Rohingya in Bangladesh will not be forced back to Myanmar

Hundreds of thousands of Muslim-majority Rohingya who fled Myanmar, citing rape, murder and arson, will not be forcibly repatriated, Bangladesh‘s Rohingya Relief and Repatriation Commissioner has said.

“No one will be forced back to Myanmar,” Abul Kalam told Al Jazeera.

Bangladesh is scheduled to send back an initial group of 2,260 Rohingya from 485 families on Thursday, in line with a bilateral plan agreed by the two governments in October.

But the move has been opposed by the United Nations’ refugee agency and aid groups who say the Muslim minority can’t be forced back, causing confusion over whether the repatriations will go ahead.

Ghumdhum border crossing from where the refugees were to be repatriated wore a deserted look [Faisal Mahmud/Al Jazeera] 

“They survived atrocities so it’s natural they fear to go back,” Kalam said.

When asked whether the Rohingya would be guaranteed a “safe and dignified” return, Kalam said: “Everything is done as per the agreement between Bangladesh and Myanmar. I hope the Myanmar authority will keep their words.”

The terms of the repatriation deal, however, has never been made public.

People do not want to go back to Myanmar due to safety concerns

Foyazullah, Rohingya refugee

The plan to begin returning the Rohingya to Myanmar comes just days after UN investigators warned of an “ongoing genocide” against the Muslim minority.

Marzuki Darusman, the chairman of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, said beyond mass killings, the conflict included the ostracization of the population, prevention of births, and widespread displacement in camps.

Earlier this week, Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights urged Bangladesh to halt the repatriation plan saying it violated international law.

Bangladesh is scheduled to send back an initial group of 2,260 Rohingya [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

“We are witnessing terror and panic among those Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar who are at imminent risk of being returned to Myanmar against their will,” she said.

“Forcibly expelling or returning refugees and asylum seekers to their home country would be a clear violation of the core legal principle of non-refoulement, which forbids repatriation where there are threats of persecution or serious risks to the life and physical integrity or liberty of the individuals.”

‘Rohingya flee camps to forests’

List of Rohingya demands sent to Aung San Suu Kyi

  • Our ethnic identity ‘Rohingya’ must be recognized as an official ethnic group as before 1970s.
  • Our return to our homeland in Rakhine State must be protected by international observers.
  • International protection must be placed in our homeland before we return.
  • Our houses in original villages must be rebuilt before we return.
  • We seek compensation and reparations for lives lost, injuries inflicted and harm caused. We seek compensation and reparations for the properties we lost and we demand the return of confiscated lands since 1992.
  • All Rohingya prisoners in various prisons must be released.
  • All internally displaced persons in Sittwe and other towns must be able to return to their original places and homes. Appropriate compensation and reparations must be given and, not least, their full citizenship must be restored before we agree to return to our homeland.
  • Innocent Rohingya must be removed from the terrorists list arbitrarily made by Myanmar authorities.
  • Full citizenship of Rohingya must be restored and all restrictions must be lifted.
  • Issuing National Verification Card must be stopped, and this system must be abolished.

The Rohingya themselves have said they are terrified of returning to the Buddhist-majority country. 

“People do not want to go back to Myanmar due to safety concerns,” Foyazullah, a 43-year old Rohingya living in Bangladesh’s sprawling Cox’s Bazar refugee camp.

“The people in charge of the camps are harassing people. As a result many families have fled and are hiding in nearby forests.”

Late last month, a group of Rohingya refugees sent a list of 10 demands to Myanmar leader’s Aung San Suu Kyi, saying the beleaguered community would return only when its demands were met.

Once hailed as a champion in the fight for democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi has faced intense scrutiny over her response to the plight of the Rohingya.

She has been stripped of a series of international honours, with the latest coming on Tuesday when Amnesty withdrew its highest award citing her “indifference” to the plight of the Rohingya.

Imtiaz Ahmed, a professor at Dhaka University told Al Jazeera that there was mounting concern the Rohingya were still “not welcome on Myanmar’s soil.”

“I have seen reports that say conditions in Myanmar are still not suitable for return,” he said. “This obviously raises concern.”

In the days leading to Thursday’s expulsion, Human Rights Watch reported that Bangladesh had deployed its army to refugee camps, heightening the refugees’ fear of return.

“The Bangladesh government will be stunned to see how quickly international opinion turns against it if it starts sending unwilling Rohingya refugees back into harm’s way in Myanmar,” Bill Frelick, the group’s refugee rights director, said in a statement.

