Friday, August 28 2015

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The noose tightens on freedom of speech in Jordan

Samira Shackle

When Jordan broadened its anti-terror law last year, critics warned that it could be used to silence opposition. The law expanded the definition of "terrorism" to include any act meant to create sedition, harm property, injure international relations, or to use the internet or media outlets to promote terrorist thinking. The amendment also increased the penalties, which now range from 10 years in prison to the death penalty. The Jordanian government said that these amendments were necessary to protect the country given the increased threat from Daesh in neighbouring Syria. Opponents warned at the time that it could lead to a far wider crackdown on opposition groups and restrictions on media freedom.


Ensuring the precedence of symbolism over Palestinian rights

Ramona Wadi

Instead of focusing upon international organisations as a platform through which the Palestinian struggle can be articulated and disseminated, the Palestinian Authority has once again prioritised symbolism over rights. The latest initiative consisted of a draft resolution to be presented at the UN General Assembly meeting on 25 September, asking that the flags of both Palestine and the Vatican “be raised at the United Nations Headquarters and Offices following the flags of the member states of the United Nations.” Pope Francis is expected to address the UN General Assembly on that day.


Lebanese protest about government laxity on waste crisis

(Source: Eye on the East)Tens of thousands of protesters have joined the "You Stink" campaign to push the Lebanese government to take action to solve a towering waste management problem. The grievances are deep, though, and go way beyond the bin-filled streets of Beirut.


Meet Israel’s new chief of police

Ben White

Israel’s Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan yesterday unveiled former Israeli army Brigadier General Gal Hirsch as the country’s new chief of police.


Lethal autonomy and the fate of mankind

Zaakir Ahmed Mayet

In 1984, the movie “Terminator” drew the minds of cinemagoers into a science fiction world in which robots have taken over and started to hunt human beings. It was the epic battle between man and machine, each striving for survival. The franchise released a new movie in 2015, although the context is somewhat different.


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