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Items tagged with: Autocracy


The kingdom of Brunei demands tolerance and understanding for death sentence for homosexuality

In a letter to Members of the European Parliament (MEP) dated April 15, the kingdom's mission to the EU wrote Brunei enforced its own legislation in the interest of preserving its traditional, religious and cultural values, and that there was "no one standard that fits all".
Death sentences based on somone's crime to be homosexual has got nothing to do with religions, but is only a means of oppressing minorities. Just because people used to believe that it was a misdemeanour to fall in love with the same sex doesn't mean we need to maintain this belief in the new age and even punish it as a capital crime. There's a difference between the knowledge of humans in the middle ages from today's knowledge in anatomy, medicine and the such. Even religions should be able to move forward in acknowledging proven facts.
The MPs also called on the EU to consider asset freezes and visa bans on the South-East Asian nation, and to blacklist n
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Press Sec. Sarah H. Sanders avoided formal press conferences for 43 consecutive days, breaking previous highscore by one

The prolonged silence has come amid a particularly chaotic time for the Drumpf administration following the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s redacted report on the Russia investigation. While it cleared the Drumpf campaign of conspiring with Russia, the 448-page document exposed not only presidential misconduct but also a hotbed of conflict within the White House, where aides routinely ignored the president’s demands.

“If you are the press secretary and you are caught defending an indefensible policy or an indefensible act by the president, you can get pilloried out there for an hour, and the American people see it,” Lee said. “That’s what drives home to everybody watching that you don’t have a leg to stand on and that something has to change. That oftentimes does force change. It’s no accident that they’ve cut that off.”

On Monday, Morning
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«Umbrella nine» leaders sentenced to jail

A district court judge jailed sociology professor Chan Kin-man, 60, law professor Benny Tai, 54, and Baptist minister the Rev Chu Yiu-ming, 75, to 16 months each for conspiracy to commit public nuisance. Chu’s sentence was suspended for two years.

Raphael Wong and Shiu Ka-chun were sentenced to eight months while former student leader Eason Chung and Democratic party member Lee Wing-tat were given eight-month sentences suspended for two years.

The activists planned to use civil disobedience tactics and occupy Hong Kong’s central business district in hopes that Beijing would allow Hong Kong voters to choose the city’s leader for the first time in history in 2017.

#HongKong #China #PRChina #News #Politics #Asia #FarEast #Democracy #Autocracy #Authoritarianism #Oppression #Freedom #UmbrellaNine


Kazakhian ruling party unanimously nominates Kassym-Jomart Tokayev for president

Tokayev's candidacy received unanimous backing from 600 delegates of the ruling Nur Otan party, which is loyal to 78-year-old Nazarbayev, at a conference in the capital Nur-Sultan, newly named for the former leader.

A seamless transition will reassure foreign investors who have pumped money into the country's energy sector but frustrate those calling for democratic reforms in the authoritarian state.

He has visited Moscow for talks with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, a close ally of Nazarbayev, as well as Uzbekistan, a key regional player.

#Kazakhstan #Russia #SovietUnion #News #Politics #Authoritarianism #Autocracy #Oil #FossilFuels #Tokayev #Nursultan


Final appeal for Reuters journalists rejected by Myanmar's highest court

Wa Lone, 33, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 29, have spent more than 16 months in detention since they were arrested in December 2017 while working on an investigation into the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslim men and boys.

“The United Nations will continue to call for full respect of freedom of the press and human rights,” he said in a statement. “Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo should be allowed to return to their families and continue their work as journalists.”
Only calling for it wont' be enough and is not going to release them from their unjust imprisonment. What is required is an international communtiy that will intervene in this country to free those public servants, united. Otherwise, they are going to rot in this prison for seven years, unless an insurgent army for truthful reporters will get them out the unorthodox way.
Panei Mon, Wa Lone’s wife, who gave birth to their first child last year, said she had been “hoping
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Bouteflika's legacy - an expensive, yet unfinished mosque

The majestic white building, known locally as the Djamaa El-Djazair, sprawls across 20 hectares, and its silhouette can be seen from across the capital region.

The initial cost estimate of $1.3-billion has long been overrun and the construction, launched by a Chinese company in 2012, is more than three years behind schedule.
This quote confuses me - so, a Chinese company started to build it in 2012 after request, but it is still unfinished today. Why? In the article, they spoke about a great oil wealth that made it possible for the president to commence the building, but why didn't the Chinese finish yet? Is it so arduous to build it? I would understand, since we are speaking about a large area this mosque expands upon, but they don't mention it.
“There are mosques every 500 meters in this country, we didn’t need that,” said an exasperated 68-year-old Zhora.
Clear to see there was no reason, nor a need to build it. It's j... show more


Leaders of the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong found guilty

Defence lawyers started making their arguments on sentencing on Tuesday afternoon, but the process will continue into Wednesday. In the meantime, District Court Judge Johnny Chan extended the bail period so that the activists did not need to be kept behind bars overnight.
Barrister Gerard McCoy – representing the “Occupy trio” of Benny Tai, Chan Kin-man and Chu Yiu-ming – made an impassioned plea in court, saying that the three men’s motives “can only be described as altruistic and selfless.”

