ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey’s president on Saturday criticized anti-war students at a top university, calling them “terrorists” and promising to oust them from their studies.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said “communist, traitor youth” tried to mess up a student stand opened by “religious, nationalist, local youth” at the public Bogazici University.
Speaking in northern Samsun province, Erdogan announced an investigation and said “we won’t give these terrorist youth the right to study at these universities.”
On Monday, students opened a stand distributing sweets dubbed “Afrin delight” to commemorate fallen soldiers in Turkey’s cross-border operation in Syria.
Another group protested against them, holding anti-war banners and chanting slogans such as “the palace wants war, people want peace,” in reference to Erdogan’s presidential complex.
The school week was tense with heavy police presence in the university. Turkey’s official Anadolu Agency said five people suspected of having attacked the student stand were detained. On Thursday, police detained seven others during a protest. A video showed plainclothes police officers dragging a young man.
Turkey launched a cross-border military offensive on Jan. 20 to oust Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units of YPG from Afrin in northwestern Syria. Turkey considers the YPG a terror group and an extension of Kurdish militants waging an insurgency within its own borders.
The Turkish government has not tolerated criticism of its military offensive and more than 580 people have been detained for “propaganda” on social media.
CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian authorities arrested a British journalist and expelled her from the country after threatening her with a military trial, The Times said on Saturday. The move comes as part of a heavy crackdown on media ahead of this month’s presidential elections.
Bel Trew, who has been in Egypt for seven years, had been detained and faced “sufficiently outlandish” threats to suggest a misunderstanding over reporting she carried out in a central Cairo district, The Times (of London) said. She was expelled in late February. The British daily has been since attempting to bring about Trew’s safe return to Cairo to cover the elections but to no avail.
“It is now clear that the authorities have no intention of allowing her to return,” The Times said in a statement. Egyptian authorities were not immediately available for comment.
Trew said in an account on the Times’ website that she has been listed as a persona non-grata and that Cairo authorities threatened to re-arrest her if she attempts to return.
She said her reporting in the district of Shoubra was part of a story on a migrant boat that disappeared two years ago. An informer seems to have reported her to the police, she added. She was stopped shortly after she left a cafe where she was conducting an interview.
“The taxi had just pulled away from the café … when a minibus of plain-clothes police officers cut us off. Five men jumped out and took me to a nearby police station,” she said, adding that she provided the authorities with the audio recording of the interview. “It was either ignored and not listened to — or listened to and ignored,” she said.
Egypt has often detained, jailed and prosecuted journalists under President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who led the military’s 2013 overthrow of elected Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, after mass protests against his one-year divisive rule.
Advocacy group Reporters Without Borders ranked Egypt as 161 out of 180 countries on their 2017 World Press Freedom Index.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalist ranked Egypt among the top worst jailers of journalists in a December report. It says some 20 reporters remain detained; several face charges of spreading “false news.”
Some 500 websites have been blocked since last year including many run by rights groups, sites critical of the government and the VPN services that help users bypass the blocks.
Pro-el-Sissi businessmen have also expanded their reach into an already cowed private media, according to Reporters Without Borders. The group says security forces maintain a list of “wanted” journalists they have sometimes even forcibly disappeared, and are especially keen to crack down on individuals who sell video content to opposition media abroad.
The government’s stepped up warnings to the media ahead of the 26-28 March presidential election, in which el-Sissi faces no serious challenge after a string of hopefuls were forced out of the race or arrested. His only challenger is a little-known candidate who supports him.
Early March saw some of the harshest official rhetoric to date taking aim at the press. The country’s chief prosecutor, Nabil Sadeq, described the media as “forces of evil” — one of el-Sissi’s hallmark phrases — saying they have been trying to “undermine the security and safety of the nation through the broadcast and publication of lies and false news.” El-Sissi himself described any defamation of the country’s security forces as “high treason.”
Shortly thereafter, a bill was proposed in parliament criminalizing any statements authorities define as insults toward the armed forces or police, with penalties of at least three-year jail terms and fines upward of 10,000 Egyptian pounds (or $567).
Egyptian authorities have also published a list of telephone numbers for citizens to alert reports they view as undermining security or spreading false news.
NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of the digital file storage company Dropbox soared Friday in their stock market debut.
The stock rose $7.48, or 35.6 percent, to close Friday at $28.48 in its first day of trading on Nasdaq. It had climbed as high as $31.60 during the day.
The San Francisco company offered about 26.8 million shares of stock at $21 apiece, while selling shareholders were offering about 9.2 million shares. It had expected to price the shares in a range of $18 to $20.
The company, founded 11 years ago, boasts about 500 million users. It provides services for backing up documents, photos and video. It competes with smaller rival Box Inc., which went public two years ago, as well as technology behemoths Google, Microsoft and Amazon.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The number of people around the world in danger of dying unless they get food urgently surged to 124 million last year — mainly because “people won’t stop shooting at each other,” the head of the U.N. food agency said Friday.
David Beasley told the Security Council by video link that almost 32 million of those acutely hungry people live in four conflict-wracked countries: Somalia, Yemen, South Sudan and northeastern Nigeria, where famine was averted last year.
