Inside Venezuela’s torturous intelligence and drug-running branch SEBIN

In October, Fernando Alban –  the councilman of dissident Venezuelan political party Primero Justicia – spoke out against the embattled nation’s leader Nicolas Maduro at the United Nations in New York. On his return to Simon Bolivar International Airport, he was quietly seized by Venezuela's Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN). Three days later, Alban plunged to his death from a secretive 10th-floor building amid interrogation.

Pakistan doctor accused of infecting more than 400 babies and children with HIV

A destitute village in Pakistan’s south has been forced into a mode of panic and fear after more than 500 people – overwhelmingly children – tested positive for HIV, in an epidemic officials are attributing to a single pediatrician.

British police station mocked for tweeting photo of dangerous knife collection – that includes a spoon

Amid the U.K crackdown to stem the burgeoning number of knife attacks, one police department found them the inadvertent subject of internet mockery this week after lauding their knife-seizing efforts on Twitter – for critics to quickly point out the inflammatory spoon.

Pakistani ‘hero’ doctor Afridi ‘skeletal,’ deprived of legal rights, attorney claims

It has been more than eight years since U.S. Navy SEALS ceremoniously raided the compound and killed the most wanted man in the world – September 11 mastermind, Usama bin Laden. And while the world’s eyes are now set on eliminating other terrorist targets from ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi to new Al Qaeda chief, Ayman al Zawahiri – the Pakistani doctor who played a pivotal role in that 2011 operation is still languishing behind bars with little hope of seeing the daylight in the future.

Maduro’s ‘collectivos’ strike terror while trying to win back support of Venezuela’s most vulnerable

The notion of masked men on no-license-plate motorcycles shooting down hapless citizens to rob them for their loaf of bread, dispersing tear gas and emptying magazines of bullets on crowds of anti-government protesters or lurking at the door with threats against an outspoken journalist has become commonplace in the ever-ravaged country that is Venezuela. These groups are known as the collectives or “collectivos” in Spanish, and function as embattled President Nicolas Maduro’s unofficial – albeit staunchly loyal – to take on the dirty work to extinguish dissent to avoid the optics of the state’s military acting with a heavy hand.

Turkey crackdown leaves terminally-ill patients banned from seeking health care abroad

Since the failed coup attempt in July 2016, hundreds of thousands of Turkish citizens have – often unknowingly – had their passports rescinded and have subsequently been barred from leaving the country for undetermined stretches of time, or have been blocked from having passports renewed. For some facing dire health consequences, the crackdown has proven something of a death sentence.

Syrian hospitals bombed by Assad, Russian troops after coordinates were shared with the UN

Over the past two weeks, Syrian and Russian warplanes have hammered the last remaining rebel-held bastion in Syria’s north – killing dozens and prompting almost 200,000 people to flee. Not only is the renewed offensive raising red flags that a final showdown might be underway in the long-running civil war, but that government forces may have misused data provided to them by the United Nations in an effort to senseless civilian deaths.

Second Christian woman and her disabled husband fighting death row conviction for committing ‘blasphemy’ in Pakistan

While the news this week that Christian woman Asia Bibi has safely exited Pakistan after years on death row – having been falsely held on blasphemy charges has been lauded by officials and activists globally – the fight for justice is far from over. Bibi’s very prison cell is now home to another impoverished Christian woman, and the same Lahore-based attorney, Saif-ul Malook, is representing both the woman and her Christian husband. The pair have been sentenced to death under a questionable conviction of insulting Islam.

EU refuses to concede to Iran’s threat to resume higher uranium enrichment in 60 days unless new terms are met

An increasingly hamstrung European Union announced Thursday that it would not accept the 60-day “ultimatum” issued by Tehran this week, in which the pariah government announced it would stop adhering to parts of the controversial 2015 Iran Deal unless new terms were negotiated with the remaining partners.

The master behind the mask: who is Iran’s most feared and powerful military commander?

He is routinely referred to as the “shadow commander” or “spymaster” and is considered one of the most powerful persons in Iran. So who is 62-year-old Qassem Soleimani, the military mastermind whom Secretary of State Mike Pompeo equates with being as dangerous at ISIS leader Abu al-Baghdadi?

Inside the secret lives of transgender refugee sex workers in Pakistan

It’s a dark underworld rarely brought to light in discussions of human rights and refugees. But there is a growing pool of refugees in Pakistan – those who have fled oppression in neighboring Afghanistan and Bangladesh – who identify as transgender, and have nowhere to go but hide by day and take up sex work by night.

UN quietly plans to move all humanitarian aid operations for Syria to Damascus

As the Syrian war enters its eighth year, a chorus of criticism has erupted over leaked plans for the United Nations to shift all its aid operations to the capital Damascus, with many claiming that such a maneuver effectively enables to Bashar al Assad-regime to dominate the narrative of who receives assistance.