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Category Archives: Government Oppression
Posted: July 14, 2017 at 5:41 am
A top Iranian military commander is the latest official to speak out against U.S. chatter of pursuing a policy of regime changeagainstthe government in Tehran, something Washington has successfully done once before.
Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri, deputy chief of staff for the Iranian military, attacked remarks made recently by high-ranking U.S. officials such as Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suggesting they may seek to topple the Iranian government, which they accuseof sponsoring terrorism and political oppression.The military leader'swords echoed long-held suspicions by Iran that the U.S. is plotting to forcefully oust the nation's political and religious leaders in favor of ones more sympathetic to the West, as it did by sponsoring a coup in 1953. More than half a century later, Jazayeri said Iran was unphased by such comments from the administration of President Donald Trump, but vowed to respond with action.
Related:U.S. has no proof ISIS leader Baghdadi is alive, Russia thinks it killed him and Iran is sure he's dead
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"The ridiculous dreams of the Americans about the overthrow of the Islamic Republic of Iran is nothing more than disturbeddelusionsand we are not worried that they have preoccupied themselves in such a way," Jazayeri said, according to Press TV, an English-language affiliate of the semi-official Islamic Republic Broadcasting Agency.
"We will respondto the nonsensical talksof the American authorities in the theaters of action," he added.
A man holds burning flags during the annual pro-Palestinian rally marking Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day, in Tehran, Iran, June 23, 2017. Since deposing a U.S.-backed ruler in 1979, Iran's leadership has been deeply suspicious that Washington will once again try to overthrow its government in order to install leaders more friendly to Western interests. Nazanin Tabatabaee Yazdi/TIMA via REUTERS
Prior to 1953, Iran's government was headed by a democratically elected prime minister named Mohammad Mosaddegh whose popularity ultimately allowed him to supersede the authority of the country's monarch,Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, known as the Shah. Mosaddegh nationalized Iran's oil industry in 1951, infuriating the U.K., which heavily invested in Iranian oil. The U.K. ultimately appealed to the CIA to sponsor a coup d'etat againstMosaddegh, which U.S. intelligence did in 1953, arresting Mosaddegh and replacing him with Iranian General Fazlollah Zahedi. The Shah regained his former authority and implemented an authoritarianrule backed by the West for over 25 years until he himself was deposed in the Islamic Revolution of 1979 that saw Shiite Muslim cleric Ayatollah Khomeinitake power and pursue anti-West policies that persist to this day.
The U.S. only publicly admitted its role in the 1953 coup in 2013, and last month the CIA released a trove of previously top-secret documents publicly revealing new details of the affair, known as Operation AJAX. Relations between the U.S. and Iran somewhatwarmed during the administration of President Barack Obama, who signed a deal that lifted U.S. sanctions on Iran in exchange for Tehran limiting its nuclear program. Trump, however, has taken a more hardline stance toward the majority-Shiite Muslim power and some of his most senior officials have suggested that a second regime change may be in order.
"Until the Iranian people can get rid of this theocracy, these guys who think they can tell the people even which candidates they get a choice of. Its going to be very, very difficult," Mattis said Monday in an interview he granted to a high school journalism student, according to the Middle East Institute. Mattis went on to target the Iranian government, linking it to groups abroad considered by the U.S. to be terrorist organizations, such as Lebanon's Hezbollah and Yemen's Ansar Allah, commonly referred to as the Houthi movement.
Comments by Mattis, who has long advocated for tougher U.S. action against Iran, followed Tillerson's response to the House Foreign Affairs Committee last month in which the statesman explained U.S. policy toward Iran as being "to push back on [its regional] hegemony, contain their ability to develop, obviously, nuclear weapons and to work towards support of those elements inside of Iran that would lead to a peaceful transition of that government."
Persian soldiers chase rioters during civil unrest in Tehran, August 1953. CIA-sponsored Operation Ajax saw the overthrow of democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh, who angered the U.S. and U.K. by nationalizing the country's oil industry. Nearly 300 were killed in the unrest that ultimately saw West-backed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi regain absolute authority. AFP/Getty Images
Jazayeri is not the first Iranian official to respond to the Trump administration's comments. Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General HosseinDehghan told reporters Wednesday that, before the U.S. goes after Iran's internal political affairs, it should address its own scandals and potential shortcomings.
