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Human Rights Observatory
Envoy to UN Calls Russia Threat to US and World Order
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
In a parting shot to Moscow and a warning to America three days before leaving her post, the U.S. top envoy at the United Nations said Russia is "a major threat facing our great nation." Ambassador Samantha Power, without naming Donald Trump, chastised the president-elect for casting "doubt on a unanimous, well-documented assessment of our intelligence community that a foreign government is seeking to harm our country." Her speech to the Atlantic Council came just... (Full Story)
Mexico Lures Undeclared Cash with Tax Plan, Eyes $10B Intake
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Mexico said on Tuesday it will offer holders of undeclared capital abroad tax incentives to bring it home in a bid to lure some $10 billion in investment and steel itself against potential shocks from the incoming Trump administration. Confirming a Reuters report, the government said it will offer an 8 percent repatriation tax on those funds returning to Mexico in six months, provided they go into investments including fixed assets and property for at least two years. The 8 percent... (Full Story)
UN Mission Says Vigilantes Have Impunity in Haiti
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
A report issued Tuesday by the U.N. stabilization mission in Haiti rebukes local authorities for a losing battle against vigilante violence and displaying passivity or even tolerating mobs taking the law into their own hands. The human rights section of the U.N. mission, known by its French acronym Minustah, said there has been only one conviction in a lynching case out of 483 incidents and 59 arrests reported between 2012 and 2015. Frederic Gouin, coordinator of a legal analysis unit... (Full Story)
Ultraviolet Light From 'Robot' Kills Hospital Superbugs, Study Finds
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
A new study shows that bathing hospital rooms in ultraviolet light kills drug-resistant superbugs that put the health of patients at serious risk. The UV light is emitted by a "robot" wheeled into a room before a patient checks in. A study by Duke University researchers in North Carolina found that ultraviolet C light, or UVC, switched on for a half-hour after the previous patient checked out can reduce the presence of drug-resistant bacteria by 30 percent. The UVC light... (Full Story)
Brazil's Workers Party Backs Lula for President Despite Corruption Trial
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Brazil's Workers Party plans to field former two-term leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in the 2018 elections despite his facing five separate corruption trials, the party's leader said on Tuesday. Lula, who led Brazil from 2003 to 2010, is still one of Brazil's most popular politicians, though his prestige has been tarnished by graft charges. His party was ousted from power when his hand-picked successor Dilma Rousseff was impeached last year. "Lula does not... (Full Story)
US Urges Serbia, Kosovo to Avoid Nationalist Rhetoric
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
The United States urged Belgrade and Pristina on Tuesday to avoid “dangerous rhetoric” after Kosovo denied entry to a train painted in the Serbian national colors with “Kosovo is Serbia” emblazoned on its side. Kosovo's President Hashim Thaci has accused Serbia of planning to seize a slice of northern Kosovo using the “Crimea model,” a reference to the Russian annexation of the peninsula. His Serbian counterpart Tomislav Nikolic has said Pristina showed it wanted war by deploying... (Full Story)
Presidential Adviser: Poland Should Increase Military Ties with US
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Poland should increase its military cooperation with the United States, a senior adviser to the Polish president said. Krzysztof Szczerski, President Andrzej Duda's top foreign policy adviser, was speaking days before the new U.S. administration that has signaled a friendlier approach to Russia takes power in Washington. Szczerski also suggested that Poland would welcome the re-election of Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany, Poland's largest trade partner with whom relations... (Full Story)
$2B in Aid Sought for Most Vulnerable in Yemen Civil War
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
About $2 billion in urgent aid is needed this year to alleviate the suffering of the most vulnerable victims of Yemen's civil war, or about 10 million of the country's 27 million people, the resident U.N. humanitarian chief said Tuesday. The Arab world's poorest country has been in the grip of a civil war since 2014, when Shi'ite Houthi rebels and allied forces swept down from the north and captured the capital, Sanaa. A Saudi-led coalition has been helping government... (Full Story)
Egypt Adds Retired Football Star to Terror List
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Egypt has added retired football star Mohamed Aboutrika, one of the country's most renowned athletes, to a terror list for alleged ties to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, his lawyer told Reuters on Tuesday. Egypt has listed the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization and jailed thousands of its supporters since the military removed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi from office in July 2013 following mass protests against his rule. A committee established to seize and manage... (Full Story)
At Least Two Soldiers Killed Amid More Clashes in Ivory Coast
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
At least two soldiers were killed in fresh unrest in Ivory Coast's capital and gunfire erupted in other cities Tuesday, signaling further upheaval inside the security forces just as it seemed the government had settled a mutiny in the army. Ivory Coast has emerged from a 2002-11 crisis marked by two civil wars as one of the world's fastest-growing economies, but over the past two weeks it has struggled to cope with a public sector strike and growing tensions in the... (Full Story)
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