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Human Rights Observatory
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Expand Growing opposition to fully autonomous weapons from various quarters shows how the public conscience supports banning weapons systems that lack meaningful human control.  © 2018 Russell Christian/Human Rights Watch   (Geneva) – Basic humanity and the public conscience support a ban on fully autonomous weapons, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Countries participating in an upcoming international meeting on such “killer robots” should agree to negotiate a prohibition on the weapons systems’ development, production, and use. August 21, 2018 Report Heed the Call… (Full Story)
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Summary In cases not covered by this Protocol or by other international agreements, civilians and combatants remain under the protection and authority of the principles of international law derived from established custom, from the principles of humanity and from the dictates of public conscience. — Martens Clause, as stated in Additional Protocol I of 1977 to the Geneva Conventions Fully autonomous weapons are one of the most alarming military technologies under development today. As such there is an urgent need for states, experts, and the general public to examine these weapons closely under… (Full Story)
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
A barrage of rockets hit Kabul Tuesday morning, just as President Ashraf Ghani was live on air delivering his address for the Muslim holy festival Eid-al-Adha in a special ceremony at the presidential palace. At least one rocket landed near the palace in Kabul’s green zone. Kabul police said a group of five suicide bombers hid behind Kabul’s Eidgah mosque and fired multiple rockets from there towards various parts of town. A security source confirmed at least ten rockets were fired but... (Full Story)
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Less rain and longer droughts are the major cause behind larger and more intense wildfires in the U.S. West, not higher temperatures and early snowmelt as previously thought, according to research released on Monday. The findings by the U.S. Forest Service and University of Montana could help scientists better predict the severity of fire seasons, said the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study comes as tens of thousands of firefighters battle... (Full Story)
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
The United States has deported the last known Nazi collaborator living in the country to Germany after years of legal, diplomatic and political pressure. Jakiw Palij had spent decades living in the Queens section of New York City after coming to the United States in 1949. The White House said in a statement that immigration authorities carried out the deportation order early Tuesday. It is unclear what, if any, legal proceedings the 95-year-old Palij may face in... (Full Story)
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Major stock slides for Chinese tech firms in recent weeks have raised questions about their ability to face an uncertain future if Washington makes good on its threats to cut off the flow of new technology to China. The worst hit is Tencent, the world’s eighth biggest company by stock value, which recently lost $45 billion in a major stock market slide. Several other Chinese technology companies have also suffered in the market.  The Trump administration has said it is trying to... (Full Story)
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
NewsReporters Without Borders (RSF) is alarmed by the situation in Slovakia six months after investigative reporter Ján Kuciak and his fiancée, Martina Kušnírová, were murdered in their home on 21 February. The investigation into their deaths has stalled and the promises to protect journalists have clearly been forgotten. (Full Story)
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Expand A satirical mugshot depicting Daniil Markin. The nameplate indicates his page on the social media platform VKontake and Russia's Criminal Code Article 282.1 ("incitement of hatred against a religious group"). He faces up to five years in prison under this article.   © 2018 Personal Russian authorities have registered 762 “extremist crimes” so far this year, many of them consisting of social media posts. In some cases, the authorities make little effort to conceal that they are using the country’s broad and vague anti-extremism legislation to silence free expression. One case is that… (Full Story)
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
(Abuja) – Several recent arrests and detentions of journalists and activists in Nigeria suggest a disturbing trend toward repression of freedom of expression, Human Rights Watch said today. In one case, it was revealed that a journalist had been held incommunicado for nearly two years, and in another, an activist said he was tortured. Expand Protesters from the Islamic Movement of Nigeria carry banners during a march calling for the release of their leader, Ibrahim Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenatudeen, in the northern Nigerian city of Kano, August 11, 2016. © 2016 Getty Images “Throwing reporters… (Full Story)
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Syrian refugees and aid groups, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, are concerned about a plan proposed by Russia to repatriate Syrians from Lebanon and Jordan to Syria, calling the move premature and risky, as the country is still not prepared and safe enough for the return of refugees. “Returnees receive counseling by UNHCR prior to their departure. UNHCR so far does not facilitate returns because we believe that conditions are not yet ready. But we provide... (Full Story)
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