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When House Republicans passed the American Health Care Act on Thursday, many Americans likely thought of their family and friends living with cancer, diabetes, or heart disease. These diseases are commonly referred to as “pre-existing conditions” – conditions which, under the Republican health care bill, could result in them being denied health insurance.

But another, less publicised group of people were also concerned by the bill's passage: rape survivors.

Before Obamacare,...

When she was a scrawny 11-year-old, Sherry Johnson found out one day that she was about to be married to a 20-year-old member of her church who had raped her.

“It was forced on me,” she recalls. She had become pregnant, she says, and child welfare authorities were investigating — so her family and church officials decided the simplest way to avoid a messy criminal case was to organize a wedding.

“My mom asked me if I wanted to get married, and I said, ‘I don’t know, what is...

Israeli conscientious objector Atalya Ben-Abba, 19, was on Wednesday sentenced to a fourth stint in jail for refusing to enlist in the IDF. She has already spent 80 days in prison. Ben-Abba, a Jerusalem resident, was jailed after reporting at the military induction center, where she declared her refusal to serve in the army on the grounds that she was not prepared to take part in the occupation and repression of the Palestinian people.

Last week, on the International Day of...

India's defense minister on Wednesday backed the Indian Army’s use of human shields in disputed Kashmir, calling it a war strategy. “Military solutions are to be provided by military officers,” Arun Jaitley told reporters in New Delhi. “We should allow our army officers to take decisions.” The minister, who likened the situation in the disputed territory to a war, added that the army does not need to consult parliamentarians over what it needs to do.

Jaitley’s comments came amid a...

On October 2nd 1904 General Lothar von Trotha issued what is now notorious as “the extermination order” to wipe out the Herero tribe in what was then German South West Africa, now Namibia. “Within the German borders every Herero, with or without a gun, with or without cattle, will be shot,” his edict read. During the next few months it was just about carried out. Probably four-fifths of the Herero people, women and children included, perished one way or another, though the survivors’...

Myanmar's army on Tuesday rejected allegations of human rights abuses during its crackdown on Rohingya Muslim last year, made by the United Nations in a report on the offensive that forced some 75,000 Rohingya to flee to neighboring Bangladesh. UN investigators who interviewed hundreds of escapees documented reports of mass killings, widespread rapes and horrifying accounts of babies being thrown into burning houses. In a report released in February they said security forces may have...

A rights group says China appears to be laying the groundwork for the mass collection of DNA from residents of a restive region with a large Muslim population. Human Rights Watch said Tuesday that police in western China's Xinjiang region have sought more than $11.5 million in equipment to analyze DNA samples. Maya Wang, a researcher for the group, said the move opens the door to the mass collection of information on people unconnected to criminal investigations.

Xinjiang has seen a...

Businesses and schools across the occupied West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Arab-Israeli towns have been closed Monday for a general strike called in support of a mass hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners. The strike's organizing committee called the general strike on Sunday as the protest against conditions in Israeli prisons entered its 36th day. The hunger strike has been led by Marwan Barghouti, a senior leader in the dominant Fatah faction imprisoned for 15 years, who said all other...

Maddi Runkles has never been a disciplinary problem. She has a 4.0 average at Heritage Academy, the small private Christian school she attends; played on the soccer team; and served as president of the student council. But when her fellow seniors don blue caps and gowns at graduation early next month, Ms. Runkles, 18, will not be among them. The reason? She is pregnant.

The decision by school officials to bar Ms. Runkles from “walking” at graduation — and to remove her from her...

Israeli police shot and killed a 16-year old Palestinian girl near the Damascus gate in Jerusalem. Although the Israeli police spokesperson claimed that the teen attempted to stab a security officer, that account has been disputed. The child has been identified as Fatima Afeef Abdul-Rahman Hajiji, 16, from Qarawat Bani Zeid village, northwest of Ramallah, in the central part of the West Bank.

Eyewitnesses said Fatima was standing near the entrance of Bab al-‘Amoud (Damascus Gate),...

An Oxford University student who stabbed her boyfriend could be spared jail after a judge said she had an "extraordinary" talent for medicine.

Lavinia Woodward, 24, who studied at Christ Church College, Oxford, stabbed her Cambridge-educated boyfriend in the leg on December 30 last year following a row.

The pair had a drink and drug-fuelled argument, and Woodward punched and swiped at the victim with a bread knife.

She then stabbed the man before hurling a laptop,...

A Palestinian was killed by an Israeli settler who shot at protesters who were throwing rocks at his car, the Health Ministry of the Palestinian Territories says. An AP photographer was also injured by the gunfire. The shooting occurred south of the city of Nablus in the occupied Palestinian West Bank on Thursday. Hundreds of Palestinians protested near an Israeli military checkpoint at Huwara, when an Israeli settler in a car attempted to drive through the crowd. The protest was held in...

Cholera has killed at least 115 people in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, the local Saba news agency said, after authorities on Sunday declared a state of emergency over the outbreak and called for international help to avert disaster. Sana’a is controlled by the armed Houthi movement, which is aligned with Iran and fighting a western-backed, Saudi-led coalition. More than 10,000 people have been killed and millions displaced in more than two years of war, which has also destroyed much of the...

Former Minister Gideon Saar, who has announced in recent weeks that he intends to return to political life, related this morning to the series of statements within the past day by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slamming the state of Israel and its policies. “We made a mistake when we paid compensation and apologized for the Marmara incident,” he said in an interview with Radio 103FM. In other interviews, Saar asserted a return to close relations with Turkey could not be expected as...

Israel has barred Palestinian athletes from participating in the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games, which will kick off in Azerbaijani capital Baku on Friday, according to a Palestinian official. Ahmad al-Ali, a spokesman for the Palestinian Olympic Committee, told Anadolu Agency that Israel had barred 25 Palestinian athletes from the blockaded Gaza Strip -- out of 105 on the Palestinian national team -- from attending the event. "Israel is not allowing 25 athletes [from Gaza] to participate in...