Thank you for reading our newsletter and event announcements and for joining us in our online discussions of new research and issues in the news.
PRC State Council, Human Rights Record of the United States in 2017, April 24, 2018
This report was prepared by China’s State Council Information Office.
On April 20 local time, the State Department of the United States released its country reports on human rights practices for 2017, posing once again as "the guardian of human rights" and a self-styled "human rights judge." It continued to point fingers and cast groundless blame on the domestic affairs and human rights situation of other countries as if it had the most perfect human rights condition in the world. However, looking back on the year of 2017, even those with the slightest sense of righteousness will find that the human rights record of the United States itself remained tarnished and showed a continued deterioration tendency.
- On the evening of October 1, 2017, almost 60 people were killed and over 800 injured in a mass shooting in Las Vegas, the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
- In August 2017, some white supremacists rallied in Charlottesville, chanting Nazi slogans in the "largest hate gathering in decades".
- According to reports on The Atlantic website and New York Times website, several polls of American scholars revealed that most of the respondents believed that quality of democracy in the United States had been plateauing for decades, and that American democracy is drowning in money.
- A research from Martin Gilens, a politics professor at Princeton University, showed that American economic policies over the last 40 years “strongly reflect the preferences of the most affluent, but bear virtually no relationship to the preferences of poor or middle-income Americans.”
- A study from the U.S. National Registry of Exonerations released on March 7, 2017 showed that black Americans were about seven times more likely to be wrongfully convicted of murder than white Americans. When it comes to drug crimes, black Americans are about 12 times more likely to be wrongfully convicted than innocent white people. Black male offenders received sentences on average 19.1 percent longer than those of “similarly situated” white male offenders.
- The Economic Policy Institute released a report on February 13, 2017, saying that the average wealth for white families is seven times higher than average wealth for black families and that median white wealth is twelve times higher than median black wealth. More than one in four black households had zero or negative net worth.
- According to websites of The Guardian and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in December 2017, 52.3 million Americans lived in “economically distressed communities” and 18.5 million were living in deep poverty.
- A report of BBC on December 11, 2017 said that of those living in poverty in the United States, there were about 13.3 million children – 18 percent of those under the age of 18. The U.S. Urban Institute statistics revealed that nearly 9 million children in the United States (11.8 percent of American children) would grow up in persistently poor families.
I. Serious Infringement on Civil Rights
Violent crime was on the rise in the United States, the government exercised no effective control over guns which caused continuous growth of gun incidents, power abuse by American police sparked mass protests, and government surveillance infringed individual privacy. As a result, civil rights of the American people, especially the right to life and freedom, were seriously threatened.
Violent crime was on the rise in the United States. According to the FBI’s annual report on national crime statistics released in September 2017, there were an estimated 1.2 million violent crimes in the United States in 2016, an increase of 4.1 percent from 2015. It showed the estimated rate of violent crime was 386.3 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants, up 3.4 percent compared with the 2015 rate. The estimated number of aggravated assaults, murders and rapes in the nation in 2016 increased 5.1 percent, 8.6 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively, when compared with the 2015 estimate (www.fbi.gov, ucr.fbi.gov, September 2017).
Ineffective gun control has caused continuous growth of gun violence in the United States. A Pew Research Center survey showed that at least two-thirds of the surveyed Americans had lived in a household with a gun at some point in their lives (www.pewsocialtrends.org, June 22, 2017). Seventy-three percent of the homicides for which the FBI received weapons data in 2016 involved the use of firearms, according to the FBI’s annual report on national crime statistics released in September 2017(www.ucr.fbi.gov, September 2017). According to the Gun Violence Archive of 2017, as of December 25, the total number of incidents in the United States was 60,091, which killed 15,182 and injured 30,619. Among the incidents, 338 were mass shooting (www.gunviolencearchive.org, December 25, 2017). On October 1, 2017, a gunman, named as 64-year-old Nevada resident Stephen Paddock, opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas towards an open-air music festival attended by 22,000. Nearly 60 people were killed and about 500 injured in the mass shooting, the deadliest in modern U.S. history (www.bbc.com, October 2, 2017). The police found 42 guns, thousands of bullets, and explosives in Paddock's hotel room and his home. On November 5, 2017, at least 26 were dead and 20 were injured after a man dressed in black entered First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas armed with a rifle and opened fire on its congregation. Those shot ranged from 5 to 72 years old.
