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'2014 Was A Catastrophic Year,' Amnesty International Says

Human RightsGovernments "must stop pretending the protection of civilians is beyond their power," Amnesty International says in its human rights report for 2014. The group faults the U.S. on a range of issues, from the use of excessive force by police to rights abuses in the name of fighting terrorism.

"Governments pay lip service to the importance of protecting civilians," Amnesty says. "And yet the world's politicians have miserably failed to protect those in greatest need."

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Israel cuts off electricity to thousands of West Bank Palestinians

palestinians on West bankIsrael's electric company cut off power Monday to more than 700,000 Palestinians in two major West Bank cities and nearby villages, and warned that more outages are coming if Palestinian officials don't pay millions of dollars in outstanding debt.

The outage in Nablus, the largest West Bank city, and Jenin, to the north, lasted about an hour, but could become a regular part of West Bank life if the Palestinian Authority and the local electric utilities don't pay their bills, the Israel Electric Corp. (IEC) warned.

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America's Deadly Transgender Backlash

transgender deaths in USThe anti-LGBT backlash is here, and transgender populations are suffering the most—even though they hadn’t won that many legal victories in the first place. They’re getting the backlash before winning anything to lash back against.

Let’s start with the worst. Five transgender women of color have already been murdered in 2015, and just last weekend, a (white) transgender woman was stabbed to death by her own father.

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US trial over attacks could hurt Palestinian war crimes push

2002 IntefadaPalestinian officials are nervously watching a landmark terrorism trial in the United States, brought by victims of Palestinian suicide bombings and shootings aimed at civilians. They fear a negative verdict could hurt their international image at a time when they are preparing to press war crimes charges against Israel.

The $1 billion lawsuit was filed over a series of deadly attacks in or near Jerusalem that killed 33 people and wounded hundreds more during the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising, a decade ago. The plaintiffs have turned to the U.S. court because some of the victims were American citizens.

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Indian workers win $14M in US labor trafficking case

Indian workers win $14mA New Orleans jury on Wednesday awarded $14 million to five Indian men who were lured to the United States and forced to work under inhumane conditions after Hurricane Katrina by a U.S. ship repair firm and its codefendants.

After a four-week trial, the U.S. District Court jury ruled that Alabama-based Signal International was guilty of labor trafficking, fraud, racketeering and discrimination and ordered it to pay $12 million. Its co-defendants, a New Orleans lawyer and an India-based recruiter, were also found guilty and ordered to pay an additional $915,000 each.

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Guantánamo torturer led brutal Chicago regime of shackling and confession

Gitmo toturer led Chi jail regimeA Chicago detective who led one of the most shocking acts of torture ever conducted at Guantánamo Bay was responsible for implementing a disturbingly similar, years-long regime of brutality to elicit murder confessions from minority Americans.

In a dark foreshadowing of the United States’ post-9/11 descent into torture, a Guardian investigation can reveal that Richard Zuley, a detective on Chicago’s north side from 1977 to 2007, repeatedly engaged in methods of interrogation resulting in at least one wrongful conviction and subsequent cases more recently thrown into doubt following allegations of abuse.

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Myanmar's Buddhist terrorism problem

Myanmar's buddhist terroristsOn Feb. 11, Myanmar’s President Thein Sein rescinded a voting rights offer to the country’s Rohingya community amid intense pressure from far-right Buddhist groups. Last week hundreds of Buddhists took to the streets to denounce the continuation of a 2010 law that extended the right to vote to the country’s more than 1 million ethnic Rohingya. Myanmar does not regard the minority group as citizens.

The violence directed toward the Muslim Rohingya community has been characterized in the media as Buddhism’s terrorism problem. However, the faith-based portrayal of the Rohingya crisis devalues the political and social nuances necessary to understanding the conflict.

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