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US withdraws from ‘cesspool’ UN rights body

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US withdraws from ‘cesspool’ UN rights body
The United States withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday, condemning the “hypocrisy” of its members and its alleged “unrelenting bias” against Israel.
The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, came to Washington to announce the decision alongside President Donald Trump’s top diplomat, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Both insisted the United States would remain a leading champion of human rights but, for many, the decision will reflect Trump’s general hostility to the world body and to multilateral diplomacy in general.
The announcement came after the top UN human rights official criticized Washington for separating migrant children from their parents who are seeking asylum after crossing into the country from Mexico.
But Haley and Pompeo stressed the decision had been made after a long year of efforts to shame the council into reform and to remove member states that themselves commit abuses.
“These reforms were needed in order to make the council a serious advocate for human rights,” Haley said.
“For too long, the Human Rights Council has been a protector of human rights abusers, and a cesspool of political bias. Regrettably, it is now clear that our call for reform was not heeded.”
The Geneva-based body was established in 2006 to promote and protect human rights worldwide, but its pronouncements and reports have often clashed with US priorities.
In particular, the council’s focus on Israeli behavior towards Palestinians in the territory it occupies on the West Bank and in Gaza has infuriated Washington.
But, as Haley stressed, Washington also believes it comes up short on criticizing even flagrant abuses by US opponents like Venezuela and Cuba.
“Countries have colluded with each other to undermine the current method of selecting members,” Pompeo said.
“And the council’s continued and well-documented bias against Israel is unconscionable,” he said.
“Since its creation, the council has adopted more resolutions condemning Israel than against the rest of the world combined.”
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the US move, branding the council “a biased, hostile, anti-Israel organization that has betrayed its mission of protecting human rights.”
Haley, who issued a warning a year ago that Washington would make good on its threat to leave the council if reforms were not carried through, used even starker language.
“We take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights,” she said.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres regretted the US decision, adding: “The UN’s human rights architecture plays a very important role in the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide.”
On Monday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein — a Jordanian — had rebuked Trump over the US practice of splitting up migrant families detained on the Mexican border.
“The thought that any state would seek to deter parents by inflicting such abuse on children is unconscionable,” he said.
Defending Israel
Independent watchdog Human Rights Watch criticized the move, warning Washington’s absence at the council would put the onus on other governments to address the world’s most serious rights problems.
“The Trump administration’s withdrawal is a sad reflection of its one-dimensional human rights policy: defending Israeli abuses from criticism takes precedence above all else,” executive director Kenneth Roth said.
“The UN Human Rights Council has played an important role in such countries as North Korea, Syria, Myanmar and South Sudan, but all Trump seems to care about is defending Israel.”
US criticism stems from the fact that Israel is the only country that has a dedicated agenda item at council meetings, one defended in particular by the Arab bloc of countries.
Known as “Item 7”, this items means that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians comes under scrutiny at each of three annual sessions.
The United States refused to join the body when it was created in 2006, when George W. Bush was in the White House and his ambassador to the UN was John Bolton — now Trump’s UN-skeptic national security advisor.
After Barack Obama came to power, Washington joined the council in 2009.
But when Trump took office, he adopted a hostile approach to world governance, leading Washington to quit the UN cultural agency UNESCO, cut UN funding and planning to leave the Paris climate agreement.

