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Police fire tear gas at Senegal opposition protest

Protesters defied a government ban Wednesday and made their way to a square only blocks from the presidential palace, the closest that the opposition movement has come to the seat of power in two weeks of demonstrations ahead of next week’s election.

Senegalese police wearing helmets and fiberglass shields fired volleys of tear gas. The demonstrators dispersed, running into shops and across the dry lawn of the Place de l’Independance.

The country’s opposition had vowed to march on the palace in protest over 85-year-old President Abdoulaye Wade’s bid for a third term in the Feb. 26 ballot. Besides his age, many are angered by what they see as a violation of the constitution, because the electoral code was revised after Wade came to office to impose a two-term maximum.

Tomorrow, December 10, is Human Rights Day. This year, millions of people decided the time had come to claim their rights. They took to the streets and demanded change. Many found their voices using the internet and cellular technology to inform, inspire and mobilize supporters to seek their basic human rights. Social media helped activists organize peaceful protest movements in cities across the globe - from Tunis to Madrid, from Cairo to New York - at times in the face of violent repression. Every day is Human Rights Day.

Newly released data has revealed that 299 Palestinian prisoners have been held in Israeli prisons for over 20 years, amid reports of a prisoners swap deal led by Hamas.

According to the statistics bureau of the Palestinian ministry of prisoners’ affairs, the 299 Palestinian detainees were imprisoned before the Oslo Accords, and Tel Aviv refused to release them after the formation of the Palestinian Authority (PA), a Press TV correspondent reported on Wednesday. 

This comes as a new round of talks on a prisoners swap deal between Hamas and Israeli officials is due to start in the Egyptian capital, Cairo. 

Hamas Political Bureau chief Khaled Meshaal arrived in Cairo on Tuesday along with a delegation to discuss the prisoners swap deal with mediating Egyptian security officials, a senior Egyptian security official said. 

Egypt has been mediating talks between Israel and Hamas over a prisoner deal that would see the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit — captured in June 2006 — in exchange for nearly 1,000 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons. 

The last serious negotiations for a prisoner exchange between the Palestinian faction that captured Shalit and Tel Aviv took place in December 2009, but no agreement was reached. 

“According to the factions that captured Gilat Shalit, from the moment he was captured they announced the list and these lists included a group of prisoners that have spent more than 20 years behind bars. They are a priority,” President of Palestinian Prisoners Club Qadoura Fares said. 

Some families of the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are again hopeful that the talks in Cairo will bear fruits and that their loved ones can return home. 

“We always hope and pray to God. Hopefully, this time the deal will be successful and as many prisoners as possible will be released,” sister of Palestinian prisoner Abdallah Abu Shalbak said. 

According to latest reports from the PA, 6,000 Palestinians are held in Israeli prisons, including 219 held without any charges in detention. Out of the detained Palestinians, 44 prisoners have spent more than a quarter of a century behind bars. 

Many Palestinians are convinced that neither agreements nor international pressure can release the Palestinian prisoners from the Israeli jails, and that the freedom of the incarcerated freedom fighters is a task that can only be accomplished by resistance. 

the police in New Delhi on Tuesday detained more than 1,200 protesters only hours after officers made an early morning arrest of the leader of the anti-corruption movement.
The arrest of the leader, Anna Hazare, was practically preordained after he vowed to carry out a hunger strike at a public park in New Delhi, despite local police denying him a demonstration permit. Mr. Hazare had planned to begin fasting on Tuesday, but the police took him and his aides into custody at 7:30 a.m., before he could depart for the park.
Jim Yardley (New Delhi Police Arrest Leader of Anti-Corruption Protest and Hundreds of Others)

heavy gun fire into the refugee camp in the Syrian port city of Latakia..

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA, is gravely concerned about reports of heavy gunfire from Syrian security forces into the Palestinian refugee camp situated in the El Ramel district and surrounding areas of Latakia, including heavy fire from gunboats. Reports from various sources indicate deaths and casualties among the Palestinian refugee population, although poor communications make it impossible to confirm the exact number of dead and injured.

UNRWA condemns the use of force against civilians. We call on the Syrian authorities to order their security forces to exercise utmost restraint in accordance with international law and ensure that all civilians including Palestinian refugees are unharmed. We demand expeditious and unhindered access for humanitarian workers to tend to the injured and dying. In addition we demand unhindered access for UNRWA so that the Agency can resume its full services in the camp which have been severely affected by the unrest.

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