These are some of the headlines we are tracking for you in this episode of On the News Line:
White Helmets; Pawns for militarism and war propaganda
They have been portrayed as rescue workers endangering their lives to save people purportedly hit in government attacks. Many of the videos that they have made of themselves paint the members of this shadowy group as heroes of the war. But some contend that under the humanitarian veneer, the so-called White Helmets are actually a well-organized front tasked with helping rebrand terror groups hell-bent on toppling the Syrian government. Others take a step further, saying the White Helmets lead a double life: volunteers by day and terrorists by night. They have consistently pursued a single strategy. The strategy’s ultimate goal: helping persuade the US to create a no-fly zone over Syria or at least parts of the country.
Ethnic cleansing against Rohingya Muslims
The plight of the Rohingya in Myanmar has once again been thrown into an international spotlight. A report by the United Nations has deplored what it says are harrowing acts of violence and discrimination against the Rohingya Muslims. Yanghee Lee, the UN special rapporteur on human rights, says the violence against the group was far more extensive than she had previously realized. She says Rohingya refugees had provided her with shocking accounts of crimes committed by Myanmar’s government forces: Women who were gang-raped, people whose throats were slit and children who were thrown into fire. These may be nothing new to many, particularly Muslim nations.
Since the mysterious death of the North Korean leader’s half brother in Malaysia, the media have been rife with speculations on the perpetrators and motives. According to official accounts Kim Jong-nam, the estranged brother of Kim Jong-un was assassinated with a very poisonous nerve agent in Kuala Lumpur’s airport on February 13. The death has been blamed on North Korea’s leadership. Some commentators say the order came directly from North Korea’s leader. And this fact could sour relations between China and North Korea.