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Nicolas Sarkozy to face trial over illegal campaign financing

The former French president has lost an appeal against over charges of illegal campaign financing. The conservative leader is facing multiple legal problems, including allegations he accepted funds from Muammar Gaddafi. Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy must face trial for illegal campaign financing after losing a court appeal on Thursday. The 'Bygmalion' scandal is just one of several legal problems facing Sarkozy following his unsuccessful re-election bid in 2012. Details of the case • Sarkozy was appealing a 2017 ruling that he and 13 others face trial over the "Bygmalion affair." • In 2012 Sarkozy allegedly exceeded the legal limit for election campaign spending. • A PR firm called Bygmalion was allegedly involved in exceeding the $22.5 million ($25.6 million) limit by almost double via fake invoices. Other legal troubles: Sarkozy is also facing accusations of bribery and illegal influence. In 2014, Sarkozy allegedly obtained secret information from a lawyer general at the Court of Cassation through his legal counsel. He is also under investigation for allegedly accepting campaign financing in 2007 from then-Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi. Further appeal: Sarkozy's lawyers said their client would now take the case to the Cour de Cassation, France's court of final appeal.

The former French president has lost an appeal against over charges of illegal campaign financing. The conservative leader is facing multiple legal problems, including allegations he accepted funds from Muammar Gaddafi. Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy must face trial for illegal campaign financing after losing a court appeal on Thursday. The ‘Bygmalion’ scandal is just one of several legal problems ... Read More »

US bomb threats: Critics blame Trump’s toxic rhetoric

US President Donald Trump called for "more civility" in politics after a string of parcel bombs targeted prominent politicians. Critics claim his attacks on the media and Democrats provide fuel for political violence. Deep divisions and the specter of political violence erupted in the United States Wednesday after a string of parcel bombs were sent to prominent Democrats and news outlet CNN. At least seven packages were intercepted before they reached former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and others. None of the parcels exploded and nobody was hurt. The FBI has launched an investigation. US President Donald Trump condemned political violence and called for unity, but Democrats and critics were quick to put the blame on the president's often vitriolic rhetoric. Read more: Opinion: Politically motivated violence in Trump's America is no surprise At a rally in Wisconsin ahead of the November 6 mid-term vote that could see Democrats take control of one or both houses of Congress, Trump told supporters the media had a responsibility "to stop the endless hostility and constant negative and oftentimes false attacks and stories." "Any acts or threats of political violence are an attack on our democracy itself," Trump said. "We want all sides to come together in peace and harmony." But he also said that those "engaged in the political arena" must stop treating political opponents as being "morally defective." "No one should carelessly compare political opponents to historic villains, which is done often," he said. Critics lay the blame at Trump's door Former CIA Director John Brennan, who had a parcel bomb addressed to him at CNN's office in New York, said he may have been targeted because of his strong criticism of Trump. Brennan is actually an analyst for NBC. "If I and others are being targeted because we're speaking out ... it's a very unfortunate turn of events," he said at an event in Austin. "Donald Trump too often has helped to incite these acts of violence" but "I'm hoping that maybe this is a turning point." The media has often been at the center of Trump's barbs against "fake news" and he has labeled journalists as "enemies of the people." CNN is one of the president's favorite targets. CNN president Jeff Zucker issued sharp criticism of Trump's verbal assaults on the media. "There is a total and complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media," said Zucker. "Words matter. Thus far, they have shown no comprehension of that." Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Nancy Pelosi, two top Democrats, said in a statement that Trump's "words ring hollow until he reverses his statements that condone acts of violence." "Time and time again, the President has condoned physical violence and divided Americans with his words and his actions: Expressing support for the Congressman who body-slammed a reporter, the neo-Nazis who killed a young woman in Charlottesville, his supporters at rallies who get violent with protestors, dictators around the world who murder their own citizens, and referring to the free press as the enemy of the people," they said. Soros targeted The spree of parcel bombs started on Monday with one sent to the New York home of George Soros, a financier of liberal causes who is a bete noire of the far-right. In recent weeks, Soros has been accused by conservatives of trying to undermine Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination and backing a caravan of Central American migrants trying to reach the United States. Laura Silber, a spokeswoman for Soros' Open Society Foundations, blamed toxic political rhetoric for the bomb scares. "The hateful rhetoric that dominates politics in the US and in so many countries around the world breeds extremism and violence," Silber said in a statement. "In this climate of fear, falsehoods and rising authoritarianism, just voicing your views can draw death threats."

