Archive for the ‘International’ Category

We have previously discussed some pretty animated sign language interpreters, but I just had to share this video of a Swedish interpreter.

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Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw) Weekend Contributor

The Obama Administration has been pressuring members of Congress to pass the bill that will give President Obama the “fast track”  authority to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership(TPP) agreement without any debate in Congress.  Fast track authority would not allow for any amendments and the bill would remain secret until just before it is voted on.

“President Obama is currently pressing members of Congress to pass Fast-Track authority for a trade and investment agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). If Fast Track passes, it means that Congress must approve or deny the TPP with minimal debate and no amendments. Astonishingly, our lawmakers have not seen the agreement they are being asked to expedite.” Nation of Change (more…)

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

The bizarre world that churns inside Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s presidential palace reached a new zenith with the unveiling of surveillance control rooms inside, giving him unprecedented ability to personally spy on seventy seven million Turkish citizens. In a feat of technical engineering rivaling that of George Orwell’s Big Brother, the president will certainly enjoy the spectacle of his new spyglass.

According to Al-Monitor, the system has 143 displays that allow President Erdogan to tap into closed-circuit television systems in the streets of eighty one of Turkey’s provinces along with its government’s Mobile Electronic System Integration (MOBESE) and those used in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

With the system about to become live, Erdogan will now be able to personally watch all public demonstrations, city life, military and police operations, and other events he finds of concern.

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250px-Dira_SquareThe Saudi Arabian courts have a new judicial atrocity this week to their credit. A Saudi court has sentenced a man to death for renouncing his Islamic faith along with other reported acts of blasphemy. The man was subject to multiple crimes even carrying death under the medieval Sharia system followed in the Kingdom. Those capital crimes included renouncing Islam, ripping up a Koran, cursing Mohammad, and hitting a koran with a shoe. One death will apparently suffice in “Chop-Chop” Square (shown above) for the man engaging in what would constitute protected speech in the United States.

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Hatra_ruinsFlag_of_the_Islamic_State.svgIslamic State militants have continued their scorched earth campaign to wipe out anything considered non-Islamic. After destroying art and artifacts in the Mosul Museum and then the priceless ruins at Nimrud, ISIS is now destroying the ruins of the large fortified city at Hatra, one the capital of the first Arab kingdom. The site has withstood attacks since 116 with the Romans, but ISIS is using modern explosives and bulldozes to eradicate the 2000-year-old site.

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B_gm58PUYAA1H37.jpg-largeWe recently discussed the case of a Russian who was arrested for carving his name into the ancient walls of the Colosseum. Now, due to the actions of two California women aged 21 and 25, we must bear the shame of such a despicable act. The women used a coin to carve large letters of J and N into the site. We have also discussed stupid acts, including by Americans, where art has been damaged by accident. However like the graffiti by the Chinese tourist, on the Luxor temple, and the Russian tourist who carved a K on the Colosseum this was an intentional act of thoughtless destruction. He was not a stupid teenager, but a 42-year-old man.

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220px-Eye_iris125px-Flag_of_Iran.svgThe brutal character of Sharia criminal law was evident in Iran this week after a man was forcibly blinded in one eye after being convicted for an acid attack that blinded another man. It was the literal application of the concept of “an eye for an eye.” We discussed the Iranian judicial ruling on blinding people for such crimes ten years ago. In this case, the man was blinded in his left eye and will later be blinded in his right eye unless “blood money is paid.”

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