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Thursday, Jun 21st

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Trump ambassador blocks scrutiny of Israel

Daid Friedman, US envoy to IsraelLast October, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, emailed State Department colleagues with a firm message: Don’t second-guess the Israeli military.

State Department officials had recently asked U.S. embassies in the Middle East to more carefully examine American military assistance to governments in the region, including Israel. The goal was to ensure the department wasn’t violating a law barring U.S. security aid to foreign military units that commit serious human rights abuses. Some Democrats in Congress have questioned whether Israel’s military — which receives an annual $3.1 billion from the United States, more than any other nation — might be guilty of human rights infractions against Palestinians.

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Trump ambassador blocks scrutiny of Israel

Daid Friedman, US envoy to IsraelLast October, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, emailed State Department colleagues with a firm message: Don’t second-guess the Israeli military.

State Department officials had recently asked U.S. embassies in the Middle East to more carefully examine American military assistance to governments in the region, including Israel. The goal was to ensure the department wasn’t violating a law barring U.S. security aid to foreign military units that commit serious human rights abuses. Some Democrats in Congress have questioned whether Israel’s military — which receives an annual $3.1 billion from the United States, more than any other nation — might be guilty of human rights infractions against Palestinians.

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Court orders Denmark to compensate 18 Iraqis over torture

Denmark ordered to pay Iraquis for torture

A court in Denmark has ordered the government to compensate 18 civilians who were tortured during the Iraq war in an operation carried out by Iraqi security forces along with a Danish battalion.

In total, 23 plaintiffs had sued Denmark after they were arrested and subjected to "torture and inhumane treatment" in 2004 during operation 'Green Desert' near Iraq's main port city of Basra.

The appeals court in Denmark's capital, Copenhagen, ruled on Friday that although the Danish soldiers did not join in the torture, they failed to prevent the abuse.

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Israel is about to destroy this Palestinian village. Will Britain step in?

Israle to destroy this Palestinian community.Israel is intent on destroying the homes of the 173 Palestinians who live in the small shepherding community of Khan al-Ahmar, along with the school that serves 150 children from the area.

Last month, Israel’s high court of justice removed the last obstacle to this barbaric act of demolishing an entire community in order to forcibly transfer its residents and take over their land. Israel has announced that the land from which these Palestinians will be evicted will serve to expand the nearby settlement of Kfar Adumim.

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Defense Contractors Cashing In on Immigrant Kids’ Detention

Defense Contractors cashing in on kids' detentions

Separating refugee and immigrant children from their parents isn’t just an emotionally wrenching policy. It’s an enterprise that is benefitting intelligence and defense contractors.

Those contractors—including one with a history of scandals—have advertised a flurry of jobs in recent weeks to support the infrastructure surrounding undocumented children whom the Trump administration has taken from their families.

One of them, from Virginia-based MVM Inc., seeks a compliance coordinator to help in San Antonio with the “rapid deployment of an Emergency Influx Shelter for unaccompanied children.” As billed, the coordinator would ensure the children’s shelter met “policies and procedures” set by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement. MVM posted the job on its website this week.

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Sessions defends removing asylum protections for domestic violence victims

Sessions defends removing asylum for domestic violence

Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended his decision to overturn asylum protections for domestic violence and gang violence victims, saying the Trump administration will return to the “classical” and “legitimate” definition of asylum.

“We are really returning to the classical understanding of what asylum is,” Sessions told The Hill. “Asylum is not a claim that you have suffered a specific act of private violence or any other crime. It is really a systemic problem in which a group of people, based on ethnicity or race or nationality or other such factors, are oppressed in a given country.”

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Humanitarian Crisis Worsens in Yemen After Attack on Port

Yemen crisis worsensAn Arab military coalition invaded Yemen’s main Red Sea port on Wednesday, worsening what is already the world’s most severe humanitarian disaster by disrupting the delivery of food and other supplies to millions of Yemenis.

The air and ground attack by forces loyal to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates was aimed at tipping the balance in Yemen’s long-running civil war and driving Iranian-backed rebels out of the port of Al Hudaydah. Although fighting appeared to be limited to the outskirts of the city on Wednesday, the prospect of sustained fighting there stands to produce one of the bloodiest urban battles of the war, deepening what is already a catastrophic humanitarian situation.

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