US President Donald Trump called for “more civility” in politics after a string of parcel bombs targeted prominent politicians. Critics claim his attacks on the media and Democrats provide fuel for political violence. Deep divisions and the specter of political violence erupted in the United States Wednesday after a string of parcel bombs were sent to prominent Democrats and news ... Read More »

Jamal Khashoggi’s family called to palace by Saudi royals

Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman expressed their condolences Tuesday to the family of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Yamama Palace in Riyadh, the state-run SPA news agency said. Photographs of the gathering showed Khashoggi's brother Sahl bin Ahmed Khashoggi and his son Salah Jamal Khashoggi (pictured above) exchanging handshakes with the two royals as a cameraman filmed in the background. Sahl and Salah gave their thanks to the king and crown prince, the SPA report added. A friend of the family told The Associated Press that Salah cannot leave the country because he has been under a travel ban since last year Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also offered his condolences to the Khashoggi family in a phone call and told them he would do "everything necessary to solve the murder," the Turkish presidency said. US targets 'Saudi suspects' Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a vocal critic of the crown prince, disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Saudi Arabia initially claimed the 59-year-old had left the premises after picking up some documents, but later said he had died accidentally in a "fistfight." A number of Western governments have questioned the credibility of that account and demanded that the kingdom — which is hosting a major investor conference this week — provide a full explanation. Critics allege the crown prince himself may have ordered the assassination, or at the very least been aware of it. US State Secretary Mike Pompeo said the Trump administration would move to revoke visas of concerned Saudi officials. Shortly afterward, the State Department said 21 "Saudi suspects" would no longer be able to enter the US. "These penalties will not be the last word on this matter," Pompeo said. The Trump administration "will continue to hold those responsible accountable. We're making very clear that the United States does not tolerate this kind of ruthless action to silence Mr. Khashoggi, a journalist, with violence." Search for evidence Turkish officials allege Khashoggi was tortured, killed and dismembered inside the consulate by a 15-man hit squad flown in from Riyadh. Last week, Turkish forensics teams searched the home of the Saudi consul general, located just 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from the consulate. Local media reported that local security forces had also searched for evidence at a 3-story villa in Yalova province, near Istanbul. The property reportedly belonged to a member of the Saudi hit squad. Read more: Jamal Khashoggi's murder through the lens of Middle Eastern media Saudi Arabia's Cabinet said on Tuesday that it would hold those behind the murder to account "no matter who they may be." "Measures have been taken by the kingdom to uncover the truth and hold accountable all those whose incompetence or immediate responsibility" was behind the killing, a Cabinet statement published by the state-run SPA news agency said. Saudi authorities say they have arrested 18 suspects, including members of the hit squad and consulate staff.

Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman expressed their condolences Tuesday to the family of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Yamama Palace in Riyadh, the state-run SPA news agency said. Photographs of the gathering showed Khashoggi’s brother Sahl bin Ahmed Khashoggi and his son Salah Jamal Khashoggi (pictured above) exchanging handshakes with the two royals as a ... Read More »

