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Friday, Jul 25th

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Sudan announces release of Meriam Ibrahim from death row

Merian IbrahimA Christian woman on death row in a Sudanese prison has been released on the orders of a court in Khartoum after her case became the focus of an international campaign.

Meriam Ibrahim was sentenced to 100 lashes for adultery and to be hanged for apostasy after refusing to renounce her faith last month.

The Sudanese state news agency Suna said: "The appeal court ordered the release of [Ibrahim] and the cancellation of the [earlier] court ruling."

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Presbyterians divest holdings to pressure Israel

Presbyteria Church divestsThe Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has voted to divest its holdings in three companies -- Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions -- that it says supply equipment used by Israel in the occupation of Palestinian territory.

The resolution, which passed by a vote of 310 to 303 late Friday at the 221st General Assembly in Detroit, calls for the largest Presbyterian denomination in the U.S. to dump $21 million in investments from the three companies.

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‘Extremely disturbing’ force-feeding tapes cited in Gitmo abuse case

force feeding at gitoLawyers who spent the weekend examining 28 videotapes of a detainee at Guantánamo Bay being force-fed told a federal judge Wednesday they plan to submit the “extremely disturbing” set of tapes as evidence of rights abuse at the base.

“I’ve had a lot of trouble sleeping this week as a result of watching these tapes,” Alka Pradhan, a member of the legal team representing Syrian national Abu Wa’el Dhiab, told Al Jazeera. She said the footage gave an insight into conditions at the controversial camp and that President Barack Obama should “sit down and watch” it.

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Israel's search for settlers led to collective punishment, rights group

Israeli earch illegalIn its search for three missing settlers, Israel has imposed unlawful collective punishment on Palestinians living in Hebron, the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem said Tuesday.

“Security force have extensive operational powers to achieve the rightful and essential objective of finding the abducted teens,” B’Tselem said in a statement Tuesday. “Yet these powers are not unlimited, and not all measures are lawful.”

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Reports: Autopsy shows Palestinian teen killed by live fire

Paalestinian teen killed by live ammoAn autopsy performed on the exhumed body of a Palestinian teen shot by Israeli soldiers during a West Bank demonstration reportedly showed he was shot with live ammunition.

The autopsy was performed Wednesday at the Palestinian Institute of Forensic Medicine in the West Bank by the chief Palestinian pathologist, according to reports. Two Israeli pathologists were present, as were observing pathologists from the United States and Denmark.

Representatives of the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem and the Palestinian human rights group Al Haq told reporters that the pathologists who performed the autopsy found entry and exit wounds indicating live fire. The groups were involved in the autopsy.

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Supreme Court refuses to hear California prison overcrowding case

Supreme CourtThe Supreme Court declined on Monday to hear an appeal of a court order that requires California to ensure that disabled inmates who are housed in county jails to ease crowding in state prisons receive appropriate accommodations.

The court’s denial highlighted tensions between the most populous U.S. state and federal courts about crowding and conditions in California's troubled prison system.

The state has been under court orders to reduce its prison population since 2009 and has sought to comply partly by funneling some non-violent offenders to county jurisdiction.

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Obama administration considers transfer of more Guantánamo detainees

gitmoEven as controversy persists over the swap of five senior Taliban leaders for army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, the Guardian has learned that the Obama administration is considering the transfer of a new round of Guantánamo Bay detainees.

In what would represent the first proposed transfers out of Guantánamo since the May 31 announcement of the trade – and, accordingly, a test of President Obama's commitment to shuttering the detention center – the administration is set to decide the fate of what is said to be a small number of detainees, an internal debate that began months before it faced an avalanche of congressional criticism around the most recent Guantanamo release.

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