International regulation of unmanned military drones needed

first_img Roger Smith is director of the law reform and human rights organisation Justice Let’s hear it for the Methodists. I declare an interest. I am from non-conformist stock on both sides – dour, pledge-signing, earnest folk. No surprise to me and my kind that the established church spent its recent synod counting the number of women bishops that you can get on the head of a pin (answer: for the time being, none). Meanwhile, the Methodists grappled with the ethical elements of one of the major politico-military issues of the day – the use of unmanned military drones. The Methodists are on to something. A debate is beginning to get traction in the US. This has been stoked by former president Jimmy Carter, a one-time southern Baptist who is now a professor at a Methodist university. He published a trenchant op-ed piece in The New York Times last month asserting that ‘the US is abandoning its role as the global champion of human rights’. A major factor in this was president Obama’s expansion of the programme of targeted assassinations undertaken by drones. Carter said: ‘We don’t know how many hundreds of innocent civilians have been killed in these attacks, each one approved by the highest authorities in Washington. This would have been unthinkable in previous times.’ This is not simply a US debate; the UK is involved up to the hilt. We bought some US Reaper drones and keep them in constant rotation over the Pakistan/Afghanistan war zone. Our drones are not just for surveillance. The Ministry of Defence accepts that they have caused at least four civilian fatalities since 2008. The MoD is sufficiently concerned to have issued a ‘joint doctrine note’ on unmanned aircraft systems to prompt debate last year. Urgency was necessary because ‘there is a general expectation across defence, academia and industry that unmanned aircraft will become more prevalent, eventually taking over most or all of the tasks currently undertaken by manned systems’. The drones are coming and there are going to be many more of them. Smaller drones are used primarily for surveillance, but the largest can operate at high altitude and long range, performing ‘specialised missions including broad area surveillance and penetrating attacks’. We are a long way from hand-launched, rubber-band model aircraft. BAE is developing a twin-engine Mantis with a 22-metre wingspan ‘which would carry a range of weapons’. It is the use of these that needs a bit more scrutiny – as, to its credit, the MoD acknowledges. The key issue raised by drones is actually a general one – the ethics and law of assassination. The MoD dedicates a whole chapter in its consultation to ‘moral, legal and ethical issues’. Drones are, of course, immensely controversial in Pakistan, where they have simultaneously eliminated militants and enraged the population. Estimates of deaths caused by US drones in Pakistan alone vary between 2,000-3,000 people. The US asserts that most of these were militants. Others were ‘collateral damage’ or, as we might put it more transparently, innocent bystanders. The US depresses acknowledgement of collateral damage by assuming that any dead male of military age was an insurgent. The MoD paper strives to be balanced. It can see some up-sides to drones, making a sly dig at US battlefield conduct as it does so (‘robots cannot be driven by anger to carry out illegal actions such as those at My Lai’) but some problems (‘to a robotic system, a school bus and a tank are the same – merely algorithms in a program’). The Methodists have taken up issues which need much wider debate. As a speaker at its conference said: ‘The targeted killings carried out by the CIA in northern Pakistan demonstrate only too clearly the ethical challenges that will face us as this technology proliferates.’ In Israel, the ethical issues have already migrated into legal ones. No litigation followed Operation Wrath of God, recently covered in Spielberg’s Munich, but in 2005 the Israeli Supreme Court did consider targeted killings against alleged terrorists in Gaza. It decided that, in particular circumstances, civilian combatants could be legitimate targets for assassination if directly participating in hostilities. Elsewhere, it is the executive and not the courts that is, literally, calling the shots. President Obama, to the dismay of Carter and many others, has made increased use of targeted killings. An unpleasant degree of electorally helpful hype surrounds ‘terror Tuesdays’ when he signs off the following week’s targets. The great temptation, of course, is that drone attacks appear to be an effective reprisal at minimal risk against an enemy none too scrupulous about its own targets. And Obama’s homeland security adviser has come out fighting. Drones, says John Brennan, have an ‘unprecedented ability… to precisely target a military objective while minimising collateral damage’. He goes on to say ‘one could argue that never before has there been a weapon that allows us to distinguish more effectively between an al-Qaida terrorist and innocent civilians’. International law is struggling to keep up. The US has invented the handy concept of ‘unlawful combatants’ to legitimate a variety of actions from drone killings to water boarding. No one else is much persuaded. The UN has been trying for a consensus but got nowhere. But there needs to be some internationally agreed regulation of the use of this technology – and the broader use of targeted assassination. At the moment, an attitude of quiet and slightly embarrassed acquiescence carries us through. However, just wait until Iran and China start playing by the same rules. So the Methodists are right in their choice of relevance and morality; the Anglicans can tell us when they have the time to join in. last_img read more

