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Human Rights

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  • Announcing the end of what he called a "rigid" policy of isolation of Cuba that had been ineffective, Obama said the United States planned to move toward normal ties and would open an embassy in Cuba. Castro spoke in Cuba as Obama made his announcement on a policy shift made possible by the release of American Alan Gross, 65, who had been imprisoned in Cuba for five...

  • White House fact sheet on change in Cuba policy Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 12:00 PM ET

    Today, the United States is taking historic steps to chart a new course in our relations with Cuba and to further engage and empower the Cuban people. It is clear that decades of U.S. isolation of Cuba have failed to accomplish our enduring objective of promoting the emergence of a democratic, prosperous, and stable Cuba. At times, longstanding U.S. policy towards...

  • Clinton denounces torture, says black lives matter Tuesday, 16 Dec 2014 | 8:49 PM ET

    Clinton spoke about the importance of the nation acting in accordance with its values as she accepted an award from The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice& Human Rights at a New York gala. During her speech, she declared, "yes, black lives matter," a mantra of demonstrators around the country who have been protesting recent grand jury decisions not to indict white...

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 15- A U.S. federal appeals court on Monday threw out a human rights lawsuit brought against Occidental Petroleum Corp over allegations that it played a role in killings carried out by the Colombian military in 2004.. A three-judge panel of the San Francisco- based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district court judge's decision to...

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 15- A U.S. federal appeals court on Monday threw out a human rights lawsuit brought against Occidental Petroleum Corp over allegations that it played a role in killings carried out by the Colombian military in 2004.. A three-judge panel of the San Francisco- based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district court judge's decision to...

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 12- A landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2013 that made it all but impossible to sue foreign companies in U.S. courts for alleged roles in overseas human rights abuses is proving to be a boon for U.S. firms too, court documents show. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co, U.S. companies such as Chiquita Brands International Inc, IBM Corp and Ford Motor Co have...

  • Marchers protest canal project in Nicaragua Thursday, 11 Dec 2014 | 6:55 AM ET

    MANAGUA, Nicaragua— Several thousand people marched through Nicaragua's capital Wednesday to protest a planned $50 billion inter-oceanic canal project that has residents of some villages fearing they will be displaced. Demonstrators waved flags, chanted anti-government slogans and shot homemade rockets in the air as they marched to United Nations...

  • Architects of brutal methods had little experience Thursday, 11 Dec 2014 | 3:20 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— When the CIA set out to design a program to elicit intelligence from captured terrorists, it turned to two former Air Force psychologists with no practical interrogation experience and no specialized knowledge of al-Qaida, according to a Senate investigation released this week. The spy agency ended up outsourcing much of its interrogation...

  • Congress passes sanctions on Venezuela officials Thursday, 11 Dec 2014 | 12:28 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— Congress has cleared and sent to President Barack Obama legislation directing him to levy sanctions against Venezuelan government officials involved in a crackdown on anti-government protesters. "The absence of justice and the denial of human rights in Venezuela must end, and the U.S. Congress is playing a powerful part in righting this wrong,"...

  • Senate passes bill to sanction Venezuela officials Wednesday, 10 Dec 2014 | 2:18 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— The Senate has passed legislation that would direct President Barack Obama to levy sanctions against Venezuelan government officials or others accused of perpetrating acts of violence or human rights abuses of anti-government demonstrators. Last week, a leading opposition figure, Maria Corina Machado, learned that she was being charged with...

  • WASHINGTON— US Senate investigators accuse CIA of torturing al-Qaida prisoners far beyond legal boundaries.

  • EU-Cuba talks delayed by dispute over cultural event Tuesday, 9 Dec 2014 | 10:00 AM ET

    BRUSSELS/ HAVANA, Dec 9- Cuba has delayed negotiations towards an accord with the European Union aimed at opening up the Communist-ruled island, citing a dispute over an EU cultural event in Washington, people close to the matter said on Tuesday. The third round of talks, due to take place on Jan. 8-9 in Havana, was scheduled to discuss human rights, always a sensitive...

  • Prominent journalist detained in Belarus Monday, 8 Dec 2014 | 8:15 AM ET

    Alexander Alesin, a military analyst for a well-known weekly newspaper, has been missing since Nov. 25 when he was reportedly snatched in a cafe in the capital Minsk by unknown men. His newspaper, Belarussians and the Market, told the Associated Press they have been notified by the KGB police agency that Alesin is being held in their Minsk jail.

  • From stigma to literacy in India, using...bananas? Sunday, 30 Nov 2014 | 12:00 PM ET
    A young woman from Saathi’s pilot village in India holds a Saathi pad.

    Saathi, a start-up that won Harvard's venture competition this year, empowers rural Indian women by using banana tree fiber to make sanitary pads.

  • Pope: Greed of man will destroy the world Friday, 21 Nov 2014 | 2:18 PM ET
    Pope Francis addresses the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. staff during the Second International Conference on Nutrition in Rome, Nov. 20, 2014.

    Pope Francis warned that if the world continues to abuse natural resources due to greed, it will lead to global disaster.

  • From Wednesday, China will host the World Internet Conference in eastern Zhejiang Province, an event designed to showcase China's rising standing in the global technology industry and its positions on internet governance issues. The event is being organised by China's newly formed Cyberspace Administration and will draw Chinese policymakers and top...

  • HANGZHOU, China, Nov 7- Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper kicked off a visit to China on Friday facing criticism that the troubled diplomatic relationship between the two nations has hampered trade, but promptly raised concern about human rights during the mostly business portion of his trip. Harper, on his first visit to China in two years, announced the...

  • Corporate America needs to get some gay pride Friday, 24 Oct 2014 | 12:17 PM ET
    Marchers carry a rainbow flag at the LA Pride Parade in West Hollywood, Calif.

    The tides are turning in popular consensus. It’s time for Corporate America to get some gay pride, says author Steve Siebold.

  • *Clashes in Mong Kok protest hotspot early on Sunday. HONG KONG, Oct 20- A deepening sense of impasse gripped Hong Kong as pro-democracy protests entered their fourth week, with the government having limited options to end the crisis and demonstrators increasingly willing to confront police. Hopes of easing the worst political crisis in Hong Kong since Britain...

  • *Fate of Syrian Kurdish town sparks unrest in Turkey. GENEVA/ MURSITPINAR, Turkey, Oct 10- Thousands of people most likely will be massacred if Kobani falls to Islamic State fighters, a U.N. envoy said on Friday, as militants fought deeper into the besieged Syrian Kurdish town in full view of Turkish tanks that have done nothing to intervene. The United Nations...