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Resources updated between Monday, June 05, 2017 and Sunday, June 11, 2017

June 11, 2017

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (File photo)

United Nations Rejects Saudi Arabia's List of Qatari 'Terrorists' Article

Pakistani human rights activists protesting (File photo)

A Pakistani counter-terrorism court has sentenced to death a man who allegedly committed blasphemy on Facebook, a government prosecutor said on Sunday, the first time someone has been handed the death penalty for blaspheming on social media.

The conviction of Taimoor Raza, 30, follows a high-profile crackdown against blasphemy on social media by the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Blasphemy is a highly sensitive topic in Muslim-majority Pakistan, where insulting the Prophet Mohammad is a capital crime for which dozens are sitting on death row. Even mere accusations are enough to spark mass uproar and mob justice.

Shafiq Qureshi, public prosecutor in Bahawalpur, about 500km (300 miles) south of provincial capital Lahore, said Raza was convicted for allegedly making derogatory remarks against Prophet Mohammad, his wives and companions.

"An anti terrorism court of Bahawalpur has awarded him the death sentence," Qureshi told Reuters." It is the first ever death sentence in a case that involves social media."

It is rare for a counter-terrorism court to hear blasphemy cases but Raza's trial fell under this category because his charge sheet included counter-terrorism offences linked to hate speech.

Qureshi said Raza was arrested after playing blasphemous and hate speech material on his phone on a bus stop in Bahawalpur, where a counter-terrorism officer arrested him and confiscated his phone. The material obtained from the phone led to Raza's conviction, he added.

"The trial was conducted in Bahawapur jail in tight security," Qureshi said.

Qureshi added that Raza belongs to the minority Shia community and in court he accused of spreading "hate speech" against the Deobani sect, which adheres to a strict school of Sunni Islam.

Relations between Shia and majority Sunni communities have flared up at times in Pakistan, with some extremist Sunni groups such as Lashkhar-e-Janghvi trying to exploit sectarian tensions.

Several other violent incidents linked to blasphemy accusations have alarmed human rights groups and activists in recent months.

Police are currently investigating over 20 students and some faculty members in connection with the killing of Mashal Khan, a student who was beaten to death on April following a dorm debate about religion -- an attack that shocked the country.

Since then, parliament has discussed adding safeguards to the blasphemy laws, a move seen as groundbreaking in Pakistan where political leaders have been assassinated for even discussing changes.

As Raza's blasphemy conviction was under the counter-terrorism court, he will be able to appeal his sentence in the High Court and later in the Supreme Court.

There have been at least 67 murders over unproven allegations since 1990, according to figures from a research centre and independent records kept by Reuters.

Pakistan sentences man to death for blasphemy on Facebook Document

June 9, 2017

A Hamas terror tunnel

Hamas Tunnel Discovered Underneath UNRWA School Article

Members of Shiite Hezbollah terror group, March 18, 2017

US Busts Hezbollah Plot to Attack Israelis in New York, Panama Article

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon (File photo)

'UN's Budget Will Suffer Unless It Stops Attacking Israel' Article

June 8, 2017

Damage from one Boko Harem bombing

At least 13 people are dead, including four attackers, after Boko Haram launched the deadliest attack in months on the northeast Nigeria city that is the birthplace of the extremist group, police said Thursday. The attack came just hours before a visit by the country's acting president.

Nigeria late last year declared that Boko Haram had been crushed but attacks continue, often with young women strapped into explosives for suicide attacks.

The jihadists attacked late Wednesday in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, as evening prayers were ending, targeting four locations around the city. Thirteen people were killed, including four attackers, Police Commissioner Damian Chukwu said.

Extremists also clashed with soldiers outside the city in Alidawari village and Jiddari Polo suburb, where homes were set on fire, Chukwu said. Nigerian forces killed three Boko Haram insurgents in that fighting, he said, and one attacker was captured alive.

Acting president Yemi Osinbajo arrived in Maiduguri on Thursday to launch a food relief program for hundreds of thousands of people who have fled their homes in the wake of Boko Haram attacks in the region. The eight-year insurgency has killed more than 20,000, kidnapped thousands and spilled into neighboring countries, creating a vast humanitarian crisis with thousands said to be near starvation.

The attacks late Wednesday in Maiduguri took place in various locations around the Chad Basin Development Authority headquarters just before 9 p.m., resident Alhaji Bashir said. The targets included a mosque, he said.

Young members of a civilian defense group, who have come together to combat the Islamic extremists, saw one suicide bomber at the headquarters. "One of the youth vigilantes rushed to hold him, and the bomb went off and killed the suicide bomber and three other persons," Bashir said.

In another attack, a female suicide bomber entered a crowd of worshippers leaving prayers and detonated her explosives, he said.

Dozens of injured people filled the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital on Thursday, said Abba Shehu, a private security worker.

"It is a horrible sight we have here," he said. "I could not count the number of injured casualties at the accident and emergency ward, most of them sitting on the floor as the place is crowded and no beds to properly admit them."

