Good Morning, today is Wednesday, February 8th, and here are the stories that interest me.
Amnesty international has released a report alleging that over 13,000 civilian dissidents have been systematically executed in a prison camp north of Damascus. Between the dates of September 2011 until December 2015, the prison operated, killing upwards of 30-50 people a week though there isn’t any evidence that the killings have not stopped. Amnesty has witness declarations from a variety of sources, and though the Government denies the allegations, there are at least 89 accounts that say otherwise.
Parliament Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow has announced that any UK State Visit from US President Donald Trump will not include an invitation to speak at Parliament. This came as a surprise to many MPs with some showing their displeasure at the Speaker, who sits in a non-political role.
“I feel very strongly that our opposition to racism and to sexism and our support for equality before the law and an independent judiciary are hugely important considerations in the House of Commons.” Bercow has stated, as 10 Downing street is worried that this will damage relations with the fickle President.
A study has been released showing no link between immigration and crime. Several criminologist scoured through 4 decades of police data across 200 metropolis areas and found that immigrant populations are no more likely to cause crime than any other group with some indications that crime in high immigrant areas are actually lower. This removes a potent argumentation point for many anti-immigration advocates who see Immigration as a danger.
The Israeli Parliament has passed a law that retroactively legalizes thousand of West Bank Settlements illegally build on Palestinian lands. This is seen as an escalation of tensions since the election of President Donald Trump. While Israel claims the land and has jurisdiction over it, it is also claimed as part of the Palestinian territory. It is a big flash point in the tension of the country. Prime Minister Netanyahu openly worried that the law would lead to international censure, and wanted to coordinate with (and likely get the blessing of the) US President before moving forward. The Prime Minister gave his approval for the bill to proceed. It is expected to be challenged in Israel’s Supreme Court.