Chu also recounted his struggle with illness, his involvement with various pro-democracy groups, and how he eventually played a role in the Umbrella Movement.

#HongKong #HK #China #PRChina #Asia #FarEast #UmbrellaMovement #Democracy #Autocracy #Authoritarianism #News #Politics
‘Altruistic and selfless motivation’: Hong Kong court hears sentencing arguments from Umbrella Movement 9


Erdoğan's AK Party suffers losses, CHP wins in Istanbul

With nearly 98.8 percent of Istanbul's ballots counted at 11:55 p.m., AK Party candidate Binali Yıldırım of the People's Alliance held onto a slim lead with 48.71 percent of the vote, against main CHP's Ekrem Imamoğlu of the Nation Alliance with 48.65 percent of the vote. The difference between the two candidates remain lower than 5,000 votes.

In Turkey's third largest city Izmir, CHP candidate Tunç Soyer is projected to comfortably win the election with 58.06 percent of the vote against AK Party's Nihat Zeybekci with 38.49 percent, as nearly 92 percent of the votes have been counted.
Still, many of these results are comparably narrow, with percentaged achievements not above the 60 percent-margin. I mean, one should have more voters at one's side beyond 56 percent of utmost power. This is low, and is going to leave many voters alike depressed, and unheard.
In MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli's hometown, southern Turkey's Osman
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An Aussie travelled to the DPRK to study - now he tells of his experiences in the country

(You can see it as a propaganda move to relativise of what North Korea does to its people, about the working camps and the cult of the national leaders (which we have in the US as well), or you just try to imagine that in North Korea, they have never heard of the Guardian, let alone have a free press themselves, and so he couldn't care less about what could happen to him)
I had been interested in socialism ever since studying the Russian Revolution at high school, while my sinologist father, Chinese mother and childhood love of Japanese anime had sparked a passion for Chinese and Japanese.

After finishing my degree in Asian studies, I decided to take my interest in North Korea to postgraduate level. Pyongyang seemed a natural option, and with my North Korean friends’ help, I began my master’s in contemporary North Korean literature in April 2018.

Locally manufactured products are improving in quality – a few years a
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Gubernatorial Elections take place in Turkey today

Voting started at 7.00 a.m local time (0400GMT) and will continue through 4.00 p.m. local time (1300GMT) in 32 out of Turkey's 81 provinces.

Mobile ballot boxes were brought to the homes of the sick and the elderly who are unable to get out and vote at the designated polling stations.
Oh, I thought that they were offering postal votes as well, as they have it in Germany. Fine, at least those who wanted to vote but weren't able to leave their accomodations have their chance, though. Still, does anyone else believe the electoral aides blackmailed or bribed the sick and the elderly to vote for AKP? I do believe Erdoğan went down to such some low standards.
More than 44 million citizens are expected to vote at 142,777 polling places in 30 biggest cities, called metropolitan municipalities.

#Turkey #... show more


Rappler CEO Maria Ressa temporarily arrested - again

Pasig police officers served the warrant of arrest the moment that Ressa deplaned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1. Police officers took Ressa and her lawyer on board their police car.

“To any officer of the law, you are hereby commanded to arrest the person Maria Angelita Ressa who is to be found at (address redacted) or elsewhere and who stand charged before me of the crime of violation of Section 2-A of Commonwealth Act No. 108 or the Anti-Dummy Law,” said Judge Acerey Pacheco in an arrest order issued on Thursday.
Commonwealth Act - and I always thought that in the latter outcome, the Philippines were a US-American colony, and no longer an English one. Well, they didn't seem to have changed their law any afterwards.
The charges stemmed from a complaint by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) which said that Rappler violated the Anti-Dummy Law for issuing Philippine Depositary Receipts (PDRs) to foreign investor O
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Russia threatens to shut down VPN servers to remove access to Telegram

Russia’s strict Internet laws require search engines to delete some results, messaging services to share encryption keys with law enforcement, and social-media networks to store users' personal data on servers within the country.

Russia's communications regulator Roskomnadzor said on March 28 that it had asked the owners of 10 VPN services to join a state information technology system that contains a registry of banned websites.

