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Human Rights Observatory
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
The 10 millionth patent has been issued in the United States, almost 228 years after President George Washington signed the first one. The United States Patent and Trademark Office issued the newest patent Tuesday to the Raytheon Company, a defense contractor. Raytheon received the patent based on an invention by Joseph Marron, who works for the firm as an optical engineer. Marron created a system, known as LADAR, which improves laser detection and ranging. Patent officials say it has... (Full Story)
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Chancellor Angela Merkel coolly rebuffed U.S. President Donald Trump's assertion that migrants were behind a surge in crime in Germany, pointing to statistics that showed crime was in fact down. "My answer is that the interior minister presented the crime statistics a short while ago and they speak for themselves," Merkel told a news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron when asked about a recent flurry of tweets from Trump. "We are seeing a slight... (Full Story)
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Menstruation often means missing school for many girls in parts of Africa. But should the state provide sanitary products to girls who cannot afford them to prevent them from falling behind in their studies? That question continues to stir debate in several East African countries but especially in Kenya, where President Uhuru Kenyatta last year signed the  Basic Education Amendment Act requiring the government to provide free sanitary towels to schoolgirls.  A 2016 U.N.... (Full Story)
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Kazakhstan is taking management lessons from warrior-emperor Genghis Khan as it seeks to conquer neighboring countries' food markets, Deputy Agriculture Minister Arman Yevniyev said Tuesday. The Central Asian nation, whose territory was once part of the Mongol Empire, wants to more than double exports of foodstuffs and other agricultural products over the next five years, Yevniyev told a government meeting. He said meat production was a particularly promising area that could... (Full Story)
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Mexico's foreign minister Luis Videgaray on Tuesday called the separation of children from immigrant parents at the U.S.-Mexico border "cruel and inhumane" and urged the United States to reconsider the practice. Images published this week of children and youths sitting in concrete-floored cages in U.S. shelter facilities have stirred outrage. U.S. officials have defended the measures as a way to secure the border and deter illegal entry. "This is a clear violation of... (Full Story)
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
U.S. broadcast network CBS will expand the popular "Star Trek" science-fiction franchise with new series, mini-series and animation under a production deal announced on Tuesday. CBS said in a statement that it had signed a five-year deal with producer Alex Kurtzman to supervise a range of new programming related to "Star Trek." Kurtzman is a writer and producer of "Star Trek: Discovery," which premiered in September 2017 on the CBS All Access streaming... (Full Story)
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, welcomed on Tuesday the adoption by Ukraine’s parliament of a law to create an anti-corruption court, but said lawmakers needed to amend it to guarantee the court’s effectiveness. Creating an independent and trustworthy court dedicated to handling corruption cases is one of the key conditions for Ukraine to receive further funding under its $17.5 billion aid-for-reforms program from the IMF. Earlier in June, parliament... (Full Story)
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
An argumentative computer proved formidable against two human debaters as IBM gave its first public demonstration of new artificial intelligence technology it's been working on for more than five years. The new skills show that computers are getting better at mastering human language and speech. The computer made its case for government-subsidized space research by pulling in evidence from its huge internal repository of newspapers, journals and other sources. After delivering... (Full Story)
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Venezuela's all-powerful Constituent Assembly on Tuesday elected as its new leader Socialist Party No. 2 Diosdado Cabello, who is accused by the United States of involvement in the drug trade. President Nicolas Maduro last year led the creation of the 545-member Constituent Assembly, which the opposition and a broad group of foreign governments have described as consolidating a dictatorship by giving the ruling Socialist Party unchecked power. "In the name of the people who... (Full Story)
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Is this what a trade war looks like? The Trump administration and China's leadership have threatened to impose tariffs on $50 billion of each other's goods. Trump has proposed imposing duties on $400 billion more if China doesn't further open its markets to U.S. companies and reduce its trade surplus with the United States. China, in turn, says it will retaliate. In recent years, tariffs had been losing favor as a tool of national trade policy. They were largely a relic of... (Full Story)
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