Palestinian identity and Israel’s long attempt to suppress it | Israel-Palestine conflict News

Occupied East Jerusalem – When Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot useless on Might 11 whereas masking an Israeli raid on the Jenin refugee camp, north of the occupied West Financial institution, mourners rapidly gathered on the household residence in occupied East Jerusalem.

As crowds streamed via the door to pay their respects, Abu Akleh’s household adorned the doorway with Palestinian flags and images of the veteran Al Jazeera journalist.

Mates cranked up nationalist Palestinian songs.

Inside hours, Israeli police had turned up on the Abu Akleh residence in Beit Hanina demanding that the flags be taken down, the music turned off, and the nationalist chants silenced.

Two days later, comparable calls for had been enforced far more fiercely by Israeli forces.

When hundreds of mourners gathered exterior St Joseph Hospital in Jerusalem to bid their beloved journalist farewell, dozens of Israeli police attacked the funeral procession with batons and rubber bullets. The police focused the pallbearers who struggled to maintain the coffin, which was draped with a Palestinian flag, from falling to the bottom.

Fadi Mtour, one of the pallbearers who held up Shireen Abu Akleh casket, describes the attack by Israeli forces.
Fadi Mtour, one of many pallbearers who held up Shireen Abu Akleh’s coffin, describes the assault by Israeli forces on her funeral procession [Arwa Ibrahim/Al Jazeera]

“They kicked us, hit us with picket batons, and launched rubber bullets inside shut vary,” mentioned Fadi Mtour, one of many pallbearers who carried Shireen’s coffin that day.

“Regardless of how laborious they beat us, we needed to maintain that coffin from falling. It turned a logo of our dignity and lives. If Shireen’s casket fell, we might, too,” mentioned Mtour, a 41-year-old Jerusalemite who usually attends demonstrations.

“There was a lot hatred and violence … like nothing I’ve ever skilled,” he mentioned.

The explanation for the Israeli aggression on the funeral was the Palestinian flag, and what Abu Akleh represented when it comes to Palestinian identification, Mtour defined.

“They [Israeli authorities] are afraid of the Palestinian flag as a result of it represents our identification, the identical method that Shireen, her funeral and life did,” mentioned Mtour, whose 18-year-old son was additionally overwhelmed on the top through the funeral, sustaining an damage that required a number of stitches.

Members of the Israeli security forces detain a man during the funeral of Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh.
Members of the Israeli safety forces detain a person through the funeral of Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh in Jerusalem [Ronen Zvulun/Reuters]

“They had been able to commit a bloodbath to convey down the Palestinian flag,” Mtour mentioned, including that even girls and kids had been overwhelmed for waving the flag.

Israeli media reported that Jerusalem’s police chief had ordered his officers to forestall the waving of the Palestinian flag and to confiscate flags displayed on the funeral.

Persevering with suppression

Related scenes of horror unfolded simply days later on the funeral of Walid al-Sharif, a younger Palestinian man who lastly succumbed to wounds sustained on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound final month.

Once more, Israeli police waded via the crowds of mourners, confiscating Palestinian flags and beating individuals. Greater than 70 Palestinians had been injured, based on Palestinian media experiences.

Israeli forces’ confiscation of Palestinian flags has continued regardless of the Jerusalem Justice of the Peace Court docket ruling final yr that flying the Palestinian flag will not be a felony offence in Israel.

Israeli security forces detain a protester at the compound that houses Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem's Old City
Israeli safety forces detain a protester on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Previous Metropolis on Might 5 [Ammar Awad/Reuters]

The ruling got here after a protester was injured and 4 others had been arrested for elevating the Palestinian flag throughout an indication within the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah – a flashpoint on the centre of a decades-long battle between Palestinian households and Israel authorities who’ve tried to evict Palestinian residents from their houses.

Palestinian activists have usually reported being focused when waving Palestinian flags in Jerusalem. They’ve additionally witnessed a rise in Israeli efforts to confiscate Palestinian flags and to punish those that try to lift them.

“We aren’t allowed to lift the Palestinian flag on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound,” mentioned Ruqaya, a 52-year-old Palestinian girl from the Previous Metropolis in Jerusalem.

