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While North Korea remains one of the most repressive societies in the world, life for women there is especially harsh, according to a report released on Thursday by New York-based Human Rights Watch. 

North Korean authorities routinely commit sexual violence against women with impunity, according to the report, which was based on interviews with 54 North Koreans who fled the country and eight former officials.

"Unwanted sexual contact and violence is so common that it has come...

It's been a long time coming, but Israeli commuters are finally able to board double-decker high-speed trains on a new link from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.

Construction has been plagued by engineering and planning challenges, and the last section of the line is still not open. The route has also angered some Palestinians, as part of the track runs in tunnels under the occupied West Bank.

Transport Minister Yisrael Katz hopes it will eventually whisk passengers from secular, liberal...

Staff at Google offices around the world are staging an unprecedented series of walkouts in protest at the company's treatment of women.

The employees are demanding several key changes in how sexual misconduct allegations are dealt with at the firm, including a call to end forced arbitration - a move which would make it possible for victims to sue.

Google chief executive Sundar Pichai has told staff he supports their right to take the action.

"I understand the anger and...

A former nurse has admitted to killing 100 patients in his care, on the first day of his trial in the biggest serial killing case in Germany’s post-war history.

Niels Hoegel, 41, has already spent nearly a decade in prison on a life term for other patient deaths. He is accused of intentionally administering medical overdoses to victims so he could bring them back to life at the last moment.

As the proceedings opened in the northern city of Oldenburg, the presiding judge,...

Over 100,000 people around the world are missing, which has created a global “crisis,” the International Committee of the Red Cross said Monday.

Agnes Coutou, the organization’s protection adviser, told the U.N. General Assembly’s human rights committee that “this is the highest number we have ever had.”

“We know that this is the tip of the iceberg and that it represents only a fraction of those estimated to be missing because of past and ongoing conflicts,” she said.

...

A genocide is still underway against Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims, a UN fact-finding team said on October 24 as it presented a report at the Security Council calling for the matter to be referred to the International Criminal Court.

Marzuki Darusman, chair of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, told a press conference that beyond mass killings, the conflict included the ostracization of the targeted population, prevention of births, and widespread displacement in camps.

"It...

Undersecretary for humanitarian affairs says clashes around Yemen's Hodeidah have worsened the country's food crisis.

The United Nations humanitarian chief warns that Yemen is on the verge of widespread famine, with about half of the population completely relying on humanitarian aid for survival. 

Addressing the Security Council on Tuesday, UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock said, "there is a clear and present danger of an imminent and great big...

The UN Human Rights Committee on October 22 criticised France's so-called burqa ban, saying the law "violated" the rights of two women who were fined for wearing full-face veils in public.

The committee called for the women to be compensated and for a review of the 2010 law that forbids people from publicly wearing clothing that conceals their face.

"The French law disproportionately harmed the petitioners' right to manifest their religious beliefs," the committee said in a...

A West Midlands school is facing criticism over a new policy reportedly insisting on silence between classes. Pupils who break the ‘silent corridor’ rule at Ninestiles school in Acocks Green, Birmingham, will be given a 20-minute detention, a letter to parents said.

Acting heads of school Alex Hughes and Andrea Stephens said the policy would ‘ensure students arrive calmly and ready to learn’, according to a letter published on the Birmingham Live news website.

The letter said...

In a rapidly widening investigation of metro Detroit funeral homes, Detroit Police executed a search warrant at a west-side funeral home near Wayne State University and removed 63 remains of fetuses, police said.

Custody of the remains — found at the Perry Funeral Home, on Trumbull just north of Warren Avenue — was turned over to state investigators, who immediately declared the business closed and its license suspended, according to a statement from Michigan Licensing and Regulatory...

Sexism, harassment and violence against women are widespread in European parliaments, according to a study published on October 16.

The findings in the study by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe are based on interviews with 123 women -- 81 MPs and 42 parliamentary staff members -- from 45 European countries.

While the sample size was relatively small, the findings offer a snapshot into a work culture involving threats of...

Israel’s Ambassador to Paris, Aliza Bin-Noun, has been at the centre of a “censorship” storm, reported Ynet, after lobbying a French television channel to pull a report on Palestinians shot by the Israeli army in the occupied Gaza Strip.

The item, “Gaza’s disabled teens”, was broadcast on France 2 and “discussed the stories of several young Palestinians who had lost their legs after being shot by IDF snipers and who spoke of their broken dreams" Ynet reported.

“One of the teens...

Catholic priest in the Diocese of Erie is charged with sexually assaulting two boys, including an altar boy whom the priest allegedly abused after Mass on Sundays and then made go to confession to describe the incidents, authorities said.

Rev. David Poulson, 64, was arrested Tuesday morning and charged with indecent assault, endangering the welfare of children and corruption of minors, Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced at a press conference on October 16.

Prosecutors said...

One Palestinian killed, eight injured in Israeli attacks, Hamas says it's an attempt to undermine truce.

According to Gaza's Health Ministry, Naji Ahmad al-Zaneen, 25, was killed in the attack in northern Gaza early on October 16.

Among the wounded are six children who were on their way to school in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza.

Palestinian sources said several rockets fired by Israeli warplanes targeted sites south of Gaza City, while another blast rocked the central...

With one in every nine people – or 821 million – in the world undernourished hunger is on the rise again, signalling a reversal of trends after a prolonged decline.

Climate change, high cost of nutritious food and rising obesity are eroding many years of progress in fighting malnutrition and hunger.

As the world marks World Food Day today and dedicates itself to achieving zero hunger by 2030, below are some key facts from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics and Food...