Weekly News Round-Up 12/8/14-12/12/14: The Torture Report

Congratulations to TIME’s Person of the Year, the Ebola fighters. Ebola continues to rage in Sierra Leone, even as it quiets in other parts of Western Africa. Meanwhile the CIA torture report excerpt is out and it’s a horrifying thing. Protesters in Hong Kong are leaving but departing with a message to the government — they’ll be back. Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi shared their Nobel Prize this week for their work in the areas of women’s education and the rights of children, respectively. As a Pakistani and an Indian, the Prize’s committee expressed hope that the recipients’ home countries would continue to strive for peace and dialogue.

n opposition activist is detained by Cuban security officers before the start of a march marking International Human Rights Day in Havana, Cuba, on Dec. 10. The march was organized by the "Damas de Blanco," or Women in White, a pro-democracy group of women activists. The demonstrators where picked up by the police as soon as they arrived, while hundreds of pro-government loyalist sang patriotic songs and slogans.
n opposition activist is detained by Cuban security officers before the start of a march marking International Human Rights Day in Havana, Cuba, on Dec. 10. The march was organized by the “Damas de Blanco,” or Women in White, a pro-democracy group of women activists. The demonstrators where picked up by the police as soon as they arrived, while hundreds of pro-government loyalist sang patriotic songs and slogans.
Flames spread from a massive fire at the site of a seven-story downtown apartment complex under construction in Los Angeles, Calif., on Dec. 8. Over 250 firefighters battled the early morning blaze which shut down two major freeways, the Los Angeles Fire Department and California Highway Patrol said. A large investigation into the cause of the fire is underway.
Flames spread from a massive fire at the site of a seven-story downtown apartment complex under construction in Los Angeles, Calif., on Dec. 8. Over 250 firefighters battled the early morning blaze which shut down two major freeways, the Los Angeles Fire Department and California Highway Patrol said. A large investigation into the cause of the fire is underway.
4 An undercover police officer, who had been marching with demonstrators, aims his gun at protesters after some in the crowd attacked him and his partner in Oakland, Calif., on Dec. 10, 2014. The man was identified as an officer with the California Highway Patrol, according to the Oakland Police Department. Police said more than 100 demonstrators marched in Berkeley, Calif., which has a history of social activism. Under cloudy skies, turnout was smaller than earlier in the week, when demonstrators in the area threw rocks at police and shut down a major freeway.
4
An undercover police officer, who had been marching with demonstrators, aims his gun at protesters after some in the crowd attacked him and his partner in Oakland, Calif., on Dec. 10, 2014. The man was identified as an officer with the California Highway Patrol, according to the Oakland Police Department. Police said more than 100 demonstrators marched in Berkeley, Calif., which has a history of social activism. Under cloudy skies, turnout was smaller than earlier in the week, when demonstrators in the area threw rocks at police and shut down a major freeway.
Protesters rallying against police violence block Interstate 80 in Berkeley, Calif., on Dec. 8. Hundreds of people marched through downtown Berkeley on Dec. 8 in reaction to the grand jury decisions not to indict white police officers in the deaths of two unarmed black men, Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in Staten Island in New York.
Protesters rallying against police violence block Interstate 80 in Berkeley, Calif., on Dec. 8. Hundreds of people marched through downtown Berkeley on Dec. 8 in reaction to the grand jury decisions not to indict white police officers in the deaths of two unarmed black men, Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in Staten Island in New York.
 Palestinian minister Ziad Abu Ein, left, scuffles with an Israeli border policeman near the West Bank city of Ramallah, on Dec. 10. Abu Ein died shortly after being hit by Israeli soldiers during a protest on Wednesday in the occupied West Bank, a Reuters photographer who witnessed the incident and a Palestinian medic said. Ziad Abu Ein, a minister without portfolio who was in his early 50s, died en route to the nearby Palestinian city of Ramallah.  Israeli and Palestinian pathologists disagree on whether a blow to the body or a bad heart was the main cause of death of Abu Ein, who collapsed shortly after scuffling with Israeli troops during a West Bank protest on Dec. 10.