The Internet censor said that it had sent notifications to NordVPN, Hide My Ass!, Hola VPN, Openvpn, VyprVPN, ExpressVPN, TorGuard, IPVanish, Kaspersky Secure Connection, and VPN Unlimited.

#Russia #Internet #Censorship #... show more


On the oncoming gubernatorial election in Turkey

1. Ahval:

“Erdoğan is firmly entrenched in an all-powerful presidency after winning re-election last year, but he nevertheless sees the elections for mayors and city councils as a referendum on his authoritarian style of rule.”

Opinion polls show Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) behind in Turkey’s capital Ankara, the industrial hub of Bursa and the southern city of Adana. In Istanbul the ruling party is ahead by less than a point, according to one poll last week.

Bahar, a 29-year-old housewife who wears a headscarf, attended an İmamoğlu rally last week and is planning to vote for the CHP for the first time. “This is a 180-degree turn for me,” she said. “But I’m not afraid of change. When I can’t afford to go to the market, what’s left to fear?
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Kazakhstan's authoritarian leader Nazarbayev renames capital city after himself

There are few moves an autocrat can execute to appear even more ridiculous to the civilised regions which have electoral systems that make it possible to elect a new leader, although this system doesn't imply an actual political change or improvements in society or economy. But how the hell does one imagine that it would maintain one's legacy far beyond one's resignation either by decision or death? This is so stupid, one might send him a doctor to check if everything is still fine with him...

In the end, Kazakhstan is just another weak country which should have never become a country on its own. It has got nothing to share with the global market, nothing but oil, which will run out in the near or far future, and which is despised already, despite the odds. It should've stayed a part of Russia, so that there'll be more support for its people. Argh...
#Kazakhstan #... show more


Trump orders investigation into critical news outlets, Google, Twitter and Facebook

“It seems to be, if it’s conservatives, if Republicans, there is big discrimination,” Drumpf said of social media platforms. “I see it absolutely on Twitter,” he said, also naming Google and Facebook as offenders.

I guess her heard about Nunes' lawsuit against Twitter for allowing people to express their sometimes blatant opinion. But why would he name Twitter anyway? I mean, he's on there all the time, trampling through it with his tweets, it's like his regular press secretary. He's an idiot, after all.

“You look at the networks, you look at the news, you look at the newscasts – I call it Fake News,” Drumpf said, letting Bolsonaro know he had first dibs.

During the eventful Rose Garden presser, Drumpf also announced the “twilight hour of socialism has arrived” in the Western Hemisphere, citing unrest in Nicaragua, and change in Cuba.
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Kazakhstan's autocratic leader steps down after 30 years of reign

Nazarbayev said in a televised address to the nation Tuesday that he has taken the “difficult” decision to terminate his authority as president, effective on Wednesday. He did not give a specific reason.
The 78-year-old has led Kazakhstan since 1989 when it was still part of the Soviet Union. He came to power as the Central Asian nation’s Communist Party chief and was then elected president.
#Russia #Kazakhstan #News #Dicatorship #Autocracy #Authoritarianism #Politics
Kazakhstan’s president steps down after 30 years


Chechen human rights activist incarcerated for drug possession

In recent years, Memorial has investigated alleged abuse by Chechen authorities, including kidnappings, torture and the persecution of gay men.

The court in the town of Shali, north-east of the capital Grozny, sentenced Titiev, aged 61, after the judge took nearly nine hours to read out her verdict.

Nine hours for the charge against him due to drug possession? This either is a ridiculous show trial, or they worked overtime for their false charge. Either way, this has to be punished by the Western world, or otherwise, it has lost its moral high ground.

The police said cannabis had been found in his car - he said the drugs had been planted.
#Russia #Chechnya #HumanRights #... show more


US State department obstructs press freedom, only allowing «faith-based media» to enter

According to CNN, one member of the State Department’s press corps was invited to join the call only to later be uninvited after attempting to RSVP. The journalist was reportedly told that the briefing was for "faith-based media only."

A transcript of the call will not be provided to reporters, CNN added.

"It's perfectly fine to ensure faith-based media have a seat at such a table. But it's PR malpractice to cut off access to the broader press corps. I wish I could say I expected more from this crowd," Kirby added.
#US #USA #News #Pompeo #MikePompeo #... show more


On the semantics and pragmatics of hatred

(Please mind the editor's note if this text appears familiar to you, you might have read it before. Trump has also spoken positively about the manifesto the Christchurch shooter has written and published. He doesn't think that White Nationalism was an actual threat, in the country that is home to the KKK and Madison Grant. One should really know about one's country's history and presence. Trump, on the other hand, is part of the problem, altogether.)
This seems to be part of a broader developing idea: ignore the tweets. Ignore Drumpf’s inflammatory language. Ignore the words. What counts is the policy outcomes. People took Drumpf’s “American carnage” inaugural address seriously, but after an exhausting year, it’s tempting to find an excuse to stop listening.

