human rights

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George Clooney Calls White House With a Complaint

Biden aides worried about upset actor backing out of fundraiser

(Newser) - George Clooney called the White House last month with a complaint, sparking concern that he would drop out of a June 15 fundraiser for President Biden's reelection campaign. The actor reached presidential counselor Steve Ricchetti to discuss Biden's criticism of International Criminal Court prosecutors' decision to seek arrest...

Judge: Long Island Leader Had No Authority for Trans Ban

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman's EO that barred female trans athletes was struck down

(Newser) - A New York judge on Friday struck down a Long Island county's order banning female transgender athletes after a local women's Roller Derby league challenged it. Judge Francis Ricigliano ruled that Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman didn't have the authority to issue his February executive order, which...

Switzerland Sued Over Climate Inaction: 'This Is Huge'

2K older women had brought case over effects of heat waves to EU's high court for human rights

(Newser) - The European Court of Human Rights is holding an entire nation accountable for its tepid action against climate change, issuing a "landmark ruling" on Tuesday that Switzerland's lack of appropriate action violates its citizens' human rights, per the New York Times . "This is huge," University of...

Russian Activist Imprisoned, Says 'I Don't Regret Anything'

Oleg Orlov, 70, of human rights group Memorial is hit with 2.5 years behind bars in Russia

(Newser) - A veteran human rights campaigner who criticized the war in Ukraine was convicted Tuesday by a Moscow court of "repeatedly discrediting" the Russian military and sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison. Oleg Orlov, 70, co-chairman of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning human rights group Memorial, had rejected the case...

Activist Plans to Risk Prison for Father Jailed in Bahrain

Maryam al-Khawaja says government's promise of prison reform is a ruse timed to US visit

(Newser) - In early August, more than 800 prisoners launched Bahrain's largest-ever hunger strike, demanding access to life-saving medical care and other improved conditions in the country's largest prison. That strike was paused Monday—two days before Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa's scheduled visit to Washington—as...

UN Official: North Koreans Are Hungry, Desperate

Militarization, economic situation add to the toll, Security Council hears

(Newser) - North Korea is increasing its repression of human rights, and people are becoming more desperate and reportedly starving in parts of the country as the economic situation worsens, the United Nations rights chief said Thursday. Volker Türk told the first open meeting of the UN Security Council since 2017...

She Made a First-of-Its-Kind Visit to Guantanamo
She Made a
Visit to Guantanamo
the rundown

She Made a First-of-Its-Kind Visit to Guantanamo

Independent UN monitor was permitted to visit the detention center

(Newser) - Since its 2002 opening, no UN human rights investigators had been permitted to visit Guantanamo Bay. That changed in February, when Irish law professor Fionnuala Ni Aolain was granted access—and what she found was "cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment." The UN special rapporteur spent four days at...

It's Time to Push Back Against the 'Inhumanity' in Our Prisons
Don't Ignore the Suffering
in America's Prisons

Don't Ignore the Suffering in America's Prisons

Writing for 'Philly Inquirer,' Cheryl Smith slams 'soul-chilling inhumanity' toward incarcerated

(Newser) - The Eighth and 14th Amendments are meant to prevent cruel and unusual punishment, as well as discrimination and unequal treatment—including for the incarcerated. But that's not what's being applied in America's prisons, Cheryl Smith writes for the Philadelphia Inquirer , where she lays out the "soul-chilling...

In Saudi Arabia, a Very Public Fist Bump
Biden Offers Prince a Fist Bump

Biden Offers Prince a Fist Bump

President meets with controversial Prince MBS, though they avoid a handshake

(Newser) - President Biden settled for a fist bump when meeting Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia on Friday, avoiding the possibility of being photographed in a friendly handshake with the leader of a state he had promised to ostracize. Biden had his fist formed as he walked toward the...