Mexico: Hurricane Willa makes landfall

Hurricane Willa slammed into Mexico's west-central coast late Tuesday. According to the US National Hurricane Center, the storm still had maximum sustained winds of 195 kph (120 mph), with forecasters warning it would be a deadly storm. The hurricane came ashore near Isla del Bosque in Sinaloa state about 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of the resort town of Mazatlan. It first swept over the Marias islands, the location of a Mexican federal prison. Willa began losing power overnight to become a Category 3 storm as it moved inland. Authorities warned it could cause heavy rains in Jalisco, Nayarit and Sinaloa states. Flash flooding and landslides could happen in mountainous areas. A state of alert had ben declared in all three states and schools closed. How much damage? Damage assessments were still coming in but officials said there were reports of power blackouts and damage to flimsy structures with tin roofs. The interior ministry did not immediately respond to questions on whether it had evacuated the 1,000 inmates from the island or what other emergency measures were in place for the penal colony. "We do not have any reports of damage there so far," the head of Mexico's emergency services, Luis Felipe Puente, told a press conference. More than 4,250 people were evacuated from high-risk areas, including tourists who were on vacation at the beach, Felipe Puente said. They are being housed in 58 temporary shelters. Residents in storm's path At a shelter in Escuinapa, a town of 30,000 people, residents waited nervously and worried about their homes. "You feel bad leaving everything behind, but what can you do? We're up against nature," farmer Epigmenio Cardenas told AFP. Many residents had boarded up their windows with plywood. "They told us it was going to hit hard, and that we had to come here" to the shelter, said cook Maria Virginia Cardenas. The Mexican army has deployed troops to roll out a disaster response operation in the area. In the tranquil beach town of Mazatlan, the hotels that line the coast were largely empty. Residents had stocked up on food and water, but there were no signs of shortages so far. Mexico's Pacific coast has already been hit by deadly storms and rains this hurricane season. In September, at least 15 people were killed when flash floods hit the states of Sinaloa and Michoacan. Last week, 11 more people died in Oaxaca, including seven children.

Hurricane Willa slammed into Mexico’s west-central coast late Tuesday. According to the US National Hurricane Center, the storm still had maximum sustained winds of 195 kph (120 mph), with forecasters warning it would be a deadly storm. The hurricane came ashore near Isla del Bosque in Sinaloa state about 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of the resort town of Mazatlan. ... Read More »

Turkey using Jamal Khashoggi’s killing as political leverage

Turkey using Jamal Khashoggi's killing as political leverage The killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia's Istanbul consulate has put a strain on Turkey's relationship with the Gulf monarchy. Until recently, Turkey had been at pains to maintain good ties with the Saudis, while also keeping friendly relations with the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood — an organization Khashoggi supported, incidentally. Now, it seems, Turkey's political balancing act has come to an end; the gloves are coming off and Ankara wants Saudi Arabia to come clean about the killing. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed that Khashoggi's murder will be fully investigated. Former Turkish Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis believes Erdogan's tough new stance vis-a-vis Riyadh is not only a result of Khashoggi's death, but part of his broader political agenda. Turkey's ties to the Muslim Brotherhood Turkey's relationship to the Muslim Brotherhood — one of the most important political movements in the Arab world, which has its roots in Egypt — always played an important role in ties between Ankara and Riyadh. Indeed, it is well-known that the Saudis disapproved of Turkey's relationship with the Brotherhood. Even so, and despite the complicated state of Middle Eastern politics, Turkey is trying to uphold its ties to the organization, along with Iran, according to Yakis. In response to Turkey's Brotherhood relationship, Saudi Arabia has sought closer ties with Israel, he said. And the Gulf monarchy is also cooperating with the Kurds, a group long at odds with Erdogan's government — especially in Syria. "The Kurds are America's closest ally in the fight against [Islamic State] in Syria," said Yakis, noting that they recently received arms worth $200 million (€174 million). "The weapons were provided by the US, the Saudi kingdom footed the bill." What's more, Turkey was rather irritated that the Kurds received such support, he added. In light of the complicated Saudi-Turkish ties, Erdogan is using Khashoggi's murder as leverage against Riyadh, Yakis said. Erdogan has signaled that he has information which he could use against them, without revealing everything he knows, he explained, which will keep the Saudis and Turks busy in talks. Deeply at odds These talks could indicate that Turkey wishes to play a greater role in the Arab world. Indeed, during a visit to Egypt in early 2018, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman accused Turkey of supporting Iran and Islamist organizations, and blamed the country for working towards building an Arab caliphate. Burak Bilgehan Ozpek, a political researcher at Ankara's TOBB University of Economics and Technology, said that Turkey has by and large ignored these accusations. Turkey did, however, severely criticize Saudi Arabia when it, together with several other Arab states, imposed an economic embargo on Qatar in 2017. So while Turkey was helping Qatar fight the embargo, it was simultaneously trying to keep tensions with the Saudi kingdom to a minimum. Ozpek believes Khashoggi's murder has pushed Erdogan to pressure the Saudis. If Saudi Arabia reconsiders its stance in the region and with regard to Turkey, tensions may be reduced, he said, but noted he is nonetheless skeptical about whether the Khashoggi affair will be fully resolved. "Turkey is acting as if it were in control of the case, and is feeding expectations of a transparent investigation," Ozpek said. Only time will tell if these expectation are met, he added, explaining that until that happens, there is no certainty over what really happened to Khashoggi.