Politics is persuasion as well as coercion. Immediate policy outcomes mainly have to do with coercion: who is taxed, regulated, expropriated, imprisoned, deported, conscripted, what wars are fought, who is kept out of the co... show more


Anti-government protesters Serbian besiege national broadcaster RTS

Demonstrators have been gathering there every Saturday since December 8, routinely drawing more than 10,000 people. But protests have also taken place in some 20 cities and towns across the country.

Vucic, a former nationalist who says he wants to lead Serbia into the European Union, has denied the accusations against him.

Initially dubbed "stop to bloody shirts," the movement has recently adopted the slogan "one of 5 million," a jab at Vucic, who said after early protests he would not bow to a single demand from protesters, "even if there were 5 million of you."
#Serbia #News #Politics #Europe #Europa #Vucic #EuropeanUnion #Autocracy #Authoritarianism #Corruption #Crooked #NationalBroadcaster


German MEP Manfred Weber to meet Hungarian president Viktor Orbán

(Talkin' 'bout standin' your ground - it has also been said that he was the only member of the EPP to vote against kicking Orbán out. Now, one has to read that he is going to meet this man, for whatever reason (I didn't read the article yet). Let's see what reason he has.)
"I'm hearing very different signals out of Budapest. What's positive, from my point of view, is that there's evidence of a certain reflection process," Weber told German paper Welt am Sonntag, noting that the Hungarian government said it would end its controversial taxpayer-funded anti-Brussels campaign.

Just because his parliamentary group said that they were going to kick him out because he has turned out to be a fierce autocrat doesn't mean he was about to change his behaviour towards his people. He just doesn't want to lose his participation in one of the largest groups in the EU, he would lose his influence in the EU. This has got nothing to do with changes, it's a cheap trick, for which the simple-mi... show more


Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D - HI) uncertain whether Assad is a war criminal

"I think that the evidence needs to be gathered and, as I have said before, if there is evidence that he has committed war crimes, he should be prosecuted as such," Gabbard said at a CNN town hall on Sunday.

As far as I am concerned, there is hard evidence that Assad has committed such some war crimes, such as throwing chemical weapons such as barrel roles, he threw tham at his people.

"I served in a war in Iraq, a war that was launched based on lies, and a war that was launched without evidence. And so the American people were duped," she said.

"So as a soldier, as an American, as a member of Congress, it is my duty and my responsibility to exercise skepticism any time anyone tries to send our service members into harm's way or use our military to go in and start a new war," she added.
#Gabbard #... show more


Russians protested for free internet

1. The Moscow Times:

Last May, when communications watchdog Roskomnadzor moved to block the popular messaging app Telegram, some 12,000 Russians turned out to a protest Svetov organized — which, he is eager to point out, was last year’s largest street demonstration.

With the state quashing independent media in recent years, YouTube has become an increasingly popular tool among opposition activists seeking out audiences. The platform is now viewed by 82 percent of the Russian population aged 18-44, as The Economist reported last week. In spring 2017, opposition leader Alexei Navalny took authorities by surprise by using his YouTube channel to inspire thousands into the streets for the first mass protests against the Kremlin since 2012.

“If we disconnect from the internet, our country won’t be able to develop,... show more


The most important elections in the world took place today

The North elects its legislators every five years in events similar to general elections for lawmakers here. But each constituency has a sole candidate and voters can only vote for or against.

And those who dared to vote against were immediately deported into a working camp, apparently.

On Saturday, North Korea’s state-run newspaper the Rodong Sinmun reported that Kim had stressed the importance of economic development, breaking his silence for the first time since his summit with US President Donald Drumpf in Hanoi in February, in which the two leaders failed to strike an accord on denuclearization or the lifting of economic sanctions.

In the 2014 election, 687 legislators were elected, replacing about 55 percent of the Supreme People’s Assembly, according to data from the Unification Ministry here. The KCNA reported that the turnout in 2014 was 99.97 percent, and 100 percent of the votes were in favor of listed candidates.
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Anti-Stalin-protesters detained by Moscow police

Activist Yevgeny Suchkov, who is involved in the Decommunization project, shouted: “Burn in hell, the executioner of the nation and killer of women and children!”.He and another activist, Olga Savchenko, were immediately grabbed by the police.

According to the polls conducted by the Levada Center, Stalin’s popularity has grown over the recent years. The sociologists defined three stages in the perception of Stalin by contemporary Russians. Interestingly, in 2001-2006 negative assessment of his activity were predominant; in 2008-12 – neutral ones, but since 2014, a number of praises has been increasing.

