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Edward Snowden honored with ‘alternative Nobel’

Edward SnowdenEdward Snowden was among the winners Wednesday of a Swedish human rights award, sometimes referred to as the “alternative Nobel,” for his disclosures of top secret surveillance programs.

The former National Security Agency contractor split the honorary portion of the 2014 Right Livelihood Award with Alan Rusbridger, editor of British newspaper The Guardian, which has published a series of articles on government surveillance based on documents leaked by Snowden.

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Emma Watson tells men in powerful UN speech: 'Gender equality is your issue, too'

emma Watson at UNActress Emma Watson not only stirred the Internet with her recent moving speech before the United Nations, but she also joined a cadre of celebrities who have used their star power to bring attention to gender issues.

Watson, best known for her role as Hermione Granger in the "Harry Potter" films, spoke Saturday as part of the launch of a new HeForShe campaign, which is aimed at getting men involved in stopping violence against women. (HeForShe is a U.N. initiative for gender equality.) The actress was appointed as a goodwill ambassador for U.N. Women six months ago and advocated for everyone to be involved in the movement.

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UN warns Israel against forcibly relocating Bedouins

Forcible moving of Bedouins The United Nations’ Palestinian refugee agency has urged the international community to block Israel’s plans to relocate thousands of Palestinian Bedouin from the central West Bank, in fear the move could lead to further violations of UN charter.

Commissioner General Pierre Krähenbühl of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East said on Sunday that the implementation of such a plan would stoke concerns "that it amounts to a 'forcible transfer' in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention," banning involuntary population relocation in occupied territory.

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Razor-thin majority of High Court uphold law used to exclude Israeli-Arabs

Israeli court upholds discriminationBy a razor-thin majority, the High Court of Justice on Wednesday upheld a law that hundreds of small villages may be using to exclude Israeli Arabs, homosexuals, disabled people and members of other groups.

In one of the most important housing discrimination cases in years, five justices voted to uphold the law, while four voted to strike down parts of it.

The five who voted in favor were Supreme Court President Asher D. Grunis, Deputy President Miriam Naor and justices Elyakim Rubinstein, Esther Hayut and Hanan Melcer, on the grounds that the petition to strike down the relatively new legislation was premature.

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Advocate for domestic workers’ rights wins MacArthur ‘genius’ award

Ai-Jen PooIn 2011, a year after the nation’s first domestic workers’ bill of rights became law in New York and a year before she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people, Ai-jen Poo was profiled in The New York Times under the headline “The nannies’ Norma Rae.”

It was catchy and recognizable, but it missed the radical nature of her project: Everyone has heard of a unionized factory, but was it possible to organize a dispersed, isolated workforce of nannies, house cleaners and home care attendants?

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Palestinian migrants drown after boat capsizes in Mediterranean

palestinians drownOver a dozen Palestinians who fled Gaza died Saturday when their boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Egypt.

The Egyptian military said that the navy removed 15 bodies from the sea off the coast of al-Ajami, near Alexandria. Seventy-two other people of Palestinian, Egyptian and Syrian nationality were also fished from the water after a distress call was made from a vessel called the "Abu Othman."

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Human trafficking’s dark secrets revealed

Human traffickingThe 17-year-old sex trafficking victim thought her life was over.

Taken from another state, she was trafficked within the Clearwater city limits and rescued by law enforcement authorities. Since then, her life has changed drastically. She returned to the state she came from, where she had a support system. She became sober, started college, has an apartment and is employed.

“She has dreams and aspirations now for her future,” said Clearwater police Detective James McBride, who aided in her recovery. “Now this person, with the help of social services, has done a 360 and is living the dream.”

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