Law & Order

India Election Digest: April 18

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What you need to know on Friday about India’s elections: Voter turnout rose in most districts in the fifth phase of the elections compared with 2009, the Indian National Congress appears to be missing its youth unit, and voters at the world’s highest polling station remain optimistic that someday a politician will visit them. The fifth and largest phase of ... Read More »

The power of parody in eastern Ukraine

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The tired looking young men in t-shirts and combat fatigues manning the barricades in Slovyansk say they are not going anywhere. Yesterday the agreement thrashed out in Geneva between the EU, the US, Russia and Ukraine said that all unauthorised roadblocks and occupied municipal buildings should be cleared. But they’re not obeying those orders in eastern Ukraine. “The government in ... Read More »

Four Chinese rights lawyers allege torture by police

Tang Jitian

Lawyers were investigating detention centre in Jiansanjiang when they say they were seized and beaten Tang Jitian recalls being taken into a room, his head covered in a black hood, and hearing the sound of a rope being pulled. The handcuffs behind him were jerked upward and soon he was dangling in the air. “I got hoisted with my head ... Read More »

Privacy fears over FBI facial recognition database

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Campaigners have raised privacy concerns over a facial recognition database being developed by the FBI that could contain 52m images by 2015. The civil liberties group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) obtained information about the project through a freedom of information request. It said it was concerned that images of non-criminals would be stored alongside those of criminals. The FBI say ... Read More »

ICAC: NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell called early as witness in Australian Water Holdings inquiry

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In a surprise announcement, New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell has been called to give evidence tomorrow at the Independent Commission Against Corruption’s (ICAC) inquiry into a Sydney water firm. Video The public inquiry into Australian Water Holdings (AWH) has heard the company corruptly obtained monies from Sydney Water for salaries and political donations. Mr O’Farrell was originally listed as ... Read More »

Race hate: voters tell Brandis to back off

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Greens surge in polls Support for the Greens is at a record high as support for the Abbott government eases. Voters have sent an unambiguous message to Tony Abbott and his Attorney General George Brandis: leave the race hate laws alone. The latest Fairfax-Nielsen poll specifically asked voters if they believe it should it be lawful or unlawful to “offend, ... Read More »

Is There Any More Privacy in the World? VICE Podcast 010

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The VICE Podcast is a weekly discussion which delves inside the minds of some of the most interesting, creative, and bizarre people within the VICE universe This week, we speak with Christopher Soghoian, a former boarding pass hacker and FBI person of interest, who is now principal technologist of the speech, privacy, and technology project at the American Civil Liberties ... Read More »

Racial vilification laws: new resources to help the public give feedback on changes

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The Human Rights Law Centre has released an Information Paper to help individuals and organisations give feedback to the Federal Government on the proposed changes to racial vilification laws. The paper provides an overview of the current law and the proposed changes and also summarises the HRLC’s views on the changes. “It’s disappointing that the government hasn’t put out an ... Read More »

Crimea, Kosovo, and Cyprus: what is the law?

Ilias Kouskouvelis 1a

Russian foreign policy, in order to justify Crimea’s unilateral declaration of independence and the annexation that followed, used Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence (February 2008) as an analogy and excuse. The specific Russian position provoked questions and discussions about the law. It has also provoked worries about whether it could set a precedent for legalising past illegal declarations of independence, ... Read More »