Civil Liberties

Women’s Day marches fill Latin America capitals to denounce

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Tens of thousands took to the streets of Buenos Aires and capital cities across Latin America on March 8 to mark International Women’s Day and protest against gender-based violence. BUENOS AIRES Hurriyet “A beautiful woman is one who marches” said one of the many placards held above the densely packed, slow-moving crowds of demonstrators in the Argentine capital. “We have to make a lot of noise. Over here, we have to be everything, not just women. This day should be ... Read More »

Why the gun debate needs to move away from simplistic ideas of ‘good’ and ‘bad’

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In the lead-up to the Tasmanian election, one issue proved particularly incendiary. Right before the vote on Saturday, the incumbent Liberal government was accused of having a hidden plan to “water down” the state’s gun laws. Dr Samara McPhedran The Conversation Much was made of the long-running Firearms Consultative Committee’s perceived role in shaping the policy. Suddenly, the Liberals were cast as being in cahoots with the “gun lobby”, leaving only Labor and the Greens to stand up against that ... Read More »

Australian gun lobby invests in rightwing parties in push to weaken reforms

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Exclusive: Cashed-up firearm groups are using ballooning memberships to flex their political muscle Michael McGowan The Guardian Australian gun lobby groups pumped more than $500,000 into helping minor rightwing parties win seats in last year’s Queensland state election as part of a growing push to weaken the nation’s strict firearm control laws. As Australia’s gun laws are again held up as an example to the US following the Florida school shooting, election disclosures reveal the pro-gun lobby is pumping thousands ... Read More »

Close up: the government’s facial recognition plan could reveal more than just your identity

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A Bill to set up the federal government’s biometric identity system is currently going through Parliament. Jake Goldenfein The Conversation But there are concerns over just how much information the system would be allowed to gather, and how that might be used to establish more than just the identity of a person. Strongly based on the FBI model in the United States, the Identity Matching Services Bill and its Explanatory Memoranda prescribe what data can be collected, shared and processed, ... Read More »

How landline phones made us happy and connected

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Smartphones and the internet have revolutionised society, commerce, and politics, reshaping how we work and play, and how our brains are wired. Barbara Keys The Conversation They have even revolutionised how revolutions are made. For enthusiasts, these technologies enhance freedom and democratise the flow of information, putting more power in the hands of people to generate political change. In the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, high school students have used social media to provoke a public debate about guns in the ... Read More »

Turkey Is Turning Into the Next Pakistan

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The U.S. should make clear to ersatz allies that betrayal has consequences. Eli Lake Bloomberg There isn’t much that Turkey’s president can do these days to further debase his reputation in the West. Recep Tayyip Erdogan has crushed peaceful protests at home and abroad, closed newspapers, threatened American soldiers, and collectively scapegoated Kurds. But over the weekend, Erdogan managed to go even lower. At a rally at Kahramanmaras, the Turkish leader brought a trembling 6-year-old girl on stage dressed in military garb and told her she ... Read More »

After finding freedom, this former slave is now homeless and hungry

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Migrant returns home to brutal reality Benin City, Nigeria (CNN) – Dressed casually in slim-fit jogging pants and a T-shirt and sporting a trendy haircut, 21-year-old Victory looks like many of his peers in Nigeria. By Lillian Leposo, Nima Elbagir and Dominique van Heerden, CNN But one thing distinguishes him from the crowd: Victory is a former slave. CNN first met Victory last October, just days after he was rescued from traffickers in Libya and the most appalling conditions imaginable. Lying on the floor of ... Read More »

WA public confused in euthanasia debate: AMA

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The President of the Australian Medical Association’s WA branch has questioned whether there is a high level of community support for doctor-assisted euthanasia. Sophie Moore | The West Australian Orthopaedic surgeon Omar Khorshid told a parliamentary inquiry in Perth that questions in surveys and polls could be subjective, leading to the appearance of strong public support for changes to WA’s assisted dying laws. “With all surveys it really does depend on the question and I don’t believe that everyone in ... Read More »

