By Pap Saine BANJUL (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's National Security Council (NSC) has voiced concern over Gambia's moves to block access to top United Nations human rights investigators and enact tough new legislation against homosexuality. Gambia's foreign minister last week vowed to sever dialogue with the European Union after the bloc, an important donor to the West African nation, raised similar criticisms. "We remain concerned about ongoing reports of forced disappearances and arbitrary arrests, including of journalists, human rights advocates, and civil servants," NSC Spokesperson Bernadette Meehan said. In the statement, released on Thursday and read on Gambian state-owned radio and television, the NSC said it was also disappointed in the Gambian government's failure to investigate the disappearance of two U.S. citizens missing since June 2013. Though the statement did not name the missing Americans, it was apparently referring to Alhaji Ceesay and Ebrima Jobe, two Gambian-born U.S. citizens, who had travelled to the capital Banjul to look into opening a computer business. During a visit to Gambia last month, the U.N.'s investigators for illegal killings and for torture heard allegations of extrajudicial executions of government opponents, journalists and activists and the widespread use of torture. However, they said they were prevented from visiting parts of the main prison in Banjul despite earlier receiving approval. President Yahya Jammeh - a former military officer who seized power in a 1994 coup - signed into law legislation in October that introduced the crime of 'aggravated homosexuality', making it punishable in some cases with life in prison. The definition covers cases such as homosexual relations with someone under the age of 18, or a person with HIV having homosexual sex. The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, has said Gambia's new law violates fundamental human rights and has called for its repeal. Rights watchdog Amnesty International says more than a dozen people have already been arrested under the legislation. The NSC criticised the law and said it was concerned by calls by senior officials for the persecution of members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. "Protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms is a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy, and we will be guided by these values as we respond to these negative developments in The Gambia," it said. Gambia's government did not immediately respond to the NSC statement.
Trump resented having to sign letters for US troops killed in Afghanistan during his presidency because he didn't want to 'attach his name to a war he disliked,' a book says
"Aides were struck that he seemed rattled by the number of deaths involved," Maggie Haberman writes in her new book of Trump's view of Afghanistan.
Tom’s Teammate Announced He’s Retiring to Be a ‘Full-Time Dad & Husband’—Can Someone Check on Gisele?
Gisele Bündchen has entered the chat.
"Gentrification Is Real": This Woman Says Neighbors Offered Her $800K For Her Grandfather's Multi-Million-Dollar Home
Keisha Credit inherited her grandfather's home in a multi-million-dollar neighborhood. However, shortly after his passing, she started receiving offers as low as $800,000. "That’s good money, but absolutely not. It's disrespectful and assumes I don’t know the value of my home," she said.View Entire Post ›
- The Daily Beast
GettyJust over two weeks since Vladimir Putin’s latest hail mary in his war against Ukraine, things are going so well for the Russian leader that draftees are rioting, his top allies are at each other’s throats over a series of losses, and his defense minister has now been urged by his own team to blow his brains out.“Yes, really, many are saying that… a defense minister who allowed such circumstances to arise could, as an officer, just shoot himself. But, you know, for many the word ‘officer’ i
The woman appeared to tell the Princess of Wales, "Ireland belongs to the Irish"
- The Daily Beast
Mikhail Svetlov/Getty ImagesTop officials in Belarus, a key Russian ally, are growing increasingly on edge this week about that they see as provocations—and warning that they might soon be forced into a harsh response. The head of the border committee of Belarus, Anatoly Lappo, claimed that Poland was acting “provocatively,” and that if any Polish attack takes place against Belarusian border officials, Belarus will not hold back.“[If] there will be at least one bullet in our border guards, the a
- The Daily Beast
George Rose/GettyAt least eight people were stabbed, two fatally, on the Las Vegas Strip on Thursday by a suspect wielding a large kitchen knife, witnesses and Nevada authorities said.The attack occurred around 11:45 a.m. near the Wynn hotel and casino, according to Las Vegas Metropolitan Police. The wounded victims, three of whom remain in critical condition, were brought to local hospitals.A suspect was taken into custody in front of The Venetian, a resort less than a mile away from the Wynn.
Chris Geldart, a DC Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice has been charged with assault and battery after a parking lot altercation at a Gold's Gym in Arlington.Dustin Woodward, a trainer at Gold's Gym in says DC's Deputy Mayor Chris Geldart grabbed him by the neck in the gym's parking lot.
King Charles' nickname for Meghan Markle was revealed in a new book, and she earned it "because of her toughness and resilience."
The National Motorsports Appeals Panel on Thursday amended the September penalty to NASCAR Cup Series driver William Byron for his intentional contact to Denny Hamlin under caution at Texas Motor Speedway, which sent the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing driver spinning into the infield and out of the top five. MORE: Byron: ‘I didn’t mean […]
The Republican U.S. Senate candidate claimed to have no idea who the woman could be. But apparently she's the mother of one of his kids.
A lot of thought went into this yellow dress (which yep, you can shop RN).
Helena Christensen is still living for her Coco de Mer lingerie shots, and rightfully so — she looks absolutely incredible and effortlessly confident in newly shared campaign images. In a gorgeous photo posted to her Instagram, Christensen nearly bared it all in a jaw-dropping four-piece set. She stood in superhero pose, legs shoulder-width apart, hands […]
- Business Insider
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- Rams Wire
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Not many people are buying this one.
Get ready for the 5 a.m. wake-up call.
Hendrick Motorsports sets a standard of excellence for how to run a professional NASCAR Cup Series organization — and that precedent comes from the top down, starting with team owner Rick Hendrick. Look no further than this tweet from fellow Chevrolet-backed Petty GMS Racing — a team that, in some form or another through its […]
- Rams Wire
The streaker who was leveled by Wagner on Monday night filed a police report against the #Rams linebacker
- Men's Health
Keanu Reeves appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, spoke about his love of comics, and was asked which superhero he'd love to play in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.