Palestinians protest at the compound that houses Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Palestinians increase flags in protest on the compound that homes Al-Aqsa Mosque [Ammar Awad/Reuters]

“Those that attempt, at all times wrap a keffiyeh round their face to maintain their identification hidden,” she mentioned, referring to the black and white checked scarf that’s thought-about one other image of Palestinian identification.

“Due to the intense Israeli response to waving a flag, Palestinian youth – my sons included – have taken it upon themselves to proceed to lift it at each alternative,” she added.

Ahmad Safadi, a Jerusalemite activist and member of the town’s nationwide and civil motion committee, has usually been focused for elevating the Palestinian flag.

“I’ve been detained, overwhelmed and my [charity and media] organisation has been shut down a number of occasions as a result of I maintain waving the flag,” Safadi mentioned.

He additionally insisted on carrying the flag through the funerals of Abu Akleh and al-Sharif, as a result of it’s “a logo of our Palestinian identification and sovereignty”.

“They’ll by no means cease me,” Safadi mentioned.

“I’ll proceed to lift the flag excessive.”

‘Palestinian colors’

The Israeli assault on Palestinian identification and establishments stretches again 20 years, based on Palestinian lawyer and analyst Diana Buttu.

She referenced the funeral of well-known Palestinian politician Faisal Husseini in 2001, when “a whole lot of hundreds of individuals gathered carrying the Palestinian flag and there have been no assaults through the funeral”.

However, shortly after his funeral, issues modified.

Israeli authorities shut down the Orient Home – the political headquarters of the Palestinian individuals in East Jerusalem, that was established by Husseini and had change into a logo of Palestinian tradition and identification.

Suppression of Palestinian identification has been on the rise since, Buttu mentioned, including that it reached a peak in 2017 with then-US President Donald Trump’s administration saying that it could recognise Jerusalem because the capital of Israel.

“That successfully emboldened Israel and we noticed the massive clampdown on Palestinian identification, flags, and colors,” Buttu mentioned.

Since then, “there’s been an try and push Palestinians out and to crush their identification. And Shireen was very a lot a logo of Palestinian identification,” she mentioned.

“However all of their makes an attempt merely present how afraid of the flag [and what it represents] they’re.”

France’s Macron appoints new government for second term | Elections News

Catherine Colonna, a profession diplomat and up to date ambassador to the UK, takes over France’s overseas affairs portfolio.

French President Emmanuel Macron has introduced a new-look Cupboard, with a brand new overseas minister a part of the reshuffled lineup behind France’s first feminine prime minister in 30 years.

Three senior ministers – Gérald Darmanin on the inside ministry, Bruno Le Maire for economics and Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti – all survived the in depth shake-up for re-elected Macron’s second time period.

Catherine Colonna, a profession diplomat and, most not too long ago, France’s ambassador to the UK, took over the overseas affairs portfolio as France is deeply engaged in worldwide efforts to assist Ukraine towards Russia’s invasion.

Led by Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, who was named Monday, the Cupboard’s prime precedence might be attempting to safe the parliamentary majority that Macron must implement the coverage proposals that he campaigned on in final month’s presidential election.

France’s parliamentary election to find out seats within the Nationwide Meeting is being held throughout two rounds of voting in June and events on each the far-left and the far-right try to scale back Macron’s centrist majority.

The Cupboard appointments have been introduced by Macron’s workplace in an announcement learn aloud by an aide on the steps of the presidential Elysee Palace, in line with custom.

Scholar Pap Ndiaye, an professional on US minority rights actions, was named France’s new schooling minister. Ndiaye was beforehand accountable for France’s state-run immigration museum.

In an Related Press interview final yr, Ndiaye mentioned France has to struggle racial justice by confronting its often-violent colonial previous, noting that “the French are extremely reluctant to take a look at the darkish dimensions of their very own historical past.”

Colonna changed Jean-Yves Le Drian, Macron’s overseas minister all through his first time period. She is the primary lady to go the Quai d’Orsay, the plush headquarters of French diplomacy on the banks of the Seine River, since Michèle Alliot-Marie’s brief stint as overseas minister led to February 2011.

The brand new authorities additionally has a brand new spokesperson, Olivia Grégoire. The previous junior minister replaces Gabriel Attal and might be one of many administration’s most seen members.

The core cupboard of Borne and 17 ministers is evenly cut up between women and men. One of many new additions, Sports activities Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, can also be minister of the Olympic Video games and the Paralympics, a brand new title forward of the 2024 Summer time Video games in Paris.