Turkey using Jamal Khashoggi’s killing as political leverage The killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul consulate has put a strain on Turkey’s relationship with the Gulf monarchy. Until recently, Turkey had been at pains to maintain good ties with the Saudis, while also keeping friendly relations with the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood — an organization Khashoggi supported, ... Read More »

Migrant caravan ‘could not be larger gift’ for Donald Trump

In a replay of his 2016 campaign, President Trump is whipping up anti-immigrant sentiment to stoke his base for the midterm election. But it will do nothing to stop what is a slow moving train wreck in Latin America. "Remember the midterms", US President Donald Trump reminded his 55 million followers on Twitter on Tuesday in a sequence of tweets focused on the so-called migrant caravan that is making its way through Mexico towards the US border. If there was ever any doubt that Trump would forego the attention-grabbing visuals of thousands of Latin American migrants braving brutal conditions to trek tens of miles per day in hopes of reaching the US, a series of presidential tweets sent out in the past couple of days erased it. Using military jargon to describe the caravan and alleging — without offering evidence — that criminals and "unknown Middle Easterners" were part of the group, Trump faulted Democrats and US courts for standing in the way of a tougher immigration policy, and El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, the home countries of most of the migrants, for not preventing them from making the journey. "The timing of this could not be a larger gift to President Trump and the Republican Party in advance of the midterm elections", said Cynthia Arnson, director of the Wilson Center's Latin America program. She noted that, ahead of competitive midterm elections, Trump — by associating immigrants with crime — was simply going back to his electorally successful 2016 campaign playbook. "I think that's precisely why President Trump is going to his Twitter account and making all kinds of harsh statements to appeal to his base and to stoke that kind of fear", said Arnson. "There has been a consistent messaging from this White House to equate migrants with violent crime and the evidence is actually quite the contrary." Trump's controversial effort to turn the plight of thousands of migrants desperate enough to make the consequential decision to leave their homes to go on an arduous journey they hope will somehow enable them to find a safe haven in the United States is unlikely to sway any undecided voters. But it may well succeed in rallying his core base of supporters, which in a close election could be enough to eke out a victory. "This election is going to be won by turnout", said Karen Alter, a political scientist at Northwestern University. "Trump is trying to dial up the fear dial to distract to an area where he is being perceived as stronger, mainly his willingness to crack down on immigration, in hopes that that affects the turnout." Key issue for GOP A Pew Research Center poll published earlier this month appears to support the strategy of focusing on immigration to boost Republican turnout. "Illegal immigration is the highest-ranked national problem among GOP voters, but it ranks lowest among 18 issues for Democratic voters", found Pew researchers. Trump's push to elevate the migrant caravan to an urgent national security issue may bring in Republican votes, but it is disingenuous and does nothing to solve a migrant crisis that has been ongoing in ebbs and flows since 2014 when the first groups of unaccompanied minors entered the US during the Obama administration, noted the scholars. "The larger issue is that there is a slow moving train wreck going on in Latin America of governments that are falling apart and they are generating refugee crises", said Alter. In El Salvador, Honduras and other countries the security situation for people has become so dire now that families simply feel they cannot stay there. With governments unable to provide even the most basic protection for the people, corrupt police forces and ultra-violent gangs and drug cartels taking over, the choice for citizens is easy. Complete desperation "They are leaving out of complete desperation", said Alter. "And since they are leaving out of desperation, nothing that President Trump yells in his tantrum — 'I am going to remove foreign aid, I am going to build a wall' — none of that can stop desperate people who are literally facing life and death situations." What's more, nixing foreign aid to the deeply impoverished nations of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras will only increase the country's troubles and potentially cause even more people to seek refugee in the US. "There is nothing that could be more counterproductive in the medium and long term, because the only lasting resolution to the migrant crisis is to be found in the region and to changing the conditions of deprivation and violence that continue to cause people to flee because they feel they have no future and no safety within their own borders", said Arnson. Address root causes But that, said the scholars, would require the change of US policy toward a region that it has ignored far too long to its own and the region's detriment. "We are going to need to pay much more attention to our backyard than we have been paying attention to it recently", said Alter. "And the good news is that we don't actually have Muslim fundamentalist terrorists in Latin America and that these are really internal crises that you actually might have a chance to address." But instead of focusing on the much more difficult task, of addressing the root causes of the ongoing migrant crisis in the region, Trump has chosen the very convenient path "to throw these chaos bombs to distract the media, to distract the American public and to try to motivate people to turn out in the midterm elections."

