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us: human rights violations drive conflicts like syria


united nations — u.s. ambassador nikki haley says human rights violations have triggered conflict in syria, stifled dissent in burundi and led to repression in myanmar — and the next global crisis could perhaps come from north korea, iran or cuba where human rights are widely disregarded.but russia and china disputed her contention that human rights violations are a main driver of conflicts. and human rights watch questioned the trump administration's decision to focus on rights at the u.n. in light of its own actions.the united states holds the security council presidency this month and haley was determined to hold a meeting to focus on the importance of human rights to international peace and security. it took place tuesday after the u.s. addressed a key objection from russia, china and






us: human rights violations drive conflicts like syria


united nations (ap) — u.s. ambassador nikki haley says human rights violations have triggered conflict in syria, stifled dissent in burundi and led to repression in myanmar — and the next global crisis could perhaps come from north korea, iran or cuba where human rights are widely disregarded.but russia and china disputed her contention that human rights violations are a main driver of conflicts. and human rights watch questioned the trump administration’s decision to focus on rights at the u.n. in light of its own actions.the united states holds the security council presidency this month and haley was determined to hold a meeting to focus on the importance of human rights to international peace and security. it took place tuesday after the u.s. addressed a key objection from russia, china






obama’s top civil rights lawyer to lead advocacy coalition


washington (ap) — the obama administration’s top civil rights lawyer will lead a coalition of civil and human rights organizations at a time when they fear the justice department will soften its stance on criminal justice reform.vanita gupta led the obama justice department’s civil rights division. she said on thursday she will become the new president and ceo of the leadership conference on civil and human rights. she says she joins the organization amid an “unprecedented assault on civil rights,” as attorney general jeff sessions has indicated the department will soften its focus on protecting voter rights and monitoring troubled police departments.gupta is a former attorney with the american civil liberties union. she’ll start her new position june 1.






trump’s civil rights division will be headed by staffer who railed against civil


the trump administration has quietly appointed a heritage foundation staffer who has railed against civil rights protections for transgender patients as director of the federal agency charged with protecting the civil rights of all patients. though the administration did not issue a formal announcement, roger severino is now listed on the website of the u.s. department…






civil rights leaders to meet atty. gen. jeff sessions on tuesday


leaders from some of the country's most prominent civil rights organizations, many of which have been critical of the trump administration's record on civil rights, plan to meet tuesday with atty. gen. jeff sessions. the group includes the leadership conference on civil and human rights president wade henderson, national urban league president marc morial, lawyers’ committee for civil rights under law president kristen clarke, national action network president rev. al sharpton, naacp legal defense and educational fund president sherrilyn ifill, and national coalition on black civic participation president melanie l. campbell. according to a news release from the leadership conference on civil and human rights, an umbrella group, the civil rights leaders plan to "express grave concern for s






us: human rights violations drive conflicts like syria


united nations — u.s. ambassador nikki haley said tuesday that human rights violations have triggered conflict in syria, stifled dissent in burundi and led to repression in myanmar — and the next international crisis could come from north korea, iran or cuba where human rights are widely disregarded.but russia and china disputed her contention that human rights violations are a main driver of conflicts. and human rights watch questioned the trump administration's decision to focus on human rights at the u.n. security council in light of its own actions.the united states holds the u.n. security council presidency this month and haley was determined to hold a meeting to focus on the importance of human rights to international peace and security. it took place tuesday after the u.s. addressed






palo alto schools to improve website access for disabled


students and adults with disabilities soon should find it easier to access content on palo alto unified school district websites.the palo alto school board unanimously voted tuesday to enter a voluntary resolution agreement with the u.s. department of education’s office for civil rights that commits the district to make web page improvements to allow people with disabilities, such as vision or hearing impairments, to access the same services as everyone else.chief technology officer derek moore estimates it’ll cost $75,000 to bring all district websites into compliance, including individual pages for each of the district’s 17 schools.an estimated $20,000 will be needed for annual training, regular monitoring and reporting of audit results to the office for civil rights, moore said.moore to






