TIME Mexico

How Mexico’s President Plans to Fix Police Corruption

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has unveiled a sweeping plan to overhaul the way the nation conducts local law enforcement, in the face of public anger over police corruption.

The reform, which requires the approval of the country’s legislators, would centralize much of the nation’s police units and provide for more uniform training.

Much of the Mexican law enforcement apparatus has long been considered corrupt, but protests have been reignited in recent months after the disappearance of 43 students, allegedly kidnapped my local police officials.

TIME United Nations

U.N. Panel Sharply Criticizes Police Brutality in U.S.

Ferguson
Atlanta Police in riot gear form a line on Williams Streets as protesters make their way down it in Atlanta, Ga. on Nov. 25, 2014, John Amis—AP

Michael Brown's parents testified before the committee

A United Nations panel criticized the United States for police brutality, military interrogations and excessive use of force by law enforcement in a report released Friday.

“There are numerous areas in which certain things should be changed for the United States to comply fully with the convention,” said Alessio Bruni, a member of the United Nations Committee Against Torture, referring to U.N. agreements on torture.

The panel released their report just days after violence erupted in Ferguson, Mo., following the announcement of a grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for shooting and killing unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown.

While the latest U.N. report did not mention Ferguson explicitly, Brown’s parents testified before the committee in Geneva earlier this month. And the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights who oversees the committee on torture, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, raised concerns over “institutionalized discrimination in the U.S.” and added that he was unsure about whether the Ferguson grand jury’s decision complies with international human rights law.

“It is clear that, at least among some sectors of the population, there is a deep and festering lack of confidence in the fairness of the justice and law enforcement systems,” the commissioner said in a statement.

TIME France

France Considers Backing Palestinian Statehood

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius during a debate on the recognition of the Palestinian at the French Parliament in Paris on Nov. 28, 2014.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius during a debate on the recognition of the Palestinian at the French Parliament in Paris on Nov. 28, 2014. Michel Euler—AP

France would join Sweden, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Spain

France may recognize Palestinian statehood if international attempts to broker a negotiated agreement between Israelis and Palestinians fall through.

If France’s parliament passes the non-binding motion on Tuesday, the nation would join Sweden, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Spain in pushing for a two-state solution to the long-lasting Israeli-Palestinian conflict by recognizing a Palestinian state, Reuters reported Friday.

“If this final effort to reach a negotiated solution fails, then France will have to do what it takes by recognizing without delay the Palestinian state,” said Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius before parliament. “We are ready.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the move as a “grave mistake.”

[Reuters]

TIME Guinea

15-Minute Ebola Test To Undergo Trials in Guinea

The device can diagnose the deadly virus six times faster than methods currently used in West Africa

A rapid diagnostic test for the Ebola virus is about to be trialed at the Ebola treatment center in Conakry, Guinea, The Wellcome Trust announced Friday.

The new test, which can analyze blood or saliva samples, can make a diagnosis within just 15 minutes. Current technology can take anywhere from a couple of hours to four days to yield an accurate result.

“A reliable 15-minute test that can confirm cases of Ebola would be a key tool for effective management of the Ebola outbreak, allowing patients to be identified, isolated and cared for as soon as possible,” said Dr. Val Snewin from Wellcome, the international health charity funding the trials alongside the British government.

The trial will use a “mobile suitcase laboratory” which is solar-powered for use in remote locations with limited power.

Snewin added that a rapid test “not only gives patients a better chance of survival, but it prevents transmission of the virus to other people.”

MORE: Here’s how the Ebola vaccine trial is doing

Also on Friday, French President Francois Hollande visited Guinea, marking the first trip by a Western leader to a country affected by the Ebola crisis. France has pledged $125 million to help the former French colony tackle the epidemic.

The Ebola virus has claimed at least 5,689 lives in the current outbreak in West Africa, and infected three times as many.

The World Health Organization said last week that the situation was “stable” in Guinea, though it continues to deteriorate rapidly in Sierra Leone.

