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South African revolt aimed at economic apartheid

An uneasy calm hung over South Africa after 25,000 army troops were deployed to assist police responding to unrest in the country. The social eruptions, riots, destruction of businesses and clashes with police began July 8 when former President Jacob Zuma started serving a 15-month prison sentence for contempt of court. “Supporters in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal set...

Barbados seeks to drop Queen Elizabeth II as head of state

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico—Queen Elizabeth II has eight realms in the Caribbean, but Barbados no longer wants to be part of that kingdom. The former British colony once known as “Little England” announced it plans to replace the monarch with its own head of state in time for next year’s 55th independence anniversary. “Our country can be in no doubt about...

Rape, abuses in palm oil fields linked to top beauty brands

SUMATRA, Indonesia—With his hand clamped tightly over her mouth, she could not scream, the 16-year-old girl recalls— and no one was around to hear her anyway. She describes how her boss raped her amid the tall trees on an Indonesian palm oil plantation that feeds into some of the world’s best-known cosmetic brands. He then put an ax to...

Trump administration’s push to designate Cuba terror sponsor slammed by critics

During its final days in power, the Donald Trump administration is pushing to designate Cuba a state sponsor of terrorism.  Observers of United States-Cuba relations see the move as cynical, particularly at a time of global mitigation of coronavirus where Cuba has experienced success, while the U.S. suffers the highest numbers of cases and deaths worldwide. Some analysts find it...

Rohingya refugees fear returning to Myanmar after coup

Bangladesh—Rohingya refugees from Myanmar living in camps in Bangladesh condemned the military coup in their homeland and said it makes them more fearful to return. A counterinsurgency operation by Myanmar’s military in 2017 involving mass rape, murders and the torching of villages drove more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims into neighboring Bangladesh. Bangladesh has hosted them in crowded refugee camps and is...

Venezuelan teen sells drawings on Twitter to buy food

BARQUISIMETO, Venezuela—Samuel Andrés Mendoza carefully chooses from dozens of colored pencils spread out on his kitchen table, humming a reggaeton song as he deftly applies contrast to the Dragon Ball anime character taking shape on his sketch pad. It is not just a pastime anymore for the 14 year old. Without his mother’s knowledge, he began selling his drawings on...

Rights experts condemn UK racism report attempting to ‘normalize White supremacy’

UN independent human rights experts on April 19 denounced a government-backed report into racism in the United Kingdom, saying that it further distorted and falsified historical facts, and could even fuel racism and racial discrimination. “In 2021, it is stunning to read a report on race and ethnicity that repackages racist tropes and stereotypes into fact, twisting data and misapplying...

OAS mission visits Haiti amid concerns of violence, chaos

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti—A mission from the Organization of American States arrived in Haiti on June 8 amid concerns over what it called the country’s grave political, security and human rights situation. The OAS said the three-day trip is aimed at securing free and fair elections scheduled for September and November as President Jovenel Moise continues to rule by decree for more...

Over 400 militants lay down arms in Dara’a after truce deal with Syrian army: Military source

More than 400 militants holed up in Syria’s southwestern province of Dara’a have agreed to lay down their arms and renounce violence following breaches of a truce agreement they reached with the national army recently. A Syrian military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Russia’s Sputnik news agency on Sept. 6 that a total of 430 militants, who had...

UN refugee agency: Keep borders open for fleeing Ethiopians

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Nov. 11 that it is working with Sudanese authorities to help more than 7,000 refugees who have fled Ethiopia over the past two days, following major clashes in the Tigray region of the country.  The Office of UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and local authorities are screening and registering people arriving in...