In a replay of his 2016 campaign, President Trump is whipping up anti-immigrant sentiment to stoke his base for the midterm election. But it will do nothing to stop what is a slow moving train wreck in Latin America. “Remember the midterms”, US President Donald Trump reminded his 55 million followers on Twitter on Tuesday in a sequence of tweets ... Read More »

Donald Trump confirms US will pull out of nuclear arms pact with Russia

President Donald Trump has announced he will pull the United States out of a Cold War-era nuclear weapons deal with Russia. The president has accused Russia of violating the 1987 pact, but provided no further details. The United States will withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia, President Donald Trump announced Saturday. Trump justified the move by accusing Moscow of violating the 1987 nuclear arms pact , but refused to provide further details. "[Russia] has been violating it for many years. I don't know why President Obama didn't negotiate or pull out," the president said following a campaign stop in Elko, Nevada. "We're not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement and go out and do weapons [while] we're not allowed to. We are going to terminate the agreement and then we are going to develop the weapons." Trump went on to indicate that he would reconsider, provided Russia and China agreed to sign up to a fresh nuclear deal. China is party to the current pact. "We'll have to develop those weapons, unless Russia comes to us and China comes to us and they all come to us and say let's really get smart and let's none of us develop those weapons, but if Russia's doing it and if China's doing it, and we're adhering to the agreement, that's unacceptable," Trump said. The landmark agreement, signed by then-leaders Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, prohibits the US and Russia from possessing, producing or testing ground-launched cruise missiles with a range of 300 to 3,400 miles (500 to 5,500 kilometers). US dreaming of 'unipolar world': Russia Russia has responded to Washington's impending withdrawal from the arms treaty by accusing it of striving to become the world's only superpower. "The main motive is a dream of a unipolar world. Will it come true? No," Moscow's state-run news agency RIA Novosti quoted a foreign ministry official as saying. "This decision is part of the US policy course to withdraw from those international legal agreements that place equal responsibilities on it and its partners and make vulnerable its concept of its own 'exceptionalism.'" Russian Senator Alexei Pushkov took to Twitter to condemn the move as "the second powerful blow against the whole system of strategic stability in the world," with the first being Washington's 2001 withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the TASS state news agency that Trump's planned move was dangerous. "This would be a very dangerous step that, I'm sure, not only will not be comprehended by the international community but will provoke serious condemnation," he said. Second Trump-Putin summit still in the pipeline Trump's announcement comes just as US National Security Adviser John Bolton is set to begin a series of visits to Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia. In Moscow, Bolton is expected to begin preparations for a second summit between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Although no date has yet been announced, a meeting is expected in the near future. That could be in November, when the two leaders will be in Paris for a commemoration ceremony marking the end of World War I. Another possibility would be around the time of the next G20 leaders' summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, slated to begin November 30. Tensions between Russia and the US remain strained over the Ukraine crisis, the conflict in Syria and allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential vote and the upcoming midterm elections.

