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'A sliver of humanity': Thousands of refugees welcomed in Austria

Refugees reach Austrian borderThousands of exhausted, elated refugees reached their dream destinations of Germany and Austria on Saturday, completing epic journeys by boat, bus, train and foot to escape war and poverty.

Before dawn, they clambered off a fleet of Hungarian buses at the Austrian border to find a warm welcome from charity workers offering beds and hot tea. Within a few more hours of rapid-fire aid, many found themselves whisked by train to the Austrian capital, Vienna, and the southern German city of Munich.


Refugees march on Austria amid Hungarian standoff; EU forced into action

refugees march on train tracksA tense standoff between refugees and police in Hungary continued into a second day Friday, with desperate asylum seekers embarking on a 100-mile plus march to the border after being blocked from traveling by rail. The dramatic scenes came as EU leaders scrambled to find a coherent policy to accommodate growing numbers of people fleeing war and poverty.

Train cars that made it out of Budapest’s main station on Thursday were halted in Bicske, a town shy of the Austria border. Many of the passengers remain on the train, having defied attempts to forcibly remove them and take them to a detention center.


You Might As Well Ignore the Photos of Dead Refugee Kids

refugee childred washed up on shoreDo not look closely at the photographs here. Do not look at them at all. They will, in an instant, inspire pity, revulsion, anger and calls to “do something…now!”

How else might one react to photographs of toddlers washing up in the waves that lap the Libyan shore? Or for that matter the tangle of bodies, as twisted and tortured as those piled into the mass graves of Nazi death camps, crammed instead into the back of a truck in Austria to die, and not of Zyklon B, but of suffocation?


More than 20 dead refugees discovered in truck in Austria

dead refugees found in Austrian truckAs many as 50 refugees were found dead in a parked truck in eastern Austria on Thursday, police said, marking what one Austrian official called a “dark day” in Europe’s escalating refugee crisis.

The vehicle, which contained between 20 and 50 bodies, was found on a parking strip off the highway in Burgenland state, police spokesman Hans Peter Doskozil said at a press conference with Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner. "This tragedy affects us all deeply," Mikl-Leitner said.


Congresswoman Asks For Investigation Into Israeli Shooting Of Two Palestinian Teens

Palestinian teens killed by IDFRep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) has requested the State Department open an investigation into whether the killing of two Palestinian teenagers last year by Israeli security forces warrants withholding of military aid under the conditions of the Leahy Law.

“The murders of Nadeem Nawara and Mohammad Daher highlight a brutal system of occupation that devalues and dehumanizes Palestinian children," she wrote in a letter to two State Department officials, referring to the teenagers who were shot and killed May 15, 2014, during a protest at the Ofer prison in the West Bank. “It is time for a strong and unequivocal statement of U.S. commitment to the human rights of Palestinian children living under Israeli occupation,” McCollum continued in the letter, which was publicly released on Monday.


Only three of 116 Guantánamo detainees were captured by US forces

Gitmo detaineesOnly three of the 116 men still detained at Guantánamo Bay were apprehended by US forces, a Guardian review of military documents has uncovered.

The foundations of the guilt of the remaining 113, whom US politicians often refer to as the “worst of the worst” terrorists, involves a degree of faith in the Pakistani and Afghan spies, warlords and security services who initially captured 98 of the remaining Guantánamo population.


Saudi Arabia's executions increase in 2015

saudi executions increaseSaudi Arabia is carrying out executions at the rate of one every two days, an international human rights group noted Tuesday.

London-based Amnesty International said in a report that at least 102 people were executed in Saudi Arabia in the first six months of 2015; while 90 were executed in all of 2014. It noted that juvenile offenders and the mentally disabled are among those executed, and that roughly half of the 2,208 people put to death, generally by beheading, were from foreign nations typically denied translation services at their trials and forced to sign confessions they did not understan.


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