Category Archives: News

Companies ‘Virtue Signal’ Against The NRA

WireNews CEO encourages members, readers and suppliers to support the National Rifle Association by joining and to reciprocate against any company that promotes a boycott against the NRA

National Rifle Association

National Rifle Association

In the wake of the shooting that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14, 2018, a number of companies have announced boycotts, largely promoted via Twitter, against the National Rifle Association, in what can only be described as virtue signalling to the Left.

United Airlines has notified the NRA that the airline will no longer offer a discounted rate to their annual meeting and the directors of that company are asking that the NRA remove its information from the NRA website.

Delta Air Lines reached out to the NRA to let them know that the airline will be ending its contract for discounted rates through its group travel program. Delta will be requesting that the NRA remove its information from the NRA website.

Hertz Corporation has notified the NRA that the company is ending the NRA’s rental car discount program with Hertz.

The full list of companies to have boycotted the NRA so far:

Alamo Rent a Car
Allied Van Lines
Chubb Insurance
Delta Air Lines
Enterprise Rent-a-Car
First National Bank of Omaha
North American Van Lines
Paramount Rx
United Airlines

Apparently these companies have overlooked the fact that the NRA, founded in 1871, has over five million active members. A Reuters/Ipsos poll in April 2012 found that 82% of Republicans and 55% of Democrats saw the NRA “in a positive light”, meaning that more than three quarters of the population of the United States would not look very favorably upon a boycott against the NRA.

In fact, in six of seven Gallup polls between 1993 and 2013, a majority of Americans reported holding a favorable opinion of the NRA and while recent events may have caused many Americans to take more notice of the NRA’s activities, the organization’s commitment to training and gun safety remain high on its lists of achievements.

Bill White, founder and CEO of WireNews said: “Following the recent CNN ‘Town Hall’ event that was really a hit piece or better, a lynch mob, against the NRA, I joined the National Rifle Association.” (@Twitter confirmation of membership)

“I encourage all of our readers to do the same,” continued White.

“And as far as this boycott of the NRA by these companies, I am calling on all of our members, readers and suppliers to reciprocate against any company that promotes a boycott against the NRA,” confirmed White.

Help Improve Guidance For Charities Working Internationally

If your charity operates overseas we are looking for your feedback to help us improve our guidance

International Charities

International Charities

The Charity Commission have several key pieces of guidance and alerts that are important reading for charities that operate internationally, including the Compliance Toolkit.

We are keen to assess whether our guidance meets your needs, is easy to follow and whether it helps charities working in high-risk areas or carrying out higher risk activities.

This is an opportunity for you to influence the development of our guidance, making sure we cover the basics as well as helping you with some of the more challenging and complex issues.

Whether you have read all, some or none of our guidance your opinion matters to us.

If you’d like to get involved complete this short survey (it will take no more than 15 minutes).

All individual responses are voluntary, anonymous and confidential. The deadline for responses is Sunday 25 March.

We also welcome responses from other colleagues and stakeholders in the international charity sector.

Universal Periodic Review 29: Tonga

This UK statement was delivered during the 29th session of the Universal Period Review during the discussion of Tonga's Human Rights Record on 15 January 2018

The Universal Periodic Review takes place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva

The Universal Periodic Review takes place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva

The UK welcomes the positive steps taken by Tonga since the last UPR, demonstrating its commitment to human rights, particularly the implementation of reforms to advance democracy. We are impressed by the consultations with civil society in the preparation for the UPR. We encourage Tonga to become party to core Human Rights Conventions and to establish a National Human Rights Institution in compliance with the Paris Principles. We also welcome Tonga’s national efforts to promote female candidates in national elections and subsequent increase in female MPs. However, female participation in Tongan politics remains low and we encourage Tonga to further promote the inclusion of women in politics.

The UK remains concerned that Tongan legislation continues to criminalise consensual same sex-conduct. It is encouraging that there have been no recent prosecutions under this legislation, however, we would urge Tonga to repeal all such provisions and ensure anti-discrimination laws also cover sexual orientation.

The UK welcomes Tonga’s membership of the International Labour Organisation in 2016 and we would encourage Tonga to ratify the key ILO conventions.

We recommend:

  1. Ratify the International Labour Organization’s Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (C. 182) as part of the Government’s ongoing commitment to achieving SDG 8.7.
  2. Ratify and implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and support the disaggregation of SDG Reporting data by disability.
  3. Adopt an open, merit-based process when selecting national candidates for UN Treaty Body elections.

