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Human Rights Observatory
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
California regulators are considering a plan to charge a fee for text messaging on mobile phones to help support programs that make phone service accessible to the poor. The Mercury News reports Wednesday that the proposal is scheduled for a vote next month by the state Public Utilities Commission. The wireless industry and business groups have been working to defeat the plan. Jim Wunderman of the Bay Area Council, a business-sponsored advocacy group, says it would essentially put a... (Full Story)
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Andre Pittman and Gregory Cornes are on a mission to rid Washington of opportunistic vermin.      But their target isn't corrupt officials or shady political fixers; it's Rattus Norvegicus, the common Norway rat.    The nation's capital is facing a spiraling rat infestation, fueled by mild winters and a human population boom. Washington's government is struggling to keep pace, with the pest control department fielding a record number of... (Full Story)
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
The Russian military says two of its nuclear-capable strategic bombers were flown over the Caribbean Sea during a 10-hour training mission. A pair of Tu-160 bombers arrived Monday at Maiquetia airport outside Caracas. The Russian Defense Ministry said they were escorted by Venezuelan fighter jets during part of the training mission Wednesday to practice interaction. The Tu-160 is capable of carrying conventional or nuclear-tipped cruise missiles with a range of 5,500 kilometers (3,410... (Full Story)
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Hungary's parliament has approved the creation of a new court system to deal with matters related to public administration, giving Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government close control over what will become a crucial part of the judiciary. According to the bill approved Wednesday, the justice minister will have final say over the appointment, promotion and salary of judges in the new system, which could hear cases on a wide range of matters, including those involving the police,... (Full Story)
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
An adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu resigned Wednesday following allegations of sexual assault. David Keyes, Netanyahu's spokesman with the foreign press, stepped down nearly three months after taking a leave of absence after he was accused of sexual misconduct by at least a dozen women. Keyes issued a statement saying he had "decided to pursue new opportunities in the private sector." Keyes has denied the assault accusations, saying all were... (Full Story)
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Venezuela's socialist President Nicolas Maduro said Wednesday he's uncovered an assassination plot that leads directly to the White House. Maduro repeated his frequent warning that a U.S. invasion is imminent — this time giving some details but no evidence. He accused President Donald Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton of overseeing a plot to replace him with a dictator. He alleged that Washington is using "dirty dollars, bled from the U.S. empire" to... (Full Story)
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
The U.N. special envoy for Yemen on Wednesday gave the country's warring sides at peace talks under way in Sweden a draft agreement they need to consider before this round of negotiations wraps up the following day. The document consists of a set of proposals, including one for a political framework for a post-war Yemen, the reopening of the airport in the capital, Sanaa, and a proposal for the contested Red Sea port city of Hodeida, a lifeline for millions of Yemenis dependent on... (Full Story)
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
U.S. officials increased workplace raids in the first full fiscal year under the Trump administration, leading to the arrests of thousands of undocumented workers, while the number of indicted managers remained on par with the figure from 2017. The agency tasked with carrying on the investigations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, reported data Tuesday for fiscal 2018 showing its agents:  — Opened 6,848 worksite investigations, compared with 1,691 in fiscal... (Full Story)
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
European Union leaders will offer Ukraine help for its regions affected by Russia's actions in the Azov Sea when they meet Thursday, according to a draft summit statement seen by Reuters on Wednesday.  But there is no mention of consideration of further sanctions against Russia, reflecting division among member states. Diplomats expect a rollover of existing sanctions but no consensus on increases sought by more hawkish... (Full Story)
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
The Iranian parliament's research center says a worsening domestic economy means a broader range of Iranians are living in poverty, based on their monthly incomes. In a report released Tuesday, the parliamentary researchers said the poverty line for a family of four living in the capital city of Tehran rose to a monthly income of 27 million rials in the June to September quarter, or $650, according to Iran's official exchange rate of 42,000 rials to the dollar. A poverty line... (Full Story)
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