 

TIME Nigeria

Bomb Blast Hits Mosque in Northern Nigerian City

Nigeria Violence
People gather at the site of a bomb explosion in Kano, Nigeria on Nov. 28, 2014. Muhammed Giginyu—AP

Bombs have also been found near a mosque in another city

KANO, Nigeria — An explosion tore through the central mosque in Nigeria’s second-largest city on Friday, and officials feared the casualty toll would be high.

Capt. Ikechukwu Eze said the Friday blast occurred at the main mosque in the city of Kano. Hundreds had gathered to listen to a sermon in a region terrorized by attacks from the militant group Boko Haram.

Witnesses say heavy smoke could be seen billowing in the sky from a long distance away. Immediately after the blasts, hundreds of angry youth took to the streets in riots, throwing stones, brandishes sticks and shouting at security officials. The palace of the Emir of Kano is near the central mosque. Palace officials told AP that the Emir, one of the highest ranking Islamic figures in Nigeria, is currently out of the country.

Eze did not immediately provide a precise death toll.

The militant group Boko Haram has carried out numerous such attacks in northern Nigeria and Kano has been repeatedly hit. In September, two suicide bombers killed at least 15 students at a government college. In July, five suicide bombings were carried out over the course of a week. More than 1,500 have been killed this year in the insurgency.

Meanwhile, a police anti-bomb squad defused six bombs planted near a mosque and a market in Maiduguri on Friday, according to Borno state Police spokesman Gideon Jubrin.

Fears are running high in Maiduguri after two female suicide bombers detonated explosives on Tuesday at a commercial center. At least 70 people were killed.

 

TIME ebola

Male Ebola Survivors Told to Abstain from Sex for Three Months

The Ebola virus can persist in semen for longer than in blood or other body fluids

Men who recover from the Ebola virus should avoid having sex for three months to minimize the risk of transmitting the virus on in their semen, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Friday via Twitter.

WHO also gave a fuller statement on its website, saying that while the sexual transmission of Ebola has not been documented, studies have found that the live virus can remain in semen for up to 82 days after the onset of symptoms.

“Because of the potential to transmit the virus sexually during this time, they should maintain good personal hygiene after masturbation, and either abstain from sex (including oral sex) for three months after onset of symptoms, or use condoms if abstinence is not possible,” according to the statement.

Ebola has infected nearly 16,000 people in the current outbreak, with Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia seeing the most cases. The virus normally spreads via bodily fluids such as blood and saliva.

TIME United Kingdom

British Prime Minister Sets Out New Migration Restrictions

Sir William Dugdale funeral
Prime Minister David Cameron arrives for the funeral of his uncle Sir William Dugdale at The Church of Our Lady in Merevale, Warwickshire on Nov. 28, 2014. Joe Giddens—PA/AP

David Cameron hopes his proposals will reverse the increase in migrants from European countries

David Cameron gave a long-awaited speech on immigration within the European Union (E.U.) on Friday, proposing new limits on welfare benefits and tax credits for migrants.

He outlined his objective as “to make our immigration system fairer and reduce the current exceptionally high level of migration from within the E.U. into the U.K.”

Under his plans, migrants who want to claim certain benefits from the U.K. would have to wait four years.

Cameron’s speech comes after months of negotiations within the British parliament and also with other European leaders, notably German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

MORE: Study says European migrants contribute $32 billion to the U.K.’s economy

His package of proposals will require signifiant changes to the current treaties that govern the European Union. The plans will go ahead only if Cameron is re-elected after May’s general elections.

A spokeswoman from the European Commissions has responded by saying the ideas are “part of the debate” and need to be “examined without drama.”