Palestinian minister Ziad Abu Ein, left, scuffles with an Israeli border policeman near the West Bank city of Ramallah, on Dec. 10. Abu Ein died shortly after being hit by Israeli soldiers during a protest on Wednesday in the occupied West Bank, a Reuters photographer who witnessed the incident and a Palestinian medic said. Ziad Abu Ein, a minister without portfolio who was in his early 50s, died en route to the nearby Palestinian city of Ramallah.
Israeli and Palestinian pathologists disagree on whether a blow to the body or a bad heart was the main cause of death of Abu Ein, who collapsed shortly after scuffling with Israeli troops during a West Bank protest on Dec. 10.
1 A man holds onto a girl as he brings her back to her family home, after she tried to escape when she realized she was going to be married, about 50 miles from the town of Marigat in Baringo County, in Kenya, on Dec. 7.  In the Pokot tradition, parents give their daughters as wives usually at the beginning of their adolescence, after an initiation ceremony marking their passing over into womanhood.  The future husband of the girl above arrived at her family home with a group of men to collect her. They brought 10 cows, the last of the settled dowry for the girl's family. Her dowry was made up of 20 goats, three camels and 10 cows, which were delivered over a period of several weeks. The girl was unaware of the marriage arrangements that her father had made. The family said that if they had told her in advance she might have run away from home.  This is one of the traditions the Pokots have developed that aim to optimize each household's chance of survival in a difficult and hostile environment.
1
A man holds onto a girl as he brings her back to her family home, after she tried to escape when she realized she was going to be married, about 50 miles from the town of Marigat in Baringo County, in Kenya, on Dec. 7.
In the Pokot tradition, parents give their daughters as wives usually at the beginning of their adolescence, after an initiation ceremony marking their passing over into womanhood.
The future husband of the girl above arrived at her family home with a group of men to collect her. They brought 10 cows, the last of the settled dowry for the girl’s family. Her dowry was made up of 20 goats, three camels and 10 cows, which were delivered over a period of several weeks. The girl was unaware of the marriage arrangements that her father had made. The family said that if they had told her in advance she might have run away from home.
This is one of the traditions the Pokots have developed that aim to optimize each household’s chance of survival in a difficult and hostile environment.

images / nbcnews

Assorted Stand-Outs:

Here’s the massive report, by the numbers. You can browse the entire sickening document here.

  • 119: Number of individuals known to have been held in CIA custody under the agency’s detention and interrogation program
  • 26: Number of individuals the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has determined to have been “wrongfully” held by the CIA
  • 180: Maximum number of hours detainees were forcefully kept awake, “at times with their hands shackled above their heads”
  • 5: Number of detainees who experienced “disturbing hallucinations” during prolonged sleep deprivation
  • 5: Number of CIA detainees subjected to “rectal rehydration” or rectal feeding without documented medical necessity
  • 3: Number of detainees the CIA threatened with harm to their children or sexual abuse of their mother
  • 834: The number of times “enhanced interrogation” appears
  • 131: The number of times the word “torture” appears in the report
  • 4: The number of years that the CIA used enhanced interrogation before briefing President George W. Bush on the specific techniques they were employing
  • 180: Number of dollars, in millions, the CIA included in a base contract in 2006 to hire psychologists to help devise the agency’s enhanced interrogation techniques
  • 17: Number of detainees subjected to enhanced interrogation without approval from CIA headquarters

South & Central Asia:

Southeast & East Asia:

  • The end of democratic protests in Hong Kong…for now.
  • China notes that the US is escaping censure for the torture report due to soft power.
  • In South Korea, journalists fear a clampdown on the press.

Europe & Eurasia:

Middle East & North Africa:

  • Don’t be fooled — liberal values are spreading in the Arab world.
  • Abbas the autocrat?
  • Daesh/Islamic State is making inroads in Gaza.
  • Israel has bombed Syria in an attack likely aimed at Hezbollah.
  • A challenge to Bibi.
  • Western countries will take only 100,000 Syrian refugees despite larger requests from the UN.
  • After attack, Israelis are showing support for one bilingual school.
  • A Palestinian cabinet member was killed after clashing with Israeli troops. | Palestinian leaders are meeting to discuss ceasing security cooperation with Israel.
  • Britain and Canada have both closed their embassies in Cairo, Egypt due to security concerns.
  • One WaPo reporter’s health is failing in Iran’s Evin prison.
  • An attempt to rescue an American hostage in Yemen killed 13 people, including the hostage.

Sub-Saharan Africa:

  • Inside the ICC’s decision to drop the case against Kenyan leader Kenyatta.
  • At least 12 people were hacked and stabbed to death (reportedly by a rebel group) in the DRC.
  • Zimbabwe’s vice president has been fired by the country’s leader.
  • Ebola is slowly easing in Liberia but raging in Sierra Leone.

Americas:

Oceania:

  • A new report condemns Australia over rioting at detention center in Papua New Guinea.

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