The Global Network Initiative is a new idea designed to tackle the growing issue of censorship:
From the Americas to Europe to the Middle East to Africa and Asia, companies in the information and communications industries face increasing government pressure to comply with domestic laws and policies that require censorship and disclosure of personal information in ways that conflict with internationally recognized human rights laws and standards.
The Initiative is founded upon new Principles on Freedom of Expression and Privacy – supported by specific implementation commitments and a framework for accountability and learning – that provide a systematic approach for companies, NGOs, investors, academics and others to work together in resisting efforts by governments that seek to enlist companies in acts of censorship and surveillance that violate international standards.
The devastating face of militant Islam, courtesy of Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper:
Parents of 18-year-old Tasleem Solangi, who was killed in an extremely inhumane manner allegedly by some elders of her tribe, have appealed to President Asif Ali Zardari and Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah to provide them protection as the killers are still at large and have not been arrested because of their connections with police.
Tasleem’s mother told reporters at the Karachi Press Club on Monday that her daughter was first thrown before hungry dogs and when she was mauled by them and in the jaws of death, she was riddled with bullets.
The act was staged before the girl’s father who was specifically brought from a house where he had been under detention for about a year.
Obama invokes change. Yet never has the dead hand of the past had a “reform” candidate so firmly by the windpipe. Is it possible to confront America’s problems without talking about the arms budget? The Pentagon is spending more than at any point since the end of the Second World War. In “real dollars” – an optimistic concept these days – the $635bn (£400bn) appropriated in fiscal 2007 is 5 per cent above the previous all-time high, reached in 1952. Obama wants to enlarge the armed services by 90,000. He pledges to escalate the US war in Afghanistan; to attack Pakistan’s territory if it obstructs any unilateral US mission to kill Osama bin Laden; and to wage a war against terror in a hundred countries, creating a new international intelligence and law enforcement “infrastructure” to take down terrorist networks. A fresh start? Where does this differ from Bush’s commitment on 20 September 2001, to an ongoing “war on terror” against “every terrorist group of global reach” and “any nation that continues to harbour or support terrorism”?
The arms industry remains a deadly killer:
From Nobel laureates to human rights activists to former military commanders, calls are on the rise for the international community to stand up against those who are making billions of dollars by selling illicit arms around the world.
“It is time to end the slaughter,” said Desmond Tutu, the Noble Peace Prize winning archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa, in a statement urging the 192-member UN General Assembly to adopt the proposed Arms Trade Treaty…
Studies show that at least a third of a million people are killed every year with conventional weapons, many of which are used by human rights abusers due to the poorly regulated international arms market. That’s the equivalent of about 1,000 deaths each day.
Crikey’s Guy Rundle on the political divide (as only he can write it):
…Your average urban left-liberal is a (non-Arab) keffiyah-wearing Sezuan-cuisine cooking yoga attendee, busy carbon-neutralising their retrostyled Altona brick veneer, ahead of that big Latin American hiking trip – but they tend to have better lives than the Right, who eat steak and go home to bare walls and have no alternative to victory but gut cancer.
The New York Times provides the rationale for this week’s US strike against “terrorists” in Syria:
…American officials said the Bush administration was determined to operate under an expansive definition of self-defense that provided a rationale for strikes on militant targets in sovereign nations without those countries’ consent.
Such actions are illegal under international law and a profound violation of a nation’s sovereignty. But of course, what the US says, goes.