CHANG: Police knew how badly injured some people were inside the church and were deliberately blocking access to medical assistance. PARTLOW: Right. And the priest at the time was on his cellphone doing a live radio broadcast appealing for help, describing the situation. The State Department was talking to the government. There was all these negotiations going on with the sole intent of trying to get the ambulances into the church to let the wounded be taken out. CHANG: Just to take a step back, I mean, these protests have been going on since April. Can you just remind us – how did this all begin? PARTLOW: So this is frustration and anger in this country that’s been building for many years. President Ortega is in his fourth term as president. Over that time, he has undermined democratic institutions in a lot of ways.
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The Washington Post first reported, and CNN confirmed with a source familiar with the situation, that at least a half-dozen senior career staffers at the Veterans Benefits Administration have been transferred to less influential roles, some in other cities. But the reassignments and removals go beyond that part of the sprawling agency, according to The Washington Post, and have taken place as the President’s nominee to lead the VA, Robert Wilkie, awaits full Senate confirmation. A Pentagon spokesperson told CNN that Wilkie, who remains in his job as the head of military personnel at the Defense Department as he awaits the Senate vote, was not aware of or involved with the decisions. “Any decisions made following Mr. Wilkie’s departure as Acting SecVA were made by the current VA leadership and Mr. Wilkie was not aware, nor a part of those decisions,” Maj. Carla Gleason, a Pentagon spokesperson, told CNN. “It would be inappropriate for him to comment on this in his current role as USD.” VA spokesman Curt Cashour told CNN that Wilkie has had “zero involvement in VA decisions since he returned to the Department of Defense May 30.” Cashour said that the personnel moves “are what’s required to ensure VA is performing at its best. “Under President Trump, VA won’t wait to take necessary action when it comes to improving the department and its service to Veterans,” he added. Cashour added that in some cases, “employees who were wedded to the status quo and not on board with this administration’s policies have departed VA,” noting that some left the agency willingly, and others “against their will as they were about to be fired.” “It’s understandable that some of these individuals would want to shift blame away from themselves in an attempt to save face.
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investigators GENEVA (Reuters) – Muslim Rohingya refugees reaching Bangladesh say violence, including torture, persists against them in Myanmar and the overall environment remains “menacing” for ethnic and religious minorities, U.N. human rights investigators said on Thursday. FILE PHOTO: Rohingya refugees gather during the visit of UN secretary general Antonio Guterres and World Bank president Jim Yong Kim at the Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, July 2, 2018. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain Members of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar ended a five-day visit to the refugee camp of Kutupalong in Cox’s Bazar where they interviewed new arrivals among the more than 700,000 Rohingya who have fled Rakhine state since an army crackdown last August. “They referred to the overt threats they faced of violence and persecution, being cut off from their sources of livelihood, and the overall menacing environment that finally compelled them to leave for Bangladesh,” the investigators said in a statement, adding that the arrival of new refugees reflects the “the continuing gravity of the human rights violations in Myanmar.” There was no immediate reaction from authorities in Myanmar, where it is a holiday. Previously, they have denied widespread abuses. The United Nations struck an outline deal with Myanmar in May aimed at eventually allowing hundreds of thousands of Rohingya in Bangladesh to return safely and by choice. But the secret agreement, seen by Reuters, offers no explicit guarantees of citizenship or freedom of movement throughout the country. “The young men I spoke with were particularly anxious, showing signs of deep trauma. Without education and livelihood I fear for their future,” said investigator Radhika Coomaraswamy. The investigators will report their findings on Sept.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-myanmar-rohingya-un/rohingya-report-more-violence-persecution-in-myanmar-u-n-investigators-idUSKBN1K91QC?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Reuters%2FworldNews+%28Reuters+World+News%29 directory shopping agreement