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UN rights chief: Trump would be 'dangerous' if elected

A Trump presidency would be "dangerous from an international point of view," says the UN's human rights chief. Trump is under fire at home as Republican lawmakers seek to dissociate themselves from his crashing campaign.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump posed a threat to world order.

"If Donald Trump is elected on the basis of what he has said already - and unless that changes - I think it is without any doubt that he would be dangerous from an international point of view," Zeid told a news briefing in Geneva on Wednesday. "I always believe that it's incumbent on leaders to lead and to lead in a way that is ethical and moral," he added. "The use of half-truths is a very clever political device. Because, as every propagandist knows, you allow the user to fill in the rest."

Russia's UN ambassador said Zeid shouldn't criticize heads of state and government. However, Zeid, a Jordanian prince, said he would not tone down recent remarks decrying dangers posed by "populists and demagogues."

'Shackles' are off

In other developments in the divisive 2016 US presidential campaign, Republican lawmakers continue to abandon the Trump campaign after Friday's release of a video in which he made several predatory and misogynist statements. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted that without "the shackles" of his party, he would teach "disloyal" Republicans a lesson.

Barack Obama took aim at Republicans who continue to back Trump. "You don't have to be a husband or a father to hear what we heard just a few days ago and say 'that's not right,'" the US president said at a rally for Hillary Clinton, his former secretary of state and chosen successor, media reported. "You just have to be a decent human being to say that's not right."

Trump's international and intraparty woes come as Clinton has experienced her own fresh challenges. On Tuesday, WikiLeaks released a tranche of emails exposing contortions by her campaign staff to correct the former first lady's record on trade and finance as she tried to put down a primary challenge  from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta said Russian agents had hacked his email and turned embarrassing information to WikiLeaks that, among other things, exposed details about her speeches to Wall Street banks - for which she received a small fortune.

Trump said the emails make clear "just how much is at stake in this election." He added: "The election of Hillary Clinton would lead to the destruction of our country."

The US accuses Russia of directing cyberattacks to "interfere" with the election.

mkg/kl (Reuters, AFP, dpa, AP)

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