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sarisataka's Journal
sarisataka's Journal
February 22, 2024

Houthis order shipping ban, missiles set ship aflame off Yemen

Houthis order shipping ban, missiles set ship aflame off Yemen

Yemen's Houthis on Thursday sent shippers and insurers formal notice of what they termed a ban on vessels linked to Israel, the U.S. and Britain from sailing in surrounding seas, seeking to reinforce their military campaign in support of Palestinians.

The move to prohibit such ships from the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Arabian sea came as British maritime agencies reported a missile attack set ablaze a cargo vessel off the southern coast of Yemen.

Iran-aligned Houthi militants in Yemen have launched repeated drone and missile strikes in the Red Sea, Bab al-Mandab Strait and Gulf of Aden since November in support of Palestinians, as the Israel-Hamas war continues and the Gaza death toll reaches almost 30,000.

The Houthi strikes have disrupted a route accounting for about 12% of global maritime traffic and forcing firms to take a longer, more expensive route around Africa.

It seems ̶I̶r̶a̶n̶ the Houthis want to flex their muscles.
February 14, 2024

Hamas commander on why terror group attacks civilians

4 minute video, I have not yet found a transcript but some highlights:

CBS-"So on October the 7th women and children were murdered"
A-"Israel lost what, 1,000 or 2,000 people killed. That's nothing."

CBS-""You had to have known that there would have been Israel's response, that Palestinians would suffer as a result."
A- "We are not pleased with that, but this is the path of armed struggle."

CBS- "So when does this all end, all this killing, all this suffering?"
A- "The killing and suffering ends when the Israelis walk out of our land.


February 12, 2024

Soho theatre apologises after comedian 'abused Jewish audience member'

Soho theatre apologises after comedian ‘abused Jewish audience member’

The Soho theatre is investigating a complaint about a comedian who allegedly abused a Jewish audience member who refused to applaud a Palestinian flag.

The central London comedy theatre apologised for “an incident … which has caused upset and hurt to members of audience attending and others”.

The incident reportedly took place on Saturday near the end of a one-hour Shtoom show by Paul Currie in front of an audience of 200 people at the central London theatre.

According to a witness who gave an account to the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA), Currie placed a Ukrainian and a Palestinian flag on the stage, and invited audience members to stand and applaud.

Who wants {"them"} in the audience anyway
February 12, 2024

Israel to act on soldier misconduct after BBC investigation

Israel to act on soldier misconduct after BBC investigation

he Israeli military has told BBC Verify it will take action against any soldiers found to have filmed and uploaded footage online of Palestinian detainees stripped, bound and blindfolded.

A BBC Verify investigation published on Friday analysed hundreds of videos in Gaza since November 2023, including eight showing detainees.

Legal experts say the filming and publication of such videos could breach international law which says detainees must not be exposed to unnecessary humiliation or public curiosity.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) initially said it had terminated the service of one of the reservists identified by the BBC. It has now added that it will continue to act to identify unusual cases that deviate from what is expected of its soldiers.
February 8, 2024

A barred gate, a musty chamber and dirty dishes: Inside the underground compound where Israel says hostages were held

A barred gate, a musty chamber and dirty dishes: Inside the underground compound where Israel says hostages were held

The stale, damp air inside the tunnel smells of sewage. The walls are slimy, and they feel like they are closing in. When the light goes off, everything is plunged into complete darkness.

Inside this maze of tunnels under Khan Younis, there is a narrow room with an arched ceiling, divided in half by a barred metal gate. The musty chamber, which looks like a makeshift cell, is where the Israeli military says Hamas held at least 12 of the hostages kidnapped and brought to Gaza on October 7.

The Israeli military said it made that assessment based on testimony from freed hostages and forensic evidence, including DNA. Some were among those released during the pause in hostilities in late November, the military said. CNN could not independently confirm Israel’s account, but details of it tally with descriptions in Israeli media from hostages who say they were held there.

In the darkness underground, the wreckage above feels remote, and silent horror fills the void. Any hostages held here would have had limited sense of time or place. Minutes feel like hours, and after a few turns down different shafts, it’s impossible not to feel disoriented. The compound is hot and very humid. Its tiled walls and floors are wet with condensation. The air feels heavy, as if oxygen is running out.

CNN includes the disclaimer
As a condition to enter Gaza under IDF escort, news outlets must submit photos and raw video footage to the Israeli military for review prior to publication. The IDF did not review this written report.
February 8, 2024

Indian states demolish Muslim homes as punishment, says Amnesty report

Indian states demolish Muslim homes as punishment, says Amnesty report

Indian authorities targeted the homes, businesses, and places of worship of Muslims using bulldozers, Amnesty International said in two new reports.

The Hindu-majority country has been seeing a growing pattern of what is being dubbed “bulldozer justice” aimed at punishing activists from minority groups, mainly Muslims, the rights organisation said, as it called for an end to the widespread and “unlawful” demolitions.

This comes at a time when the Narendra Modi administration has been accused of trampling over the human rights of minorities and weaponising religious discrimination, the non-profit said.

