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Human Rights Observatory
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
U.S. officials say Vice President Mike Pence was scheduled to meet with officials from North Korea earlier this month, but North Korea canceled the meeting at the last minute. The meeting was to have taken place on February 10, during Pence's visit to South Korea for the opening ceremonies of Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, which were staged the day before. The vice president was going to hold talks with Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and Kim Yong Nam,... (Full Story)
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
A video of a man cutting his semi-automatic weapon in half has gone viral following last week's mass shooting at a Florida high school, prompting a social media movement decrying easy access to high-powered assault rifles. Scott Pappalardo of New York state is the star of a clip posted on Facebook that had been viewed by over 20 million people and shared more than 360,000 times as of Tuesday afternoon. It shows him taking a power saw to the barrel of an AR-15 assault rifle, saying he... (Full Story)
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Fourteen-times major winner Tiger Woods will serve as one of the vice captains on the U.S. Ryder Cup squad that will try to snap a 25-year drought on European soil later this year, Jim Furyk said on Tuesday. Furyk, who will serve as captain when holders United States battle Europe in September at the Golf National on the outskirts of Paris, also announced 12-times PGA Tour winner Steve Stricker as a vice captain. “To win in Paris will be a great challenge, and to have Steve and Tiger... (Full Story)
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
President Michel Temer's decision to throw in the towel on reforming Brazil's loss-making pension system leaves the unpopular measure as a campaign issue for October's elections and a major headache for his successor. Monday's announcement that Temer was abandoning an overhaul of the social security system — billed as the centerpiece of his efforts at fiscal reform — sparked immediate concern from credit rating agencies that Latin America's largest economy was failing... (Full Story)
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Peter Wang, 15, killed in last week's shooting at a Florida high school, was buried Tuesday. He died a hero — holding a door open for others to escape the carnage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, sacrificing his life for others. Peter was a freshman member of the Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps at the school. His lifelong dream was to attend the famed U.S. Military Academy at West Point. To honor Peter's bravery and sacrifice, West... (Full Story)
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Rapid advances in artificial intelligence are raising risks that malicious users will soon exploit the technology to mount automated hacking attacks, cause driverless car crashes or turn commercial drones into targeted weapons, a new report warns. The study, published on Wednesday by 25 technical and public policy researchers from Cambridge, Oxford and Yale universities along with privacy and military experts, sounded the alarm for the potential misuse of AI by rogue states, criminals and... (Full Story)
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
There are no talks between China and the separatists from Pakistan's Baluchistan province regarding the protection of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a senator from the province told VOA. First reported by The Financial Times, several newspapers in Pakistan said that China has been quietly holding talks with Baluch (natives of Baluchistan) militants for more than five years in an effort to protect the $60 billion worth of infrastructure projects it is... (Full Story)
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Emmanuel Macron's government will on Wednesday propose toughening France's immigration and asylum laws amid strident criticism from human rights groups, in a move that will test the unity of his left-and-right majority. The bill will double to 90 days the time for which illegal migrants can be detained and shorten deadlines to apply for asylum, and it will make the illegal crossing of borders an offense punishable by one year in jail and fines. The government says it wants to... (Full Story)
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Vice President Mike Pence was all set to hold a history-making meeting with North Korean officials during the Winter Olympics in South Korea, but Kim Jong Un's government canceled at the last minute, the Trump administration said Tuesday. A potential meeting between Pence and the North Koreans had been the most highly anticipated moment of the vice president's visit to Pyeongchang, South Korea, where he led the U.S delegation to the opening ceremonies. Ahead of Pence's visit,... (Full Story)
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
George Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg said Tuesday that they would each donate $500,000 to the "March for Our Lives" rally in Washington in support of gun control following last week's shooting at a Florida high school that left 17 dead. Clooney and his wife, human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, were the first to make the financial pledge and also said they would march alongside the students behind the rally on March 24. Students from Marjory... (Full Story)
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