15 June 2013
The SHARES Project closely follows and collects news items that are linked to the topic of shared responsibility. This is our News Items Overview of 16 May -15 June 2013, consisting of a summary of recent news relating to shared responsibility.
- On 16 May 2013, legislation passed the Australian Senate to excise the entire Australian mainland from the migration zone. All asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by boat are now eligible to be sent to Nauru or Papua New Guinea for ‘regional processing’. The Australian Government, faced with an increasing number of boats arrivals, calls the legislation a deterrence measure.
- Eight states (Thailand, China, Kenya, Malaysia, the Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda and Viet Nam) that were identified as primary source, import and transit countries in the illegal trade in ivory, have submitted national action plans to the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), containing specific activities in the areas of international and national enforcement, legislation and regulations, as requested by the CITES Standing Committee in response to the huge rise in the number of elephants that were poached for their ivory. (more…)
14 June 2013
The US is going to provide direct military aid to the Syrian opposition, the White House announced on Thursday 13 June after having concluded that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons. The announcement comes after repeated statements by the Obama administration that the use of chemical weapons would cross a red line and violate international norms.
The details of the aid to be provided were not revealed, but officials were reported saying small arms, ammunition and anti-tank weapons could be included. According to the deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes, the US is going to proceed on its own timeline but will take up the issue with allies in next week’s G8 summit. The US has previously said it preferred an endorsement by the UN on further action, but has suggested it’s decision would not depend on it.
Source: BBC | US says it will give military aid to Syria rebels
Source: The Guardian | US says it will arm Syrian rebels following chemical weapons tests
Source: Al Jazeera | US offers 'military support' to Syrian rebels
Source: El País | EE UU anuncia ayuda militar para los rebeldes sirios
12 June 2013
UK Prime Minister David Cameron has made curbing tax avoidance the central theme of next week’s G8 summit. In May, the G7 industrialized nations agreed on the need for collective action against tax avoidance, and the EU followed suit by promising action against aggressive tax planning used by multinationals to minimize their tax payments, but low-tax Austria is yet to confirm its participation in the scheme.
The promise for collective action comes after widespread public debate over corporate tax minimization policies and the publication of figures suggesting that multinational corporations use tax havens to deny developing economies revenues needed for public services. According to the OECD, developing countries lose three times more money to tax havens each year than they receive in aid. Recent reactions by developing nations, including treaty cancellations by Mongolia, however, are dangerous unilateral actions further stressing the need to reach agreement on how to deal with tax avoidance in the forthcoming G8 and G20 meetings, an OECD representative said to BBC.
Source: The Guardian | Cameron calls in tax havens ahead of G8 summit in June
Source: The Guardian | UK's top companies condemned for prolific use of tax havens
Source: The Guardian | G7 agrees action needed against tax evasion, says George Osborne
Source: The Guardian | Tax havens are entrenching poverty in developing countries
Source: BBC | EU leaders in drive against tax evasion at Brussels summit
Source: BBC | Osborne: G7 agree to target tax evasion and avoidance
Soruce: BBC | Tax avoidance: Developing countries take on multinationals
Source: ActionAid | Tax Justice Policy
12 June 2013
Documents leaked to the press on Friday 7 June on the US-run covert intelligence-gathering operation, entitled PRISM, reveal that the UK security agency GCHQ has gathered secret digital information through the program at least since June of 2010. According to the US National Security Agency (NSA), the service has also been made available to spy organizations from other countries, but did it not specify which ones. According to Reuters, Germany has not received any PRISM data.
The revelation on the NSA operation has triggered criticism in European capitals, including Dutch, German and Italian officials that denounced the practice of gathering secret data from the world’s largest internet companies as unacceptable and illegal under EU laws. Following denials from Facebook and Google that the companies are giving direct government access to their servers, reports suggested on Friday that Israeli companies may have been involved in wiretapping US telecommunications networks, which would allow the NSA to access data through major internet service providers.
Source: The Guardian | NSA snooping: Obama under pressure as senator denounces 'act of treason'
Source: The Guardian | UK gathering secret intelligence via covert NSA operation
Source: Reuters | UPDATE 1-U.S. surveillance revelations deepen European fears of Web giants
Source: The Daily Dot | Does the NSA's PRISM spying program violate EU law?
Source: GIGAOM | Europeans call for answers over U.S. web spying allegations
Source: Business Insider | DID YOU KNOW?: Two Secretive Israeli Companies Reportedly Bugged The US Telecommunications Grid For The NSA
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11 June 2013
According to a court document that surfaced on 3 June 2013, Israel has reached an agreement to send thousands of African migrants to an unidentified country. It was also disclosed that Israel is holding talks with two other countries to secure similar agreements.
Most of the migrants have come from Eritrea or Sudan. Some “infiltrators”, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calls them, have fled oppressive regimes. Others are looking for work. Critics of the agreement said it reflects “an abdication of responsibility” and that Israel may not be able to monitor the migrants’ conditions once they are transferred.
Source: The Washington Post | Court document: Israel makes deal to send thousands of African migrants to unidentified state