Revealed: the fringe rightwing group changing the UN agenda on abortion rights

Anti-abortion lobbying group using its influence in the Trump administration to help shape policy on the world stage Last spring, Laurie Shestack Phipps, a diplomat at the US mission to the UN, received a set of talking points from the state department before an international womens conference, setting out clear red lines against mention of sexual and reproductive health care. This had become the norm in the Trump administration, where the once uncontroversial phrase was seen as code for abortion. Use of the word gender was also strongly discouraged, as it was viewed as a stalking horse for LGBT rights. It was no surprise that Phipps colleague, Bethany Kozma, a political appointee at the US agency for international development, had …

Trump administration denies special help to Venezuelans seeking asylum

Despite clarion calls for Venezuelan freedom the US has resisted offering Temporary Protected Status to those fearing persecution As Venezuela slumps further into crisis, White House officials from Donald Trump down have made repeated expressions of support for the countrys people. But such comments stand in stark contrast to the meager help the US government is giving Venezuelans seeking refuge in the US. The United Nations estimated Republicans to put in place immigration programs that would let a tiny portion of them seek protection in the US. Instead, its efforts have been focused on pushing for opposition leader, Juan Guaid, to replace Nicols Maduro, and repeating calls for the freedom of Venezuelans, who face chronic food and medicine shortages in …

A fierce desire to stay: looking at West Virginia through its people’s eyes

Photographer Matt Eich and poet Doug Van Gundy went to Webster county, West Virginia, to find a place where people still celebrate their community To render a humane portrait of ehrp If you look at Webster county on a map, youll see more than 500 square miles of forest nestled between rivers and mountains, and leaving the county requires a long crossing of one or the other. The county seat, Webster Springs, has just under 700 residents. The county is overwhelmingly white, and the per-capita income is just $12,284. This makes Webster county, with a median household income of $21,055, the fourth poorest county in West Virginia; 31% of residents are below the poverty line, including 40% of the countys …

US begins extradition case against Julian Assange in London

WikiLeaks founder declines to consent to being taken to US to face charges Julian Assange has declined a chance to consent to his extradition to the US at a hearing in London as Washington started pressing its case to take him across the Atlantic. Appearing via video link from Belmarsh prison, Assange said: I do not wish to surrender myself for extradition for doing journalism that has won many, many awards and protected many, many people. Ben Brandon, the counsel for the US government, presented details of the US case against Assange at Westminster magistrates court on Thursday. He said the charges related to one of the largest compromises of information in US history. They were connected to the downloading …

Cyclone Kenneth: at least five dead as heavy rain lashes Mozambique

Experts say storm could move back out to sea and intensify again, as water levels rise Mozambiques government urged many people to seek higher ground on Saturday in the wake of Cyclone Kenneth, fearing flooding and mudslides in the days ahead as heavy rain lashed the region. At least five people were killed, the government said. Mozambiques disaster management agency said one person had died in Pemba city and another in hard-hit Macomia district, while residents on Ibo Island said two people had died there. Details of the fifth death were not immediately available. Interactive Nearly 3,500 homes in parts of the countrys northernmost Cabo Delgado province were partially or fully destroyed, with electricity cut, some roads blocked, and at …

Portland county pays $100,000 in lawsuit tied to Blue Lives Matter flag

Multnomah employee alleges she was harassed for asking for flags removal, saying it demeaned Black Lives Matter An Oregon county has agreed to pay $100,000 to a black employee who alleged she was harassed after asking that a Blue Lives Matter flag not be displayed in her office. In a lawsuit against Multnomah county filed in January, Karimah Guion-Pledgure said the flag demeaned the Black Lives Matter movement, the Oregonian/OregonLive reported. She said she was harassed after she and other black co-workers complained. Guion-Pledgure had worked for the department of community justice since 2011 as a corrections technician. She originally sought $420,000. The settlement, reached on Thursday, was first reported by an alternative bi-weekly newspaper, the Charlottesville, Virginia, the lawsuit …

The shocking rape trial that galvanised Spains feminists and the far right

The long read: The wolf pack case inspired widespread anger and protests against sexual assault laws in Spain. But the anti-feminist backlash that followed has helped propel the far right to its biggest gains since Franco In the early hours of 7 July 2016, surrounded by throngs of revellers dancing and drinking, an 18-year-old woman suddenly found herself alone. She was standing on Plaza del Castillo, a square in the centre of the northern Spanish city of Pamplona, which was hosting its annual festival, the running of the bulls. The weeklong festival combines a religious celebration of the citys patron saint, San Fermin, with the eponymous bull run and copious amounts of alcohol. Every morning at the stroke of 8am, …