Experts have different opinions on the boost of pro-Stalin sentiment. But it is common knowledge that the Russian authorities contribute to whitewashing Stalin, including by their uncritical evaluation of the policy pursued by the USSR in the pre-war period and during the Second World War.
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On the (actual) crisis at the border

More than 76,000 migrants were apprehended crossing the southern border last month, the highest February in more than 10 years and the highest month of the Drumpf administration. The number of apprehensions tops any month during the 2014 border surge under President Barack Obama, which no one had a problem calling a crisis at the time.

There is no mechanism to return these migrants home, to hold them after they cross the border, or to remove them once they are in the interior. And word has gotten out. There’s a reason that the subset of migrants that we can’t stop from getting into the country is rapidly growing.

We should question why there is no such mechanism to return them. Because then, we would get to the actual crisis: The irresponsibility of the US ( country founded by immigrants) when it comes to safely returning those people. In the past, they used to simply tell them that they wouldn't get in, and to return from where they've come from. This indeed is irresponsible, regarding the s... show more


The right-winged extremists' new strategy

Data collected by the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism shows a staggering 182 percent increase of propaganda incidents in 2018, with 1,187 cases reported, compared with 421 in 2017. This is the highest number of reported propaganda efforts on record.

Identity Evropa often posts flyers that appear to be innocuous paeans to Western European art. Patriot Front leans heavily on red, white and blue signage with mainstream conservative messaging, including “America First” and “Fake news — don’t buy it.” When they gather for events, Patriot Front members are far less circumspect about their racism, frequently shouting “Blood and Soil!” — a callback to a Nazi slogan.

When they share these images with their virtual community, these groups are patting themselves on the back, celebrating their ability to overcome the obstacles set up by the “mainstream media,” “leftists” and, of course, the Jews.
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Putin under pressure: Duma declares fake news and insults a crime

Critics of the legislation say it would empower state officials to shut down websites that are critical of the Kremlin or other Russian authorities.

It also sets maximum fines for publishing "fake news" of 100,000 rubles (more than $1,500) on individuals, 200,000 rubles (more than $3,000) on public officials, and 500,000 rubles (about $7,600) on companies.

It says those who violate the law more than twice will be fined up to 300,000 rubles and spend up to 15 days in jail.
#Russia #Putin #Kremlin #FakeNews #Criticism #Authoritarianism #Autocracy #VladimirPutin #Duma #Censorship #Internet #Freedom #Politics #News


Kim Jong-Un back home, welcomed by cheering brainwashed crowds

The crowd welcoming Kim at Pyongyang's railway station gave shouts of joy and loud hurrahs upon his return, the Korean Central News Agency reported.

Kim received a salute from the head of the army's honour guard and was presented with flowers from children. Senior officials also greeted Kim with "their ardent congratulations", KCNA reported.

"I am hopeful, although I have no commitment yet, that we will be back at it, that I'll have a team in Pyongyang in the next couple weeks," he said on Monday.
#DPRK #NorthKorea #BestKorea #News #Politics #KimJongUn #JongUn #Trump #DonaldTrump #Vietnam #Hanoi #US-DPRKSummit #Pompeo #MikePompeo #Autocracy #Authoritarianism #Brainwash #Indoctrination


Trump fears the Mueller report

In a speech that lasted more than two hours — his longest since taking office two years ago — Drumpf also vented about Democrats, a proposed “green new deal,” illegal immigrants and criticism of his North Korea summit, while voicing optimism about his own re-election prospects in 2020.

You see - the only time he is able to hold a speech of an appropriate length (meaning a speech that lasts as long as I expect a real president to be like) is when he starts a tirade about someone he clearly dislikes. Otherwise, he can't hold a speech that is about one hour long and doesn't include anything that has to be fact-checked before or after.

“We’re waiting for a report by people who weren’t elected,” Drumpf said of the Mueller report, which is widely expected to be handed over to Attorney General William Barr in the coming days.

That's because a special counsel is not elected but employed by the DOJ. And you chose your attorney general, who employs a deputy. Idiot.... show more


Turkey locks out German journalists

The Turkish decision means neither reporter can continue to work in Turkey. The 57-year-old Brase has headed ZDF's Istanbul bureau since January 2018. The 55-year-old Seibert has been accredited continuously in Turkey for the last 22 years.

Press cards issued by Turkey expire each December and journalists need to reapply for accreditation. Some German reporters have received their cards but others are still waiting. The cards are considered work permits and are also necessary for getting a residence permit.

