India (OpenDemocracy) – For tribal women living in the Bastar region of central India, sexual abuse at the hands of security forces has become routine. The state government has now been challenged to take responsibility. I work as a reporter in Read More
World (Sputnik) – Over 5,000 migrants bound for Europe died while crossing the Mediterranean Sea in 2016, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Friday. The previous 2016 figure, released by the IOM in early December, put the number of those dead at 4,733, which Read More
Syria (Tasnim) – Washington will be invited to fresh Syria peace talks being organized by Moscow and Ankara this month, Turkey’s foreign minister said, but Russia declined to confirm the invitation Friday. Despite backing opposite sides in the Syrian conflict, Russia Read More
Israel (GV) – The Israeli Knesset passed last week a first reading of a controversial new bill that would allow Israeli courts to order social media companies to remove online content it deems “inciting”. The “removal of criminally offensive content from the Read More
(HRW) – Trump, European Populists Foster Bigotry, Discrimination The rise of populist leaders in the United States and Europe poses a dangerous threat to basic rights protections while encouraging abuse by autocrats around the world, Human Rights Watch said today in Read More
Israel (GPA) – The leading cause of death among the IDF in 2016 was suicide– accounting for over a third of all deaths. The trend has remained stable since 2013. 41 soldiers died while enrolled in military service last year– 15 Read More
Kyrgyzstan (EAN) – Kyrgyzstan’s security services are dropping the gloves for a fight against Facebook-using keyboard warriors who are taking pops at apparently thin-skinned President Almazbek Atambayev. Social media users do not know whether to laugh or cry. On January 10, Read More
Turkey (Tasnim) – Turkish lawmakers on Thursday approved three more articles in a hugely controversial bill bolstering the powers of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as lawmakers brawled and threw objects in a session of high tension. Lawmakers have since the start Read More
Syria (Sputnik) – A Mezzah military air facility was struck by several explosions near the Syrian capital of Damascus. Israeli missiles directed fire at an ammunitions hub, producing an enormous explosion, according to Syrian state TV. “Rockets strike at Mezzeh Military airport Read More
Aaron Swartz, a young and ingenious programmer and creator, as well as a passionate activist who believed that information was a currency that no one should be deprived of it. As a teenager he had co-created RSS and Reddit. He also became a tireless and endearing advocate for a number of connectivity and access related causes, he co-wrote the Guerrilla Open Access Manifesto, which called for activists to “liberate” information locked up by corporations and publishers. Demand Progress was also co-founded by Swartz, an online advocacy group. He led a brilliant and short life, contributed such great acts of service for the public and has changed the world. Reshaping the Internet, questioning our understanding and assumptions of intellectual property, and creating many of the tools we use in our daily online lives. On January 11,2017 it will be four years since he took his own life. He was 26.
Swartz had been an extremely effective organizer, and a fierce proponent of the open access movement. He viewed big money, both private and corporate, as the corrupting influence on institutions and centralization of power structures. The US government introduced its SOPA Bill on October 26, 2011. Essentially an “anti-piracy” bill which would have given content owners (read studios and publishing houses) extraordinary powers to shut down sites that they would have copyright claims against – these actions would be enabled without a single court appearance. Demand Progress launched the campaign to fight the SOPA bill. Garnering huge support, a coordinated protest and public education campaign was designed and implemented. Scores of Internet websites participated in the formal protest, temporarily closing and shutting down their sites or redirecting users to a message opposing the legislation. The blackout protest against SOPA, also with physical protests in major cities, was a massive success and the bill failed.
Morocco (Sputnik) – The production, import and sale of burqas in Morocco has been banned. Shopkeepers have just 48 hours to get rid of their stock as the north African country cracks down on the traditional Islamic dress. No official announcement was Read More
United States (Tasnim) – US prosecutors accused two relatives of former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of engaging in a scheme to bribe a Middle Eastern official in connection with the attempted $800 million sale of a building complex in Vietnam. Read More
Macedonia (GV) – Investigative journalists in Macedonia say the country’s ruling party VMRO-DPMNE owns properties that by law it shouldn’t, and that party officials in government positions have abused their power to benefit the party. The Center for Investigative Journalism SCOOP earlier revealed that Macedonia’s main ruling Read More
Kazakhstan (EAN) – Kazakhstan has adopted a law requiring citizens traveling within the country to register with local authorities if they remain in one locality for more than one month. Anybody found in violation of the law will first receive a Read More
Palestine (NI) – A father and his two daughters were three of the first Palestinians to suffer injuries related to Gaza’s electricity crisis this year. They have been left with moderate burns after a candle the girls lit to do their Read More