Singapore faced shocking scenes of burning cars and littered streets Monday following a riot by South Asian workers in the worst outbreak of violence in more than 40 years in the tightly controlled city-state. The hour-long fracas on Sunday night, triggered when an Indian construction worker was struck and killed by a private bus in the Little India district, compelled Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to order the creation of a special committee to investigate the incident. Police said about 400 people were involved in the riot, and that 27 South Asian workers had been arrested on charges punishable by up to seven years in prison as well as caning. Lee said there could be "no excuse" for the rampage that left 39 police and civil defence staff injured, and 25 vehicles -- including 16 police cars -- damaged or torched. "The riot was an isolated incident arising from the unlawful actions of an unruly mob reacting to a fatal traffic accident," Lee said in a statement. "We must not allow this bad incident to tarnish our views of the foreign worker community here." Lee added that the committee of inquiry to be convened by the interior ministry will review the factors that led to the riot, as well as existing measures to manage areas where foreign workers congregate. Singapore is one of the wealthiest places in the world, but the island republic of 5.4 million people depends heavily on guest workers, with labourers from South Asia dominating sectors like construction. Widely regarded as one of the world's safest societies, the city-state prides itself on social order and racial harmony, and many citizens expressed dismay over the mayhem. Police said the 27 men arrested were aged between 23 and 45, and included 24 Indian nationals, two Bangladeshis and one Singapore permanent resident. Analysts played down suggestions that the riot, which was brought under control by elite police commandoes, could be an indication of wider discontent among poorly paid migrant workers. Devadas Krishnadas, the founder and managing director of Future-Moves, a Singapore-based risk consultancy, said it was "an isolated incident where a variety of factors combined to blow matters out of hand". "The fact that it involved foreign workers is incidental, not central, to the events," he wrote in a commentary for Singapore's Today newspaper. "There is no justification to generalise the blame across any group, any race or any gender," he added. The incident triggered online attacks on foreign workers, whose large presence has been a hot political topic in recent years. Others called for calm and warned against stoking racial hatred.
Close on the heels of the storm over a law intern being sexually harassed by a retired judge of the Indian Supreme Court, a group of women lawyers have sparked off a fresh round of controversy by alleging sexual harassment at the hands of male colleagues within the court premises at the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court, one of the oldest and most prestigious courts of India. The women lawyers have filed a petition in the high court alleging frequent and repeated sexual harassment by some male counterparts on the court premises. The court has admitted the petition and constituted a committee, as per Vishaka guidelines, to redress their grievances. “Male lawyers, including senior ones, often stare at lady lawyers with bad intentions and pass sarcastic and vulgar remarks against them. They also misbehave with them, even getting physical at times,” one of the lawyers Ranjana Agnihotri told reporters. “It is felt that even in courtrooms, some male lawyers who sit beside the female lawyers, deliberately try to touch them,” the female lawyers have stated in their petition. Junior women lawyers said some lawyers compelled them to see vulgar pictures and videos on their mobiles in situations where they were not in a position to oppose them. The condition of junior women lawyers in civil courts and other subordinate courts is even more pitiable,” the petition said. The division bench comprising justices Devi Prasad Singh and Ashok Pal Singh, which heard the matter, directed its registrar to preside over a panel. It would include five members of the elder committee of the Oudh Bar Association.
At least two civilians were killed and 10 others wounded in a landmine blast in Marjah district of Afghanistan’s southern province Helmand on Tuesday. As per official sources, the incident took place at around noon when a police ranger struck a roadside bomb in a bazaar in Keend area of the district. Police suffered no casualties in the incident, as all the victims were civilians, provincial police spokesman Ahmad Fawad Askari said. An eyewitness, Akhtar Mohammad also confirmed all the dead and injured were civilians who were working or shopping in the market. Soon after the blast, heavy contingents of Police arrived at the scene and cordoned off the area. No one has so far claimed responsibility of the incident.
A court in China on Wednesday sentenced a man to death for killing a two-year-old girl in Beijing over a parking space row, state media report. Han Lei, 39, pulled the toddler out of her pram and threw her to the ground after her mother refused to make way for his car in July. He fled the scene but was captured. The girl later died from her injuries. He said the killing was unintentional, as he was drunk and had thought the pram was a shopping cart. "I did not know there was an infant inside," he previously said. The case has provoked widespread outcry in China, with many people expressing their anger online, state media reported. The trial started on 16 September at the Beijing No 1 Intermediate People's Court. Prosecutors had recommended the death sentence for Han, who committed the crime within a year of being released from prison. Han also beat the girl's mother during the altercation in Beijing's Daxing district. Another man, Li Ming, who drove Han away from the scene, is also facing charges.