The Voice of Palestine: When a journalist becomes the story | Israel-Palestine conflict

Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed by Israeli forces on Could 11, whereas masking an Israeli army raid within the occupied West Financial institution metropolis of Jenin.

On this particular version of Speak to Al Jazeera: Within the Subject, Shireen’s colleagues and mates pay tribute to her legacy and clarify the challenges of being a Palestinian journalist reporting on a extremely private story.

We take a look at how the media is commonly focused, which at instances makes journalists themselves the centre of the story.

Pakistan holds bailout talks with IMF in Qatar as economy falters | International Monetary Fund News

Doha, Qatar – At a luxurious lodge in Qatar’s capital, Pakistani officers are holding talks with the Worldwide Financial Fund (IMF) as Islamabad seeks the discharge of extra funds from a $6bn bailout package deal agreed in 2019 to stabilise the nation’s faltering economic system.

“The crew shall be in Doha throughout Could 18-25 as a part of ongoing discussions with the Pakistani authorities on financial developments and insurance policies to advertise macroeconomic stability,” an IMF official informed Al Jazeera on Thursday.

On the core of the negotiations are subsidies, particularly these on petroleum merchandise that are immediately linked to inflation.

The earlier Pakistani authorities led by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan signed a $6bn bailout package deal in 2019.

However Islamabad solely acquired $3bn and the programme was not totally carried out as a result of Khan’s authorities deserted the agreements to finish subsidies, increase the tax internet and enhance assortment.

With Khan now faraway from workplace, the month-old Pakistani authorities led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is asking the IMF to extend the dimensions and period of its programme.

“The brand new authorities is a coalition of a dozen events that assumed energy with a razor-thin majority. It has been paralysed attributable to Imran Khan’s relentless marketing campaign towards the military management and the federal government,” political economist Yousuf Nazar informed Al Jazeera.

“The federal government fears that if it will increase oil worth, it would gas anti-government sentiments and provoke violent protests. Khan’s get together leaders have warned a couple of civil battle.”

Pakistan has reached out to the IMF a staggering 22 instances since 1958. However its numerous civilian and navy governments did not implement reforms as directed by the worldwide company.

Double whammy

Now, the nuclear-armed nation of 220 million folks faces a double whammy of a politically charged ambiance and a teetering economic system. There are nearly each day rallies by the federal government and the opposition.

Khan’s supporters are demanding an early election whereas Sharif’s coalition authorities is making an attempt to keep away from unpopular however needed financial choices.

To additional complicate the governance disaster, international commodity costs and inflation are rising. A file post-pandemic surge in oil costs and cautious lending have additionally slowed progress within the nation.

Weeks earlier than he grew to become Pakistan’s finance minister, Miftah Ismail informed Al Jazeera the gas subsidy was equal to offering aid to the wealthy.

“The poorest of the society don’t drive. Absolutely there are different mechanisms to offer focused aid to those that want it essentially the most,” he stated.

However since he took workplace, his boss, Prime Minister Sharif, has completely different plans to taking unpopular financial choices.

“The premier doesn’t wish to burden the plenty, so he refused to hike the gas costs on an instantaneous foundation. There isn’t any must rush to petrol pumps as a result of the costs should not going to go up. Nonetheless, the costs shall be adjusted accordingly,” Ismail stated in a information convention this week.

Political economist Nazar, a former chief strategist at Citigroup’s rising markets division, says he sees elementary reforms as a necessity in Pakistan.

“Pakistan has continued to observe an import substitution protectionist commerce coverage and stays extremely weak to power crises. It depends closely on remittances. Its tax to GDP [gross domestic product] ratio has fallen to 9.5 % from about 12 % in 2016 as a result of dominance of navy and particular pursuits in policymaking,” he stated.

Nazar stated Pakistan central financial institution’s overseas change reserves have dropped 51 % since February to only $6.3bn – barely sufficient to cowl a couple of weeks of imports.

“Pakistan wants at the very least $5bn instantly to calm the markets and cease the slide in its foreign money which has dropped by 6 % in Could to date,” he stated.

Jeremy Zook, a prime official at Fitch Scores, informed Al Jazeera that uncertainty over the financial coverage amid sliding overseas change reserves and sustained excessive commodity costs is exacerbating Pakistan’s issues.

