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Posts made in September, 2016

Human Rights Groups Challenge UK, US Mass Surveillance at ECHR – Press Release

By on Sep 30, 2016 in Press Release |

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – At least 10 human rights organizations filed a lawsuit against London and Washington against the backdrop of their mass surveillance programs with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), one of the groups said in a press release on Friday. “Legal Resources Centre, Privacy International and eight other human rights organizations have lodged submissions with the European Court of Human Rights challenging both the UK Government’s mass interception program, and its access to US mass surveillance programs. Together, these programs violate the privacy of millions of people around the world,” South Africa’s Legal Resource Centre said in the press release on its Facebook page. Legal Resource Centre added that the submission was lodged by the human rights groups from Canada, Ireland, Hungary and Egypt among others in the context of the facts revealed by former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden. In June 2013, Snowden started making revelations about widespread US global surveillance including revelations of mass surveillance of personal data by the United Kingdom’s GCHQ together with the NSA. In the United States, he faces up to 30 years in prison on charges of espionage and theft of government property. Snowden repeatedly said he would return to the United States if Washington guaranteed him a fair...

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PRESS RELEASE: Dolphins Promote Douglas From Practice Squad

By on Sep 30, 2016 in Press Release |

The Miami Dolphins today announced they have signed guard Jamil Douglas from their practice squad to the active roster. Douglas played in all 16 games with six starts – four at right guard and two at center – for the Dolphins in 2015. He spent the 2016 training camp with the Dolphins before being waived on Sept. 3, 2016. Two days later, Douglas was signed to the team’s practice squad. He originally entered the NFL as a fourth-round selection (114th overall) in the 2015 NFL draft by the Dolphins after playing collegiately at Arizona...

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Jane Kim Wants YouTube To Remove ‘Anti Asian-American’ Music Video

By on Sep 29, 2016 in Press Release |

Locked in a tight battle for state senate, Supervisor Jane Kim is now seeking headlines in a campaign against a two-year-old music video that she says is “anti Asian-American.” In a press release sent out last night, the Supervisor alleges that the video for the song “Meet The Flockers” by Compton rapper YG encourages animosity between African American and Asian communities and promotes the targeting of Chinese for crimes. As such, Kim argues, YouTube should remove the video. “The lyrics detail a step-by-step guide to carrying out a burglary,” reads the press release. “Paired with the video’s imagery, which juxtaposes scenes of a home invasion with close-up visuals of weapons and framed photos of an Asian family, the message being sent is clear: Asian-American households are vulnerable, and make for ideal targets.” The song, which details a home robbery, may on the surface remind some of Kendrick Lamar’s “The Art Of Peer Pressure.” However, it is the description of an ideal victim — not the act of singing about crime itself — to which the Korean-American supervisor objects. “First, you find a house and scope it out,” the song instructs. “Find a Chinese neighborhood ’cause they don’t believe in bank accounts.” YG, it should be noted, has served jail time for burglary. While the video was uploaded to YouTube in May of 2014, a recent uptick in popularity (which in a “chicken or the egg” scenario may or may not be due to the controversy surrounding it) has prompted Kim to speak out. “The lyricism and imagery of this video is deeply offensive to Chinese-Americans, and dismantles community-based efforts that seek to build positive race relations among African-Americans and Asian-Americans,” says Kim via press release. And she’s not alone. Fox 11 reports that Asian business owners have called the video “sickening and distasteful.” “Our demand is simple, Youtube and Vimeo must remove these videos in compliance with hate speech guideline for online content,” Kim’s press release reads. “We also call on DefJam Records and Rapper YG to denounce this song.” In addition, Oakland-based activist Eddy Zheng, who himself served time for a high-profile Chinatown home invasion committed when he was 16 years of age says that “YG’s ignorant and...

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Press release – Transparency register: an eagerly-awaited strengthening

By on Sep 28, 2016 in Press Release |

Author: European Parliament. After five years’ existence, the transparency register, of independent organisations and people whose business is to influence EU decision-taking processes, is to evolve into a mandatory system covering all EU institutions. This is “an eagerly-awaited reform”, said European Parliament Vice-President Sylvie Guillaume, welcoming the proposed inter-institutional agreement tabled by the European Commission on 28 September. “A mandatory system covering all EU institutions was a reform that was eagerly awaited, notably by members of the European Parliament, which as long ago as 2011, made access to the EP subject to signing the register”, said Sylvie Guillaume (SD, FR), Vice-President of the European Parliament in charge of the transparency register. “I welcome the new progressive sanctions mechanism, which will make the information provided by interest representatives more reliable, and a strengthening of the staff in charge of monitoring the register”, added Ms Guillaume, welcoming the proposed inter-institutional agreement tabled by the European Commission on 28 September.  “At a time when several scandals have been revealed and citizens’ trust is eroded, it is vital to be entirely transparent about the various interest groups gravitating around the European institutions”, said Ms Guillaume. “This reform will necessarily involve the European Council, as member states must also shoulder their responsibilities in the matter”, she concluded. European Parliament led the way The European Parliament has possessed a register of lobbyists since 1996. As soon as the common transparency register was launched on 23 June 2011, without waiting for the other institutions, Parliament made any access to the European Parliament for interest groups subject signing the register beforehand. From 2008, in various resolutions, Parliament called on other EU institutions to opt for a mandatory register. The EP also took several further incentive measures, such as precluding any lobby representative not listed in the transparency register from being a speaker at its public hearings, and introducing a facilitated accreditation system. Parliament’s Bureau has moreover just approved the introduction of a voluntary “legislative footprint” which will ensure greater transparency about who influences – or seeks to influence – the legislative process. With a view to the coming debates, Ms Guillaume stressed that “from the point of view of the European Parliament, the freedom of Members to...

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