Kunwar Khuldune Shahid
Telling it like it almost never is Imran Khan for negotiations with dengue mosquitoes - Calls Bite-ullah May-Soothe’s killing, ‘attack on peace’ - Wants Misbahul Haq’s help in blocking NATO supplies Peshawar - Staff Report - Citing anti-dengue sprays as the principle hindrance in the peace process Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has urged the federal government to instigate talks with the dengue mosquitoes “ASAP” Khabaristan Times has learnt. Khan dubbed the fatal spray attack on the then Tehrik-e-Machharaan Pakistan (TMP) chief Shaheed Bite-ullah May-Soothe an attack on peace and has warned the US against sending its sprays to Pakistan or else his party would continue their sit-in, blocking NATO supplies to Afghanistan. “They are our mosquitoes. We must negotiate with them.” Khan said as he threw himself in front of a truck allegedly carrying NATO supplies near Hayatabad Toll Plaza. “The 2,400-year history of dengue mosquitoes reveals that one cannot conquer them by force. The Jin Dynasty in China two millennia ago, the Africans in the Middle Ages, the east Europeans during the Second World War and recently the Filipinos and Latin Americans all tried to counter dengue by force and failed. No one can conquer this race… the only solution is talks” the PTI chief said lying down flat on the motorway making his well rehearsed ‘I’m not a racist’ face. Khan said that newly elected TMP leader Mullah Bzzzzzlullah – also known as Mullah Radio owing to the length of his antennas – is a deadlier mosquito than his predecessor, and needs to be wooed into talks “ASAP”. Khan blamed the US for the rise in dengue attacks and claimed that the manoeuvres of the freedom fighting mosquitoes were in retaliation against the anti-dengue sprays. It is important to mention here that dengue mosquitoes have killed over 2,000 innocent civilians in Punjab alone, while anti-dengue sprays are said to primarily target TMP mosquitoes. It is also pertinent to mention that this isn’t the only occasion that the PTI chief has voiced his opinion in support of poison-spreading winged beasts. Imran Khan lying down on the motorway further added, “The war against dengue mosquitoes isn’t our war, and we need to get out of it ASAP. The sooner anti-dengue sprays stop, the sooner dengue mosquitoes are satisfied and the sooner the spread of dengue is curtailed.” Khan then went on to accuse everyone disagreeing with him of being a dollar worshipper while he signed US aid agreements for projects in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, again, lying on the motorway. Imran Khan is of the firm belief that blocking NATO supplies is the first step towards halting US sprays and has requested Pakistan cricket team captain Misbahul Haq, who according to the PTI chief is the “most technically correct blocker in the country”, to join his movement for ‘justice, humanity and self-esteem’. “His tuk tuk will come in handy,” said Khan. According to barely reliable sources the PTI chief was reminded that unlike other Pakistani cricketers Misbah might not be imprudent enough to judge his political credentials under the light of his cricketing credentials and that T20 Captain Mohammed Hafeez might be his best bet. Imran Khan retaliated angrily claiming that “a year’s worth of NATO supplies can pass between the gap between Hafeez’s bat and pad.” Unfortunately despite repeated efforts for a word, Bzzzzzlullah and Misbah weren’t available for comments while Hafeez was believed to be busy filing a cyberbullying case against Dale Steyn in Cape Town. Bobby pinky swears he won’t enforce martial law Our Special Correspondent - Newly appointed Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Raheel Sharif has pinky sworn with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that he would not enforce martial law in Pakistan, according to incredible sources. Raheel Sharif, nicknamed Bobby, is the third COAS that Nawaz Sharif has appointed in his political career and the PM is currently two for two in appointing army chiefs who end up dumping him out of the government. “Nawaz will be third time lucky,” Bobby promised, further adding that the opportunity to hog the ‘My favourite COAS’ section of Nawaz’s personal scrap book was “incentive enough”. The move comes just a day after Gen Raheel Sharif gave an exclusive interview to Khabaristan Times. In the interview General Raheel said, “Even though the ground is as fertile as it has ever been for a military coup, it’s too much of a hassle for me.” The COAS then went on to highlight the tasks that lay in front of him, including the Afghan question post 2014, the Pakistani Taliban, the missing people in Balochistan, the unceremonious ties with India, eventually going on to underscore his biggest challenge. “Dealing with the newspaper headlines is the most daunting task. The news editors are like a pack of clowns having a ball juggling all the Sharif names at their disposal,” Bobby maintained. “Although I’m surprised no one touched the ‘new sheriff in town’ pun. That would’ve been super cool!” COAS Gen Raheel said jumping up