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Brutal Crackdown in Venezuela: Daily Brief

Plus: senior Saudi prince freed from custody; pro-refugee Mayor stabbed in Germany; Syria slaughter; mass death sentences in Bangladesh; #MeToo movement; Libya executions; absurd laws prosecute free speech in Singapore; & why your private information is "a gift"...

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  1. President Trump has drawn fierce criticism after retweeting violent anti-Muslim videos posted by a UK-based far-right activist group on Twitter. UK Prime Minister Theresa May condemned Trump's action as "wrong." The rise of populism in the US, Europe, and elsewhere, has brought Islamophobia into mainstream political discourse. After retweeting the unverified videos today, Trump continued his assault on US media institutions, a familiar call in an autocrat's playbook.
  2. Yesterday North Korea announced it successfully tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile. But what the government didn't admit is that its nuclear weapons program is built on forced labor and the fear of speaking out against the abusive regime.
  3. The Japanese government has taken some positive steps to improve the rights of LGBT people. But the country’s legal gender recognition procedure – the law that allows transgender people to be recognized according to their gender identity – remains a stain on Japan’s record.
  4. From earlier today: The Venezuelan government has systematically used brutal treatment, including torture, against anti-government protesters and political opponents, HRW said in a new report today. Along with Penal Forum, a Venezuelan rights group, HRW has documented repression on a "scope and severity" unseen in Venezuela in recent memory.
  5. A senior Saudi Arabian prince, Miteb bin Abdullah, has been freed after agreeing to pay over $1 billion to settle corruption allegations against him. Miteb is among dozens of royal family members and senior officials arrested in the kingdom this month on the orders of the country's powerful Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman.
  6. The mayor of the German town Altena, famed for his pro-refugee stance, has been stabbed in a kebab shop in an attack which authorities say was politically motivated. He has since returned to the scene of the stabbing to thank locals - some of them immigrants themselves - who helped fight off the attacker.
  7. The Syrian government has reportedly accepted a Russian proposal for a ceasefire in rebel-held Eastern Ghouta, on the outskirts of Damascus. Dozens of people have reportedly been killed in the past two weeks as the military intensified its bombardment.
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