U.S. police abused their law enforcement power. According to statistics released by the FBI, law enforcement made an estimated 10,662,252 arrests nationwide in 2016. (Note: the UCR Program does not collect data on citations for traffic violations.) The arrest rate for the United States in 2016 was 3,298.5 arrests per 100,000 inhabitants (ucr.fbi.gov, September 2017). According to The Washington Post’s Fatal Force database, 987 people were shot by police in 2017. The Washington Post reported on July 26, 2017, that American police shot and killed a man while trying to serve a warrant at the wrong house. The man didn’t have a warrant out for his arrest or a criminal record. Statistics released by Pew Research Center on January 11, 2017, showed that since 2015, almost 500 blacks had been fatally shot by police (www.pewsocialtrends.org, January 11, 2017). Huffington post reported on November 7, 2017, that two American detectives Eddie Martins, 37, and Richard Hall, 33, were arrested on charges including raping a woman in a police van in New York after finding her in possession of marijuana and anti-anxiety pills.
Violent law enforcement by American police sparked mass protests in the United States. On February 22, 2017, hundreds of people took to the streets of Anaheim, Calif., for a sprawling protest that was sparked by video footage showing an off-duty Los Angeles police officer firing his gun during a confrontation with teenagers a day earlier. Police said they had arrested 23 people during the protests that followed (www.washingtonpost.com, February 23, 2017). Protesters in St. Louis on the night of September 15, 2017, blocked highways, damaged public and private property, broke windows, threw rocks at the mayor's house and threw bricks at police officers after a white former police officer earlier in the day was acquitted in the 2011 fatal shooting of a black man. Thirty-two protesters were arrested. “Time and time again, African-American men are killed by police, and nobody is held accountable,” said one protester (abcnews.go.com, September 16, 2017).
Online surveillance by the U.S. government infringed individual privacy. According to a report by Daily Mail on April 6, 2017, Twitter refused a government demand to reveal who was behind an account opposed to President Donald Trump's tough immigration policies. The company filed a federal lawsuit to block the order, citing freedom of speech as a basis for not turning over records about the account. The New York Times reported on September 13, 2017, that there were nearly 15,000 forced searches of phones and laptops in the United States from October 2016 to March 2017, compared with 8,383 in the same period a year before. According to a report by the Independent on September 27, 2017, the American government quietly announced that it was planning on continuing to collect social media information on immigrants in America, a policy that has experts worried about privacy abuses and inefficiency. César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández, an associate professor of law at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law, said that monitoring social media accounts could have a chilling effect on free speech. The U.S. Department of Justice was investigating protesters who exercised their First Amendment rights of free assembly at Donald Trump's inauguration in January 2017. The Justice Department has demanded the company DreamHost turn over some 1.3 million IP addresses of people who visited a website coordinating Inauguration Day protests(edition.cnn.com, August 17, 2017).
II. Systematic racial discrimination aggravates social split
The existing problems of racial discrimination in the United States have not been eased, but racial relations continue to worsen. Social antagonism has been intensified and racial conflicts frequently occurred.
Systematic racial discrimination exists in law enforcement and judicial organs. According to the website of the Huffingtong Post on November 18, 2017, a report of the U.S. Sentencing Commission released in November said that black male offenders received sentences on average of 19.1 percent longer than those of “similarly situated” white male offenders. According to the study from the National Registry of Exonerations, which was released on March 7, 2017, and examined cases from 1989 to October 2016, African Americans are far more likely to be wrongfully convicted of crimes such as murder, sexual assault and illegal drug activity than white people. Of the 1,900 defendants convicted of crimes and later exonerated, 47 percent were African Americans -- three times their representation in the population (www.aljazeera.com, March 8, 2017). According to a report by the Stanford Open Policing Project released on June 19, 2017, based on analysis of more than 60 million police stops in 20 states, black and Latino drivers face a double standard and police require far less suspicion to search them than their white counterparts. Black and Latino drivers are about twice as likely to be searched compared with whites. After being stopped, black and Latino drivers are ticketed, searched and arrested more often than whites. For example, when pulled over for speeding, black drivers are 20 percent more likely than whites and Latino drivers 30 percent more likely than whites to be ticketed (www.latimes.com, June 19, 2017). According to statistics by the Mapping Police Violence released at its website on January 1, 2018, the U.S. police have killed 1,129 people in 2017, of whom 25 percent were black people, much higher than their population distribution of 13 percent.
