Ohio State officials knew about sexual abuse, took no action


An investigation reveals that from 1978 to 1998, Dr. Richard Strauss sexually abused nearly 180 men at Ohio State University. The investigation also reveals that officials knew of abuse as early as 1979. The investigation does not suggest that Rep. Jim Jordan, who was a wrestling coach during some of the 20 years of abuse, knew about the abuse. The investigation fails to even mention Jordan at all.

China formally charges detained Canadians


China is not taking the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Canada lightly and responded by leveling spurious spying charges against two Canadian citizens. Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig are accused of stealing state secrets and could face years in prison and possibly the death penalty.

San Fran bans facial recognition tech


The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday enacted the first ban by a major city on the use of facial recognition technology by police and all other municipal agencies. Matt Cagle, an attorney with the ACLU of Northern California, summed up the broad concerns of critics Tuesday. Facial recognition technology, he said, “provides government with unprecedented power to track people going about their daily lives. That’s incompatible with a healthy democracy.”

DHS officials were forced out when they challenged plan to arrest thousands of migrants


The Trump administration considered a plan to arrest parents and children in 10 cities with large populations of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, specifically New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. But then-Immigrations and Customs Enforcement head Ron Vitiello and then-Homeland Security Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen set the proposal aside over concerns about diverting resources from the border, a lack of detention space, and the possibility of renewed public outrage over treatment of families.

Inside China’s province-sized prison


Under the guise of rooting out Islamic extremism, China started state-sponsored persecution of Muslim and other ethnic minorities three years ago. Today, hundreds of thousands of Uighurs and other minorities are imprisoned in Xinjiang province. If one is so lucky to not be in prison, they are under constant surveillance by the Chinese state and are at risk for imprisonment at any time.

WaPo: China’s high-tech repression threatens human freedom everywhere


“Far from hiding this totalitarianism of the 21st century, Beijing is seeking to export it to other countries. That’s one reason what is happening in Xinjiang ought to be disturbing to anyone concerned about preserving basic freedoms as technology rapidly evolves. There are concrete steps that can be taken, from banning the sale to China of equipment that can be used in this repression, to sanctioning its architects — including Xinjiang party boss Chen Quanguo. Legislation pending in Congress, including the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act, is a start; it should be taken up and passed.”

Ukraine’s president-elect hits back against Putin


After Russian President Vladimir Putin shocked Ukraine last week by suggesting that he would ease the requirements for Ukrainians to become Russian citizens, Ukraine’s President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky rejected the idea. He said that being Ukrainian gives people many human rights, and to be Russian means to have “the right to be arrested for peaceful protest.” To Zelensky, the choice between being free in Ukraine and losing rights in Russia is an easy decision to make.

Navy SEALs tried for months to report superior for war crimes and were told to ‘let it go’


Navy SEALs who witnessed their platoon chief commit war crimes in Iraq were encouraged not to speak out, and told they could lose their jobs for reporting him at a private meeting with a superior officer last year. A confidential Navy criminal investigation reveals that the commandos saw Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher stab and kill an unarmed teenage captive, shoot to death a young girl and old man, and fire indiscriminately into crowds of civilians.

Some prisoners executed this week by Saudi Arabia said their confessions were coerced


Many of the 37 men beheaded in a mass execution in Saudi Arabia this week had been forced to confess to crimes they did not commit. 11 were found guilty of spying for Iran and 14 were alleged to be part of a terrorist network that was active in anti-government protests in 2012. The men were reportedly forced to sign a letter confessing their crimes to make the torture stop.

North Korea billed US for Otto Warmbier’s ‘care’


North Korea in 2017 reportedly issued a $2 million bill to the U.S. for the hospital care of American Otto Warmbier, who was in a coma when he was returned to the U.S. and died without regaining consciousness. North Korea insisted that a U.S. official sign a pledge to pay the bill before returning Warmbier, and the U.S. envoy who retrieved Warmbier signed it on instructions from President Trump. It’s unclear if the Trump administration ultimately paid the bill.

NM militia leader sought to assassinate Obama


Larry Hopkins, leader of the New Mexico militia group which captured thousands of migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border, was arrested by the FBI on weapons charges. In a court filing, prosecutors revealed that Hopkins boasted of assassination training and that he sought to assassinate Barack Obama and financier George Soros.

Catherine Rampell: How long does outrage over a murder last? On Wall Street, six months.


“Alas, even this halfhearted shunning of Saudi Arabia was brief. Whatever ties the international banking and business community pretended to sever back then have since been officially, enthusiastically double-knotted. Because there’s just too much money to be made, as a bond sale that closed this month illustrates…Perhaps it is naive to ask investment banks, at best amoral, to suddenly sprout a moral compass. What, then, is our government’s excuse?”

