Archive for the ‘International’ Category

10409336_818529138177765_9034331348658361928_nGhoncheh Ghavami, 25, is the latest victim of Sharia law and the denial of basic rights to women in some Muslim countries. Ghavami has been in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison for over 40 days after committing the unpardonable sin of try to enter a stadium to watch the Iranian national men’s team was playing Italy. She was part of a large group of women who simply wanted to be able to watch a soccer game but under Sharia law in Iran it is a crime for women to even be at a sporting match with men. The world community has gone to Facebook and other social media sites to demand her release but she continues to languish in a prison known for its torture and raping of inmates.

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earth-screensaver_largeThe United States continues to lag behind leading countries in pushing aggressive environmental programs to reduce pollutants and garbage. Two stories this week highlight the sharp and disappointing contrast. In Sweden, the government has made an incredible leap in reducing household garbage and appears close to attaining the impossible: a zero waste national objective for landfills. Currently, less than one percent of Sweden household garbage ends up in landfills. In the meantime, Germany (which continues to outstrip the U.S. on green policies while continuing strong economic growth) has announced that it will add one million electric cars on the road by 2030 and expects to drop greenhouse emissions from transportation by 26 percent by 2030 from 1990 levels.

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LawDragon has released the results of its increasingly popular survey of the top lawyers in America. I was fortunate to again make the list this year, which included the recent win in the Al-Arian case in the background statement.
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flag-of-scotlandEngland flag

Submitted by Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

To the surprise of some, polls are indicating that Scotland could become an independent nation as there are predictions, especially on YouGov, that 51% will vote yes.

Pursuant to an agreement between the United Kingdom and the Scottish Parliament both governments after years long negotiations formed the referendum process giving Scots the ability choose between independence and continued allegiance to the UK. A simple question posed on the ballot will most definitely bring profound changes:

“Should Scotland be an independent country?”

On September 18th that question will be answered.

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Submitted by Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

shariah-police-group

Several young adults wearing orange reflective jackets embossed with the words “Shariah Police” began foot patrols of the central district of the German city Wuppertal, harassing who they perceived to be Muslim frequenting discos and gambling establishments.

The group held that they were promoting their Salafist beliefs and chastising others who deviated from the tenets of the religion. By consuming alcohol and engaging in gambling entertainment.

The German Federal Government reacted swiftly to the reports. Members of Angela Merkel’s coalition government immediately chastised the group and declared that the German State would not tolerate ad-hoc quasi-police patrols such as these. An Interior Ministry spokesperson told the newspaper Rheinisher Post that concerning the Shariah Police “In this way they are demonstrating that they do not recognized our law-based state.” Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands, or CDU a major German political party, Security Advisor Peter Biesenbach described the situation as an “alarm signal”.

The founder of the Shariah Police, thirty three year old Sven Lau claims the Shariah Police never existed and that the group was only a few men spending a few hours bringing attention to the issue of Sharia law in Germany.

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India flag220px-IslamicGalleryBritishMuseum3There is a bizarre case out of India this week where four people were arrested after they allegedly converted to Islam without state approval. In India, under the ironically named Freedom of Religion Act, you must get state approval before changing religions. The law is meant to guarantee that people are not coerced into conversions. In light of the ongoing forced conversions of ISIS or the Islamic State, that is a legitimate concern. However, it would seem a problem that can be addressed by just criminalizing forced or coerced conversions as opposed to forcing everyone to get state permission to change faiths. The obvious concern is that in the largely Hindu nation, such permission can itself be coercive for those who want to leave the Hindu faith.

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Djoser_Pyramid_-_1900-1Last year, I wrote a column about how there appears to be little accountability in government for gross negligence, as shown by the response to the debacle over the rollout of the Obamacare website and billions wasted or lost in Afghanistan and Iraq. Egypt has shown that this is not just a problem in the U.S. Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities, Mamdouh Eldamaty, is under fire after rehiring a company named Shurbagy for restoration of one of Egypt’s oldest pyramids after the firm caused damage and major deterioration to the very same structure in an earlier botched job.

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