Tag Archives: crisis

Crisis in Yemen… Story by Isaac Solly

For the past three years, Yemen has been embroiled in a civil war that ties into the regional struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran. In the midst of the conflict, millions of civilians are at risk of famine and disease. The US is supporting this violence, and has largely ignored the human cost of giving help to Saudi Arabia. Coverage of the crisis in the US has also been lacking—both the media and president have stayed clear of the topic. So what is the conflict in Yemen, and why is the US involved?

Divided country… The current front lines of the Yemen conflict show Houthi rebels in control of populous areas. Source: BBC
Divided country… The current front lines of the Yemen conflict show Houthi rebels in control of populous areas. Source: BBC

In 2014, Houthi rebels rose up in northern Yemen due to religious strife and discontentment with elections. They were able to take the capital Sana’a and much of the populated land in the western parts of Yemen. Government forces under President Sadi were initially routed with the president himself being forced to flee the country—however, they eventually retook the port city of Aden, where the government is based now.

Houthi rebels are largely reported to be supplied and supported by Iran. This concerns Saudi Arabia and their allies, as the two countries fight for influence across the Middle East. In 2015, they began a bombing campaign to prop up the Sadi government and harm the Houthi rebels. While fighting up to this point had still been bloody, the bombings led to a new level of casualties. Upwards of 60% of the 50,000+ casualties are from the air strikes, including many civilians. This effort is supported by US intelligence because of the alliance with Saudi Arabia—as a result, the US is aiding the murder of civilians.

Media coverage on this conflict and specifically on US involvement has been limited at best. The government has very little to say regarding the conflict, but refuses to condemn Saudi actions. This isn’t a partisan issue—both Obama and Trump have had the same response. However, the crisis has reached a breaking point, and Yemen is now on the verge of famine.

Pic 2 Yemen
Displacement and Dispair… Over 3 million people are internally displaced, and 11 million children are at risk of famine. Source: UNICEF

Yemen imports about 90% of its food, and what food does remain inside of the country is exorbitantly priced. The Saudi bombings have damaged the infrastructure in the country to the point where getting supplies to those who need them is extremely difficult. Also, there is a Saudi blockade of all ships going to Houthi-controlled ports. In one recent case, a United Nations (UN) ship was held for weeks trying to get humanitarian aid and medical supplies into a port. Currently, 17 million of the 27 million people living in Yemen are food insecure. There is a chorea outbreak as well that affects over 600,00, and also severe malnutrition among 400,000 children.

These statistics show more than simple internal strife. There is a potential famine called the worst in modern history by the UN. Not only is the US refusing to speak out against the war, but it actively supports Saudi Arabia. None of this is to say that Houthis are free of blame, as they also have indiscriminately shelled population areas, but the current issue is from devastating bombing that does not let any relief come in for the population of Yemen. The media’s refusal to cover this is truly dangerous, and even if the government refuses to speak, more should be aware of the crisis. Governments should have a moral responsibility to put life ahead of politics, something which the US has certainly not done.

 

New Sandpoint Crisis Line… Story By: Harry Henderson

New Sandpoint Crisis Line… Story By: Harry Henderson

People who are having a hard time with something in their lives and just need to talk it out are encouraged to call the crisis line no matter what time of day and express their feelings and to have a safe place to talk about what is going on with someone who is there to listen. -Photo by: jessscott
People who are having a hard time with something in their lives and just need to talk it out are encouraged to call the crisis line no matter what time of day and express their feelings and to have a safe place to talk about what is going on with someone who is there to listen.
-Photo by: jessscott

Sandpoint has a new crisis line that will be open after hours and is available when the current crisis line is closed. It will be open from 5pm to 8am and will be staffed by licensed Idaho mental health clinicians. The health clinicians will earn minimum wage and will work in 15 hour shifts answering phone calls. The North Idaho Crisis Services after hour line opens Friday, January 15th, 2016. The crisis line has enough funding to go on for about another nine months thanks to the partnership that NAMI Far North made with Bonner’s Partners in Care Clinic, the group is seeking donations to reach their 20,000 goal. The group asked if the local government would give them funding to keep them going, but there has been no response.

Catherine Perusse, crisis director for National Alliance for Mental Illness Far North wants the crisis line to be a place that people can call anytime and someone can be there to prevent a crisis before it gets out of control. She says that the crisis line can help with calls to the hospital or 911. Perusse said that there is a major lack of resources in the area and the crisis line’s goal is to show data that proves the town desperately needs resources.

With the implementation of the new after-hours crisis line people are welcome to call any time of the day with anything that is bothering them and a certified mental health clinician will be there to listen and respond with helpful encouragement to resolve any issue, if a crisis arises the clinician will be there to talk anyone down from potentially injuring themselves or others. -Photo by: lifelineh2h
With the implementation of the new after-hours crisis line people are welcome to call any time of the day with anything that is bothering them and a certified mental health clinician will be there to listen and respond with helpful encouragement to resolve any issue, if a crisis arises the clinician will be there to talk anyone down from potentially injuring themselves or others.
-Photo by: lifelineh2h

A few Forrest Bird Charter School students agree they should make their money strictly through donation and corporate funding, and that the tax payers shouldn’t have to foot the bill for a crisis line that they might never use. Many of the students that I interviewed liked the idea of an after-hours crisis line if it is going to be beneficial to the community and possibly stop people from doing bad things. The students think that it would be beneficial because it will provide jobs and improve the community, but many of my peers believe that Sandpoint really doesn’t need an after-hours line because there isn’t a lot of crisis in Sandpoint. In all, the students that were interviewed believe that a crisis line is a good idea in that it may help people get through hard points in their lives and it may stop people from doing things that they might regret, also it is good for the town because it will provide jobs for residents, but there might not be a lot of demand for a crisis line in a town that doesn’t have a lot of crisis.