"Whenever the Americans have intended to make any type action against us or hire proxies to this end, our nation has proved that it makes them regret their deeds," Dehghan said, according to Iran's semi-official Fars News Agency.
"The U.S. secretary of defense and the ruling system had better think of resolving their internal issues and study the root causes that will most possibly cause the current U.S. administration to collapse in a not so far future and will make the country's political system face a lot of serious challenges," he added.
Posted: at 5:41 am
NEW YORK/BEIJING: The death of Nobel Peace Prize laureate and democracy icon Liu Xiaobo demonstrates the Chinese government's "arrogance, cruelty and callousness", a global rights group said today while others vowed to continue the struggle for human rights in the Communist nation.
Liu, 61, died of liver cancer today at a hospital in Shenyang in northeastern China. He was granted medical parole in June after receiving his diagnosis in prison, but Beijing would not let him seek treatment abroad despite Liu's wishes and international pressure.
Responding to Liu's death, Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International commented that he was a man of fierce intellect, principle, wit and above all humanity.
"Today we grieve the loss of a giant of human rights," Shetty said.
Despite enduring years of "persecution, suppression and imprisonment," Liu continued to fight for his convictions, he said.
"Although he has passed, everything he stood for still endures. The greatest tribute we can now pay him is to continue the struggle for human rights in China and recognize the powerful legacy he leaves behind," Shetty said.
Thanks to Liu, millions of people in China and across the world have been "inspired" to stand up for freedom and justice in the face of "oppression", he said.
The death of Liu lays bare the Chinese government's ruthlessness toward peaceful proponents of human rights and democracy, Human Rights Watch said.
The last time a Nobel Peace laureate died in state custody was in 1938, when pacifist Carl von Ossietzky died of tuberculosis under guard in a hospital in Nazi Germany, it noted.
"Even as Liu Xiaobo's illness worsened, the Chinese government continued to isolate him and his family, and denied him freely choosing his medical treatment," said Sophie Richardson, China director of HRW.
"The Chinese government's arrogance, cruelty, and callousness are shocking - but Liu's struggle for a rights- respecting, democratic China will live on," she said in a statement.
In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang rejected all appeals to the Chinese government to allow the dissident to go overseas for medical treatment.
He said that the Chinese governemnt is guided by its own laws and other countries should not interfere in the China's internal affairs in the name of human rights.
Even after it was announced that Liu suffered from liver cancer, close friends and relatives were barred from visiting Liu during his treatment.
He and his family were kept in isolation, watched around the clock by state security agents, Hong Kong's South China Morning Post reported.
Liu's wife, Liu Xia, who herself was under house detention as well as friends and members of the international community appealed repeatedly and unsuccessfully to the Chinese government to allow the dissident to go overseas for medical treatment.
Liu had been transferred from prison last month, where he was serving an 11-year term for "subversion".
Many of his friends and supporters said at the time of his release that they feared the dissident was close to death -- made a martyr by the Communist authorities.
"Whether it was gross negligence or political murder, they have committed an unprecedented crime as no other government of the world has ever seen a Nobel Peace Prize laureate die in its custody," said Hu Jia, a leading Chinese human rights activist, when Liu first left jail.
A university professor turned rights campaigner, Liu was branded a criminal by the authorities. He had played a major role in the Tiananmen protests of June 1989 which ended in bloodshed when they were quashed by the People's Liberation Army soldiers.
In October 2010, while serving his sentence at Jinzhou Prison, near Shenyang, Liu was named the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for "his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China."
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Savior or Dictator? Government Critics Challenge Rwanda’s One-Party State and President Ahead of Election – Newsweek
Posted: at 5:41 am
Sitting outside his grocery shop in the Nyabugogo slum in Kigali, Rwanda, in June, Francis Nduwimana described his longing for a change in leadership in the presidential election on August 4. We are tired of Kagame, but we cannot express our views openly, said Nduwimana, an ethnic Hutu, in his vernacular language of Kinyarwanda. If you criticize him, you will be accused by the government agencies of dividing the country, and you will either be imprisoned or killed.