President Donald Trump has announced he will pull the United States out of a Cold War-era nuclear weapons deal with Russia. The president has accused Russia of violating the 1987 pact, but provided no further details. The United States will withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia, President Donald Trump announced Saturday. Trump justified the move by accusing ... Read More »

Women struggle to survive Greece’s notorious refugee camp

Women stranded as refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos face daily violence, never-ending asylum procedures and horrible living conditions. DW's Marianna Karakoulaki spoke with some of them about their experiences. Amal, a young woman in her 20s, and her family fled the ongoing conflict at home in Yemen as well as limited opportunities for women. After a treacherous journey across the Aegean she arrived at Lesbos. Here she thought she would finally find the freedom she was looking for. Instead she was taken to Moria, Greece's largest refugee camp, which resembles an open-air prison. She describes it as hell on earth. Moria has been in the international spotlight repeatedly because of the dreadful circumstances. More than 7,000 people live in an area built for 3,100. High walls and a barbed-wire fence separate the main camp site from the tent city that spreads around it. The living conditions do not meet international standards and are not adequate for thousands of residents. People have to wait in lines for hours to receive their meals; the restrooms and showers are unhygienic; sewage water runs constantly through the camp to the road in front. Violence seems to have become the new normal, and people struggle to carry out every day activities. A recent report by Amnesty International on women and girls in Greek refugee camps describes how the severe overcrowding can be especially threatening to women. Indeed, living in Moria is even worse for women than it is for men. 'Better off dead' Amal recounts in vivid detail how she witnessed a man beating a woman until she bled. The assault took place in front of Greek police who ignored it and later blamed the woman for 'hanging out with such men.' "The situation in Moria is unfair for women," Amal says. Her portrayal of daily life at the camp is striking. Even simple tasks such as going to the restroom can be dangerous. Although men are not allowed near the women's restrooms, they are always there, she says. One of her friends was recently harassed by an older man at the women's restrooms. She managed to run away before anything worse happened. "Sometimes I think it would have been better to have died in the sea rather than be in this place," Amal says. "As a feminist I learned that I should not be afraid of anything. But I am afraid of never leaving this place," she continues. This fear is the reason why Amal would prefer to be anonymous. She has heard rumors that if refugees say something negative about the camp, their asylum cases may be affected. That fear was shared by every person living in Moria who spoke to DW. "Being a feminist and a refugee at the same time is extremely hard. We have so many words to say during our asylum interview, but we have to keep quiet, because we want to leave here," Amal says. Amal wants to follow in the footsteps of her role model, Egyptian feminist Nawal El Saadawi, who defied patriarchal norms in her country and achieved her goals thanks to her education. Fix patriarchy and you fix everything Somayeh, who comes from Afghanistan, struggles to find something positive to say about Moria. She's thankful that she no longer lives there but in PIKPA, a self-organized camp for vulnerable refugees that is run by volunteers. Life in Moria was extremely difficult not only because of unhygienic conditions and long food lines but also because of the continuous violence in the camp When Somayeh speaks of her experiences as an Afghan woman her voice trembles even as she spits fire. She was a student at university before she got married, when her husband forced her to quit her studies. "Afghanistan is the country where the power is in the hands of the man. We can't work for women's rights there. I want equality but how can I face all men? I fight a lot for women, but I struggle for my [own] life," she says. Somayeh was a women's rights activist at home, neither an easy or safe task in such a patriarchal society. She firmly believes that women are not given many opportunities anywhere. Refugee women have even fewer. But to her, the solution to the problems displaced women in Europe face is not very complicated. "Europe needs to give women refugees knowledge; they need to educate them about women's rights. This will give them self-confidence. But they also need to provide them with safety," she says. 'Treat people as human beings' Even Kumi Naidoo, surely inured to sights such as Moria as a world-renowned activist and head of Amnesty International, was shocked by what he saw at the camp during a visit earlier this month. He was astonished by the women's strength in such a horrible situation, he told DW, and underlined a specific need to focus on women refugees. "Women suffer more vulnerabilities; just based on the reality of the amount of sexual harassment and sexual violence that, sadly, women, especially from poor communities, face. On the other side, the resilience of the women — just to be able to survive, to keep a smile on their face and look for solutions to sort things out — takes emotional and spiritual resilience on a very high level," he told DW. Amal is one of those survivors. "My life is in the bottom of a lake in Iran, where I lost all of my documents," she says. But she has not let that stop her. Once she is granted asylum in Greece she plans to return to Moria to help other women refugees find the strength to fight inequality. Just as her feminist role models have done in the past. * Some quotes have been edited for clarity. Refugees' names and details that may identify them or their families have been altered or omitted

