Policy & Advocacy
Top stories summarized by our editors
5/20/2019

Two pending appeals involving Indiana abortion laws were left off the list of rulings announced by the Supreme Court today. The justices may still consider the appeals and will next announce rulings on May 28.

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Reuters
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Supreme Court
5/20/2019

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini's plan to block aid groups that rescue migrants on the Mediterranean from entering Italian ports is a violation of international law, according to United Nations investigators. The proposed rule "further intensifies the climate of hostility and xenophobia against migrants," according to a letter from several UN rights experts to Italian officials.

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Matteo Salvini, OHCHR, United Nations, UN
5/20/2019

Nils Melzer, a United Nations special rapporteur on torture, met with Julian Assange in his cell in London earlier this month, accompanied by a medical expert, without a guard present. "I will be trying to assess the risks of torture and ill treatment Mr. Assange might be exposed to," said Melzer after the meeting.

5/20/2019

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reports that it has registered around 270,000 Rohingya refugees living in Bangladesh and, together with authorities in Bangladesh, issued them photo identification. The ID cards -- which are the first-ever formal identification for many Rohingya -- will help agencies target aid, reduce the risk of human trafficking and help reunite families that become separated during disasters.

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UNHCR, United Nations
5/20/2019

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is voicing concerns about the widespread practice of making the voices of digital assistants female, which it says reinforces gender bias. UNESCO is urging corporations and governments to consider a gender-neutral persona for digital assistants and to make software development teams more evenly balanced between genders.

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Neowin
5/20/2019

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says he has tasked the President of France, the Prime Minister for Jamaica and the Emir of Qatar with securing finances for efforts to combat climate change. "It's not enough to have money available, it's essential to have access to that money and small countries with small administrations need simplified procedures," Guterres says.

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Antonio Guterres, UN
5/20/2019

Plans announced by the UK Department of Defence to pardon veterans for offences committed outside the UK more than a decade ago have drawn criticism from the United Nations Committee Against Torture. The committee urges UK leaders to refrain from such an action and ensure victims of ill-treatment by UK troops receive redress.

5/20/2019

The Trump Administration has delegated more environmental regulatory authority to states. This has led to new state laws on issues such as coal ash disposal, greenhouse gas emissions and pesticides.

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Trump administration
5/17/2019

President Donald Trump unveiled his plan for immigration reform in a Rose Garden address at the White House Thursday. The plan calls for more funding to house and process refugees and for construction of the border wall, as well as a shift to a merit-based immigration policy and away from one based on family ties.

5/17/2019

DonorsChoose is launching an initiative called #ISeeMe that promotes the use of educational materials representing different cultures, such as books by writers of color and other texts on diverse figures. Google has promised to match $4 million in donations.

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EdSurge
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Google, DonorsChoose, #ISeeMe, $4 million