6 Steps For Syria We Want to Hear in Obama’s Speech Tonight

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Amid a swirl of political developments, President Obama is set to deliver a national televised speech on Syria at 9:00 p.m. EST tonight. The speech was originally expected to be an effort by the White House to argue for a U.S. military strike targeting Syria. But now there’s talk of U.N. Security Council proposals to remove Syria’s chemical weapons from the country, for presumed eventual destruction. And against a backdrop of growing domestic opposition to a U.S. military strike, the U.S. government is changing its political posture in response.

Given the rapidly shifting geopolitical landscape, it is difficult to know for sure what President Obama will say in a few short hours. Indeed, it’s likely that White House advisers are themselves still editing the President’s script as you read this.

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5 Things You Should Know About Enforced Disappearances

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Activists hold lighted candles during a vigil on International Day of the Disappeared in Sri Lanka, where some 12,000 complaints of enforced disappearances have been submitted to the U.N. since the 1980s (Photo Credit: Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP/Getty Images).

Activists hold lighted candles during a vigil on International Day of the Disappeared in Sri Lanka, where some 12,000 complaints of enforced disappearances have been submitted to the U.N. since the 1980s (Photo Credit: Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP/Getty Images).

Every year in dozens of countries around the world, thousands of men, women and children are detained by state authorities for no reason, never to be seen again. They are the “disappeared.” In 2012 alone, Amnesty International documented such cases in 31 countries.

Here are five facts you should know on August 30, International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances.

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5 Steps That Offer the Best Hope For Egypt’s Future

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A supporter of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi stands among the bodies of dead pro-Morsi protesters on the floor of the Rabaa al-Adaweya Medical Centre in Cairo, Egypt (Photo Credit: Ed Giles/Getty Images).

A supporter of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi stands among the bodies of dead pro-Morsi protesters on the floor of the Rabaa al-Adaweya Medical Centre in Cairo, Egypt (Photo Credit: Ed Giles/Getty Images).

Egyptian security forces can’t break old habits, and now the spirit of the 2011 Uprisings is in disarray.

For the third day in a row, security forces have attacked supporters for deposed President Mohamad Morsi, some of whom are armed and have fired back. Health officials put the death toll on Wednesday at 525, but that number has surely gone higher in the two days since.

The military has imposed a State of Emergency, inspiring memories of the abuses under the Mubarak regime facilitated by the special laws of a 30-year State of Emergency.

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During This Critical Time, Egypt Cannot Repeat Recent Mistakes

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By Nicholas Piachaud, Egypt campaigner, Amnesty International

In Egypt, the army seems to be leading a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood. Soldiers seem to have killed dozens of protesters supporting the post-president Mohammad Morsi. This is a human rights crisis, which stretches all across Egypt. And much of this current political violence could have been better contained if the security forces had put plans in place to control it.

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A Brother’s Plea: Stop This Execution

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Abdullah Al Qahtani

Abdullah Al Qahtani

By Mesfer Azzan Al Qahtani, Brother of Abdullah Al Qahtani, Saudi man at risk of execution in Iraq

This week my brother’s life could be taken for a “confession” he was tortured into making. Abdullah was beaten, burned and asphyxiated by Iraqi security forces into “confessing” to being a member of terrorist organization al-Qaeda.

Now our fear is that the Iraqi authorities will execute Abdullah without even allowing him to have a fair trial first. It could happen at any time now.

Please do what you can to stop this execution.

About a month ago, Amnesty called on you to stop my brother’s execution. Together, we have been successful in buying some time. For that, I would like to express my family’s heartfelt thanks and gratitude to you, Amnesty supporters, for your precious help and support. It has brought much needed attention to Abdullah’s plight.

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