News in the Humanosphere: Human rights take a backseat in U.S. foreign policy, announces Tillerson

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Beijing March 18, 2017. (Credit: Lintao Zhang/Pool Photo via AP)

Translating “America First” into diplomatic policy, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday declared the United States would no longer condition its foreign relationships on countries adopting U.S. values like human rights. He spoke to a State Department eager for answers about changing priorities and a sweeping, impending overhaul. Tillerson did not provide employees any details about the 2,300 jobs he plans to eliminate or how his proposed cut of roughly a quarter of the State Department budget might affect operations. Acknowledging widespread unease about the forthcoming changes, he pledged that diplomats would emerge from the agency’s changes with “a much more satisfying, fulfilling career.”…“In some circumstances, if you condition our national security efforts on someone adopting our values, we probably can’t achieve our national security goals,” Tillerson said. “It really does create obstacles.”  (AP http://apne.ws/2pGjdZU)

Keep an eye on this…Global health experts are striving to identify a mysterious illness in Liberia that has already killed 12 people. Officials with the World Health Organization in Monrovia have already ruled out Ebola, yellow fever and a regional virus called Lassa. They have sent samples to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta for further tests. The illness causes fever, vomiting, diarrhea and headaches. (VOA http://bit.ly/2oYpnHO)

Top Stories

Jan Egeland, the leader of the Norwegian Refugee Council, said he was shocked by what he called a “man-made famine” in Yemen after spending time talking to people who live there. (VOA http://bit.ly/2p9uSPU)

A U.N. representative on human rights said he was followed by security officers in disguise during an official trip to China and that some activists he met with may have suffered intimidation and retaliation. (AP http://bit.ly/2p9bbYy)

Human Rights Watch urged Thailand’s military government to disclose the whereabouts of a prominent rights lawyer who has been missing since his house was raided at the weekend. (VOA http://bit.ly/2oYhHW9)

Sixty-two people have been charged with various electoral offenses following highly-contested party primaries in Kenya. (BBC http://bbc.in/2p9cMhc)

The Trump administration warned that it might impose more sanctions on Venezuelan officials over President Nicolas Maduro’s push to rewrite the constitution amid an escalating political crisis with near-daily demonstrations calling for his ouster. (AP http://bit.ly/2oYgYEp)

More than 13 million young women across Latin America are neither employed nor in school. But a new model of coding education hopes to give this population skills for a well-paying career. (CSM http://bit.ly/2qzGBZb)

Authorities in West Africa have detained eight Chinese vessels for fishing illegally and the boat owners could be subject to millions of dollars in fines, officials at environmental group Greenpeace said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2p9j1kN)

As fears spread in Brazil over the resurgence of yellow fever, health officials are issuing a warning: Stop killing the monkeys. (NY Times http://nyti.ms/2oYit5e)

Opinion/Blogs

The Budget Passed by Congress Cuts UN Peacekeeping. This may not end well. (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/2pFUq8v)

Ethiopia uprising: Whither solidarity? (African Arguments http://bit.ly/2qznvSS)

Can Freedom of the Press Survive Trump’s Onslaught? (Foreign Policy http://atfp.co/2pxAOEV)

How can you leave no one behind when millions of children are uncounted? (Guardian http://bit.ly/2qzptme)

Reflections on World Press Freedom Day (IPS http://bit.ly/2qFKsTI)

Moving Away from Humanitarian Appeals to Managing Droughts in Ethiopia (World Bank http://bit.ly/2qzWr63)

Social Accountability from the Trenches: 6 Critical Reflections (From Poverty to Power http://bit.ly/2oYmjLT)

Q&A: Julia Gillard on raising funds for the Global Partnership for Education (Devex http://bit.ly/2oYwAHO)

The African Union is now complete, but at what cost? (Africa is a Country http://bit.ly/2p9pfkX)

Share.

About Author