(CNN) -- North Korea is showing no signs of scaling back its fearsome labor camp system, with torture, starvation, rape and death a fact of life for tens of thousand of inmates, according to human rights group Amnesty International.
The rights group released satellite images, purportedly showing evidence of expansion, including the construction of new housing blocks and production facilities, at two of the isolated regime's largest camps or "kwanliso" --15 and 16 -- used to hold political prisoners.
"The gruesome reality of North Korea's continued investment in this vast network of repression has been exposed," said Rajiv Narayan, Amnesty International's East Asia Researcher. Read More
THUGS and thieves always prefer to act in the early hours of the morning. So did Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine’s president.
Less than 24 hours after he ruined the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius and ditched the Association Agreement with Europe, he vividly demonstrated his preferred alternative. In the small hours of Saturday morning he sent in special troops to beat up the few hundred students and activists who stood vigil for Ukraine’s European future. Armed with truncheons and tear gas, the police pummelled the peaceful demonstration, smashing heads and kicking people on the ground. Never in its 22 years as an independent country has Ukraine seen such violence. Read More
Washington (CNN) -- Battered by two months of bad publicity over the Obamacare website, the White House is going on the offensive to tout what it sees as the benefits of the President's signature healthcare plan, a White House official told CNN.
"While work continues on the website, we think it is important that proponents of health reform undertake a renewed effort to refocus the public on the benefits of the law that have already been implemented," the official said.
"To kick off the new effort, the President will hold an event at the White House to discuss the health care law's benefits already in place for millions of Americans and make the case for why we need to move forward to make sure the law is a success." Read More.
It can sometimes take a lot to stir passions in France, but a shocking Facebook page and the stream of insults that followed have roused the French to a heated public debate about racism.
The Facebook page belonged to a local candidate from the far-right National Front political party, and compared justice minister Christiane Taubira, who is black, to a monkey.
The candidate was suspended but there were more, similar insults that followed -- including on the front page of a right-wing newspaper which featured the headline "Clever as a monkey" alongside a photo of Taubira.
The attacks on such a high-profile figure eventually led lawmakers across the political divide to rise up in support of Taubira -- but they have also led to a great deal of soul-searching over the extent of racism in France. Those who study the question, like historian Pap N'Diaye, whose father was from Senegal, says there is no question racism is growing. Read More
Dallas was an unusually dangerous place in the months preceding President John F. Kennedy’s November 1963 visit there. That month the Department of Defense had sent Kennedy aide Ken O’Donnell a confidential, comprehensive report on the city noting its population had recently surged to 747,000 residents primarily because of newcomers coming from rural Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. These transplant Southerners had sharpened what was already a politically and socially conservative climate. The report went on, “Dallas’s political conservatism stems from a fundamentalist religious training and years of conditioning,” William Manchester reported in “The Death of a President.” In the early 1960s, “the maturity of independent oil wealth” and recent industrialization had made the city’s climate “overtly active” and “politically militant.” Read More