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Human Rights Observatory
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Wednesday if the United States imposed new tough sanctions on Iran, it risks further destabilizing the Middle East. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened earlier this week to apply "unprecedented financial pressure" on Iran if it does not change its behavior, as he laid out a 12-point list of demands for a new nuclear deal. Le Drian told France Inter radio that levying new sanctions will not foster dialogue, but would... (Full Story)
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
The focus this week of a referendum in Ireland and a supreme court challenge in South Korea, abortion is still banned in some 20 countries worldwide, while others have highly restrictive laws in place. On Thursday in South Korea the supreme court will consider repealing a law where abortion is illegal except for instances of rape, incest and when the mother's health is at risk. And in Ireland on Friday voters will decide in a referendum on whether to repeal their own law, which... (Full Story)
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
For Muslims, the month of Ramadan (May 15-June 15) is a time of reaching out to people who are less fortunate. Islamic Relief USA is providing thousands of special Ramadan food packages to people in need in several cities in the United States. The nonprofit in Alexandria, VA, is contributing humanitarian aid to more than 40 countries around the world. VOA’s Deborah Block takes us to the Washington area where the Ramadan food packages are making the lives of some local families a little easier. (Full Story)
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Moroccan Malika Abumarek walked into the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia, to pick up some food during Ramadan. The grandmother appreciates the extra supplies, like flour and cans of tuna, for her immigrant family who are often just scraping by.  The food is donated by Islamic Relief USA, an Alexandria, Virginia, nonprofit that for 25 years has been providing food and humanitarian assistance worldwide, now to more than 40 countries.  Abumarek opened a... (Full Story)
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Thousands of children and adults with disabilities in Brazil are needlessly confined to institutions, where they may face neglect and abuse. Brazil should make it a priority to provide support for people with disabilities to live independently and in their communities, rather than in institutions.  (Rio de Janeiro) – Thousands of children and adults with disabilities in Brazil are needlessly confined to institutions, where they may face neglect and abuse, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Brazil should make it a priority to provide support for people with disabilities to live… (Full Story)
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
At age 25, Leonardo Barcellos de Albuquerque is finally where he wants to be – at home, living with his mother in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He is creating his fourth music album – he released three other CDs over the past three years – and is also training for bocha, a tossing game that’s a Paralympic sport, similar to bocce or pétanque.  But his joy of being at home will most likely be short-lived. Leonardo has muscular dystrophy, a progressive condition leading to severe muscle degeneration. And his mother, Celia, who is 60, suffers from severe back pain and is not strong enough to lift or move… (Full Story)
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Philip Roth, the prize-winning novelist and fearless narrator of sex, death, assimilation and fate, from the comic madness of "Portnoy's Complaint'' to the elegiac lyricism of "American Pastoral,'' died Tuesday night at age 85. Roth's literary agent, Andrew Wylie, said that the author died in a New York City hospital of congestive heart failure. Author of more than 25 books, Roth was a fierce satirist and uncompromising realist, confronting readers in... (Full Story)
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Expand South Korean police officers stand guard in front of the Constitutional Court in Seoul, South Korea on March 10, 2017.    © 2017 Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji (Seoul) – Criminalization of abortion is incompatible with South Korea’s human rights obligations, Human Rights Watch said today in an amicus brief to the Constitutional Court of Korea. The court will hear a case on May 24, 2018, involving the country’s laws on abortion. The court should decriminalize abortion, and authorities should ensure that safe and legal abortion is accessible. South Korea’s laws provide that procuring or providing… (Full Story)
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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