“The link between hunger and conflict is as strong as it is destructive,” the executive director of the World Food Program said. “Conflict leads to food insecurity. And food insecurity can also stoke instability and tension which trigger violence.”
Globally, Beasley said, 60 percent of the 815 million chronically hungry people who don’t know where their next meal is coming from live in conflict areas.
U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock said “despite the wildest predictions, famines have become less frequent and less lethal over the past few decades.”
He called this “an amazing achievement,” citing the dramatic expansion in agricultural output and productivity and the global reduction in poverty which has seen people gain purchasing power.
“The remaining risk of famine and hunger is now concentrated in a relatively small number of countries affected by large-scale, severe and protracted conflict,” Lowcock said.
“Almost 490 million undernourished people — and almost 80 percent of the world’s 155 million stunted children — live in countries affected by conflict,” he said by video link.
Lowcock said a study released Thursday by the World Food Program, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization and the European Union confirmed that conflict, often combined with “extreme climate shock and high prices of staple food is the main driver of global food insecurity.”
While famine was averted last year, Lowcock said that according to the latest data, northeastern Nigeria, Yemen and South Sudan still face the risk of famine over the next six months. And there are also “extremely worrying” food security issues in Ethiopia, Somalia and Congo, he said.
Beasley, the WFP chief, also warned of pressures building now in Africa’s greater Sahel region, which is home to over 500 million people.
While the region is blessed with natural resources, arable land and young people needing jobs, he said it also faces constant food insecurity, is vulnerable to droughts and floods and has seen armed groups take advantage of the situation.
“In the five core countries of the Sahel — Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger, Mali and Mauritania — acute malnutrition has risen 30 percent in the past five years,” Beasley said.
Around the globe, he said, there were 80 million acutely hungry people in 2015, 108 million in 2016 and 124 million in 2017 — “a staggering and stomach-churning 55 percent increase” in just two years.
Lowcock, the undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, stressed that political solutions to conflicts and peace are the only way to “disrupt the vicious cycle of conflict and hunger.”
He urged Security Council members to use their influence over parties to conflicts and to investigate violations of international humanitarian law, which prohibits using starvation as a weapon of war, prohibits attacking hospitals and schools and requires all combatants to allow the delivery of aid.
Beasley said that in 2016, nearly half the entire global humanitarian budget — $27 billion — was spent in four conflict-wracked countries, Syria, Yemen, Iraq and South Sudan.
He also cited WFP research showing that every 1 percent rise in the rate of hunger “is matched by a 2 percent increase in migration.”
Beasley said the price tag to address the root causes of hunger “is far cheaper” and he urged U.N. agencies, governments and non-governmental organizations to join forces “to build long-lasting economies in places where war and hunger have taken their toll.”
This should range from helping small farmers make a living to building roads, schools and irrigation wells and helping communities sell surplus crops, he said.
Sigrid Kaag, the Netherlands minister for foreign trade and development cooperation who chaired the meeting, said: “Hunger caused by conflict as well as starvation reflect our collective failure, and this council has a collective responsibility to address it, and prevent it in the future.”
“It is upon us,” she told council members, “to ensure that starving civilians will become a crime of the past — a practice both forbidden and punishable.”
Biltmore Page on Sustainability
A high school sustainable hospitality class is preparing students for careers. The slideshow explains what nutritious foods to eat and why to eat them.
A California school creates an organic garden, providing fresh and nutritious produce for school lunches. The slideshow shares which foods are most damaging to the environment.
Maggie Rulli checks out what a job in sustainable forestry is all about. The slideshow explains the methods used in sustainable forestry.
This food waste bin turns your leftovers into plant food in just 24 hours. The slideshow highlights the problem of food waste.
Food waste is a major problem, but there are many ways to it. The slideshow highlights ways that families can prevent food waste in their homes.
The plantable coffee cup is an attempt to reduce waste, but an idea that will have much larger impact is the zero waste movement. Cities across the country are striving to stop sending any waste to landfills.
A university student saved his campus thousands of dollars simply by replacing existing fluorescent lights with newer, cheaper and more efficient LED lights. Learn how to shop for LED light bulbs, the new standard in lighting.
Young people are suing the government for violating the public trust, which is the idea that some resources should be protected by the government for the use or enjoyment of all, not owned by an individual or a company.
Project Tsehigh: Solar Power, Jr.
Sustainability Lesson Plan for Earth Month
Fast Fashion, Part 3: Sustainability, Jr.
Fair Trade, Jr.
Minimum Wage Workers Strike, Jr.
Study Finds Link between Red Meat and Climate Change
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A Florida judge has denied bond to a man accused of stealing a car with a baby inside.
Marquise Sharkear Hudson is accused of stealing a car parked with the engine running outside a West Palm Beach gas station early Tuesday. Police said he dropped the baby at another gas station several minutes later. The clerk told police Hudson shouted, “Take the baby!” before driving away.
The Palm Beach Post reports Judge Ted Booras denied Hudson bond on Thursday. He will remain in jail until his next hearing.
Deputies arrested Hudson after his mother recognized him in surveillance video and called the sheriff’s office. She told authorities her son had been “acting erratically.”
Jail records don’t list a lawyer for Hudson. He’s charged with kidnapping, grand theft and burglary.