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Satellite images of one of North Korea's largest political prison camps suggests its inmate population is expanding, Amnesty International said Thursday in a report detailing rape and torture in the North's notorious gulag. The report by the London-based rights watchdog included rare testimony from a former camp guard, as well as from former inmates about the brutality prevalent in the prison system. "For Amnesty International, which has been investigating human rights violations for the last 50 years, we find North Korea to be in a category of its own," said Amnesty's East Asia researcher Rajiv Narayan. North Korea denies the existence of the political prison camps which, according to independent estimates, form a network holding between 100,000 and 200,000 people.
Ukraine on Thursday hosted top diplomats for a meeting of the OSCE security group overshadowed by two weeks of protests over its rejection of an EU deal, as demonstrators kept up the pressure on President Viktor Yanukovych. Thousands of anti-Yanukovych protesters remained on Kiev’s central Independence Square which they have controlled and surrounded with barricades since a mass protest at the weekend. The president, whose sudden U-turn not to sign an Association Agreement with the European Union sparked the protests, is on a visit to China where he hopes to win a new lifeline for the country’s ailing economy. Several top foreign ministers, including US Secretary of State John Kerry, opted not to come to Kiev for the ministerial meeting of the OSCE after the government’s rejection of the deal which came under heavy Russian pressure.
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Phil Collins, the former Genesis drummer whose earnest ballads made him a star in the 1980s, is penning songs again. Although he dreads the idea of extended touring because it would take him away from his five children, Collins says he has missed the creativity of music since he retired in 2010.