Dehumanization and its consequences


While an easy option for politicians seeking to coalesce their base, dehumanizing an out-group in society can have dangerous consequences. Rwanda is an example of how dehumanizing language can lead outbreaks of violence and hatred against any group. Hutu’s were pushed to dehumanize Tutsi’s and over a million people died. World leaders would be wise to heed the lessons found in Rwanda 25 years ago.

Darren Byler: China’s hi-tech war on its Muslim minority


“Smartphones and the internet gave the Uighurs a sense of their own identity – but now the Chinese state is using technology to strip them of it. Although there was often no real evidence of a crime according to any legal standard, the digital footprint of unauthorised Islamic practice, or even a connection to someone who had committed one of these vague violations, was enough to land Uighurs in a detention centre.”

Trump wishes military could be ‘rough’ with migrants


On Wednesday, the president lamented the fact that the military can’t be more “rough” with migrants coming to America. After telling reporters in Texas on Wednesday that he wants more troops at the U.S.-Mexico border, he added, “Our military, don’t forget, can’t act like a military would act. Because if they got a little rough, everybody would go crazy.” The reason? “They have all these horrible laws that the Democrats won’t change [and] they will not change them.” Human rights laws maybe?

US seeks to normalize relations with brutal Sudan


In Sudan, government protesters, medical professionals, and journalists risk secret detentions, brutal beatings, psychological torture, and even the death penalty, as the Trump administration holds talks on whether to normalize relations with the north African country. “For the U.S. government to normalize the relationship with a country that is led by a person who is indicted by the ICC, who is wanted for crimes against humanity, I don’t think that is a moral thing to do,” said a Sudanese-American activist.

Sonia Nazario: The grim reality of why Central American women are fleeing north


“In 2017, 41 percent of women and girls killed in Honduras showed signs of mutilation, disfigurement and cruelty beyond what was needed to kill them, according to the Violence Observatory at the National Autonomous University of Honduras…President Trump calls immigrants ‘criminals’ — drug dealers and rapists intent on plundering America. But the truth, as I saw so clearly over a monthlong reporting trip in Honduras, is that migrants are fleeing a society controlled by criminals…Some of them are coming because they don’t want to die.”

Texas ‘religious freedom’ bill opens door to discrimination


Civil rights advocates are condemning a proposed Texas law they say opens the door to discrimination against the LGBT community and religious minorities. The Texas state senate passed Senate Bill 17 earlier this week, which would protect the right of state-licensed workers such as doctors, teachers and counselors to refuse to provide their services based on “a sincerely held religious belief”, except in cases where medical services are necessary to “prevent death or imminent serious bodily injury”.

Nobel laureates warn of eroding rights in Guatemala


Fourty-four Nobel Prize laureates in various disciplines have co-signed a letter expressing concern over what they call deteriorating conditions for democracy and human rights in Guatemala. The letter released Thursday urges Guatemalan authorities to safeguard peace and democracy. Jody Williams (Peace Prize, 1997) said progress to combat corruption and impunity for abuses dating to the country’s civil war has suffered a reversal and needs support from the international community.

China creates ‘virtual cage’ for Uighurs


The Chinese have detained hundreds of thousands of ethnic Uighurs in the Northwestern province of Xinjiang, China. Under the guise of protecting against terrorism, the Chinese have devised an intricate network of surveillance systems to watch the Muslim Uighurs wherever they go. If they are found to be out of line with the Chinese state, they can be expected to be sent to camps.

Venezeula: Largest refugee crisis since Syria


Of Venezuela’s 30 million residents, some 3.4 million have fled and are refugees in foreign countries. Colombia has received nearly 1.2 million of those refugees. Colombia’s foreign minister says, “This is the largest movement of refugees — outside of Syria — in the world. … This is a humanitarian catastrophe right in our region.”

Fred Ryan: Why hasn’t Trump acted on Khashoggi’s murder?


“Sadly, the most submissive figure in this story is President Trump. Even after irrefutable evidence came to light showing the Saudis had lied about [Jamal] Khashoggi’s death, Trump proclaimed Mohammed bin Salman a ‘great ally’ and protested that the crown prince might well be innocent. Perhaps most egregiously, Trump has abdicated the responsibilities of his office, refusing to comply with the Magnitsky Act’s requirements that the administration present its findings on the Khashoggi case to Congress. In this impotent response, Trump isn’t just violating the law. He is also undermining the credibility and moral authority of the United States.”