As Rwandan President Paul Kagame an ethnic Tutsi who has been in power since 2000 runs for another seven-year term, many Rwandans, particularly ethnic Hutus, share Nduwimanas fear. They see a government that is crushing dissent ahead of the election. And they worry that their country is turning into a one-party state: Following a 2015 referendum to extend term limits, Kagame can now legally remain in power until 2034.
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Seventeen years is a long time for one leader to run a country, but not everyone in Rwanda is ready for change. Many would like to see Kagame in power as long as possible.
During a recent campaign stop, business almost came to a standstill in Kigali after thousands of Kagames supporters turned up, waving placards and wearing T-shirts emblazoned with his face. Party supporters cheered and danced to the tune of the newly released songs by the local artists praising Kagame for his achievements during his term in office.
Kagame is our savior, and we love him so much. He is a man who has sacrificed himself for his nation and his people, said Charles Bakanibona, an ethnic Tutsi, during the rally. I need him to rule this country forever, because he is a man of peace.
Barely a generation after the 100 days of violence during which extremist Hutus murdered more than 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus often by hacking them to death with machetes political opposition in Rwanda still breaks down largely along ethnic lines. Many Rwandans, particularly Tutsis, are grateful for the vital role they believe Kagame played in ending the massacre in 1994, when he led the Tutsi troops of the Rwandan Patriotic Front, which defeated the Hutu government responsible for the killing.
Others, regardless of their ethnicity, think Kagames success in transforming Rwandas society and economy is reason enough to support him. Since taking power, he has introduced free basic education, brought high-speed internet to 95 percent of the population, slashed maternal and child mortality by more than 50 percent, boosted trade, reduced poverty and fought corruption earning Rwanda the rank of third least corrupt African nation in the latest ranking by Transparency International. Though Rwanda still has challenges per capita annual income is only $700, and between 30 and 40 percent of the national budget is foreign aid the country is making progress: The projected growth rate for 2017 is an impressive 7 percent.
For some Rwandans, that stability is worth the lack of freedom that comes with one-party rule. For others, like Nduwimana, the good that has come with Kagames tenure is not worth the oppression they feel. Human Rights Watch has accused Kagames government of cracking down on dissent before the vote in August, documenting a series of arrests and detentions of individuals with suspected links to government opponents. Rwandan authorities have forcibly disappeared opposition leaders and activists by denying that they are keeping them in custody or refusing to disclose their whereabouts there is still no news, for example, about activist Illumine Iragena who went missing last year. Human Rights Watch has also accused the government-appointed media council of shutting down independent newspapers and radio stations for publishing and broadcasting critical views.
Read more:France and Rwanda head for showdown over genocide investigation
And despite Rwandas efforts to keep ethnic division out of politics it is illegal to ask a citizen his or her ethnicity, and the constitution prohibits forming political parties based on tribal affiliation critics say Kagame has exploited the countrys painful history, under the guise of genocide prevention, as a strategy to limit competitive politics in the country.
Unsurprisingly, voters ethnicity seems to play a huge role in how they see this tactic. I dont like Kagame because he is a tribalist. He has really sidelined Hutus, and when you talk about it you are accused of creating ethnic divisions or propagating genocide ideology, Allan Muhoza, a 40year-old restaurant owner in Kigali and ethnic Hutu, tells Newsweek. We only vote for Kagame because of fear. They tell us during campaigns that when we do not vote for Kagame, then we will have another genocide. So we fear a lot because we experienced what happened in 1994. Most people who cannot vote Kagame dont turn out to vote, due to fear of being identified at polling stations.
