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global ngos criticise drastic us cuts of unrwa funding | usa news


international ngos have condemned the us government's decision to cut more than half of its planned funding to the united nations agency for palestinian refugees.kenneth roth, executive director of human rights watch, said in a twitter post late on tuesday that washington was "holding palestinian kids' humanitarian needs hostage to political agendas".jan egeland, secretary general of the norwegian refugee council, urged the us government to reverse its decision announced on tuesday to withhold $65m out of $125m aid package earmarked for the united nations relief and works agency for palestinian refugees (unrwa)."the move will have devastating consequences for vulnerable palestinian refugees across the middle east, including hundreds of thousands of refugee children in the west bank and gaz






us cuts unrwa funding by more than half | palestine news


the us government is cutting more than half of its planned funding to the united nations agency for palestinian refugees, a move that could prove catastrophic for millions of people in need.the state department announced on tuesday it was withholding $65m out of a $125m aid package earmarked for the united nations relief and works agency for palestinian refugees (unrwa).in a letter, the department said that additional us donations will be contingent on major changes by unrwa.those funds are "frozen for future consideration", heather nauert, state department spokeswoman, told reporters.for nearly 70 years, unrwa has been the lifeline to the more than five million registered palestinian refugees in the occupied territories and in lebanon, jordan and syria.plo central council recommends suspe






us 'cuts unrwa funding' by more than half | palestine news


the united states is cutting more than half of its planned funding to the united nations agency for palestinian refugees, a source has told al jazeera.washington will give the united nations relief and works agency for palestinian refugees (unrwa) $60m in aid for palestinians but will hold back a further $65m, a source knowledgeable with the matter said on tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity.for nearly 70 years, unrwa has been the lifeline to the more than five million registered palestinian refugees in the occupied territories and neighbouring countries such as lebanon and jordan.it offers support in food supply, access to education, healthcare, social services and employment."this is going to be a big blow," al jazeera's james bays, reporting from the un headquarters in new york,






across the mideast, palestinians brace for trump aid cuts


shati refugee camp, gaza strip (ap) — mahmoud al-qouqa can’t imagine life without the three sacks of flour, cooking oil and other staples he receives from the united nations every three months.living with 25 relatives in a crowded home in this teeming gaza strip slum, the meager rations provided by unrwa, the u.n. agency for palestinian refugee families, are the last thing keeping his family afloat in the territory hard hit by years of poverty and conflict. but that could be in danger as the united states, unrwa’s biggest donor, threatens to curtail funding.“it will be like a disaster and no one can predict what the reaction will be,” al-qouqa said.across the middle east, millions of people who depend on unrwa are bracing for the worst. the expected cut could also add instability to strugg






trump's first budget increases military spending at expense of federal programs


the biggest increase in spending would be directed at the pentagon, but the budget plan does not make clear where the new $54 billion would go. the budget plan would boost funding for the army, navy, marine corps and air force. it would, among other things, acquire new f-35 joint strike fighters and rebuild what it says are depleted munitions inventories. but it stops short of saying how these new funds would support new tactics to combat the islamic state.great lakes mayors warn against trump's potentially drastic cuts to ecological initiativea group representing great lakes region mayors in the u.s. and canada is sounding the alarm against potentially drastic cuts to an ecological recovery initiative for the great lakes.the trump administration's potential cuts to the great lakes restora






republicans push back against trump plan to cut foreign aid


u.s. president donald trump’s fellow republicans in congress on tuesday assailed his proposed cuts in the diplomatic and foreign aid budget, making it unlikely the cutbacks in global health, peacekeeping and other programs will take effect.senator lindsey graham, the republican chairman of the senate subcommittee responsible for diplomacy and foreign aid spending, said trump’s proposal to cut the diplomacy and aid budget by one third would “gut soft power.”“if we implemented this budget, you’d have to retreat from the world or put a lot of people at risk,” graham told reporters. “this budget is not going to go anywhere.”congress sets the federal government budget, and republicans who control both houses and democrats have said they do not support such drastic cuts.the funding cuts in trump






israel calls for end of un palestinian refugee agency | israel news


israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu called on sunday for the dismantling of the un agency that aids millions of palestinian refugees, accusing it of anti-israeli incitement and saying he had conveyed his message to the us ambassador to the united nations.adnan abu hasna, a gaza-based spokesman for the united nations relief and works agency (unrwa), said netanyahu was pursuing a "fantasy".the united states, israel's main ally, was the biggest donor to unrwa last year, pledging $368 million.israeli occupation 'intensifying' 50 year onin public remarks to his cabinet at its weekly meeting, netanyahu said unrwa perpetuated, rather than solved, the palestinian refugee problem and that it stoked anti-israeli incitement."it is time unrwa be dismantled and merged with the united nations high






