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Tuesday, May 26 2015

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Historic Victory for Marriage Equality in Ireland

Today the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, hailed the historic victory for marriage equality in Ireland. Ireland is the first country in the world to pass marriage equality through a national referendum, and the 21st country to decide to afford same-sex couples full marriage rights.

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Fast action on HFCs, other short-lived climate pollutants can cut the rate of global warming in half

A five-year strategy framework adopted today by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition will scale up fast mitigation by cutting short-lived climate pollutants, in an effort to help keep global warming to less than 2°C above pre-Industrial levels. Studies show that fast reduction of the short-lived climate pollutants can cut the rate of global warming in half and avoid 0.6°C of warming by 2050. Short-lived climate pollutants include black carbon, ground-level ozone, methane, and HFCs. The five-year strategy framework also will save many millions of lives. According to the World Health Organization, seven million people die every year from air pollution, principally black carbon and ground-level ozone.

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Companies, Cities, Regions, Investors Can Now Play their "Full Part" to Demonstrate Action on Climate Change ahead of International Agreement

Companies, cities, regions and investors will today be able to directly register their bold climate action commitments on a new and revamped online platform as part of the growing ambition towards the UN’s climate conference in Paris.

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Report: Income inequality has reached record highs in most OECD countries

Income inequality has reached record highs in most OECD countries and remains at even higher levels in many emerging economies. The richest 10 per cent of the population in the OECD now earn 9.6 times the income of the poorest 10 per cent, up from 7:1 in the 1980s and 9:1 in the 2000s, according to a new OECD report.

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On World Day, UN warns global cultural diversity 'under attack'

As the planet’s cultural diversity comes under continued attack from militant groups espousing virulent forms of intolerance, the international community must fight back through openness and acceptance of the world’s myriad traditions, the United Nations cultural agency declared today.

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Violence against women and girls 'shames every society,' UN anti-crime chief warns

Voicing concern over the continued killing of women and girls, the United Nations anti-crime chief today issued a strong call to end such acts, as well as to unravel the gender at the heart of the “dreadful daily experiences of violence” that blight so many of their lives.

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European Parliament defies lobbying to vote for strong conflict minerals regulation

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have made history today by voting in favour of a strong and binding law to tackle the deadly trade in conflict minerals, said Amnesty International and Global Witness.

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More efforts needed to protect people from exposure to toxic substances – UN expert urges WHO

“Far more effort and resources should be devoted worldwide to protect people from the negative health impacts of toxic pollution,” the United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and hazardous substances and wastes, Baskut Tuncak, said today.

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UN expert calls for adoption of a minimum set of fundamental human rights for those in detention

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture, Juan E. Méndez, called for the adoption of the revised Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, which are being considered this week by the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Vienna.

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Who Did This To Peru's Jungle? Environmental Destruction in the Wake of Gold Mining in the Peruvian Amazon (PHOTOS)
Full story: NPR.org

Migrants: "EU's resettlement proposal is a good start but remains woefully inadequate" - UN expert

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, expressed both hope and disappointment at the new European Agenda on Migration unveiled by the European Commission for dealing with Europe’s migration crisis.

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"I Will Slit Your Throat": Gambian President Jammeh's Vicious Threats and Anti-LGBT Human Rights Abuses Require Greater White House Action

Today the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, joined the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights to urge the Obama Administration to take additional action against Gambian leaders as the regime continues to persecute LGBT citizens, calling on the White House to condemn the horrific human rights abuses taking place across The Gambia.

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"The lessons of Rana Plaza have still not been learned" - UN expert group on business and human rights

The United Nations Working Group on business and human rights today said that “the lessons of the Rana Plaza disaster have still not been learned.” The experts’ warning comes after a new tragedy in the global garment industry involving the death of more than 70 factory workers in a fire in a shoe factory in Manila this week.

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UN 'Free & Equal' campaign launches video spotlighting LGBT diversity, fight against homophobia

A new United Nations ‘Free & Equal’ campaign video highlighting the diversity of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community is being shown today on the massive screens in New York’s Times Square ahead of International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia.

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100 Groups Urge Govt. of Ontario to Block Great Lakes Radioactive Waste Dump

Calling the federal review report issued last week on a proposal to bury nuclear waste beside Lake Huron “deeply flawed”, one hundred public interest groups have issued an “Open Letter to the Government of Ontario”, calling on the Province to step up in light of a failed and flawed federal process.

