News (handpicked)

Israel y Siria inician conversaciones de paz bajo la mediación de Turquía

El diálogo se efectuará de forma "seria y continuada" en los términos de la Conferencia de Madrid, según Israel.- El anuncio coincide con las acusaciones contra Olmert de recibir sobornos

Israel y Siria han iniciado conversaciones de paz bajo la mediación del Gobierno turco. "Las dos partes han comenzado a dialogar bajo los auspicios de Turquía", según señala la oficina del primer ministro israelí, Ehud Olmert, en un comunicado. Damasco y Ankara también ha confirmado los contactos.

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Iran: Sentences against women activists

Amnesty International has written to the Head of the Judiciary in Iran, urging him to ensure that appeals hearings against the convictions and sentences of six women's rights defenders (WRDs) passed in recent weeks in connection with their peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression and association are heard promptly and impartially.

If the sentences are confirmed at appeal, the organization is calling on the Head of the Judiciary, Ayatollah Hashemi Shahroudi, to review the cases and to overturn the convictions of the women, all of whom will become prisoners of conscience if imprisoned.

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Thailand: Government steps up online censorship

Reporters Without Borders is alarmed about the comments made by Man Pattanotai, the Thai minister of information and communication technology (ICT), in a radio interview on 14 May. He said prosecuting websites because of their content would cause a "big scandal" and that it was better to just "suppress the news" by closing them down or blocking access.

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Latam-EU nations 'to fight poverty'

Leaders from European Union member countries and Latin America have promised to combat soaring food prices, poverty and climate change during a summit in Lima, Peru's capital.

In a declaration issued at the close of Friday's talks, representatives from nearly 60 countries promised to act with urgency to address the rising cost of staple foods"We agree that immediate measures are needed to assist the most vulnerable countries and populations affected by high food prices," the statement said.

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Leading Farc commander surrenders

A leading commander of the Farc rebels in Colombia has surrendered to the authorities, officials say.

Eldaneyis Mosquera, better known as Karina, was blamed for a string of murders, abductions, and for extortion in the north-western Antioquia region.

Her surrender is a coup for President Alvaro Uribe who made her a priority target for the security forces in 2002, the BBC's Jeremy McDermott says.

Farc has been fighting to overthrow the government for more than 40 years.

$800,000 reward

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Death penalty over Iraq killing

A leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq has been sentenced to death for the killing of the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho.

The archbishop of the northern city of Mosul was kidnapped in February by gunmen who attacked his car, killing his driver and two bodyguards.

His body was found in a shallow grave two weeks later.

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Netherlands: Discrimination in the name of integration

(The Hague, May 15, 2008) – The Netherlands should abolish the overseas "integration test" that discriminatorily targets only migrants of certain nationalities trying to join their families, while citizens from other, "western" countries are exempt, Human Rights Watch said in a briefing paper released today. People of Moroccan and Turkish origin – two of the three largest "non-western" migrant communities in the Netherlands – have been especially affected.

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Asian governments urged to pressure Myanmar

As hold-ups continue in the supply of foreign aid to Myanmar, Asian leaders have been urged to pressure the country's military rulers into taking swift action to address a growing humanitarian catastrophe. Amnesty International believes that by deliberately blocking life-sustaining aid, the government of Myanmar may be violating the right of the population to life, food and health.

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