Angelina Jolie was reduced to tears in Bosnia recently while promoting a campaign to end sexual violence against women in war.
The Hollywood actress, who is a goodwill ambassador for the UN's refugee agency, spoke to rape victims and paid tribute to the thousands raped during the Bosnian War on Friday. She was accompanied by British Foreign Secretary William Hague and both applauded Bosnia's decision to include rape prevention in military training.
"The use of rape as a weapon of war is one of the most harrowing and savage of these crimes against civilians," an emotional Jolie told a conference in Sarajevo reporrted independent.co.uk. more >>
A deaf couple from Texas has received a formal apology from American Airlines after their missing luggage was returned with an insulting note attached.
"Please text, deaf and dumb," the note on the luggage said. It had been written by an American Airlines employee who wanted to make sure the couple was reached properly – by text – but then added that the couple was "deaf and dumb" for an unknown reason.
James Moehle and Angela Huckaby were horrified at the note and took immediate action, writing to American Airlines about their disappointment with the note's offensive label. more >>
U.S. and German representatives drew attention to the plight of American pastor Saeed Abedini at the United Nations Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, saying his human rights are being violated as he remains imprisoned in Iran.
"We take this opportunity to call once again for the release of dual U.S.-Iranian citizen Saeed Abedini, who is currently being held in Iran on charges related to his religious beliefs," said Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Paula Schriefer, who led the U.S. delegation, on Monday.
Schriefer noted that religious minorities in Iran, including non-Shia Muslims and Baha'is, are subject to harsh treatments. And despite Iran's change in administration, with the election of President Hassan Rouhani, there has been no significant improvement to the country's human rights situation, she added. more >>
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 >>