Showing posts from October 31, 2021

Is France’s porn industry having its #MeToo moment?

  Over the course of a year-long police investigation, 53 women have come forward to recount their experiences of abuse on porn sets in France. They have described a culture of   sexual violence   in the industry, including being drugged and forced to carry out humiliating and degrading acts. Thirty women have filed a formal complaint with police. Now, for the first time in France, four male porn actors – one of whom is primarily a cameraman – have been charged with  rape . Three of the men who were charged on October 29 are currently in detention pending trial, while the other man remains under legal supervision. “These are women who weren’t believed, by the police but also by their colleagues,” explained Marjolaine Vignola, a Paris-based lawyer representing two of the victims, in an interview with FRANCE 24. “Particularly because some of them had contracts – contracts that had questionable legality, and sometimes were even totally legally void. But in the world of pornography, as soo

Ethiopia: Authorities Claims UN Report On Tigray War Abuses Suspected To Be Hampered

  The findings of Ethiopia's blockaded Tigray region's only human rights probe has been disclosed on Wednesday, November 3, a year after the conflict began. However, sources familiar with the investigation claim that it has been hampered by authorities, who recently removed a UN official who was helping to conduct it, according to   AP . All sides in Ethiopia's year-long civil war "committed violations of international human rights, humanitarian, and refugee law, some of which may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity," according to a joint investigation released on Wednesday by the UN's main rights body and Ethiopia's state-appointed human rights commission. Nonetheless, with Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, as well as foreign media, barred from Tigray, the UN report is the only official source of information on war crimes, which began in November 2020 following a political split between Tigray forces that had long dominated the na

Uganda's president Museveni calls for East African leaders' summit to discuss Ethiopia conflict

  KAMPALA (Reuters) - Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has called an East African bloc leaders' meeting on Nov. 16 to discuss the conflict in Ethiopia, a senior foreign affairs ministry official said on Thursday. © Reuters/Sputnik Photo Agency  FILE PHOTO: Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni attends a meeting with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in Sochi "President Museveni is in touch with the Prime Minister Abiy on the ongoing situation in Ethiopia and has expressed concern at the refusal by the Tigray group to engage in negotiations and reach a ceasefire. So we're concerned," Okello Oryem, Uganda's state minister for foreign affairs told Reuters. Source  Uganda's president Museveni calls for East African leaders' summit to discuss Ethiopia conflict (

Urgent efforts to calm Ethiopia as war reaches one-year mark

  Urgent new efforts to calm Ethiopia’s escalating war are unfolding Thursday as a US special envoy visits and the president of neighboring Kenya calls for an immediate cease-fire while the country marks a year of conflict. The lack of dialogue has been particularly disturbing, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said in a statement, as the war that has killed thousands of people and displaced millions since November 2020 threatens to engulf the capital, Addis Ababa. Rival Tigray forces seized key cities in recent days and linked up with another armed group, leading the government of Africa’s second most populous country to declare a national state of emergency. The spokesperson for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Bllene Seyoum, did not immediately respond Thursday when asked whether he would meet with U.S. special envoy Jeffrey Feltman, who this week insisted that there are many, many ways to initiate discreet talks. But so far, efforts for such discussions have failed. Last week a congression

Pro-hijab ad campaign by the Council of Europe dropped after outcry in France

  After strong opposition from France, a European campaign promoting the 'joy and freedom' of wearing the hijab was cancelled. The campaign by the Council of Europe was slammed by President Macron's government as highly inappropriate, left-wing lawmakers criticised it, and right-wing presidential hopefuls blasted it as Islamist propaganda. The council's anti-discrimination division, which launched the diversity campaign, has taken its content down from social media, saying it will "consider a better presentation of this initiative." Watch | Gravitas Plus: Women, Hijab & Choice The sentiments concerning the hijab, according to Marija Pejcinovic Buric, "reflected individual statements made by participants in one of the project's workshops and do not represent the stance of the Council of Europe. The European Union-funded web campaign was launched last week in Strasbourg, but it struck a chord in France, notably among right-wing leaders. Tweeted phot

Pegasus snooping: US blacklists spyware maker NSO Group for maliciously targetting journalists

  The United States Commerce Department has blacklistsed NSO, the maker of Israeli spyware Pegasus for maliciously targetting journalists. According to US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, ''The United States is committed to aggressively using export controls to hold companies accountable that develop, traffic, or use technologies to conduct malicious activities that threaten the cybersecurity of members of civil society, dissidents, government officials, and organisations here and abroad.'' The department has accused the firm of conducting ''transnational repression'' and selling its spyware to foreign governments that used the equipment to target government officials. In response, the NSO said it was ''dismayed by the decision given that our technologies support US national security interests and policies by preventing terrorism and crime, and thus we will advocate for this decision to be reversed.'' ''We look forward to pres

Has Islamophobia become a political tool?

  Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday requested the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to vehemently counter Islamophobia and the false equation of Islam with radicalisation and terrorism. Islamophobia exists just like anti-semitism. However, it has become a political tool to silence the critics of Islam. Criticism of any religion is not the same as discrimination against its followers The Pakistan government has decided that there would be no compromise on the country's controversial blasphemy law, days after the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling for a review of Islamabad eligibility for the General Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) status in wake of an "alarming" increase in the use of blasphemy accusations in the country. Watch | Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the vilification of Islamic precepts and religious personalities, wrongly justified under the garb of the right to freedom of expression or opinion, hurts the sentiments

Muslim countries are not only silent but also complicit in China's crimes against the Uyghurs

  The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and its kowtowing to China, not only over its wealth of subterranean treasures but also over the fate of hundreds of Uyghurs on its soil, has again put the spotlight on the Islamic world and its silence over the atrocities in Xinjiang. Blind to the mounting "tidal wave" of  evidence concerning atrocities against the Uyghurs, crimes that many Western democracies have assessed as genocide, Muslim nations continue not only to turn a blind eye to the suffering of their fellow believers but lavish praise on their persecutors. Giving evidence to the recent  Uyghur Genocide Tribunal  in London, Uyghur Muslim, Abdul Hakim Idris, husband of Rushan Abbas, Executive Director of Campaign for Uyghurs, accused China of wielding its economic might to buy the silence of predominantly Islamic nations, and those nations of capitulating without a struggle. RELATED Society Ruth Ingram Refusing to criticise Beijing for widely publicised mass incarcerations, d

French centrist politician turned 'neo-Nazi' who plotted to storm Elysée Palace charged over 'coup'

  A far-right conspiracy theorist has been charged after allegedly trying to recruit soldiers to overthrow the French government by seizing the presidential palace. Rémy Daillet, 54, is accused along with 12 co-conspirators of terrorism after attempting to form an extremist group to plan a series of attacks against the state. His lawyer claimed Daillet, a former centrist politician who has vowed to run for next year, is being held as a 'political prisoner'. Rémy Daillet has been charged after allegedly trying to recruit soldiers to overthrow the French government by seizing the presidential palace Former soldiers had been tasked with training recruits for an ambitious plot to storm the Elysée Palace (pictured), the residence of Emmanuel Macron The Frenchman is already being prosecuted for allegedly orchestrating the abduction of an eight-year-old girl from her grandmother's house in eastern France. The girl was found safe with her mother, who had lost custody, in Switzerlan

Remaining terrorists should surrender after leaders' deaths

  MANILA   – Following the deaths of ranking leaders of terror groups last week, Task Force Balik Loob chair Reynaldo B. Mapagu on Tuesday called on the remaining members of these groups to immediately surrender and avail of the government's reintegration assistance. The appeal came after the deaths of Jorge “Ka Oris” Madlos of the New People's Army (NPA) and Salahuddin Hassan of Dawlah Islamiyah (DI) in separate military operations in Mindanao last week. "The deaths of NPA leader Jorge 'Ka Oris' Madlos and the so-called 'emir' of DI, Salahuddin Hassan, point to the diminishing capability of these terror groups, especially in Mindanao. As these groups lose their key officers, we fully expect their terror operations to fall apart," said Mapagu, who is also Department of National Defense (DND) undersecretary. He added that the remaining active members of the terrorist groups should take the present opportunity to surrender, lest they also suffer the same

America has a gun violence problem. What do we do about it?

  Gun violence: An American epidemic? Using research and statistics, experts examine... ABC News Illustration This report is a part of  "Rethinking Gun Violence,"  an ABC News series examining the level of gun violence in the U.S. -- and what can be done about it Mass shootings have dominated the headlines, conversations and political debate around America's gun violence problem for decades. Perpetrated in many cases with military-style rifles, they have become a symbol for some of America's obsession with guns, and high-powered ones at that, as well as a propensity for violence by some. Active shooter incidents have been on the rise in the two decades since a dozen students and a teacher were killed at Columbine High School in 1999. Mass shootings and active shooter incidents have also continued to foster a deeply emotional and long-standing debate over both the number of guns and controls over those weapons in the U.S, all to end up with congressional gridlock and f