Human right groups reminded the international community that a promise was made never to allow the atrocities of Nazi Germany to be repeated again, and in that light pushed Congress to approve a bill detailing new sanctions and action steps against North Korea and the human rights abuses it is inflicting on its own people.
"When the full scale of the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany against the Jewish people was realized, the international community vowed never again would the world stand by and allow this type of cruelty to occur again," Suzanne Scholte, chairman of the North Korea Freedom Coalition, said in a statement at a Capitol Hill panel on North Korea on Wednesday.
"Yet, if you are a North Korean these words ring hollow because we have known of these atrocities for decades and yet we are allowing them to continue. Consider that the North Korean political prison camps have been in existence 10 times longer than the Nazi death camps, three times longer than the Soviet gulag, and existed even longer than the China's laogai." more >>
Actor Sean Connery has urged his home country of Scotland to do away with its association with the United Kingdom and become an independent country. Connery has long been a supporter of Scotland's independence and says that the time is now, the opportunity simply "too good to miss."
"As a Scot and as someone with a lifelong love for both Scotland and the arts, I believe the opportunity of independence is too good to miss. Simply put – there is no more creative an act than creating a new nation," Connery wrote in an article for the New Statesman website.
Connery is not alone in his views. Anti-poverty campaigner and fellow Scotsman, Iain Duncan-Smith, has also come out in favor of Scottish independence. more >>
During his acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars last night, Jared Leto stirred the pot when he mention the country of Ukraine, which is in the midst of political turmoil. Leto and his band are due to play in the country in a few weeks, making his Oscar dedication even more meaningful.
"To all the dreamers out there around the world watching this tonight, in places like the Ukraine and Venezuela … This is for the 36 million people who have lost the battle to AIDS and to those of you who have ever felt injustice to who you are or who you loved. I stand here with you," Leto said in his speech.
Backstage, Leto revealed that his band, "30 Seconds to Mars," will soon be performing in the country as well as Thailand. However, the political turmoil has disrupted his plans to perform in Venezuela. Leto is passionate about performing and helping others and stays up-to-date on the situations within the countries he plans to visit. more >>
An orphan who was previously forced to work in a North Korea labor camp has relayed his treacherous experience, saying that he was "treated like an animal" and therefore resorted to "no thinking … just fear."
Hyuk Kim was arrested by the North Korean government at the age of 16 after trying to go into China in search of food. The young, homeless orphan was then sentenced to three years at one of the country's most unrelenting labor camps, known as Jungeori Labor Camp, where Kim says he was treated "like an animal" and didn't even dare dream of his escape.
"At Jungeori, there was no sense of being human; if you thought you were a human being, you couldn't live there," said the now 33-year-old, who was freed from the camp in 2001 after eight months of imprisonment. "You were like an animal. You do the hard labor you were ordered to do, that's it. No thinking. No free will. Just fear." more >>
With reports of extreme persecution and human rights abuses in North Korea, including a recent 400 page report by the U.N. exposing "unspeakable atrocities," Christians are wondering whether God has abandoned the country.
"Is God at work in North Korea? Because we don't see it," some have told Open Doors, a persecution watchdog group. The organization has listed North Korea as the most oppressive country in the world for Christians on its World Watch List for the past 12 years in a row now, and despite constant prayers for change, the situation only seems to be getting worse.
The U.N. Commission of Inquiry on human rights in the DPRK said in its extensive report on Monday, which is to be formally presented to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 17, that "the gravity, scale and nature of these violations reveal a State that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world." more >>
A deaf man in California has filed a lawsuit against Hawthorne police after reportedly being beaten and tasered while preparing to go to Bible study one year ago. The case has gained national attention because the victim is deaf, and lawyers are concerned about the fact that police either did not notice or were not aware of his deafness or the fact that he primarily communicates in sign language.
"He wasn't doing anything other than trying to get away from people who were hurting him," Jonathan Meister's attorney Paula Pearlman told The Daily Breeze. "We're really concerned about the problem of law enforcement and people who are deaf."
The incident occurred while Meister was loading his car with boxes and bags that he previously kept in a neighbor's backyard. A different neighbor saw him, called out, and when he didn't respond, called the police, who thought they were apprehending a neighborhood burglar. The four responding officers watched Meister for a few minutes, then made a move. more >>