Burundi court upholds disputed presidential election results

first_imgMadagascar court upholds Rajoelina’s presidential election victory Zimbabwe’s opposition to challenge presidential election result in court FILE PHOTO: Burundi Courts Image courtesy: Xinhua FILE PHOTO: Burundi Courts Image courtesy: XinhuaBurundi’s constitutional court on Thursday upheld the results of last month’s presidential election and rejected the complaints filed by opposition leader Agathon Rwasa, who had alleged widespread irregularities.The court upheld the win of ruling party candidate Evariste Ndayishimiye with 68% of the vote, with Rwasa receiving 28%. The court called Rwasa’s complaint unfounded and said any irregularities could not taint the entire electoral process in the East African nation.Rwasa, who is also the first vice president of the National Assembly, and CNL party spokesman Therence Manirambona were not available to comment.But Rwasa earlier told The Associated Press that he would take the matter to the East African Court of Justice based in neighboring Tanzania if he was not satisfied with the court’s decision.Rwasa had alleged the stuffing of ballot boxes and said the electoral roll had never been published. “Not a single district, no single province was spared,” he said after going to court.Burundi’s Catholic bishops conference also questioned the vote, saying they witnessed “intimidation and constraints exerted by some administration officials who accompanied voters to the voting booths, the exclusion of observers from places where votes were counted, the intrusion of unauthorized persons into places where votes were counted” and voting in the name of the dead.Ndayishimiye, 52, will succeed President Pierre Nkurunziza, who has been in power since 2005. The ruling party has said Nkurunziza will have the title “Supreme Guide” after he steps down, and many believe he will wield considerable influence behind the scenes.Ndayishimiye will be inaugurated in August.While Rwasa’s party alleged intimidation ahead of the vote and said more than 200 supporters were arrested on election day, this election did not see the widespread demonstrations and deadly violence that marked the previous vote in 2015 after Nkurunziza decided to run for a third term that many called unconstitutional.The deadly turmoil badly damaged global relations, and Burundi became the first country to leave the International Criminal Court after it started investigating allegations of abuses.Relatedcenter_img Malawi’s constitutional court begins hearing a presidential election petitionlast_img read more

Loubiere man sentenced to prison for vagrancy

first_img Tweet LocalNews Loubiere man sentenced to prison for vagrancy by: – February 1, 2013 11 Views   no discussions Share Dwayne Lugay, thirty-five years old of Loubiere will from today, February 1st spend the next three months as an inmate at the state prison.Lugay was sentenced by Magistrate Ossie Lewis after he pleaded guilty to trespassing and vagrancy at the home of Devin Joseph of Loubiere.According to police prosecutor Claude Weekes, at about 4:30 a.m. on 29th January, Joseph was home when he heard something crash in his yard.Upon investigation he noticed that the defendant was in his yard with a bunch of plantain on his shoulder and a cutlass in his hand.Joseph approached the defendant and tried to stop him, but he resisted and got away.On the 30th of January Lugay was informed by police officers of the complaint that was made against him.In his defense Lugay said that the plantain had fallen in Josephs’ yard and he had only gone there to “get it”.Lugay was not given a separate penalty for the charge of trespassing. Dominica Vibes Newscenter_img Share Share Sharing is caring!last_img read more