According to a CNN report on September 1, 2017, a white police lieutenant Greg Abbott in the U.S. state of Georgia who has been an officer for more than 20 years stopped a white female driver. The woman said she was scared to move her hands and Abbott interrupted her and said, "You're not black. Remember, we only kill black people." On September 8, 2017, the AP reported that six black Philadelphia police officers filed complaints against their inspectors. Their complaints include referring to black civilians as “scum” and calling black civilian killings “thinning the herd.”
Racist hate crimes hit record high in recent years. According to a new statistical report released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on November 13, 2017, a total of 6,121 hate crimes in the United States were reported to the FBI in 2016, to a point not seen in recent history. In the days after the November 2016 presidential election, an increase in racist slogans and hateful messages was reported, especially in schools. The Southern Poverty Law Center found 867 cases of hateful harassment or intimidation in the 10 days after the election (edition.cnn.com, November 13, 2017). According to a report by the website of Al Jazeera on June 10, 2017, white man Adam Purinton, 52, was accused of shouting "get out of my country" as he shot dead one Indian man and injured another at a bar in Kansas. According to the website of New York Post on October 31, 2017, in the summer of 2016, police arrested three men who smashed more than 40 headstones and spray-painted racial slurs and offensive phrases on many headstones that had Asian names on them at a Queens cemetery.
White nationalist protesters sparked violent confrontations. In August 2017, some white nationalists and right-wing protesters converged on Charlottesville, Virginia, shouting "blood and soil," a phrase invoking the Nazi philosophy (edition.cnn.com, August 12, 2017). White nationalist James Alex Fields Jr., 20, drove a car plowing into a group of protesters against white nationalists, killing one person and injuring 19 others (www.cbsnews.com, August 12, 2017). According to a report by the Telegraph on August 13, 2017, U.S. civil rights groups described the riot as America's "largest hate gathering in decades." On August 23, Anastasia Crickley, Chairperson of UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), said that “We are alarmed by the racist demonstrations, with overtly racist slogans, chants and salutes by white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan, promoting white supremacy and inciting racial discrimination and hatred.” UN rights experts criticized U.S. government’s failure to unequivocally reject racist violent events, and called on high-level politicians and public officials of the United States to unequivocally and unconditionally reject and condemn racist hate speech and crimes in Charlottesville and throughout the country (www.un.org, August 23, 2017).
Racial relations worsened. According to a Gallup poll released on March 15 last year, 42 percent of Americans say they personally worry a "great deal" about race relations in the United States, up seven percentage points from 2016 and a record high in Gallup's 17-year trend. This is the third straight year worries about this issue have increased by a significant margin. A survey, conducted by Pew Research Center in August, 2017, showed that 58 percent of Americans say racism is a “big problem in our society,” up 8 percentage points in the past two years and having roughly doubled since 2011 (www.pewresearch.org, August 29，2017). According to a report by BBC website on September 26, 2017, in 2016, National Football League (NFL) player Colin Kaepernick refused to stand up and kneeled during the national anthem. "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," he said. A number of players have joined Colin Kaepernick since his demonstrations began.
Racial discrimination occurred frequently. According to a report by BBC website on May 31, 2017, NBA superstar LeBron James said that the "N-word" was spray painted on to his Los Angeles home. He said that racism will always be a part of America, and hate in America - especially for African-Americans - is living every day. The New York Post reported on September 15, 2017 that a volunteer firefighter in Ohio has posted racist remarks on Facebook, saying he’d save a dog from a burning house before a black man. “That’s because one dog is more important than a million n——,” he said. According to a report by the website of New York Daily News on November 3, 2017, two Asian school board candidates in central New Jersey received a racist attack. Residents in Edison received postcards that had photos of the two with “deport” stamped over their faces. Pew Research Center survey showed that some minority groups more frequently encounter harassment that carries racial overtones. A quarter of black Americans and ten percent of Hispanic Americans say they have been targeted online due to their race or ethnicity (www.pewresearch.org, July 25, 2017).