Reporters Without Borders places Turkey 157th on its list of 180 countries ranked for press freedom.
#Turkey #Germany #Deutschland #Politik #... show more


Belarussian dictator tells media that he told his people to oppose Russian despot

During a marathon meeting with journalists and analysts, Lukashenko said if Belarusians were asked in a referendum, "98 percent would vote against the unification of the two countries -- or what many in Russia see as Belarus becoming part of Russia."

Such a move could possibly extend Putin's time in power when his fourth presidential term ends in 2024 by making him the head of a new "unified" state including Belarus.

Addressing a Russian journalist, Lukashenko demanded that Moscow stop calling Belarusians "freeloaders."
#Belarus #Russia #Integration #Annex #Putin #VladimirPutin #Lukashenko #Kremlin #Autocracy #Authoritarianism #Despot #News #Politics #Dictatorship


Before summit: White House banned four journalists from covering Trump-Kim-dinner

Reporters from the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, the Los Angeles Times and Reuters were excluded from covering the dinner because of what White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said were "sensitivities over shouted questions in the previous sprays". Among the questions asked of Drumpf was one about the congressional testimony of his former lawyer, Michael Cohen.

After loud pushback, including from photojournalists who protested, Sanders allowed a single reporter in the pool for the dinner: Vivian Salama of the Wall Street Journal, who was serving as the print pooler and did not ask a question at the dinner. In addition, at least two members of the North Korean media contingent, a photographer and cameraman, were seen covering the dinner.

Lauren Easton, a spokeswoman for the AP, said in a statement: "The Associated Press decries such efforts by the White House to restrict access to the president. It is critically important that any president... show more


Iranian president Hassan Rouhani rejects resignation of foreign minister Javid Zarif

He added that Zarif is a key figure in what Rouhani called "resistance against broad pressures" by the United States.

If I heard correctly, he was one minister in Rouhani's government with whom the West could work best, especially in terms of the nuclear treaty and so on. I may be mistaken, because regarding this, I only saw headlines, but no content.

State media also showed Zarif taking part in the visit of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Tehran.
#Iran #MiddleEast #News #Politics #Zarif #JavidZarif #ForeignAffairs #Rouhani #HassanRouhani #NuclearTreaty #Agitation #Theocracy #Authoritarianism #Autocracy


Two articles on the murdered opponent Putin-critic, Brois Nemtsov

1. Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty:

Boris Nemtsov was shot dead on the night of February 27, 2015 on a bridge near the Kremlin. He was 45 years old. A liberal politician who became one of Russian President Vladimir Putin's most prominent opponents, Nemtsov became a symbol of the struggle for democracy in Russia. His accused killer Zaur Dadaev was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2018, while four of his alleged accomplices, also from the North Caucasus region of Chechnya, received 11 to 19-year sentences. Friends and family fear those who ordered the assassination may never be caught.
It's a collection of pictures on Nemtsov's life and death, an obituary, if you want. Scroll through it to get to know him a little bit better.

2. TIME:

Nemtsov is
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Vietnam taken by surprise by US-DPRK summit

Officials in Hanoi said they had about 10 days to prepare for the summit — much less than the nearly two months they said Singapore was given for the first Drumpf-Kim meeting last year— but still vowed to provide airtight security for the two leaders.

Another official, Nguyen Manh Hung, the leader of the information ministry, said the 3,000 journalists from 40 countries expected in Hanoi could rely on his agency as “you’d count on a family member.”

Vietnam has also announced an unprecedented traffic ban along a possible arrival route for Kim. The Communist Party’s Nhan Dan newspaper quoted the Roads Department as saying the ban will affect the 169-kilometer (105-mile) stretch of Highway One from Dong Dang, on the border with China, to Hanoi.
#Vietnam #DPRK #... show more


Gaza protesters call for Abbas' resignation

The pro-Hamas crowd gathered at al-Sarya square yelled for the long-serving leader to "leave" and called on the PA to pay the full salaries of public sector employees in Gaza.

Israel says the blockade is necessary to prevent Hamas, with whom it has fought three wars since 2008, from obtaining weapons or materials that could be used to make them.

Abbas, 83, has over the course of recent months reduced salaries in Gaza as part of a wider attempt to exert pressure on Hamas and push through reconciliation agreements aimed at ending internal Palestinian division.
#Gaza #Israel #Palestine #PA #PalestinianAuthority #MahmoudAbbas #Abbas #FreeIsrael #FreePalestine #TwoStateSolution #Autocracy #Authoritarianism #Hamas #Politics #News #MiddleEast


Pink Floyd front man Roger Waters condemns US sanctions on Venezuela

In selfie footage he said was to be played at the ‘Hands Off Venezuela’ concert organised by embattled socialist president Nicolás Maduro, Waters also suggested US-led aid headed for the country was the precursor for a coup or invasion.

