Outrage as US border agents cut visit times for divided families

  • Border Patrol restricting access to Friendship Park in California
  • ‘This has to do with the message of hate that Trump screams out’

US Border Patrol is restricting access to a park on the California-Mexico border where families separated by immigration laws frequently visit each other, sparking outrage from human rights advocates.

At Friendship Park, which extends from San Diego to Tijuana, US authorities are now limiting meetings to 30 minutes and allowing only 10 people at a time, a major policy change that dismantles what is for many families the only opportunity to spend time with their loved ones in person.

Related: Why Democrats should support open borders | Reece Jones

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Walsall council ban on cemetery borders and flowerbeds challenged

Muslim man claims ban on edging around father’s grave breaches right to freedom of religion

A Muslim man is mounting a legal challenge over a prohibition on edging, or borders, around individual graves in his local cemetery, saying that the ban breaches his right to freedom of religion.

Atta Ul-Haq has been granted permission for a judicial review of Walsall council’s policy on the basis that it is a matter of public interest.

Related: Defying gravity

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The Guardian view of Boris Johnson’s Brexit vision: all about me | Editorial

It was billed as a Valentine’s Day letter to remainers. But the foreign secretary’s love affair with himself got in the way

The foreign secretary Boris Johnson made a speech on Wednesday in praise of optimism, confidence and a liberal Brexit. It was rich in rhetorical flourish and almost empty of detail. It was the speech of a politician whose only credibility is as the tribune of the leave campaign, a shameless piece of oration that fell back on his old journalistic trick of describing an EU that does not exist in order to justify his determination to get out. It was billed as an overture to the 48% who wanted to stay in the EU and a definitive speech about the shape of Britain’s future relationships outside it. But it was singularly free of the kind of irksome detail needed to understand a world beyond Europe.

It was rich in what Whitehall describes as optimism bias, “an estimate for a project’s costs, benefits and duration [made] in the absence of robust primary evidence”. It was a Valentine’s Day card to himself and his ambition to be the next Tory leader, an ambition he betrayed with his incoherent answer to a question about whether he would rule out resigning this year.

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Mass protests force Ethiopia to free opposition leader

Bekele Gerba and seven other political figures suddenly cleared of charges and let out of jail after being arrested in 2015

Ethiopia has released a senior opposition leader from prison and dropped all charges against him after demonstrators blocked roads and staged protest rallies in several towns.

Bekele Gerba, secretary general of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), was arrested in December 2015 after mass protests broke out in the Oromiya region over accusations that farmers were being forced to sell land with scant compensation.

Related: 'Addis has run out of space': Ethiopia's radical redesign

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Egypt's allies urged to denounce 'farcical' presidential election

Sisi government has ‘trampled over’ requirements for free and fair elections, rights groups say

Egypt’s western allies have been urged to denounce the country’s “farcical” presidential election, after authorities detained a top anti-corruption official and the former running mate of a challenger to President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

Fourteen international and Egyptian rights groups, including Human Rights Watch and the International Commission of Jurists, condemned the forthcoming March presidential elections, accusing the Sisi government of having “trampled over even the minimum requirements for free and fair elections” in his bid for a second term.

(February 25, 2011) 

Related: With dissent crushed, Egypt's presidential campaign is a subdued affair

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Asma Jahangir obituary

Lawyer and human rights campaigner who fought for women, children and religious minorities in her native Pakistan

For four decades the Pakistani lawyer Asma Jahangir, who has died aged 66 after a cardiac arrest, led the way in the struggle for human rights – especially those of women, children and religious minorities. In doing so she deployed a sharp wit and a direct manner of speaking. But while her voice was appreciated by liberals who believed that the only way Pakistan’s civil society could progress was to improve its human rights record, she had powerful detractors who opposed her actions on the grounds that she was destroying the country’s traditional political and social fabric.

In 1983, as part of the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy, Asma, who had recently been called to the supreme high court, was among members of the Lahore Punjab Women Lawyers’ Association who publicly protested against the proposed law of evidence stipulating that the value of a woman’s testimony was half that of a man. Having been teargassed and beaten by the police, several of the protesters were jailed, as was Asma.

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'We will shoot your vagina': Philippines president on communist rebels – video

Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines president, has said soldiers should shoot female communist rebels in their vaginas. Duterte gave the order during a speech to more than 200 former communist soldiers last week

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Philippines: Rodrigo Duterte orders soldiers to shoot female rebels 'in the vagina'

President branded a misogynist and macho-fascist after saying mutilating women fighters would make them “useless”

President Rodrigo Duterte has been branded a misogynist and “macho-fascist” after he ordered soldiers to shoot female communist rebels in the vagina.

In a speech to over 200 former communist soldiers in Malacañang last week, the Philippines president gave a directive of what to do with female guerrilla fighters.

Related: Thousands dead: the Philippine president, the death squad allegations and a brutal drugs war

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Gene Sharp obituary

Political scientist and author who was the leading theorist of non-violent protest and resistance

Gene Sharp, who has died aged 90, carved out a unique role as a theorist of non-violent resistance. In a large number of books and shorter works he did more than anyone else to develop a coherent theory of this phenomenon – also called people power, civil resistance and non-violent action.

Only he had the range of knowledge, and the sheer doggedness, to produce a list of no fewer than 198 methods of non-violent action, comprising 54 methods of protest such as demonstrations, 103 methods of non-cooperation ranging from Lysistratic non-action to strikes, boycotts and expulsion from international organisations, and 41 methods of non-violent intervention such as land seizures, alternative markets and the creation of parallel governments. Not one of these methods was invented by Sharp, but no one before had amassed such a range of possibilities and given such a range of historical examples of each.

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Prominent Pakistani rights activist Asma Jahangir dies aged 66

Lawyer who was outspoken critic of country’s Islamist extremism had a heart attack in Lahore

Asma Jahangir, one of Pakistan’s most prominent human rights activists, has died of a heart attack aged 66.

She was rushed to hospital in Lahore on Saturday night and died the following day, her daughter Muneeze Jahangir said.

Related: Pakistan’s rulers must show an honest resolve to fight terrorism | Asma Jahangir

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