Jack Diehl

Female Genital Mutilation in the UK

(También en Español) News of Note: Medics Offered Genital Mutilation, Report Says As many as 100,000 women in Britain may have been mutilated in the name of culture and religion, a report claims. Refuges from other countries, particularly from Africa, perpetuate this “procedure” illegally, while practitioners charge more than $1000 to have the clitoris cut and the wound and vagina stitched. It’s hard to think of anything that better exemplifies the depth of our world’s sexual repression than the serial genital mutilation practiced all over our planet. There is absolutely no excuse for this practice, and I can only hope that any culture ...

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Afghan schoolgirls poisoned in anti-education attack

(También en Español) News of Note: Afghan schoolgirls poisoned in anti-education attack Conservative radicals are suspects in the recent poisoning of about 150 Afghan high school girls who drank contaminated water at their high school, and other similar attacks on female students, teachers, and their buildings. It may be hard to believe that anyone would literally poison school girls to discourage them (and all girls and women) from having an education, but this type of violence is all too common. These conservative groups have forced women to live in constant fear of physical harm, even acid throwing for something ...

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Anti-gay adverts pulled from bus campaign in London

(También en Español) News of Note: Anti-gay adverts pulled from bus campaign by Boris Johnson Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, has stopped a Christian advertising campaign by the "christian" group Core Issues Trust that promotes the idea that gay people can be converted to heterosexuality and whose leader, Mike Davidson, said "homoerotic behavior is sinful" and that "reparative therapy" will help queer people  "develop their heterosexual potential." In the US,  reparative therapy has been deemed "junk science" by the American Psychological Association and the American Medical Association. And, this month, California is introducing a bill that would outlaw it ...

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Maryland Legislature to Employers: Hands Off Facebook Passwords

(También en Español) News of Note: Maryland Legislature to Employers: Hands Off Facebook Passwords The state of Maryland just passed the first bill in the nation that bans employers from asking for the social media passwords of job applicants and employees. Maryland should be congratulated for not only standing up for online privacy, but privacy in general. Logging into someone's private Facebook account can easily be compared to reading their mail, and may be even more intrusive. I'm very happy to see Maryland taking the first step and hope that this is the beginning of a positive trend.

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Facebook privacy protection law shot down by Congress

(También en Español) News of Note: Facebook privacy protection law shot down by Congress The US House of Representatives has shot down proposals which would have prevented businesses from collecting Facebook log on credentials as part of their employee vetting procedures. The law had been proposed by Colorado representative Daniel Perlmutter. Perimutter suggested that the proposals would have given an important measure of privacy to end users. "No American should have to provide their confidential personal passwords as a condition of employment," Perlmutter said. "Both users of social media and those who correspond share the expectation of privacy in their personal communications." We can't ...

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Censorship in Egypt: From online porn to hugging on television

(También en Español) News of Note: Intimate scenes to be banned from Egyptian public TV (AGI) Cairo - A group of Islamic supervisors of the Egyptian Public Broadcaster will be in charge of removing 'immoral ' footage from films the network has in its archives. The ban will apply to scenes featuring hugging, kissing and belly dancing. As reported by the daily Kuwait al-Anba, which quotes sources from inside the Network, such a decision could bring about either the removal of important scenes from movies that are an integral part of Egypt's cinema or their complete ban from ...

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Christian Groups Take Issue With Anti-Bullying Laws

(También en Español) News of Note: Christian Groups Take Issue With Anti-Bullying Laws Focus on the Family is planning to counter the "Day of Silence," an annual event to protest LGBT bullying set for April 20, with its own "Day of Dialogue". The evangelical organization's aim is to muffle an effort that "crosses the line in a lot of ways beyond bullying into indoctrination, just promoting homosexuality and transgenderism." The group has been advocating an anti-anti-bullying message for years. When a California school adopted an anti-bullying rule that mentioned gays and lesbians in 2010, backlash ensued. "The school introduced ...

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Arizona bill declares women pregnant two weeks before conception

(También en Español) News of Note: Arizona bill declares women pregnant two weeks before conception A new bill up for vote in the state of Arizona would ban abortions for some expectant mothers, but that’s only the start of what lawmakers have in store. If the legislation passes, the state will consider a child to exist even before conception. Under Arizona’s H.B. 2036, the state would recognize the start of the unborn child’s life to be the first day of its mother’s last menstrual period. The legislation is being proposed so that lawmakers can outlaw abortions on fetuses past the ...

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Anonymous hacks Chinese websites

(También en Español) News of Note: Anonymous hacks Chinese websites Messages by the international hacking group Anonymous went up on a number of Chinese government websites on Thursday to protest internet restrictions. On a Twitter account established in late March, Anonymous China listed the websites it said it had hacked over the last several days. They included government bureaus in several Chinese cities, including in Chengdu, a provincial capital in southwest China. Some of the sites were still blocked on Thursday, with English-language messages shown on how to circumvent government restrictions. In a message left on one of the hacked ...

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UK Surveillance: New powers to record every phone call and email

(También en Español) News of Note: New powers to record every phone call and email makes surveillance '60m times worse' The proposals, to be unveiled in the Queen’s Speech, will see a huge expansion in the amount of data communication providers are required to keep for at least a year. It will allow the police and intelligence officers to monitor who someone is in contact with or websites they visit, although the content of such communications will not be accessed. Mr Davis said: “What this does is make (existing problems) 60 million times worse. The simple truth is that this is ...

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