“That Dhaka deployed its army into the camps is a red flag that this terrified community is not willing to return.” 

Myanmar’s government has trumpeted every occasion where a Rohingya family has returned, however many fear returning to Myanmar without guaranteed rights such as citizenship, access to healthcare and freedom of movement – rights that were denied to them long before last year’s crackdown.

Ro Nay San Lwin, a Rohingya activist said Myanmar was trying to forcibly relocate the Rohingya to avoid being prosecuted by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

In September, the ICC ruled it could prosecute Myanmar for alleged crimes against humanity against the Rohingya, an unprecedented decision that could expose the country’s politicians and military leaders to charges.

“They think that allowing people back to Myanmar will help them,” Nay San said. “However, they are not fulfilling any demands made by the refugees.”

More than 700,000 Rohingya fled a brutal army crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine state last year, accusing government soldiers and local Buddhists of massacring families, burning hundreds of villages, and carrying out mass gang rape.

Myanmar denies the allegations, saying security forces were battling “terrorists”.

Additional reporting by Faisal Mahmud from Cox’s Bazar.

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The preferred methods of extreme Instagram lurkers

You think you’re good at Instagram lurking? There’s always room to be sneakier.

The most proficient lurkers among us — people we both revere and fear, to be honest — have devised truly impressive ways to Insta-skulk without being detected. We’re not talking basic stuff like “use desktop Instagram,” either. The methods below will require a little effort, but you’ll probably find them useful, whether you’re keeping tabs on your crush or your sworn enemy. (These, of course, are the only two types of people anyone lurks.)

To be clear, we’re not suggesting that you do these things. We are merely explaining that they are possible, and that if you wanted to do them it would be within your reach. That’s all!

The repurposed finsta

The “finsta” or dark Instagram, is a separate account which users accept very few followers, then post whatever they want — niche memes, gratuitous selfies, personal anecdotes — without worrying about judgement or how many likes their posts will get. 

But the finsta can also be a strong lurking tool. If it’s unclear to whom an account belongs, the people you’re lurking are less likely to notice it watching their Stories or, in the event you make a mistake, accidentally liking one of their posts from 2012. To truly protect your identity, however, you’ll need to ensure that the person you’re lurking doesn’t follow any of the people who follow your finsta — if they do, those people will appear under your finsta’s bio (in the “Followed by” section), making you easier to identify. The person you’re lurking will also need to have a public account for this to work.

And, of course, they might notice.

Want even more of a cloak? Take it a step further. One user, who asked to remain anonymous, explained that she periodically changes her finsta handle to something that seems like a bot — “new_followers_now200k,” as a hypothetical example — to prevent suspicion when she wants to watch people’s Stories covertly.

The pleasant meme account

If you don’t want to use your finsta for nefarious purposes, you could also create another account entirely. A highly specialized meme or lifestyle account, for example, is unlikely to make the people you lurk suspicious — especially if your account gains a following in its own right.

For example, one such user (also anonymous) said she usually lurks one person on an account created originally for niche bubble content.

“It used to be an account for pretty bubbles,” she explained, “and now it’s an account for revenge.”

“It used to be an account for pretty bubbles, and now it’s an account for revenge.”

For her, this particular lurking method was born from necessity. Since the person she wants to lurk (an enemy, she explained) has her regular account blocked, she had to use another to see her posts at all. The bubble account, which had fallen dormant anyway, fit the bill. 

So far, it’s working, she said — the person “doesn’t seem to notice the bubble account watching her Stories.”

The small peek

Perhaps you’re not sure if you want to take the plunge and view someone’s Instagram story. (After all, they will know you’ve seen it.) This is a good time to employ the “peek” method.

The peek method in progress.

The peek method in progress.

Stories appear on your timeline back-to-back, letting you know in what order they will appear when you start watching your queue. So, once you find the story you’re interested in, click on the one before it. Then — once you’re on the last frame — pause the story, and partially swipe to the left and the first frame of the next story will start to appear. You need to have a very, very delicate touch here, though: Don’t swipe all the way or you’ll be counted as having viewed the story.

If you don’t follow the person whose story you want to watch, peeking will be a bit more difficult.

If you don’t follow the person whose story you want to watch, peeking will be a bit more difficult. You’ll have to wait for their story to appear on your Explore page — which, if you have their phone number or have friends in common, it probably will. Then, follow the same steps above, though you’ll need to be cool with publicly viewing the story that shows up before theirs. 

