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Monday, November 4, 2013

Morsi Trial Adjourned Amid Chaos

In his first public appearance since being deposed four months ago, ex-President Mohamed Morsi was flown from a secret military location to Cairo to face charges of inciting murder and violence. He is charged with inciting the murders of protesters demonstrating against the Islamist constitution he had passed.

Morsi refused to wear a prison uniform as part of his overall rejection of the court’s legitimacy, accusing it of serving “as cover for this criminal military coup.” His 14 co-defendants began chanting against the army, local journalists shouted for his execution and scuffles broke out between the lawyers before the presiding judge adjourned the trial to January 8th.

Medics Complicit in CIA Prison Abuse

An independent panel of military, ethics, medical, public health and legal experts released a report today charging the US government with ordering medical professionals working with detainees “to violate standard ethical principles and medical standards to avoid infliction of harm.” These included designing, enabling and participating in “torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment” of detainees.

The report, “Ethics Abandoned: Medical Professionalism and Detainee Abuse in the War on Terror” is based on two years of review of public domain records. It details how the Department of Defense and the CIA institutionalized policies that used legal restrictions, not ethical standards, to determine the actions of health professionals in clear violation of the Geneva Conventions. Although the Obama administration has outlawed torture, the task force argues that the current detention policy still fails to uphold medical and ethical standards.

Russian Nationalists Rally Across Country

Thousands of Russian nationalists rallied against immigrants in cities around Russia today, the country’s National Unity Day. The rallies were both larger and more numerous than in previous years, reflecting Russia’s rising ethnic tensions. Animosity is particularly strong against migrants from former Soviet Central Asian republics and non-slavs from Russia’s largely Muslim Caucasus. Demonstrators carried Russian imperial flags and signs reading “Russia for the Russians” and “Young People Against Tolerance”; about 30 people were arrested for using Nazi slogans and symbols.

Rebels, Army Clash Again in DR Congo

Fighting continues in DR Congo’s Bunagana town, despite it being captured by government troops last week and a ceasefire request from the M23 rebel group. The army is now targeting hilltops around the town where dozens of rebels are hiding. It has taken one strategic hilltop after the rebels shelled a market, killing four people. At this point, the town’s entire population has fled.

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