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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry accused the U.N. Human Rights Council on Monday of being obsessed by allegations of Israeli abuses and said the United States would defend Israel against efforts to isolate it. In a speech to the Council in Geneva, Kerry also exhorted the 47-member-state group to look into what he described as severe abuses in separatist-controlled areas of eastern Ukraine as well as in Crimea, annexed by Russia from Ukraine last year. For decades the government has subjugated its citizens, starving and torturing and incarcerating them or worse." Kerry offered a strong defense of Israel against what he called the council's unbalanced focus on the country. "It must be said that the HRC’s obsession with Israel actually risks undermining the credibility of the entire organization," Kerry said.
US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday warned Israel's prime minister against revealing details at his upcoming speech to US Congress of an Iran nuclear deal that world powers are in the process of negotiating. While he did not mention Benjamin Netanyahu by name, Kerry told reporters in Geneva he was "concerned by reports" that "selective details" of the deal aimed at curbing Tehran's nuclear programme would be revealed in the coming days. Kerry is due to meet his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif in the Swiss lakeside town of Montreux later Monday for talks on the Iran agreement. "The best way to deal with the question surrounding this nuclear programme is to find a comprehensive deal, but not a deal which comes at any costs," he told reporters.
In this photo by Gemunu Amarasinghe, a student protester lies on the floor of a monastery in Letpadan, Myanmar, after police stopped protesters from continuing their march toward Yangon, the country's largest city. The students have been rallying for a month in protest of an education law passed in September that puts all decisions about academic policy and curriculum in the hands of a body made up largely of government ministers. It bans students from forming unions and ignores calls for local languages to be used in instruction in ethnic states. Students say the law undermines the autonomy of universities, which were shuttered or rigidly controlled during five decades of military rule because the junta considered them hotbeds of discontent. The threat of an expanded protest is sensitive in part because students were at the forefront of pro-democracy protests in 1988 that were crushed by a bloody military crackdown.