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Tuesday, Sep 01st

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Former UK ministers urge Obama to free Shaker Aamer from Guantánamo Bay

Shaker AhmerBoris Johnson has placed himself at the head of cross-party group, including a former Tory attorney general and Labour home secretary, who are calling on Barack Obama to secure the release of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident held in Guantánamo Bay.

In an intervention timed to coincide with US Independence Day, six former cabinet ministers have joined leading writers, actors, directors, musicians to warn the White House that the continued detention of Aamer is undermining US standing in the world.

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Mozambique scraps colonial-era homosexuality ban

Mozambique lifts ban against gaysMozambique decriminalized homosexuality Monday when a new penal code came into force that swept away old Portuguese colonial laws, in a victory for campaigners for gay rights.

The old code, dating back to 1886, targeted anyone "who habitually engages in vices against nature" — though no known prosecutions took place after Mozambique became independent in 1975.

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IA photos of 'black sites' come to light, could complicate Guantanamo trials

IA photosMilitary prosecutors earlier this year learned about a massive cache of CIA photographs of its former overseas "black sites" while reviewing material collected for the Senate investigation of the agency's interrogation program, according to U.S. officials.

The existence of the approximately 14,000 photographs will probably cause yet another delay in the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as attorneys for the defendants demand that all of the images be turned over and the government wades through the material to decide what it thinks is relevant to the proceedings.

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HK clears last pro-democracy protest camp

Hong Kong protestsHong Kong authorities began clearing away the last pro-democracy encampments settled by protesters near government headquarters on Wednesday, watched by a handful of demonstrators.

The protests failed to persuade China to allow a fully democratic vote for the city's next leader in 2017, instead of a list of pre-screened, pro-Beijing candidates.

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U.N. Report Asks All the Right Questions of Israel

UN report on GazaWhen the shouting dies down and folks take the time to read the actual content of the United Nations report on last summer’s Gaza war — all 183 pages plus side documents — you might see some very red faces in the world of pro-Israel activism.

Well, maybe you won’t. The leaders and friends of Israel’s current governing coalition aren’t in the habit of admitting mistakes, especially where Palestinians are involved. But this one will be hard to dodge.

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UN report on Gaza: Both sides may be guilty of war crimes

UN Gaza ReportA much-awaited United Nations report into the 2014 Gaza war released Monday found that both Israel and Palestinian militant groups may have committed war crimes during the conflict.

Both Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers quickly rejected the report's findings, which said Palestinian militants targeted civilians in their rocket attacks, while Israeli forces likely used "disproportionate" force in civilian areas of the Gaza Strip — both identified by the U.N. committee as potential war crimes.

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Controversial UK security firm lobbying for US migrant detention contracts

UK security firmA controversial British security company implicated in numerous immigration detention controversies in the UK and Australia is lobbying to secure potentially lucrative contracts to detain migrant families in the United States, documents obtained by the Guardian show.

Serco Inc, the US subsidiary of the British owned multinational Serco Group, has held meetings in Washington DC with Democratic congressional staffers, at which it has circulated a confidential briefing paper boasting of its record in detaining migrant families.

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