Slowly I start to doubt Mr. Waters' involvement in political actions, and his constant statements on the Middle Eastern conflict. To praise Assange and defend Maduro is a doubtworthy action that shows a strange understanding of what is going on there, or what Mr. Assange is doing. What comes next? A video contribution on Ron Paul's Youtube channel?

It came just days after he criticised Richard Branson for organising a separate concert – on the Colombian side of the border – to raise aid for people suffering there.
#US #USA #... show more


Venezuela reigned by sick tyrant, says SoS Mike Pompeo

After Guaido named Saturday as the deadline for the aid to cross the border, Maduro vowed to stop the supplies from coming into the country. At a large rally in Caracas on Saturday, he dared the opposition to call for elections and called Guaido a "clown" and a "US puppet."

"We denounce Maduro's refusal to let humanitarian assistance reach #Venezuela. What kind of a sick tyrant stops food from getting to hungry people? The images of burning trucks filled with aid are sickening," Pompeo tweeted.

Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said on Twitter that the Maduro regime had "overplayed its hand" through its actions Saturday, making it easier for the international community to isolate it and harder for regime allies to continue supporting it.
#US #USA #... show more


On Saudi-Arabia and its allies

China is already Saudi Arabia's biggest trading partner, and across Asia this week political, religious and ideological differences proved no barrier to doing business. No leader mentioned Khashoggi.

The two countries also have "a lot of synergy," says Fulton. Xi is trying to push his Belt and Road initiative, under which huge amounts of Chinese trade will pass through the Red Sea that borders Saudi Arabia on its way to Europe. The Crown Prince wants to promote his own Vision 2030 economic plan, which would benefit from Chinese investment and technology transfer.

"When you lock up your country's billionaires in the Ritz Carlton it doesn't reassure foreign capital that their investment will be safe," he adds, referring to the detention of high profile Saudi royals at the five-star hotel in Riyadh in an alleged corruption sweep in 2017.
#SaudiArabia #SA... show more


Declaration of peace between US and DPRK?

North Korea, which saw all of its major cities and most of its infrastructure destroyed by U.S. bombers during the war, blames what it sees as Washington’s unrelenting hostility over the past 70 years as ample justification for its nuclear weapons and long-range missiles. It claims they are purely for self-defense.

Simply having a summit without a clear commitment to denuclearization goes a long way toward establishing him as the leader of a de facto nuclear state.
Unless Washington is willing to accept him as such, that will only make future talks all the more difficult.

The lesson? Whatever grand proclamations are made, establishing real peace will go well beyond just another Drumpf and Kim summit.
#US #USA #Trump #... show more


Maduro closes border to ABC islands

As it seems, Maduro keeps on isolating his country amid further tensions of food shortages, an economic crises and his hostility towards critics. Now, another step has been taken by closing down the border towards the Lesser Antilles, also known as the ABC islands, refering to the three islands Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao. No ships or planes will be able to trespass the Venezuelan border.
#Venezuela #Caribbean #CentralAmerica #ABCIslands #LesserAntilles #Curacao #... show more


On the Rohingya crisis, and late justice

Today, more Rohingya reside outside Myanmar than inside the country. The diaspora initially comprised Rohingya uprooted by decades of violence and institutionalized discrimination — including sporadic military campaigns and a denial of citizenship. This longstanding exodus has established outposts around the globe, including refugee camps in Bangladesh, as well as communities resettled in America, Europe and Australia.

For example, Rohingya-led news sites like the Kaladan Press Network, established in Bangladesh, and Rohingya Blogger, established in Germany, regularly report on violations perpetrated against the community in Myanmar and Bangladesh.

The new Rohingya diaspora also has its own movements, groups like the Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights, which advocates, among other things, for more Rohingya involvement in running the camps in Bangladesh.

#Rohingya #... show more


On the Article 13, which may soon take effect

(Other people, if not most or all of the people on the internet which use to enjoy the freedom on this supranational web of construct full of information, connection possibilities and cats, may still pray for the deus ex machina to save us all from this reactionary legislation)

Voss's deadly pet ideas were, first, a proposal to let news sites decide who could link to them and to charge for the privilege (Article 11); and second, a proposal to require every platform for public communication to invent and deploy copyright filters that would prevent any user from infringing copyright, even momentarily, by suppressing any communications that appeared to contain a copyrighted work of any kind (Article 13).

Nomen est Omen.

That means that only rich, established Internet companies — the YouTubes and Facebooks of the world — will survive contact with the new Directive.

