• ICC to Open Full Investigation into Duterte’s ‘War on Drugs’


    The International Criminal Court (ICC) has formally authorized an official probe into alleged crimes against humanity in Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s “war on drugs,” dealing a moral victory to human rights defenders and families of victims killed, including innocent children.

    In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Hague-based tribunal said there was “reasonable basis” to proceed with the probe noting that “specific legal element of the crime against humanity of murder” has been met in the crackdown that left thousands dead.

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  • Taliban Broke Promises on Rights: Outgoing Afghan Envoy to UN


    The Taliban has already broken its promises to safeguard women and protect human rights, and the international community must hold it to account, says Nasir Ahmad Andisha, the outgoing government’s ambassador to the United Nations.

    He accused the Taliban of “widespread atrocities” in the Panjshir Valley, the last part of the country to hold out against the group, and said it was conducting targeted killings and extrajudicial executions, including of young boys.

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  • First Passenger Flight Departs Afghanistan Since US Withdrawal


    The first international commercial plane has departed from Kabul airport since Western countries finished evacuations from Afghanistan 10 days ago, with a top Qatari official saying the airport is “fully up and running.”

    The airport is “about 90 percent ready for operations but its reopening is planned gradually,” Mutlaq al-Qahtani, Qatar’s special envoy to Afghanistan, said on Thursday speaking from the tarmac.

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  • Australia’s Indigenous Ask UN to Review Cultural Heritage Bill


    A group of Indigenous people has filed a complaint to the United Nations over Western Australia’s draft heritage protection laws, more than a year after mining company Rio Tinto legally destroyed historically and culturally significant rock shelters to expand a mine.

    The group is making a formal request for the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to review the state’s cultural heritage bill, calling it incompatible with Australia’s international obligations, the Reuters news agency reported on Wednesday.

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  • Myanmar Shadow Government Calls for Revolt Against Military Rule


    Myanmar's shadow government, formed by opponents of military rule, called for a revolt against the junta on Tuesday, setting out a strategy that included action by armed militias and ethnic forces and urging bureaucrats to leave their posts.

    Duwa Lashi La, the acting president of the National Unity Government, said in a speech that the shadow government, which is made up of members in exile or in hiding, was declaring a state of emergency.

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  • Thai Royalist Turns Protester as Anti-Government Movement Broadens


    Thai ultra-royalist Tanat "Nat" Thanakitamnuay is back on the streets demanding the removal of coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha as prime minister and reforms to the monarchy—a change of heart that points to the broadening of Thailand's latest anti-government movement.

    "It's bad for your mental health to see an incompetent PM," said Nat, 29, who was blinded permanently in his right eye last month after being hit by a teargas canister at a protest.

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  • Taliban Declare Victory from Kabul Airport, Promise Security


    The Taliban triumphantly marched into Kabul’s international airport on Tuesday, hours after the final US troop withdrawal that ended America’s longest war. Standing on the tarmac, Taliban leaders pledged to secure the country, quickly reopen the airport, and grant amnesty to former opponents.

    Getting the airport running again is just one of the sizeable challenges the Taliban face in governing a nation of 38 million people that for two decades had survived on billions of dollars in foreign aid.

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  • UN Rights Boss Says She Has Credible Reports of Taliban Executions


    The U.N. human rights chief said on Tuesday that she had received credible reports of serious violations by the Taliban in Afghanistan, including "summary executions" of civilians and Afghan security forces who had surrendered.

    Michelle Bachelet gave no details of the killings in her speech to the Human Rights Council, but urged it to set up a mechanism to closely monitor Taliban actions.

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  • Taliban Warns of ‘Consequences’ if US Delays Withdrawal


    The Taliban will not agree to an extension of the evacuation mission from Afghanistan and is “warning of consequences” if it is prolonged beyond its deadline.

    The move would mean “extending occupation” and that is “a red line”, Suhail Shaheen, a member of the Taliban delegation in Doha, the capital of Qatar, said on Monday.

    United States President Joe Biden is expected to decide as soon as Tuesday on whether to extend that August 31 deadline to airlift Americans and their allies to safety.

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  • Afghan Protests Spread in Early Challenge to Taliban


    Flag-waving protesters took to the streets of more Afghan cities on Thursday as popular opposition to the Taliban spread, and a witness said several people were killed when the militants fired on a crowd in Asadabad in the east.

    One woman walked wearing an Afghan flag around her shoulders, and those marching chanted "God is greatest." At some protests elsewhere, media have reported people tearing down the white flag of the Taliban.

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