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Small arms: the human cost of illicit transfer, destabilizing, accumulation and misuse of small arms and light weapons

I am grateful for the opportunity to address the Council on the human cost of the illicit transfer, destabilizing accumulation and misuse of small arms and light weapons.

The bloodshed and devastation caused by these weapons never fails to elicit unanimous declarations of dismay. But when the international community is called upon to control more effectively the production and trade of small arms and light weaponry, States push for loose definitions, as well as numerous exclusions and loopholes, and enforcement remains weak. The reason is clear: the trade in small arms is a multi-billion-dollar business.

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Red Cross volunteers and staff remain on high alert following second major earthquake in Nepal

Red Cross teams in Nepal are on high alert following today’s 7.3 magnitude earthquake that struck near the town of Namche Bazaar, at the base of Mount Everest.

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Report: 75% of Palestinians in Jerusalem Live in Poverty

A new report by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) provides a concerning overview of the human rights situation for Palestinians in Jerusalem.

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Study: World population-food supply balance is becoming increasingly unstable

Researchers report that as the world population increases and food demand has grown, globalization of trade has made the food supply more sensitive to environmental and market fluctuations. This leads to greater chances of food crises, particularly in nations where land and water resources are scarce and therefore food security strongly relies on imports.

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Magnitude 7.3 earthquake in Nepal

This earthquake can have a high humanitarian impact based on the Magnitude and the affected population and their vulnerability.

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Paraguay has failed to protect a 10-year old girl child who became pregnant after being raped, say UN rights experts

A group of United Nations human rights experts* today said that the Government of Paraguay has failed in its responsibility to act with due diligence in the case a 10-year old girl child, who has been refused access to treatments to save her life and preserve her health, including safe and therapeutic abortion in a timely manner.

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Yemen: Coalition Blocking Desperately Needed Fuel

The Saudi Arabia-led coalition’s blockade of Yemen is keeping out fuel needed for the Yemeni population’s survival in violation of the laws of war. Yemen is in urgent need of fuel to power generators for hospitals overwhelmed with wounded from the fighting and to pump water to civilian residences.

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Paraguay: Raped 10-year-old girl continues to be denied the option of an abortion despite national and global outrage

The clock is ticking and Paraguayan authorities are still not ensuring that all options are available for a raped 10-year-old girl, including safe abortion services, Amnesty International and a group of national and international human rights organizations said today.

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Broken Covenant: Blistering Report on 9 Years of Harper Agenda

Hot on the heels of the Conservative defeat in Alberta, Maude Barlow is calling on Canadians to send the federal Tories packing as well. Her new report, Broken Covenant: How Stephen Harper Set out to Silence Dissent and Curtail Democratic Participation, outlines the damage done to all aspects of Canada’s democracy under Harper’s watch.

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Canada: Ex-Guantanamo Child Soldier Freed

The Canadian court’s release on bail of the former child soldier and Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr on May 7, 2015, is a significant step toward ending his ordeal, which began almost 13 years ago, Human Rights Watch said today. The Canadian government should rehabilitate Khadr as it is obligated to do under international law.

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Red Cross stresses urgent need to deliver aid to remote communities as monsoon season approaches

Eleven days after Nepal’s devastating earthquake which killed 7,500 people and left hundreds of thousands homeless; distributions of relief and emergency shelter supplies need to scale up to meet the needs of survivors living in isolated areas, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has warned.

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NOAA: Global carbon dioxide concentrations surpass 400 parts per million for the first month since measurements began

For the first time since we began tracking carbon dioxide in the global atmosphere, the monthly global average concentration of this greenhouse gas surpassed 400 parts per million in March 2015, according to NOAA’s latest results.

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France should halt rush towards surveillance state, says Amnesty International

On Tuesday, May 5, the lower house of the French Parliament, the National Assembly, approved the bill -- dubbed the “French Patriot Act” -- which now goes to the Senate in June.

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'Not ghosts but human beings:' UN rights office launches website on albinism

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) launched today a website dedicated to the issue of albinism aimed at debunking the myths of the rare condition which is “still profoundly misunderstood, socially and medically.”

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CITES and UNEP support strengthening of wildlife laws

According to the latest figures released by the National Legislation Project of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wildlife and Flora (CITES), 88 countries and 13 dependent territories need to strengthen their legal frameworks for the effective implementation of CITES, including to combat illegal trade in wildlife.

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