United States


The issue of reparations has become a hotly politicized topic in the run up to the 2020 presidential election. Reparations as redress for the horrors inflicted upon black people in the United States, both during and after slavery, isn’t a new conversation, but it has gained renewed interest among a segment of black voters, especially those active on social media.


The United States will revoke or deny visas to International Criminal Court (ICC) personnel seeking to investigate alleged war crimes and other abuses committed by U.S. forces in Afghanistan, or elsewhere, and may do the same with those who seek action against Israel. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, acting on a threat delivered in September by U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton, framed the action as necessary to prevent the international body from infringing on U.S. sovereignty by prosecuting American forces or allies for torture or other war crimes.


US President Donald Trump on Monday signed into law bipartisan legislation named for the late Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, the White House announced in a statement. The Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act aims to improve the US response to emerging or potential genocides and passed final votes last month in the Senate and the House of Representatives.


A federal judge in Maryland said The Johns Hopkins University, Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Rockefeller Foundation must face a $1 billion lawsuit over their roles in a 1940s U.S. government experiment that infected hundreds of Guatemalans with syphilis. In a decision on Thursday, U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang rejected the defendants’ argument that a recent Supreme Court decision shielding foreign corporations from lawsuits in U.S. courts over human rights abuses abroad also applied to domestic corporations absent Congressional authorization.


October 18th marks the 151st anniversary of Alaska Day. The day is a legal holiday in the U.S. state of Alaska, observing the anniversary of the formal transfer of the Territory of Alaska from Russia to the United States, which occurred on Friday, October 18, 1867. Few residents, however, say much about the colonization by the Russians and subsequent rule by the U.S. that ushered in generations of land loss and cultural genocide for the Native Tlingit people.


A recent pop-up museum in New York City illustrates the harmful effects that so-called broken windows policing has had on the African American and Latino communities in the city. The exhibit features paintings, installations, and photography drawing attention to the epidemic of police shootings of African-American youth and to racial disparities in policing and the criminal justice system.

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Yesterday, American National Security Adviser John Bolton called the International Criminal Court (ICC) illegitimate and threatened officials there with sanctions and criminal prosecution over an ICC investigation into alleged American war crimes in Afghanistan. He also announced the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington, DC, because of its calls for an ICC inquiry into Israel.

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Indigenous activists in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest are reviving the tradition of face tattoos as a form of healing from generations of systematic marginalization. Before the arrival of Europeans, people across the Pacific littoral and the arctic ocean used face tattoos to mark transitions in life and social status. After centuries of colonialism and cultural erasure indigenous tattoo artists are now re-learning some of the old traditions and re-interpreting them in an effort to carry their culture into the future.


Inmates in prisons in the United States and Canada who began a strike last week have released a list of demands including sentencing reforms, an end to racist over-policing, and payment for the labor many prisoners currently perform without compensation. Some prisoners have engaged in a hunger strike, others are refusing their commissary. Organizers say they expect this strike to be on the largest in American history.

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American President Donald Trump cut $200 million in development aid to the West Bank and Gaza. The decision will exacerbate the already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza where more than 2 million Palestinians live.  The announcement comes after the US announced in January it would withhold $65 million of the $125 million it had planned to send to the United Nations to ease the humanitarian situation in the disputed territory.