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Obama Just Told 20 People They Won’t Die In Prison

Obama commutes 42 sentencesPresident Barack Obama will commute the sentence of 42 federal prisoners on Friday, a senior administration official told The Huffington Post.

All told, Obama has now issued 348 commutations — more than the amount issued by the past seven presidents combined — though advocates have encouraged him to be even bolder.


UN blacklists Arab coalition for child deaths in Yemen

Arabs coalition faulted for children deathsThe UN has blacklisted the Arab coalition in Yemen for causing deaths and injuries to hundreds of children.

The coalition of 10 Arab countries, assembled by Saudi Arabia last year, was blamed for 60 percent of the child deaths and injuries in 2015 in air strikes that killed 510 and wounded 667.

In Friday's report, Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, called the situation on the ground "worrisome", adding that Yemen had witnessed "six times more children killed and maimed [in 2015] compared to 2014".


Best-selling author pleads to be freed from Guantanamo

Gitmo author waiting for justiceA Mauritanian man whose best-selling book provided a rare window into US prison life at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and alleged torture tactics that have been shrouded in secrecy is asking a review board to clear him for release after 14 years of being held without charge.

Mohamedou Ould Slahi "understands his past mistakes", denounces any forms of "violent jihad", and has "never taken any hostile action" against the United States, according to his lawyers.


Aid convoys reach besieged Syrian towns

Aid convoy reaches Syrian townA humanitarian aid convoy entered the rebel-held Syrian town of Daraya, the Red Cross has said, in the first such delivery since a government-imposed siege began in 2012.

Both UN and Syrian Arab Red Crescent staff were involved in the delivery, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Wednesday.
US-trained Syrian fighters make gains against ISIL


Saudi human rights activist sentenced to 8 years in prison

all-Shubaily sentenced to 6 yearsA court in Saudi Arabia sentenced a member of an independent human rights organization to eight years in prison in the latest guilty verdict to be issued against the group's members, rights group Amnesty International said.

Abdulaziz al-Shubaily, 31, was the only founding member of the Saudi Association for Civil and Political Rights, known by its Arabic acronym HASEM, not yet sentenced to a prison term. He acted as a legal representative for nine other founding HASEM members.


The Army Chaplain Who Quit Over 'Unaccountable Killing' of Obama’s Secretive Drone Program

dronesAs a witness to the removal of fallen U.S. troops from Afghanistan, Army Chaplain Christopher John Antal can’t recall a time when that solemn ceremony wasn’t conducted without the presence of drones passing along the horizon.

They were sleek and quiet, making a gentle humming noise as they flew over the flight lines — where aircraft can be parked and serviced — of the Kandahar airfield in Afghanistan, where he was stationed in 2012. Not everyone had access to the flight lines, according to Antal, but he was responsible for participating in dignified transfer ceremonies, also known as ramp ceremonies, which were set there to greet the caskets of fallen service personnel as they were returned to base, en route to the U.S. On these occasions, he would watch the drones drift in and out, loaded with Hellfire missiles.


'Nowhere close to a fair trial': pressure to aid Americans and Canadian in UAE

American and Canadian held in UAEBarack Obama’s former White House counsel, human rights groups and families have made a final push to pressure the US and Canada over three men who have been detained in the United Arab Emirates for nearly two years.

The three men, two American Libyans and one Canadian Libyan, face a verdict on Monday in their trial before the UAE’s highest court. In March, prosecutors suddenly dropped charges that the men supported terrorist groups, but charges remain that they provided supplies to groups in a foreign country and collected donations without permission.


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