May 21 2015

Newsflash: ISIS Takes Over Half of Syria, Gambia Offers to Take Rohingya, Natl’ Day of Action for Black Women and Girls

Daily News Flash | Published 21 May 2015, 10:45 am | Comments Off on Newsflash: ISIS Takes Over Half of Syria, Gambia Offers to Take Rohingya, Natl’ Day of Action for Black Women and Girls -

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Uprising’s guest expert Chenjerai Kumanyika, Assistant Professor of Communications Studies at Clemson University, analyzes to day’s news headlines:

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has taken over the entire Syrian city of Palmyra, and apparently controls half the entire country. Palmyra, known for its ancient ruins, lies north of the capital Damascus and once lay on the famed ancient Silk Road. Given the propensity of ISIS to destroy ancient artifacts, historians fear that Palmyra’s ruins are in grave danger. ISIS is also likely to take advantage of the city’s gas fields and the fact that it lies at the nexus of many intersecting roads, enabling them access to even more of Syria. Many thousands have already evacuated the city of 65,000 residents. The capture of Palmyra comes just days after ISIS took over the key Iraqi city of Ramadi, in what are being seen as “stunning successes” for the militant Sunni rebel group. ISIS has massacred untold numbers of Iraqis and Syrians just in the past few weeks. Click HERE for a The Guardian and HERE for a NY Times article on this story.

A bizarre twist in the Rohingya refugee crisis has just emerged. Days after boats carrying thousands of people hailing from Burma’s persecuted Muslim minority were discovered off the coast of Malaysia, the African nation of Gambia has offered to take them in. The government of Myanmar does not consider Rohingya as Burmese citizens despite their presence in the country for generations. Waves of migration through human trafficking networks have led to an exodus of Rohingya families. Those found on the boats have been trapped there for months in horrific conditions, with Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand, all refusing to accept the refugees. Now, Gambia’s government has released a statement saying, “As human beings, more so fellow Muslims, it is a sacred duty to help alleviate the untold hardships and sufferings fellow human beings are confronted with.” But Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh has been criticized for ignoring a similar crisis of African migrants dying in the Mediterranean Sea as they attempt to reach Europe. Meanwhile, US State Secretary John Kerry is due to meet with Myanmar officials and has been urged by dozens of lawmakers to address Rohingya persecution. Click HERE for a The Guardian and HERE for a chron.com article on this story.

Black Lives Matter, and Ferguson Action, have launched a national day of action today with protests scheduled across the country. The actions are aimed at drawing attention to the often underreported police and vigilante violence against Black women and girls, including queer and transgender women. Under the banner of ‘Black Women and Girls Matter,” activists hope to draw attention to the cases of Rekia Boyd, Aiyana Jones, Alesia Thomas, and Mya Hall. Actions are planned in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, and many other cities, and come a day after the African American Policy Forum released a report entitled, “Say Her Name: Resisting Police Brutality Against Black Women.” Click HERE for a CommonDreams.org article on this story.

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