Posts Tagged ‘ UN ’

The Goggle Box – House Of Cards Splits The Deck


House Of Cards Season 3 has been and gone and opinions are divided at best. Was the third season of a binge watch TV series ever going to go down a treat? Probably not. Are we all fools to have plowed through all 13 episodes in no time at all? Probably, yes. But the burning question, was it any good? Yes; and here’s why.

Lads, seriously, full spoilers for House Of Cards follow.

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Cutbacks Crippling Palestinian Health Service

photoFormer Irish News Review reporter Keith Falkiner has recently returned from a trip to Palestine. During his trip Keith met with some journalists in Gaza who were keen to tell their stories to an English speaking audience. Here’s a story by Keith and Gaza based reporter Ahmed Dalloul on the health service crisis in the region.  

WE all grumble about the state of the health service in Ireland.

But spare a thought for the 1.8 million people crammed into the Gaza Strip, where hospitals have to deal with chronic power outages, a shortage of medication and where even the staff are rarely assured of getting paid for their crucial, life-saving work.

Gaza-based journalist Ahmed Dalloul reports for Irish News Review on the Palestinian enclave’s two main hospitals, Beit Hanoun and Al-Shifa – where both are on the verge of complete breakdown.

The two hospitals were the target of attack during Israel’s recent 50-day military onslaught on Gaza ,but as Ahmed reports, there are deeper, underlying issues that are affecting the future operation of both hospitals. Continue reading

Pro Assad Forces Bring More Bloodshed To War Ravaged Syria

Shocking reports of yet another massacre have reached us today from Syria. Early yesterday morning Government troops loyal to Bashar al-Assad descended upon the village of Al-Treimseh, west of the city of Hamah.

Residents of the village have said that the town was bombarded by tanks and helicopters in the early hours of Thursday (12/07) morning. As villagers tried to flee the attack members of the pro-Assad militia group, the much feared Shabiha, ruthlessly shot and executed many of them. Activist groups have said the death toll is over 200, with numbers expected to rise. The devastation is enormous. After what will be the 5th, and bloodiest, massacre this year alone, the death toll will rise above 500. The first massacre occurred on the 3rd of February in Homs, with around 55 people losing their lives. It was this massacre that really attracted attention from around the world. But all the attention and condemnation didn’t stop another four from happening since. On the 3rd of April Assad’s military murdered approximately 59 in Idlib. The two massacres preceding the one yesterday occurred on the 25th of May and the 6th of June and were all the more distressing and saddening to learn that most that had perished were women and children. 187 people were slaughtered.

What people don’t realise is that the men have mostly all joined in the fighting and the revolution and have left the home. The towns and villages that are being destroyed contain the wives, children, and sisters of those intrepid men fighting for the freedom of their country. It is feared that yesterday’s massacre will be no different from the two that preceded it.

The state news agency, run largely by and through pro-Assad followers, blamed the killings on the revolutionaries. The dignity and integrity of the claim is questioned by the sheer weight of evidence against the Assad regime. They claim that the ‘terrorist’ revolutionary group carried out the massacre to sway public opinion with the upcoming UN Security Council meeting, although these claims will not be met with any serious scrutiny.

The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights have posted a graphic video showing the bodies of a number of Syrian civilians following the massacre. They also report that intense and violent clashes have occurred between rebel fighters and Syrian troops in the city of Deir Izzor following the news of what has happened in Al-Treimseh. The death toll quoted by the SOHR is 160.

The Syrian National Council (SNC) has urged the Security Council, which meet on Sunday, to put an end once and for all to the crisis. They have said that “To stop this bloody madness which threatens the entity of Syria, as well as peace and security in the region and in the world, requires an urgent and sharp resolution of the Security Council under Chapter VII (UN Charter), which protects the Syrian people”. The chapter states that the Council can “determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken…to maintain or restore international peace and security”, (Article 39).

The charter clearly states UN countries should be protected from this horrific murder and aggression, so it begs the question, why hasn’t anything been done up until now?