Of course, there’s a huge caveat here, which is that you can only watch the first frame of the story you’re interested in. But the peek can be a useful way to determine whether you want to take the plunge and watch the whole story. 

The third-party approach

Yes, there are numerous apps and websites (we’ll let you Google them for yourself, but it’s extremely easy) that allow you to search for and retrieve Instagram Stories anonymously. You know how stan accounts always seem to have full downloads of celebrities’ disappearing content? They’re probably using one of these tools.

Still, employ them with caution: Make sure you’re logged out of Instagram on desktop before you search, and pay close attention to what you’re clicking on. We can’t vouch for any of these websites’s safety, so we’d recommend trying one of the methods above before taking the plunge.

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Rajon Rondo Hand Injury Diagnosed as Fracture; Lakers PG out ‘A Couple Weeks’

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 11: Rajon Rondo #9 of the Los Angeles Lakers handles the ball against the Atlanta Hawks on November 11, 2018 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

Adam Pantozzi/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers will be without point guard Rajon Rondo after he suffered a fractured hand in Wednesday’s win over the Portland Trail Blazers

Lakers coach Luke Walton told reporters the team expects Rondo to miss at least a couple weeks. 

Rondo joined the Lakers in the offseason as part of the franchise’s makeover. The four-time All-Star remains an effective role player in his 13th season thanks to his ability to distribute the basketball. 

Last season with the New Orleans Pelicans, Rondo made 63 starts, and his 46.8 shooting percentage was his best since 2012-13. He entered Wednesday averaging 9.3 points and 6.8 assists per game in Los Angeles. 

The Lakers added Rondo, in part, to serve as an insurance policy at point guard. Lonzo Ball missed 30 games with various injuries as a rookie. 

Of course, LeBron James’ presence on the roster this year changes the offensive dynamic because he controls the ball and dictates what happens. 

Rondo’s absence won’t hurt the Lakers much because of James. Ball will likely see an increase in playing time at point guard until Rondo is able to return. 

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Apple slides into a bear market — now down 20% from its all-time high

tim cookRichard Drew/AP

  • Apple slid into a bear market Wednesday, down 20% from its October peak.
  • In August, the tech giant became the first US company with a $1 trillion valuation.
  • Shares have been hit hard after the company reported underwhelming iPhone sales and suppliers warned of a slowdown in the smartphone market.
  • Watch Apple trade live.

Apple slid into a bear market, down 20% from its October peak. The stock topped out at $233.47 on October 3 and was near $187 on Wednesday.

The tech giant in August became the first US company with a $1 trillion valuation as shares raced to a record high. It saw its market value top out at $1.12 trillion in early October, before a stock-market sell-off ravaged the tech sector.

In November, Apple reported underwhelming iPhone sales and said its holiday quarter would be on the low end of expectations. It also said it would stop reporting unit sales for iPhones, iPads, and Macs.

But that was just the start of the recent worries for Apple shareholders. Earlier this week, a handful of Apple suppliers cut their outlooks, suggesting weaker smartphone demand ahead.

On Monday, Lumentum, the main supplier of the Face ID technology in Apple’s latest generation of iPhones, cut its outlook after one of its biggest customers — it did not say which — reduced a shipment request. Then, on Tuesday, Qorvo, an iPhone radio-frequency chip supplier, lowered its guidance over what it said was a drop in demand for flagship smartphones. A handful of other iPhone suppliers, such as the screen maker Japan Display and the British chipmaker IQE, also slashed their forecasts this week. None of the companies specifically named Apple as the culprit.

Analysts up and down Wall Street have been downgrading the stock and cutting their price targets in response to the recent developments.

“We see growing risk of even softer iPhone unit demand, with downside in China, India and other emerging markets, where Apple may need to start considering lower price points,” the Guggenheim analyst Mark Cihra said in a note sent out to clients on Wednesday. He downgraded Apple to “neutral” and removed his prior $245 price target.

That followed similar comments out Tuesday from Goldman Sachs, which said “end demand for new iPhone models is deteriorating.

Apple was up 13.6% this year through Tuesday.

