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Jewish Community Becomes Unwilling Participant In Ukrainian Political Battle

Jewish Community Becomes Unwilling Participant In Ukrainian Political Battle

The origins of an anti-Semitic flyer distributed in eastern Ukraine this week are still unclear.

A picture of the letter spread on social media, after being published on an Israeli website on April 16.

But the international controversy it provoked may point to evidence that Ukraine’s Jews have become unwilling political tools in the battle for the country’s future.

The most recent incident allegedly happened on April 15, but it took two days to bubble into the full-blown international…

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Ukrainian Leaders Still Unsure About Russia’s Intentions

Ukrainian Leaders Still Unsure About Russia’s Intentions


KYIV — A day after four-way talks in Geneva aimed at de-escalating a volatile standoff in eastern Ukraine, leaders in the former Soviet republic still remain unsure about Russian intentions.

Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia repeated concerns also voiced by President Barack Obama Thursday, regarding Russian promises to help de-escalate the tense standoff in eastern Ukraine between Moscow-backed separatists and the government in Kyiv.

“I don’t know what Russia, President Putin, what Russia has in mind regarding the eastern Ukraine. However we still believe there are diplomatic means…

Ukraine 14-April-18-1 from smalljournal on Vimeo.

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Kyiv Warns Separatists of ‘Actions’ Next Week


Kyiv Warns Separatists of ‘Actions’ Next Week


The Ukrainian government warned on Friday it could take “more concrete actions” next week if pro-Russian separatists do not end their occupations of public buildings under the terms of an international accord.

Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia gave no details and Kyiv has threatened to use force before to little effect. The minister also said that, despite demands from the separatists in the east, the government saw no need under its deal with Russia to dismantle the pro-European Maidan camp in Kyiv.

Ukraine 14-April-18 from smalljournal on Vimeo.

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China Jails Four Activists Who Called For Transparency

China Jails Four Activists Who Called For Transparency


A court in the Chinese capital on Friday handed down jail terms of up to three-and-a-half years to four anti-corruption activists linked to a movement campaigning for government transparency after finding them guilty of public order offenses.

Beijing’s Haidian District People’s Court sentenced Ding Jiaxi, who called publicly on Chinese officials to reveal details of their wealth, for three and a half years, while veteran democracy activist Zhao Changqing received a two-and-a-half year sentence, both for “gathering a crowd to disrupt public order,” the court said in a statement on Friday.

Two other activists from the New Citizens…

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Cambodia Cambodia Must Make Union Draft Law Public

Cambodia Cambodia Must Make Union Draft Law Public


Cambodia’s government should make public a proposed law aimed at regulating the country’s labor movement, a rights group said Thursday, amid concerns that it includes provisions for the suspension of unions and for severely restricting their right to freedom of association.

Requests from civil society to review the Law on Trade Unions, which Prime Minister Hun Sen’s administration has pledged to adopt by the end of the year, have so far been denied, the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) said in a briefing note.

Additionally, the group said, recent reports of new unions being refused registration by the authorities or having their registrations delayed…

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China’s Environmentalists Face Steep Challenges

China’s Environmentalists Face Steep Challenges


HONG KONG — In China, there is increasing public interest in environmental protections, but few legal avenues to go after and punish polluters. In the western city Lanzhou, a group of citizens has tried to file a lawsuit after a chemical leak contaminated their water source.

The government of Lanzhou, the capital of China’s Western province of Gansu, told residents last week that a major tap water source had been contaminated with Benzene, a cancer causing chemical.

The contamination was caused by an oil leak from a buried pipeline. According to the government, the problem affected 2.4 million people.

Local officials said the problem was resolved by Sunday, but…

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12 Killed in Mt. Everest Avalanche

12 Killed in Mt. Everest Avalanche


In Nepal, at least 12 mountaineering guides have been killed in an avalanche that swept down Mount Everest. It is the deadliest accident on the world’s highest peak in recent times.   

It was early Friday when the deadly avalanche hit guides who had set out early to ferry supplies and make preparations such as fixing ropes for foreign climbers.

Dipendra Paudel at Nepal’s Tourism Ministry mountaineering department says all the victims were local mountain guides.

