Frances Martel

Frances Martel

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Raul Castro Demands Obama Executive Action on Embargo in Victory Lap Speech

The people of Cuba received unprecedented news today, though they were unable to hear of the United States' reforms in diplomacy with Cuba from President Barack Obama. Instead, they were treated to an address by dictator Raúl Castro, in which he celebrated that the reforms will lead to "sustainable socialism" and urged President Obama to lift the embargo entirely through executive action. Dec 17, 2014 11:49 AM PT

White House Overhaul of Cuba Policy Includes Havana Embassy, Expansion of Travel

In the immediate aftermath of the release of USAID worker Alan Gross, the White House is set to announce a sweeping set of changes in their policy towards Cuba that includes expansion of travel to the island, permission for telecommunications companies to establish themselves there, and opening an embassy in Havana. Dec 17, 2014 9:13 AM PT

Australians Build Flower Memorial for Victims of Sydney Jihadist Attack

Sydney's population, still shaken by Monday's terrorist attack on a Lindt coffee shop in Martin Place that left two innocents and the jihadist gunman dead, have begun to pay tribute to the fallen with a massive shrine of flowers built from bouquets from thousands visiting the square. Dec 16, 2014 11:43 AM PT

Invisible Children, Group Behind Kony 2012, to Shut Down

The charity Invisible Children, most famous for releasing the wildly popular, and later wildly unpopular, viral video "Kony 2012," is significantly reducing its operations, and a spokeswoman for the group says it will probably not exist in any form once its workers in Africa are released. Dec 16, 2014 11:38 AM PT

Female Peshmerga Martyrs Lead the War for Kurds in War on ISIS

“We wanted to have what the civilized nations do,” Col. Nahida Ahmed Rashid, the head of her brigade of the Kurdish YPJ, or female Peshmerga forces, tells the Daily Beast's Susannah George. Like their male counterparts, the female Peshmerga fighting the Islamic State see the cause of women on the front lines as a symbolic fight against a repressive, and regressive, ideology. Dec 16, 2014 11:19 AM PT

USAID Project: Cuba Opened Agency to Regulate Anti-Communist Rap

The Associated Press has followed up their report on a USAID social media project that attracted 40,000 Cuban users with a report on an even more ambitious human rights experiment: a plan by the agency to infiltrate and promote anti-communist Cuban rappers. Dec 12, 2014 1:41 PM PT

China Awards Dubious 'Confucius Peace Prize' and $15,000 to Dictator Fidel Castro

China's state-run Global Times newspaper announced this week that Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, under whose rule thousands of political prisoners were forced into squalid conditions and thousands more were forced to fight in communist wars in Africa, was this year's recipient of the "Confucius Peace Prize." Dec 12, 2014 1:22 PM PT

Sierra Leone Imposes Two-Week Lockdown After Finding 'Piles of Bodies' in New Ebola Hotspot

"Piles of bodies, overwhelmed medical personnel and exhausted burial teams" greeted Ebola teams from the capital upon visiting the eastern mining district of Kono, Sierra Leone, reports the Associated Press. With a spike in deaths blamed on dangerous traditional burial practices, the national government has imposed a two-week lockdown on the region. Dec 12, 2014 1:17 PM PT


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