Latest Human rights and civil liberties News

FILE - In this Aug. 28, 1963 file photo, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, addresses marchers during his

How Stevie Wonder's 'Happy Birthday' helped form US holiday

Jan. 24, 2021 4:51 PM EST

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — In the summer of 1979, Stevie Wonder called Coretta Scott King to tell her about a dream he had. “I said to her, you know, ‘I had a dream about this song. And I imagined in this dream I was doing this song. We were marching, too, with petition signs to make for Dr....

FILE - In this June 7, 2020 file photo, Dwight McKissic, pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church, and his wife, Vera McKissic, pray during services in Arlington, Texas. As a student in college and seminary, then as a pastor in Texas, McKissic has been affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention for more than 45 years. Now he’s pondering whether he and his congregation should break away -- following the steps of several other Black pastors who exited in dismay over race-related actions of some white SBC leaders.  (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

Some Black Southern Baptists feel shut out by white leaders

Jan. 24, 2021 4:22 PM EST

As a student in college and seminary, then as a pastor in Texas, Dwight McKissic has been affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention for more than 45 years. Now he’s pondering whether he and his congregation should break away. “It would feel like a divorce,” McKissic said....

In this Jan. 21, 2021, photo former Houston Police Officer Tam Pham walks out of the Federal Courthouse downtown in Houston after he appeared in court following his arrest Wednesday on federal charges tied to Capitol violence. Police departments across the country are reviewing the behavior of dozens of officers who were in Washington on the day of a riot at the U.S. Capitol. (Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle via AP)

US police weigh officer discipline after rally, Capitol riot

Jan. 24, 2021 3:14 PM EST

For two Virginia police officers who posed for a photo during the deadly U.S. Capitol insurrection, the reckoning has been swift and public: They were identified, charged with crimes and arrested. But for five Seattle officers the outcome is less clear. Their identities still secret, two are on leave and three...

ACLU sues Portsmouth over resident's critical signs

Jan. 24, 2021 2:47 PM EST

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island has sued Portsmouth on behalf of a resident who's been ordered to take down signs on his property that are critical of the town. Resident Michael DiPaola has been feuding with the town for years over building code enforcement and...

FILE - In this Dec. 30, 2020 file photo, abortion-rights activists watch live video streaming of lawmakers in session, outside Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Argentina became the largest nation in Latin America to legalize elective abortion after its Senate on Dec. 30 passed a law guaranteeing the procedure up to the 14th week of pregnancy. The abortion law goes into force Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021.  (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko, File)

Argentina's abortion law enters force under watchful eyes

Jan. 24, 2021 1:04 PM EST

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina’s groundbreaking abortion law went into force Sunday under the watchful eyes of women’s groups and government officials, who hope to ensure its full implementation despite opposition from some conservative and church groups. Argentina became the...

Burundi ruling party selects hardliner as secretary-general

Jan. 24, 2021 12:26 PM EST

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Burundi’s ruling party has selected as the former president of the country's senate to be the new secretary-general. Reverien Ndikuriyo was picked Sunday by the ruling party, the National Council for the Defense of Democracy–Forces for the Defense of Democracy, known by...

FILE - A man carries his weapon during a second amendment gun rally at Utah State Capitol on Feb. 8, 2020, in Salt Lake City. Utah is one of several more states weighing proposals this year that would allow people to carry concealed guns without having to get a permit, a trend supporters say bolsters Second Amendment rights but is alarming to gun-control advocates. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

States eye allowing concealed carry of guns without a permit

Jan. 24, 2021 11:21 AM EST

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Republican lawmakers in several more states want to loosen gun restrictions by allowing people to carry concealed firearms without having to get a permit, continuing a trend that gun control advocates call dangerous. Fifteen states already allow concealed carry without a permit, and...

South Africa mourns anti-apartheid trombonist Jonas Gwangwa

Jan. 24, 2021 10:18 AM EST

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Tributes are pouring in for South Africa's Oscar-nominated anti-apartheid jazz trombonist and composer Jonas Gwangwa, who has died at the age of 83. With driving music that fired up Black South Africans’ resistance to repressive white minority rule, Gwangwa left the country...

People stand in front of police officers during a protest against the jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. Russian police on Saturday arrested hundreds of protesters who took to the streets in temperatures as low as minus-50 C (minus-58 F) to demand the release of Alexei Navalny, the country's top opposition figure. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

Kremlin: US comments on protests support law-breaking

Jan. 24, 2021 9:08 AM EST

MOSCOW (AP) — The spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin says the U.S. Embassy’s statements about the nationwide protests, in which more than 3,500 people reportedly were arrested, interfere in the country’s domestic affairs and encourage Russians to break the law. Dmitry Peskov made...

FILE - In this June 1968, file photo, James Farmer, former Congress of Racial Equality director, is seen in his apartment in New York. Christopher Williams works daily to carry on the legacy of civil rights leader Farmer. Williams will tell his story of carrying on the Farmer legacy on the new PBS series ‘American Portrait,’ which blends first-person stories about everyday people into a documentary about what it means to be an American today. It airs Jan. 26, 2021, at 9 p.m. (AP Photo, File)

Virginia man carries on the legacy of James Farmer

Jan. 24, 2021 9:00 AM EST

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Christopher Williams works daily to carry on the legacy of civil rights leader James Farmer. The legacy is in his job description—assistant director of the University of Mary Washington’s James Farmer Multicultural Center. It informs the work he does at the center...