Minority groups have lower employment rate and are paid less. According to a report by the website of Los Angeles Times on September 15, 2017, since the Labor Department began keeping track of unemployment by race in the early 1970s, the black unemployment rate is nearly double the white unemployment rate. In 1979, the average black man in America earned 80 percent as much per hour as the average white man. By 2016, that shortfall had worsened to 70 percent, according to research from the San Francisco Fed (www.washingtonpost.com, September 5, 2017). A report by the website of USA Today on December 16, 2017, said that nationwide, the typical black household earns just 61 percent of the money that the typical white household earns. In Erie, Pennsylvania, the unemployment rate for white people is four percent, while that for black people is up to 24.6 percent. The median income for black people is only 43.2 percent of that for white people. A report by the website of USA Today on October 3, 2017, said that representation of all minority groups is declining in technology companies. According to a report released on March 29, 2017, by a San Francisco-based HR tech company, black people make up only two to three percent of the white-collar workforce — significantly less than their total workforce participation rate of 12 percent. Only about 5 percent of Hispanic workforce contributes to white-collar jobs (www.ibtimes.com, March 31, 2017).
Racial wealth gap becomes larger. According to data released by the Federal Reserve in September last year, between 2013 and 2016, wealth gap between black and white families grew by 16 percent during that time, and by 14 percent between Hispanics and whites. In 2016, white families had a median net worth of 171,000 U.S. dollars, compared with 17,600 U.S. dollars for blacks and 20,700 U.S. dollars for Hispanics, accounting for 10.29 percent and 12.11 percent of that for white families respectively (www.washingtonpost, September 28, 2017). The report issued by the Economic Policy Institute on February 13, 2017, said that more than one in four black households have zero or negative net worth (www.epi.org, February 13, 2017). The median income for an African American household was 39,490 U.S. dollars in 2016, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released in September 2017, even 1,873 U.S. dollars less than that in 2000. African Americans are the only racial group the Census Bureau identifies that has been left behind than the year of 2000 (www.latimes.com, September 15, 2017).
Muslims suffered from discrimination and assaults. On January 27, 2017, the U.S. government issued an order to ban on the entry of citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The order was labeled as "Muslim ban" as countries involved were mainly Muslim population, and aroused protests in the United States and the world. In a Pew Research Center survey conducted in early 2017, three-quarters of Muslim American adults say there is “a lot” of discrimination against Muslims in the United States, a view shared by 69 percent adults in the general public. In addition, half of U.S. Muslim adults say that in recent years it has become more difficult to be a Muslim in the United States. According to a Pew Research Center analysis of hate crimes statistics from the FBI, the number of assaults against Muslims in the United States rose significantly between 2015 and 2016, surpassing the modern peak reached in 2001, the year of the September 11 terrorist attacks (www.pewresearch.org, November 15, 2017).
III Severe flaws in American-style democracy
Money politics in United States has gone further in 2017, as the wealthy groups controlled the political development; the disadvantaged groups faced more barriers in voting; and continuous scandals of political figures happened.
Money politics made inequality worse. The Financial Times website said on July 15, 2017 that the U.S. political system has been so warped by big money. According to Federal Election Commission data, dozens of political action committees collected tens of millions of dollars in the first season of 2017. Individual donors contributed 236.4 million U.S. dollars to political action committees and related political entities, roughly 30 percent more than the recorded contribution during the same span following the 2012 presidential election (www.bizjournals.com, May 8, 2017). The website of the Center for Responsive Politics on December 27, 2017, presented data which showed the lobbying spending in 2017 was the highest in the past five years(www.opensecrets.org, December 27, 2017). The New York Times website said in its commentary on September 20, 2017 that “American democracy is drowning in money”. The money politics has made American economic policies over the last 40 years “strongly reflect the preferences of the most affluent, but bear virtually no relationship to the preferences of poor or middle-income Americans.”
Democratic politics went weakening. An expert survey on American democracy showed that 89 percent of respondents believed the democratic quality in the United States had declined over the last 10 years (www.authwarningsurvey.com, June 28, 2017). The Atlantic website reported on June 21, 2017 that most interviewees of a survey on U.S. democracy disagreed that the U.S. met standards for granting citizens an equal opportunity to vote, stopping officials from exploiting their public office for private gain, and conducting politics and formulating policy.
Low-income voters faced more severe barriers. A report on November 21, 2017 from the website of Newsweek magazine said that hundreds of thousands of Americans were being denied the right to vote because they are poor. In nine states, legislators have enacted laws that disenfranchise anyone with outstanding legal fees or court fines. In Alabama, more than 100,000 people who owe money – roughly 3 percent of the state’s voting-age population – have been struck from voting rolls. The report commented that preventing people from voting because they owe legal fees or court fines muzzle low-income Americans at a time in the nation’s history when the rich have more political power than ever.