Tru Riddim Band donates to Portsmouth preschool

first_img Tweet Share Sharing is caring! Christmas came early for the young pupils of the Portsmouth Social Centre Pre-School Friday 16th September. The Tru Riddim band of Portsmouth, which has been in existence for over two years, took community empowerment and development to a whole new level with the young and elderly people of the Portsmouth community as its key target.On the 3rd of September the Tru Riddim band took up the initiative to ensure that a fund raiser was held in support to students and their back to school expenses. With the support of key stakeholders in the community of Portsmouth, the Tru Riddim band was able to do just as they planned, with a Back 2 School Jam which was held at the Arbredee Cinema in Portsmouth. The Tru Riddem band also donates to the home of the elderly in Portsmouth after every fundraising activates keeping in mind that these people are the foundation of our community.The band would like to take time off to thank their sponsors who continue to assist them tremendously in the up keep of the community of Portsmouth and the preservation of their elderly who paved the way, therefor the band would like to thank Rubis Portsmouth Gas Station, Aldrin’s Pizza and Northern Food Supplies (NFS). See video link: EducationEntertainmentLocalNewsPrimary Tru Riddim Band donates to Portsmouth preschool by: – September 23, 2016center_img 268 Views   no discussions Share Sharelast_img read more

Indians Official Twitter Account Crushes a Yankees Fan in Exchange During Tribe Win

first_imgCLEVELAND – There’s nothing quite like watching the Indians official twitter account during a game, and Sunday at Progressive Field the account took an awesome shot at a Yankees fan who was clearly trolling them.The exchange came after the Indians took the lead for good, 3-2 in the 8th inning after Michael Brantley hit a solo homer off Yankees reliever Chad Green.The account put out a tweet on the homer and “Dr.Smooth” and a Yankee fan chimed in with his two cents, taking a shot at the Indians for pitching normal starter Carlos Carrasco in the 8th inning.The Indians account replied – and broke the internet in the process. Imagine sitting in your mom’s basement, trolling a baseball team’s Twitter account because you’re unhappy with how your baseball team is playing.— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) July 15, 2018Goodnight everybody – tip your waiter on the way out. Matt Loede has been a part of the Cleveland Sports Media for over 21 years, with experience covering Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, the National Football League and even high school and college events. He has been a part of the Cleveland Indians coverage since the opening of Jacobs/Progressive Field in 1994, and spent two and a half years covering the team for 92.3 The Fan, and covers them daily for Associated Press Radio. You can follow Matt on Twitter HERE. Related TopicsIndiansYankeescenter_img Matt Loedelast_img read more

Miyazato slips to No. 3 in rankings

first_imgSakura Yokomine improved to 14th after winning the Masters GC Ladies for her second victory of the Japan LPGA season. IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5 NEW YORK (Kyodo) Ai Miyazato dropped from first to third in the world rankings released by the LPGA on Monday.Christie Kerr unseated Miyazato at the top, and South Korea’s Shin Ji Yai moved up to second. Miyazato, who finished 28th in the Sime Darby Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur at the weekend, had held first place for nine consecutive weeks.center_img GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMESlast_img read more

Photo gallery: Parkway boys tournament, Parkway vs. Calvary Baptist

first_img 1 of 36 Images from Friday’s Parkway-Calvary Baptist game in the Barksdale Federal Credit Union Parkway Tournament at Parkway Top Expat InsuranceExpat Living in Hong Kong without Health Insurance?Top Expat Insurance|SponsoredSponsoredUndoNews gadgetThis watch takes the whole country by storm! it’s price? Ridiculous!News gadget|SponsoredSponsoredUndoTheTopFiveVPNThe Secret Netflix Doesn’t Want You To Know To Unblock RestrictionsTheTopFiveVPN|SponsoredSponsoredUndoPerfect-Dating.comAre You Ready to Meet Cool Guys in Tung Chung?|SponsoredSponsoredUndoTheTopFiveVPNThe Trick Netflix Doesn’t Want You To Know To Unlock RestrictionsTheTopFiveVPN|SponsoredSponsoredUndoCelebsland.com9 Celebrity Before-And-After Plastic Surgery|SponsoredSponsoredUndolast_img read more