us: human rights violations drive conflicts like syria


united nations (ap) — u.s. ambassador nikki haley said tuesday that human rights violations have triggered conflict in syria, stifled dissent in burundi and led to repression in myanmar — and the next international crisis could come from north korea, iran or cuba where human rights are widely disregarded.but russia and china disputed her contention that human rights violations are a main driver of conflicts. and human rights watch questioned the trump administration’s decision to focus on human rights at the u.n. security council in light of its own actions.the united states holds the u.n. security council presidency this month and haley was determined to hold a meeting to focus on the importance of human rights to international peace and security. it took place tuesday after the u.s. addr






burundi: un experts say situation worsening for ngos


kampala, uganda — civic groups and rights defenders in burundi face growing repression amid sporadic violence stemming from the president's disputed third term, a group of united nations human rights experts said monday.the u.n. experts believe actions by president pierre nkurunziza's government against civil society are "alarming in view of the overall situation for human rights defenders in the country," a statement from the u.n. office in geneva said.a number of groups have been banned and a new bill p ed by the national embly last december compels local ngos to obtain authorization from the interior minister for any activity and to transfer funds of foreign origin through the central bank."disturbingly, these measures take particular aim at human rights defenders and independent civil






more groups press jeff sessions on civil rights commitment


washington (ap) — the leaders of several civil rights groups say they remain concerned about the future of the justice department’s civil rights enforcement after meeting with attorney general jeff sessions.the tuesday meeting came a day after sessions and other officials unveiled a scaled-back version of the controversial ban on many foreign travelers.kristen clarke, of the lawyers’ committee for civil rights under law, says she told sessions she believes the ban is unconstitutional and urged him to encourage president donald trump to revoke it.the justice department declined to comment on the meeting, which sessions arranged shortly after his confirmation.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.the groups say they are worried by sessions’ early indications that the just






un expert warns of south sudan 'population engineering'


koboko, uganda — a united nations expert says south sudan's government has begun a campaign of "population engineering" to relocate people over their ethnicity as civil war continues under warnings of genocide.yasmin sooka on tuesday told the u.n. human rights council that a government redrawing of state borders has depopulated ethnic shilluk and nuer inhabitants of the upper nile region.sooka also says aid workers estimate that 2,000 mostly dinka people were transported to wau shilluk town after fighting caused shilluk people to flee. president salva kiir is dinka.the government then asked that the new arrivals get international humanitarian aid.south sudan's civil war began in december 2013. fighting has recently spread to new areas, and sooka reports a "massive increase" in rights viola






un's south sudan inquiry gets wider powers to pursue abuses


nairobi, kenya — the united nations commission of inquiry for south sudan now has broader powers to pursue human rights abuses like mass rape and torture in the country's three-year civil war.the u.n. human rights council on friday gave the commission the ability to collect and preserve evidence and point the finger at suspected perpetrators. "the council has taken a significant step toward accountability," laila matar, a u.n. advocate with human rights watch, said in a statement.the u.n. inquiry began a year ago to document human rights violations in south sudan. since then, a fragile peace agreement there has collapsed and ethnic fighting has spread.the commission of inquiry this month reported that south sudan was experiencing ethnic cleansing and conditions that could lead to genocide.






rights group urges us to pressure sudan on rights violations


cairo — human rights watch is urging the united states to pressure sudan to take tangible actions to improve its human rights record before the american administration permanently revokes trade sanctions imposed on the north african country.the new york-based group warned wednesday of continued rights violations by sudan's government. the state department designated sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism in 1993 and washington later imposed sanctions on the khartoum government.under a january executive order, the obama administration temporarily lifted the sanctions; the decision becomes permanent unless state department revokes it in mid-july.u.s. said it was responding to positive actions by sudan's government, including improved sudanese counterterrorism efforts.hrw says the u.s. "should






arkansas ends robert e. lee-martin luther king jr. holiday


little rock, ark. (ap) — arkansas’ governor signed legislation tuesday ending the state’s practice of commemorating confederate gen. robert e. lee on the same holiday as slain civil rights leader martin luther king jr., leaving only two states remaining that honor the two men on the same day.republican gov. asa hutchinson championed the bill, which also expands what is taught in schools about civil rights and the civil war, saying it would unify the state and improve its image. his signature comes two years after similar efforts repeatedly failed before a legislative panel, with critics saying it belittles the state’s confederate heritage.here are some details about the new law and background about the original duel-holiday:___most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.what






