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Wednesday, May 25th

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Justice Department appears open to interrogation suit

Dept. of JusticeThe Justice Department has signaled that it won't try to block a lawsuit arising from the CIA's harsh interrogation techniques, leaving the door open for a court challenge over tactics that have since been discontinued and widely discredited.

Lawyers call the government's stance unprecedented, but also a recognition that a once-secret program is now largely out in the open. They say it's the first time the Justice Department has not sought, as its first step, to dismiss a lawsuit over the interrogation program by arguing that its mere existence is too secret to discuss in court. Judges have previously accepted that assertion, turning aside cases about a program that was designed to extract intelligence from suspected militants captured overseas.

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Palestinians take to streets to mark Prisoners Day

Prosoner Day on the West BankThousands of Palestinians took to the streets across the West Bank and Gaza Strip on Sunday to mark Prisoners Day, to shed light on the plight of 7,000 compatriots who are incarcerated by Israel.

Prisoners Day has been commemorated annually since 1974, when the first Palestinian detainee - Mahmoud Hijazi - was released in a swap deal with Israel.

In the centre of the West Bank city of Ramallah, families gathered raising Palestinian flags and holding framed pictures and posters of their incarcerated loved ones: Faheem al-Khateeb, who has been in prison since 2015, Adeeb Mafarjeh, currently on hunger strike, and Marwan al-Barghouti, the Fatah leader and parliamentarian, who some refer to as the "Palestinian Mandela".

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CUNY Graduate Students Vote for Academic Boycott of Israel

CUNY Doctoral CenterThe Doctoral Students’ Council (DSC) of City University of New York (CUNY) has adopted a Resolution Endorsing the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions, by a vote of 42-19 with 9 abstentions. At the same meeting, the DSC also overwhelmingly adopted the Resolution Calling for Expanded Tuition Remission for Graduate Center Students.

The mission of the DSC includes promoting democracy within CUNY and enabling students to participate in important social, political, and economic decisions that affect their community. The council also advocates for graduate student interests with the Graduate Center administration, university-wide political bodies, the CUNY Board of Trustees, the New York State Assembly, and the Mayor’s Office.

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U.S. to transfer 9 Yemeni Guantanamo Bay inmates to Saudi Arabia

Yeminis from Gitmo to go to Saudi Arabia- Nine Yemeni detainees at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay are being transferred to Saudi Arabia, leaving the total population at the controversial facility standing at 80 inmates.

The move comes after nearly a decade of negotiations between the United States and Saudi Arabia, which has called for the prison's closure for years, but was reluctant to take in any of the prisoners due to domestic political concerns.

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Rights group calls on Gambia to investigate activist deathf

Amnesty InternationalAmnesty International is calling on Gambia to investigate the death of an activist who it says died in detention after participating in a peaceful protest.

The rights group said Saturday that Solo Sandeng, of the opposition United Democratic Party, died after his arrest Thursday at a protest in Serrekunda. It said the circumstances of his death are unknown. Sandeng was previously arrested in 2013 for his political activities.

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Life in the Shadows: Palestinians in Lebanon

Al Nakban 1948, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forced to leave their country during the Nakba, the "catastrophe", the founding of the state of Israel.

The majority of Palestinians in Lebanon retain the hope of one day returning home - known internationally as "the right of return". But almost seven decades later, refugee camps have become part of the urban landscape of Lebanon.

More than a quarter-of-a-million Palestinians still live in the 12 UN-registered camps and 42 other so-called gatherings across Lebanon. Lebanon is their home but any chance of becoming a genuine part of the communities they live in is constantly undermined by strict laws "protecting" Lebanese citizens' rights, general safety and wellbeing.

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Video of missing Nigerian girls offers hope to families

Nigerian girls photos offer hope to familiesA new video has emerged showing some of the missing schoolgirls kidnapped by the armed group Boko Haram in Nigeria two years ago, providing hope to parents that their daughters are still alive.

About 15 girls featured in the video obtained by the Nigerian government, saying they were from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok and pleading with the government to cooperate with Boko Haram on their release.

Boko Haram fighters abducted 276 schoolgirls from Chibok in April 2014, with 57 pupils managing to escape but 219 still missing.

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