Check Out Where And How The FIFA World Cup Trophy Was Made In Italy (Photos)

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Check Out Where And How The FIFA World Cup Trophy Was Made In Italy (Photos)
Once out of the foundry, the brass body of the trophy has to be chiseled by die grinders to remove excess metal. Paolo Vezzoli/Al Jazeera
Italy have missed out on the 2018 World Cup - the first time the former winners have missed out in 60 years.
However, in addition to a few referees, there will be another piece of Italy in Russia - the World Cup trophy itself.
In Paderno Dugnano, a little city close to Milan, there is a pink-walled factory. This, in such a low-key area, is where the trophy is made.
The golden original, property of FIFA and rarely exhibited, was designed in 1970 by artist Silvio Gazzaniga, winning the international contest for the new World Cup trophy.
Every four years, a brass copy of the trophy is provided and handed to the football federation of the winning side.
Following this, manual chiseling with hammer and chisels refines and completes the details. Paolo Vezzoli/Al Jazeera
The trophy then gets progressively refined by polishing. Paolo Vezzoli/Al Jazeera 
The trophy then reaches the galvanic department where it gets the ultrasonic degreasing bath. This first bath is followed by rinsing. Paolo Vezzoli/Al Jazeera
This is what the galvanic department looks like during the gilding bath. Paolo Vezzoli/Al Jazeera
At the end of the gilding bath, the trophy is carefully washed in distilled water. Paolo Vezzoli/Al Jazeera
The World Cup trophy is now complete with its base of malachite green marble.
It is then covered with Zapon varnish to ensure brilliance and preservation. Paolo Vezzoli/Al Jazeera 
The trophy is dried and carefully cleaned and checked in detail one last time. Paolo Vezzoli/Al Jazeera
Source: Aljazeera

5 Things We Learned From The World Cup So Far

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 5 Things We Learned From The World Cup So Far
The Fifa World Cup which is holding in Russia has been interesting and filled with surprises with players making names for themselves. These are 5 interesting take-aways from the 2018 World Cup in Russia which is gathering momentum:
1 A World Cup Of Penalties 
One of the major things discovered in this World Cup is the high number of penalties awarded in the early stage. In the first round of matches, more than 8 penalties have already been awarded. 
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a penalty against Spain. 
Antoine Griezmann scored a penalty against Australia.
Miles Jedinak scored a penalty against France. 
Lionel Messi missed a penalty against Iceland. 
Christian Cueva missed a penalty against Denmark. 
Luka Modric scored a penalty against Nigeria. 
Andras Granqvist scored a penalty against South Korea. 
Ferjani Sassi scored a penalty against England. 
Shinji Kagawa scored a penalty against Colombia. 
2 Big Guns Are Misfiring
Many of the big teams are misfiring already in the World Cup. Who would have thought Brazil would not obliterate Switzerland? Or who would have thought Argentina wouldn't annihilate Iceland? How about Germany?! 
3 Nigeria Have Everything Wrong Except Their Jersey
From wrong tactics by the coach to lethargic team performance. The play of the Super Eagles have been woeful at best and the only saving grace is the fact that they have the best jersey in the tournament. That's some succour, right? Their play is so bad that they may be taking over the position of the whipping boys mantra from Iceland. 
4 VAR Is Spot On 
There have been controversial decisions that the VAR has resolved. From deciding the right card to be given to a player if the referee misses the incident to awarding a correct penalty, the referee's work is easier and fans are loving this. With the VAR, there are less scandals. 
5 Ronaldo And Messi Have Contrasting Starts
While Ronaldo, popularly called Penaldo, has three goals in the World Cup from one match, Messi, popularly known as the GOAT even though Ronaldo's fans are jealous of this and are trying to call Ronaldo the GOAT too, has no goals yet. While Ronaldo has converted his preferred kick, the penalty, Messi has missed. Remember, though, that the end justifies the means!


Iraq force accuses US of killing 22 of its fighters in Syria

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Iraq force accuses US of killing 22 of its fighters in Syria
An Iraqi paramilitary force Monday accused the United States of killing 22 of its fighters in an overnight air raid just inside Syria’s border with Iraq that a monitor said left dozens dead.
“US planes fired two guided missiles at a fixed position of Hashed al-Shaabi units on the border with Syria, killing 22 fighters and wounding 12,” said the Iran-backed Hashed (Popular Mobilisation Units).
It said the raid took place “700 metres (yards) inside Syria”.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said earlier that more than 50 fighters allied to the Damascus regime, most of them foreign, were killed in Sunday night’s raid on Al-Hari in eastern Syria.
Syrian state media, citing a military source, accused the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State jihadist group of having carried out the raid.
Several people were killed and wounded, state media said, without giving precise figures.
The coalition’s press office said it had heard reports that a strike in the area of Al-Hari had killed and wounded members of a pro-regime Iraqi group, but denied it was responsible.

