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South Sudan women suggest sex strike to end civil war

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A group of South Sudanese women peace activists has suggested that men in the civil war-torn country be denied sex until they stop fighting.

The suggestion emerged after around 90 women, including several members of South Sudan’s parliament, met in the capital Juba this week to come up with ideas on how to “to advance the cause of peace, healing and reconciliation”.

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A key suggestion was to “mobilise all women in South Sudan to deny their husbands conjugal rights until they ensure that peace returns,” organisers said in a statement Thursday.

Other proposals included finding ways to meet the wives of President Salva Kiir and his arch-rival, rebel chief Riek Machar, to “ask them to join the search for peace and reconciliation by impressing upon their husbands to stop the war”.

Thousands of people have been killed and almost two million have fled the fighting between government troops, mutinous soldiers and tribal militia forces.

Civilians have been massacred, patients murdered in hospitals and people killed while sheltering in churches.

Almost 100,000 people are sheltering in squalid UN peacekeeping bases fearing they will be killed if they leave.

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Tobias Atari Okori, from the government-backed South Sudan Peace and Reconciliation Commission, acknowledged that the idea highlighted that people were desperate for the war to end.

“People are experiencing great suffering, and it is the women, children and the aged who are suffering the worst,” he told AFP.

The UN special envoy on sexual violence Zainab Bangura said this month the levels of rape are the worst she had ever seen.

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Political and military leaders have repeatedly broken promises made under intense international pressure, including during visits to South Sudan by UN chief Ban Ki-moon and US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Earlier this month, a group of 19 major aid agencies warned that while massive food drops had helped avert famine for now, the threat remained and would continue to worsen the longer the war continues.

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Russian trolls start hyping COVID-19 misinformation — and Rudy Giuliani’s crazed rants about the Bidens

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Russian trolls recently have started hyping a mix of misinformation about the coronavirus and crazed conspiracy theories posted by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.

The Daily Beast reports that one of the trolls' main information operations revolves around blaming the United States Department of Defense for purportedly creating the coronavirus, even though all credible epidemiologists agree it originated in China.

"The story, posted to Russian-language blogs and Reddit by multiple fake personas, tries to pin the blame on the COVID-19 outbreak on the U.S. and Kazakhstan by casting the virus as the byproduct of a U.S. nonproliferation program in the country," the publication finds. "The trolls pointed to social media posts by a group of hackers calling themselves 'Anonymous Kazakhstan.'"

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New single-day record for NY virus deaths but hospitalizations fall

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America's coronavirus epicenter of New York recorded a new single-day high of 799 COVID-19 deaths Thursday but Governor Andrew Cuomo said the rate of hospitalizations continued to fall.

Cuomo said 799 people died in the last 24 hours, outdoing the previous high of 779 announced on Wednesday, but added that the curve was flattening because of social confinement measures.

"We had a 200-net increase in hospitalizations, which you can see is the lowest number we've had since this nightmare started," Cuomo told reporters, adding that intensive care admissions were also at the lowest yet.

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Meghan McCain nails Trump after he attempts to honor former prisoners of war

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This Thursday, President Trump fired off a tweet commemorating National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day, writing, "we honor the more than 500,000 American warriors captured while protecting our way of life. We pay tribute to these Patriots for their unwavering and unrelenting spirit!"

The post was noticed by Meghan McCain, who is a talk show host and daughter of the late Arizona Senator John McCain, who Trump disparaged in past comments regarding his being taken prisoner during the Vietnam war.

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