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Human Rights Observatory
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Expand Kuwaitis protest outside the parliament building in Kuwait City November 16, 2011. © 2011 Reuters A top Kuwaiti court has released on bail 44 people who had been convicted and imprisoned after protesting and calling for the country’s prime minister to resign in 2011—prosecutions that smacked of intimidation and retaliation for criticizing authorities. A detainee’s family member and a defense lawyer confirmed to Human Rights Watch that they had been released Sunday night. The protesters had been sentenced to between one and nine years in prison. During the 2011 demonstration, protesters… (Full Story)
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Summary In late 2015 the Islamist armed group Al-Shabab forcibly abducted Hamza, a 15-year-old boy from the contested town of Merka in southern Somalia, and took him to one of the group’s training camps. After two and half months of rudimentary training with an AK-47 assault rifle, he was among at least 64 children sent to fight for Al-Shabab in an unprecedented attack in Puntland in March 2016. Hamza, unlike many of the boys he trained with, survived the assault. He was captured by the Puntland military and taken to jail. “Four Puntland soldiers beat me,” Hamza told Human Rights Watch. “They tied… (Full Story)
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
How is it that children get involved with Al-Shabab in the first place?   Al-Shabab uses many means to recruit children, including enticements, deceit and force. Poor rural communities, with little protection, are particularly vulnerable to this sort of pressure. Some boys I spoke to said they were taken at gunpoint from Quranic schools, where children receive religious instruction. Sometimes they are told that that they are going to a Quranic reading competition. One boy went to such a competition and won. After winning, he thought he would get a chance to go to another school, and he was dropped… (Full Story)
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
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Wednesday, February 21, 2018
A federal advisory panel is recommending a new vaccine against hepatitis B.   The vaccine called Heplisav-B was licensed in November and is the first new hepatitis B vaccine in 25 years.   Hepatitis B vaccines have been in childhood shots for decades. The new vaccine is for adults.   The hepatitis B virus can damage the liver and is spread through contact with blood or other bodily fluids. Cases have been rising, a trend linked to the heroin and opioid epidemic.... (Full Story)
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
A European space probe has swung into position around Mars in preparation to analyze its atmosphere for possible signs of life. The European Space Agency said Wednesday its Trace Gas Orbiter successfully performed a delicate maneuver known as aerobraking that involved dipping into the red planet's upper atmosphere to slow the probe. The agency says the orbiter will start looking for trace gases such as methane, which can result from biological or geological activity, in April. It... (Full Story)
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Award-winning chef Jose Andres is working on a book about his efforts to help Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Ecco told The Associated Press on Wednesday that it has acquired We Fed an Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time. The book is scheduled for Sept. 11 and is co-written by Richard Wolffe. A portion of proceeds will be given to the Chef Relief Network of Andres' nonprofit World Central Kitchen. We Fed an Island will be released through Anthony... (Full Story)
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Pakistan’s highest court has ordered ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, of the ruling party PML-N, to be removed as party leader. The Supreme Court ruling Wednesday also quashed all decisions taken by Sharif since his disqualification as a member of the National Assembly last year. “As a result of the above declaration, all steps taken, orders passed, directions given and documents issued by Respondent No.4 as Party Head after his disqualification on 28.07.2017 (July 28, 2017) are... (Full Story)
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Hundreds of students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida rallied at the Florida Capitol in Tallahassee Wednesday to pressure lawmakers to approve tougher gun control laws one week after one of the most deadly U.S. school shootings. (Full Story)
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Religion has been the electrified ``third rail'' of Mexican politics since anti-clerical laws in the 1920s sparked a bloody uprising by Catholics in which thousands died.   But this week, front-running presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador not only brushed that third rail, he grabbed it firmly with both hands and held on.   He pledged to seek ``not only material well-being, but the well-being of the soul'' if elected in the July 1... (Full Story)
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