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Thursday, Apr 17th

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US pharmacists urged not to give lethal drugs to states for executions

execution drungsSeveral human rights and anti-death penalty groups have asked the American Pharmacists Association to prohibit members from participating in executions, a request that comes as states increasingly turn to pharmacists for lethal injection drugs.

The groups, which include Amnesty International, the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union, are targeting drugs made by compounding pharmacies. Such drugs, which are not federally regulated, are individually mixed versions of medications that prison systems are finding increasingly difficult to obtain.

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Human rights group labels Syria’s use of barrel bombs a war crime

Barrel bomb use by SyriaThe Syrian government’s campaign to clear rebels from the city of Aleppo by pummeling residential neighborhoods with so-called barrel bombs constitutes a war crime because the weapons cannot be aimed at combatants, according to a detailed report released Monday by the advocacy group Human Rights Watch.

The report, which cataloged what it said were 266 bombings that affected 340 different sites around the city from Nov. 1, 2013, to the end of February this year, provided a legal rationale for viewing the barrel bombs, which often are nothing more than barrels filled with explosives dropped from helicopters, as different from other munitions used in the war.

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More than 100 people found in suspected stash house

Texas stash houseThe phone call to police was a plea to help save a family held by smugglers. But when authorities raided the south Harris County home which they believed held the woman and children Wednesday, they found 110 people imprisoned in a packed, rancid "stash house" where smugglers had locked them away pending payment for their freedom.

A tipster had told authorities the night before that he was being extorted by smugglers, and feared for the safety of relatives from Central America. The tipster had said that a coyote drop of the mother, her 7-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son was supposed to have taken place Tuesday on Houston's north side, but it didn't happen and they were missing.

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Revealed: Inside the Senate report on CIA interrogations

CIAA still-classified report on the CIA's interrogation program established in the wake of 9/11 sparked a furious row last week between the agency and Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein. Al Jazeera has learned from sources familiar with its contents that the committee's report alleges that at least one high-value detainee was subjected to torture techniques that went beyond those authorized by George W. Bush's Justice Department.

Two Senate staffers and a U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the information they disclosed remains classified, told Al Jazeera that the committee's analysis of 6 million pages of classified records also found that some of the harsh measures authorized by the Department of Justice had been applied to at least one detainee before such legal authorization was received.

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UK police strip searched more than 4,500 children in five years

UK policeMore than 4,500 children as young as 10 have been strip searched by the Metropolitan police over the past five years, data released under the Freedom of Information Act shows.

The figures obtained by the Guardian show 4,638 children aged between 10 and 16 were asked to remove their clothes and then searched by police between April 2008 and the end of last year. Just over a third were released by police without charge.

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US terror 'watchlist' risks stigmatizing hundreds of thousands, says ACLU

US watchlistThe U.S. government's “massive” watchlist database risks stigmatizing hundreds of thousands of people as known or suspected terrorists – including some its own citizens, a leading civil liberties group has warned.

Around 875,000 names are believed to be on the list, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said. Many are included "based on information that is often stale, poorly reviewed, or of questionable reliability," it added in a report published Friday. Moreover people are being put onto the watch list based on secret evidence and secret standards, with no meaningful process to challenge mistakes, the ACLU warned.

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US 'deeply concerned' about death of Chinese human rights campaigner

Cao ShunliThe US is “deeply disturbed” by reports of the death of prominent Chinese human rights activist Cao Shunli, who was detained in September for staging sit-ins at the country’s foreign ministry, the State Department said on Saturday.

The news of Cao’s death came on Friday, soon after the start of a session in Geneva of the United Nations Human Rights Council, a body to which China was elected amid controversy last November.

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