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Monday, May 25th

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Israeli demolition plan for Bedouin village sparks outcry

Israeli demolition of Bedouin villagesIsraelis are once again locked in a bitter settlement dispute with their Arab neighbors, but this time the conflict is not unfolding in the West Bank, but in Israel's southern desert.

After years of legal battles, Israel's Supreme Court last week cleared the way for the government to uproot the nearly 60-year-old Bedouin Arab village of Umm al-Hiran, a dusty hill of ramshackle dwellings without proper electricity or water hookups, and in its place build "Hiran," a new community seemingly catering to Jews that is expected to feature a hotel and country club.

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US cited for police violence, racism in scathing UN review on human rights

US police brutalityThe United States was slammed over its rights record Monday at the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, with member nations criticizing the country for police violence and racial discrimination, the Guantánamo Bay Detention Facility and the continued use of the death penalty.

The issue of racism and police brutality dominated the discussion on Monday during the country’s second universal periodic review (UPR). Country after country recommended that the U.S. strengthen legislation and expand training to eliminate racism and excessive use of force by law enforcement.

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US won’t take action against Guantánamo nurse who refused to force-feed

Gitmo nurseHuman rights NGO Reprieve has welcomed the US Department of Defense’s decision, announced today, to drop proceedings against a military nurse who refused to carry out force-feedings at Guantanamo Bay.

In July last year, information received by Reprieve lawyers from one of their clients held at Guantanamo revealed that one military medical professional had refused to carry out force-feedings on prisoners engaged in a peaceful hunger strike. The Miami Herald’s Carol Rosenberg subsequently obtained confirmation from the DoD that a medical provider had been unwilling to carry out the procedure, and as a result had been reassigned.

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ICC urges Israel to give material for preliminary Gaza probe

Gaza invasionThe prosecutor of the International Criminal Court warned Israel Tuesday that if it doesn't provide reliable information for her preliminary probe into possible war crimes in Palestinian territories she may be forced to decide whether to launch a full-scale investigation based on Palestinian allegations.

Fatou Bensouda said in an interview with The Associated Press that she hasn't received any information yet from either side regarding last summer's Gaza war and urged Israel and the Palestinians to provide information to her.

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The Strange Case of the Forgotten Gitmo Detainee

Abu ZubaydahSince being seized in a raid in Pakistan in 2002, Abu Zubaydah has had his life controlled by American officials, first at secret sites where he was tortured, and since 2006 in a small cell in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. And, thanks to one of the strangest—and perhaps most troubling—legal cases to grow out of the War on Terror, it appears he’s not going to be leaving anytime soon, which was exactly what the CIA always intended.

Today, not even his lawyers understand what’s transpired behind closed doors in a Washington, D.C., courtroom.

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Is The CIA's Case For Torture Unraveling?

Osama bin LadinIn the immediate aftermath of Seymour Hersh’s winding narrative on the killing of Osama bin Laden and an alleged cover-up by the U.S. government, officials, spies and even other journalists have been quick to label the story a sham.

But now, multiple news sources are backing up at least one aspect of Hersh’s controversial account on the 2011 raid: It was a Pakistani tipster who ultimately led U.S. special forces to the fugitive’s Abbottabad compound, not the courier Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, whose identity was supposedly revealed by CIA detainees.

Which, if true, would mean the key to bin Laden’s location was not, as the agency tells it, torture.

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Obama Administration Faces Mounting Pressure To Answer For Torture

tortureThe Obama administration is facing renewed pressure to answer for its track record on torture after the relative calm that followed the release of the Senate torture report’s damning executive summary in December.

In a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch Friday, human rights group Amnesty International pressed the Justice Department to revisit its decision not to prosecute former officials from the CIA and the George W. Bush administration for their involvement in the agency’s post-9/11 torture program. The new evidence from the report prepared by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence merits another look, says Salil Shetty, secretary general of Amnesty International, in the letter.

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