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Friday, Apr 18th

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US psychology body declines to rebuke member in Guantánamo torture case

torture psychologistAmerica’s professional association of psychologists has quietly declined to rebuke one of its members, a retired US army reserve officer, for his role in one of the most brutal interrogations known to have to taken place at Guantánamo Bay, the Guardian has learned.

The decision not to pursue any disciplinary measure against John Leso, a former army reserve major, is the latest case in which someone involved in the post-9/11 torture of detainees has faced no legal or even professional consequences.

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New trial sought for SC boy, 14, executed in 1944

14 year old executed in 1944A 14-year-old black boy executed nearly 70 years ago is finally getting another day in court, and his lawyers plan to argue Tuesday for a new trial, saying his conviction was tainted by the segregationist-era justice system and scant evidence.

George Stinney was found guilty in 1944 of killing two white girls, ages 7 and 11. The trial lasted less than a day in the tiny Southern mill town of Alcolu, separated, as most were in those days, by race.

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The horrors '12 Years a Slave' couldn't tell

Northup familySolomon Northup’s story, which has been studied by historians for decades, now has a second life in American popular culture, thanks to director Steve McQueen’s extraordinary movie “12 Years a Slave.” The film — nominated for nine Oscars, including best picture and best director — brings Northup’s remarkable 1853 memoir to life with searing portrayals of torture and survival.

It has revived curiosity about Northup’s life and renewed debate over how to depict the pain of the past and the present. Does McQueen’s movie go too far with violence?

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UN says pace of Israeli settler attacks on Palestinians up 4-fold

setller attacks— The annual rate of Israeli settler attacks against Palestinians has almost quadrupled in eight years, U.N. figures show, buttressing claims that Israeli security forces have largely failed to stem the so-called "price tag" campaign in which thugs cut down trees, deface mosques and beat Palestinian farmers.

Israeli leaders have repeatedly denounced such attacks — the defense minister last week branded them "outright terrorism" — and the military says soldiers are under strict orders to stop them. Still, critics say Israeli governments stacked with pro-settler politicians have often been reluctant to confront settlers, even those seen as a hardline fringe.

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US judge releases dying civil rights lawyer convicted of aiding terrorism

Lynn StewartA federal judge has granted Lynne Stewart, a prominent former civil rights attorney who was convicted of aiding terrorism, a "compassionate" release from prison because she is dying of cancer.

Stewart, 74, has been serving a 10-year sentence for her 2005 conviction on helping a client, blind Egyptian cleric Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, smuggle messages from prison to Egypt's Islamic Group, which the U.S. government had listed as a terrorist organization.

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Abbas says no peace deal unless all prisoners freed

Palestinian prisonersThere will be no permanent peace deal with Israel until all Palestinian prisoners are set free, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said early Tuesday.

"I promise you, there will be no permanent agreement [with Israel] until all prisoners are set free," Abbas told a reception in Ramallah early Tuesday for the third batch of prisoners released by Israel.

In the nine-month framework for Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations that resumed in July, Israel agreed to release a 104 prisoners held for offenses committed prior to the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords. So far 78 have been released.

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Large protests over Bedouin resettlement in Israel

Bedouin protestsLarge protests over a plan to resettle nomadic Bedouin Arabs in Israel's southern Negev desert caused injuries Saturday and led to some arrests as well as condemnation from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Protests focused on a bill that would move thousands of Bedouins into government-recognized villages. Opponents charge the plan would confiscate Bedouin land and affect their nomadic way of life, but Israel says the moves are necessary to provide basic services that many Bedouins lack and would benefit their community while preserving their traditions.

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