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Razor-thin majority of High Court uphold law used to exclude Israeli-Arabs

Israeli court upholds discriminationBy a razor-thin majority, the High Court of Justice on Wednesday upheld a law that hundreds of small villages may be using to exclude Israeli Arabs, homosexuals, disabled people and members of other groups.

In one of the most important housing discrimination cases in years, five justices voted to uphold the law, while four voted to strike down parts of it.

The five who voted in favor were Supreme Court President Asher D. Grunis, Deputy President Miriam Naor and justices Elyakim Rubinstein, Esther Hayut and Hanan Melcer, on the grounds that the petition to strike down the relatively new legislation was premature.

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Advocate for domestic workers’ rights wins MacArthur ‘genius’ award

Ai-Jen PooIn 2011, a year after the nation’s first domestic workers’ bill of rights became law in New York and a year before she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people, Ai-jen Poo was profiled in The New York Times under the headline “The nannies’ Norma Rae.”

It was catchy and recognizable, but it missed the radical nature of her project: Everyone has heard of a unionized factory, but was it possible to organize a dispersed, isolated workforce of nannies, house cleaners and home care attendants?

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Human trafficking’s dark secrets revealed

Human traffickingThe 17-year-old sex trafficking victim thought her life was over.

Taken from another state, she was trafficked within the Clearwater city limits and rescued by law enforcement authorities. Since then, her life has changed drastically. She returned to the state she came from, where she had a support system. She became sober, started college, has an apartment and is employed.

“She has dreams and aspirations now for her future,” said Clearwater police Detective James McBride, who aided in her recovery. “Now this person, with the help of social services, has done a 360 and is living the dream.”

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Gaza struggles to rebuild under blockade

Gaza rebuildingA U.N. representative urged Israel to lift a blockade around Gaza so humanitarian aid and construction materials can reach the region.

Robert Turner, United Nations Relief and Works Agency director of operations in Gaza, visited the region Thursday and said the strip has been left destitute by Israeli shelling over the course of a two-month conflict.

"We need resources. We need funding to rebuild for both the refugees and the non-refugee families in Gaza," he told Voice of America.

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Qatar confirms detention of rights group workers

QatareQatar has confirmed it is holding two Britons who went missing while researching migrant labor issues, saying the men are being questioned for alleged illegal activity in the Gulf nation that is due to hold the 2022 World Cup.

A little-known organization, the Norway-based Global Network for Rights and Development, reported that its researcher Krishna Upadhyaya, 52, and photographer Ghimire Gundev, 36, went missing on Aug. 31 as they were preparing to leave Qatar. It suggested that Qatari security services were behind their disappearance and has called for their release.

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Islamists in Iraq driving large-scale atrocities: U.N.

Iraq atrocitiesIslamist fighters have carried out atrocities on "an unimaginable scale" in months of fighting with Iraqi forces, who have also killed detainees and shelled civilian areas, a U.N. official said on Monday.

There is "strong evidence" Islamic State and allied groups have carried out targeted killings, forced conversions, sexual abuse and torture in Iraq, U.N. Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Flavia Pansieri said, opening an emergency debate on the conflict in Geneva.

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Israeli fire on Gaza town raises war crimes claim

Israeli war crimesThe first of August dawned as a day of promise for the Mahmoum clan and thousands of other Palestinians stuck in United Nations shelters in Rafah — thanks to a temporary cease-fire with Israel they could go home for three days.

But the expected respite quickly turned into one of the deadliest and most controversial episodes in the recent war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. After just two hours, amid fear that Hamas had captured an Israeli soldier, the Israeli military sealed off the Rafah area and began shelling. By the end of the next day, 190 Palestinians were dead, according to a list of names compiled by two Gaza human rights groups, including 14 members of the Mahmoum family.

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