israel calls for end of un palestinian refugee agency | israel news


israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu called on sunday for the dismantling of the un agency that aids millions of palestinian refugees, accusing it of anti-israeli incitement and saying he had conveyed his message to the us ambassador to the united nations.adnan abu hasna, a gaza-based spokesman for the united nations relief and works agency (unrwa), said netanyahu was pursuing a "fantasy".the united states, israel's main ally, was the biggest donor to unrwa last year, pledging $368 million.israeli occupation 'intensifying' 50 years onin public remarks to his cabinet at its weekly meeting, netanyahu said unrwa perpetuated, rather than solved, the palestinian refugee problem and that it stoked anti-israeli incitement."it is time unrwa be dismantled and merged with the united nations hig






israel calls for end of un palestinian refugee agency | israel news


israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu called on sunday for the dismantling of the un agency that aids millions of palestinian refugees, accusing it of anti-israeli incitement and saying he had conveyed his message to the us ambassador to the united nations.adnan abu hasna, a gaza-based spokesman for the united nations relief and works agency (unrwa), said netanyahu was pursuing a "fantasy".the united states, israel's main ally, was the biggest donor to unrwa last year, pledging $368 million.israeli occupation 'intensifying' 50 years onin public remarks to his cabinet at its weekly meeting, netanyahu said unrwa perpetuated, rather than solved, the palestinian refugee problem and that it stoked anti-israeli sentiment."it is time unrwa be dismantled and merged with the united nations high






palestinian refugees live in fear of trump aid cuts | refugees


bethlehem, occupied west bank - palestinians living in refugee camps have expressed deep alarm over us threats to potentially cut funding for a relief agency tasked with providing aid and services to them.for nearly 70 years, the united nations relief and works agency for palestinian refugees (unrwa) has been the lifeline to the more than five million registered palestinian refugees in the occupied territories and neighbouring countries. it offers support in food supply, access to education, healthcare, social services and employment. "today, more than two-thirds of refugees are children who go to unrwa schools. if the schools shut down, there will be a big problem," salah ajarmeh, a 44-year-old living in aida refugee camp outside of bethlehem, told al jazeera. "the refugee issue is a red






why is netanyahu trying to disband the unrwa? | un


on june 11, 2017, the israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu called for the dismantling of the un agency that aids millions of palestinian refugees, accusing it of stoking anti-israeli sentiments and perpetuating the palestinian refugee problem. netanyahu, after a meeting with the us ambassador to the un, nikki haley, in jerusalem, said, "it is time the unrwa be dismantled and merged with the united nations high commissioner for refugees".the united nations relief and works agency for palestine refugees in the near east (unrwa) was established by the un general assembly in 1949 after hundreds of thousands of palestinians fled or were expelled from their homes in the war that followed israel's creation.since its establishment, the unrwa has provided education, healthcare, and social serv






saving unrwa means saving palestinian refugees | un


on june 11, 2017, the israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu called for the dismantling of the un agency that aids millions of palestinian refugees, accusing it of stoking anti-israeli sentiments and perpetuating the palestinian refugee problem. netanyahu, after a meeting with the us ambassador to the un, nikki haley, in jerusalem, said, "it is time the unrwa be dismantled and merged with the united nations high commissioner for refugees".the united nations relief and works agency for palestine refugees in the near east (unrwa) was established by the un general assembly in 1949 after hundreds of thousands of palestinians fled or were expelled from their homes in the war that followed israel's creation.since its establishment, the unrwa has provided education, healthcare, and social serv






unrwa vows to go on after israel's call to scrap agency | news


the united nations relief and works agency for palestinian refugees (unrwa) has vowed to continue its work after israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu called for it to be scrapped.in a series of tweets on sunday evening, a spokesperson for the un agency said it would continue providing help to palestinian refugees until the international community comes up with a solution for their plight."unrwa is assigned by the general assembly to continue its services until a fair solution to palestinian refugees issue is reached," unrwa official sami mushasha noted. his comments came shortly after netanyahu called for the agency to be scrapped, accusing it of helping "fictitious refugees."unrwa is an organisation that perpetuates the palestinian refugee problem and the narrative of the right-of-re