Ethnic Tutsis see it differently. We cannot do guesswork with the leadership of this country. We have tried Kagame and proved that he can work for this nation, says Etienne Uwineza, a 42-year-old teacher in Kigali who lost her husband and two children in the 1994 massacre because they were Tutsis. She fled to Uganda with her three remaining children but returned after Kagame ascended to power. For Uwineza, the idea of an untested leader is scary. We dont want to elect another new person who can create genocide again by dividing us.
Observers say Kagame is likely headed toward re-election. I think you would not lose any money if you bet on Mr. Paul Kagame, said Michael Ryan, European Union ambassador and head of the EU delegation to Rwanda, during a press conference in Kigali. We have a leader who has evidence of his work in front of everybody. And you have candidates who have to prove [themselves].
Nine out of the 11 registered political parties have said they would back Kagame instead of fielding their own candidates. The two most prominent opponents are Frank Habineza, leader of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, launched in 2009, which advocates for a democratic Rwanda, and Diane Rwigara, an independent also running on a platform of democratic reforms.
That may be because others are afraid. Kagame and his ruling party has remained ruthless to political opponents over the years, curtailing their freedom, with consistent reports of killings, disappearance and imprisonment, says Peter Wafula Wekesa, a political scientist at Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya.
Rwigar, 35, a Tutsi women's rights activist, businesswoman and daughter of deceased Kigali tycoon Assinapol Rwigara, agrees. Everybody is scared to express themselves because they are too scared of the ruling party, she said at a press conference in May. Even so, she has been brave enough to publicly criticize Kagames party. The fact shes still running shows there may yet be hope for Rwandas democracy.
Posted: at 5:41 am
Middle East Eye
UK banks 'complicit' in Palestinian oppression, rights group claims
Middle East Eye
"The deadly trade of arms is facilitated not only by the UK government," it claims. "UK banks and financial institutions participate in Israel's militarised repression by holding shares in companies that sell military technology and weapons to Israel ...
Gaza Ten Years Later - UNSCO
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Posted: at 5:41 am
People listen to Turkeys main opposition Republican Peoples Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu delivering a speech during a rally in Istanbuls Maltepe district. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Hundreds of thousands of Turks took to the streets of Istanbul on Sunday in the largest opposition rally in years, in a serious rebuke to the governments large-scale crackdown on opponents since last years attempted coup.
The rally in the Maltepe parade ground was the final stop in a 280-mile (450km) march from the capital, Ankara, led by Kemal Kldarolu, leader of the Republican Peoples party the main opposition party and appeared to draw citizens from across the political spectrum to protest against what they see as widespread injustice and oppression by the government of Recep Tayyip Erdoan.
We demand justice, Kldarolu said in a speech minutes after reaching the end of his march. We demand justice not only for those who gathered here, not only those who support us, but for everyone.
Justice is the foundation of the state, he added. In present-day Turkey the foundation of the state is at risk.
The rally is by far the biggest by the opposition seen in Istanbul since the mass May-June 2013 demonstrations against Erdoans rule, sparked by the planned redevelopment of Gezi Park in the city. Istanbul governor Vasip ahin said 15,000 police officers were providing security at the post-march rally on Sunday.
The justice march drew widespread support for its calls for an end to arbitrary arrests and dismissals in the aftermath of the coup. Tens of thousands of people have been detained or fired from jobs in the civil service, academia and media over alleged connections to Fethullah Glen, an exiled preacher whose movement is widely believed to have orchestrated last years putsch.
But the crackdown has gone beyond the alleged perpetrators to target dissidents of all stripes including senior opposition lawmakers. Rights activists have also been arrested, including two top officials at Amnesty International, and Ankara has become the worlds largest jailer of journalists.
Nearly a quarter of the Turkish judiciary has been dismissed or detained in what legal experts say is a systematic effort to reshape the countrys justice system. The presidents victory in a recent referendum that vastly expanded his power will allow him and a parliament controlled by his party to appoint most of the countrys top judges.
I came from Urfa for justice, said one attendee at the rally. For all the oppressed, for workers, for my village, for my neighbourhood.
Kldarolu used his speech to unveil what his aides described as a justice manifesto that called for an end to the state of emergency that has been in place since July 2016, protecting the independence of the judiciary, reinstating dissidents who have been unfairly fired from their jobs, and ending the practice of imprisoning journalists.
