Civil Liberties

Is it illegal to call someone a Nazi?

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An American dropped the word “Nazi” during a spat at Frankfurt Airport. Police say it was directed at them and are suing her for slander. But in a country with freedom of speech, how can this be legal? Kathleen Schuster DW An angry American traveler found herself plunged into German legal waters this month after allegedly calling federal police officers “Nazis” during a dispute at Frankfurt International Airport. Police say the woman, a 49-year-old professor, became “unreasonable and irritated” when they told ... Read More »

Turkey asks Twitter, Facebook, YouTube to remove posts on Afrin op

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The Turkish government requested that Twitter, Facebook and YouTube remove “damaging, objectionable, untrue and manipulative” content regarding its military operation in Syria. Ahval The companies are acting slowly, but responding positively to the government’s requests, an unnamed official told Turkish newspaper Habertürk. “If the damaging, objectionable, untrue and manipulative content are not removed immediately, it can be too late to stop it spreading to the masses,” the… “Therefore, we act quickly and… Turkey asks Twitter… Read More »

Editor: Erdogan urged attack on Turkish Cypriot newspaper

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NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) – The editor of a left-wing Turkish Cypriot newspaper on Monday accused Turkey’s president of instructing supporters to launch a violent attack against his publication’s offices over criticism for Ankara’s military offensive into Syria. WPXInews Sener Levent said his newspaper Afrika won’t be silenced in calling out Turkey’s policies either in the breakaway north of ethnically-split Cyprus or elsewhere. Dozens of Turkish flag-waving protesters smashed windowpanes and hurled stones, eggs and other items at Afrika’s first floor offices in ... Read More »

Jeff Flake’s 20 most damning lines about Donald Trump’s assault on the press

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(CNN) – Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake came to the Senate floor Wednesday with a simple message for Donald Trump: Stop attacking the media. Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large The speech, which Flake had previewed over the weekend, was the first of what the Arizona Republican has promised will be a series of addresses over 2018 aimed at noting the abnormalities of the Trump presidency. Critics have cast Flake as something of a sore loser — a Republican whose strong ... Read More »

Freedom House reduces Turkey’s status to ‘not free’ in annual report

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U.S.-based non-governmental organization Freedom House has reduced Turkey’s status from “partly free” to “not free” in its latest annual report. Hurriyet The “Freedom in the World” 2018 report, published on Jan. 16, ruled that Turkey’s “political rights rating” had declined from 4 to 5 and its “civil liberties rating” had declined from 5 to 6. Specifically referring to the “deeply flawed” April 2017 referendum on shifting to an executive presidential system, the report also blasted the mass dismissals of state ... Read More »

Martin Luther King’s Call to ‘Give Us the Ballot’ Is As Relevant Today as It Was in 1957

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And that’s a mark of how endangered voting rights are right now Martin Luther King Jr.’s first speech at the Lincoln Memorial was not his celebrated 1963 address at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. By Barbara Arnwine and John Nichols The Nation Six years earlier, when he was still a relative newcomer on the national scene, Dr. King addressed 25,000 civil-rights activists who had gathered at the memorial for the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom on May 17, ... Read More »

Meet the theologian who helped MLK see the value of nonviolence

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After this last tumultuous year of political rancor and racial animus, many people could well be asking what can sustain them over the next coming days: How do they make the space for self-care alongside a constant call to activism? Paul Harvey The Conversation Or, how do they turn off their phones, when there are more calls to be made and focus instead on inward cultivation? As a historian of American race and religion, I have studied how figures in ... Read More »

Muslim women will not misuse the ‘triple talaq’ law

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Immediately after the Indian government announced a bill criminalising “triple talaq”, the proposal has been mired in controversy. Mariya Salim AlJazeera Banning the practice of a husband divorcing his wife by uttering “talaq” three times within Muslim communities has been under discussion in India for years now. The practice has rendered hundreds of Muslim women homeless, forced out of their matrimonial homes overnight, with many learning that they have been divorced from relatives, by phone or even by a text message. A recent ... Read More »

Publicly, We Say #MeToo. Privately, We Have Misgivings.

