
“I would also like to stress the
need to intensify the international
response to the outbreak of Ebola in
West Africa,” Ban told reporters. “As
rates decline in one area, they are ris-
ing in others. Transmission contin-
ues to outpace the response from the
international community. I urge the
leaders of G20 countries to step up.”
Ban said the secondary impacts
of the health crisis could spiral into
other areas, including a food crisis,
caused by disruption in farming due
in countries affected by the outbreak
including Sierra Leone and Liberia.
“That could provoke a major food
crisis affecting one million people
across the region,” he said.
The G20 is under pressure to adopt
a hard-hitting financial response to
the Ebola epidemic as health workers
battling horrific working conditions
plead for more resources.
A joint petition from international
aid groups including Oxfam and
Save the Children urged the G20 to
band together to ensure the right re-
sources are made available in terms
of personnel, equipment and fund-
ing. “This is a chance to stop Ebola
in its tracks, and it must not be
missed,” said Oxfam Australia chief
Helen Szoke
Ban said while Ebola began as a
health issue, it had developed into
a security and economic one and
needed massive resources in terms
of finance, logistics and treatment.
“Because of the very extraordinary
nature of this disease I think the
international community has been
panicked,” he said. “We should guard
against this kind of panic.”
UN, aid group step up pressure on G20 over Ebola
Two wrongfully convicted men in NY awarded $9mn after 16 yrs
Foreign
news
Force-feeding shrouded
in secrecy in Guantanamo
Guantanamo Bay Naval Base
(Cuba) (AFP)
- Behind the barbed wire
of Guantanamo Bay prison, hunger-
striking inmates are routinely force-fed,
a practice defended by officials as nec-
essarymedical treatment but labeled by
critics as torture.
But, forall thedebatesurrounding the
practice, information about it is scarce,
and force-feeding remains shrouded in
secrecy.
“We don’t talk about this,” said Rear
Admiral Kyle Cozad, commander of
Joint Task Force-Guantanamo, arguing
the silence is designed to prevent in-
mates scoring misleading propaganda
points.
“Detainees manipulate the media, on
a routine basis, and I say that with con-
fidence and conviction,” Cozad added,
speaking to a small group of journalists
at the naval base in Cuba last month.
Among the prison’s 148 detainees, it is
unclear exactly how many have staged
hunger strikes or how many have been
force-fed.
The US military detention center has
not released any information about the
force-feeding of inmates since October
2013, and prison authorities recently
banned filming the act.
Previously, the graphic recordings of
the forced feedings and cell removals of
hunger strikers were the only record of
those events.
A federal judge has ordered the re-
dacted release of the videotapes, but
granted a request by President Barack
Obama’s administration for a month-
long pause on releasing them.
The government is expected to appeal
the release order.
Last year, Guantanamo prisoners
staged the largest protest in the pris-
on’s history -- involving two thirds of
all detainees at its peak and spanning
six months.
Prisoners say they are being held in
legal limbo.
Up to 46 of the hunger strikers, ac-
cording to official figures, were fed by
force using so-called “enteral feedings”
through a tube inserted through the
nose and directly into the stomach.
Torture or medical
necessity?
Rights groups decry the practice
as torture, and have demanded more
transparency from prison officials
about force feeding.
Cozad said the decision to tube-feed
prisoners -- even against their will -- is
based on medical assessments, to pre-
vent them from dying of lack of nutri-
tion, and continues only until the in-
mate is considered healthy again.
“It’s a matter of medical concern and
that’s the only reason we would enteral-
feed one of the detainees,” said Cozad.
“When they begin to eat or they
become nutritionally stable, then we
make the determination to take them
off of that list.”
According to the command in charge
of Guantanamo, prisoners who are in-
volved in “non-religious fasting” are
removed from their cells in a so-called
“forced cell extraction” by guards and
strapped to a restraint chair to be force-
fed. A feeding tube is inserted into a
prisoner’s stomach through his nose
and he is fed a nutritional supplement
for 20 minutes. Hunger-strikers are
sometimes administered painkillers.
No moral or ethical issues
Cozad decides after consulting with
his medical staff whether to feed a
prisoner by force.
“I have no moral or ethical issue
with it,” he said, adding that he is
only acting to “preserve the health of
the detainee population.”
“We are an isolated place... we don’t
have the ability to medevac somebody
who is gravely ill who maybe went on
non-religious fast for a prolonged pe-
riod of time,” Cozad added.
The camp hides many secrets behind the barbed wire and watchtowers
(AFP)
UN Secretary-General
Ban Ki-moon
(AFP)
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