Charlottesville, Virginia

Far-right extremists, white nationalists and counter-protesters clashed in Charlottesville, Virginia yesterday.  It all ultimately culminated  in a car running down 19 people in a crowd and killing at least one person. This has been referred to as an “act of domestic terrorism” by democrats however Trump has received a lot of criticism regarding his comments on Twitter on this terrible event, failing to explicitly condemn these actions and as another democrat put it: call it out for what it is!

Many may be appalled and confused by the presidents vague responds and comments regarding this terrible act, but also vagueness in certain matters is a very precise and specific standpoint in itself.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/12/charlottesville-protest-trump-condemns-violence-many-sides
http://www.dn.se/nyheter/varlden/guvernoren-ni-har-ingen-plats-i-amerika/

A society in crisis

People, mostly the young, students, are protesting on a daily basis in Venezuela. Anti-government demonstrations that started peacefully have become increasingly violent as protesters are met by the military and police forces equipped with water canons, tear gas and fire guns. And what are the young protesters demonstrating for? Food, medicine, a safe society and fresh elections.

Basic human rights in essence.

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And it is an unequal fight for sure, but that does not stop the people from standing up for their rights.

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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/24/venezuela-protests-roads-blocked-nicolas-maduro

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/25/venezuela-protests-riots-frontline-caracas-nicolas-maduro#img-4

Democracy of pro-globalisation

Political newcomer Emmanuel Macron will be France’s next president, pollsters projected Sunday night, delivering a victory to a pro-European former investment banker and strengthening France’s place as a central pillar of the European Union. Macron politics advocate more openness, pro-trade, pro-competition, pro-immigration and pro-EU, embracing cultural change and technological disruption.

 

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French Presidential elections – 2017

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The world is watching to see if France becomes the next major country to challenge liberal values and the political establishment.

Politicians from the Socialist and Les Républicains parties – the mainstream centre-left and centre-right groups that have dominated French politics for decades, but found themselves shut out by voters – united on Monday to urge the country to back Emmanuel Macron and reject Marine Le Pen’s populist, anti-EU and anti-immigration nationalism.

The outgoing president, François Hollande, said he would vote for Macron, his former economy minister, because Le Pen represented “both the danger of the isolation of France and of rupture with the EU”. A far-right president would “deeply divide France”, he said. “Faced with such a risk, it is not possible to … take refuge in indifference.”

Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39130072

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/24/macron-and-le-pen-to-face-off-for-french-presidency

 

New constitution that significantly increases the powers of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

 

 

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The controversial referendum in Turkey on Sunday, did not meet international standards, reported by a group of election observers who have acted on behalf of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, OSCE, and the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, PACE.

– Unequal conditions prevailed during the referendum campaign and the two parties did not have equal opportunities, says Cezar Florin Preda at the OSCE.

With 51.3 percent of the vote, the “Yes” vote campaign has won Turkey’s historic April 16 referendum on a new political system giving enormous centralized power to the president of Turkey. The campaign took place in a climate of unprecedented political repression. The president and government controlled the media,  dominated the public sphere, and ensured that critical journalists and leaders of the pro.Kurdish parliamentary opposition were jailed. The main opposition parties are contesting the results of the referendum on the grounds that Turkey’s Higher Election Board issued a controversial ruling on referendum day to accept ballot papers not bearing official stamps.

In his first victory speech to his supporters on Sunday night President Erdogan referred to plans to reintroduce the death penalty, a repeated theme throughout the referendum campaign. Its reintroduction would be another disastrous step away from human rights norms for Turkey, according to humans rights watch.

Source:https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/04/17/turkey-yes-vote-gives-enormous-power-president

Iranian presidential election 2017

 

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The current President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani.

Presidential elections are scheduled to be held in Iran on 19 May 2017. It will be the twelfth presidential election in Iran.

The President of Iran is the country’s highest directly elected official, the chief of the executive branch  and the second most important position after the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei. The armed forces, chief judiciary system, the state television as well as other key governmental organizations are under the control of Khamenei. The current long-time Supreme Leader,  has been ruling for nearly three decades, making key decisions on economy, environment, foreign policy, national planning such as population growth and much more. Khamenei also makes the final decisions on the amount of transparency in elections in Iran and has fired and reinstated Presidential cabinet appointments.

