Civil Liberties

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 »

Dutton’s home affairs department argues against restrictions on facial recognition

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Concerns have been raised about the Coalition’s facial-recognition bill, with critics saying it goes far beyond what has been agreed Paul Karp The Guardian Peter Dutton’s home affairs department has fought against proposed restrictions on a new facial-recognition system, rejecting calls for warrants and a threshold for serious offences that justify use of the… At a parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security hearing on Thursday the Law Council of Australia raised concerns that facial recognition could be used to ... Read More »

Women should have right to reject pregnancy

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Laws should not force women to risk death and injury by having a baby, according to a QUT legal academic in Australia who has says abortion can be decriminalized without society and governments making a moral judgment Queensland University of Technology EurekAlert! Laws should not force women to risk death and injury by having a baby, according to a QUT legal academic who has says abortion can be decriminalised without society and governments making a moral judgement. Dr Andrew McGee, ... Read More »

New Study Links African Conflict to Lack of Term Limits

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This week, Chad’s parliament voted to introduce a new constitution that will allow two more terms for President Idriss Deby, who has led the country since 1990. Salem Solomon VoA On May 17, Burundians will vote on a constitutional amendment that would enable President Pierre Nkurunziza, president since 2005, to stay in office an additional 16… And in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a worsening humanitarian crisis unfolds while President Joseph Kabila refuses to step down, despite reaching the end ... Read More »

Chinese dissident: Trump, don’t trade away democratic values

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As U.S. representatives visit China this week to talk about trade negotiations, President Donald Trump and his administration have an opportunity to take advantage of a pivotal moment. Chen Guangcheng The Washington Post Trump should pressure the Chinese regime to make real, substantive change regarding the rule of law and human rights, both to form the basis of a fair and stable trade relationship going forward and to reassert America’s embrace of… In 2001, the United States granted China a legal status ... Read More »

Fake news has always existed, but quality journalism has a history of survival

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Donald Trump’s insistence that any challenges to the actions and utterances of the president are “fake news” is particularly chilling because it resembles a tactic used by authoritarian regimes seeking ways to… Jackie Harrison The Conversation Malaysian authorities looking for new ways to criminalise critical news reporting now include fake news charges. In Egypt – dubbed “one of the world’s biggest prisons for journalists” by the Committee to Protect Journalists – being accused of spreading fake news can come with ... Read More »

University of Melbourne staff to strike over academic freedom

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University of Melbourne staff have voted to go on strike to protest what they say is an attack on free speech. Henrietta Cook The Age Hundreds of academics and professional staff will walk off campus next Wednesday to oppose a proposed new workplace agreement put forward by the university. The four-hour strike follows the university ditching a definition of academic and intellectual freedom in its proposed new workplace agreement. The National Tertiary and Education Union says the changes will mean ... Read More »

Can We Save Privacy by Treating Info Like Private Property?

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Treating all personal information as private property is far from a clear and simple solution. Amitai Etzioni The National Interest Treating personal information like private property is a popular solution to the threats to privacy in the cyber age. It has only one problem; it is unworkable, at least if you care about public health, science, commerce, safety and security (among other public goods). The essence of the idea is that if someone wants to use a piece of personal ... Read More »

The Ghost of Herut: Einstein on Israel, 70 Years Ago

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Albert Einstein, along with other Jewish luminaries, including Hannah Arendt, published a letter in the New York Times on December 4, 1948. Ramzy Baroud CounterPunch That was only a few months after Israel had declared its independence and as hundreds of Palestinian villages were being actively demolished after their inhabitants were expelled. The letter denounced Israel’s newly-founded Herut party and its young leader, Menachem Begin. Herut was carved out of the Irgun terrorist gang, famous for its many massacres against ... Read More »

UK push into the Pacific to counter China

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Exclusive The United Kingdom is vowing to expand its role in the Pacific in a push for “free speech and democracy” alongside other Commonwealth nations at a time of growing concern over China’s influence in the region. David Crowe The Sydney Morning Herald The ambitions not only include new diplomatic posts and aid funding but the idea of encouraging commercial projects and possibly infrastructure funding. Britain’s Minister of State for the Commonwealth, Lord Tariq Ahmad, said the UK’s departure from ... Read More »

Indian government introduces death penalty for child rapists

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Special order from Narendra Modi’s cabinet comes amid widespread outrage over levels of sexual violence Colin Drury Independent India is to introduce the death penalty for child rapists, in a move aimed at alleviating nationwide protests over a number of brutal and high-profile cases. Those found guilty of sexually assaulting youngsters under 12 will now face execution, under a special ordinance issued by the government and set to be rubber-stamped next week. The change comes amid widespread outrage over the… ... Read More »

Legal highs: arguments for and against legalising cannabis in Australia

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Greens leader Richard Di Natale wants Australia to legalise cannabis for personal use, regulated by a federal agency. Nicole Lee Jarryd Bartle The Conversation This proposal is for legalisation of recreational use for relaxation and pleasure, not to treat a medical condition (which is already legal in Australia for some conditions). According to the proposal, the government agency would licence, monitor and regulate production and sale, and regularly review the regulations. The agency would be the sole wholesaler, buying from ... Read More »

Somaliland poet jailed for Somalia reunification poetry

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A court in the self-declared republic of Somaliland has sentenced a young poet to three years in jail. BBC Nacima Qorane was found guilty of bringing the state into contempt by advocating for Somaliland to reunite with Somalia. Pressure groups in Somaliland said Ms Qorane’s basic human rights have been violated. Somaliland self-declared independence in 1991, but is not recognised internationally. Ms Qorane was arrested in January after returning from the Somali capital Mogadishu, where prosecutors said she had recited ... Read More »

Afghans register to vote in long-delayed elections amid violence

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Afghanistan at the weekend began registering voters across the war-torn country as it seeks to ensure that long-delayed legislative elections in October are seen as credible and fraud-free. KABUL – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Over the next two months authorities hope to register as many as 14 million adults at more than 7,000 polling centers – an ambitious goal in a country where militants control or contest much of the territory. “The main challenge is insecurity, particularly in rural areas,” Abdul ... Read More »