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Human Rights Observatory
Trump, Taiwan Put China on the Defensive With Historic Phone Call
Saturday, December 3rd 2016
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and the leader of Taiwan put China on the defensive late Friday with a historic, upbeat phone call to discuss Washington’s role in possibly helping the diplomatically isolated island gain international status.   China’s foreign minister dubbed the 12-minute phone call by Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen a “petty action” that will lead to no changes in Sino-U.S. relations. But the communist leadership will watch for fallout, such as whether Trump talks... (Full Story)
Protesters Take to Seoul Streets for Sixth Straight Weekend
Saturday, December 3rd 2016
Hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered in Seoul on Saturday to call for the ouster of President Park Geun-hye, marking the sixth straight weekend of demonstrations in the city. The protests started shortly after South Korea's National Assembly announced Friday a vote to impeach Park had been postponed until December 9.   The president has been embroiled in a multi-million-dollar influence peddling scandal that has decimated her image as a strong and incorruptible... (Full Story)
Presidential Commission Warns of Cyber Threats Facing Next Administration
Saturday, December 3rd 2016
A U.S. presidential commission on Friday called on the incoming administration to immediately take steps to enhance cybersecurity in both the private and public sector. The Commission on Enhancing National Cyber Security, which includes 12 non-partisan experts in technology and computer security, presented a report to U.S. President Barack Obama with several recommendations it hopes to have implemented within the next two to five years. Those recommendations include the creation of two... (Full Story)
DRC Political Talks Break Down
Saturday, December 3rd 2016
Political talks mediated by the Catholic Church have suffered a major setback with the withdrawal of the president’s supporters in the Democratic Republic of Congo. For more than a month, the National Episcopal Conference of Congo, the influential body with represents the Catholic Church, has been working to avoid a crisis in the DRC.  The institution, known as CENCO, has been mediating between the presidential majority, President Joseph Kabila's political alliance, and the... (Full Story)
Columbus Mosque Focuses on Online Extremism, Radicalization After Ohio Attack
Saturday, December 3rd 2016
Friday’s sermon at the largest Somali-run mosque in Columbus, Ohio, has focused on online extremism, radicalization and the relationship between Somali parents and their children in response to the recent Ohio State University attacks. “We chose our Friday sermon this week to address issues that concern our community, the challenges they are facing as a result of the recent tragedy, and the root cause of that tragedy.” said Horsed Nooh, the executive director at the West Columbus... (Full Story)
Somalia Security Forces and IS Fighters Directly Clash for First Time
Saturday, December 3rd 2016
Somali regional forces in Puntland have clashed with pro-Islamic State militants in the country's northeast in the first-ever military confrontation between security forces and pro-Islamic State fighters. Local sources told VOA that today’s fighting occurred near Bashashin village, just 50km west of Qandala after the regional troops were halted by landmines. Governor of Puntland’s Bari region Yusuf Mohamed Dhedo who is leading the offensive against Qandala confirmed the fighting to... (Full Story)
South Korean Opposition Files Impeachment Motion
Saturday, December 3rd 2016
South Korea's opposition parties have filed an impeachment motion against scandal-hit President Park Geun-hye. The bill was filed Saturday as hundreds of thousands of South Koreans from around the country gathered in Seoul for a rally for the sixth consecutive Saturday to demand the president's impeachment. The motion was signed by 171 lawmakers of the 300-seat legislature.  A vote will be held in the National Assembly Friday.  The opposition, however, will need 28... (Full Story)
Iran Officials Upset Over Extension of US Sanctions
Saturday, December 3rd 2016
Iran's top diplomat has strongly condemned a bill that passed the U.S. Congress earlier this week to extend sanctions against the country. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told Iranian state broadcaster IRIB the extension of the sanctions “shows the unreliability of the American government” to the rest of the world. "America is acting against its commitment," he said. The U.S. Senate voted on Thursday to extend sanctions against Iran for another 10-year... (Full Story)
Duterte: Trump Wished Him Success With Anti-Drug Crackdown
Saturday, December 3rd 2016
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says U.S. President-elect Donald Trump wished him success with his crackdown on drug dealers; a campaign that has left more than 4,000 dead since July. Duterte said the future U.S. leader told him he was conducting his strike on drug dealers "as a sovereign nation, the right way." Duterte won the presidential election earlier this year largely based on his promise to continue aggressively targeting drug dealers, users and... (Full Story)
Report: Taliban Hang Afghan Student in Public
Saturday, December 3rd 2016
Taliban militants hanged a university student in public in a village west of Kabul after accusing him of involvement in the death of a senior Taliban official, a local government spokesman said Saturday. Abdul Rahman Mangal said Faiz ul Rahman Wardak, a fourth-year student at Kabul Polytechnic University, was hanged in Sewaka village in Chak district, 60 km (37 miles) outside the Afghan capital. He said local Taliban insurgents accused him of being involved in the assassination of a... (Full Story)
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