“Additional delays round coverage choices and the IMF programme will doubtless add to those mounting exterior pressures,” he stated.

Zook stated gas subsidies seem like a key level of Pakistan’s negotiations with the IMF.

“In our view, this demonstrates the challenges the brand new broad coalition authorities will face in passing reforms within the run-up to the overall elections due by mid-2023,” he stated.

Zook, nevertheless, stated there have been “some current indicators” that the federal government is able to make concessions.

“The federal government has additionally given optimistic indicators on its dedication to the IMF programme and its want to increase the programme to mid-2023. Nonetheless, programme negotiations will doubtless show bumpy as a result of political challenges round financial reforms,” he informed Al Jazeera.

Belarus charges dissident with organising ‘terrorist’ group | News

Telegram channel Nexta’s co-founder Stepan Putilo is accused of ‘directing the actions of a terrorist organisation’.

Belarus has launched new felony expenses towards the co-founder of the opposition Telegram channel Nexta, Stepan Putilo, accusing the dissident of organising a “terrorist” organisation, in response to the Belta state information company.

Run from overseas, the Nexta Telegram channels helped mobilise historic anti-government protests within the ex-Soviet nation in 2020 after the disputed re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko for a sixth time period in energy.

The channel was co-founded by Putilo and Roman Protasevich, one other Belarusian activist who was arrested in Belarus in Might final 12 months when his Athens to Vilnius Ryanair flight was diverted and compelled to land within the Belarusian capital, Minsk.

Putilo at present lives in Poland’s capital Warsaw, whereas Protasevich stays below home arrest in Belarus after he appeared in confession videos that allies consider have been made below duress.

‘So-called protests’

Based on Belta, Belarusian investigators on Friday stated Putilo and one other Nexta staffer Yan Rudik have been charged with “directing the actions of a terrorist organisation Nexta”.

“Since 2020, the defendants have used their data assets to destabilise the state of affairs on the territory of Belarus and radicalise the so-called protests,” investigators added.

They stated, “The terrorists have repeatedly referred to as for inciting social hatred and discord, blocking roads and coordinating road riots, committing terrorist assaults on the railway and sabotage at enterprises that might result in man-made disasters.”

Putilo already faces various felony expenses similar to inciting social hatred and treason, and is on worldwide needed lists in Belarus and Russia.

In 2020, Putilo and Protasevich have been positioned on Belarus’s “record of terrorists”, whereas Nexta was designated a “terrorist organisation”.

On Wednesday, Belarus – the one nation in Europe that continues to hold out executions – launched the loss of life penalty for makes an attempt to hold out acts of “terrorism”.

‘Difficult to believe’: Biden’s economy plan a tough sell in Asia | International Trade

Phnom Penh, Cambodia – US President Joe Biden’s arrival in Seoul on Friday marks not solely the beginning of his first go to whereas in workplace to South Korea and Japan, however the beginnings of an financial initiative aimed toward deepening United States ties throughout Asia.

Although lots of the Indo-Pacific Financial Framework’s particulars have but to be finalised, the Biden administration has made one level clear – the plan will not be a standard commerce settlement that may decrease tariffs or in any other case open entry to US markets, however a partnership for selling frequent financial requirements.

Whereas lots of China’s regional neighbours share Washington’s issues concerning the burgeoning superpower’s ambitions, the IPEF’s lack of clear commerce provisions might make it an uninspiring prospect for potential members, particularly in Southeast Asia.

“You may sense the frustration for growing, trade-reliant international locations,” Calvin Cheng, a senior analyst of economics, commerce and regional integration at Malaysia’s Institute of Strategic and Worldwide Research, instructed Al Jazeera. “There’s at all times speak about participating Asia, the thought, however what precisely is it – and what are the incentives for growing international locations to take up requirements which can be being imposed on them by richer, developed international locations?”

Since saying the IPEF in October, the Biden administration has characterised the initiative as a method of selling frequent requirements beneath the pillars of honest and resilient commerce; provide chain resilience; infrastructure, clear vitality, and decarbonisation; and tax and anti-corruption.

A reality sheet distributed by the White Home in February describes the framework as a part of a wider push to “restore American management” within the area by participating with companions there to “meet pressing challenges, from competitors with China to local weather change to the pandemic”.