AppleMarkets Insider

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Survivor host Jeff Probst says no more men vs. women seasons

Each week, host Jeff Probst will answer a few questions about the latest episode of Survivor: David vs. Goliath.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: We saw Mike respond to your catchphrase of “Got nothin’ for you” with “We’ve got nothing for you either.” You actually kind of like it when contestants give it back to you a bit, don’t you? After all, I remember some of those classic Probst–Penner interactions of yesteryear.
JEFF PROBST: Ah, it’s the best!  Most of those “Survivor phrases” I say are really silly and yet because we’ve stuck with them they’ve become part of the fabric of the game. I still get a huge kick out of saying them because on one hand it’s tongue in cheek, and on the other hand it’s Survivor gospel.  But, it does take a certain storytelling swagger for a player to throw it back to me and have it land.  Occasionally players will try to make a similar type of joke and it just doesn’t work.  Mike White is obviously a hall-of-fame storyteller and that was a great moment.

After Mike had his epiphany that Christian needed to go and everyone got on board, Angelina pointed out that she had pushed for that exact same thing at the prior vote to no avail, while also making a comment that whenever a woman had tried to spearhead a plan this season that she had been ignored. You’ve seen a lot of Survivor in your day. Generally speaking, have you noticed a difference in the way men’s and women’s ideas are received in this game?
Yes, absolutely. I think if we went back through old seasons and studied how interactions between women and men have changed over the years we would be shocked. Survivor is a microcosm for life, and what Angelina is referring to reflects what is happening in our culture at large. The way men and women relate to each other is undergoing a dramatic shift. It’s a change that is needed and one that I find very exciting. And this changing landscape is impacting Survivor.

For instance, I can’t imagine doing another “Men vs. Women” season. It just seems ridiculous right now. And I do find it interesting that Angelina has a lot of fans, but also a lot of detractors. People who think she is too bossy or arrogant. You could list a lot of men who have played similar types of games and they’re often called “threats.”  Of course, in this situation there are a myriad of potential mitigating circumstances (like trust issues or bragging rights) that may have contributed to how Angelina was treated. But big picture, I think we’re going to continue to see a shift in how the genders relate to each other.  It’s one of the anthropological benefits of this delicious “social experiment” we like to call… Survivor!

So Davie and Dan both play their idols and then John goes home. Some big reactions from folks when all three of these events happened. Being on the scene, what did you make of it all and what do you think people were most surprised by in this entire chain of events?
My biggest takeaway from a tribal like this is, “we put the right people on this season!” THAT is how you play this game. People are playing to win and I love it. I truly believe the reason we haven’t seen a resentful jury in years is because of the mutual admiration and respect that everyone has for how most everybody else plays the game. They all know this is a game of deception. The key is, I need to get you before you get me. The complication comes when we realize we could get further in the game by working together. Now we have a relationship and trust starts to develop and the game gets more difficult.

But when you see this kind of gameplay happening at Tribal Council, you know that it’s coming from players who realize that no matter who I promise or who I align with or who I think I can trust — it’s still a game of “I need to get you before you get me.”

So Johnny Mundo gets nailed on the double-idol play. He certainly looked the part of a Goliath when he showed up this season. How would you sum up his time on the island?
We really wanted John on the Goliath tribe but there was a scheduling issue and we were told he couldn’t do it. It was a major disappointment. Then one day, I got a call — “His schedule changed, he can do it!” It was one of the best days in casting because we knew John would bring the physical representation of a Goliath but also many more layers that would surprise people. John’s a deep thinker and a smart guy. We hated to lose him. I think if he played again, he might play a bit more aggressively, but I really enjoyed having him on the island.

It looks like the shifting continues next week. What can you tell us about what’s coming up?
Uh… let’s see… how should I put this? Well, it’s the night before Thanksgiving, you don’t have school the next day and you probably don’t have work… so you should DEFINITELY NOT MISS IT! How’s that? It’s a really fun episode that the audience is going to love.

Watch an exclusive deleted scene above and make sure to read our episode recap. Also take some time to read our in-depth halfway point interview with Probst, and for more Survivor scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

Jeff Probst leads adventurous in the ultimate (and original) reality series.

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The 9 best moments from the 2018 CMA Awards

The show kicked off on a solemn note, as Garth Brooks asked for a moment of silence for the victims of the recent shooting in Southern California. The segment was “lovingly dedicated to the individuals we lost far too soon at the Borderline bar in Thousand Oaks, Calif.,” said Brooks. The camera then cut to the main stage, where Luke Bryan led a star-studded performance of his hit “What Makes You Country,” with help from Lindsay Ell, Ashley McBryde, Chris Janson (on harmonica), Luke Combs, Jon Pardi, and Cole Swindell.

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