arkansas ends robert e. lee-martin luther king jr. holiday


little rock, ark. — arkansas' governor signed legislation tuesday ending the state's practice of commemorating confederate gen. robert e. lee on the same holiday as slain civil rights leader martin luther king jr., leaving only two states remaining that honor the two men on the same day.republican gov. asa hutchinson championed the bill, which also expands what is taught in schools about civil rights and the civil war, saying it would unify the state and improve its image. his signature comes two years after similar efforts repeatedly failed before a legislative panel, with critics saying it belittles the state's confederate heritage.here are some details about the new law and background about the original duel-holiday:___what does the law do?the new law will remove lee from the state holi






six amazing quotes about civil rights, discrimination and sexual orientation


for the first time, a court ruled that the civil rights act of 1964 extends to sexual orientation.       






north carolina civil rights center faces conservative ire


raleigh, n.c. (ap) — a center founded at the university of north carolina by a civil rights attorney to help the poor and disenfranchised is the latest institution to come under fire from conservatives seeking to leave their mark on the state’s higher education system.attorney julius chambers survived firebomb attacks in the 1960s and 1970s as he fought segregation. decades later, he founded the unc center for civil rights. now conservatives on the policy-making board for the 16-campus system want to strip the center of its ability to file lawsuits, removing its biggest weapon.proponents say the move isn’t ideological but that the center’s courtroom work strays from the education mission of the country’s oldest public university. critics of the proposal say one of the south’s leading civil






north carolina civil rights center faces conservative ire


raleigh, n.c. — a center founded at the university of north carolina by a civil rights attorney to help the poor and disenfranchised is the latest institution to come under fire from conservatives seeking to leave their mark on the state's higher education system.attorney julius chambers survived firebomb attacks in the 1960s and 1970s as he fought segregation. decades later, he founded the unc center for civil rights. now conservatives on the policy-making board for the 16-campus system want to strip the center of its ability to file lawsuits, removing its biggest weapon.proponents say the move isn't ideological but that the center's courtroom work strays from the education mission of the country's oldest public university. critics of the proposal say one of the south's leading civil righ






witness to slavery, war and civil rights opens in florida


tallahassee, fla. — calling it a reflection of the "larger american experience," a home that has been witness to slavery, the civil war and the civil rights era has been opened to the public in tallahassee.state officials on saturday swung open the doors to the grove, a state-owned mansion that was once the residence to gov. leroy collins. secretary of state ken detzner was joined at a ribbon-cutting by members of the extended collins family.the grand opening came one day and 108 years after collins was born.built by one of florida's early territorial governors using slave labor, the grove would later serve as home to collins as he tried to shepherd the state through the civil rights era. the state spent nearly $6 million to renovate it.






german prosecutors expand diesel emissions probe at audi


frankfurt, germany — german prosecutors say they have expanded their investigation into suspected violations involving manipulation of diesel emissions at carmaker audi to include cars sold in germany and europe.the statement friday from prosecutors in munich comes a day after the transport ministry said the company had used software that turned off emissions controls when vehicles were not being tested in 24,000 vehicles built between 2009 and 2013.munich prosecutors were already looking into whether there were violations related to audi vehicles sold in the united states. parent company volkswagen has already agreed to pay $1.2 billion to settle civil claims over 78,000 audi, porsche and volkswagen vehicles with 3.0 liter diesel engines in the u.s., part of more than $20 billion in crimi






german prosecutors expand diesel emissions probe at audi


frankfurt, germany (ap) — german prosecutors say they have expanded their investigation into suspected violations involving manipulation of diesel emissions at carmaker audi to include cars sold in germany and europe.the statement friday from prosecutors in munich comes a day after the transport ministry said the company had used software that turned off emissions controls when vehicles were not being tested in 24,000 vehicles built between 2009 and 2013.munich prosecutors were already looking into whether there were violations related to audi vehicles sold in the united states. parent company volkswagen has already agreed to pay $1.2 billion to settle civil claims over 78,000 audi, porsche and volkswagen vehicles with 3.0 liter diesel engines in the u.s., part of more than $20 billion in