Meeting With Permanent Members Of Security Council

Vladimir Putin met with permanent members of the Security Council

Putin meeting with permanent members of Security Council

Putin meeting with permanent members of Security Council

The situation on the Korean Peninsula was discussed, particularly in the context of the telephone conversation between Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump.

The situation in Syria was also touched upon. Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu briefed members of the Council on the process of withdrawing Russian military forces from the Syrian Arab Republic.

In addition, there was an exchange of views on current issues on the national agenda.

Attending the meeting were Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Anton Vaino, Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, Foreign Intelligence Service Director Sergey Naryshkinand Special Presidential Representative for Environmental Protection, Ecology and Transport Sergei Ivanov.

“I Repeat The United Kingdom’s Call For North Korea To Allow Human Rights Actors Immediate And Unhindered Access To Assess The Human Rights Situation”

Statement by Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, UK Permanent Representatives to the UN, at the Security Council meeting on human rights in the DPRK

Matthew Rycroft

Matthew Rycroft

Thank you Mr President.

And thank you also to High Commissioner Zeid and Merislav Jenca for their harrowing words on the dire situation in the DPRK. Sadly it is unsurprising that the regime maintains a stranglehold on every aspect of its citizens’ lives. The United Kingdom, like other Security Council members, views the human rights situation in North Korea with deep concern and dismay.

The regime’s treatment of its own people is yet another example of its unashamed contempt of the international rules based system.

That is why we fully support the Security Council’s wish to draw attention to the shameful living conditions of the North Korean people as well as to North Korea’s illegal nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, which we have condemned in Resolutions 2371 and 2375.

We must maintain international focus on the human rights situation in North Korea through both the UN in New York and the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

We welcome the UN visit last week and we encourage the regime to engage in a meaningful way.

Evidence of the leadership’s appalling behaviour towards its own people is impossible to ignore.

People lack freedom of religion and expression. They have minimal control over their livelihoods and resources. The state controls what they see, what they consume and how they behave, using the threat of extreme punishment to keep people under its thumb.

Naysayers are disappeared, or jailed, or publicly executed to demonstrate the price of freedom. The Global Slavery Index estimates that more than a million people are victims of modern slavery.

Yet we know from defector testimonies that, despite the fear instilled in every North Korean, there are many brave individuals who would rather take their chances fleeing than remain gagged and bound by the regime.

Like the soldier who recently defected across the Demilitarised Zone. His daring escape was act of desperation as well as of hope. His starved physical condition speaks volumes about the standards of health and welfare in a country that professes to put the military first. And therefore how it treats those who are most vulnerable.

We urge all Members not to return defectors back to this miserable situation. This sends a message that we condone the behaviour.

We also urge all Members not to profit from the people of North Korea’s misery by employing North Korean nationals who are sent abroad to generate foreign currency, which is used by the regime to fund its illegal missile programmes, as stated in Resolution 2321.

The systematic violations of human rights by the regime goes beyond its own citizens or borders. The death of US citizen Otto Warmbier following his detention; the 17 Japanese nationals abducted by the regime; the assassination of Kim Jong Nam in Malaysia. These are all examples of the North Korean regime’s contempt for the international rules based system.

This contempt is further exemplified by the regime’s denial of access to independent observers of the human rights situation. Or to engage in meaningful dialogue. Or to act on the 2014 Commission of Inquiries Report that highlighted “wide ranging and ongoing crimes against humanity”. The regime has rejected the Third Committee Resolution that called upon it to respect the basic rights of its people.

Today, I repeat the United Kingdom’s call for North Korea to allow human rights actors immediate and unhindered access to assess the human rights situation in the country.

Our message to the regime must be clear and united. We must use all the diplomatic and economic tools at our disposal to deliver this message.

There is a very different path that is still open to the regime. This path leads to security and prosperity. It leads to improved lives for their citizens. All the members of this Council and beyond, must work together to persuade the North Korean leadership to pursue this path.

To do so it must end illegal missile tests. It must genuinely engage with the international community. It must take serious steps to improve the human rights situation for all its citizens.

Real positive change to the livelihoods of the North Korean people will not happen overnight. But it will not happen at all for as long as North Korea pursues its current course.

Mr President, we are committed to working with partners on the Council, and beyond, to tackle this challenge. The world looks to us all, and above all the North Korean regime, to support a change for the better.

Thank you.

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