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Human Rights Observatory
Monday, January 22, 2018
Turkey has launched an air and ground campaign into Afrin, a Kurdish-controlled enclave in northwestern Syria. Codenamed "Operation Olive Branch," it's the latest chapter in a decades-long conflict between Turkey and Kurdish militants. Here's a look at why this is happening now and what's at stake: What's the goal? Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has said Turkey wants to create a 30-kilometer (20-mile) deep "secure zone" in Afrin. President... (Full Story)
Monday, January 22, 2018
The European Union's rules on asylum which state that requests be handled by the country where asylum is first claimed are splitting Europe, the prime minister of Bulgaria, which holds the EU's rotating presidency, said Monday. Nationalist-minded, euroskeptic governments in Poland and Hungary have refused to take in a single asylum-seeker under a scheme to have each member state host a number of refugees to ease pressure on the main sea gateways of Greece and Italy. Slovakia... (Full Story)
Monday, January 22, 2018
The U.S. government’s aid chief, Mark Green, made an unannounced visit to Raqqa in Syria on Monday, the most senior U.S. civilian official from the Trump administration to visit the war-struck northern city months after it was retaken from Islamic State. Green was accompanied by the head of the U.S. Central Command General Joseph Votel, as the United States ramps up efforts to stabilize areas where Islamic State has been driven out by American-backed Kurdish militia. Lessons from Libya... (Full Story)
Monday, January 22, 2018
The European Union on Monday announced new sanctions on seven senior Venezuelan officials, saying this was an expression of the bloc's concern with the political crisis under President Nicolas Maduro. The move introduces a travel ban and an asset freeze on people in charge of security forces accused of widespread abuses, particularly during the 2017 anti-government protests. The country is undergoing a major economic and social crisis, with millions suffering food and medicine... (Full Story)
Monday, January 22, 2018
Shakil Afridi has languished in jail for years — since 2011, when the Pakistani doctor used a vaccination scam in an attempt to identify Osama bin Laden's home, aiding U.S. Navy Seals who tracked and killed the al-Qaida leader. Americans might wonder how Pakistan could imprison a man who helped track down the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. Pakistanis are apt to ask a different question: How could the United States betray its trust and cheapen its sovereignty with a secret nighttime... (Full Story)
Monday, January 22, 2018
France's prime minister on Monday renewed a push to tempt bankers to Paris after Britain leaves the European Union by pledging to temporarily exempt expats from paying into state pension schemes and making more places available in bilingual schools. France has already announced measures to cut labor costs to make Paris more attractive to the banking sector post-Brexit following the election of President Emmanuel Macron, who has made labor rules more flexible and cut wealth tax. Now... (Full Story)
Monday, January 22, 2018
Expand A member of the Palestinian security forces takes part in a training session to find and remove landmines, organised by the Palestinian Ministry of Interior and the United Nations, in the West Bank city of Jericho June 25, 2012. © 2012 Reuters Palestine has become the 164th state to ban antipersonnel landmines, another sign of the growing global stigma against these abhorrent weapons. Palestine acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty following the treaty’s annual meeting in Vienna in December. Palestine has expressed support the treaty for the past two decades. Despite the fact Palestine doesn’t… (Full Story)
Monday, January 22, 2018
Expand Smoke rises from the Intercontinental Hotel during an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan January 21, 2018. © 2018 Reuters This weekend’s attack on the Intercontinental Hotel was just the latest in a long string of incidents targeting civilians in Afghanistan. Those who ordered or carried out this serious violation of the laws of war are responsible for war crimes. The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the hours-long attack on the hotel, during which gunmen killed at least 7 Afghans and eleven foreign nationals, most of them shot dead in their rooms or the hotel dining room. The attackers,… (Full Story)
Monday, January 22, 2018
sector_sc_mab_new_sdg_en.png © UNESCO This year, the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme and its World Network of Biosphere Reserve (WNBR) will be involved in several events that form an important part of the international biodiversity agenda and help implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The MAB programme will contribute to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum (30-31 January 2018), the multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals of the Technology Facilitation Mechanism (5-6 June 2018) and the High-Level Political… (Full Story)
Monday, January 22, 2018
Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer says Democrats in the chamber will vote to reopen the government, which has been partially shutdown for three days. The vote is on funding the government through February 8.  It comes after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell assured opposition Democratic lawmakers that he would in the coming weeks allow a vote on protecting about 800,000 young illegal immigrants from deportation Earlier, President Donald Trump attacked Democratic lawmakers... (Full Story)
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