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Monday, Apr 24th

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Tillerson chided over absence on Human Rights Report's launch

TillersonSecretary of State Rex Tillerson is coming under fire by Sen. Marco Rubio and others for breaking with tradition and staying away from the upcoming public release of the State Department’s annual Human Rights Report.

Some activists and former officials fear it's just another sign that President Donald Trump's administration intends to downplay human rights issues while also sidelining the State Department in general.

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UN: Both sides committed war crimes in Syria's Aleppo

Aleppo war crimesBoth sides in last year's battle for Syria's Aleppo city committed war crimes, including a "deliberate" bombing of a humanitarian convoy by the Syrian government, according to a new United Nations investigation.

The UN Commission of Inquiry's report released on Wednesday said Syrian government and allied Russian forces "pervasively used" unguided munitions to bomb densely populated areas in rebel-held eastern Aleppo between July and its fall on December 22, amounting to the war crime of indiscriminate attacks.
Uncertain future for displaced Syrians from Aleppo

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Door knocks in the dark: The Canadian town on front line of Trump migrant crackdown

Canada border town takes in refugeesJaime French was jarred out of bed in Emerson, Manitoba early one morning this month by pounding at her front door, just yards from the U.S. border. A face peered in through the window, flanked in the darkness by others.

Outside were 16 asylum seekers, arriving at one of the first houses they saw after crossing a lightly monitored border between Canada and the United States.

"They banged pretty hard, then 'ring ring ring' the doorbell," said French, a mother of two young girls. "It was scary. That really woke me up."

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U.S. considers quitting U.N. Human Rights Council

US considers leaving Human Rights CouncilThe Trump administration is considering pulling the United States out of the United Nations Human Rights Council, a body that has been accused of being biased against Israel and criticized for including abusive governments, according to two sources in regular contact with former and current U.S. officials.

No immediate withdrawal is expected ahead of the council’s next session, which starts Monday, but discussion of abandoning the council is likely to alarm international activists already worried that the United States will take a lower profile on global human rights issues under President Donald Trump.

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Trump's quick deportation plan may be illegal, past immigration chiefs say

Deportations may be illegalFormer immigration enforcement chiefs are questioning the legality of President Trump's plan to ramp up a program that allows federal agents to quickly deport suspected undocumented immigrants without appearing before a judge.

"Expedited removals" have been in force for 20 years but have only been used against people caught within 100 miles of the U.S.-Mexican border and who are alleged to have entered the country within the previous two weeks.

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Amnesty: Toxic fear mongering pushing back human rights

Amnesty: Toxic fear mongeringToxic fear mongering by anti-establishment politicians, among them US President Donald Trump and the leaders of Turkey, Hungary and the Philippines, is contributing to a global pushback against human rights, Amnesty International said.

When it released its 408-page annual report on rights abuses around the world on Wednesday, the watchdog group described 2016 as "the year when the cynical use of 'us versus them' narratives of blame, hate and fear took on a global prominence to a level not seen since the 1930s", when Adolf Hitler rose to power in Germany.

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US lawmakers target undocumented student 'sanctuaries'

US lawmakers target sanctuary universitiest took four attempts for eight-year-old Miguel Gutierrez, his mother and two-year-old brother to make it to Arizona from Sonora, Mexico.

"Each time we walked through the desert. The first time was probably the hardest; it was about eight to 10 hours. We stayed out through the night and camped out there," said Gutierrez, now 21. The unsuccessful journeys often ended at deportation centres, he said.

Gutierrez is a computer science major at Swarthmore College. It is one of about a dozen US colleges that have declared themselves "sanctuary" campuses.

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