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Human Rights Observatory
Sunday, June 24, 2018
Expand Residents of Shahama camp speak with relatives through the camp fence.      © 2017 Sami Hilali (Baghdad) – Iraqi army soldiers at two checkpoints in Anbar governorate have arbitrarily prevented a group of displaced families from returning home in what appears to be an act of collective punishment, Human Rights Watch said today. The families were taken to camps for displaced people in Anbar after being blocked from returning in late February 2018 and again in early June. The families were displaced by fighting against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) in 2014 and now want to return.… (Full Story)
Sunday, June 24, 2018
Turks began voting Sunday for a new president and parliament in elections that pose the biggest challenge to Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamist-rooted AK Party since they swept to power more than a decade and a half ago. The elections will also usher in a powerful new executive presidency long sought by Erdogan and backed by a small majority of Turks in a 2017 referendum. Critics say it will further erode democracy in the NATO member state and entrench one-man rule. More than 56 million... (Full Story)
Sunday, June 24, 2018
Trump administration officials say the U.S. government knows the location of all children in its custody after separating them from their families at the border and is working to reunite them. A fact sheet on “zero-tolerance prosecution and family reunification” released Saturday night by the Department of Homeland Security also says a parent must request that their child be deported with them. In the past, the agency says, many parents have elected to be deported without their children.... (Full Story)
Sunday, June 24, 2018
Muqtada al-Sadr, the maverick Shiite cleric who emerged as the main winner in Iraq’s parliamentary elections last month, campaigned on a platform to end sectarian politics and replace it with a government that puts Iraqis first. Instead, he has forged a postelection coalition with a rival Shiite bloc that includes some of the most powerful militias operating in Iraq — groups that get their funding and support from Tehran. The deal underscores the active role Iran is taking in shaping... (Full Story)
Sunday, June 24, 2018
The U.S. Homeland Security Department said late Saturday the government has reunited 522 children separated from adults as part of a “zero tolerance” initiative and plans to reunite another 16 children in the next 24 hours. The department said in a statement U.S. Customs and Border Protection expects a small number of children separated for reasons other than zero tolerance would remain separated, including if the familial relationship cannot be confirmed. President Donald Trump on... (Full Story)
Sunday, June 24, 2018
In New York, Auxiliary Police Officers act as liaison between communities and the police department. Recently, Gursoch Kaur made headlines when she became the first female Sikh officer to serve in the Auxiliary Unit wearing a dastar, the traditional Sikh turban. Usually dastars are worn by Sikh men, but some women choose to wear them to raise awareness about their religion. VOA reporter Aunshuman Apte spoke to Gursoch Kaur to learn why she made that choice and how the community is reacting. (Full Story)
Sunday, June 24, 2018
Globalization in the 20th century facilitated the exchange of goods, ideas and technology. But it also helped spread deadly germs and viruses around the world. A new exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History illustrates the impact of these sometimes lethal biological linkages and looks back at the deadliest and scariest epidemics throughout history. Maxim Moskalkov has more. (Full Story)
Sunday, June 24, 2018
Jehovah's Witnesses have a long history of being persecuted around the world. Their activities are banned or restricted in several countries. They are considered an extremist organization in Russia, while their members are imprisoned in South Korea and Eritrea. Even near their main headquarters and publishing house in New York state, Jehovah's Witnesses lead a somewhat secluded life. VOA's Anush Avetisyan has the story. (Full Story)
Sunday, June 24, 2018
Before it became one of the venues for the World Cup, the city of Volgograd in southwest Russia was famous for an overabundance of small, annoying flies called midges. While the small two-winged flies don't bite, soccer fans are finding that they don't leave you alone either. VOA's Mariama Diallo takes a look at what Russian officials are doing to make the sporting life more comfortable for World Cup fans and players. (Full Story)
Sunday, June 24, 2018
Polls have opened in Turkey’s high-stakes presidential and parliamentary elections, which could consolidate President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s hold on power or curtail his political ambitions. Voters began gathering at polling centers early Sunday to cast their ballots in the elections that complete Turkey’s transition to a new executive presidential system that was approved in a controversial referendum last year. Erdogan, who has been in power since 2003, is vying for a new five-year... (Full Story)
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