Older and physically challenged voters encountered more barriers. The New York Times website reported on November 24, 2017 that voting machines at polling places made it difficult for the elderly and disabled citizens of any age to vote. A survey of 178 polling places showed that the great majority still had impediments outside — like steep ramps or inadequate parking — or inside that could discourage or exclude disabled voters.
The media was suppressed. In 2017, a number of news organizations were rejected by the U.S. government in press conferences and other official activities and the CNN, New York Times, and other media organizations were barred from White House briefings. Press freedom in the United States is at its lowest point in 13 years, according to a report in 2017(www.cnn.com, April 28, 2017). Another survey from the Pew Research Center on April 4, 2017 showed that 73 percent of adult respondents believed the tensions between the government and the news media were getting in the way of access to important national political news and information(www.journalism.org, April 4, 2017).
Corruption scandals broke out. A survey in 2017 showed that nearly six in 10 Americans believed the level of government corruption has risen in 2017, and nearly seven in 10 people said the government was doing a bad job at combating corruption. The website of CBS News reported on March 14, 2017 that nine military officers including the retired Navy admiral Bruce Loveless were indicted in a bribery scandal as they accepted the services of prostitutes, lavish meals and fancy trips from a defense contractor. The case has charged more than 20 former or current Navy officials.
Sexual scandals of congressmen continue to happen. The USA Today website said on November 20, 2017 that since 2016 at least 40 lawmakers in 20 states have been publicly accused by more than 100 people of some form of sexual misconduct or harassment. The website of Al Jazeera reported on December 12, 2017 that Democratic Congressman Al Franken, and others have faced the allegations of sexual harassment. According to a report on the Washington Post website on December 21, 2017, a senator’s office used Treasury Department fund to settle a claim of sex discrimination or harassment, and the House of Representatives said its member-led offices were involved in settlements of at least 10 allegations of sexual harassment or sex discrimination since 2008. Another report also from the Washington Post website on December 1, 2017 said that the allegations against several political figures were being shielded by their parties, showing an ugly portrait of American politics.
IV. Rich-Poor Divide Continues Widening
The rich-poor divide expanded in the United States, reporting an increasing number of homeless people. Drugs and banned substances were abused, and people in poverty lived in miserable conditions. “The American Dream is rapidly becoming the American Illusion,” said the independent human rights expert appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to look at poverty and human rights in countries around the world (www.theguardian.com, December 15, 2017).
The conditions remained precarious for people living in poverty. The Guardian news website reported on December 8, 2017 that 52.3 million Americans lived in “economically distressed communities,” representing 17 percent of the U.S. population (www.theguardian.com, December 8, 2017). The most recent official statistics from the US Census Bureau indicated that more than 40 million people were living in poverty. Almost half of those, 18.5 million, were living in deep poverty, with reported family income below half of the poverty threshold (www.ohchr.org, December 15, 2017). According to a 2017 report issued by Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, the overall poverty rate in the United States’ rural South stood at 20 percent, with blacks and black women in the rural South facing poverty rates of 33 percent and 37 percent, respectively. Native Americans in the rural West had the poverty rate as high as 32 percent (inequality.stanford.edu). After his two-week visit in the United States, Philip Alston, the United Nation’s special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights stated that the United States is one of the word’s richest and most powerful and technologically innovative countries; but neither its wealth nor its power nor its technology is being harnessed to address the situation in which 40 million people continue to live in poverty. The conclusion he drew was that “the persistence of extreme poverty is a political choice made by those in power” (www.theguardian.com, December 15, 2017).
Inequality deteriorated. The wealth gap continued to widen in the United States. According to the World Income Inequality Database, the United States has the highest Gini coefficient (measuring inequality) of all Western Countries. In the OECD, the United States ranks 35th out of 37 in terms of poverty and inequality ( www.theguardian.com, December 15, 2017). In a report showing the share of U.S. household wealth by income level, Deutsche Bank's chief international economist Torsten Slok said the top 0.1 percent of American households hold about the same amount of wealth as the bottom 90 percent (www.businessinsider.com, January 25, 2017). Boston Review’s website reported on Sept. 1, 2017 that while the income of those in the bottom 80 percent of America has grown only by about 25 percent in the last four decades, it has almost doubled for the top 20 percent. The United Nations monitor on poverty and human rights accused the U.S. leadership of attempting to turn the country into the “world champion of extreme inequality” (www.theguardian.com, December 15, 2017).
