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Human Rights Observatory
Saturday, August 18, 2018
The catastrophic collapse of a dam in Laos has poured fuel onto an already fiery debate about the future of hydropower in the region. Laos has long defied warnings of the severe impacts caused by its hydropower ambitions on the Mekong River, and despite some signals of a rethink, it's unclear if even this latest disaster will change their minds. David Boyle has this report from Attapeu province in Laos. (Full Story)
Saturday, August 18, 2018
The United States intensified its sanctions against Myanmar Friday, blacklisting four commanders and two units of security forces for their alleged role in violent campaigns against Rohingya Muslims and other ethnic minorities. Myanmar security forces have engaged in ethnic cleansing, massacres, sexual assault, extrajudicial killings and other human rights abuses, said Sigal Mandelker, Treasury Department undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.  “Treasury is... (Full Story)
Saturday, August 18, 2018
Renewable energy proponents have seized on the fatal collapse of a dam in Laos in their push to steer the country away from its hydropower “binge.” Laos is planning to build about 140 hydropower dams in its quest to become “the battery of Southeast Asia” according to the policy think tank the Stimson Center. The plan has drawn heavy criticism from conservationists and rights groups who argue the country’s ruling class are enriching themselves from projects that severely impact the... (Full Story)
Saturday, August 18, 2018
Taliban insurgents unleashed a fresh wave of attacks across Afghanistan this week, overrunning at least two Afghan military bases and launching a sustained attack on a key city, in a multifront show of strength that left hundreds dead and threatened to upend recently begun peace talks with Washington. As recently as last month, it appeared efforts to end the war were gaining traction, amid reports that American and Taliban officials had held a series of initial meetings in Qatar. The... (Full Story)
Saturday, August 18, 2018
Twitter users are blocking companies like Pepsi, Nike and Uber on Twitter to pressure the social media firm to permanently ban American broadcaster Alex Jones for what they say are his abusive tweets. Meanwhile, Twitter reportedly is facing a shutdown in Pakistan because of a government request to block what it deems objectionable content. The moves come as U.S. internet companies take a harder look at their policies that have promoted free expression around the world. The companies... (Full Story)
Saturday, August 18, 2018
Kofi Annan, one of the world’s most celebrated diplomats and a charismatic symbol of the United Nations who rose through its ranks to become the first black African secretary-general, has died. He was 80. His foundation announced his death in Switzerland Saturday in a tweet, saying that he died after a short unspecified illness. “Wherever there was suffering or need, he reached out and touched many people with his deep compassion and empathy,” the foundation said in a... (Full Story)
Saturday, August 18, 2018
As the death toll from the worst floods in a century climbed relentlessly in India’s southern Kerala state, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took an aerial tour, inspecting the massive damage that engulfed villages and cities, and announced emergency aid of over $70 million. The situation is grim in the picturesque, coastal state famed as a tourist destination -- rivers, dams and reservoirs have overflowed following record monsoon rains that swept away roads and homes and forced more than... (Full Story)
Saturday, August 18, 2018
Cricket hero-turned-politician Imran Khan, leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party, was sworn in Saturday as Pakistan’s prime minister. Pakistan’s newly elected National Assembly Friday formally chose Khan as prime minister, successfully marking the second peaceful transition from one democratically elected government to another in the country’s 70-year political history, which has been marred by military interventions and turmoil. Khan, who is 65, captured 176 of the 272... (Full Story)
Saturday, August 18, 2018
Imran Khan, of international cricket fame, took the oath as Pakistan’s 22nd prime minister Saturday. He now faces tough challenges, including depleting foreign exchange reserves and growing international pressure to act against terrorist groups allegedly operating out of the country. In his acceptance speech following his election in parliament the day before, the former cricket captain promised tough accountability against all who have “robbed the country.” Khan rose to power on a... (Full Story)
Saturday, August 18, 2018
Juba has denied issuing the former president of the Central African Republic (CAR) a South Sudanese passport after a U.N. panel made the charge against Francois Bozize, who has been sanctioned for alleged crimes against humanity. Late last month, the U.N. Panel of Experts on the CAR informed the U.N. Security Council that Bozize is likely traveling with counterfeit documents, including a South Sudanese passport bearing the name Samuel Peter Mudde with passport number... (Full Story)
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