global health efforts are in jeopardy: a polio survivor reflects on proposed cut


in 1988, my family traveled from america to india to visit the homeland of my birth. at age 11, i vividly remember seeing beggars crippled by polio, crawling on the ground. i remember them staring at me. i, too, have polio, but i am able to walk with leg braces and crutches.i contracted polio as a baby in india. i was adopted from an orphanage at age 3 and moved to america.the global polio eradication initiative was launched in 1988 to end polio, which was endemic in india, paralyzing 200,000 children annually. the u.s. government signed on and has been a leading member since, contributing $2 billion of the $14-billion global effort. because the initiative has championed global polio vaccination, cases have dropped 99.9%.a disease that once paralyzed over 1,000 children a day wasdown to 37






u.s. fails to make payment to u.n. agency that helps palestinians – la times


however, the u.s. has not formally notified the organization, the u.n. relief and works agency, known as unrwa, of a final decision on whether funding will be discontinued or maintained, the person said.






hungary tightens rules on foreign funded ngos | news


hungary's parliament has approved strict new regulations for foreign-backed civil society groups despite calls from the european parliament and rights groups for the bill to be dropped.under legislation drafted by prime minister viktor orban's government and pushed through by the ruling fidesz on tuesday, compels groups that get more than us$26,200 a year from abroad to register with the authorities and declare themselves as foreign-funded, or risk closure for non-compliance. the government said the measures were aimed at improving transparency as well as fighting money laundering and terrorism funding.but the european commission and the united nations have condemned the law, saying it could "discriminate against and delegitimise" non-governmental organisations (ngos). read more: court rul






public affairs network to end coverage


hartford, conn. (ap) — connecticut’s cable tv and online public affairs network is ending its coverage of the state government after severe budget cuts.the hartford courant reports the chief executive of the connecticut television network announced ct-n coverage will end 5 p.m. friday. paul giguere, president and ceo of the connecticut public affairs network, which operates ct-n, is blaming a “drastic reduction” in funding and an increasing effort by lawmakers to control the network’s coverage.lawmakers passed a budget this week that included a cut in funding to ct-n from $3.2 million to $1.6 million annually. legislators previously said they needed to make cuts across state government to address the projected $3.5 billion budget deficit.giguere says the cut in funding “is simply unworkabl






us ends funding for united nations population fund | usa news


the state department has announced it is ending us funding for the united nation population fund (unfpa), the international body's agency focused on family planning as well as maternal and child health in more than 150 countries. the state department said it was withholding $32.5m in funding for the fiscal year of 2017 because the unfpa "supports, or participates in the management of, a programme of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilisation".the cut marks us president donald trump's first move to curtail funding for the united nations and is likely to raise further questions about how deep those cuts will eventually go throughout the organisation, where the united states is the top donor.it comes after trump in january reinstated the so-called mexico city policy that withholds us fund






us ends funding for united nations population fund | usa news


the state department has announced it is ending us funding for the united nation population fund (unfpa), the international body's agency focused on family planning as well as maternal and child health in more than 150 countries. the state department said it was withholding $32.5 in funding for the fiscal year of 2017 because the unfpa "supports, or participates in the management of, a programme of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilisation".the cut marks us president donald trump's first move to curtail funding for the united nations and is likely to raise further questions about how deep those cuts will eventually go throughout the organisation, where the united states is the top donor.it comes after trump in january reinstated the so-called mexico city policy that withholds us fundi






great lakes mayors warn against trump's potentially drastic cuts to ecological i


with reports swirling that president donald trump intends sharp cutbacks at the environmental protection agency, the detroit free press reports that a drastic reduction may be under consideration for great lakes restoration efforts, which in the past have received bipartisan support.the national...






trump's first budget to include deep cuts for epa, domestic programs


a group representing great lakes region mayors in the u.s. and canada is sounding the alarm against potentially drastic cuts to an ecological recovery initiative for the great lakes.the trump administration's potential cuts to the great lakes restoration initiative were reported by the detroit...






us ends funding for united nations population fund | usa news


the state department has announced it is ending us funding for the united nation population fund (unfpa), the international body's agency focused on family planning as well as maternal and child health in more than 150 countries. in a letter to us senate foreign relations committee chairman bob corker, the state department said it was dropping the funding because the unfpa "supports, or participates in the management of, a programme of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilisation".the cut marks us president donald trump's first move to curtail funding for the united nations and is likely to raise further questions about how deep those cuts will eventually go throughout the organisation, where the united states is the top donor.it comes after trump in january reinstated the so-called mexi






poland's president signs divisive law on civic group funding


warsaw, poland — poland's president has signed into law a bill on funding for non-governmental organizations that critics fear the conservative government may use to undercut groups with missions that conflict with the ruling party's positions.international human rights organizations and a federation of poland's ngos had appealed to president andrzej duda to veto the bill, which they saw as setting back the development of formerly communist poland's civic organizations.the law establishes at the prime minister's office a new national freedom institute that will distribute public funds from the government and the european union among poland's 100,000 ngos. it also adds 40 million zlotys ($11 million) to the existing pool of 60 million zlotys.duda's office said he signed the bill late friday