However, Biden’s resolution to not pursue a significant commerce deal harks again to the protectionist leanings of former US President Donald Trump, and, particularly, his administration’s abrupt pullout from the landmark Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Trump, whose antipathy in direction of conventional alliances sparked nervousness in lots of Asian international locations, scuttled that settlement in 2017 regardless of sharing the deal’s goals of countering increasing Chinese language financial affect.

Yoon Suk-yeol
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has expressed help for Biden’s new financial initiative [File: Seong Joon Cho/Bloomberg]

However even with out clear advantages to spice up commerce, Asian leaders have, for probably the most half, reacted favourably to the prospect of renewed US engagement in Asia.

Longtime allies Japan and South Korea are anticipated to be among the many first to have interaction with the IPEF, as are Singapore and the Philippines.

From Vietnam, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh mentioned on the current US-ASEAN summit that Vietnam “wish to work with the US to grasp the 4 pillars of that initiative”.

Nevertheless, he added that Vietnam wanted extra time to check the framework, in addition to to see extra “concrete particulars”.

Thailand has additionally demonstrated curiosity, whereas leaders in Indonesia and India have but to take a transparent place.

Huynh Tam Sang, a lecturer of worldwide relations on the College of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, mentioned Hanoi wished to keep away from antagonising both the US or China – a standard place for Southeast Asian states trying to remain away from nice energy struggles whereas avoiding being dominated by their northern neighbour.

“The Vietnamese authorities has been quite prudent to not showcase any intentions to affix the IPEF or not, although I believe there are various advantages to becoming a member of,” Sang instructed Al Jazeera, itemizing clear vitality and dependable provide chains as frequent pursuits.

Sang mentioned, nevertheless, that different requirements, corresponding to these associated to taxes and anti-corruption efforts, may very well be a step too far for the Vietnamese authorities.

“I believe Vietnam may very well be actually reluctant to affix that pillar for worry of the US intervening in Vietnam’s home politics,” he mentioned.

“The anti-corruption marketing campaign is unquestionably occurring, however many Vietnamese are very sceptical of this view of cooperation, particularly with the US when the Biden administration has prioritised democratic values when fostering ties with regional international locations.”

Strings hooked up

Such issues might undercut the renewed US engagement, notably when China has made a degree to have interaction in commerce with out such values-based strings hooked up. The Regional Complete Financial Partnership (RCEP), a free commerce deal that went into impact initially of this 12 months, is a testomony to that hands-off strategy to some observers.

China performed a key position in negotiating the RCEP, which additionally consists of Japan and South Korea, plus all 10 of the ASEAN member-states –  Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam – in addition to Australia and New Zealand.

In complete, the RCEP covers some 2.3 billion folks and an estimated 30 p.c of the worldwide financial system. The partnership is broadly seen as being extra targeted on selling commerce by eradicating tariffs and crimson tape, with a much less holistic strategy to elevating financial requirements than the TPP or its successor, the reassembled Complete and Progressive Settlement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Cheng described the CPTPP, of which the US will not be a member, because the “gold customary” for commerce offers within the area, noting its dedication to expanded commerce entry in addition to provisions to safeguard labour rights, promote transparency and deal with environmental points and local weather change.

“So the IPEF is just about that, however taking out the commerce deal side of it, leaving simply the requirements,” he mentioned.

It stays to be seen how far the standards-only technique will go by way of profitable acceptance throughout Asia.

Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob
Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has referred to as on the USA to take a extra complete strategy to commerce [File: Samsul Said/Bloomberg] (Bloomberg)

Already, Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob and worldwide commerce minister Azmin Ali have mentioned the US ought to take a extra complete strategy.

Ali described the framework proposal in an interview with Reuters as a “good starting for us to have interaction on varied points” and mentioned Malaysia would resolve which IPEF pillars it could contemplate becoming a member of. On the similar time, he made clear the IPEF was not a substitute for the more-comprehensive TPP.

Among the most easy public criticism of the brand new framework on that entrance has come from outstanding former ministers in Japan, one of many area’s most steadfast US allies.

Earlier this month, former international minister Taro Kono and former justice minister Takashi Yamashita spoke at an occasion in Washington of the brand new framework’s lack of laborious commitments, a facet they discovered obtrusive within the context of the abrupt collapse of the TPP. Of their feedback, the 2 maintained the IPEF would solely serve to undermine the CPTPP.

