Civil Liberties

Texas school shooting: Arm teachers to stop gunmen, official says

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Arming more teachers could help tackle gunmen targeting students if there were “four to five guns to one”, a senior Texan official has said. BBC Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick was speaking two days after 10 people were killed at the Santa Fe High School, which had an armed guard. He had previously said schools had “too many entrances and too many exits” and their design should be reconsidered. The proposal to arm teachers is not a new idea. After a ... Read More »

Ecuador removes Julian Assange’s extra security

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Ecuador has removed extra security at its London embassy following claims that $5m (£3.7m) was spent to protect WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. BBC The money was used to monitor Mr Assange’s visitors, embassy staff and UK police, media reports in the UK and Ecuador said. Mr Assange has been at the embassy since 2012 after being granted asylum. He fled there to avoid extradition to Sweden over sex crime allegations, which he denies. The Swedish authorities have since dropped their ... Read More »

A Peace Of Fiction: Australia Should Celebrate A National Day Of Violence

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If we’re going to engage in so much violence, then why not celebrate it, ask Gideon Polya and Richard Hil. New Matilda What’s all this talk about peace? Why should Australia celebrate peace when we appear to be such a violence-prone nation? Someone recently suggested that instead of staging peace rallies, Australia should hold a National Violence Day, such is this nation’s dalliance with this most aberrant of practices. No doubt, such views will upset the Pollyannas amongst us, but ... Read More »

Law Society: ‘Antiquated laws’ compromise safety of sex workers in SA

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Measures to fully decriminalise sex work in South Australia has been welcomed by two of the state’s legal representative bodies, who say that sex workers should be afforded the same rights and protections as employees in any other industry. Melissa Coade Lawyers Weekly The Statutes Amendment (Decriminalisation of Sex Work) Bill 2018 was introduced in the South Australian parliament last Wednesday. The effect of the legislative change will mean that sex work would be fully decriminalised in the state; it ... Read More »

Can Turkey’s opposition finally unite and challenge Erdoğan?

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June 24, 2018 instead of late 2019: that’s the date decided for Turkey’s “snap presidential and parliamentary elections”, called by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s political partner from Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Devlet Bahçeli. Authors: The Conversation The elections are needed by the incumbent president, who wants to maintain his position and stay in power. AKP’s weaknesses Erdoğan has to deal with several issues that have recently weakened his party and leadership both domestically and abroad. Turkey’s military intervention in Syria has ... Read More »

‘Dangerous times’: Police to have new powers to check IDs at airports

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Police will be given sweeping new powers to demand identification from travellers under new laws to boost counter-terrorism efforts at Australia’s airports. Fergus Hunter The Age The Australian Federal Police will be able to ask anyone for ID and eject them from the airport under the changes that will also see the introduction of advanced X-ray and body scanning machines. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull conceded the new powers were a big step but said they were necessary for “dangerous… Mr ... Read More »

Are dictators on the way out – or on the way up?

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All around the world, democracy is looking shaky. While consolidated democracies are struggling to stay healthy, many flawed ones have turned into outright authoritarian regimes – most notably Russia under Vladimir Putin and Turkey under… Natasha Ezrow The Conversation But the news isn’t all bad: on several continents over the last decade, longstanding dictators have resigned, lost elections, or been deposed. As the table below indicates, the number of dictators who’ve fallen in recent years for all sorts of reasons ... Read More »

Erdogan’s visit to the UK: open letter to Prime Minister May

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Lobby for Cyprus * open letter to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Dear Prime Minister President Erdogan’s visit to the UK will take place against the shadows cast by his destruction of democracy in Turkey, his government’s appalling human rights record, his country’s gunboat diplomacy and the enduring consequences of the two Turkish invasions of the Republic of Cyprus in 1974. Having ethno-religiously cleansed and colonised 36 per cent of the territory (and 57 per cent of the ... Read More »

104-year-old academic David Goodall says in his final hours he has ‘no hesitations whatsoever’

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As 104-year-old academic David Goodall prepares to end his life through voluntary euthanasia in Switzerland, he has told a press conference he hopes his story encourages Australians to take a more liberal view on assisted dying. ABC This week, Dr Goodall travelled to Switzerland where an end of life clinic has approved his application to exercise the so-called “Swiss option”. Speaking at a press conference in the Swiss city of Basel on Wednesday, Dr Goodall was surprised by the crowd ... Read More »

The Making of a Kurdish Mandela

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By keeping a key challenger in jail, Turkey’s government risks making Selahattin Demirtas an even more popular and formidable opponent. Henri J. Barkey FP The Turkish government has just called snap presidential and parliamentary elections, which will be held on June 24. Most analysts are predicting that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) will sail to victory primarily because of the weakness of the main opposition parties and… He also appears to have developed ... Read More »

Facebook banning foreign ads related to Ireland’s abortion referendum

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Facebook has announced it is banning foreign advertisements related to Ireland’s abortion referendum amid concerns that North American groups are trying to influence the campaign. AP ABC Irish voters will decide on May 25 whether to repeal a constitutional ban on abortion, in a divisive referendum that has drawn international attention. Ireland bars political donations from abroad, but the law does not apply to social media advertising. US-based anti-abortion groups are among those who have bought online ads in Ireland ... Read More »

New laws put Australia’s press freedom at risk

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According to the Human Rights Law Centre, federal national security laws must be “seriously reworked” to properly protect journalists, their sources and a robust Australian democracy. Melissa Coade LawyersWeekly Legal advocacy director from the Human Rights Law Centre (HRLC), Dr Aruna Sathanapally, has argued that a free press should not be something that those in power merely tolerated. A free press was a vital mechanism of accountability, she suggested, and a robust democracy depended on it. “Journalists must be free ... Read More »

Fury in France, Britain over Trump’s gun law speech

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Paris/London: US President Donald Trump caused anger in France and Britain by suggesting looser gun laws could have helped prevent deadly attacks in Paris in 2015 and linking knife crime in London to a handgun ban. Sarah White and David Milliken Reuters The Sydney Morning Herald In a speech to the National Rifle Association on Friday, Trump mimicked the shooting of victims in the Paris rampage and said if civilians had been armed “it would have been a whole different story.” ... Read More »

Clock ticking for Cyprus reunification

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Nobel Peace Prize winner F.W. de Klerk says Cypriots need to find a way to reconnect Former South African President F.W. de Klerk is a man who knows how to read the warning signs of history and he urges Cypriot leaders not to miss another opportunity to make peace before it’s too late. Charlie Charalambous Knews “Timing is important, sometimes the time is right for something to happen and if you don’t see the opportunity and use it, the window ... Read More »

Lawsuits present challenge for neo-Nazi Daily Stormer site

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Daily Stormer’s growing legal challenges come at a time of isolation and internal disarray in the US far right. Patrick Strickland AlJazeera A slew of lawsuits has compounded problems for the Daily Stormer, a widely read neo-Nazi websiteknown for its violent rhetoric and vocal support for US President Donald Trump. Along with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, former American University (AU) student Taylor Dumpson filed a federal lawsuit against Andrew Anglin, the Daily Stormer’s publisher, for allegedly launching a ... Read More »

The final move

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Dr David Goodall’s life has been one of teaching, learning and discovery. Now the 104-year-old academic has departed on the last journey he will ever make. Charlotte Hamlyn ABC As a group of family and friends gathers on a busy Wednesday afternoon in the departure hall of Perth Airport, it could be mistaken for just your regular farewell. The group clusters around a frail-looking man in a wheelchair, smiling, sharing a joke and a hug, as he prepares to board ... Read More »