israel demands un fire gaza staffer with alleged hamas ties


jerusalem — an israeli military general is calling on a united nations agency to fire a palestinian staff member he claims has been elected to a leadership position with the islamist group hamas in the gaza strip.maj. gen. yoav mordechai of the israeli defense body cogat said sunday he demanded the u.n. agency for palestinian refugees, unrwa, investigate the matter. israel considers hamas a terrorist organization.suhail al-hindi is the chairman of the unrwa palestinian workers' union in gaza. the israeli defense body says he was elected to hamas' politburo in a secret vote this month.unrwa spokesman chris gunness said al-hindi has denied the accusation. the u.n. agency forbids staff from holding political office.the agency temporarily suspended al-hindi in 2011 for participating in events






lemony snicket on trump, netflix and terrible ideas


drastic times call for drastic measures, and these sure seem like drastic times. with avocado prices rising, game of thrones ending and the u.s. president’s associates under investigation for having ties to russia, we’re frequently encountering dark days—or, at the very least, experiencing what could be termed a series of unfortunate events. there’s only one person…






kentucky governor proposes spending cuts of 6.25 percent


frankfort, ky. (ap) — kentucky’s republican governor is proposing spending cuts of more than 6 percent across most of state government.gov. matt bevin’s office announced the cuts in a news release as he began giving a speech to a joint session of the general assembly. bevin called the cuts “significant yet strategic” and said they include the elimination of 70 programs. however, per pupil funding for public education was not cut.the biggest reason for the spending cuts is the $3.31 billion bevin is proposing to spend on the state’s retirement system for state workers and public school teachers. he also announced spending $34 million in tobacco settlement funds to fight the opioid epidemic, $24 million to hire more social workers and give them raises and $10.8 million in new funding for ado






sicily prosecutor probes possible ngos-smuggler 'contacts'


rome — a prosecutor in sicily says that an investigation has found "evidence" of contacts between rescue boats run by some humanitarian groups and libya-based migrant smugglers.catania chief prosecutor carmelo zuccaro was quoted as saying in an interview published sunday in la stampa newspaper that the probe has revealed "evidence there's direct contacts between some ngos and human traffickers in libya."nine nongovernmental organizations have operated rescue boats in the mediterranean just outside libya's territorial waters. rescue operations are ultimately coordinated by the italian coast guard under maritime rules requiring help be given to distressed boats.populist italian politicians on sunday demanded to know who's financing the ngos.premier paolo gentiloni has praised ngos' saving li






we will not be intimidated by hungary's ngo law | human rights


"even though i'd braced myself for the news, today's result still sent a jolt through me like electricity," julia ivan, director of amnesty international hungary told me today. "hard won freedoms will be lost and the vital work done by ngos to create a freer and fairer society will be seriously hampered by orban's bullying politics." as director of an organisation that will itself be affected by the new ngo law was passed today, she should know.on the face of it, the law on the transparency of organisations funded from abroad carried by the hungarian parliament today with a comfortable government majority might look fairly benign. the title of the law suggests it is aimed at increasing transparency, while authorities claim it is important in the fight against money laundering and internati






ngos criticise turkey-eu deal on refugees | news


a turkey-european deal to stop the flow of refugees into europe has made seeking refuge in the continent "mission impossible" as vulnerable people stuck in camps in greece suffer serious mental illnesses, according to a number of charities.the international rescue committee (irc), norwegian refugee council (nrc) and oxfam said on thursday that the deal exposed refugees to risk and abuse, and accused europe of setting a dangerous precedent."the eu-turkey deal is playing roulette with the futures of some of the world's most vulnerable. it has become mission impossible for those who need it most to seek refuge in europe," panos navrozidis, the irc's country director in greece, said.testing the turkey-europe migrant dealin a separate statement on the same day, save the children and doctors wit






we will not be intimidated by hungary's ngo law | human rights


"even though i'd braced myself for the news, yesterday's result still sent a jolt through me like electricity," julia ivan, director of amnesty international hungary told me today. "hard won freedoms will be lost and the vital work done by ngos to create a freer and fairer society will be seriously hampered by orban's bullying politics." as director of an organisation that will itself be affected by the new ngo law was passed today, she should know.on the face of it, the law on the transparency of organisations funded from abroad carried by the hungarian parliament today with a comfortable government majority might look fairly benign. the title of the law suggests it is aimed at increasing transparency, while authorities claim it is important in the fight against money laundering and inter






