A Busy Day For ISIS, the ICC and Filipino Government

While Duterte runs amuck, other Filipino officials try to cover his tracks.
Photo Credit: 
New York Times

Yesterday the United Nations expressed concern that ISIS had abducted 550 families from around Mosul to be used as human shields during their battle against the Iraqi and Kurdish forces. The families were abducted on Monday and were taken to a holding point, where they are being prevented from escaping. When the “human shields” are no longer useful, it’s feared that they will be executed. United Nations leaders have urged Iraqi forces to place civilian safety at the top of their priorities, referencing ISIS’ absolute disregard for human life.

People are still shaking their heads at the coverage of the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner that took place Thursday night. Typically the event, which is held regularly, is a chance for candidates to make a few lighthearted jokes before the upcoming election. However, that’s not exactly what happened this year. Trump had the podium first and his jokes were a tad cringe-worthy. He referenced his criticisms against Rosie O’Donnell, saying “After listening to Hillary rattle on and on and on, I don’t think so badly of Rosie O’Donnell anymore.” However, he poked a little fun at himself, too, and was able to call out his wife: “Michelle Obama gives a speech and everyone loves it, it’s fantastic. They think she’s absolutely great. My wife, Melania, gives the exact same speech, and people get on her case!”

Clinton had her fair share to say as well. A favorite quote from her time on stage included referencing Trump’s opinions on women, saying he’d rank the Statue of Liberty as “a four, maybe a five if she loses the torch and tablet and changes her hair.” She also addressed his demand for drug testing before the last debate, saying, “I am so flattered that Donald thought I used some sort o performance enhancer. Now, actually, I did. It’s called preparation.”

Friday morning saw a huge internet crash on the East Coast, causing popular sites and services such as Twitter, Netflix, Amazon, Spotify, PayPal, SoundCloud and Reddit to go down. The incident is blamed on a DDoS cyber attack. Fox News spoke to Gary Miliefsky, CEO, Snoopwall, to learn more about what exactly a DDoS attack entails, and he reported that they’re relatively common and very cheap to do. “You can lease a DDoS attack against any target…for a very low cost. In addition, with the exponential power of computing, one can build DoS equipment for less than $300,” he said.

Yesterday we reported on the Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, and his calls for economic and military separation from the United States during a visit to Beijing. Following up on Duterte’s statements, his fellow leaders in the Philippines rushed to correct his damage, saying that the Philippines intended to maintain all trade and economic ties with both the United States and all western countries. Philippine Trade Minister Ramon Lopez said that Duterte was simply wanting to become less reliant on relationships with the U.S., and that he rather was referring to strengthening ties with China and the rest of the ASEAN region. Duterte is scheduled to be in Japan next week, and we’ll be watching to see what exactly falls out of the leader’s mouth next.

After Burundi decided just a few days ago to withdraw from the International Criminal Court, South Africa is pushing to withdraw as well. The ICC is the intergovernmental organization that is meant to complement national judicial systems in protecting people all around the world from genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Paperwork for the South African withdrawal has been submitted, and is now being sent to South Africa’s parliament. The two are the first countries to ever withdraw from the ICC, sparking a fear that even more African countries will withdraw, due to many claims that the ICC focuses too heavily on the continent. So far, every individual tried by the ICC has been from Africa. The ICC relies on its country members to assist them in arrests, and has no power itself to take action.

Earlier this year, the ICC asked South Africa to arrest Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir while he was visiting the country for a summit. The South African government declined to do so, guaranteeing immunity to all summit attendees, even though al-Bashir had been indicted by the ICC for war crimes and genocide.

Burundi accused the ICC as destabilizing to low-income countries, after the organization began investigating killings, torture and sexual assault within the country.

It’s expected Kenya will be the next African nation to follow.

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