News (handpicked)

Peacekeepers 'abusing children'

Children as young as six are being sexually abused by peacekeepers and aid workers, says a leading UK charity. Children in post-conflict areas are being abused by the very people drafted into such zones to help look after them, says Save the Children. After research in Ivory Coast, southern Sudan and Haiti, the charity said an international watchdog should be created to deal with the issue. The UN has said it welcomes the report, which it will study closely.

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Traffickers stealing babies from under the rubbles caused by the quake


Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Six traffickers caught with five babies taken from disaster areas have been arrested in Jiangyou, Sichuan. Meanwhile the number of reported deaths from Sunday's 6.4 aftershock in the city of Hanzhong in north-western Shaanxi province (but felt as far as Beijing) rose from four to six.

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OSCE: Countries share responsibility to protect children from trafficking and exploitation

VIENNA, 

The need to provide local authorities with the tools and resources to strengthen child protection services, and for countries of origin and destination to share this responsibility, is the focus of a two-day conference that opened in Vienna today.

The 8th Alliance Against Trafficking in Persons Conference, centring on "Child trafficking: responses and challenges at local level", brings together representatives of local and national authorities as well as international and non-governmental organizations. They will discuss preventing child trafficking and identifying and protecting victims.

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Mengistu sentenced to death

Mengistu Haile Mariam, the former leader of Ethiopia, has been sentenced to death in absentia on genocide charges by the country's supreme court.

Seventeen former officials from his government were also given death sentences on Monday, overturning a previous term of life imprisonment on appeal.

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La reacción contra los 'sin papeles' prende en Europa.

El debate sobre la inmigración ha estallado en la Unión Europea. Tras el éxito electoral de Nicolas Sarkozy en Francia, primero, y el de Silvio Berlusconi en Italia, después, la aprobación en Bruselas de una dura directiva sobre los 'sin papeles' pone en evidencia que el discurso de ambos mandatarios ha calado en Gobiernos más moderados

La situación de los inmigrantes sin papeles en algunos países europeos del entorno español se ha ido endureciendo en los últimos tiempos. Siguen algunos ejemplos.

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Fifteen countries elected to serve on UN Human Rights Council

21 de mayo 

Fifteen countries from around the world have been elected to serve on the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) for three-year terms starting next month after one round of balloting today among Member States at UN Headquarters in New York.

Zambia, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Gabon were chosen in that order to fill the four vacant African seats on the 47-member panel, according to a formula that allots seats among regions.

The three seats up for grabs in the Latin America and the Caribbean region – successful candidates in each category must obtain an absolute majority of valid votes cast by the 192 General Assembly members – went to Chile, Brazil and Argentina.

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FBI interrogation warning 'ignored'

Senior Bush administration officials ignored warnings from the FBI over interrogation techniques used at Guantanamo Bay and in Iraq and Afghanistan, a new US government report says.

The FBI clashed with the Pentagon and the CIA over techniques which included the use of dogs and sexual provocation, according to the US justice department report.

The justice department report released this week said the FBI and justice department raised concerns with the National Security Council and with officials at Guantanamo Bay.

It admits that FBI agents did "use techniques that would not normally be permitted in the United States or participate in interrogations during which such techniques were used by others", but said they did so "in only a few instances".

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France faces day of strike action

French workers at the national rail company, SNCF, have begun strike action against President Nicolas Sarkozy's plans to reform public-sector pensions.

Workers from other sectors are expected to join them early on Thursday in a one-day protest to pressure Mr Sarkozy to reverse his economic reforms.

Bus drivers nationwide were expected to strike, air service may be disrupted and about 50% of trains are to be cut.

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