ngos criticise turkey-eu deal on refugees | news


a turkey-european deal to stop the flow of refugees into europe has made seeking refuge in the continent "mission impossible" as vulnerable people stuck in camps in greece suffer serious mental illnesses, according to a number of nongovernmental organisations.the international rescue committee (irc), norwegian refugee council (nrc) and oxfam said on thursday that the deal exposed refugees to risk and abuse, and accused europe of setting a dangerous precedent."the eu-turkey deal is playing roulette with the futures of some of the world's most vulnerable. it has become mission impossible for those who need it most to seek refuge in europe," panos navrozidis, the irc's country director in greece, said.testing the turkey-europe migrant dealin a separate statement on the same day, save the chil






bill clinton: us foreign aid cuts would trim 'outsize' good


washington — drastic reductions to the u.s. foreign aid budget would be "a bad thing" because the relatively small amount of money is well-spent, former president bill clinton told a coalition of u.s. humanitarian and development groups on tuesday."it's a bad thing if the government cuts us aid, because it's a little bit of money doing an outsize amount of good," clinton said.the trump administration wants to cut funding to the u.s. agency for international development by nearly one third in the fiscal year starting in october. there is strong congressional opposition to the proposal, part of efforts to slash the diplomatic and development budget from $54.9 billion to $37.6 billion.clinton was speaking to interaction, which says the cuts would be "devastating" at a time when famine threate






un suspends gaza staffer amid allegations of hamas ties


jerusalem — the u.n. agency for palestinian refugees suspended a palestinian staffer sunday, a spokesman for the u.n. agency said as israel alleged the employee was elected to a leadership position with the islamist group hamas in the gaza strip.chris gunness of unrwa said suhail al-hindi, the chairman of the unrwa palestinian workers' union in gaza and the principal of a unrwa elementary school, was suspended due to "substantial information" received by the agency.the israeli defense body cogat said al-hindi was elected to hamas' politburo in a secret vote this month, though al-hindi denied that. the u.n. agency forbids its staff from holding political office.maj. gen. yoav mordechai of cogat said in a statement sunday that he demanded the u.n. agency investigate the matter. israel consid






trump’s budget proposal slashes funding for arts and sciences, increases defense


donald trump on thursday will reveal his budget proposal for 2018, slashing spending for the departments of agriculture, labor and state, as well as the environmental protection agency, while increasing defense spending by $54 billion, the washington post reports.the proposal, entitled “america first: a budget blueprint to make america great again,” also proposes eliminating federal funding for the arts, including the national endowment for the arts and the corporation for public broadcasting—which funds the public broadcast service pbs.the 53-page budget proposal suggests deacreasing funding for the national institutes of health by almost 20 percent, and slashes almost $500 million in funding for road projects through the transportation department.asked about the potential impact of trump






sicily prosecutor probes possible ngos-smuggler 'contacts'


rome — an investigation of humanitarian groups operating migrant rescue ships in the mediterranean has turned up evidence of contacts between some ngos and libyan-based human smugglers, a prosecutor based in sicily said in comments published sunday.anti-migrant politicians immediately demanded to know who finances rescue ships run by ngos.catania chief prosecutor carmelo zuccaro was quoted as saying in an interview with la stampa newspaper that his office's probe has revealed "evidence that there are direct contacts between some ngos and human traffickers in libya."several nongovernmental organizations have operated rescue boats in the mediterranean just outside libya's territorial waters.humanitarian advocates said that if it weren't for them, countless more migrants would perish at sea."






un warns of gaza's 'total collapse' amid power crisis | news


the united nations has warned that longer power cuts threaten a "total collapse" of basic services in gaza, with residents in the beseiged palestinian territory being held hostage to political infighting.gazans currently receive three to four hours of mains electricity a day, delivered from the territory's own power station and others in israel and egypt.gaza: power crisis worsens with pa push to reduce electricity supplyisrael decided on sunday to reduce the amount of electricity it supplies to gaza by between 45 and 60 minutes a day after palestinian authority president mahmoud abbas cut electricity funding by his west bank-based palestinian authority.the move was widely seen as an attempt by abbas to step up pressure on the rival hamas movement, which runs gaza.the un humanitarian coord






minnesota sports execs take the polar plunge downtown


vikings gm rick spielman, twins president dave st. peter, timberwolves president chris wright, minnesota united president nick rogers and wild chief operating officer matt majka jumped into an icy pool to benefit special olympics minnesota on thursday in downtown minneapolis.