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The US Government Deported 438,000 People in 2013. 83 Percent Never Got a Hearing.

deporteesOf the 438,421 people deported in 2013, 83 percent received a summary removal, meaning that they were sent to their country of origin by US officials without a hearing. And according to the ACLU's research, many of these removals were illegal: Asylum seekers, unaccompanied kids, and others who may have qualified for relief routinely have been turned away.

Until the mid-'90s, virtually all immigrants at risk of being deported went through an immigration hearing before a judge. But, partly in response to immigration court backlogs, a 1996 law called the Illegal Immigration Reform and Responsibility Act changed that, extending the ability to issue deportations to immigration officers—the same people who arrest and detain immigrants.

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US to appeal judge's ruling on Guantánamo Bay force-feeding videos

Gitmo forced feedingsThe Obama administration will ask a federal appeals court to overturn a judge’s ruling that it must disclose videos depicting its controversial tube feedings of hunger strikers at Guantánamo Bay.

The long-expected decision from the Justice Department, filed in court on Tuesday, comes two months after Judge Gladys Kessler of the Washington DC federal district court ruled that the government did possess a compelling rationale for preventing the public from viewing the forcible feedings and detention cell removals of a Syrian detainee.

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Edward Snowden wins Swedish human rights award for NSA revelations

Edward SnowdenWhistleblower Edward Snowden received several standing ovations in the Swedish parliament after being given the Right Livelihood award for his revelations of the scale of state surveillance.

Snowden, who is in exile in Russia, addressed the parliament by video from Moscow. In a symbolic gesture, his family and supporters said no one picked up the award on his behalf in the hope that one day he might be free to travel to Sweden to receive it in person.

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Lack of money at World Food Program leaves 1.7 million Syrians without aid

Syrian refugees food shortageA funding crisis has forced the World Food Program to suspend assistance to 1.7 million Syrian refugees, the U.N. agency announced Monday, warning that “many families will go hungry” without the aid.

The program, which provides electronic vouchers for Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt to buy food at local stores, faces a $64 million shortfall, the agency said, attributing the problem to “unfulfilled” donor commitments.

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Former al Qaida hostage recounts nightmare – of dealing with FBI

Matt SchrierThe only thing as bad as being tortured for months as a captive of jihadists in Syria was dealing with the U.S. government afterward, according to one former American hostage.

Matt Schrier, 36, a freelance photographer held by extremists for seven months in 2013 until he escaped, said that the bureaucracy he endured upon his return home was a second kind of nightmare after the months of abuse he experienced while a hostage.

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UN torture report condemns sleep deprivation among US detainees

UN torture reportThe US military has retained the power to inflict prolonged sleep deprivation on detainees, despite moves by the Obama administration to eliminate interrogation techniques that amount to torture and ill-treatment, the United Nations warned on Friday.

In a review of the human rights record of the US, the first of its kind since 2006, the world body’s committee against torture has slammed the country for its ongoing violations of international treaties.

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UN panel raps US record on torture

stop torturePolice brutality, military interrogations and prisons were among the top concerns of a U.N. panel's report Friday that found the United States to be falling short of full compliance with an international anti-torture treaty.

The report by the U.N. Committee Against Torture, its first such review of the U.S. record since 2006, expressed concerns about allegations of police brutality and excessive use of force by law enforcement officials, particularly the Chicago Police Department's treatment of blacks and Latinos.

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