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Human Rights Observatory
Africa 54
Friday, September 30, 2016
Vincent Makori heads up the reporting team to inform you about Africa, the U.S. and the world. (Full Story)
Pennsylvania College Condemns Students' Blackface Video
Friday, September 30, 2016
Albright College in eastern Pennsylvania is condemning an online video posted by two white students, including one in blackface who lampoons the “Black Lives Matter” movement.   College President Lex O. McMillan III issued a statement Thursday saying the school unequivocally condemns the video.   McMillan's statement says the students who posted the Snapchat video on Tuesday voluntarily came forward and have “expressed deep remorse.”   In the video, the student in... (Full Story)
Indonesian Slum Dwellers Challenge Eviction Law in Landmark Case
Friday, September 30, 2016
Slum dwellers in Indonesia have launched a landmark legal case to challenge a decades-old law which has been used to forcibly remove thousands of families, amid a wave of evictions in the country's capital. The case comes as authorities ramp up efforts to clear housing along a main river bank in Jakarta, the sprawling capital of 10 million people, to pave the way for an ambitious flood mitigation project. Local residents have asked the court to declare a law enacted in 1960 as... (Full Story)
Troubled DRC Talks Resume, but Boycotts Raise Credibility Questions
Friday, September 30, 2016
At 1 a.m. Friday, weary members of several Congolese opposition parties emerged from a meeting that lasted almost 12 hours. Political talks in the Democratic Republic of Congo have resumed after being suspended early last week, following two days of deadly protests on the streets of Kinshasa. But it is unclear whether the talks can be productive. A larger coalition of opposition parties — known as the Rassemblement, or the Assembly — still refuses to participate. The highly influential... (Full Story)
Deaths of 3 Girls at Kenyan Police Station Prompt Investigation
Friday, September 30, 2016
Human rights organizations in Kenya have raised questions over the September 11 killings of three girls at a police station in Mombasa. Authorities say the young women were Islamic State terrorists who attacked the officers with a knife, a suicide vest and a fuel bomb, and that one officer was injured. Human rights organizations say the story is a cover-up for police abuses. Days after the incident, a video emerged showing the events unfolding in the police compound. The video begins... (Full Story)
Satellite Images Show N. Korean Construction of What Could Be a Sub
Friday, September 30, 2016
North Korea may be building a submarine designed to launch missiles, according to a U.S. site that monitors North Korean weapons development. 38North posted commercial satellite images that it says indicate a naval construction program is underway, but it could not confirm that they show a submarine. If the hull the satellite images show is for a submarine, it would be much larger than the one Pyongyang previously used to launch a nuclear-capable missile. Global concern over... (Full Story)
EU Agrees to Ratify 2015 Paris Climate Deal
Friday, September 30, 2016
European Union environment ministers in Brussels have unanimously approved the ratification of the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change. The EU needs to sign off on the deal so it can have a seat at the table during climate discussions scheduled for November in Marrakech, Morocco. The European Parliament will vote on the climate accord Tuesday. The action will be followed by a fast track procedure to obtain written approval from heads of state. For the climate deal to take effect, 55... (Full Story)
Yuan Joins Dollar, Pound, Yen, Euro as Reserve Currency
Friday, September 30, 2016
China's currency formally joins the U.S. dollar, the euro, the Japanese yen, and the British pound as a global reserve currency on October 1. The International Monetary Fund will include the yuan, also known as the renminbi, in a "basket" of currencies that makes up the reserves that the IMF uses to help manage economic problems. Analysts say China sought inclusion in the SDR basket as a recognition of its large and growing role in the global economy, and the decision to... (Full Story)
UNHCR: 100,000 Trapped in Surrounded South Sudanese Town
Friday, September 30, 2016
The United Nations refugee agency reports that 100,000 people are effectively trapped by violence in the South Sudanese town of Yei. With no one allowed in or out, it warns, the town could soon face a food shortage. Until recently, Yei — located in Central Equatoria state — has been largely spared from the violence and attacks that have gripped South Sudan since December 2013. But, the UNHCR says, conditions for the inhabitants of Yei and surrounding areas have deteriorated since... (Full Story)
Iranian Theme Park Teaches Children War Tactics
Friday, September 30, 2016
Iran opened a military theme park this week, designed to educate children as young as eight-years-old on how to fight in a war and fire weapons at its perceived Western enemies. Located in a western suburb of the city of Mashad, the “Park of the Revolution’s Children” marks “Sacred Defense Week," an annual commemoration of the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980’s, according to a park brochure. “The participant children are trained in shooting virtual fixed and moving targets including... (Full Story)
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