Court Sentences MASSOB Founder, Uwazuruike To Jail

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Court Sentences MASSOB Founder, Uwazuruike To Jail

Founder of the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, has been sentenced to one month in prison by a judge of an Owerri high court in Imo State for disobeying the order of the court to appear in a case in which he is plaintiff.

Presiding Justice Kemakolam Ojiako made the order in the civil case, HOW/265/2013, between Uwazuruike (plaintiff) and Barr. Chigozie Iheama and others over a land dispute.

Ruling on the motion on notice filed on July 6, 2017, by C.K. Okorie, counsel to the defendant, praying the court to commit the plaintiff/contemnor to prison for disobeying the order of the court, Ojiako ruled that, “The plaintiff, Chief Raphael Uwazuruike, is hereby found guilty of contempt/disobedience to the said order of court made on April 2, 2017.

“That the plaintiff, Chief Raphael Uwazuruike, is hereby committed/sentenced to prison custody and shall be so detained for a period of one month from the date of his commitment to prison.”

Ojiako also restrained Uwazuruike, his agents, privies or servants from entering into the said land pending the determination of the action.

The judge adjourned proceedings to July 10, 2018.

However, Emmanuel Chukwuka, counsel to the MASSOB/BIM leader, said that they had earlier appealed the contempt proceedings at the Appeal Court, which was slated for hearing on October 2, 2019, but the judge has continued with the contempt proceedings.

“The ruling of the court has been appealed at the Court of Appeal but Justice Ojiako insists he will continue with the matter, rather than stay proceedings in the matter, as is the normal practice,
” he said

Three killed in London after being hit by train

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 Three killed in London after being hit by train
Three people died in south London after being hit by a train, police said Monday, amid reports they may have been graffiti artists.
Police said they were treating the deaths as unexplained, but media said spray paint cans were found near the bodies.
The London Evening Standard newspaper reported that the victims were men in their 20s.
“My team are now working hard to understand what happened and how these three people came to lose their life on the railway,” said detective Gary Richardson.
“At this time, we are treating their deaths as unexplained as we make a number of immediate inquiries.”
He urged anyone with information to come forward.
Police were trying to ascertain when the incident occurred, with the possibility they were struck by a freight train overnight.
Officers were seen taking photographs of graffiti near the site, according to the Evening Standard.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “My heart goes out to the families of the three people killed.”
The bodies were spotted by tracks close to Brixton overground station during morning rush hour.

Croatia Striker Sent Home From World Cup After Refusing To Come On Against Nigeria

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Croatia Striker Sent Home From World Cup After Refusing To Come On Against Nigeria
Nikola Kalinic
Croatia have thrown Nikola Kalinic out of their World Cup squad after he refused to play.

The striker was named on the bench for Saturday's opening Group D clash against Nigeria.

National boss Zlatko Dalic ordered the striker to get ready to come on late in the 2-0 victory over the African nation.

However, Croatian media outlet 24sata claim the AC Milan star declined to enter the fray.

And that has led to Dalic axing the 30-year-old and sending him home this morning.

The shocking incident was referred to by the manager after the game when he told reporters the team had finished without injuries but “with a problem”.

The Croatian FA has not confirmed the forward’s expulsion.

Dalic is set to speak to the media later this afternoon.

The news comes amid apparent transfer talks between Milan and Sevilla for Kalinic.

The La Liga side want to bring the experienced ace in on a season-long loan but the Serie A giants are looking for a permanent £17.5million deal.

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