“Now the Biden administration is speaking concerning the Indo-Pacific Financial no matter, I’d say neglect about it,” Kono mentioned.

Hiroaki Watanabe, a professor of worldwide relations at Ritsumeikan College in Kyoto, mentioned the US withdrawal from the TPP had undermined Japanese perceptions of the IPEF’s stability. Although Biden could promote his framework whereas in energy, Watanabe mentioned, there was no assure the following president would.

“Proper now, it’s the Biden administration, however we don’t know what is going to come subsequent – it might even be Trump once more,” Watanabe instructed Al Jazeera.

“From a non-American perspective, it’s actually troublesome to consider what America is saying when it says it desires to commit itself to those plans,”  Watanabe added. “There are lots of challenges to the logistics of this, after which the US could throw away the type of dedication as measured by the IPEF sooner or later. Virtually, it’s not meaningless, but it surely’s not important both.”

Chariots of Fire, Blade Runner composer Vangelis dies aged 79 | Obituaries News

Vangelis, the Oscar-winning composer of the music for Chariots of Fireplace and Blade Runner, and a pioneer of digital music, has died. He was 79.

In line with a number of media retailers within the musician’s native Greece, Vangelis died of coronavirus in France, the place he lived part-time. He additionally had houses in London and Athens.

“It’s with nice unhappiness that we announce that the nice Greek Vangelis Papathanassiou handed away late on the night time of Tuesday, Could 17,” Vangelis’s lawyer was quoted as saying by the ANA information company.

Over his greater than 50-year profession, Vangelis was famend for his musical experimentation and eclectic influences. He received an Oscar in 1982 for his theme for the British movie Chariots of Fireplace, and went on to develop the scores for a slew of different films, together with Ridley Scott’s cult basic Blade Runner, in addition to for theatre and ballet.

“Vangelis Papathanassiou is now not with us,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis tweeted.

“The world of music has misplaced the worldwide (artist) Vangelis.”

Born Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou in central Greece, Vangelis developed an early curiosity in music and experimented with sound by banging pots and pans or fixing nails, glasses and different objects to the strings of his dad and mom’ piano. He carried out his first piano live performance on the age of six.

“I’ve by no means studied music,” he instructed Greek journal Periodiko in 1988, wherein he additionally bemoaned rising “exploitation” by studios and the media.

“At one time there was a craziness … now it’s a job.”

“You may promote one million information whereas feeling like a failure. Otherwise you may not promote something feeling very pleased,” he stated.

After learning portray on the Athens Faculty of Positive Arts, Vangelis made his begin with native Greek rock bands. He left for Paris when he was 25, a part of an exodus of inventive expertise following the 1967 army coup.

In Paris, he joined fellow Greeks Demis Roussos and Lucas Sideras within the progressive rock band Aphrodite’s Baby, attaining cult standing and promoting hundreds of thousands of information earlier than they broke up in 1972.

Fascinated by the then-new discipline of digital synthesizers, Vangelis settled in London in 1974, the place he established Nemo Studios, the “sound laboratory” that produced most of his solo albums for greater than a decade.

However he valued his independence over file gross sales.

“Success is good and treacherous,” the composer instructed Britain’s Observer newspaper in 2012. “As a substitute of having the ability to transfer ahead freely and do what you actually want, you end up caught and obliged to repeat your self.”

‘Advert astra’

Vangelis, who had a minor planet named after him in 1995, had a fascination with house from an early age.

In 1980, he contributed music to Carl Sagan’s award-winning science documentary Cosmos. He wrote music for NASA’s 2001 Mars Odyssey and its Juno Jupiter missions, in addition to a Grammy-nominated album impressed by the Rosetta house probe mission in 2016.

On Twitter, NASA paid tribute with the phrases ‘Advert astra’ (to the celebs), sharing a video from the Juno mission.

In 2018, he composed a bit for the funeral of Stephen Hawking that included the late professor’s phrases and was broadcast into house by the European House Company.

He was showered with honours, receiving the Max Steiner movie music award, France’s Legion d’Honneur, NASA’s Public Service Medal and Greece’s prime honour, the Order of the Phoenix.

Vangelis rigorously guarded his privateness and little recognized was recognized of his private life.

“I don’t give interviews, as a result of I’ve to attempt to say issues that I don’t must say,” he instructed the LA Occasions in 2019.

