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Saturday, Jan 21st

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Palestinians mourn final Cremisan Valley olive harvest

Palestinians mourn last olive harvestThe rocky terraces of the Cremisan Valley are mostly overgrown and wild these days, as local landowners say they have lost all hope of keeping control over the more than 300 hectares of olive trees and orchards along the sloping mount, confiscated by the Israeli government earlier this year.

"I haven't been here at all this year. Look how the weeds have grown over, and trash from the street has piled up," Ricardo Jaweejat said, motioning towards the vast olive grove that has belonged to his family for generations.

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Young Cuban women lured to Miami on promises of freedom, forced into prostitution

Cuban women trafficked to MiamiAs a means to flee Cuba, six young women agreed to work in Miami as exotic dancers.

That was the deal to pay off a $20,000 smuggling fee from the island to Mexico and ultimately into the United States.

But instead of simply stripping, they were forced into sex slavery in Miami. They were locked up, mistreated and forced into prostitution until police rescued them in September, according to federal court documents. Their ordeal has become the first known criminal case involving Cuban women brought to the United States for sexual exploitation.

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Afghan report slams 'gross miscarriages of justice' at Guantánamo

Afghan report slams GitmoA leading research organization in Afghanistan is accusing the United States of “gross miscarriages of justice” at the Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility in a scathing report examining the cases of eight Afghans held at the facility.

“The Afghan experience in Guantánamo in itself highlights the peril of the power to arbitrarily detain,” the Afghanistan Analysts Network said in its report. “For individuals and their families, the consequences have been gross miscarriages of justice.”

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Calais camp charities attack UK and France over unaccompanied children

Calais camp childrenAnger is growing among aid workers in the Calais refugee camp over the welfare of the 1,500 unaccompanied children remaining on the site in a secure area of converted shipping containers.

They say the French and British authorities are leaving it to charities to fill a void created by the lack of state support.

Calais Action, one of the many volunteer groups which has been operating on the site in the absence of official support, said there were at least 14 children left on the site on Friday night with nowhere to go. They had failed to get on the last buses laid on for unaccompanied minors for onward transport to reception centres across France.

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Russia ousted from U.N. Human Rights Council amid allegations of Syrian war crimes

Russia ousted from HR Council at UNRussia lost its seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council by a narrow margin following a vote on Friday.

Russia received a total of 112 votes to remain as one of two Eastern European seats on the council devoted to human rights, losing by two votes to Croatia and by 32 votes to Hungary, according to the New York Times.

The vote represented the first time a permanent member had lost its seat on the 47 member U.N. Security Council since it was established in 2006.

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Human Rights Abuses Escalate at DAPL Prayer Services in North Dakota

Human rights abuses at Dakota prayerThe photo Winona LaDuke references is stunning because of the brutality it conveys. A 19- year-old Arapaho girl is lying in the mud under a prayer tipi. She is not alone. A Morton County, North Dakota deputy is on top of her with one knee pressed against her neck and the other pushed into her lower back.

The girl’s face is forced into the dirt by the weight of his body. He might outweigh her by a hundred pounds. You cannot see her face, in fact nothing except her flushed nose is visible. An officer from Marathon County, Wisconsin is crouched to the right, watching. Guns, radios, handcuffs, batons and other devices hidden from view in leather pouches hang from the belts of the deputy and the observing officer.

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Appellate Court Reinstates Abu Ghraib Torture Lawsuit Against Private Military Contractor

Abu Ghraib trial reinstatedToday, a panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated a lawsuit against private military contractor CACI Premier Technology, Inc. (CACI) for the corporation’s role in torture and other inhumane treatment at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

A lower court had dismissed the case, ruling that CACI’s responsibility for its established role in the torture was a “political question” to be left to the discretion of the political branches and unreviewable by the courts, and that a “cloud of ambiguity” surrounds the definition of torture. This was the fourth time the case has been before the court of appeals.

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