Authorities unleashed bulldozers to crush the properties of dissenters and protesters in New Delhi and neighbouring state Uttar Pradesh, according to examples cited by the report. The aim of this brand of “bulldozer justice” was to destroy Muslim-owned shops, said the international human rights group which investigated 62 out of the total 128 demolitions documented in five Indian states between April and May 2022.
February 7, 2024

Houthis couldn't stop genocide, but exposed the West's moral bankruptcy

Houthis couldn’t stop genocide, but exposed the West’s moral bankruptcy

The British and American air strikes on Yemen since January 12, launched with support from Australia, Canada, and the Netherlands among others, demonstrate yet again how most Western nations value their money and profit much more than human life.

Israel’s devastating war on Gaza, the first livestreamed genocide in history, has claimed more than 27,000 Palestinian lives, many of them children, since October 7. Most of the Gaza Strip has been reduced to rubble and over a million people have been displaced due to relentless and seemingly indiscriminate Israeli bombardment. The near-total siege on the Strip, meanwhile, brought survivors to the brink of starvation and forced doctors to perform amputations without anaesthetics using unsterile tools. In the face of this undeniable humanitarian catastrophe, Western governments took no meaningful action. In fact, both US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak repeatedly made it clear that they will continue to unconditionally support Israel’s onslaught on Gaza and efforts to “eradicate Hamas” whatever the human cost may be for the Palestinians.

In the end, it was not the killing and maiming of tens of thousands of civilians, but a number of non-fatal attacks by Yemen’s Houthi fighters on commercial ships passing through the strategically important Bab al-Mandeb Strait that sprung Western nations into action. Clearly, the dollars and pounds lost to the rapid rise in shipping costs caused by the attacks proved more valuable to the leaders of “the free world” than rivers of Middle Eastern blood.

The Bab al-Mandeb Strait, which leads into the Red Sea and up to the Suez Canal, is one of the most crucial waterways for international trade. It is estimated that 12 percent of all global trade, including most exports of petroleum and natural gas from the Gulf, passes through the Strait, amounting to $1 trillion of commerce per year.

Interesting opinion, what is and is not said.
February 5, 2024

The vast majority of California flood victims' losses won't be covered by insurance

The vast majority of California flood victims’ losses won’t be covered by insurance

Many victims of the massive storms now battering Southern California about are to be hit with another heartbreak - discovering their insurance won’t cover the damage.

The typical homeowners’ policy won’t cover loss from flood damage. That is covered by the National Flood Insurance Program, a part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. But in California, where drought, not flooding, had been the more common problem until recently, homeowners are about as prepared for flood damage as hurricane-prone Florida residents are for earthquakes.

Data from NFIP shows only 52,400 homes and businesses are covered by flood insurance in the eight Southern California counties declared a disaster area because of this storm. That’s less than 1% of 7.7 million households in the affected area with coverage. Those counties have a combined population of more than 22.6 million people, according to the latest estimates from the Census Bureau.

Los Angeles County, with more than 10 million residents, has only 14,600 flood insurance policies in force. That’s roughly the same number as Lee County, Florida, which includes Fort Myers, and has fewer than 1 million residents.

Most don't realize flooding is a standard exclusion for most policies.
February 2, 2024

World Hijab Day: Unwrapping the debate over head covering

World Hijab Day: Unwrapping the debate over head covering

World Hijab Day, an annual day to encourage women to wear the traditional Muslim head covering and to educate others on why it is worn, is being marked around the globe today, February 1.

The day was established in 2013 by Bangladesh-born New York resident Nazma Khan, who told a TEDx talk that she had endured discrimination for wearing the hijab and had been referred to derogatorily as "ninja" or "Batman." Khan designated the day to inspire women around the world to embrace a life of modesty and exercise their freedom of religious expression.

However, in some countries, the wearing of a hijab has little to do with choice. In Iran and Afghanistan, women are required to wear hijabs in accordance with Islamic law.

In May 2022, the Taliban in Afghanistan issued a decree mandating that all women wear burqas, traditional Islamic garments that cover the entire body from head to toe, leaving only the eyes exposed.
January 31, 2024

Michigan's Arabs and Muslims push to defeat Biden in critical state

Michigan’s Arabs and Muslims push to defeat Biden in critical state

Mohammad Enayah relied on a cousin in Gaza for regular updates on his extended family living under Israel’s bombardment. He heard about the daily challenges his family faced in trying to survive: no access to running water, regular bombings and fleeing from one stranger’s home to another seeking safety.

Then, in November, he received the news he had been dreading: 30 members of his extended family had been killed by an Israeli airstrike on a refugee camp. He began to look at the list of names of those killed but couldn’t make it past the first one.

“The first name was so familiar,” Enayah said, his voice breaking as tears streamed down his face. “I just put it aside and I said, ‘I don’t want to read it.’ But to honor them, I had to. It took me a week just to go through the names.”

It is for that reason that Enayah, like many Arab American and Muslim voters in Dearborn — where Arab Americans make up the majority of the population — is resolved not only to withhold his vote from President Biden, but also to actively campaign against him. Some Michigan Arabs and Muslims have launched an “Abandon Biden” campaign — part of a broader national movement still getting off the ground — to ensure that those in their community show up to cast their votes, but not for Biden.

I have seen posts dismissing protests against Biden, saying they will return to support him come November. That confidence may be misplaced.

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