Any Iranian citizen born in Iran, believing in God and the official religion of Iran (Islam), who has always been loyal to the Constitution and is above 21 years of age may register as a presidential candidate. An institution called the Election Monitoring Agency (EMA) and managed by the Guardian Council vets register candidates (in the 2009 election 36,000 people signed up as candidates) and selects a handful to run in the election. The Guardian Council does not announce publicly the reason for rejections of particular candidates although those reasons are explained to each candidate. Females who register as candidates have been excluded from standing for election by the Council.

The outcome of this election will have a great influence on the world politics to come in the future.

Source:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iranian_presidential_election,_2017

Internet censorship

Internet censorship is the control or suppression of what can be accessed, published, or viewed on the Internet. The extent of Internet censorship varies on a country-to-country basis. While most democratic countries have moderate Internet censorship, other countries go as far as to limit the access of information such as news and suppress discussion among citizens. In countries such as North Korea, all websites are under government control. In Burma authorities filter e-mails and block access to sites of groups that expose human rights violations or disagree with the government. In Iran bloggers must register at the Ministry of Art and Culture. Those that express opposition to the mullahs who run the country are harassed and jailed.

China has the most rigid censorship program in the world. The government filters searches, block sites and erases “inconvenient” content, rerouting search terms to items favorable to the Communist Party.
Since 2013, Chinese officials have adapted a cybersecurity law to jail a wide range of people for online speech, including artists, essayists and liberal lawyers

Source:https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/02/05/top-ten-internet-censors/5222385/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/chinas-scary-lesson-to-the-world-censoring-the-internet-works/2016/05/23/413afe78-fff3-11e5-8bb1-f124a43f84dc_story.html?utm_term=.c2ae4318120e

 

Demonstration against corruption

Thousands of people crowded into Moscow’s Pushkin Square on Sunday for an unsanctioned protest against the Russian government, the biggest gathering in a wave of nationwide protests that were the most extensive show of defiance in years. State news agency Tass cited Moscow police as saying about 500 people were arrested.

Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption campaigner who is leading the opposition to President Vladimir Putin, was arrested while walking from a nearby subway station to the demonstration at Moscow’s iconic Pushkin Square.

Navalny and his Foundation for Fighting Corruption had called for the protests, which attracted hundreds or thousands in most sizeable Russian cities, from the Far East port of Vladivostok to the European heartland including St. Petersburg.

The protests were the largest coordinated outpourings of dissatisfaction in Russia since the massive 2011-12 demonstrations that followed a fraud-tainted parliamentary election.

 

Source:http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/corruption-protests-held-russia-arrests-reported-46381149

Democracy vs populism..

The ductch election on Wednesday was an important one in the stand against populism in Europe after last’s year British vote to leave the European Union and the election of US President Donald Trump.

With centre-right Prime Minister Mark Rutte on course for a victory over anti-Islam and anti-EU Geert Wilders early on Thursday, there was relief from other EU governments facing a wave of nationalism. With 95 percent of votes counted, Mr Rutte’s VVD Party won 33 of parliament’s 150 seats, down from 41 at the last vote in 2012.

“It is an evening in which the Netherlands, after Brexit, after the American elections, said ‘stop’ to the wrong kind of populism,” Mr Rutte said.

Source:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/16/won-dutch-election-does-mean-geert-wilders-far-right-netherlands/

Globalization

The European Union’s 60th anniversary this month comes at a time when some political leaders are attracting significant popular support for policies that directly call into question the value of the union. It’s not just the EU under attack, but NATO, the United Nations, the Council of Europe and its human rights court, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – all the institutions and ideals that emerged in the post-war, post-Holocaust spirit of “never again” that bolster respect for human rights and rule of law are facing fresh attacks in western democracies and beyond.

These post-war hopes and institutions backing democracy and human rights were the radical ideas of their time in response to dire circumstances. Nothing less than the peace and security of Europe depends on it.

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Source:https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/03/10/radical-idea-europe