PNGFA president-elect focuses on working with MAs

first_imgSoccer Under the leadership of John Kapi Natto as the PNG Football Association president-elect and his executive a new rebirth in the affairs of the organization is expected in the near future. In his speech after his election, Kapi Natto said he looked forward to working with the member associations to ensure they get what they want or what is owed to them and also establishing a well-structured competition they can participate in. “When our member associations are happy, we are happy,” he said. Speaking to the media at the Gateway Hotel in Port Moresby on Sunday, he said the first priority for him was to work with the PNGFA senior vice-president John Wesley Gonjuan and secretary Dimirit Mileng sort out matters at the administrative level before going forward. “Right now I will be getting together with the vice-president and general secretary to see what is there? What is the organization and what is the plan? Working at the administrative level and where we go from there,” Kapi Natto said. Under his administration, he also plans to affiliate nine provinces into the football family. They will become new members (affiliates) of the PNGFA and he believes they deserve it. He said his technical staff will ensure Milne Bay, Northern, East New Britain, New Ireland, East and West Sepik, Hela, Jiwaka and Gulf provinces should become a football family because football belong to them. Gonjuan, who was present at the conference, thanked the 18 presidents that attended the meeting on Saturday and took part in the PNGFA Congress. “At the end of the congress we all came united and we have elected a president and it brings the spirit of unity – all united and start working together as one body. “I am glad that this process has taken place after waiting for the last number of months. I hope this process … the election of president had set aside all the differences we had in past and that that we all can contribute together and bring football back to our people,” Gonjuan said. “It is a new start for all of us and we hope new journey and bring football back and enjoy the game.”last_img read more

Spotlight on youth at soccer challenge

first_imgSoccer BY KEVIN TEME The NCD public servants soccer association youth tournament has drawn hundreds of kids to the Pacific Institute of Leadership and Governance (PILG) soccer field in Port Moresby. One of the objectives of the tournament to unearth some of the best players from the youth tournament and help groom them to be better players in the future. David Francis playing for Tufi United FC in the Under 15 division has already caught the spotlight. His team went down to Port Moresby Souths FC 1-0 yesterday but he was a standout for his side. Francis said it was his second year playing soccer and he has learned a lot from the tournament. Coach Charles Kangol said Francis takes his spare time on Wednesdays to travel from ATS settlement to be part of the Hekari School of excellence program where most kids of his age turn up to go through the bascis of soccer with senior players like David Muta, Erick Komeng and other Hekari boys. “It is a good program that is run by Hekari football club and we salute Vonnie Kapi Natto for the tremendous effort,” Kangol said. He said Francis started playing soccer last year after Tufi FC were promoted to B league division to the A league where they will have to accommodate for an U-15 and U-17 for both boys and girls as the critiera for having a team in the A-league. Francis, in fact, outplayed most of his age group and along with his twin brother Willie, they sky is the limit for them. Francis is doing grade 3 at the Christ the King Primary School at ATS and he hopes to be a pilot one day and also a soccer star representing PNG at the international stage.last_img read more

M-DCPS Announces New Meal Distribution Times, Additional Locations

first_imgBreakfast is FREE for all enrolled M-DCPS students and lunch is provided based on meal benefit eligibility status: Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) will be distributing student meals at all schools, beginning Tuesday, September 1, 2020. Grab-and-go breakfast and lunch pick-ups will now take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.  On Tuesdays, students will receive two (2) breakfast and two (2) lunch meals. On Thursdays, M-DCPS will provide three (3) breakfast and three (3) lunch meals. Meal items are packaged in their frozen and refrigerated state to be taken home. School meals are for enrolled M-DCPS students and adhere to federal U.S. Department of Agriculture requirements. Student ID numbers will be required at all distributions.center_img Lunch payments must be made online utilizing must create a PayPams account to make lunch payments for their child. Cash payments will not be accepted.Families are encouraged to apply for Free or Reduced-Price Lunch (FRPL), even if they did not qualify in previous years, as their circumstances may have changed. Parents or guardians can apply online by visiting only one application per household. The information provided on the application will be utilized for the purpose of determining eligibility and may be verified at any time. Applications may be submitted any time during the year. Click here for the 2020-2021 informational flyer with additional details about the Free or Reduced-Price Lunch Application.last_img read more