“It was 6.30 a.m. It was an avalanche and buried all the people,” said Paudel. “The climbers are taking some kitchen…

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Inquiry Focuses on Korean Ferry Crew

Inquiry Focuses on Korean Ferry Crew


BANGKOK — The unfolding situation in South Korea, where a modern passenger ferry close to shore quickly sank with most of its passengers still onboard, is raising concern about the safety of such vessels and whether the crew responded properly.

International maritime accident specialists are expressing confidence that an investigation will determine the tragedy’s cause. Coast guard officials say as of midday Friday, 28 people were confirmed dead, although the death toll is expected to rise sharply.  Rescuers have fought strong currents and murky waters in their search for 268 people still missing, while 179 passengers have been rescued.

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Nigeria Retracts Statement About Kidnapped Girls

Nigeria Retracts Statement About Kidnapped Girls


DAKAR — The Nigerian military has retracted its claim that nearly all of the more than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped this week by suspected Boko Haram militants had been released. Nearly a hundred are still believed to be missing.

The principal of the Government Girls secondary school in Chibok, Asabe Kwanbura, said that 32 of the kidnapped girls have escaped. That’s up from a reported 20 girls on Thursday.

“Some jumped down [from] inside the lorry. Some escaped [from] within the camp,” said Kwanbura.

The state education commissioner confirmed the figure, saying those 32 girls were safe and accounted for Friday.

A total of…

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Malawi Women Intensify Fight for Equal Space in Public Office

Malawi Women Intensify Fight for Equal Space in Public Office


BLANTYRE — Women rights campaigners have intensified their 50/50 drive to have equal representation in the May 20 elections.

Malawi ranks as one of the countries with low female representation not only in southern Africa, but globally. At the moment, only 22 percent of 193 parliamentary seats are held by women.

Gender activists hope that May’s tripartite elections will boost the number of women holding public office – both locally and nationally.

Their campaign on billboards, radio and television aims to woo voters to…

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20 Killed in Raid on UN South Sudan Compound

20 Killed in Raid on UN South Sudan Compound


Officials in South Sudan say gunmen have raided a United Nations compound housing 5,000 civilians and U.N. peacekeepers, killing at least 20 people and wounding 60.

Officials say armed youths overran the U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) compound Thursday in the capital of Jonglei state, Bor, and opened fire.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power described the assault as a “brazen, inhuman attack on unarmed civilians.”

She said the U.S. will work with its allies to determine who is responsible for what she called a “horrific attack” and to bring the…

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Obama Rules Out Military Option in Ukraine

Obama Rules Out Military Option in Ukraine


WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has expressed hope that a plan to de-escalate tensions in Ukraine, reached Thursday in Geneva, will lead to restoration of peace and security for all citizens of Ukraine.

Obama told reporters in Washington that if Russia fails to take steps to defuse the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the United States and Europe will respond with tough measures, but he ruled out a military intervention.

Obama said the sanctions already imposed on Russia have had a documented impact on its economy, and that additional measures could make the situation worse.

usa 14 April-18 from smalljournal on Vimeo.

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Jews Ordered to Register in Eastern Ukraine

Jews Ordered to Register in Eastern Ukraine

Russian in Ukraine act like Nazi what next?


Leaflets have been distributed in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, where pro-Russian militants have taken over government buildings, telling Jews they must “register” with the local authorities or face consequences.

Jews emerging from a synagogue say they were handed leaflets that ordered them to pay a $50 registration fee or risk losing their citizenship and face deportation. The leaflets say the requirement is because the Jewish community supports the interim Ukraine government in Kyiv.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday condemned the news as “grotesque” and “intolerable”.

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Russia, West Reach Agreement on Easing Ukraine Tensions

Russia, West Reach Agreement on Easing Ukraine Tensions

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says top diplomats from Ukraine, Russia, the European Union, and United States have agreed on a set of measures to ease the conflict in Ukraine.

Kerry spoke Thursday in Geneva after hours of talks among the four parties.

He said some of the measures agreed to include disarmament of all illegally armed groups and amnesty for all protesters who peacefully vacate occupied buildings, aside from those found guilty of capital offenses.

Monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, who already are in Ukraine, will be…

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