I read this a couple of days ago in the SMH: “Scores of copies of Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl in public libraries across Tokyo have been vandalised, sparking alarm amid a rightward shift in Japan’s politics.”
Now I read “For many Japanese the book forms the basis of their knowledge about the [...]
Yahoo News, By Olivier Knox, February 12
The United States did not live up to the promise of the First Amendment last year, “far from it,” sinking to 46th in global press freedom rankings, a respected international nonprofit group said Wednesday.
The U.S. plummeted 13 slots to 46th overall “amid increased efforts to track down [...]
BBC, February 5
The UN has said that the Vatican should “immediately remove” all clergy who are known or suspected child abusers.
The UN watchdog for children’s rights denounced the Holy See for adopting policies which allowed priests to sexually abuse thousands of children.
In a report, it also criticised Vatican attitudes towards homosexuality, contraception [...]
Politico, By Andrew Restuccia, Updated January 31
The State Department is set to release a final environmental analysis of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline on Friday, according to sources, setting the stage for a months-long endgame in one of the Obama administration’s most intractable environmental controversies.
The department has repeatedly concluded — most recently [...]
BBC, January 31
Canada’s electronic spy agency collected data from travellers passing through a major airport, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reports.
The CSEC collected information captured from unsuspecting passengers’ wireless devices by the airport’s free wi-fi system over two-weeks, the report says.
The revelations come from documents leaked by Edward Snowden, CBC says.
Reuters, By Parisa Hafezi
ANKARA, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan visited Iran on Wednesday to bolster trade and energy ties, state TV said, in what also looked like a bid to defuse tensions over Syria by capitalizing on Tehran’s diplomatic opening to regional rivals and the West.
Iran has been a strong strategic ally of [...]
Reuters, By David Ljunggren, January 16
Ottawa – Canada bluntly told the United States on Thursday to settle the fate of TransCanada Corp’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline, saying the drawn-out process on whether to approve the northern leg of the project was taking too long.
The hard-line comments by Foreign Minister John Baird were the [...]
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving. It doesn’t matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vow A thousand times Come, yet again, come, come.
— Jalal ad-Din Mohammed Balkhi (Rumi) (I’m dedicating this to SP:-))
National Geographic – Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist [...]
The Daily Beast, By Jamie Dettmer, January 2
The administration has informed aid groups that it plans to decrease the budget for pro-democracy assistance in Arab Spring countries.
A planned decrease by the Obama administration in funding for democracy promotion and election support in the Middle East is prompting alarm among activists. They say cuts [...]
NYT – After a decade of legal battles, the three major credit card companies are backing away from longstanding policies that prevented merchants from charging customers extra for paying with plastic. Developments in two cases in the last week have the potential to change pricing practices everywhere from big box retailers to corner coffee shops [...]
NYT- Amazon employees in Germany have been battling the retailer with a series of wildcat strikes, most recently at the end of November. These protests, involving hundreds of Amazon workers at two fulfillment centers, have been the first strikes against the e-commerce leader anywhere in the world.
On Monday the strikers are hoping to increase [...]
Some of the more troubling parts of this Alt-Market piece excerpted here:
Globe and Mail (via AP), By Eric Talmadge and Foster Klug
North Korea said Friday that it had executed Kim Jong-un’s uncle as a traitor for trying to seize supreme power, a stunning end for the leader’s former mentor, long considered the country’s No. 2 official.
In a sharp reversal of the long-held popular image [...]
The Guardian, By Matthew Taylor and Nick Hopkins, December 9
• 500 signatories include five Nobel prize winners • Writers demand ‘digital bill of rights’ to curb abuses
More than 500 of the world’s leading authors, including five Nobel prize winners, have condemned the scale of state surveillance revealed by the whistleblower Edward Snowden and [...]