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Human Rights Observatory
Sunday, December 16, 2018
For the first time in years, Christmas decorations are going up in the Syrian capital. Neighborhoods in Damascus were front lines in the country's civil war. But earlier this year, government forces wiped out the last rebel enclaves in and around the city. That could mean a Christmas without mortar fire in a city that long lived with constant war. Arash Arabasadi reports. (Full Story)
Sunday, December 16, 2018
At least 42 people have been injured, including one critically, in an explosion at a restaurant in northern Japan. The blast Sunday night at a two-story restaurant in Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido Island, is being investigated, police said. TV footage from Japanese public broadcaster NHK showed smoke rising from the building, which eventually collapsed. Residents in the area said they smelled gas around the time of the explosion that shattered windows in nearby homes and... (Full Story)
Sunday, December 16, 2018
Russians living in the far eastern region of Primorsky Krai elected a Kremlin-backed candidate for governor on Sunday after a previous election was thrown out due to voting fraud. Local election officials said the acting governor of the region, Oleg Kozhemyako, won 61.4 percent of the votes after 95 percent of the ballots had been counted in the Russian region on the Sea of Japan.  The election commission said second place went to Andrei Andreichenko of the nationalist Liberal... (Full Story)
Sunday, December 16, 2018
U.N. envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths is calling for the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthi militia group to respect the ceasefire that was agreed to Thursday, after a week of negotiations outside the Swedish capital Stockholm.  A Houthi spokesman in Sana'a, however, says the cease-fire was not due to officially go into effect until Tuesday.   Pro-Houthi al-Maseera TV showed what it claimed was video of its fighters repulsing an attack on one of the group's... (Full Story)
Sunday, December 16, 2018
A look at the best news photos from around the world. (Full Story)
Sunday, December 16, 2018
U.S. President Donald Trump says he will review the case of a decorated Special Forces veteran accused of murder in the 2010 killing of a suspected Taliban bombmaker in Afghanistan. The U.S. leader said that "at the request of many," he would weigh the murder charge against Major Matthew Golsteyn, a former U.S. Army Green Beret. In Trump's word's, Golsteyn "could face the death penalty from our own government after he admitted to killing a Terrorist bombmaker while... (Full Story)
Sunday, December 16, 2018
Somalia federal Minister for Public Works Abdifitaah Ibrahim Geeseey has resigned over the arrest and exclusion of a former al-Shabab leader from a regional election. Speaking to VOA via telephone Sunday from Mogadishu, Geeseey said he resigned in protest against his government's interference in the upcoming South West election and its move to arrest Mukhtar Robow Abu Mansur, the former deputy leader of al-Shabab, who was a top candidate for the presidency of South West state in the... (Full Story)
Sunday, December 16, 2018
A hulking statue of a late 19th century white leader, with a cane and top hat, has been a flashpoint for cultural conflict in South Africa for years. Black protesters threw paint on it. White supporters rallied around it. Authorities surrounded the statue with barbed wire and then ringed it with a more permanent fence. Nearly 25 years after the end of white minority rule, the statue of Paul Kruger still looms in Church Square in the center of Pretoria, South Africa's capital. The... (Full Story)
Sunday, December 16, 2018
A security clampdown and a strike sponsored by separatists fighting against Indian rule shut most of Indian-administered Kashmir on Sunday, a day after chaotic protests and fighting killed seven civilians and four combatants in the disputed region. Armed police and paramilitary soldiers in riot gear fanned out across the region in anticipation of anti-India protests and clashes. Shops and businesses closed in other areas with no security restrictions. At least seven civilians were... (Full Story)
Sunday, December 16, 2018
Britain's government is not preparing for a second referendum on Brexit, ministers said on Sunday, sticking to the script that Prime Minister Theresa May's deal could still pass through parliament with a few changes. May delayed a vote last week on her agreement to leave the European Union because she was set to lose in parliament and has tried to secure "assurances" from the bloc to try to better sell it to sceptical lawmakers. Brussels said last week it was ready to... (Full Story)
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