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HeadlinesNovember 13, 2017

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Hundreds Killed as Powerful Earthquake Hits Iran Near Iraqi Border

Nov 13, 2017

More than 330 people have died in Iran after a powerful magnitude 7.3 earthquake hit the western province of Kermanshah near the Iraqi border. More than 4,000 people were injured. The death toll is expected to rise as rescue workers reach remote regions. At least six people died in Iraq, as well.

In Philippines, Trump Embraced by Notorious President Duterte

Nov 13, 2017

During the last stop of his Asia trip, President Trump openly praised Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte, saying the two had a “great relationship.” Since Duterte was elected in 2016, more than 7,000 people have been extrajudicially killed by police or vigilantes. According to Duterte’s spokesperson, Trump did not raise any concerns about Duterte’s human rights record.

Harry Roque: “Well, there was no mention of human rights. There was no mention of extralegal killings. There was only a rather lengthy discussion about the Philippine 'war on drugs,' with President Duterte doing most of the explaining.”

Trump and Duterte also refused to take questions from the media. When reporters attempted to ask about human rights, Duterte called the reporters “spies,” which reportedly made Trump laugh.

Hundreds Protest Ahead of Trump’s Visit to the Philippines

Nov 13, 2017

Prior to Trump’s arrival in the Philippines, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the U.S. Embassy. Police fired water cannons to disperse the protesters. This is Renato Reyes, the head of the New Patriotic Alliance.

Renato Reyes: “Trump is no friend to the Filipino people. He brings war. He brings economic impositions. He wants to bring the U.S. 'war on terror' in the Philippines. He wants to drag us in the conflict of North Korea. He wants to bring back U.S. bases in the Philippines. These are things that are not beneficial to the Filipino people.”

ASEAN Summit Blasted for Silence on Burmese Persecution of Rohingya

Nov 13, 2017

President Trump was in Manila for the opening of a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN. The regional body is facing criticism for failing to address the crisis in Burma, where the United Nations has accused Burma of waging a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya Muslims. Burmese leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi spoke in Manila but did not mention the crisis. Aung San Suu Kyi was once a critic of ASEAN’s policy of non-interference. In 1999, when she was fighting for democracy in Burma, she wrote, “This policy of non-interference is just an excuse for not helping. In this day and age, you cannot avoid interference in the matters of other countries.”

President Trump Calls North Korea’s Kim Jong-un “Short and Fat”

Nov 13, 2017

In other news from Asia, the U.S. and North Korea openly traded insults over the weekend. North Korea described Trump as a “warmonger” and an “old lunatic.” Trump responded on Twitter by writing, “Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me 'old,' when I would NEVER call him 'short and fat?'”

Former Intelligence Chiefs Dispute Trump on Russia Election Meddling

Nov 13, 2017

Former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper have openly criticized President Trump after he cast doubts on the intelligence community’s findings about Russian meddling in the 2016 election. During a conversation with reporters aboard Air Force One, Trump said he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denials and questioned the conclusions of the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies. Trump said about Putin, “Every time he sees me, he says, 'I didn't do that,’ and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it.” Trump went on to describe Brennan and Clapper as political hacks. Trump later walked back his remarks, saying he accepts the opinion of the U.S. intelligence agencies.

750,000 Protest in Catalonia for Release of Jailed Leaders

Nov 13, 2017

In news from Europe, over 750,000 supporters of Catalan independence marched in Barcelona on Saturday calling on Spain to release eight members of the deposed Catalan government.

Protester: “I am here because there are political prisoners that should not be in jail. We are appalled, angry and mad because of the situation, because people don’t deserve it. We do things peacefully, with the desire to build a country and without any desire to hurt anyone.”

The Catalan leaders were jailed by Spain after the Catalan government declared independence on October 27. The region’s former president, Carles Puigdemont, who is now in Belgium, also faces charges. Meanwhile, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy traveled to Barcelona on Sunday for the first time since imposing direct rule on Catalonia. He vowed to end what he described as “separatist havoc.”

