Global pushback against autocrats grows, says rights watchdog

The world is seeing growing resistance against the abuses of autocrats as states, civic groups and popular movements all push back against populists seeking to curtail freedoms, according to a new global report released Thursday that also outlines where Canada is both advancing and falling short in its efforts.
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New Hampshire toddler escapes home, found dead in freezing temperatures

NEWPORT, N.H. -- A New Hampshire toddler, barefoot and clad only in a nightgown, was found dead early Monday in bitter cold weather just feet from her front door after she managed to get out of her house and couldn't get back in.
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Yemeni group: Houthi rebels hold, torture female detainees

CAIRO -- Yemen's Houthi rebels hold dozens of women without bringing them to trial or charging them with a crime, often torturing the detainees and blackmailing their families, activists said on Thursday.
The allegations were first raised over the weekend by the Yemen Organization for Combating Human Trafficking, based in the capital, Sanaa.
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3 young children die after getting trapped in chest freezer

LIVE OAK, Fla. - Authorities in Florida say three young children playing outside climbed into an unplugged chest freezer and died when they couldn't get out.
The Suwannee County Sheriff's Office says the children, ages 1, 4, and 6, couldn't be revived when they were found Sunday at a home in Live Oak in north Florida.
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'The price to pay': Inside a D.C. airport as the U.S. shutdown grinds on

From their high-tech perch across the Potomac River, air-traffic control specialists at Reagan National Airport can easily peer down at the White House, the Capitol building and many of Washington's centres of power.
Yet, even in their elevated fishbowl, the men and women at the Washington, D.C.
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Kenya still hunts for explosives after deadly hotel attack

NAIROBI, Kenya -- Kenyan bomb disposal experts on Thursday searched for explosives left over from the deadly extremist attack on a Nairobi luxury hotel complex in which 21 people, plus five attackers, were killed.
The Kenyan government said its quick reaction to Tuesday's assault on the DusitD2 complex reflected improvements in its ability to respond to such brazen assaults on civilian targets.
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A Brexit lesson in economics for Canadians hoping to profit from anger: Don Pittis

Growing fears of the economic repercussions of the U.S. government shutdown have led smug Canadians to scoff that it couldn't happen here.
But Britain's descent into even greater economic chaos and uncertainty over whether or how to leave Europe offers a timely reminder that the parliamentary system Canada shares with the U.K.
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Strong explosion, fire hits French university building

PARIS -- A strong explosion and fire hit a science building undergoing repairs at the University of Lyon on Thursday, injuring three people slightly, French officials said.
The area was evacuated after the explosion on the roof of the building Thursday morning, and the regional fire service said the blaze was under control soon afterward.
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Travel precautions persist for Zika-hit areas

The Zika virus should remain a concern for some Canadians planning winter vacations in sunny climes, doctors say.
Public health officials are reminding travellers to protect themselves because even a single mosquito bite can transmit a host of illnesses, including Zika.
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Human Rights Watch: Global pushback against autocrats grows

BERLIN -- The world is seeing growing resistance against the abuses of autocrats as states, civic groups and popular movements all push back against populists who are seeking to curtail freedoms, Human Rights Watch said Thursday.
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May battles to keep Brexit on track after no-confidence win

LONDON -- British Prime Minister Theresa May is reaching out to opposition parties and other lawmakers Thursday in a battle to put Brexit back on track after surviving a no-confidence vote.
European Union countries are also debating on how to move forward now that the U.K.
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U.S. alarmed as Zimbabwe targets, beats activists amid unrest

HARARE, Zimbabwe -- The U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe said Thursday it is "alarmed" by credible reports that security forces are targeting and beating activists and labour leaders after a local doctors' rights group said it had treated 68 gunshot cases and scores of other cases of assault.
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China says economy czar to visit Washington for trade talks

China's economy czar, Vice-Premier Liu He, will visit Washington on Jan. 30-31 for talks aimed at ending a costly tariff war over U.S. complaints about Beijing's technology ambitions.
The announcement Thursday that the official in charge of the Chinese side of the negotiations will participate in person is a possible sign of progress following talks in Beijing this month between lower-level officials.
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