Shielding US officials involved with torture has decades long precedent

National Catholic Reporter

by Linda Cooper, James Hodge

Activists dressed up as prisoners protest American torture during a demonstration in Chicago Dec. 10 on International Human Rights Day. (Newscom/Xinhua News Agency/He Xianfeng)
Activists dressed up as prisoners protest American torture during a demonstration in Chicago Dec. 10 on International Human Rights Day. (Newscom/Xinhua News Agency/He Xianfeng)

Analysis The Obama administration is following a long historical precedent in flouting the rule of law and refusing to prosecute U.S. officials for authorizing or carrying out torture.

The latest question is, will the administration go a step further and acquiesce to Republican demands, which some say amount to an attempt to rewrite and erase history? Continue reading Shielding US officials involved with torture has decades long precedent

An arms race won’t help Ukraine

Washington Post

By Katrina vanden Heuvel

Ukrainian army soldiers perform a weapons exercise at a training ground outside Lviv, western Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015. The Ukrainian government is anxious to use Thursday's visit by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to Kiev to reiterate its plea for lethal aid. President Barack Obama has opposed the idea of sending weapons to Ukraine but sources in his administration say this position could change in the light of recent events. (AP Photo/Pavlo Palamarchuk)
Ukrainian army soldiers perform a weapons exercise at a training ground outside Lviv, western Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015. The Ukrainian government is anxious to use Thursday’s visit by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to Kiev to reiterate its plea for lethal aid. President Barack Obama has opposed the idea of sending weapons to Ukraine but sources in his administration say this position could change in the light of recent events. (AP Photo/Pavlo Palamarchuk)

Nearly 70 years ago, a group of Manhattan Project scientists, having seen the power of nuclear destruction, created what they called the “Doomsday Clock.” It was a mechanism designed to warn the world of how imminent the threat of global catastrophe was becoming — the closer the clock moved to midnight, the closer we were to doomsday. Last month, the group of Nobel laureates charged with maintaining the clock changed its time to 11:57 p.m., denoting the closest we’ve been to doomsday in more than 30 years. Their reasoning is based not just on the world’s inaction on issues like climate change, but its provocative march toward a new Cold War. Continue reading An arms race won’t help Ukraine

Nigeria to investigate alleged abuses at refugee camps

BBC

Approximately 3.2 million people have been displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria
Approximately 3.2 million people have been displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria

Nigeria is to investigate reports of rapes, child trafficking and other abuses in camps for people fleeing from the militant Islamist group Boko Haram.

The country’s National Emergency Management Agency (Nema) has formed a panel to investigate the abuses.

A spokesperson for Nema told the BBC that investigators would visit every camp for displaced people.

Approximately 3.2 million Nigerians have fled their homes to escape Boko Haram’s insurgency in the northeast. Continue reading Nigeria to investigate alleged abuses at refugee camps

DR Congo conflict: UN pulls out of planned assault on FDLR

BBC

The UN has one of its biggest peacekeeping operations in DR Congo
The UN has one of its biggest peacekeeping operations in DR Congo

The UN has withdrawn its backing for a planned offensive against rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo after the government refused to sack two generals, a spokesman has said.

UN troops could not join the offensive because the generals were accused of human rights abuses, he added. Continue reading DR Congo conflict: UN pulls out of planned assault on FDLR

Pope warns African bishops against ‘new forms of colonization’

Independent Catholic News

Pope Francis warned African bishops against new and unscrupulous forms of colonization such as the pursuit of success, riches, and power at all costs; but also fundamentalism and the distorted use of religion, and new ideologies that destroy the identity of persons and families. He was speaking to representatives of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM).

The Holy Father said it is the young people who are the future of Africa, and they need the witness of their pastors. He said the most effective way to overcome the temptation to give in to harmful lifestyles is by investing in education. Continue reading Pope warns African bishops against ‘new forms of colonization’