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Sunday, May 24th

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'Thousands' of Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants stranded at sea

Immigrants strandedThousands of refugees from Bangladesh and Myanmar are stranded at sea close to Thailand, according to an international migration agency.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) told the BBC a Thai crackdown on recent arrivals meant many smugglers were now reluctant to land.
As many as 8,000 people are believed to be stuck on boats, the IOM said.

In the past two days more than 2,000 have arrived in Malaysia or Indonesia after being rescued or swimming ashore.

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Ethiopia demands explanation from Israel for racism

Ethopia demands explanation of israeli racismThe Ethiopian government has expressed concern over Israeli authorities' treatment of Ethiopian-Israelis. It appears Addis Ababa has been following the violent clashes over the past few weeks between Israelis of Ethiopian origin and police, while several Ethiopian news outlets accused Israel of racism and brutality towards Ethiopian Israelis.

The Ethiopian Foreign Ministry issued a statement several days ago that, while cautious of openly criticizing the Israeli government, extensively quoted Israeli leaders admitting the mistakes made in the integration of Ethiopian Jews. Among others, President Reuven Rivlin is quoted as saying that "Israel has made mistakes in handling the Ethiopian Jewish community," and described their suffering as an "open and bleeding wound in the heart of Israeli society."

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Former Bush Official With Ties To CIA Torture Program Now Advises Obama Interrogators

CIA torture programA government psychologist who helped craft policies central to the CIA’s torture program is now advising an FBI-led interrogation project, according to a series of emails revealed in a new independent report.

The High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group is the Obama administration’s response to the now-defunct CIA effort. Its members are dispatched to question terror suspects. Dr. Susan Brandon leads the HIG’s research committee, which studies and recommends the most effective methods of noncoercive interrogation.

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Omar Khadr, once a Guantanamo inmate, freed on bail in Canada

OmAr KhadrOmar Khadr, a Canadian who was once the youngest prisoner held on terror charges at Guantanamo Bay, will be released on bail from an Alberta prison on Thursday while he appeals a murder conviction by a U.S. military tribunal.

A judge in an Alberta court ruled that Khadr, who was captured in Afghanistan when he was 15 and pleaded guilty to killing a U.S. soldier, can be released on bail, denying an appeal by the Canadian government to keep him in custody.

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US citizen fights to sue FBI agents for ‘inhuman’ detention abroad

US citizen sues for renditionA U.S. citizen’s six-year fight to hold FBI operatives accountable for his detainment and torture in East Africa is again at risk of being quashed by the government, in a move that risks denying judicial remedy for those mistreated by U.S. officials abroad.

Amir Meshal, a 32-year-old man born in New Jersey to parents of Egyptian descent, remains “deeply traumatized” from being held in “stark and inhuman conditions without charges or legal basis” by U.S. officials, his lawyers say.

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Gaza war policies favored safety of soldiers over civilians, Israeli veterans group says

Gaza war policiesIsraeli troops who served in last summer’s war in Gaza were ordered to shoot people on sight, shelled homes and reduced neighborhoods to rubble as part of a deliberate policy of force protection that cost the lives of Palestinian civilians, according to soldiers’ testimonies published Monday by an Israeli veterans group.

The Gaza testimonies, taken from 60 soldiers who took part in the fighting, provide an insight into the tactics the Israeli military employed during the 50-day war against the militant Islamist group Hamas that left more than 2,100 Palestinians dead and destroyed large swaths of the Gaza Strip.

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Ethiopian-Israelis bring anti-racism protest to Tel Aviv

Ethiopian Jews protestAt Thursday’s protest in Jerusalem, which was officially staged in order to highlight police brutality against members of Israel’s Ethiopian community, police deployed tear gas, stun grenades and water hoses against the protesters. Meanwhile, pockets of demonstrators threw stones and bottles at police and blocked streets as well as the city’s light rail tracks as they attempted to march on the Prime Minister’s Residence.

Three police officers were injured at the protest, along with as many as 13 demonstrators. Two were arrested. Shortly after 1 a.m. Friday, the last of the protesters went home.

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