Refugee rescue ship defies Salvini, enters Italian waters

Refugee rescue ship defies Salvini, enters Italian waters

A German charity ship carrying 42 refugees and migrants rescued off the coast of Libya has entered Italian waters, defying an explicit ban by the country's far-right interior minister, Matteo Salvini.  The captain of the Dutch-flagged boat decided to head to the island of Lampedusa on Wednesday because the situation on board was "now more desperate…
US Senate rejects House-backed version of border aid bill

US Senate rejects House-backed version of border aid bill

Washington, DC- The Republican-led United States Senate voted on Wednesday to approve a $4.6bn emergency funding bill for southwest US border. The 84-8 vote came less than 24 hours after the House of Representative passed a measure that was similar, but had more restrictions on how the Trump administration could use the money. That House…
‘Divorced from reality’: Palestinians reject US economic plan

‘Divorced from reality’: Palestinians reject US economic plan

The US-led economic workshop in Bahrain closed amid derision and rejection from Palestinian officials on Wednesday, who said its framework for a trade and investment boost ignored their political aspirations for statehood. The two-day workshop, led by White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner, began on Tuesday in the capital, Manama, and showcased the economic part…
Malaysia reopens probe into kidnapping of Shia activist, pastor

Malaysia reopens probe into kidnapping of Shia activist, pastor

Putrajaya, Malaysia - Malaysia's government has set up a special taskforce to reinvestigate the kidnappings of two activists - Amri Che Mat and Raymond Koh - after the country's human rights commission blamed the police's intelligence branch for the abductions. Home Affairs Minister Muhyiddin Yassin told reporters on Wednesday that the government established the taskforce because of the seriousness of…
US pushes Bahrain economic plan in absence of Palestinians

US pushes Bahrain economic plan in absence of Palestinians

The Trump administration is seeking support for an economic plan it says will be a foundation for Israeli-Palestinian peace but which Palestinians and many others dismiss as pointless without a political solution. On Wednesday, as a US-led peace conference was under way in Bahrain, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) reiterated its rejection of the $50bn plan,…
Gambia’s Jammeh ‘handpicked’ women for rape, abuse

Gambia’s Jammeh ‘handpicked’ women for rape, abuse

Former Gambian president Yahya Jammeh "handpicked" women to rape or sexually coerce by offering cash, gifts and other privileges, international rights groups alleged. In a statement released on Wednesday, Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Swiss NGO TRIAL International said three women accused Jammeh of rape and sexual assault while he was in office between 1996 and…
Khashoggi killing: UN rapporteur Callamard to present report

Khashoggi killing: UN rapporteur Callamard to present report

Agnes Callamard, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, is set to present her report on the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Callamard's presentation before the UN Human Rights Council in the Swiss city of Geneva is set to start at 13:00 GMT on Wednesday, and will be followed by a news conference. In…
US House passes $4.5bn emergency border aid bill

US House passes $4.5bn emergency border aid bill

Washington, DC - Setting up a policy confrontation with US President Donald Trump over his administration's handling of the surge of migrants at the US southwest border, the Democrat-controlled US House of Representatives approved a $4.5bn emergency border aid bill late on Tuesday. The 230-195 vote follows an outcry over reports of inhumane conditions for children…
Seven things to know about NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo

Seven things to know about NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo

Greek basketball star Giannis Antetokounmpo has been named the NBA's Most Valuable Player (MVP). Nicknamed the "Greek Freak", the 24-year-old Milwaukee Bucks player on Monday got 78 first-place votes, well ahead of the 23 received by fellow MVP finalist James Harden of the Houston Rockets.  "Two, three years ago, I had the goal in my…
‘Climate apartheid’: World’s poor to suffer most from disasters

‘Climate apartheid’: World’s poor to suffer most from disasters

The world is on course for "climate apartheid", where the rich buy their way out of the worst effects of global warming while the poor bear the brunt, according to a United Nations human rights expert.  Philip Alston, the special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, issued the warning in a new report submitted to…

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