A U.N. official speaking from Switzerland

A U.N. official speaking from Switzerland said 38 people had been killed Wednesday (Mar 3) during protests against the coup across Myanmar. The figure is consistent with other reports though accounts are difficult to confirm inside the country. The increasingly deadly violence could galvanize the international community, which has responded fitfully so far. “Today it was the bloodiest day since the coup happened on Feb. 1. We have today — only today — 38 people died. We have now more than over 50 people died since the coup started,” the U.N. special envoy for Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, told reporters at U.N. headquarters on Wednesday.

Demonstrators have regularly flooded the streets of cities across the country since the military seized power and ousted the elected government of leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Their numbers have remained high even as security forces have repeatedly fired tear gas, rubber bullets and live rounds to disperse the crowds, and arrested protesters en masse.

 

Democrats in the House of Representatives, the lower house in the U.S. Congress, passed sweeping voting and ethics legislation over unanimous Republican opposition, advancing to the Senate what would be the largest overhaul of the U.S. election law in at least a generation. House Resolution 1, which touches on virtually every aspect of the electoral process, was approved on a near party-line 220-210 vote. It would restrict partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts, strike down hurdles to voting and bring transparency to a murky campaign finance system that allows wealthy donors to anonymously bankroll political causes.

The bill is a powerful counterweight to voting rights restrictions advancing in Republican-controlled statehouses across the country in the wake of Donald Trump’s repeated false claims of a stolen 2020 election. Yet it faces an uncertain fate in the Democratic-controlled Senate, where it has little chance of passing without changes to procedural rules that currently allow Republicans to block it.

 

Buckingham Palace said it was launching an investigation after a newspaper reported that a former aide had made a bullying allegation against the Duchess of Sussex. The Times of London reported allegations that the duchess drove out two personal assistants and left staff feeling “humiliated.” It said an official complaint was made by Jason Knauf, then the communications secretary to Meghan and her husband, Prince Harry. He now works for Harry’s elder brother, Prince William.

The palace said it was “clearly very concerned” about the allegations. It said in a statement that the palace human resources team “will look into the circumstances outlined in the article.” The bullying allegations were reported four days before the scheduled broadcast of an Oprah Winfrey interview with Meghan, which is anticipated to draw a huge audience. It also comes less than two weeks after the palace announced that the couple’s split from official duties would be final.

 

The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor launched an investigation into alleged crimes in the Palestinian territories, turning the tribunal’s focus toward Israeli military actions and settlement construction on lands captured in the 1967 Mideast war. The decision dealt an embarrassing blow to the Israeli government, which had conducted an aggressive public relations and behind-the-scenes diplomatic campaign to block the investigation. It also raised the possibility of arrest warrants being issued against Israeli officials suspected of war crimes, making it potentially risky to travel abroad.

In a statement, Bensouda said the investigation will look into “crimes within the jurisdiction of the court that are alleged to have been committed” since June 13, 2014. She said the investigation will be conducted “independently, impartially and objectively, without fear or favour.” That task will now be handed to Karim Khan, the British lawyer who is set to become the court’s chief prosecutor in June.

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