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NEWS
December 18, 2012
Neil Simon's column on the new U.S.-Russia trade law could not be further from the truth when it states that Sen. Benjamin Cardin has "catapulted human rights atop the international agenda ("Cardin stands up for rights," Dec. 12). Senator Cardin talks about freedom and democracy for everyone except the Palestinians, who have been suffering under a brutal Israeli occupation for 45 years. They have been victims of land and water theft, home demolitions, targeted assassinations, mass arrests, torture and a blockade of Gaza that is strangling the civilian population.
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NEWS
August 8, 2014
Jason Blavatt and Ellen Ginsburg Simon ask "Why is Israel held to a double standard?" ( "Hamas' unjust war," Aug. 4), It is true that there is a double standard for Israel, but not in the way that is suggested. Israel's violation of international laws is almost always overlooked while the media focuses instead on comparing Israel favorably with "rogue" states. Were Israel to be held to the same standards as we expect of most other countries, you would find that it falls far short of holding the high moral ground that it claims.
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NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | December 6, 2012
WASHINGTON -- Human rights legislation crafted by Sen. Ben Cardin and targeted at abuses in Russia sailed through the U.S. Senate on a bipartisan vote Thursday and will now be signed by President Obama. The provision requires the State Department to maintain a list of human rights abusers in Russia, freeze their assets and deny them U.S. visas. The language was attached to a broader bill that lifts Cold War-era trade restrictions on Russia. The Senate passed the measure 92-4. The bill is a significant legislative victory for Cardin, a Maryland Democrat who has promoted the measure for years and who managed to steer it through an otherwise gridlocked Congress.
NEWS
July 21, 2014
How sad that a Guantanamo detainee has to remind Americans that he is a human being ( "Detainees are human," July 16)! Here is a man imprisoned without charge for years, actually cleared for release in 2009 by six agencies of the U.S. government, and still we do not release him. There is no excuse for this. Adding further to this Kafka-like scenario, he is additionally punished for protesting this injustice. Come on, Americans! We must insist that this extreme violation of all that is decent stop immediately.
NEWS
By Xiaorong Li | November 17, 2009
W hile President Barack Obama is in Beijing this week, he has an opportunity to address two key issues, climate change and human rights concerns, simultaneously. Here's the kind of speech the president should give: "President Hu Jintao, ladies & gentlemen, it is a great pleasure to be in Beijing. My administration has put climate change at the top of our diplomatic agenda. This is especially true when it comes to our relationship with China. Our two large nations share the title of top consumers of energy and the biggest polluters on earth.
NEWS
December 22, 2012
Neil Simon's commentary, "Cardin stands for rights" (Dec. 13), correctly depicts U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin's steadfast pursuit to hold accountable violators of human rights in Russia with the killing of attorney Sergei Magnitsky. Our concern is that the U.S. Department of State will find excuses to avoid imposing sanctions or simply not acknowledge or respond to violations in Russia or elsewhere. This they have done often. For example, the British have just released a report admitting their security forces murdered attorney Patrick Finucane in Northern Ireland.
NEWS
By Edward Gunts, The Baltimore Sun | May 21, 2012
Some of the bravest people in the world can be found at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport. Vaclav Havel of the Czech Republic. Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa. The Dalai Lama. These and many other figures are featured in a photo exhibit organized to honor human-rights defenders around the world. Part of the airport's upper concourse, just off the main atrium of the international terminal, has been transformed into a photo gallery to display the traveling exhibit "Speak Truth to Power," which runs through May 31. The exhibit was organized by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, a Washington-based nonprofit organization that was formed in 1968 in memory of the former U.S. senator and attorney general, who was assassinated that year at age 42. It is based on a book written by Kerry Kennedy, a daughter of Robert F. Kennedy and president of the RFK Center.
NEWS
By Childs Walker, The Baltimore Sun | July 17, 2010
It had never occurred to Michelle Salomon that when she washed her hands, she used more water than some families have access to in a day. The University of Maryland law student had never imagined a world in which constitutional education amounted to one volunteer lecturing under a shade tree to hundreds of people who had never been to school. Salomon, an Olney resident, had long wanted to advocate for human rights. But until she spent last semester at the law school's new clinic in Namibia, she didn't know how desperate and uplifting that struggle could be. "It transformed my life," she says.
NEWS
February 4, 1994
The State Department has highlighted a neglected field of human rights deprivation on reporting the status of women in 193 countries. It is idle to talk about human rights violations without noticing rape, slavery, genital mutilation, forced prostitution, lack of marital rights, prohibition against driving, lack of career and education opportunities and other practices that make women less equal than men in many nations.The new emphasis is telling it like it is, a reflection of the Clinton administration's priority for women's issues, and a form of political grandstanding that is not new with this report.
