Aug 27, 2018

UN report calls for Myanmar military to be investigated for genocide

Myanmar border guard police patrol the fence in the 'no man's land' zone between the Myanmar and Bangladesh border. Photo: Phyo Hein Kyaw/AFP/Getty Images

A UN fact-finding report has called for top military leaders in Myanmar to be investigated for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes against the Rohingya people.

The big picture: Myanmar's government has consistently claimed its operations in Rakhine State target militant threats, but evidence in the report suggests otherwise: "Military necessity would never justify killing indiscriminately, gang raping women, assaulting children, and burning entire villages." The UN has called for the case to be referred to the International Criminal Court and names six military officers as "priority subjects for investigation and prosecution."

  • In response to the report, Facebook — which the UN has previously said played "a determining role" in fueling the Rohingya crisis — announced it would be removing and banning dozens of accounts for committing or enabling "serious human rights abuses" in Myanmar.

Go deeper: Mass graves and ethnic grievances in Myanmar's Rakhine state.

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Public transit's death spiral

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Public transit systems across the country are experiencing a painful trifecta: Ridership has collapsed, funding streams are squeezed, and mass transit won't bounce back from the pandemic nearly as fast as other modes of transportation.

Why it matters: Transit agencies could see an annual shortfall of as much as $38 billion due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to TransitCenter. At the same time, they're more important than ever, with more than 36% of essential workers relying on public transportation to get to work.

Go deeperArrow13 mins ago - Health

World coronavirus updates: London mayor says U.K. nowhere near lockdown lifting

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern offered hope in the fight against the novel coronavirus, saying she believes New Zealand has "turned a corner" after two weeks of strict lockdown measures. But London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said the U.K. is "nowhere near" lifting restrictions.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed over 82,000 people and infected 1.4 million others globally as of early Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Global recoveries have surpassed 301,000. Spain has reported the most cases outside the U.S. (more than 141,000) and Italy the most deaths (over 17,000). Half the planet's population is on lockdown.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 37 mins ago - Health

Wisconsin may be the start of the 2020 election wars

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Wisconsin voters braving lines in face masks — after a last-minute Supreme Court ruling against extending the absentee deadline — could foreshadow a nationwide legal struggle over how to conduct elections during the coronavirus outbreak, election experts say.

Why it matters: "It's a harbinger of what's to come in the next skirmishes in the voting wars" from now through November, Richard Hasen, a professor and national election law expert at the University of California, Irvine, told Axios.