Lebanon: Mass Evictions of Syrian Refugees

  (HRW) – At least 13 municipalities in Lebanon have forcibly evicted at least 3,664 Syrian refugees from their homes and expelled them from the municipalities, apparently because of their nationality or religion, while another 42,000 refugees remain at risk of eviction, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 57-page report, “‘Our Homes Are Not for Strangers’: Mass Evictions of Syrian Refugees by Lebanese Municipalities,” documents inconsistencies in the reasons municipalities have given for expelling Syrians and the failure of the central government to protect refugees’ rights….

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Northern Ireland Rape Trial Highlights Rough Deal for Victims

(HRW) – An unlikely source took a stance on respect for women: professional rugby. Two Northern Ireland players had their contracts revoked following their widely publicized rape prosecution. Both players, Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding, were acquitted of rape of a woman in 2016 when she was 19, but the trial revealed several players’ text messages bragging about what they considered sexual conquests, while referring to the woman in degrading, nauseating terms. On Saturday, the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) and Ulster Rugby let the players go for failure to…

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It’s Time to Cut the Contractors Loose

(OW) – How much of your paycheck do you plan to hand over to corporate Pentagon contractors this year? The average American taxpayer will have paid $14,520 in federal income taxes in 2017. And that’s not even including the taxes that every working person pays to take care of our elders (and one day, ourselves) through Social Security and Medicare. If that seems like a ton of money, it is. A full-time, minimum-wage worker earning $7.25 an hour would have only earned $15,080. Of course, how much you pay depends…

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What’s the Reality of Debt for Today’s Veterans?

It is a sad fact that many former military members fall into debt. It could be so bad to the point that veterans are left both penniless and homeless. Debt actually begins to accumulate while members are still in service. The amount of money owed usually increases at a faster rate than civilians. A couple of causes of this debt includes the gap between pay and payments, and the ease of acceptance of credit. These bills can follow military members into their veteran years. Pay is Steady, but Debt Grows…

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Tajikistan: Chinese company gets gold mine in return for power plant

(EAN) – A company from China has reportedly been granted a license to operate a gold mine in Tajikistan in exchange for building a power plant free of charge in the country’s capital. Asia-Plus newspaper reported on April 11, citing an unnamed official with the State Geology Department, that Xinjiang-based TBEA has received the concession to develop the Upper Kumarg mine in the Sughd region in northern Tajikistan. The company was previously given the concession for the Eastern Duoba mine. The newspaper’s source said that the mining license was granted…

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Threat of Western Strike on Syria: What is Known So Far

Trump’s ‘Get Ready’ Tweet On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump threatened a direct strike on the Syrian government forces following an alleged chemical attack in Douma, in a tweet that was followed by another one, in which Trump claimed that relations with Moscow were worse than during the Cold War. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova was quick to respond to Trump’s remarks by saying that “smart missiles must strike terrorists, not the legitimate government that has been fighting international terrorism on its territory for several years.” Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be…

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ICC Prosecutor’s Unprecedented Bid to Bring Justice to Rohingya

(HRW) – On Monday, International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda asked the court’s judges to rule on whether the ICC “can exercise jurisdiction over the alleged deportation of the Rohingya people from Myanmar to Bangladesh.” Bangladesh is a member of the ICC, but Myanmar isn’t. This distinction is critical because, since the ICC lacks jurisdiction over Myanmar, the most obvious path to justice for victims of crimes committed against ethnic Rohingya is through a United Nations Security Council referral to the court. The prosecutor’s legal argument – the first…

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6 Logical Fallacies to Look out for in the Gun Debate

In 2017, the data website FiveThirtyEight declared that the U.S. had become more polarized on the issue of guns that at any time in the nation’s history. Because of the emotional nature of the debate, both gun control advocates and Second Amendment proponents increasingly resorted to violent rhetoric (“burn her!”), conspiracy theories, and especially irrational thinking. Here are six of the most common logical fallacies you’ll find in the current debate on guns in America. 1. Non Sequitur Non sequitur translates as “it does not follow.” They are more common…

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The Garden Pests Megalist and What to Do about Them

(SurvivalSullivan) – We toil away for hours and hours in our gardens and on over our container crops so WE can enjoy the fruit of our labors. Preventing garden pests from sneaking in and munching on our fruits and vegetables, destroying the plants in the process, is a vital part of the process…at least if you want to have anything left to harvest! Ants They might be tiny, but these little garden pests are sure mighty! When ants come across a barrier that means them harm, a brick-and-mortar physical one…

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Why Spring Brings Both Joy and Pain to Afghanistan

(GV) – For many living in the part of Eurasia where Persian and Turkic languages dominate, the festivities of Nawruz beginning March 21 mark not just the start of spring, but New Year itself. In Afghanistan, however, the occasion is not universally celebrated, and the holiday’s pagan roots are a point of conjecture between different groups. Moreover, the warmer weather also brings with it a traditional uptick insurgent violence. This year, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has attempted to check the onslaught with a renewed and emboldened offer of peace to…

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