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Monday, Jul 06th

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Caught Between ISIS And Assad, A Palestinian Refugee Camp Is Starving To Death

Yarmouk refugee campThe Islamic State militant group moved into Yarmouk, a refugee camp for Palestinians on the outskirts of the Syrian capital city of Damascus, last week. Since then, hundreds of the group's fighters have been battling rival armed groups for control of the camp. IS militants currently appear to hold most of Yarmouk, resisting bombardments by the Syrian army as well as attacks from militias.

The fighting has reduced Yarmouk into a ghost town, with its civilians trapped inside by constant sniper fire and bombardments. Video footage purportedly from Yarmouk residents, collected by Reuters and other media outlets this week, showed the streets near-deserted and bombed to pieces.

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It Is Now Illegal For A Federal Contractor To Fire Someone For Being LGBT

LGBT rightsFor the first time, companies that have contracts with the federal government are now prohibited from firing or discriminating against employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, thanks to an executive order that takes effect Wednesday.

President Barack Obama signed the order in June 2014 banning workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees of federal contractors and the federal government. The administration took the last six months to provide rules to contractors, and to give companies time to put processes in place. The change affects 24,000 companies employing roughly 28 million workers, or about one-fifth of the nation's workforce.

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Lawyer: Israel to detain Palestinian MP for six months

Khalida JarrarThe Israeli army has placed a female Palestinian legislator under detention for six months without trial, a lawyer for the politician said.

Khalida Jarrar, a senior political leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a left-wing Palestinian faction, is being held for alleged activities in a hostile organisation, lawyer Mahmoud Hassan
said on Monday.

The PFLP is designated a terrorist organisation by Israel and the United States.

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Slavery taints global supply of seafood

Thai seafood slavery The Burmese slaves sat on the floor and stared through the rusty bars of their locked cage, hidden on a tiny tropical island thousands of miles from home.

Just a few yards away, other workers loaded cargo ships with slave-caught seafood that clouds the supply networks of major supermarkets, restaurants and even pet stores in the United States.

Here, in the Indonesian island village of Benjina and the surrounding waters, hundreds of trapped men represent one of the most desperate links criss-crossing between companies and countries in the seafood industry. This intricate web of connections separates the fish we eat from the men who catch it, and obscures a brutal truth: Your seafood may come from slaves.

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'2014 Was A Catastrophic Year,' Amnesty International Says

Human RightsGovernments "must stop pretending the protection of civilians is beyond their power," Amnesty International says in its human rights report for 2014. The group faults the U.S. on a range of issues, from the use of excessive force by police to rights abuses in the name of fighting terrorism.

"Governments pay lip service to the importance of protecting civilians," Amnesty says. "And yet the world's politicians have miserably failed to protect those in greatest need."

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America's Deadly Transgender Backlash

transgender deaths in USThe anti-LGBT backlash is here, and transgender populations are suffering the most—even though they hadn’t won that many legal victories in the first place. They’re getting the backlash before winning anything to lash back against.

Let’s start with the worst. Five transgender women of color have already been murdered in 2015, and just last weekend, a (white) transgender woman was stabbed to death by her own father.

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Here's What's Being Done To Get Child Laborers Working 16-Hour Days Off Of U.S. Tobacco Fields

child tobacco laborAdvocates are speaking out on behalf of child workers' health and well-being after a bill that would have regulated Virginia's tobacco farming industry failed to pass last week.

Minors would not be allowed to work directly with tobacco plants or their dried leaves, had Virginia House Bill 1906 passed, NBC 29 News reported. Children working on family farms as part of tradition would have been exempt from the law.

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