World News

Phil Gengler
2005-01-28 00:00:00

Report accuses Iraqi security forces of torture

In a new report, watchdog group Human Rights Watch claims that Iraqi security forces are committing systematic torture against people in detention. The report also criticizes the American and British governments for not acting to stop or prevent such abuses. The group claims the ongoing torture could jeopardize Iraq's government, especially with Iraq's elections scheduled for January 30. The interim Iraqi government declined to comment on the report.

Humanitarian rises eases slightly in Darfur

The World Health Organization is reporting that the disease-related death rate among refugees in the Darfur region of Sudan is on a decline. Violence in the Darfur region has left nearly 70,000 people dead and forced more than 1.5 million people from their homes. This has led to poor conditions in overcrowded refugee camps, leaving people with inadequate water, food, health, or sanitation services. The WHO's report comes as the United Nations prepares to announce whether the crisis in Darfur is considered genocide.

Hamas considers truce with Israel

Following talks with new Palestinian leader Mahmous Abbas, the militant group Hamas has said it will accept a truce with Israel, if Israel stops targeted killings and releases all Palestinian prisoners. The group has suspended attacks on Israel as it awaits a response, but warns that it would respond to any new attacks by Israel. If the calm continues, Israel has said it will have its armed forces hold fire. The announcement brings new hope for a peaceful settlement in the years-old dispute between Israelis and Palestinians.

Ukraine takes aim for EU membership

Newly-inaugurated Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko has vowed to make "the democratic changes ... irreversible" in an effort to gain membership to the European Union. At present, the EU has not offered Ukraine the prospect of membership, but it is seeking to strengthen existing partnerships with the nation. In an address to the Council of Europe, Yushchenko promised to reorganize the government and seek closer ties with the EU.