Friday, Apr 18th

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Courts Take A Kinder Look At Victims Of Child Sex Trafficking

Human trafficking We've all seen them: the public service announcements about sex trafficking in America. They're plastered on buses and billboards; images of young women exploited for their bodies, with hotlines to call for help.

The numbers are staggering. The Justice Department estimates that each year at least 200,000 children are trafficked for sex in the U.S., and it is said to generate upward of $32 billion a year.


Innocence Project: New evidence in Texas execution case

Cameron ToddThe Innocence Project argued Friday that newly discovered documents undermine the credibility of a key witness against a Texas man executed for the deaths of his three children based in part on arson evidence that has since been deemed faulty.

The New York-based nonprofit said it has discovered a handwritten note that suggests a prosecutor gave a lesser charge to jailhouse informant Johnny Webb, who testified that Cameron Todd Willingham told Webb he killed his daughters in 1991.

That would contradict claims made at trial by Webb and prosecutor John Jackson that Webb did not receive consideration for his testimony.


Israeli troops 'using excessive force' in West Bank

israel using excessive forceIsraeli forces are using excessive and reckless force in the occupied West Bank, Amnesty International says.

More than 40 Palestinians were killed in the past three years and the rate of killings rose significantly in 2013, a report by the human rights group says.

It alleges that Israel is allowing its soldiers to act with virtual impunity. Israel said Amnesty had ignored an increase in Palestinian violence and showed a complete lack of understanding of its operational challenges.


Another Cuban 5 spy released from US prison

Cuban fiveA second member of the "Cuban Five" spy ring was released Thursday from a U.S. prison after spending more than 15 years behind bars.

Fifty-year-old Fernando Gonzalez - known to U.S. authorities by his alias, Ruben Campa - completed his sentence at 4 a.m. local time a prison in Safford, Ariz., Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke said.

Gonzalez was turned over immediately to immigration officials. He will be deported to Cuba as soon as possible, said Michelle Alvarez, spokeswoman for the Miami U.S. Attorney's Office. The timing of his departure wasn't immediately clear.


Uganda's anti-gay bill refocuses attention on US evangelical influence

Uganda anti gay lawsA day after Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni signed into law a punitive bill that criminalizes homosexuality with life sentences and punishes efforts to raise or discuss gay issues, the influence of American evangelicals on the law is being raised.

Human rights groups in East Africa for many years have pointed fingers at US evangelicals, some of whom have visited African states and advocated against homosexual behavior and rights, something that is often not a difficult sell given traditional values and views across Africa.


Uganda's president to sign anti-gay bill Monday

Uganda presidentUganda's president is expected on Monday to sign into law a controversial anti-gay bill that has harsh penalties for homosexual offenses.

The Uganda Media Center invited journalists Monday to witness the signing ceremony at the president's official residence in Entebbe, about 40 kilometers (24.86 miles) from the capital, Kampala.

The bill is popular in Uganda, but international rights groups have condemned it as draconian in a country where homosexuality is already criminalized.  U.S. President Barack Obama has urged Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni not to sign the bill, saying it would "complicate" the east African country's relationship with Washington.


Lawyers, judge hold secret Guantánamo hearing on CIA black sites

GitmoThe military judge held a secret war court session Saturday on defense lawyers’ efforts to uncover evidence of what the CIA did to the alleged USS Cole bomber across years in the agency’s clandestine overseas prison network.

Both the public and the alleged terrorist were excluded from the 9 a.m. hearing in the case that seeks the execution of Abd al Rahim al Nashiri as mastermind of the Oct. 12, 2000 terror attack that killed 17 U.S. sailors off Aden, Yemen.


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