Women stranded as refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos face daily violence, never-ending asylum procedures and horrible living conditions. DW’s Marianna Karakoulaki spoke with some of them about their experiences. Amal, a young woman in her 20s, and her family fled the ongoing conflict at home in Yemen as well as limited opportunities for women. After a treacherous journey ... Read More »

Israel postpones forced eviction of West Bank Bedouin village

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has suspended plans to demolish a Bedouin village in the West Bank amid international concern. The ICC has warned that evacuating Khan al-Ahmar could constitute a war crime. A Bedouin village in the occupied West Bank scheduled for demolition by Israel has received a temporary reprieve after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu put a hold on plans to evacuate and raze it. Israeli authorities say that the small village, Khan al-Ahmar, which is home to just 180 residents, was built illegally, and had ordered villagers to leave their houses and pull them down by October 1. Since that deadline expired without compliance, residents have been waiting for bulldozers to move in. "The intention [of the postponement] is to give a chance to the negotiations and the offers we received from different bodies, including in recent days," a statement from the premier's office said on Saturday. On Sunday, Netanyahu himself told reporters that the postponement would be only temporary. "I have no intention of postponing this indefinitely, despite reports to the contrary, but for a short time," he said. He said his security Cabinet would set what he called a "short" timetable at a meeting on Sunday. Possible war crime Israel's plans to demolish Khan al-Ahmar have drawn international concern, with the UN and EU member states, including Germany, all calling on the Israeli government not to go ahead in view of the possible impact such a demolition could have on prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace. Palestinians say that it is virtually impossible to obtain building permits. They maintain that razing the village is part of an Israeli plan to make room to expand Jewish settlements so they would, in effect, divide the occupied West Bank, thus further fragmenting the territory sought for a future Palestinian state. On Wednesday, the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, said in a statement that Israel's planned "evacuation by force" of Khan al-Ahmar could constitute a war crime. The plans for evacuating the village include relocation to an area about 12 kilometers (7 miles) away next to a landfill. The village is currently located east of Jerusalem on a highway leading to the Dead Sea.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has suspended plans to demolish a Bedouin village in the West Bank amid international concern. The ICC has warned that evacuating Khan al-Ahmar could constitute a war crime. A Bedouin village in the occupied West Bank scheduled for demolition by Israel has received a temporary reprieve after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu put a hold ... Read More »

