Civil Liberties

China releases Nobel laureate Liu with terminal cancer

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China’s jailed Nobel peace prize laureate Liu Xiaobo has been granted medical parole after being diagnosed with terminal liver cancer last month, his lawyer told AFP on June… Hurriyet Liu, who had about three years of his 11-year sentence to serve, was diagnosed on May 23 and was released days later, said lawyer Mo… The 61-year-old democracy campaigner was being treated at a hospital in the northeastern city of Shenyang. “He has no special… China releases Nobel… Read More »

Charlie Flanagan: We cannot let respect for judiciary erode

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Populism and political opportunism is a threat to one of the pillars of our Constitution Charlie Flanagan The Irish Times This week I will introduce the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill in the Dáil. It seeks to modernise the process for nominating judges and gives effect to a commitment in the programme for government. It is part of a broader process of modernisation and change that has taken place right across government and the Oireachtas in recent… The introduction of… Charlie ... Read More »

‘Democracies Die Behind Closed Doors’:

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The chilling parallels between the ‘Munich Conference’ and the ‘Conference on Cyprus’ According to the celebrated American judge, Damon J. Keith, ‘democracies die behind closed doors’.  (Source: Detroit Free Press v Ashcroft, 303 F. 3d 681, Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit, 2002.) Klearchos A. Kyriakides Published in Agora Dialogue on 26 June 2017 Judge Keith articulated his memorable dictum as a means of justifying the cherished principle of open justice. Nevertheless, his dictum is likewise capable of being applied in other ... Read More »

Orthodox Jewish girls school faces closure for refusing to teach children about homosexuality

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A private Orthodox Jewish elementary school called the Vishnitz Girls School in Hackney, north London, is facing closure by the British government because it does not include curriculum that teaches children about homosexuality and gender reassignment… Brandon Morse TheBlaze According to Heat Street, a report by the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Schools (Ofsted) says that the Vishnitz Girls School does not teach its 212 attending children — aged three through eight — “a full understanding of fundamental British… The ... Read More »

Euthanasia by text? Michelle Carter case impacts more than just free speech

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In 2014, Michelle Carter, then 17, used text messages to ‘encourage’ her 18-year-old boyfriend Conrad Roy III to kill himself. Philip Nitschke * Brisbane Times Roy was found dead from carbon monoxide poisoning in his truck. While the dust is still settling from this month’s decision by a Massachusetts judge to convict the young ”suicide texter” of involuntary manslaughter, the reaction on the social media has been swift and… Euthanasia by text… Read More »

The Evolution of Yannis: From Turkish Nationalist to Jailed Greek Activist

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Yannis Vasilis Yaylalı, an ethnic Greek peace activist born in Samsun, was recently arrested by Turkish police in the Kurdish city of Şırnak, where he had been living since… Uzay Bulut Special for the Armenian Weekly Meral Geylani, his partner and fellow activist, told the Armenian Weekly that four lawsuits have been filed against… Three of them are for “discouraging the public from military service” and one is for “publicly disrespecting Mustafa Kemal Ataturk” through his articles and… The Evolution ... Read More »

Act now to protect your digital rights, Big Brother and his Little Sisters may be watching

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Imagine China takes down its national internet blocking system – aka the Great Firewall – tomorrow. Will this affect how you use the… Jack Linchuan Qiu The Conversation Without the Great Firewall, Facebook and Google will grow exponentially in… Before long, the tech giants own a sizeable share of the Chinese market and have become good buddies with… This scenario unfolds at a time when Donald Trump’s inward-looking policy upsets Silicon Valley’s efforts to expand its global empire, and… Act ... Read More »

Cyprus: A call for a new strategy

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International Hellenic Association 815 Naudain Avenue, Claymont, Delaware 19703,    U.S.A www.Professors-PhDs.com – mail: IHAHellas@gmail.com 21 June 2017 The ‘Conference on Cyprus’ in Switzerland on 28 June 2017: A call for a new strategy in support & in defence of The Republic of Cyprus Mr Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations Mr Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission Mr Nicos Anastasiades, President of the Republic of Cyprus Mr Nikos Kotzias, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Greece Mr Rex ... Read More »

Supreme Court unanimously reaffirms: There is no ‘hate speech’ exception to the First Amendment

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From today’s opinion by Justice Samuel Alito (for four justices) in Matal v. Tam, the “Slants” case: [The idea that the government may restrict] speech expressing ideas that offend … strikes at the heart of the First Amendment. Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful; but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the… Eugene Volokh The Washington Post Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote ... Read More »

I love our nanny state. I bet you do too

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ONCE, the notion of a building fire was one of the rational fears of life: another thing to keep all our fretful grannies awake at night. Now, it’s an obscenity. Claire Harvey Daily Telegraph The sight of a flaming tower-block in London — the city that has been devastated by fire a dozen times in its two thousand-year history, most famously in 1666 — does not make sense to our modern… It looks too outlandish to exist outside a bad ... Read More »

Talking Point: Gun law reform soft on crime, hard on owners

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WHEN someone proposes a solution to a problem that does not exist, you can suspect they have an agenda. Carlo Di Falco Mercury The recent mail-out to Tasmania’s 38,000 shooters about the storage of firearms requirements fall into this category. Last year, the Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Management released the regulatory impact statement and draft regulations about the… Talking Point: Gun… Read More »

Should you get a vote if you don’t understand politics? Academics offer democracy rethink

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Democracy has always been a messy form of government and is often unpredictable. RN By Antony Funnell for Future Tense ABC Both qualities can be a strength, but as we know from recent international experience, they can also be a liability. The election of Donald Trump, for instance, produced a result at odds with the wishes of the majority of voters. Elsewhere in the world, in democracies like Turkey, Hungary, Poland and the… Should you get… Read More »

Ministers to be hauled before Supreme Court after criticising terror sentencing

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Three senior Turnbull government ministers will be hauled before the Supreme Court of Victoria to explain why they should not be charged with contempt after accusing the… Josh Gordon Benjamin Preiss The Age In an explosive development, the Supreme Court has ordered Health Minister Greg Hunt, Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar and Human Services Minister Alan Tudge to appear on Friday “to… A letter from Judicial Registrar Ian Irving obtained by Fairfax Media says… Ministers to be… Read More »

No news from Öcalan, concerns grow

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For almost one year now, there have been no news on the condition of Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan and three prisoners with him. ANF – SEDAT SUR They have been under absolute isolation. Lawyer Eren Keskin said there are serious concerns. Human rights defender and lawyer Eren Keskin stated that there is no legal basis for the isolation imposed upon Öcalan and stressed that this needs to end immediately and… No news from… Read More »

How to Go the Resistance Distance: Pop-Up Schools for Novice Activists

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Modeled after the Civil Rights Era’s citizenship and freedom schools, the new Sojourner Truth School for Social Change Leadership teaches skills for the… Chuck Collins yes! More than 200 people crammed into a meeting room at Smith College to listen to Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum speak at the May 4 opening ceremony of the… The new school provides in-person training opportunities in activism in five… How to Go… Read More »

Scottish Episcopal Church votes to allow same-sex marriage

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The Scottish Episcopal Church has voted to allow same-sex couples to marry in church. Patrick McPartlin The Scotsman The historic ‘Yes’ vote will see the denomination become the first Anglican Church within the UK to allow gay couples to marry. The majority of the Anglican communion still oppose same-sex marriage. Ahead of the vote, the conservative Anglican group Global Anglican Future Conference said: “If this action is taken it… Scottish Episcopal Church… Read More »