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Protestors join Rwandan opposition leaders in calling Rwandan President Paul Kagame a corrupt dictator and war criminal at a demonstration outside a Chicago hotel where Kagame addressed the Rwandan diaspora on June 11, 2011.

- AFP/Getty Images

TORONTO – Foreign countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States, pour nearly a billion dollars every year into Rwanda – 40 percent of the troubled African nation’s budget.

Now, these donor nations need to ask themselves why they are bankrolling Rwanda’s descent into despotism under the direction of President Paul Kagame, who has promoted economic development at the terrible cost of killing, imprisoning, intimidating or exiling his critics.

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This undated photo shows Honduran journalist Anibal Barrow (R) in San Pedro Sula, 240kms north of Tegucigalpa. Barrow was kidnapped while driving in his car on June 24, 2013, and found dead hours later.

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BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Weeks after the June 2013 kidnapping of Aníbal Barrow, the host of a morning talk show on Globo TV in Honduras, his mangled remains were found in a lagoon. It was rumored that the Mexican-based Zetas drug cartel had fed some of his body parts to crocodiles.

The Barrow killing was one of the more grisly cases included in a special report published Wednesday by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, or CPJ, on the dangers facing reporters in Honduras. The report found that organized crime and corruption have paved the way for an alarming rise in the number of journalist murders. To protect themselves, many Honduran journalists practice self-censorship.

“We try to dodge any investigation related to a crime’s mastermind,” Renato Álvarez, the news anchor for TN5 in Tegucigalpa told the committee. “Why? For fear of reprisal. For fear that they will kill us.”

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An onlooker watches as police arrest demonstrators after they refused to move from Broadway following the Flood Wall Street protest on September 22, 2014 in New York City. The Flood Wall Street protest came on the heels of the climate change march on September 21 that attracted over 300,000 protestors.

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NEW YORK — The day after the People’s Climate March, and I’m awash with emotion. I’m exhausted, and exhilarated, from having gotten up before dawn to take a four-hour bus ride from Providence, Rhode Island to march for six hours through the streets of New York City with my 11-year-old daughter.

The streets were mobbed with 300,000 or 400,000 serious but upbeat people, making it by far the largest climate change protest in history.

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NEWPORT, WALES -- US President Barack Obama talks to reporters at the end of the NATO Summit on Sept. 5, 2014. Leaders and senior ministers from around 60 countries attended the two-day summit, with Afghanistan and Ukraine at the top of the agenda.

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WARSAW, Poland — The NATO summit in Wales this month was planned to tell a success story about the alliance’s engagement in Afghanistan; a historic moment after more than a decade in Central Asia and the ongoing troop drawdown from the country.

Russia’s actions in Ukraine, however, challenged the security architecture in Europe and forced NATO to change the summit’s priorities. Although not a present danger, terrorist threats both in Afghanistan and across Central Asia remain a worry for the international community and for local governments.

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Vowing to target the Islamic State with air strikes 'wherever they exist', Pres. Barack Obama pledged to lead a broad coalition to fight IS and work with 'partner forces' on the ground in Syria and Iraq.

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DENVER — The US administration seems unable to make up its mind whether the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is a war but the objective has been made clear by President Obama, “degrade and defeat” the Islamic State. But how?

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A Cambodian policeman (R) escorts thirty trafficked fishermen returning from Indonesia after being freed or escaping from slave-like conditions on Thai fishing vessels at the Phnom Penh International airport on December 12, 2011.

- AFP/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Last June, media reports sparked an outcry over human slavery on fishing vessels — a dark side of the cheap shrimp and other seafood now sold year-round by stores like Costco and Walmart.

The horrors uncovered by the Guardian newspaper’s investigation included Cambodian and Burmese men being sold to fishing boats, forced to work at sea against their will for months or years at a time, victimized by violence, and left with little or no earnings at the end of their ordeal on the ever-emptier, overfished oceans. These men were packed below decks like sardines and half-starved.

The exposé has led to calls for consumer boycotts of seafood from Thailand, the epicenter of the scandal. This response — although understandable — neither helps those already trapped in this industry nor addresses the root of the problem.

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A soldier of the African Union's AMISOM force walks past weapons seized after heavy fighting early on August 15, 2014 in Mogadishu as African Union troops backed government forces in the battle to seize weapons from a local militia.

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MELBOURNE, Australia — On September 5, the US military confirmed that it killed Ahmed Godane in an airstrike south of Mogadishu. The Pentagon called it a “major symbolic and operational loss to Al Shabaab” insurgents.

A military offensive against Al Shabaab was underway in south-central Somalia, and Godane’s death was a necessary if transient victory. Al Shabaab quickly announced its new leader. Shortly, a suicide car bomber struck a convoy outside Mogadishu as “retaliation.” The convoy was operated by AMISOM, the African Union Mission in Somalia, a regional peacekeeping mission.

So, Godane was killed, but an uninterrupted war continues in Somalia.

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Saudi Shiite Muslim men take part in Ashura mourning rituals to commemorate the killing of Imam Hussein, grandson of Prophet Mohammed, in the mostly Shiite Qatif region of Eastern Province on December 6, 2011.

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TEL AVIV — The Shia minority in Saudi Arabia, comprising 10 to 15 percent of the population, has what can best be described as a rocky relationship with the ruling Sunni Al-Saud family.

Located primarily in the oil-rich Eastern Province, there remain deep-seated perceptions among many Sunni citizens that Shiism is heretical. The Shia population counters with allegations of institutionalized discrimination.

Shia demands for change have triggered periods of increased demonstrations, including on a larger-scale in 1979 and 1980, and again in 2011 and 2012 when they coincided with unrest across the region referred to as the “Arab Spring.”

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People play in a camp for survivors of the January 2010 quake in Haiti which killed 250,000 people, on February 28, 2013 in Port-au-Prince. The UN has in Haiti a huge mission of peacekeepers led by Brazil, helping the impoverished country with its political strife and the impact the devastating 2010 quake. Hundreds of thousands are still living rough in squalid makeshift camps, and they now face rampant crime, a cholera outbreak and the occasional hurricane.

- AFP/Getty Images

DENTON, Texas — Haiti has never fully recovered from the devastating earthquake of 2010. Widespread homelessness, impassable roads, food insecurity, and access to clean drinking water continue to hinder recovery efforts.

But perhaps the biggest problem is created by one of the most basic human functions—defecation.
Cholera, though eliminated before the earthquake, has come roaring back and shows little sign of abating. This deadly disease is spread through contact with infected feces. Despite public awareness campaigns, thousands in cities like Cap Haitien and Port-au-Prince, are still using the “flying toilet” – a plastic bag – and spreading the disease from person to person, house to house.

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A statue representing a child receiving a injection of vaccine is seen at the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters on September 5, 2014 in Geneva. A vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus could be made available for healthcare workers by November, the World Health Organization said Friday, saying safety testing of two possible vaccines was underway.

- AFP/Getty Images

LONDON — The coverage of the Ebola epidemic to date has focused on treatment, or the lack of it: the fact that Ebola has no cure; the heroic efforts to keep patients alive; the use of a new drug never before tested on humans.

All have received considerable attention. So, too, has the terrifying pace of the epidemic in some of the poorest communities in Africa.

Treatment is certainly a critical component of the response to Ebola. But the single-minded focus on treatment is obscuring the most important fact about this current Ebola epidemic. It can be contained and stopped, within months, with tools already at hand, and at a reasonable cost.

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