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U.S. judge to lead U.N. war crimes investigation of 2014 Israeli-Gaza conflict

McGowan DavisFormer New York State Supreme Court justice Mary McGowan Davis will replace the recently resigned William Schabas as the leader of the United Nation's investigation into the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict.

Davis was already part of Schabas' three-person team. The United Nations Human Rights Council chose not to select a new member for the investigation, as it is almost complete.  Davis spent 24 years as judge or federal prosecutor in her criminal justice career.

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Lead U.N. investigator of 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict resigns over bias allegations

Willliam SchabasWilliam Schabas, the head of a United Nations investigation into the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict, has resigned due to bias allegations for his previous work with the Palestine Liberation Organization.

The investigation seeks to determine if potential war crimes were committed in the 50-day war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. The panel's inquiries, sanctioned by the U.N. Human Rights Council, are set to be released in March.

Israel has refused to cooperate with the investigation and accused Schabas of "clear and documented bias."

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Record number of defendants exonerated in 2014

125 people exonerated in 2014A record 125 defendants falsely convicted of crimes were exonerated in 2014, according to a report from the National Registry of Exonerations at the University of Michigan Law School. The figure represents a one-third increase in exonerations from 2012.

A bulk of the increase came from a single county: Harris County, Texas — home to Houston — where 33 people were exonerated after having been convicted of drug possession. Most of the defendants in those cases had pled guilty and were exonerated only after tests revealed they had not been carrying illicit substances.

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Israel violated rules of war in strikes on Gaza homes: group

Israel violated human rightsA majority of Palestinians killed in dozens of Israeli attacks on Gaza homes in the 2014 war with Hamas were women, minors or elderly people, and some of the strikes violated the rules of war, an Israeli rights group said Wednesday.

The B'Tselem group called strikes on homes "one of the appalling hallmarks of the fighting" and said they were part of a policy approved at the top levels of the government and the military.

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Commander in Joseph Kony's feared militia appears in ICC

KonyA commander in warlord Joseph Kony's feared militia made his first appearance before an International Criminal Court judge Monday, calling himself a former soldier who was abducted and "taken to the bush" when he was just 14.

Dominic Ongwen appeared in court for a brief hearing to confirm his identity and that he understood the charges against him. He was not required to enter a plea.

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Guantánamo officials faked letter from inmate’s mother who could not write

StahiGuantánamo prison camp authorities tried to trick inmate Mohamedou Ould Slahi by forging a letter purportedly from his mother whom he had been unable to see for years, his brother Yahdih has said.

The ploy, which was intended to persuade him to cooperate with his interrogators, failed not only because they misspelt Slahi’s name but also because his mother could not write.

This week Slahi became the first inmate to publish a memoir while still incarcerated when Guantánamo Diary was published in 20 countries and serialised in the Guardian.

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ISIS Goes Medieval on Gays

ISIS kills gaysHere are images that pious Muslims ought find more “offensive” than those of the Prophet Mohammed.

High above the Iraqi town of Mosul, masked members of the Islamic State throw a man off a building ledge. A crowd below gawks like spectators at a sporting event. They listen intently as a masked jihadist, his face covered by a balaclava, reads out the accused's sentence like a carnival barker. For committing the eternal crime of the “people of Lot”—a Koranic euphemism for sodomy—the doomed man will he hurled to death. In the last photo, his corpse is splayed out across the wet concrete.

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