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Thursday, May 05th

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DOD Opens Afghan Child Sex Abuse Probe

Afghan child sex probeAfter months of preliminary research, the Pentagon's Inspector General is launching a full-scale investigation into how U.S. troops and commanders handled repeated allegations that Afghan men, particularly Afghan military and police leaders, had sexually abused children.

The IG's "research project" that began in October has revealed sufficient information to warrant conducting a "full assessment," according to a Feb. 19 letter to top Defense Department officials from Kenneth Moorefield, the deputy inspector general for special plans and operations.

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Canada's missing or killed indigenous women 'higher than thought'

Canada's missing or killed indigenous womenThe Canadian government has confirmed that the number of missing or murdered indigenous women in the country may be higher than the previously cited 1,200.

Ministers recently spoke to survivors across Canada to begin a government inquiry into the matter.  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a key campaign pledge to address this.

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Protesters decry human rights violations as U.S.-ASEAN summit opens

US-ASEAN protestsHundreds of demonstrators protesting human rights abuses greeted President Barack Obama and leaders from 10 Southeast Asian nations as they opened a two-day conference in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

The protesters gathered in the desert heat as Obama convened with 10 other leaders from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar. It is the first time representatives of ASEAN -- Association of Southeast Nations -- have assembled in the United States. Monday began a two-day summit scheduled to focus on economic development, security and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

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Report: More than 1M people besieged in Syria

Million besieged in SyriaMore than one million Syrians are trapped in besieged areas, a new report says in a challenge to the United Nations, which estimates just half that amount and has been accused by some aid groups of underplaying a crisis.

The fate of Syria's besieged is at the heart of peace talks that quickly fell apart last week in Geneva and are set to resume by Feb. 25. Negotiators for the opposition had insisted that the Syrian government stop besieging civilians before talks could truly begin.

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Syria 'exterminating detainees' - UN report

Syria exterminating detaineesThe Syrian government has carried out a state policy of extermination against thousands of detainees, UN human rights investigators say.

They accuse President Bashar al-Assad's regime of crimes against humanity, in a report for the UN Human Rights Council. The study says both loyalist and anti-government forces have committed possible war crimes.

Many detainees were tortured, some were beaten to death, and others died from lack of food, water, or medical care.

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Israel's unwanted African migrants

Sudanese immigrants in detention center in IsraelFor nearly a year Israel has been offering African migrants cash and the chance to go and live in what is supposed to be a safe haven in a third country - but the BBC has spoken to two men who say that they were abandoned as soon as they got off the plane. One was immediately trafficked, the other left to fend for himself without papers.

Adam was 18 when he arrived in Israel in 2011. Attackers had burned down his home in Darfur at the height of the genocide, and he had spent his teenage years in a UN refugee camp in another part of Sudan. With no prospects in the camp and no sign of an end to the conflict in Darfur, he made his way north through Egypt and the lawless Sinai peninsula to Israel.

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ISIS Documents Set Sexual Slavery Rules

ISIS fatwah on female slavesIslamic State theologians have issued an extremely detailed ruling on when "owners" of women enslaved by the extremist group can have sex with them, in an apparent bid to curb what they called violations in the treatment of captured females.

The ruling or fatwa has the force of law and appears to go beyond the Islamic State's previous known utterances on the subject, a leading Islamic State scholar said. It sheds new light on how the group is trying to reinterpret centuries-old teachings to justify the sexual slavery of women in the swaths of Syria and Iraq it controls.

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