Slavery: Australia’s hidden shame is being uncovered

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IT HAPPENS behind closed doors in homes all around Australia with increasing regularity and the numbers are simply staggering. WARNING: Graphic. Rohan Smith News. WARNING: Graphic WHAT Graeme John Slattery did to a woman in his garage will go down as one of the sickest crimes in Australian history. Slattery, from Warrnambool on Victoria’s south-west coast, kept a slave against her will and forced her to drink motor oil and stand on her head while naked. He paraded his victim ... Read More »

Black Teens Have Been Fighting for Gun Reform for Years

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Teens’ recent fight for gun control is awesome and inspiring, but don’t forget that it’s exactly what young black activists have been doing. teenVOGUE Lincoln Anthony Blades The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, in Parkland, Florida, which claimed 17 lives, is symptomatic of the plague of mass gun violence in the United States. Students from Stoneman Douglas responded powerfully to the loss of life in displays of courage that exemplified what kids are capable of. These teens started ... Read More »

Archbishop of Canterbury says Islamic rules are incompatible with Britain’s laws which have Christian values

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Justin Welby said Sharia law should never become part of the UK legal system His predecessor Lord Williams had said Sharia law could be incorporated Welby said British law had ‘values and assumptions’ rooted in Christian traditions By Steve Doughty Social Affairs Correspondent For The Daily Mail MailOnLine Sharia law should never become part of the British legal system, the Archbishop of Canterbury said yesterday. Justin Welby said the Islamic rules are incompatible with Britain’s laws, which have developed over 500 ... Read More »

US should follow Aust on guns: Congressman

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America should follow Australia’s example on gun laws, says a US congressman from the state that suffered the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. By Peter Mitchell, AAP US Correspondent Representative Jim Hines, a Democrat from Connecticut will join teenage survivors from last week’s school shooting in Florida in a new campaign for stricter gun control measures. Last Wednesday 17 students and teachers were killed in a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, with a 19-year-old former student charged ... Read More »

Malaysian court jails artist for clown caricature of PM

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A Malaysian artist and prominent opposition activist was jailed for a month yesterday for publishing a caricature of Prime Minister Najib Razak looking like a clown, a ruling likely to exacerbate concern about free speech. KUALA LUMPUR – Reuters Hurriyet Southeast Asia’s third-largest economy recently announced plans to amend a law to stamp out fake news, the latest step to broaden enforcement powers and penalties against online posts or content deemed detrimental to public order and security. Artist Fahmi Reza ... Read More »

Mitsutoki Shigeta: ‘Baby factory’ dad wins paternity rights

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A Bangkok court has awarded paternity rights to a Japanese man over 13 babies he fathered through Thai surrogate mothers. BBC The ruling allows Mitsutoki Shigeta, 28, to pursue custody of the children. The son of a wealthy entrepreneur, he caused controversy in 2014 when he was revealed to have fathered 16 babies via surrogates in Thailand. His so-called “baby factory” case and others led to Thailand banning commercial surrogacy for foreigners. Mr Shigeta, who was not present at the ... Read More »

John McLellan: Mosley fights for privacy while Facebook goes back to basics

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The lurid case of ex-Formula One head Max Mosley and the revelations about his sex life in the now-defunct News of the World is a staple of media law courses. John McLellan The Scotsman Readers may need no reminding that the paper ran a story alleging that the son of the British fascist leader had indulged in a “Nazi-themed” sado-masochistic orgy with five prostitutes and he sued for breach of privacy. While the Nazi element of the story turned out ... Read More »

Turkey is following footsteps of Russia and China in policing diaspora

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Erdogan’s purge is a threat to Turks living abroad and, more dangerously, to the rule of law everywhere. Transnational repression is increasingly woven into the fabric of the international order Francis Ghiles The Arab Weekly The globalisation of travel and finance and the spread of instantaneous communication, notably through social media, benefit civil society and woven links that encourage broad dialogue across borders. What is less often commented on is that countries have been handed useful and cheaper ways of ... Read More »