We will bring down the wall of fear, he said. This last day of our walk for justice is a new beginning, a new first step.
The rally comes less than a week before the anniversary of the coup attempt, in which 249 people died and 1,400 were wounded, and which was defeated after widespread popular resistance.
The government has planned a series of week-long events including a late-night address by the president to the Grand National Assembly to mark the moment when the parliament was bombed by the coup plotters.
Ordinary citizens, sacked public employees and high-profile figures have joined Kldarolu on his march. Novelist Asl Erdoan and leading Kurdish politician Ahmet Trk, both released from jail pending trial on various terror-related charges, as well as Yonca ik, the wife of a prominent journalist currently in prison, were just a few.
The march has drawn the ire of government officials and proxies, who have accused the protesters of supporting terrorism and the coup plotters. The atmosphere at the rally was celebratory and diverse, including leftists, secularists and even religious conservatives.
This is not about religion for us, but about justice for all of us and for our grandchildren, for progress, for journalists, for our headscarves, said Bediha, a veiled woman in her 60s who only gave her first name. There is cruelty in this country and God willing, with this march, it will end.
Agence France-Presse and Associated Press contributed to this report
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Kwara Youths Threaten To Recall Saraki, Accuse Him Of Pursuing Personal Interest – SaharaReporters.com
Posted: July 9, 2017 at 12:42 pm
A youth organization in Kwara State, Kwara Youths Stakeholders Forum (KYSF), has threatened to initiate a process to recall Mr. Bukola Saraki, the Senate President. The group made the threat in a statement jointly signed by its leaders, including Mr. Charles Olufemi Folayan, President; Ahmed Alanamu, Deputy President; and Abolarin Olusola, Secretary.
The organization said the long-running face-off between the Senate and the Executive arm of government is hindering the operations of the government and affecting the masses. It blamed the situation on Mr. Saraki's lust for power.
"We are cognizant of the separation of powers in a democratic government, but it is shocking to see the Legislative and Executive arms of Government formed by the same political party playing opposition between themselves in the name of separation of powers," said KYSF.
The group noted with regret that the Senate recently suspended confirmation of nominees sent to it by the Executive. KYSF said it is particularly disappointed by the conduct of the Senate President, an indigene of Kwara State, for refusing to work with the Executive to deliver the dividends of democracy to Nigerians.
It accused the Senate under Mr. Saraki of elevating personal interests above public interest.
"Sadly, bills of public interest such as Local Government Autonomy Bill and other bills that will make direct impact on the people have not yet received adequate attention from the Senate.
"We are disappointed that despite the economic recession, which demands urgent attention, the Senate leadership has been paying more attention to swarming court rooms for Code of Conduct Tribunal trial, Customs boss' uniform and debates on the recalling of an individual senator," stated KYSF.
Rather than antagonize, KYSF said the Senate should support Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, who is standing in for President Muhammadu Buhari, to lead the country out of its current economic hardship and keep the it united.
KYSF maintained that Kwara State has not felt the impact of producing the Senate President. Rather, it said, the people of the state are constantly embarrassed by Mr. Saraki's obscene display of affluence through multi-billion naira convoys before unemployed youths in the state and oppression of civil servants, whose salaries have not been paid for months.
KYSF said it has resolved that if having a Senate President from Kwara State is of no value to the youths in the state and Nigerians in general, it will have no option other than initiate the process to recall Mr. Saraki from the Senate, where he represents Kwara Central Senatorial District.
"We hereby advise him to realize that he is there to serve the good people of Nigeria, adjust his ways and prioritize the interest of Nigerians above ego and personal political ambition," said KYSF.
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Posted: July 8, 2017 at 9:40 pm
NASA presidential flagbearer Raila Odinga has pledged to continue of the fight of liberating Kenya from the jaws of oppression if he clinched the presidency next month.
Speaking during a campaign rally at Kamukunji in Nairobi, Raila said that his team is will unite all Kenyans and address the plights of the citizens.
