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Nadia Zahel – Given Away as a Child Bride, Afghan Woman Describes 24 Years of Abuse

Spogmai was just 12 years old when she was separated from her parents and handed over to another family. But this was no ordinary arranged marriage. Instead, she was given to a man more than three times her age in order to settle a family feud. Her voice trembles as she recalls the day she entered a form of slavery. …

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Obama signs his last Pentagon budget: A legacy of war and reaction

President Barack Obama signed into law last week his seventh and final Pentagon spending bill, providing $619 billion to continue and expand the murderous violence of the US war machine. Spending more than the next seven countries combined, the US military is currently engaged in combat operations in at least seven different countries, while maintaining some 800 overseas bases around …

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Campus composting programs effective in educating students

SAN MARCOS, TX – As food waste becomes a growing concern on college campuses, colleges and universities across the US are introducing integrated composting programs to collect food waste while educating students about environmental stewardship. A new study shows that campus composting programs can be effective in raising students’ awareness of composting and environmental issues. “College campus cafeterias generate a …

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Donald Trump claims torture ‘works’ – but what does the science say?

The US president-elect Donald Trump has on several occasions insisted that torture is a good idea and that procedures such as water-boarding are not “tough enough” when dealing with terrorist groups like Islamic State. The view is clearly morally and ethically questionable. But if we put that aside, does he have a point? If we need to get information out …

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Ayaz Gul – Officials Count Around 30,000 War Dead in Afghanistan This Year

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN —  Hostilities in Afghanistan have left around 30,000 people dead and as many wounded, mostly insurgents, according to the latest official estimates. As of Sunday, counter-insurgency operations conducted by Afghan police and military forces around the country had left more than 18,500 “enemy” fighters dead and wounded 12,000 more, according to defense and interior ministry officials. Mohammad Radmanesh, …

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Sarah Lazare – Mothers Incarcerated With Their Children in Obama’s Disgraceful Family Prisons Want Freedom for the Holidays

“We are desperate because this will be the second Christmas that our children have to spend here,” 17 mothers incarcerated at the Berks County Family Detention Center wrote in a recent joint letter to state authorities, publicized by the advocacy organization Grassroots Leadership. “This is in addition to all the other special dates—such as the birthdays of our children and …

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For the 1st Time, a Lawsuit Could Assign Individual Accountability in CIA Post-9/11 Torture Program

A lawsuit filed by two men who were tortured and the representative of a third who died in CIA custody may hold accountable two psychologists the agency contracted to design the post-9/11 interrogation program. In October, one of the plaintiffs, Suleiman Abdullah Salim, told New York Times reporter James Risen that he can’t escape the “Darkness” of his experience of …

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Harriet Agerholm – Iranian girls ‘given eight lashings each because their parents could not pay school fees’

A group of schoolgirls in Iran have been flogged because their parents owed less than eight pounds in school fees, according to an opposition group in the country. Ten girls from the Mokhtarabad village in the country’s southern province of Kerman reportedly endured eight lashings each from their school principal after they failed to pay 300,000 riyals in fees. There …