April 21, 2013 |
BEIRUT - Syrian government security forces and paramilitaries killed dozens of people, many of them civilians, in a five-day battle for a Damascus suburb, rebel activists and a pro-opposition nongovernmental organization said Sunday. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, considered close to the opposition, said at least 80 people had been killed in the fighting in Jdeidat al Fadel, a suburb of Damascus, the capital. The British-based organization said the dead included three children, six women and 71 men, of whom 19 were fighters.
April 18, 2013 |
According to a new book about the world of network morning shows, ousted "Today" show co-host Ann Curry described her final days regularly appearing on the show as "professional torture. " An excerpt of the book "Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV," by New York Times reporter Brian Stelter, appearing in the New York Times Magazine, says the main person behind Curry's ouster was "Today" executive producer Jim Bell, who called his plan to get rid of Curry "Operation Bambi.
April 17, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - U.S. courts will not be the world forum for lawsuits brought by victims of human rights abuses abroad who seek damages from multinational corporations or deposed tyrants, the Supreme Court declared Wednesday. In a decision welcomed by corporate leaders and decried by human rights activists, the justices said U.S. courts are limited mostly to deciding disputes over conduct that took place on American territory, not on foreign soil. By a 9-0 vote, the high court tossed out a closely watched lawsuit brought by Nigerians against Royal Dutch Petroleum for allegedly conspiring with the Nigerian regime in a campaign of rape, torture and murder in the oil-rich delta in the early 1990s.
April 16, 2013
NEW YORK - An independent review of the U.S. government's anti-terrorism response after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks found that it was "indisputable" the U.S. engaged in torture and the George W. Bush administration bore responsibility. The report released Tuesday by the Constitution Project, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, is an ambitious review of the Bush administration's approach to the problems of holding and interrogating detainees after the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
March 27, 2013 |
LONDON -- The British government Wednesday lost another bid to deport a radical Muslim preacher to face trial in Jordan when a court of appeals rejected a request to reconsider an earlier court decision. After more than a decade of judgments and appeals in British and European courts, cleric Abu Qatada has won several legal battles against deportation. “This is not the end of the road, and the government remains determined to deport Abu Qatada,” said a Home Office spokesperson after the judgment.
March 26, 2013 |
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is drawing heat over his choice of ghostwriter for a forthcoming book. As the National Review online reported, Walker will team up with former George W. Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen on the book, which according to a source will "tell his story. " The book, which is not yet titled, will be published by Sentinel, an imprint of the Penguin Group. Thiessen, a Washington Post op-ed columnist, supports "enhanced interrogation" in the war against terror, as spelled out in his 2010 book "Courting Disaster.
March 19, 2013 |
MOSCOW - Russian investigators found no evidence of violence against a lawyer who died in custody after accusing officials and police officers of running a multimillion-dollar tax refund scam, and have ended their probe, officials said Tuesday. Sergei Magnitsky, who worked as a legal advisor for the Hermitage Capital Management investment fund in Moscow, died in 2009 of heart insufficiency and brain and lung edema resulting from diabetes and hepatitis while in pretrial detention on tax charges, the Russian Investigative Committee said on its website.
March 16, 2013 |
YANGON, Myanmar - When Mizzima moved its headquarters to Yangon last year from India, media watchers saw it as a sign that political reform in Myanmar was real. For more than a decade, the media group has published hard-hitting coverage of military corruption and Myanmar's dismal human rights record, and many saw its arrival as a bellwether of the regime's tolerance. Recent days, however, have brought growing industry concern about backsliding after the government sent a draft press law to the parliament March 4: It bears an unsettling resemblance to the draconian 1962 media law still in effect, which has long been used to jail, torture and harass journalists.
February 25, 2013 |
JERUSALEM - As unrest surged across the West Bank, Palestinian officials accused Israel on Sunday of torturing to death a 30-year-old West Bank man who was arrested last week on suspicion of throwing rocks at settlers. Israeli officials said there were no signs he was mistreated and it remains unclear how he died. The death Saturday of Arafat Jaradat, a married father of two who worked at a gas station in a village near Hebron, touched off a day of protests and rioting, heightening fears that Palestinian frustration levels are reaching a boiling point that could explode into another uprising.
February 25, 2013 |
The Oscar for best picture was won by "Argo," the true tale of a secret rescue mission in Iran during the Carter administration. It beat out "Lincoln," the story of how black Americans were rescued from slavery. Does this mean that Jimmy Carter's stock is on the rise? Nope, but Ben Affleck has certainly become a blue-chip player in Hollywood. Politics -- not the Hollywood kind, but the Washington kind -- played a significant role in public perceptions of both films, as well as a third that was nominated for best picture.