Biden's First Middle East Trip Raises Some Eyebrows

President will meet with Crown Prince Mohammed in Saudi Arabia, which he once called a 'pariah'

(Newser) - President Biden will make his first trip to the Middle East next month with visits to Israel, the West Bank, and Saudi Arabia, the White House announced Tuesday. The decision to pay a call on Saudi leaders during the July 13-16 trip comes after Biden as a Democratic presidential candidate...

Humans Have a Right to Air Conditioning
AC Is a Human Right,
and Big Opportunity 

AC Is a Human Right, and Big Opportunity

Authors see an opportunity to promote climate justice and renewable energy

(Newser) - Currently, there are 2 billion air-conditioning units in use around the world, and the International Energy Agency expects 4 billion more by 2050. There’s a big problem baked into those numbers, but it’s also a big opportunity, according to Rose Mutiso and coauthors, who argue in Scientific American...

Billionaire's Uighur Remarks Do Not Go Over Well

Chamath Palihapitiya walks back 'don't care' comments made on his podcast

(Newser) - While discussing concerns over China's treatment of Uighurs, billionaire investor Chamath Palihapitiya didn't even feign interest. "The rest of us don't care," he said on Saturday's episode of his podcast, per CNBC . Palihapitiya said he had more important things to worry about than reports...

In Russia, Verdicts on Human Rights Groups a 'Painful Coda'

Court orders closure of Memorial Human Rights Center, a day after parent company is shuttered

(Newser) - Update: Moscow City Court on Wednesday shuttered one of Russia's most well-known human rights groups, just one day after its parent company saw the same fate from the nation's highest court. The Memorial Human Rights Center, like Memorial International, saw its closure after being accused by prosecutors of...

Saudi Activist Sues Americans Who Aided UAE Hacking

Loujain al-Hathloul, who led push for women to drive, was imprisoned and tortured

(Newser) - Three former US intelligence and military officers have admitted in a separate case that they helped the United Arab Emirates with hacking operations. Now they're being sued by a Saudi women's rights activist who says the assistance of the three men led to her iPhone being hacked by...

Russia Looks at Abolishing Human Rights Organization

Supreme Court takes up case in crackdown against government opponents

(Newser) - The Russian Supreme Court on Thursday took up a prosecutor's request to permanently shut down a leading human rights group, another step in a crackdown against government opponents. The International Memorial Society documents executions and the imprisonment of dissidents during the Soviet era, the Washington Post reports. The Memorial...

Report: US Officials to Turn Their Backs on Winter Olympics

Sources say diplomatic boycott of Beijing Games has been formally recommended to Biden

(Newser) - The Biden administration is likely planning a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics in February in response to human rights abuses in China, according to a report. Several sources tell Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin that a formal recommendation has been made to President Biden that the US refrain from...

Key Lines From Biden's Speech to UN General Assembly

'We are not seeking a new Cold War'

(Newser) - President Biden used his first address before the UN General Assembly on Tuesday to declare that the world stands at an "inflection point in history" and must move quickly to address the issues of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and human rights abuses. Some highlights, via the AP and...

He Went to China to Play Basketball, Was Locked in Room for 8 Months

Jeff Harper ended up in nightmarish residential detention system

(Newser) - American basketball player Jeff Harper went to China for a tournament last year hoping to get a playing contract. He ended up locked in a room for eight months, held in the country's nightmarish "residential surveillance in a designated location" system, the Wall Street Journal reports. Harper was...

Secretary of State Alters US Approach to Human Rights

Antony Blinken reverses some Trump administration policies

(Newser) - Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticized Trump administration policies Tuesday in revealing the State Department's annual report on human rights, which was drafted under the previous administration. "Some have argued that it's not worth it for the US to speak up forcefully for human rights—or that...

Open Letter Asks Governments to Boycott 2022 Olympics

180 groups call for boycott over human rights abuses

(Newser) - A coalition of 180 rights group on Wednesday called for a boycott of next year's Beijing Winter Olympics tied to reported human rights abuses against ethnic minorities in China, reports the AP . The games are to open in one year, on Feb. 4, 2022, and are set to go...

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