Malawi starts landmark trial of first ever child malaria vaccine

Immunisation gives partial protection against the killer disease, and lessens the severity of other cases Malawi will begin immunising young children against malaria today, in a landmark large-scale pilot of the first vaccine to give partial protection against the disease, the World Health Organization said. Although the vaccine protects only a third of children aged under two years from life-threatening or severe malaria, clinical trials have found those who are immunised are likely to have less severe cases of the disease. Earlier, smaller trials also showed the vaccine prevented four in 10 cases of malaria overall, in babies aged between five and 17 months. Malaria remains one of the worlds leading killers, claiming the life of one child every two …

Finland’s SDP tries to build coalition after narrow election win

Social Democrats come top for first time in 20 years and likely to keep nationalist Finns party out of government Finlands Social Democrats will try to form a coalition government after Finns in Sweden and AfD, Danish Peoples Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific

The French must drink less wine, say health officials

Health agency advises no more than two glasses a day to cut down alcohol-related disease risk Quoi, just two glasses? asked the rolling news station France 24. It was the incredulous reaction to a campaign launched this week by French health officials seeking to persuade the public to drink no more than two glasses of wine per day and not every day either. According to Sant Publique France, almost a quarter of French adults are regularly drinking too much alcohol, and this level of drinking is killing 41,000 people a year, making it the second biggest cause of avoidable deaths in the country after smoking. Its about 10.5 million adults who drink too much. In any case they drink in …

Trump looks good for 2020, experts say, because ‘economy is so damn strong’

Wall Street economists claim low unemployment rate and rising GDP point to Trump victory, despite his poor personal polls Forget Robert Mueller and Stormy Daniels. Ignore Russia. If the election were held today, Donald Trump would win and if Americas economy remains robust he may well win again in 2020, according to Wall Street. Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific

Air pollution deaths are double previous estimates, finds research

Researchers say dirty air is killing 800,000 people a year in Europe, and urge the phasing out of fossil fuel burning The number of early deaths caused by air pollution is double previous estimates, according to research, meaning toxic air is killing more people than tobacco smoking. The scientists used new data to estimate that nearly 800,000 people die prematurely each year in Europe because of dirty air, and that each life is cut short by an average of more than two years. The health damage caused by air pollution in Europe is higher than the global average. Its dense population and poor air results in exposure that is among the highest in the world. The new research, Graph of …

Saudi plane turns around after mother forgets baby at airport

May God be with us. Can we come back? says pilot during midair emergency A Malaysia-bound plane had to turn back to Saudi Arabia after a passenger realised she had left her baby in the terminal. The pilot, en route to Kuala Lumpur, made the unusual request to return to the airport in Jeddah shortly after takeoff when the passenger told cabin crew she had forgotten her child. diverted to Kansas City because of a very unruly passenger who refused to stop singing Whitney Houstons I Will Always Love You. In New York the following year, a taxiing plane heading to Seoul returned to the gate after the South Korean airline heiress Cho Hyun-ah Original Article : HERE ; This …

Carlos Ghosn’s lawyer apologises as workman disguise ploy backfires

Former Nissan chief widely mocked for leaving detention dressed as workman A lawyer on Nissan chairs reputation. Not only did the widely mocked getup, intended to throw reporters off the scent, fool no one. It also heightened already intense media interest in Ghosn, who was financial misconduct, emerged from 108 days in detention flanked by officials and sporting dark blue overalls, a light blue cap and a surgical mask. The blue-collar bluff continued when Ghosn got into a silver Suzuki van with a workmans ladder strapped to its roof and was driven across Tokyo to his lawyers office, pursued by media motorcycles and helicopters, . The exact location of his residence, where he was later reunited with his family, remains …

Kim Jong-nam death: suspect Siti Aisyah released after charge dropped

Indonesian woman accused of killing estranged brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in 2017 A Malaysian court has dropped the case against one of two women smearing lotion on Kim Jong-nams face. Profile Who was Kim Jong-nam? Show Hide Born 10 May 1971, Kim Jong-nam was the eldest son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. Kim Jong-il ruled the country from 1994 to 2011, and during much of that period, Kim Jong-nam had been considered his fathers designated successor. However that changed with an incident in 2001, when Kim Jong-un. He is thought to have then lived in exile for years, and unlike other relatives in the Kim dynasty, did not hold an official title or play any part …

Brazil’s Bolsonaro ridiculed after tweeting explicit carnival video

Brazilian president tweeted pornographic clip reportedly filmed during carnival in apparent attempt to hit back at criticism Brazils far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, has sparked outrage, disgust and ridicule after tweeting a pornographic video in an apparent attempt to hit back at criticism of his administration during this years carnival. Revellers across the country have used the annual street party as an opportunity to protest against their extremist leader who is notorious for his homophobic and racist remarks, and whose landslide election last year horrified progressive Brazilians. In the north-eastern town of Olinda, carnivalgoers reportedly showered a giant carnival doll of Bolsonaro with beer cans, blocks of ice and expletives. In Rio de Janeiro, members of one carnival group gathered outside …