russian fm: no proof for reports on persecution of gay men


moscow — russian foreign minister sergey lavrov said moscow is concerned about human rights violations but has no reason to believe reports about the persecution of gay men in chechnya.the novaya gazeta newspaper earlier this month reported that police in the predominantly muslim republic rounded up more than 100 men suspected of homosexuality and that at least three of them were killed.president vladimir putin last week met chechen leader ramzan kadyrov, who dismissed the "provocative" reports. the reports, however, have been taken seriously by the u.n. high commissioner for human rights and prominent international organizations, which have urged the russian government to investigate.lavrov told reporters monday that russian officials haven't seen any information confirming the reports bu






naacp sounds alarm on 'decline' in civil rights commitment


washington — leaders of the nation's oldest civil rights organization are set to meet with attorney general jeff sessions, saying his policy changes "signal a threatening decline" in the justice department's commitment to civil rights.the naacp's friday meeting comes after sessions suggested the agency would pursue fewer federal investigations of troubled police departments. the justice department this week also abandoned an obama-era challenge to a key aspect of texas' voter id law that is among the toughest in the nation.naacp president cornell william brooks says those changes are troubling. he says they "imply a disturbing departure" from the justice department's enforcement of civil rights laws.sessions said this week that too much federal scrutiny on police departments could cause po






pennsylvania accused of flouting deal on jailed mentally ill


harrisburg, pa. — pennsylvania is failing its agreement to ensure mentally ill defendants avoid long stays in jail before they are transferred to a treatment unit, civil rights lawyers said in a thursday court filing that asked a federal judge to end what they described as daily violations of constitutional rights.in the filing, the american civil liberties union and the arnold & porter kaye scholer law firm in washington, d.c., said they believe the average waits in pennsylvania of more than 100 days are likely the worst in the nation. they are also far longer than the constitutional limit of seven days identified by federal courts in other states.pennsylvania's department of human services is "foot-dragging" on commitments it made more than a year ago to settle a 2015 lawsuit, the lawyer






ex-s.c. cop to plead guilty on civil rights charges


a former south carolina police officer, charged in the 2015 video-taped fatal shooting of a fleeing man, is expected to plead guilty to civil rights charges.        






judge: married lake stevens cop’s misconduct didn’t violate girlfriend’s civil r


lake stevens attorneys, in court pleadings, described the woman’s lawsuit “as a weird little case about a private tryst gone awry.”by any measure, former lake stevens police officer andrew thor was a cad. for years, he cheated on his wife and lied to his girlfriend, whose name he routinely queried in law-enforcement databases, according to court documents. when she learned of the searches, the girlfriend, natalie brunner, sued thor and the lake stevens police department, alleging thor violated her civil rights and that the department let him do it. the city’s attorneys, in court pleadings, described the lawsuit “as a weird little case about a private tryst gone awry.”a federal judge dismissed that 2015 lawsuit this week, finding that a police officer can’t be sued for merely being a scound






georgia students file civil rights suit after physically invasive drug search


students at worth county high school in sylvester, ga., have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against their country sheriff after he ordered what the complaint describes as a schoolwide drug sweep involving pat-down searches of hundreds of teenagers.






11 bikers sue over arrests after 2015 texas bar shootout


waco, texas (ap) — eleven bikers have filed a lawsuit in federal court, alleging their civil rights were violated when they were arrested after the 2015 shootout at a central texas restaurant.in their lawsuit, the 11 contend they were arrested without cause after the shootout that killed nine people at the twin peaks restaurant and bar in waco.the waco tribune-herald (http://bit.ly/2mpmdf8) reports the lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from defendants mclennan county and the city of waco, former waco police chief brent stroman, detective manuel chavez, mclennan county district attorney abel reyna and other unidentified government employees.last week, morgan english sued county and city officials, alleging civil rights violations and asking for $350 million in damages.most read storiesunlim






michael slager, former south carolina cop who killed walter scott, pleads guilty


a former south carolina police officer, charged in the 2015 video-taped fatal shooting of a fleeing man, is expected to plead guilty to civil rights charges.        