The life of the homeless was miserable. The Guardian’s website reported on December 6, 2017 that 553,742 people were homeless on a single night in the United States last year, with an increase of 4.1 percent in New York. In a homeless encampment in Los Angeles, approximately 1,800 homeless people shared just nine toilets located in stalls without doors at night (www.theguardian.com, June 30, 2017). Matthew Desmond’s book Evicted said millions of Americans were evicted each year as they struggled to make rent: these people were the true forgotten poor (www.theguardian.com, February 24, 2017).
The U.S. government failed in controlling drug and addictive medicine. The website of Medical Press reported on June 13, 2017 that 7.7 million Americans abused illicit drugs. On December 14, 2017, CNN said nearly 40 percent of 12th-graders, 28 percent of 10th-graders and 12.9 percent of eighth-graders had used some sort of illicit drugs in the past year. CBS News reported on June 6, 2017 on its website that between 2011 and 2015, nearly four billion opioid pills were prescribed in the state of Ohio alone. Overdoses are now the leading cause of death of Americans under the age of 50. According to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in December, 2017, in 2016, there were more than 63,600 drug overdose deaths in the United States. On December 12, 2017, ABC News reported that soaring use of opioids had forced tens of thousands of children to leave their homes across the United States, citing a 32 percent spike in drug-related foster care cases from 2012 to 2016.
The health care system was deeply flawed. Philip Alston, the UN’s special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, observed in a report that the “health gap” between the United States and its peer countries continued to grow and that Americans could expect to live shorter and sicker lives. Medical expenses and health insurance costs kept rising, with drug prices for chronic illnesses from asthma to cancer hitting record highs in the United States, The Guardian reported on its website on December 15, 2017 (www.theguardian.com, December 15, 2017). Results of a survey released by Pew Research Center on December 14, 2017 showed positive ratings for the government’s handling of ensuring access to health care had declined 20 percentage points since 2015 (www.people-press.org, December 14, 2017).
V．Special Groups Suffer Discrimination and Physical Assault
American women faced obvious discrimination on employment and career development. The poverty, health and safety problems of children were worrisome. Persons with disabilities suffered from violent victimization. Rampant sex harassment and infringement contributed to a swarm of protests.
-- Women suffered from serious threats of sex harassment and infringement. In October 2017, the scandal of American film producer Harvey Weinstein who sexually harassed a number of female stars broke out. Many Americans from all walks of life initiated a “#MeToo(Victim)” campaign on social media platforms to encourage the victims to protest against the widespread sex harassment and infringement, receiving active responses from about a million people. According to a report from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 60 percent of women experienced harassment at work (https://www.usatoday.com, December 8, 2017). According to a report published on November 22 in 2017 on BBC website, former USA Olympic gymnastics sports doctor Larry Nassar was charged with sexual assault against more than 130 women in his care, including a number of Olympic gold medalists. According to a report published on December 18 in 2017 on the website of Huffington Post, Alex Kozinski, a federal appeals court judge, received accusations from multiple former female clerks of inappropriate sexual behavior. According to the annual sex harassment report published in May 2017 by the U.S. Department of Defense, 14,900 cases of sex harassment happened in 2016 in the army (http://abc7ny.com, December 13, 2017). According to a report published on December 15 in 2017 on the website of Huffington Post, the privacy of the female victims could not be guaranteed and they lived in fear that people were going to track them down and figured out who they were, which inflicted negative impact on the victims to lodge a sex harassment accusation.
-- Serious gender discrimination on employment and career development. According to an employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the retail trade lost 54,300 jobs between October 2016 and October 2017, but the experiences between men and women were starkly different: women lost 160,300 jobs, while men gained 106,000 jobs (http://iwpr.org). According to a Pew Research Center survey, 57 percent of women say the country hasn’t done enough to give women equal rights with men and 38 percent of women cite gender discrimination experiences related to hiring, pay or promotion (http://www.pewsocialtrends.org).
-- Children’s personal rights faced serious threats. According to statistics released in July 2017 by the FBI, 68,068 cases of physical assault against children aged less than 10 years old were reported in the United States in 2016, 97,588 such cases against children aged between 11 and 15 years old and 159,963 such cases against youths aged between 16 and 20 years old. Among all the cases, 83,611 are sex offense cases (http://ucr.fbi.gov). According to a report released on November 28 in 2017 by the U.S. Institute for Women’s Policy Research, nearly one in five high school girls experienced bullying while over a quarter of Hawaii women reported unwanted sexual contact in their lifetime.