“The one factor I must do is simply to make music.”

Asylum seekers stuck on Diego Garcia start hunger strike | Refugees News

Dozens of Tamil asylum-seekers have launched a starvation strike after eight months stranded on a secretive army base within the Indian Ocean, demanding that the federal government of the UK enable them to say asylum in a protected third nation.

“My husband contacted me as we speak and knowledgeable me that seven individuals, together with sick individuals, are actually engaged in a starvation strike,” Meera*, the spouse of 1 asylum seeker, advised Al Jazeera on Might 18. “They need a solution as to when they are going to be taken elsewhere.”

By the subsequent morning, the variety of asylum seekers on starvation strike had risen to 42, in keeping with their attorneys.

Meera’s husband is one in every of 89 Sri Lankan Tamils, together with 20 youngsters, who set out from southern India in a fishing boat in late September 2021 within the hopes of claiming asylum in Canada. A lot of the group had fled to India years earlier to flee political persecution and the specter of torture and enforced disappearance through the Sri Lankan authorities’s bloody 26-year civil struggle in opposition to Tamil separatists, which led to 2009.

However 11 days and greater than 2,000km(1,243 miles) into their journey, the asylum seekers’ boat started to founder and was intercepted by UK forces, who escorted the group to Diego Garcia, a part of the British Indian Ocean Territory. The island is house to a joint US-UK air and naval base, and the asylum seekers have been held there since October 3 final yr with no indication of how lengthy they may stay there, or the place they are going to be despatched subsequent.

A lot of the group are in search of ensures from the UK authorities that they won’t be repatriated to Sri Lanka, which has suffered an financial and political collapse in latest weeks, nor to India, the place not less than 60 of them are registered as refugees and can be pressured to return to squalid camps.

“They’re dwelling in a confined compound on the island, the place their lives and their youngsters’s futures are in limbo,” Meera mentioned.

Chagos islanders protest outside the World Court in The Hague as judges consider whether Britain maintains sovereignty illegally
The UK eliminated the individuals who lived within the Chagos Islands to determine the army base. The displaced Chagossians have taken authorized motion arguing the UK illegally maintains sovereignty over the islands [file: Mike Corder/AP Photo]

The London-based legislation agency Leigh Day, which represents 81 of the 89 asylum seekers, is now demanding that the UK authorities clarify when and the way it plans to allow the group to say worldwide safety in accordance with their rights beneath the Refugee Conference and customary worldwide legislation.

“The psychological state of lots of our purchasers can finest be described as totally despairing,” the legislation agency mentioned in a letter as a result of UK authorities on Might 19.

“They’ve requested us what the UK authorities will do within the occasion of their deaths on the island, and a few have requested that in the event that they die their organs ought to be donated to the British individuals.

“It’s clear that our purchasers are at imminent danger of great hurt.”

Incommunicado

For the primary six weeks after they have been towed to Diego Garcia of their broken boat, the asylum seekers had no contact with the surface world. It was solely in mid-November 2021 that Meera and different kinfolk in Sri Lanka and India acquired transient telephone calls from unknown numbers and discovered that their family members have been nonetheless alive.

For a lot of the ensuing six months, every asylum seeker had entry to a landline for half-hour each 9 or 10 days, permitting them to make outgoing calls however not obtain incoming ones.

Asylum seeker Jegan* advised Al Jazeera in a press release conveyed by means of the group’s attorneys that he fearful his dad and mom again house would “sacrifice themselves or hurt themselves” through the weeks he was stored incommunicado.

One other asylum seeker on the island later required medical consideration after refusing to eat for 4 days as a result of he was not in a position to see his new child little one through video name.

Legal professionals at Leigh Day are getting ready to file for judicial evaluation in opposition to the UK authorities if the group doesn’t obtain “common, personal and unmonitored entry” to video calls, e-mail and web entry. In a pre-action protocol letter despatched to the UK authorities in late April, the legislation agency warned that proscribing the group’s entry to communications is “in breach of well-established widespread legislation rights of entry to authorized representatives for individuals disadvantaged of their liberty.

“Our purchasers are in a worse place than in the event that they have been prisoners,” the letter mentioned, as a result of all through most of their time on the island, they have been denied “entry to communications which might allow them to problem the premise of their imprisonment”.

On Might 13, a UK authorities spokesperson advised Al Jazeera that the group had been given limitless entry to phone communications.