chevron’s richmond refinery to pay $181,000 in air pollution penalties – the mer


richmond — the chevron oil refinery has agreed to pay $181,000 in civil penalties for 26 air pollution violations during 2013 and 2014, the bay area air quality management district announced friday.the violations include public nuisances from flaring, excess sulfur compounds in fuel gas, excess carbon monoxide emissions from furnaces, and failure to monitor equipment for leaks.“when refineries fall short, they not only receive financial penalties, but they must fix the issues that led to the violations to keep them from happening again,” said jack broadbent, the air district ‘s chief executive officer.the settlement was negotiated between chevron officials and the air quality district, which regulates air pollution in the nine bay area counties.the settlement covered a period well after an






court: civil rights law covers lgbt workplace bias


chicago - a federal appeals court in chicago on tuesday ruled that the 1964 civil rights act also protects lgbt employees from workplace dis...       






south sudan experiencing ethnic cleansing, un report says


kampala, uganda (ap) — a new united nations report describes south sudan as teetering on the edge of genocide and experiencing ethnic cleansing, a stark portrayal of a nation whose crises now include famine.the seven-month inquiry by the u.n. commission on human rights into south sudan is the most comprehensive report so far into ethnic cleansing and conditions that could lead to genocide in the nation deep in civil war, according to u.n. officials.the report includes new details on deliberate starvation and bombardment of civilians. it describes the use of hate speech by top officials including president salva kiir.“violations have mainly been committed by government soldiers, members of the national security service, police officers and militias aligned with” government forces, the repor






mississippi self-imposes 1-year football postseason ban


jackson, miss. (ap) — mississippi has self-imposed a one-year postseason football ban for the 2017 season after officials say the school received an amended notice of allegations from the ncaa that alleges more rules violations by the program.the school did not release the noa, but discussed its contents in a 21-minute video posted on youtube on wednesday afternoon. the school said the ncaa has added eight new violations, including six that are level i, which the ncaa deems most serious.the university has also been charged with lack of institutional control. the new charges include cash payments from boosters and also involve previous staff members.the eight new violations are on top of 13 previous violations from the ncaa’s previous noa in 2016. the program is now facing 15 level i violat






un rights chief warns of 50,000 at risk in south sudan


nairobi, kenya — the u.n human rights chief says up to 50,000 civilians in south sudan's upper nile region are at imminent risk of human rights violations as government troops close in.zeid ra'ad al-hussein said thursday that civilians in aburoc town have nowhere to go. many recently fled a military attack on nearby kodok town.many in aburoc are ethnic shilluk and have faced a sharp rise in government attacks as south sudan's civil war continues.zeid says military commanders on both sides show little regard for protecting civilians.separately, the u.n. humanitarian affairs agency says roughly 100,000 civilians have been displaced after a government offensive in the jonglei region.army spokesman santo domic chol did not comment on fighting in either location but said government attacks on c






palo alto school website violates disability act, advocate says


a special education advocate from michigan has filed a federal complaint alleging the palo alto unified school district discriminates against students with disabilities.the school district does not have a website that is accessible to students and adults with disabilities, such as vision or hearing impairments, according to a letter superintendent max mcgee received feb. 6 from the department of education’s office for civil rights.marcie lipsitt, who is not named in the agency’s letter, confirms that she filed the complaint after receiving a request from a california resident.lipsitt has filed thousands of similar complaints with the federal agency alleging americans with disabilities act and rehabilitation act violations against school districts nationwide that receive federal funds.“when






michael slager, former south carolina cop who killed walter scott, to plead guil


a former south carolina police officer, charged in the 2015 video-taped fatal shooting of a fleeing man, is expected to plead guilty to civil rights charges.        






'donald trump's civil war' by ken burns


"i mean, had andrew jackson been a little later, you wouldn't have had the civil war. he was a very tough person, but he had a big heart. he was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the civil war, he said, 'there's no reason for this.' people don't realize, you know, the civil war, if you think about it, why? people don't ask that question, but why was there the civil war? why could that one not have been worked out?" — donald trumpnarrator: the civil war, if you think about it, why?sad fiddle music begins to play.(a series of clips: troops walking ashore on d-day, an engraving of the boston massacre, fort sumter with "you're fired" on it.)jeff sessions: (long silence) well, there is one thing we know about the civil war, and that is: a lot of people don't approve of