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Monday, Oct 20th

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Israel's attack on neighborhood in Gaza left US officers 'stunned'

Israel's raid stuns PentagonThe cease-fire announced Tuesday between Israel and Palestinian factions — if it holds — will end seven weeks of fighting that killed more than 2,200 Gazans and 69 Israelis. But as the rival camps seek to put their spin on the outcome, one assessment of Israel’s Gaza operation that won’t be publicized is the U.S. military’s. Though the Pentagon shies from publicly expressing judgments that might fall afoul of a decidedly pro-Israel Congress, senior U.S. military sources speaking on condition of anonymity offered scathing assessments of Israeli tactics, particularly in the Shujaiya neighborhood of Gaza City.

One of the more curious moments in Israel’s Operation Protective Edge came on July 20, when a live microphone at Fox News caught U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry commenting sarcastically on Israel’s military action. “It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation,” Kerry said. “It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation.”

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Seattle protesters aim to block Israeli cargo ship over Gaza siege

Seattle protesters aim to stop Israeli shipPalestinian rights activists in the Seattle area picketed the Port of Tacoma on Monday in an attempt to block a commercial Israeli cargo ship from unloading its merchandise.

The action follows a similar protest last week that managed to prevent the delivery of goods for days from a vessel seeking to dock in Oakland, California.

Block the Boat organizers said the ship, which is owned by Israel's Zim Shipping Services Ltd., one of the world’s largest container shipping companies, was schedule to arrive in the Port of Tacoma on Monday afternoon.

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Civil Rights Groups Sue U.S. Over Deportations Of Mothers And Children Who Fled Violence

Deported women and chidlrenAlleging that the U.S. government unfairly deported mothers and children who have fled violence, death threats, rape, and persecution in Central America, civil rights organizations Friday filed a lawsuit over the policies on their behalf.

The women were held at a detention center in Artesia, New Mexico, which is hours from the nearest major city and makes it difficult for immigration lawyers to work with them, the suit says. ACLU attorney Mitra Ebadolahi called it the “detention equivalent of a black hole.”

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Saudi Arabia beheaded 19 in seven days

Saudis behead 19 Saudi Arabia has executed at least 19 people since August 4, 2014. Local news reports indicate that eight of those executed were convicted of nonviolent offenses, seven for drug smuggling and one for sorcery.

Family members of another man, Hajras bin Saleh al-Qurey, told Human Rights Watch on August 17 that they fear his execution is imminent. The Public Court of Najran, in southern Saudi Arabia, sentenced al-Qurey to death by beheading on January 16, 2013 for allegedly smuggling drugs and attacking a police officer during his arrest.

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Rights groups call on Israel to allow investigators into Gaza

war crimes gazaHuman Rights Watch and Amnesty International renewed a call to Israel on Wednesday to allow the groups access to Gaza via the Israeli-controlled border, saying in a joint press release that the resumption of fighting makes it more important than ever for their investigators to monitor the situation.

“The Israeli authorities appear to have been playing bureaucratic games with us over access to Gaza, conditioning it on entirely unreasonable criteria even as the death toll mounts,” Anne FitzGerald, Amnesty International’s director of Research and Crisis Response, said in the release.

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Israeli court allows protesters to picket Palestinian-Jewish wedding

LehavaA Palestinian man and his Jewish bride-to-be are facing hostile protests in the Israeli town of Rishon Letzion after Israel's high court refused their application to ban demonstrations outside their wedding reception.

Mahmoud Mansour, 26, a Palestinian from Jaffa, has had to hire dozens of security guards after an anti-Arab group, Lehava, published details of his wedding reception online and called for Israelis to come and picket the wedding hall.

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Ferguson police chief cedes much of his authority

Ferguson police cheifIn less than a week, the nation's most embattled police chief has ceded much of his authority — first to county police and then to state troopers.

Thomas Jackson, the snowy haired leader of the Ferguson Police Department, has been the public face of the agency at the center of the violent protests over a white police officer's killing of an unarmed black teenager.

Jackson's leadership has drawn wide criticism, both for the aggressive police response to the protesters and for his agency's erratic and infrequent releases of key information.

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