13 dead, including Boko Haram attackers, in Nigerian city Document

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

Netanyahu, Haley Discuss UN's Mandate vs Hezbollah Article

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, June 7, 2017

Israel and US to Work to Annul UN Anti-Settlement Resolution Article

The United Nations in Geneva

UN Globalists vs. Trump Article

June 7, 2017

The UN Human Rights Council

UN's Rights Council Cares More About Optics Than Lives Article

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, June 7, 2017

In Jerusalem, Nikki Haley and Israeli Leaders Discuss UN Reforms Article

June 6, 2017

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley at the UN Human Rights Council, June 6, 2017

Trump Should Withdraw Tomorrow from Anti-Israel UN Human Rights Council Article

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon (File photo)

Israelis Cry Foul as UN Leaders Lament 50 Years of 'Occupation' Article

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad Al Hussein (File photo)

UN Human Rights Chief Compares "Palestinian Suffering" to the Holocaust Development

June 5, 2017

Palestinian men leaving the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem, May 29, 2017

5 Palestinians Accused of Planning Attacks at Temple Mount Document

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (File photo)

Israel Expects Change in UN Voting Patterns, Netanyahu Says After Africa Trip Article

Nikki Haley (File photo)

American UN Ambassador Nikki Haley has decided to wade into the shark-infested waters of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

On June 6, 2017, she will join a decades-long list of American diplomats who have given speeches about the "unacceptable" discrimination against Israel by the UN's top human rights body, and the "credibility" problem from welcoming human rights violators as members. The response is equally predictable: eye-rolls, yawns and a few disingenuous murmurs about UN reform.

It's about time we changed the script.

Haley will share the Council podium with a strange bedfellow: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Jordanian Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein. Accusations of foreign meddling in U.S. elections have oddly neglected to zero in on the United Nations, and leading players like Zeid.

On October 12, 2016 the UN High Commissioner decided to gather the UN's built-in media entourage in Geneva and weigh in on the American election. It was not a regularly scheduled press briefing. He summoned the world's press specifically to alert the globe and American voters about the enemy, Donald Trump.

In the words of Zeid: "If Donald Trump is elected, on the basis of what he has said already, and unless that changes, I think it's without any doubt that he would be dangerous from an international point of view."

On cue, the High Commissioner's manufactured press briefing made headlines: "Donald Trump Is 'Dangerous' for Global Stability, U.N. Rights Chief Says (the New York Times);" "U.N. human rights chief: Trump would be 'dangerous' if elected (Los Angeles Times)."

The High Commissioner's direct effort to influence the U.S. election was questioned at a State Department briefing shortly thereafter. Far from being offended, Obama's State Department spokesperson John Kirby responded: "the high commissioner should speak to the appropriateness that he believes merit that. I'm not going to weigh in one way or the other on that."

It was not the first time Zeid had fashioned a role for himself in the American election. On September 5, 2016 in The Hague he announced "I am the global voice on human rights," and then declared Mr. Trump to be akin to ISIS. According to Zeid, Trump "shares with Da'esh" the modus operandi of the "arch propagandist." Even speaking on U.S. soil, before a group in Cleveland on April 15, 2016, he focused on the "crucial election for leadership of this country" and proceeded to describe "a front-running candidate to be President of this country" and "multiple candidates" by which he meant Trump and other members of the GOP as engaged in "calls to hatred."

Connections between senior Democrats, including Ambassador Samantha Power, and this Jordanian prince are not hard to find, along with a range of connections between the Jordanian royal family and the Clinton Foundation.

Zeid clearly expected a Clinton win and a big pay day for his UN office. He published an annual appeal for 2017 increasing his anticipated budget by a whopping 50% ($234,600,000 in 2016 to $360,509,200 for 2017). As the regular UN budget is essentially fixed, the increase was to come from so-called "voluntary" contributions, and the U.S. is the single largest contributor of voluntary funds to the High Commissioner's office. Mysteries remain: what exactly was he promised and by whom?

Haley's decision to go to Geneva, therefore, plants two key questions firmly in the minds of every listener. America is the UN human rights machinery's largest single donor, both by virtue of regularly assessed and voluntary contributions. So will Haley put her money where her mouth is, or is this a photo-op? And will the U.S. continue to belong and hence, to legitimize, a "human rights" body with an entrenched anti-Jewish and anti-Israel agenda?

The UN "reform" shell game may be a standing-joke in UN circles, but it matters for Haley who has staked her reputation on being serious about the UN's diabolical treatment of the Jewish state. The Council's permanent agenda, governing three sessions a year, has one item dedicated to Israel-bashing and one item to consider the other 192 UN members should the Council feel like it. The Council was created in 2006 as the allegedly "reformed" UN Human Rights Commission, except the Council's Israel item is a replica of its predecessor.

When the 'new and improved' Council was rolled out, the Bush administration called the reform bluff and refused to join. President Obama leapt on board, and by engineering another three-year term that started on January 1, 2017, left President Trump holding the bag. Rather than tossing the pernicious concoction, however, the new administration sat down beside fellow Council "human rights" authorities China, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Venezuela.

In advance of her trip, Haley outlined in the Washington Post on June 2, 2017 membership "changes that must be made" and insisted "the council must also end its practice of wrongly singling out Israel for criticism." But "must" is a weasel word, without a bona fide "or else." Her audience awaits.

UN Meddling in U.S. Elections: Will Nikki Haley Bark or Bite at the UN Human Rights Council? Article