Nevertheless, contacting the group from outdoors Diego Garcia stays tough and might take weeks to rearrange, even if a church about 200 metres from the asylum seekers’ encampment is provided with WiFi. The group has not been allowed to go to the church with out an escort, and as soon as escorted, have solely been ready to make use of UK officers’ private gadgets.

“There isn’t a web or WiFi [where we are staying], so we will’t use our personal telephones,” Jegan mentioned. “Some individuals simply sit on their very own fascinated with their households.”

Tempers rising

Members of the group say boredom and a lack of understanding about their futures is inflicting their psychological well being to deteriorate.

“Think about having all these individuals cooped up with nothing to do – they simply take into consideration what will occur, and tempers are rising,” Janaki*, an asylum seeker, advised Al Jazeera.

In response to Leigh Day’s pre-action protocol letter, “no additional steps have been taken to offer correct schooling” for the 20 youngsters on the island past offering them with DVDs and fundamental English classes.

“I really feel distraught when the youngsters say: ‘How lengthy will we keep right here? When can we go away?’ It’s tense for them, and it breaks my coronary heart. We really feel like we will die within the ocean right here. The children appear to be dropping their minds,” Janaki mentioned.

Furthermore, among the asylum seekers’ medical wants have exceeded the assets out there on the island, which has had no everlasting inhabitants because the UK forcibly deported the native Chagossians within the Nineteen Sixties and 70s to fulfil an settlement to construct a army base for america.

Earlier this yr, a number of asylum seekers have been flown from Diego Garcia to Bahrain for numerous medical therapies earlier than being introduced again to the island.

“I ponder how a lot it price the UK authorities to fly refugees from Diego Garcia to Bahrain for personal medical therapy,” mentioned Chris Eades, secretary-general of the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Community. “What occurs if any of the group falls instantly sick? It might be way more humane for the UK authorities to maneuver the group to the UK, the place they will promptly entry the NHS.”

A US Air Force members loads a bomb onto an aircraft on the tarmac of the Diego Garcia base
Diego Garcia is among the United States’s most vital army bases [File: US Air Force/AFP]

Eades added that bringing the refugees to the UK would additionally enable the 20 youngsters within the group to go to highschool.

“Being held for a lot of months on a army base with little contact with the surface world, insufficient healthcare, and with no sign of ending is totally unacceptable and a violation of the Refugee Conference,” he mentioned.

Extra arrivals

Additional straining assets on the island was the apparently coincidental arrival on April 10 of an extra 30 asylum seekers who have been rescued from a second vessel and introduced by UK forces to the tented encampment on Diego Garcia to hitch the unique 89.

“After the brand new group landed, the meals has been very dangerous,” mentioned Jegan. “The meals dimension has been minimize down, and the unique group of us are considering that if extra individuals come, [the UK authorities] will begin sending everybody again to [Sri Lanka or India], as a result of extra individuals are coming. We expect that due to the brand new arrivals, the authorities have stopped all their work to ship [us] to a different place.”

A UK authorities spokesperson disputed this, saying: “We’re supporting 119 individuals who have been escorted to the British Indian Ocean Territory in broken fishing vessels up to now yr.

“We’re working urgently with the group and our worldwide companions on choices and subsequent steps, with their welfare being our high precedence,” the spokesperson advised Al Jazeera.

The United Nations Excessive Commissioner for Refugees, for its half, has been urging the UK authorities, which controls Diego Garcia as an Abroad Territory, to contemplate the claims of those 119 asylum seekers “in accordance with its obligations beneath Worldwide Legislation”.

“We stand prepared to offer technical help to search out applicable options, understanding {that a} quantity throughout the group could have worldwide safety wants,” a spokesperson for the company mentioned. “The unfavorable influence of extended uncertainty and limbo on refugees’ and asylum seekers’ psychological well being is well-documented world wide.”

“I’m fearful that 9 months will flip into 9 years,” mentioned Janaki, echoing the expertise of an earlier group of asylum seekers who ended up trapped on a UK army base in Cyprus for 20 years earlier than being allowed to say asylum within the UK in 2018.

“I ponder if a very good future will ever occur. I’ve been a refugee for over 30 years of my life. Will we ever get out of right here?”

*Names of asylum-seekers and their kinfolk have been modified for concern of reprisals.