"A Troubling History on Torture": Daily Brief

Plus: Saudi abuse allegations; Philippines withdraws from the ICC; Germany's flawed social media law; Algeria deports African migrants; protecting Pakistan's Pashtuns; woman serves 15 years' jail for stillbirth; Singapore death penalty; perils for anti-smoking activists; Russia wins on Syria arms.


  1. US President Donald Trump’s decision to nominate Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State and Gina Haspel to succeed him as CIA Director is deeply troubling, HRW has warned. Pompeo has failed to unequivocally disavow the US government’s use of torture and mass surveillance, while Haspel was directly involved in the CIA’s notorious and unlawful rendition, detention, and interrogation program. The Senate should reject both nominations.
  2. Staying with the US, as the Trump administration prepares to welcome Saudi's crown prince Mohammad bin Salman, there are fresh allegations of abuse and a death in custody during the Kingdom's recent shakedown on corruption.
  3. There's breaking news from the Philippines, where President Duterte has ordered his country's withdrawal from the International Criminal Court.
  4. The new German law that compels social media companies to remove hate speech and other illegal content is "fundamentally flawed".
  5. Algerian authorities arbitrarily deported more than a hundred migrants of various African nationalities into a lawless zone of neighboring Mali, where armed groups promptly robbed some of them, HRW has said.
  6. Authorities in Pakistan should end the stereotyping and discrimination of the country's Pashtun population, which has long been marginalized.
  7. A 34-year-old woman in El Salvador has been freed after spending 15 years in jail simply for suffering a stillbirth.
  8. Singapore's death penalty for drug offenses has claimed another life. Singapore should end its use of capital punishment.
  9. Anti-smoking activists face increasing threats or violence as they try to fight the expansion of smoking in their countries.