With fresh urgency but scant solutions, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and top foreign diplomats held an urgent meeting Tuesday to strategize on a way forward to end the protracted civil war in Syria.
A meeting of the “like-minded” countries was hastily arranged on the sidelines of a Group of 7 industrialized economies in Italy, days after the U.S. for the first time launched airstrikes against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces. It came hours before Tillerson was to make a tense trip to Moscow to press Russia’s leaders to finally abandon their support for Assad.
The man who killed nine churchgoers two years ago at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, pleaded guilty Monday to state murder charges in exchange for a deal with state prosecutors that gives him nine consecutive life sentences without parole.
In December, a federal jury convicted Dylann Roof of 33 federal charges — including hate crimes — in connection with the fatal shooting on June 17, 2015, at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. The jury handed down the death penalty in January, making Roof the first person sentenced to death for federal hate crimes.
Roof’s guilty plea came in a hearing Monday for a second trial on state charges of murder and attempted murder. Roof, now 23, received an additional 90 years for three counts of attempted murder. He also waived the right to appeal his guilty pleas.
A Texas law that requires voters to show identification before casting ballots was enacted with the intent to discriminate against black and Hispanic voters, a U.S. federal judge ruled on Monday.
The decision by U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos came after an appeals court last year said the 2011 law had an outsized impact on minority voters. The court sent the case back to Ramos to determine if lawmakers intentionally wrote the legislation to be discriminatory.
Ramos said in a 10-page decision that evidence “establishes that a discriminatory purpose was at least one of the substantial or motivating factors behind passage” of the measure.
“The terms of the bill were unduly strict,” she added.
Spokesmen for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton Jr. and Governor Greg Abbott, both Republicans, could not be reached for comment.
the Guardian – Migrants From West Africas Being ‘Sold in Libyan slave markets‘
West African migrants are being bought and sold openly in modern-day slave markets in Libya, survivors have told a UN agency helping them return home.
Trafficked people passing through Libya have previously reported violence, extortion and slave labor. But the new testimony from the International Organization for Migration suggests that the trade in human beings has become so normalized that people are being traded in public.
“The latest reports of ‘slave markets’ for migrants can be added to a long list of outrages [in Libya],” said Mohammed Abdiker, IOM’s head of operation and emergencies. “The situation is dire. The more IOM engages inside Libya, the more we learn that it is a vale of tears for all too many migrants.”
Stella Nyanzi, one of Uganda’s most controversial academics and activists, appeared in court Monday, after being arrested and charged Friday with cyber harassment and the misuse of a computer, for “shaming” the government.
Nyanzi’s latest run-in with the 31-year-old regime of President Yoweri Museveni began with a fight for free sanitary pads for school-age girls.
“She’s the one person who has dared to come out strongly in the country and say what many have feared to say many, many times,” said Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, an LGBT rights activist, shortly after leaving the courthouse