The organization that identified tens of thousands of victims from the Balkan wars of the 1990s on Tuesday opened a new global headquarters in the Netherlands from where it will take on new cases around the world.
The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), established after the 1995 Srebrenica genocide, will use the latest DNA technology to identify bodies.
There are millions of reported cases of missing persons worldwide, with as many as a million in Iraq, tens of thousands in Syria and Lebanon, and many more from Colombia to the Philippines.
“The numbers are staggering,” ICMP head Kathyrne Bomberger said. “Moving here increases the perception that we are a global organization and understand that the issue of missing persons itself is a huge global problem that isn’t just in the western Balkans.”
The ICMP, which has identified 20,000 remains and provided evidence in 30 criminal trials, is to continue working with war crimes courts in The Hague, including the genocide trial of former Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic.
The advanced application of DNA technology, which has now made it possible to use samples from distant family members to create comparable DNA profiles, could also be used to help identify undocumented migrants.
“We are now on the brink of a new level of being able to roll out this possibility to missing migrants, including the 10,000 children missing in Europe,” Bomberger said.
Since her personal telephone number was posted online, Hong Kong democracy advocate and Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions chairperson Carol Ng has received menacing calls from strangers and been bombarded with messages calling her a “cockroach.” She is not alone. A sophisticated and shady Web site called HK Leaks has ramped up its “doxxing” — where people’s personal details are published online — of Hong Kong democracy advocates, targeting those it says have broken Hong Kong’s National Security Law. Promoted by groups linked to the Chinese Chinese Communist Party and hosted on Russia-based servers, HK Leaks has become the most prominent “doxxing”
‘CONFESSED’: A court in Beijing said that former CCP member Ren Zhiqiang abused his power at a state firm and embezzled almost US$7.14 million of public funds A Chinese tycoon who called Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) a clown and criticized his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic was yesterday jailed for 18 years for corruption, bribery and embezzlement of public funds. Ren Zhiqiang (任志強) — once among the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) inner circle — disappeared from the public eye in March, shortly after penning an essay that lambasted Xi’s pandemic response. His outspokenness had earned the former chairman of state-owned property developer Huayuan Group the nickname “Big Cannon.” Yesterday’s verdict said that Ren embezzled almost 50 million yuan (US$7.4 million) of public funds and accepted bribes worth 1.25 million
AUSTRALIAN SITE: China has had a contract with SSC’s Yatharagga station since at least 2011, but the last time it used it was in June 2013. No final date has been given China would lose access to a strategic space tracking station in Western Australia when its contract expires, the facility’s owners said, a decision that cuts into Beijing’s expanding space exploration and navigational capabilities in the Pacific region. The Swedish Space Corp (SSC) has had a contract allowing Beijing access to the satellite antenna at the station since at least 2011. The station is located next to an SSC satellite station primarily used by the US and its agencies, including NASA. The Swedish state-owned company said it would not enter into any new contracts at the Australian site to support Chinese customers after
Australia is notorious for its venomous spiders, snakes and sea creatures, but researchers have now identified “scorpion-like” toxins secreted by a tree that can cause excruciating pain for weeks. Split-second contact with the dendrocnide tree, a rainforest nettle known by its Aboriginal name gympie-gympie, delivers a sting far more potent than similar plants found in the US or Europe. A team of Australian scientists said that they now better understand why the gympie-gympie’s sting haunts those unlucky enough to brush up against its leaves. Victims report an initial sting that “feels like fire at first, then subsides over hours to a pain reminiscent