UK vows action after racist attacks on Poles and Muslims in wake of Brexit

UK vows action after racist attacks on Poles and Muslims in wake of Brexit
In this photo made available by Diamond Geezer, a man wearing an anti immigration T-shirt walks during Armed Forces Day Parade in Romford, England, on June 25, 2016. Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan warned Monday that abuse directed at immigrants wouldn't be tolerated, after a series of incidents were reported following the country's decision to leave the European Union. ( Diamond Geezer via AP)
Updated 27 June 2016

UK vows action after racist attacks on Poles and Muslims in wake of Brexit

UK vows action after racist attacks on Poles and Muslims in wake of Brexit

LONDON: Polish and Muslim leaders in Britain expressed concern on Monday after a spate of racially motivated hate crimes following last week’s vote to leave the European Union in which immigration was widely regarded as a key factor in the outcome.
Police said offensive leaflets targeting Poles had been distributed in a town in central England, and graffiti had been daubed on a Polish cultural center in London on Sunday, three days after the vote.
Meanwhile, Islamic groups said there had been a sharp rise in incidents against Muslims since last Friday, many of which were directly linked to the decision for a British exit, or Brexit.
Prime Minister David Cameron condemned the attacks in parliament.
“In the past few days we have seen despicable graffiti daubed on a Polish community center, we’ve seen verbal abuse hurled against individuals because they are members of ethnic minorities,” he said.
“We will not stand for hate crime or these kinds of attacks. They must be stamped out,” he added.
The Polish embassy in London said in a statement it was shocked and deeply concerned by the xenophobic abuse and Poland’s foreign affairs minister Witold Waszczykowski said he had discussed the issue with David Lidington, Britain’s Europe Minister.
Immigration emerged as one of the key themes of the EU referendum campaign, with those who backed a British exit arguing membership of the bloc had allowed uncontrolled numbers of migrants to come to Britain from eastern Europe.
A few days before the vote, Sayeeda Warsi, a former minister in Cameron’s ruling Conservative Party, quit the Brexit campaign accusing it of spreading lies, hatred and xenophobia.
There has been a large Polish community in Britain since World War II and that number has grown after Poland joined the EU in 2004. There are about 790,000 Poles living in Britain according to official figures from 2014, the second-largest overseas-born population in the country after those from India.

Offensive leaflets
Cambridgeshire Police said they were investigating after offensive leaflets were left on cars and delivered to homes in Huntingdon. According to the local paper, the Cambridge News, the cards, which had a Polish translation, read: “Leave the EU/No more Polish vermin.”
At the Polish Social and Cultural Association in London, which opened in 1974 and is home to the majority of Britain’s Polish organizations, graffiti was painted on the side of the building calling on Poles to leave the United Kingdom.
“This is an outrageous act that disgusts not only me and the Polish community but everyone in Hammersmith & Fulham,” local lawmaker Andy Slaughter said on Twitter.
The Muslim Council of Britain, an umbrella group for many of the organizations which represent the country’s 2.7 million Muslims, said more than 100 hate crimes had been reported since the result of the referendum.
“Our country is experiencing a political crisis which, I fear, threatens the social peace,” said Shuja Shafi, the MCB Secretary General.
Fiyaz Murghal, the founder of a group which monitors attacks on Muslims, said it had received details of some 30 incidents including a Muslim councilor in Wales who was told to pack her bags and two men shouting “We voted for you being out” at a Muslim woman wearing a hijab as she went to a mosque in London.
“The Brexit vote seems to have given courage to some with deeply prejudicial and bigoted views that they can air them and target them at predominantly Muslim women and visibly different settled communities,” Murghal said.


Quake death toll at 73 as Indonesia struggles with string of disasters

Quake death toll at 73 as Indonesia struggles with string of disasters
Updated 17 January 2021

Quake death toll at 73 as Indonesia struggles with string of disasters

Quake death toll at 73 as Indonesia struggles with string of disasters
  • More than 820 people were injured and over 27,800 left their homes after the 6.2 magnitude quake
  • On Jan. 9, a Sriwijaya Air jet crashed into the Java Sea with 62 onboard

JAKARTA: At least 73 people have been killed after an earthquake struck Indonesia’s West Sulawesi province on Friday, the disaster mitigation agency (BNPB) said on Sunday, the latest in a string of disasters to hit the Southeast Asian country.
More than 820 people were injured and over 27,800 left their homes after the 6.2 magnitude quake, BNPB spokesman Raditya Jati said. Some sought refuge in the mountains, while others went to cramped evacuation centers, witnesses said.
Police and military officers have been deployed to crack down on looting in several parts of the region, Jati added.
An emergency response status, intended to help rescue efforts, has also been put in place for two weeks, he said.
Dwikorita Karnawati, the head of Indonesia’s meteorological, climatology and geophysical agency (BMKG), has said that another quake in the region could potentially trigger a tsunami.
Straddling the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, Indonesia is regularly hit by earthquakes. In 2018, a devastating 6.2-magnitude quake and subsequent tsunami struck the city of Palu, in Sulawesi, killing thousands.
Just two weeks into the new year, the world’s fourth-most populous country is battling several disasters.
Floods in North Sulawesi and South Kalimantan province each have killed at least five this month, while landslides in West Java province have killed at least 29, authorities said.
On Jan. 9, a Sriwijaya Air jet crashed into the Java Sea with 62 onboard.
East Java’s Semeru mountain erupted late on Saturday, but there have been no reports of casualties or evacuations.
Dwikorita said extreme weather and other “multi-dangers” of hydrometeorology are forecast in the coming weeks.