Thursday, August 20, 2009

Court Rules that Government Freeze of KindaHeart’s Assets is Unconstitutional

According to the ACLU, a federal court ruled yesterday that the government could not freeze a charities assets without due process.  In 2006, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) froze the assets of a Muslim charity, Kindheart, while it investigated whether the charity should labeled a “specially designated global terrorist” (SDGT).  The charity was never found to be supporting terrorists, yet the government maintained the freeze, essentially shutting down the charity for three years, without a warrant, hearing, or other due process.  The ruling declared that the US government could not freeze the assets of any charity in the name of national security without probably cause and a warrant.  Additionally, the judge ruled that the government had an obligation to inform Kindheart of the reason their assets were frozen and provide an opportunity for Kindheart to respond to the allegation.

Does Genocide Best Describe the Crisis in Darfur?

The Christian Scientist Monitor published an interesting, albeit controversial, article that discusses the implications of labeling the conflict in Darfur a “genocide.”  It questions whether the “Save Darfur” movement has put too much emphasis on the physical violence, which undoubtedly occurred, at the expense of neglecting the humanitarian crisis, which stems from the war and is causing the majority of the casualties.  The article explores the implications of how the movement’s lobbying efforts affect of the type of aid given to Darfur.

Flood Forces Sri Lanka to Relocate 16,000 Tamils

The government of Sri Lanka has begun relocating 16,000 Tamil refugees as flood waters hit camps.  More monsoon rain is expected over the next few days, and most of the camps cannot withstand the heavy rains expected.  The government hopes to resettle 80% of the refugees by the end of the year but is still holding them as demining efforts continue in the north.

Refugees Flee Northern Yemen to Avoid Conflict

The intensity of fighting between the government and rebels in northern Yemen has forced around 10,000 people to flee southward over the past two days.  The UN estimates the total number of displaced to be between 125,000 and 150,000.  UNICEF and the World Food Program are both ramping up efforts, but currently can only access about 10% of the affected population.