[BBC]

Read more: Pope urges ‘aged and weary’ Europe to accept migrants and reject hunger

 

TIME Style

Sarah Jessica Parker’s Shoe Line to Launch in Dubai

Sarah Jessica Parker
Sarah Jessica Parker. Nigel Waldron—Getty Images

The "Sex and the City" star is set to appear in the United Arab Emirates promoting her shoe line's international debut

Sarah Jessica Parker is perhaps taking a cue from her Sex and the City alter ego and heading to the United Arab Emirates with her shoe line.

But while Carrie Bradshaw visited Abu Dhabi in the franchise’s second film (which was panned by critics), Parker is preparing to launch her SJP Collection in Dubai, marking the line’s debut in the international market. The collection will be available from Dec. 3 and Parker will be making appearances at Harvey Nichols on Dec. 7 and Bloomingdale’s on Dec. 9 to promote the line.

Parker created the shoe collection with the CEO of Manolo Blahnik, George Malkemus. The shoes, which are already available to buy in the US, are identifiable by the signature strip of grosgrain ribbon on the back of every heel.

[The National]

TIME Middle East

Israel Foreign Minister Supports Paying Arabs To Leave

Germany Israel
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman briefs the media after a meeting with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the foreign ministry in Berlin on June 30, 2014. Markus Schreiber—AP

Arab citizens of Israel make up 20% of the population

JERUSALEM — Israel’s hard-line foreign minister says he supports paying Arab citizens to leave the country.

In a manifesto of his Yisrael Beitenu party published Friday, Avigdor Lieberman says he favors ceding Arab majority areas in northern Israel to a future Palestinian state and providing economic incentives for Arab-Israelis — about 20 percent of Israel’s population of 8 million — to encourage them to emigrate.

The manifesto does not set out positions on the most difficult issues in the Israel-Palestinian conflict, including the status of Jerusalem, the future of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and Israel’s borders.

But it does acknowledge the necessity of territorial compromise for reaching a peace deal with the Palestinians, and also with moderate Arab countries.

Once a close associate of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Lieberman is now seen as harboring prime ministerial ambitions himself.

His offer to pay Israeli Arabs to leave comes as Netanyahu pushes forward with a contentious parliamentary bill to formalize Israel’s status as a Jewish state — a measure that many Arab-Israelis say will institutionalize their status as second class citizens.

The bill, which Netanyahu says is necessary to safeguard Israel’s future, is opposed by a wide range of Israeli political figures, including the largely ceremonial president, but is strongly supported by right wing members of his ruling coalition, including Lieberman.

Meanwhile, Israeli security forces fired tear gas at several dozen rock-throwing demonstrators at the Qalandiya checkpoint north of Jerusalem following weekly prayers Friday. There were no immediate reports of injuries or arrests.

 

TIME Australia

Asylum Seekers Want Obama to Save Them From Australian-Run Internment Camps

Man holds a poster during a rally in support of asylum seekers in central Sydney
A man holds a poster during a rally in support of asylum seekers in central Sydney July 20, 2013 Daniel Munoz—Reuters

The refugees say they are being treated like animals at an Australian-run detention center in Papua New Guinea

Pakistani asylum seekers currently detained by Australian authorities on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea are calling on U.S. President Barack Obama to broker their release from captivity.

In a letter signed by ten Pakistani nationals, which was obtained by the Guardian Australia, the men say they’re being held against their will by Australian authorities in substandard conditions and argue that the U.S. president is the only person capable of securing their freedom.

“We beg for your help to take us out of this miserable situation,” read the letter.

In the message, the detainees claim officials played a role in instigating violent riots at the internment camps and say fellow refugees have died due to insufficient health care facilities.

The group claims to have fled from their homeland due to the Taliban’s increasingly ferocious terror campaign.

Since taking office, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Administration has ramped up a controversial immigration policy designed to discourage boatloads of asylum seekers from arriving on the country’s shores.

Australian authorities currently transfer immigrants arriving by sea to squalid detention centers in Papua New Guinea and the nearby island nation of Nauru, where they await Canberra’s decision on their status. But whatever officials determine, no boat people are currently being resettled in the Lucky Country.

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