Lobbyism intensifies - who else could have interest in such a destructive legislature that only the giants of... show more


What'll be the state of freedom in Brazil under Bolsonaro?

As a result, any interference or damage to computer systems may be framed as “terrorism,” seriously endangering the activities of journalists, security researchers, and hackers.

Two proposed pieces of legislation (PLS 272/2016 and PL 9555/2018) make it a crime to praise or incite such ill-defined terrorism offenses, imposing penalties for up to eight years in prison. One bill increases the penalty if this “incitement” happens over the Internet or through any media outlet. If this legislative agenda is successful, a tweet in favor of hacking, or actions connected to protests or strikes, could lead to long jail sentences. This threatens both free speech and privacy in Brazil.

Communications surveillance carried out by the Brazilian state must comply with human rights principles based on international standards. These require inter alia clear and precise laws, due process, and rulings by an independent judicial authority. These proposed rules could undermine... show more


Vice President Mike Pence calls for putsch on Venezuelan president NIcolas Maduro

"This is no time for dialogue," Pence said at a church in the Doral suburb of Miami, prompting loud cheers among exiles who fled their homeland. "It is time to end the Maduro regime."

"I am here as the face of many mothers who live with the fear that their husbands won't come home. That the father of their kids won't return. That their children live a childhood full of fear and persecution," said Francis Suarez, wife of Ravanguoy, who wore a shirt that said "Make Venezuela Free Again."

#US #USA #Venezuela #Maduro #Guaidó #JuanGuaidó #NicolasMaduro #Autocracy #Authoritarianism #News #Politics #Economy #Economics #Inflation #interestRate #Putsch #Dictatorship #Trump #DonaldTrump #VP #VicePresident #Pence #MikePence


Self-proclaimed president of Venezuela Juan Guaidó calls fo peaceful protests amid political and economical crisis

In a live broadcast on Sunday, Guaido urged all Venezuelans to take the streets in "peaceful protest" at midday (16:30 GMT) on Wednesday to ask for humanitarian aid to be allowed in the country amid an economic and political crisis that has led millions to flee in recent years, according to the United Nations.

Addressing soldiers in an appearance on state TV, Maduro asked whether they were plotting with the "imperialist" United States, which he accused of openly leading a coup against him.

When you're wrong, everyone is a fiend to you and your people, because it's easier than to confess your failure and announce your resignation to recover stability. Megalomania should be an official mental illness.

#Venezuela #SouthAmerica #... show more


Chinese human rights lawyer charged with prison sentence

Wang, who has languished in detention for more than three and half years, was one of hundreds of lawyers and activists rounded up as part of a nationwide crackdown on political and religious dissent in July 2015.

"Wang Quanzhang has been a courageous, devoted human rights defender. China should be proud of him but because the Communist Party is afraid of independent civil society they have tried to silence and break him," he said.

Would you ever be proud of your greatest foe? Of course not. He displays the injustice that is ubiquitious in this country, he displays the terror people are confronted with, descending from the highest ranks, right from the politburo. How would the same be proud of him? He's not a national hero to them, but a problem that needs to be exterminated.

Caster said the past three years of Wang's detention were time he and his family would never get back.

#China #... show more


On Venezuela, Maduro, Guaidó, and the violent conflicts

#Maduro has disastrously mismanaged Venezuela’s potentially wealthy economy, overseeing severe shortages of food and medicine and hyperinflation. His authoritarian rule, enforced by violence, has exacerbated social divisions, undermined democratic institutions and free media, caused millions to flee abroad and alienated neighbouring countries.

Donald Drumpf’s gang of rightwing zealots, crooks and opportunists is not benign. Everywhere they intrude, they make matters worse. For them, altruism is an alien concept.

Potentially most damaging to Guaidó’s cause is his evident, prior collusion not only with rightwing regional governments such as Jair Bolsonaro’s Brazil, which instantly recognised him as president, but also with Drumpf’s White House, which did likewise. Allying with Drumpf at any time is a risky undertaking. To seek his endorsement, and appear to welcome h... show more


Bank of England freezes Maduro's/Venezuela's wealth assets

The move by the Bank of England came after top U.S. officials urged the British government to help cut off Maduro's access to his country's assets, the report said, and instead steer them towards opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has claimed the presidency.

"We stand shoulder to shoulder with the United States in saying that the National Assembly and its President Juan Guaidó are best placed to lead Venezuela to the restoration of its democracy, its economy and its freedom," said UK Minister of State Alan Duncan.

#Venezuela #Maduro #NicolasMaduro #News #Politics #Guaidó #Guaidó">Juan#Guaidó #Wealth #Autocracy #Authoritarianism #Dictatorship #US #USA #UK #Britain #England #GreatBritain