He accused President Uhuru Kenyattas administration of failing to fulfi ll the dreams of the countrys forefathers by neglecting former free- dom fi ghters who fought for Kenyas independence.
Just like at Saba Saba, Kenyans have finally united and recognised that all communities are in the same precarious boat. Belonging to the presidents or deputy presidents communities has not brought you any security against destitution, said Raila.
He continued And so God will- ing, Nane Nane next month will also enter the national vocabulary as the beginning of a new era which united the entire nation and led us to a gen- uinely shared prosperity through our vast NASA coalition.
Raila who was accompanied by his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka and NASA co-principals Musalia Muda- vadi and Moses Wetangula expressed optimism that they will dislodge the Jubilee government from power during the August 8, General Elections.
He accused President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto of entrenching dictatorship and detribalis- ing the countrys economy by failing to curb corruption.
Jubilees disastrous reign will surely end next month. It is so utterly out of touch with the suffering of ordinary Kenyans that its manifesto last week offered a continuation of its policies, which have brought most of us to ruin, he said.
He said that many Kenyans have died along the journey of achieving democracy.
Many of us were arrested and others killed.
That is why we want to implement the dreams of our forefathers when we acquire power, he said. Kalonzo said that once it wins the next polls, NASA will form a just government that will deliver services to all Kenyans.
The third and the last liberation of this country has come. We have put in place clear policies to enable us run the next government smoothly, said Kalonzo.
At the same time, Raila appointed Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama, Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero and his deputy Jonathan Mueke as heads of Nairobi county NASAs campaign secretariat.
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A dress code in one room of the Capitol is like government-mandated, systematic rape, liberal magazines tell us – Washington Examiner
Posted: at 9:40 pm
Reflecting on the battle between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton last fall, Bill Maher postulated that the Left's penchant for hyperbole desensitized voters to serious threats.
Here's what Maher said in November:
I know liberals made a big mistake because we attacked [George W. Bush] like he was the end of the world. And he wasn't. And Mitt Romney we attacked that way. I gave Obama a million dollars because I was so afraid of Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney wouldn't have changed my life that much or yours. Or John McCain. They were honorable men who we disagreed with and we should have kept it that way.
"So we cried wolf and that was wrong," Maher concluded. "But this is real."
When everything is an apocalyptic threat, nothing is.
More than its other branches, the feminist Left is especially inclined to traffic in hyperbole. Lately, that's taken the form of drawing breathless comparisons between modern America and Gilead, the fictional setting of "The Handmaid's Tale," a novel and television series.
Liz Wolfe described the world of The Handmaid's Tale in the Washington Examiner last month:
...in it, the theocratic Republic of Gilead has conquered the United States in the wake of a fertility epidemic. In Gilead, a group of red-robed women called handmaids must serve as human incubators for the upper class of politicians, via rape, centered around their monthly fertility cycle. Women cannot read, are unable to vote, and are not supposed to own property. Dissenters are hanged.
Yet, after news circulated that female reporters are not allowed to wear sleeveless dresses in the Speaker's Lobby of the Capitol Building, serious people and publications suggested the policy was reminiscent of Gilead. "What's next?" Vogue asked. "A white bonnet and red robe uniform la The Handmaid's Tale?"
"In the time of Trump, wavering rules on women's business appropriate outfit feels too much like The Handmaid's Tale come to life," an Esquire article declared. NBC's Ronan Farrow juxtaposed the CBS article with a direct passage from the novel. A Newsweek headline asked, "Handmaids' in the House?" And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
All this, because female Hill reporters are, and have been for years, subject to a moderate dress code in a small area of the Capitol building. (By the way, men are required to wear jackets and ties upon entry as well.)
In recent months, feminists have staged Handmaid's Tale-inspired demonstrations to protest healthcare legislation as well.
They need to be careful.
From Kamala Harris being "interrupted," to Wonder Woman making less money than Superman, to John McEnroe saying Serena Williams couldn't compete at the same level against men, feminists consistently discuss instances of perceived sexism, most of which are exaggerated at best and many of which only impact women of privilege, as though they are evidence that women face insurmountable obstacles to meaningful sexual equality.