Central American migrants vote to reform caravan, continue march toward US

Some 2,000 Central American migrants who managed to cross from Guatemala into Mexico have vowed to continue marching toward the US. President Donald Trump has politicized the caravan ahead of the midterm elections. About 2,000 Central American migrants who successfully crossed the Guatemalan border into Mexico voted in a show of hands on Saturday to reform their caravan and continue marching toward the US border. The migrants in question, most of whom are from Honduras, had entered Mexico without registering by crossing the Suchiate River on the border with Guatemala, either by swimming or on makeshift rafts. It followed a chaotic day at the border on Friday when thousands surged through a series of police lines and barricades, only to ultimately be pushed back by Mexican officers in riot gear. Thousands remain stranded on the bridge connecting the two nations. Rodrigo Abeja, one of the caravan's leaders, told The Associated Press the group that crossed the border would move toward the Mexican city of Tapachula on Sunday morning. "We don't yet know if we will make it to the (US) border, but we are going to keep going as far as we can," he said. The migrants gathered in a park on the Mexican side of the river crossing shouting "Let's all walk together!" and "Yes we can!" Mexico allows women, children to register as migrants Meanwhile, authorities at Mexico's southern border on Saturday allowed small groups of women and children to enter the country and be processed by immigration officials. Those migrants were then taken to a shelter in Tapachula, some 25 miles (40 kilometers) from the border. Most of the women and children had spent the night sleeping out in the open, either on the packed border bridge or in the Guatemalan border city of Tecun Uman. Mexican authorities have insisted that those still stranded on the bridge crossing will have to file asylum claims one-by-one to gain access to the country. It remains unclear whether their applications are likely to be accepted. Meanwhile, the Guatemalan government has organized a fleet of buses to take the migrants back to their native Honduras. Initial estimates suggest over 300 people have already taken up the offer. Trump: Migrant caravan politically motivated The migrant caravan's decision to continue travelling toward the US comes despite assertions by US President Donald Trump on Friday that not a single one of them would be allowed to enter the United States "on [his] watch." Trump has sought to make the caravan and US border security a central issue ahead of midterm elections in just over two weeks' time. The president kept up that rhetoric during a rally in Elko, Nevada, on Saturday. "The Democrats want caravans, they like the caravans. A lot of people say 'I wonder who started that caravan?'" he said. Trump went on to praise Mexican authorities for trying to halt the caravan's progress. "Mexico has been so incredible. Thank you Mexico and the leaders of Mexico, thank you," he said. "And you know why, because now Mexico respects the leadership of the United States." However, Mexico's increasingly no-nonsense approach to the large inflows of migrants has largely come on the back of Trump's threats to cut aid and shut down the US-Mexico border if authorities did not stop them. Back in Guatemala, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez and his Guatemalan counterpart Jimmy Morales echoed Trump's politicized theme as the pair met Saturday to discuss the crisis. "This migration has political motivations," said Morales, "which is violating the borders and the good faith of the states and of course putting at risk the most important thing, people." Hernandez also deplored "the abuse of people's needs" for "political reasons." Honduras, where most of the migrants are from, has seen violent street gangs brutally rule over large swathes of turf for years. With a homicide rate of nearly 43 citizens per 100,000, the country ranks among the poorest and most violent in the Americas

Some 2,000 Central American migrants who managed to cross from Guatemala into Mexico have vowed to continue marching toward the US. President Donald Trump has politicized the caravan ahead of the midterm elections. About 2,000 Central American migrants who successfully crossed the Guatemalan border into Mexico voted in a show of hands on Saturday to reform their caravan and continue ... Read More »

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