-- The health condition of poor children was worrisome. According to a BBC report on December 11 in 2017, there were 13.3 million poor children out of the U.S. poverty-stricken population, accounting for 18 percent of U.S. children. Nearly 9 million children in the United States (11.8 percent) were grown up in persistently poor families, accounting for 11.8 percent of the U.S. children（http://www.mobilitypartnership.org, May 18, 2017）. According to a survey on the health condition of the public housing residents in the District of Columbia, 33 percent of adult interviewees reported having a child with asthma, 21 percent of them reported having an overweight child and 14 percent of them reported having a child with a chronic disease（http://www.mobilitypartnership.org, March 6, 2017）.
-- Violent victimization against persons with disabilities. According to statistics released in July 2017 by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, the rate of violent victimization against persons with disabilities was 2.5 times higher than that for persons without disabilities above 12 years old between 2009 and 2015. The rate of violent crimes against persons with disabilities tripled that for persons without disabilities（http://www.bjs.gov）. According to statistics from the 2016 FBI Hate Crime Statistics Program released in 2017, out of the 6,063 single-bias incidents reported in 2016, 1.2 percent of them were prompted by disability bias (http://ucr.fbi.gov).
VI. Continued Violations of Human Rights in Other Countries
The US-led military operations in other countries have caused heavy civilian casualties. The Guantanamo Bay detention camp continued to detain and torture foreigners. The United States also made cyber warfare tools, hacking and spying foreign networks.
War of aggression on Syria caused a large number of civilian casualties. On June 19, 2017, The New York Times website reported that the U.S. administration had given the military “total authorization” to decide how, and how much, force would be used, while the American military had relaxed the oversight, investigation and accountability on civilian casualties, resulting in the civilian death toll ticking upward. The US-led coalition and Marines had bombed or shelled at least 12 schools, 15 mosques, 15 bridges as well as residential neighborhoods, hospitals, cultural relics and refugee camp. The coalition warplanes also launched a barrage of airstrikes targeting the boats, on which many families waited to cross a river to escape, reportedly massacring as many as 21 civilians(www.motherjones.com, August 6, 2017). The Muslim Times website reported on June 24, 2017 that the US military had attacked Syrian government forces “at least four times in recent months”, including a missile strike in April against a Syrian airfield. Myles Hoenig, an American political analyst, said the United States was violating the UN Charter by conducting a war of aggression against Syria(muslimtimes.co, June 24, 2017).
Foreigners have long been tortured and detained at the Guantanamo Bay. On December 13, 2017, The American Broadcasting Company website reported that the new U.S. administration had not released any prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay and not added any to the list of cleared men who can go home, or to a third country, for resettlement. The Al Jazeera website reported on September 22, 2017, that in a hearing of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (the Commission), former Guantanamo detainee Djamel Ameziane prepared a written statement saying he was detained for 11 years, faced prolonged incommunicado detention, multiple forms of torture, and never received a judicial determination regarding the legality of his detention. According to a report of The USA Today website on December 13, 2017, the U.N. and human rights organizations had criticized U.S. authorities for creating a “legal black hole” allowing for the infinite detention of suspects without charge, and for holding many of the detainees for more than a decade. Nils Melzer, the United Nations Human Rights Council special rapporteur on torture, on December 13, 2017, urged the United States to end its torture of detainees held at the controversial Guantanamo Bay detention facility (www.usatoday.com, December 13, 2017).
Making cyber warfare tools. The US National Security Agency (NSA) operators had hacked into Pakistani mobile networks and had been spying on hundreds of IP addresses in the country, WikiLeaks claimed(economictimes.indiatimes.com, April 11, 2017). On May 14, 2017, the Zero Hedge website revealed that NSA created “Top Secret Arsenal” of tools that allowed anyone to "back door" into virtually any computer system. An unknown group of hackers used the same set of NSA-created tools to launch a global malware cyber attack by using ransomeware virus, holding at least 200,000 computer systems around the globe hostage (www.zerohedge.com, May 14, 2017).
Outside the Box [Office], USC U.S.-China Institute, and MTV Documentary Films present a Live Q&A with Writer/Director/Producer Hao Wu discussing his new documentary film 76 DAYS. Everyone who registers for the webinar will be sent a link to view the film 48 hours prior to the Q&A.
David Shambaugh speaks on his new book focusing on the United States and China in one of the world's most dynamic regions.