NEWS
By JEANE KIRKPATRICK | June 22, 1993
With Marxism dead, the Cold War over and liberal democracy ascendant, the great ideological debates of the century have ended, but disagreement continues about the rights of citizens, the obligations of government and the appropriate role in these matters of what is routinely called the ''international community.''Debates on these subjects are taking place at the U.N. global conferences on human rights now under way in Vienna. Some 2,000 official delegates and several times as many unofficial delegates representing 161 countries and innumerable non-governmental organizations are gathered to review the world's record of achievement since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to assess the obstacles to its full implementation and to consider how the United Nations might help.
NEWS
By Chloe Schwenke | April 3, 2014
After Maryland passed a bill banning discrimination on the basis of gender identity last month, my job became a little easier. As a human rights activist, I work to secure progress in protecting human dignity, measured by civil and political rights. Among the people often specifically targeted for abuse are lesbian, gay, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons. And of all those under the LGBTI banner, the "T" — or transgender population — is frequently the most vulnerable to vicious attacks, stigmatization, humiliation and abuse.
NEWS
April 2, 2014
Thanks for pointing out that isolating convicts alone for protracted periods amounts to the same thing as torture ( "Isolated confinement," March 31). During the last year I have visited inmates at Maryland's North Branch Corrections Institution. Of the 1,300 men incarcerated there, almost half have been in "segregation" since last summer. I believe that every human being has a soul, even prisoners who have committed violent crimes. I also believe that by nourishing and stimulating the human soul, there is a possibility for repentance and spiritual growth.
NEWS
By Leonard Pitts Jr and By Leonard Pitts Jr | March 2, 2014
President Clinton? Maybe, if Democratic voters have their way. While the Republican faithful are split between a number of contenders and not particularly enthusiastic about any of them, a new poll finds Democrats overwhelmingly united behind a Hillary Clinton candidacy for 2016. A commanding 82 percent of the party, according to the CBS News/New York Times poll, wants to see her run. It is, of course, way too early to be taking polls seriously. But perhaps an observer can nevertheless be forgiven for being heartened at the prospect of a Clinton campaign, much less a Clinton victory.
NEWS
February 15, 2014
I totally agree with Melani McAlister's point that the "question of how Americans should respond to the deteriorating situation in Israel and Palestine - what our government should do, what we as individuals can or should do - should be openly and freely debated" ("Maryland bills would stifle academic freedom," Feb. 12). Already, social pressure tends to convince numerous concerned Americans to voluntarily refrain from criticizing Israel. Some stay silent because they do not want to be falsely labeled as anti-Semitic.
NEWS
September 11, 2013
The debate on Syria is much too limited ("Syrian rebels ready to strike if U.S. does," Sept. 6). It should not be about military effectiveness, national interest, or building coalitions. The more relevant question is why, after 6,000 years of civilization with extraordinary advances in technology, human rights, education, health and quality of life, when another nation acts badly the best we can come up with is to drop explosives on him? Really? We are back to the Stone Age and only the sophistication of the weapons has changed.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | August 2, 2013
Paul T. Walker Sr., a partner in the Washington law firm of Walker & Walker Associates who was moved to become a lawyer because of the civil rights movement of the 1960s, died July 25 of sarcoidosis at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was 70. "Throughout his life, Paul was always a seeker who always tried to better himself. That was his motivation. To be the best that he could," said his wife of 48 years and law partner, the former Betty Stevens. "He was also a humble man who loved humility in others and before God. " The son of a disabled Army veteran and a hospital cook, Paul Thomas Walker Sr. was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tenn.
NEWS
By Jules Witcover | June 7, 2013
President Barack Obama's latest changes in his top national security team seem more a shift to a stronger emphasis on human rights than a break with his long-range determination to keep the United States out of nation-building adventurism. His appointments of UN Ambassador Susan Rice as national security adviser and of Samantha Power, a persuasive insider human rights advocate from the National Security Council, to replace Rice at the UN suggest that shift rather than any momentous pivot.
EXPLORE
March 7, 2013
Just wanted to say a resounding "thank you" for printing Maria Santo's article on the truth - the simple, basic truth - of what abortion is:  killing a very young baby.   Thank you for not bowing to the insanity of political correctness on this most fundamental issue of human rights.  How can we concern ourselves with child abuse or any other important human rights issue while we are endorsing genocide of babies? Yvette Ridenour Catonsville
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