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UN Accuses Brazilian Police of Murder To 'Clean Up' Rio For Olympics

Grim accusations from a United Nations probe that Brazilian police use extrajudicial murder to clear out youth gangs in Rio de Janeiro ahead of next year's Olympics.

RIO DE JANEIRO — A new report by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) has denounced the Brazilian police for "killing children" in an attempt to "clean up" Rio de Janeiro ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympics, according to an exclusive report from the Brazilian daily O Estado de S. Paulo.

The committee calls attention to what it deems "general impunity" in the country in the face of "extrajudicial killings of children" by the federal police. Brazil has one of the world's highest youth homicide rates, and the passage of a recent law reducing the age of criminal responsibility from 18 to 16 has increased youth incarceration as well.

O Estado writes that although the state of Rio de Janeiro saw the second-largest reduction in Brazil in its youth homicide rate between 2000 and 2013, the report criticizes various branches of the police for killing youths — primarily Afro-Brazilians — in a previous attempt to improve the city's image prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The media has reported in the past that death squads have been employed in turf wars between the police and organized crime gangs in Brazilian cities, with adolescents the primary victims of this violence.

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How U.S. Airlines Are Doing Cuba's Dirty Work On American Soil

American and Southwest Airlines have been refusing to allow Cubans on board flights if they've been blacklisted by the government in Havana.

How U.S. Airlines Are Doing Cuba's Dirty Work On American Soil

Boarding a plane in Camaguey, Cuba

Santiago Villa

On Sunday, American Airlines refused to let Cuban writer Carlos Manuel Álvarez board a Miami flight bound for Havana. It was at least the third time this year that a U.S. airline refused to let Cubans on board to return to their homeland after Havana circulated a government "blacklist" of critics of the regime. Clearly undemocratic and possibly illegal under U.S. law, the airlines want to make sure to cash in on a lucrative travel route, writes Colombian journalist Santiago Villa:

-OpEd-

Imagine for a moment that you left your home country years ago because you couldn't properly pursue your chosen career there. It wasn't easy, of course: Your profession is not just singularly demanding, but even at the top of the game you might not be assured a stable or sufficient income, and you've had to take on second jobs, working in bars and restaurants.

This chosen vocation is that of a writer or journalist, or perhaps an artist, which has kept you tied to your homeland, often the subject of your work, even if you don't live there anymore.

Since leaving, you've been back home several times, though not so much for work. Because if you did, you would be followed in cars and receive phone calls to let you know you are being watched.

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