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You can be sure that this weekend at the Golden Globes, Hollywood celebrities, not exactly known for their independent thinking, will turn the red carpet into a #MeToo moment replete with designer duds. Daphne Merkin The New York Times Many have promised to wear black dresses to protest the stream of allegations against industry moguls and actors. Perhaps Meryl Streep will get grilled — again — about what she knew about Harvey Weinstein. The rest of us will diligently follow ... Read More »

The Human Dignity in the Face of Hypocrisy

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Judiciary in Turkey had always been an instrument of the regime from the Kemalists generals to the President Erdogan’s  “Neo-Ottomanist regime“ Costas Mavrides * Eyes on Europe & Middle East Courts in Turkey simply don’t exist anymore Currently there are only “President Erdogan’s Courts” that serve him while he considers that “the judiciary in Turkey is more fair than in any other European country”. Turkish journalist Abdullah Bozkurt  who has been in exile in Sweden discloses dirty little secrets regarding Turkey, since kemalism until today, with ... Read More »

International security organization OSCE calls on Turkey to release journalists

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The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) media freedom representative urged Turkish authorities to release all imprisoned journalists in the country and drop charges against them on Dec. 25, in a statement that came after a court ruling on the continued arrest of daily Cumhuriyet staff who… Hurriyet During the fifth hearing of their case on Dec. 25, the Istanbul 27th High Criminal Court ordered four daily Cumhuriyet staff to remain in prison, including prominent journalist Ahmet Şık, ... Read More »

How Egyptians are fighting forced marriage

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CAIRO — Four women in their 20s launched Nov. 25 the Mategberneesh (Don’t Force Me) online campaign in an effort to counter forced marriage in Egypt. Ahmed Aleem AlMonitor The campaign aims to raise awareness on social media as well as open up a space to discuss the controversial topic In the future, the campaign plans to organize live street events to increase public interaction. “The campaign idea came on the heels of combating violence against women, and forced marriage ... Read More »

Turkey’s Looming Crisis

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Viewed one way, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan looks unassailable: He weathered last year’s coup attempt, jailed more than 50,000 opponents, fired more than 100,000 civil servants, beheaded the once powerful Turkish military, eviscerated much of his parliamentary opposition, dismissed almost half of the county’s elected officials, and rammed through a constitutional referendum that will make him an all-powerful executive following the… Conn Hallinan CounterPunch In the meantime, a seemingly never-ending state of emergency allows him to rule by… So ... Read More »

3 myths about the poor that Republicans are using to support slashing US safety net

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Republicans continue to use long-debunked myths about the poor as they defend lower taxes for the rich and deep cuts to the social safety net to pay for them. Michele Gilman In so doing, they are essentially expressing scorn for working class and low-income Americans. The Conversation Sen. Chuck Grassley, for example, recently justified reducing the number of wealthy families exposed to the estate tax as a way to recognize “the people that are investing, as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, ... Read More »

‘Feminism’ is Merriam-Webster dictionary’s word of year

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A leading US dictionary has named “feminism” as its word of 2017 following a surge in online searches BBC Merriam-Webster said interest in the term was driven by women’s marches, new TV shows and films on women’s issues and the string of news stories on sexual assault and harassment claims. The number of people searching for the word was up 70% on 2016, it said. The dictionary defines feminism as “the theory of the political, economic and social equality of ... Read More »

Obama invokes Nazi Germany in warning about today’s politics

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Washington (CNN) – Former President Barack Obama urged voters this week to stay engaged in democracy, warning that complacency was responsible for the rise of Nazi Germany. Miranda Green  “You have to tend to this garden of democracy, otherwise things can fall apart fairly quickly. And we’ve seen societies where that happens,” Obama said at the Economic Club of Chicago on Tuesday, according to video of the event. “Now, presume there was a ballroom here in Vienna in the late 1920s or ’30s ... Read More »