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Monday, Apr 21st

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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.

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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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US psychologists' association rejects ban on aiding military interrogations

US psychologists/ associationA longshot push to get the professional association of US psychologists to consider banning its members from providing aid to military interrogations failed on Friday, but gathered enough support to make supporters optimistic about a follow-on effort in August.

A resolution brought by University of Dallas psychologist Scott Churchill to add the interrogations ban to the agenda of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) legislative body received the support of 53% of representatives to the group’s biannual convention.

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Africa’s Gays Await Nighttime Door Knock as Crackdown Widens

Africa's gays live in fearWhen Ayo answered a knock at his door one evening last month, four Nigerian secret service officers barged in and found gay pornography on one of the phones and laptops he and six friends had in the apartment.

The officers announced they were taking everyone to jail for being gay. Ayo, 27, and four of his friends gained their freedom by bribing the police the equivalent of $600. Two others had no cash and spent three nights in detention.

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UN reports North Korea torture camps, calls for criminal probe

N Korea torture campsA United Nations panel released a report Monday saying that "unspeakable atrocities" and crimes against humanity have been committed in North Korea and that the U.N. will call for an international criminal investigation, the most serious attempt yet to probe evidence of grave and systematic rights violations in the authoritarian state.

"The gravity, scale and nature of these violations reveal a state that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world," the U.N. Commission of Inquiry (COI) said in a statement.

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Guantánamo hunger strikers able to challenge force-feeding, court rules

Guantanamo hunger strike rulingHunger-striking detainees in Guantánamo Bay will be able to challenge in federal court the force-feeding to which many are being subjected, a Washington appeals court ruled on Tuesday, though the judges declined to put an immediate end to the practice.

In a split judgment from the US court of appeals for the DC circuit that deals with Guantánamo, the judges ruled by 2-1 to allow detainees to challenge the conditions of their confinement, specifically force-feeding, in habeas corpus petitions to the federal courts. The decision overturns two earlier rulings by separate district judges who had suggested the military commissions in Guantánamo effectively stripped the federal courts of jurisdiction over detainees and their custodial conditions.

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U.N. aid convoy struck in Syria's besieged Homs

Aid convoy hit An aid convoy came under fire in a besieged rebel district of Homs on Saturday, threatening a United Nations-led operation to bring food and medicine to 2,500 people and evacuate civilians trapped by months of fighting in the Syrian city.

The Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) said mortar fire landed close to its convoy and shots were fired at its trucks, wounding one of its drivers.

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