Everything is treated like a crisis.
Any time a story of actual oppression or discrimination against women arises, nobody will believe it because feminists already told us we were already in Gilead, where things couldn't get worse.
Emily Jashinsky is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.
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Posted: at 9:40 pm
Radical Islamist platform Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh condemned and expressed grave concerns over the cow vigilantism in India.
The Qawmi madrasa-based organisation claimed the cow vigilantes were actively colluding with the state.
The Islamist platform also urged the international community to play a more effective role in protecting the Muslim community in India.
Junayed Babunagari, secretary general of Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh also urged the government of Bangladesh to convey its concerns to India to cease the ongoing repression on the Muslim people.
The accusations and concerns were delivered via a press release on Thursday.
The Hefazat leader referred to one of BJPs election slogans Vote for Modi, give life to the cow, while highlighting the fact that India is among the two largest beef-exporting countries in the world, the other being Brazil.
India meets 25% of the global beef demand and earns $4bn from it. Regrettably, the Indian government is trying to control the peoples diet, complained Babunagari.
Muslims are sadly becoming victims of cow vigilantism in India. Indian politicians believing in Hindutva are inciting violence against Muslims, Babunagari lamented.
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Posted: at 9:40 pm
Having recently returned from a trip to Cuba, I can attest that President Donald Trumps reversal of portions of the reforms that President Barack Obama put into place restoring relations with Cuba is disingenuous, a disservice to Americans and harmful to the people of Cuba.
Trump said:We will not be silent in the face of communist oppression any longer. Yet the United States does business with China, an authoritarian country that treats its workers unfairly, including those who make Trump-branded products.
Cuba is one of the only countries that the U.S. government prohibits its citizens from freely visiting. Why?
Heres what I learned on my trip that shows how Trumps change in policy will impact Americans and Cubans.
I met a businessman from a medical research company who has been traveling to Cuba to negotiate a deal with the government for a cancer vaccine. Trumps act restricting business with the government could keep Americans from getting access to the vaccine, which might save their lives.
Trump is also restricting Americans freedom to visit Cuba and learn what Cubans actually need to improve their lives. I learned that they are hard-working fueled by an entrepreneurial spirit that has come about as the result of their government now allowing them to own and operate their own businesses. Those businesses, which are mainly travel-related, rely on tourism to grow.
A man named Robert owns and manages his own taxi and tour service, which transports visitors to tobacco farms. The farmers share their experiences with the tourists and have an opportunity to sell their products to supplement the mere $30 a month they get from the government. Robert had hoped to partner with an American online travel company to grow his business and support his fellow Cubans.
Pacheco, who has a masters degree and is earning his Ph.D., is employed by the government as a school teacher and supplements his government earnings by driving a private taxi in the evenings and on weekends. Limiting the number of Americans allowed to visit Cuba will directly impact the growth and income potential of Pacheco and Roberts businesses.
Then theres the story of the owners of Paladar Los Mercadres. Paladares are restaurants that Cubans are allowed to own and operate out of their homes. The owner of Los Mercadres is an engineer who left his low-paying government job and opened a restaurant in his home. The restaurant was superior to any of the government-run restaurants in which we dined. It also manages to pay local farmers a fairer price for their produce than they get from the government.
The new travel restrictions will certainly impact Los Mercadres and other paladares, hurting these business-savvy entrepreneurs and the farmers they support.
These are but a few stories of actual Cubans and their quest for a better life despite living in a communist-run country. All of those I met are proud people who are not looking for the U.S. government to solve their problems. They are trying to do it themselves.
If President Trump truly wants to raise Americas voice to end the oppression of the Cuban people, he should not preclude the progress of an entire country and limit the freedoms of Americans. Instead, he should seek ways to support the valiant efforts of the Cuban people and the entrepreneurial endeavors that will, in time, force the government to give power to its citizens, as they are the ones paving the way to Cubas independence and prosperity.
Patti Melaragno, of Bristol, is a communications consultant.
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