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Amnesty International accuses Israel of war crimes

amnesty accuses Israel of war crimesAmnesty International on Wednesday accused Israel of committing war crimes during its 50-day military operation in Gaza this summer, saying Israeli forces had displayed "callous indifference" in attacks on family homes in the densely populated coastal strip. Israel's government dismissed the report, the latest in a series by human rights organizations questioning Israeli tactics in Gaza.

Israel's "Operation Protective Edge" left more than 2,100 Palestinians dead, the majority civilians, according to Palestinian and U.N. officials. Israel lost 66 soldiers and six civilians in the conflict. A number of human rights groups have since probed the question of war crimes in a conflict in which both sides struck civilian targets. Israeli authorities are reluctant to have their military actions under the scrutiny of international jurists, and threatened last month to abandon future talks with the Palestinian Authority should the Palestinian leadership carry out a threat to refer Israel to the International Criminal Court.

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US sends long-held Guantanamo prisoner to Kuwait

Fawzi al-Odah releasedA Kuwaiti held at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for nearly 13 years was sent back to his homeland Wednesday, the first release based on the determination of a review panel that has been re-evaluating some men previously classified by the government as too dangerous to release.

Fawzi al-Odah had been told his release was imminent but didn’t know the date until shortly before he boarded the flight back to his country from the base in southeast Cuba, his lawyer, Eric Lewis, said.

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UNHCR launches campaign against statelessness

statelessnessThe U.N. Refugee Agency Tuesday launched an ambitious campaign to wipe out statelessness in the next decade with the goal of preventing millions from spending their entire lives without legal documentation.

The goal is to focus attention on people who are not recognized in their countries and do not have birth certificates, identity papers or other documents, and to prevent babies born to refugees from being denied legal papers.

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Sex Trafficking Isn't An 'Over There' Issue, 100,000 U.S. Kids Are Sold Into It Every Year

sex trafficking in USSelling children into sex trafficking may seem like a remote issue, something that happens in far-off places where kids live in extreme poverty and their rights aren’t valued.

But it’s happening right here, all over the United States.  And a new campaign wants people to take note that more than 100,000 children are victims of sex trafficking in America every year.

ECPTAT-USA, a nonprofit that works to stop the sexual exploitation of children, recently released an eye-opening PSA that demonstrates how little most Americans know about the rampant child sex trade.

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Boko Haram leader says kidnapped schoolgirls were 'married off'

Boko HaramBoko Haram's leader, Abubakar Shekau, said the 219 schoolgirls kidnapped from the remote town of Chibok in Nigeria's northeast in April have converted to Islam and been married off. He also denied reports that Boko Haram had agreed to a cease-fire with the Nigerian government, and ruled out future talks.

"Don't you know the over 200 Chibok schoolgirls have converted to Islam? They have now memorized two chapters of the Koran," Shekau said in a video obtained by Agence France-Presse on Friday.

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SodaStream to move controversial factory from Israeli settlement

Soda StreamSodaStream slashed its forecast on Wednesday, citing difficult business conditions in the US and other markets, and announced that it would move its factory out of an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.

The company had already warned this month that demand for its soda machines and flavours would not be as strong as it had expected as it struggled to lure new buyers. It cited weak conditions in France and the Czech Republic, in addition to the US.

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Israel attorney general probes Palestinian bus ban

Palestiinian workersIsrael's attorney general said Tuesday he would ask the country's defense minister to explain his proposed order banning thousands of Palestinian workers from the Israeli public buses they ride back to their homes in the West Bank.

The proposed edict by Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, who has authority over security issues, comes after a request by Jewish settlers who ride the buses. It also comes amid heightened tensions between Israelis and Palestinians after this summer's Gaza War and other violence.

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