For the first time in the University of California history, the UC Berkeley Student Senate has approved a bill to divest from two US companies in response to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and to Israel’s siege and bombardment of the Gaza Strip. The Senate bill directs both the UC Regents and the Student Government to divest from two American companies, General Electric and United Technologies*. In addition, the bill creates a task force to look into furthering a socially responsible investment policy for the UC system. However, the bill has been vetoed, and in their campaign to override the veto on 14 April, led by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), the Student Senate are up against the American Israel Public Affairs Committee [AIPAC] that has launched a drive to take over student government at the UC Berkeley.

The popular revolt in Kyrgyzstan that toppled Bakiyev two days ago was so sudden and ferocious that nobody has had a chance to give it a name yet. But it would be plausible to dub it the fir tree revolution – after the presidential shrubs taken and loaded into taxis. Kyrgyzstan's opposition parties declared they had formed a new interim government, after a day of mayhem on yesterday when security force snipers and riot police opened fire on unarmed demonstrators as they tried to storm the main government building in the capital, Bishkek. At least 75 people were killed and 300 more injured. Update to Kyrgyzstan: State of emergency declared as clashes escalat.

Anti-government protests in Kyrgyzstan have escalated violently, with 17 people killed as police clashed with demonstrators in the capital, Bishkek. Protesters attacked President Kurmanbek Bakiyev's offices and stormed the state TV and radio headquarters, taking them briefly off air. There are reports police fired live rounds after failing to disperse people with tear gas and stun grenades. President Bakiyev has declared a state of emergency in protest-hit areas.

Policiers et membres de l'opposition se sont affrontés, mercredi 7 avril, dans les rues de Bichkek, la capitale du Kirghizistan, après l'arrestation, la veille, de trois chefs de l'opposition kirghize. Entre 3 000 et 5 000 manifestants de l'opposition ont forcé les forces de l'ordre à battre en retraite et se sont ensuite rassemblés devant la présidence kirghize pour réclamer la démission du chef de l'Etat, Kourmanbek Bakiev. Au moins douze personnes auraient trouvé la mort lors des affrontements. Le ministre de l'intérieur a été tué dans la ville de Talas ; le premier ministre a décrété l'état d'urgence dans tout le pays.

At least five bombs ripped through apartment buildings across Baghdad today and another struck a market, killing 49 people and wounding more than 160, authorities said. Iraqi officials blamed al-Qaida in Iraq for the violence, the latest sign the country's fragile security is dissolving in the chaos of the unresolved election. It was the fourth set of attacks with multiple casualties across Iraq in five days, a spate of violence that has claimed more than 100 lives. Attacks have spiked as political leaders scramble to secure enough support to form a government after the 7 March elections failed to produce a clear winner.

As an Ashkenazi (a Jew from European descent) Israeli who was born in Australia to refugee parents, I have the luxury of living in Israel whenever I choose to, with full rights. Like other Jewish citizens, I have the freedom to move, access to hospitals, universities and water. What a luxury. So how can I call this place home and fascist at the same time, asks Alex Nissem.

PRESS RELEASE: Under the leadership of Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS), a Pan-African organisation based in Dakar, Senegal, a Solidarity Mission was organised in support of the women of Guinea, particularly the victims of the 28th September 2009 crisis. The Mission comprised of FAS, Pan-African Women Organisation (PAWO), Women Peace and Security Network Africa (WIPSEN-Africa), West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP/WIPNET), Network on Peace and Security for Women in the ECOWAS Region (NOPSWECO), a former member of the African Union (AU) Pan-African Parliament, and a representative of the Female Caucus of the Parliament of Sierra Leone. It was supported by the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA), UNIFEM, Africa Women Development Fund (AWDF), and the Urgent Action Fund.

Dr Shams Hassan Faruqi sits amid his rocks and geological records, shakes his bearded head and stares at me. "I strongly doubt if the children are alive," he says. "Probably, they have expired." He says this in a strange way, mournful but resigned, yet somehow he seems oddly unmoved. As a witness, supposedly, to the mysterious 2008 re-appearance of Aafia Siddiqui – the "most wanted woman in the world", according to former US attorney general John Ashcroft – I guess this 73-year-old Pakistani geologist is used to the limelight. But the children, I ask him again. What happened to the children?

Afghanistan’s hard-won post-Taliban human rights achievements are being eroded due to the persistent immunity from prosecution of powerful figures, the intensifying conflict, and the adoption of laws which undermine justice and human rights, a UN official warns. Norah Niland, the outgoing representative of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Afghanistan, called on the Afghan government to repeal a controversial law which gives blanket immunity to perpetrators of mass atrocities committed over the past three decades.

Clashes between government troops and Islamist insurgents have displaced more than 55,000 people from Mogadishu since the beginning of February, with many of them heading out of Somalia to neighbouring Kenya, according to the UN Refugee Agency. In the border town of Liboi, people told IRIN by phone that 300 to 400 Somali families were waiting there to be registered as refugees. In all, almost 570,000 Somalis are refugees and most of them live in camps in Kenya. "Staying in Mogadishu now is like a death sentence: you are not safe; your neighbour is not safe," Hawo Sheiikh Ali, one of the refugees, told IRIN on 22 March.

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