International Committee of the Red Cross

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7 Red Cross Workers Kidnapped in Syria

Team was trying to bring medical aid to dangerous rebel-controlled area

(Newser) - Another high-profile kidnapping in Syria's civil war: Gunmen have abducted a team of seven workers from the International Committee of the Red Cross, after stopping their convoy early today in northern Syria, according to an ICRC spokesman. The abduction took place near the town of Saraqeb in Idlib province... More »

Red Cross on Syria: We 'Can't Cope'

Its operation is increasing in scope, but the situation is worsening

(Newser) - The situation in Syria has deteriorated to the point that the International Committee of the Red Cross "can't cope," its president announced today. "The humanitarian situation is getting worse despite the scope of the operation increasing," said Peter Maurer, who outlined the obstacles, as per... More »

Record 100K Fled Syria Last Month: UN

And that's just the registered asylum seekers

(Newser) - Not only was August Syria's deadliest month yet , it was also the month that saw the highest number of refugees fleeing the country since the uprising began. Some 103,416 people "sought asylum in neighboring countries" last month, according to the UN, bringing the total number of registered... More »

UN Humanitarian Chief Tours Homs

As Syrian regime tries to scrub shattered city

(Newser) - UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos arrived in Damascus to begin her tour of Syria today, and is now touring the flashpoints of Homs and Baba Amr, the BBC reports. The Assad regime was moving desperately to clean up evidence of the recent shelling assault on the city ahead of her... More »

CIA's bin Laden Vaccine Hoax Sparks Anger

Some fear it will deter Pakistanis from getting kids vaccinated

(Newser) - The CIA is experiencing quite the backlash over the fake vaccination program they used to try to get DNA from Osama bin Laden’s children. International health advocates are furious, because they believe the operation will foster paranoia about vaccination programs, particularly in already hard-to-vaccinate places like Pakistan, Politico reports.... More »

US May Allow Family Visits for Gitmo Prisoners

Red Cross is pushing for greater access

(Newser) - Gitmo prisoners may soon get a long-sought privilege: family visits. The Washington Post reports that the Pentagon and the international Red Cross are in hush-hush negotiations to make it happen. Some of the 172 detainees at Guantanamo Bay are currently allowed to take part in monitored video chats with their... More »

Libya Rebels: Massacre Will Be on World's Conscience

Red Cross flees Benghazi as Gadhafi attack looms

(Newser) - As Moammar Gadhafi's forces make their way toward Libyan rebel stronghold Benghazi , the situation in the city is getting tenser by the moment, reports the BBC . A spokesman for the rebels' council says there will be a "massacre" if the international community fails to intervene. Gadhafi will "kill... More »

Hundreds of Thousands Feared Dead in Haiti

Haitian senator says toll could be 500K, but admits no one knows

(Newser) - Haiti's prime minister says several hundred thousand could have perished in yesterday’s earthquake. “I hope that is not true, because I hope the people had the time to get out,” Jean-Max Bellerive tells CNN . He said it was difficult to discern where the masses crowding the streets... More »

Red Cross: US Strike Killed Afghan Women, Children

(Newser) - Many civilians were killed in two Afghan villages hit by a US airstrike on Monday, the Red Cross said today, confirming both "dozens of bodies" and allegations coming from Kabul. “There were bodies, there were graves, and there were people burying bodies,” a spokeswoman said. “We... More »

Psychologists, Doctors Helped With Interrogations

Role of medical professionals in CIA program angers peers

(Newser) - Psychologists and physicians who assisted the CIA's harsh interrogation program are being accused of violating the most basic principles of their professions, the Washington Post reports. The newly released CIA memos confirm that on-site psychologists—generally contract workers with the agency—took an active role in the program, offering ideas... More »

Red Cross: Med Workers Complicit in Gitmo Torture

Professionals told CIA interrogators to stop, go

(Newser) - The Red Cross is accusing medical personnel of deep involvement in CIA torture at Guantanamo, calling it “a gross breach of medical ethics,” the New York Times reports. Medical professionals monitored procedures such as waterboarding, telling interrogators to “continue, to adjust, or stop particular methods,” finds... More »

Attacks on Aid Workers Hit Record in 2008

It's more dangerous to distribute aid than fight as a UN peacekeeper

(Newser) - A shocking number of fatal attacks on international aid workers made 2008 the most dangerous year yet to perform such work, Reuters reports. Last year, 260 workers were attacked on the job, 122 fatally; the majority were working in Somalia, Darfur, or Afghanistan. The Center on International Cooperation’s study... More »

100 Rescued From Area Blocked by Israel

More still trapped under rubble, aid groups say

(Newser) - Emergency workers in Gaza have rescued 100 more people from a residential block that for days had been blocked off by Israeli forces. Dozens of corpses also were found in the neighborhood's heavily shelled buildings, the Washington Post reports. Aid groups say more people remain trapped in demolished houses in... More »

Red Cross Cries Foul Over Colombia Deception

Objects to symbol use in hostage rescue

(Newser) - The Red Cross chided the Colombian government today for its "deliberate misuse" of the Red Cross symbol during a mission to rescue hostages, the BBC reports. “If authenticated, these images would clearly establish an improper use of the Red Cross emblem, which we deplore,” a spokesman said... More »

Gitmo Prisoners Granted Phone Call to Family

They'll get just one a year, along with censored letters

(Newser) - "Unlawful enemy combatants" detained at the Guantanamo Bay naval base will be allowed to phone their families one a year, Reuters reports. But the military task force in charge of managing the prison has yet to work out the details. As it stands, Gitmo inmates can send and receive... More »

CIA Suspects Granted Access to Lawyers

'High value' detainees include 911 'mastermind'

(Newser) - US officials have granted 14 "high-value" al-Qaeda suspects, transferred to Guantanamo Bay after years in secret CIA prisons, access to lawyers to represent them at future military trials. The suspects include Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the 911 attacks, and others once close to Osama  bin Laden,... More »

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