Poland: 60,000 Far-Right Nationalists March in Warsaw

Nov 13, 2017

On Saturday, Poland witnessed one of the largest rallies by fascists in Europe in years. Some 60,000 people took part in a far-right march in Warsaw to mark Polish Independence Day. Demonstrators threw red smoke bombs and chanted “Pure Poland, white Poland!” and “Refugees get out!” One banner read “Pray for Islamic Holocaust.” The Polish Interior Ministry called the event a “beautiful event.”

German Newspaper Tallies 33,293 Migrant Deaths

Nov 13, 2017

In other news from Europe, a German newspaper has published the names of over 33,000 migrants and refugees who have died attempting to reach Europe since 1993. The German paper Der Tagesspiegel published the list on November 9—the anniversary of the Kristallnacht, when German Nazis launched a wave of violent anti-Jewish pogroms. According to the U.N. International Organization for Migration, 2016 was the deadliest year to date for migrants attempting to reach Europe, with more than 5,000 deaths. Another 3,000 people have died so far this year.

Former Prime Minister Hariri Says He’ll Return to Lebanon Within Days

Nov 13, 2017

Lebanon remains in a state of crisis more than a week after its prime minister, Saad al-Hariri, unexpectedly resigned while on a trip to Saudi Arabia. Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun and others have accused Saudi Arabia of kidnapping Hariri. On Sunday, Hariri gave his first televised interview since resigning. On Friday, Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah condemned Saudi’s interference in Lebanese politics.

U.S. Drones Strike Somalia Amid Increased Troop Presence

Nov 13, 2017

In news from Africa, the U.S. has carried out at least three drone strikes in Somalia since Saturday, in an intensification of the U.S. campaign against the militant group al-Shabab. Some 400 U.S. troops are also now operating in Somalia, quadruple the number from when Donald Trump took office.

Alabama Senate Candidate Roy Moore Denies Child Sexual Assault Charges

Nov 13, 2017

In Alabama, Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore is facing increasing calls to drop out of the closely watched race, after at least four women accused him of making sexual advances on them while they were teenagers. On Saturday, Moore defended himself. But several of Roy Moore’s former colleagues have publicly acknowledged it was common knowledge that when Moore was in his thirties he would date teenagers. Meanwhile, Axios is reporting Steve Bannon has dispatched two Breitbart employees to go to Alabama to dig up dirt on the women who publicly spoke out against Moore.

More Prominent Men Face Sexual Assault and Abuse Allegations

Nov 13, 2017

The entertainment, political, business and athletic worlds continue to be rocked by new reports of sexual abuse and misconduct by prominent men. On Friday, the comedian Louis C.K. admitted reports were true that he mistreated women and masturbated in front of fellow female comics. Other men facing accusations of sexual misconduct include the actors Steven Seagal, Richard Dreyfuss and George Takei, former FIFA President Sepp Blatter, Warner Brothers TV executive Andrew Kreisberg, film producer Gary Goddard and Jesse Lacey of the band Brand New. Meanwhile, the three-time Olympic gold medal gymnast Aly Raisman has revealed that she was sexually abused by Larry Nassar, the former doctor of the  U.S. women’s gymnastics team. More than 130 women and girls have now accused Larry Nassar, the former doctor of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team, of abuse. He is currently in jail awaiting sentencing on child pornography charges.

In Hollywood, Hundreds Join #MeToo March Against Sexual Assault

Nov 13, 2017

Meanwhile, in Hollywood, California, hundreds took part in the “Me Too Survivors’ March” on Sunday. Participants included 21-year-old Tara McNamara of Los Angeles.

Tara McNamara: “Every woman in my life that I’ve ever known has been sexually assaulted or sexually harassed. I’ve been sexually assaulted. I’ve been raped. I’ve been sexually assaulted multiple times throughout my life. It’s affected me in every like aspect of my life. It’s given me major depression. I always have tried to speak out about these things, and there’s always been kind of this awkwardness around it or hesitation with people to speak about it. This is really cleansing.”

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