and down on his sofa. “I did not get to pick my own surname,” Bobby reminded the rest of the universe. “If you really want to pick on me and manifest any inkling of wit, you could’ve had a go at my moustaches,” Gen Raheel poked historians. “Nawaz has had as much success picking army chiefs as I have picking my nose,” Bobby complained, further adding, “and that’s not the only dig you can conjure with respect to my moustaches,” with special emphasis on the word ‘dig’. “All Pakistani army chiefs who enforced martial law had a moustache, and I too like them am a thorough professional and have no interest in politics. Bazinga! ” COAS Raheel Sharif exclaimed. I should’ve been COAS: Veena Malik Mumbai - Staff Report Controversial Pakistani star Veena Malik expressed her disappointment last week after finding out that she had not been appointed as the new Chief of Army Staff (COAS). “I have to admit, I thought I was the front runner,” a dejected Veena told Khabaristan Times. “I was told improving ties with India was high on Nawaz Sharif’s agenda and if there is a better candidate for that particular purpose I am willing to do my next photoshoot for free,” she added. “As far as negotiating with the Taliban is concerned, I’ll negotiate with them alright.” exclaimed Veena using more lip movement than was necessary. “I’ll ask those bearded buffoons whether they’d like to be droned or would they prefer being spanked with my eight inch stiletto heel!” Veena said. When questioned about potentially having had to deal with the nuclear bomb, Veena said, “the only relevant bomb in Pakistan is Veena,” preferring to use her first name in lieu of the first person pronoun. “I should’ve been the COAS,” maintained Veena, “if only for the opportunity to manifest my ISI tattoo without any inhibitions” she added. Misbah dedicates triumph to Taliban Sargodha - Our Sports Correspondent Pakistan Captain Misbahul Haq has dedicated the historic ODI series win against South Africa to the Taliban after the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had asked Pakistani citizens to stop lauding Sachin Tendulkar and instead praise Misbah. The 2-1 series win was Pakistan’s first against the Proteas in a bilateral ODI series and the first for an Asian team against South Africa in South Africa. “I appreciate the support of the Taliban and would like to dedicate the series win against South Africa to the TTP” Misbah said in a press conference. “I would also like to confirm that I am henceforth officially a talib and would be supporting a beard in the series against Sri Lanka”, Misbah added. Misbah further said that by supporting him and being critical of Tendulkar, the Taliban had proved that they were the real connoisseurs of cricket in Pakistan. “Of the 100 centuries that Tendulkar scored, India only won around half of the matches, while my number of ODI centuries and the ensuing number of wins is identical,” said Misbah proving his credentials as a match winner. “The South African conquest was all due to the prayers of the TTP, which reinvigorated my religious side, which is obviously why I prostrated before the Almighty after we’d won the second ODI,” stressed Misbah. “I mean I’ve beaten India in India, whitewashed England and won the Asia Cup, I don’t think a lot of divine intervention was needed to force the chokers into chocking,” he concluded. Netanyahu throws toys out of pram Jerusalem - Our Zionism Correspondent According to eye witnesses Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was seen in the park next to his residence in Jerusalem throwing toys out of his pram. Reports claim that these toys included a Middle Eastern chess set, an Obama action figure, a Rouhani rubber ducky, a Wang Yi jack in the box, a Hague stuffed animal, a Catherine Ashton doll, a mug saying ‘I love IAEA’ and a box of Swiss chocolates. After throwing the toys out of the pram, Netanyahu is said to have jumped inside the pram and cried his heart out for the next couple of hours. Onlookers have also suggested that they could hear the Israeli prime minister shriek Persian expletives intermittently. When called on his private number for comments, Netanyahu picked up the call shouted, “I hate you Barack” and disconnected the call. This happened 23 times after which Mr Prime Minister was seen sleeping peacefully in his pram holding his favourite Isreali nuclear bomb toy closely to his chest. Kunwar Khuldune Shahid is a financial journalist and a cultural critic. Email: email@example.com, Twitter: @khuldune.
Syed Afsar Sajid
In memory of two unique poets The year 1965, an undergraduate English language class at the then government college, Lyallpur, a tall and slim young student sitting on a corner desk with a slightly tanned but expressive visage and clear eyes, intently listening to the lecture being delivered by the teacher! It was my first encounter with Iftikhar Nasim (aka Ifti Nasim). His sophisticated mannerism endeared him to his college fellows and teachers. The scene shifts to the year 1991 when Ifti dropped into my office in Faisalabad. He looked to be a changed man with fancy, quasi-feminist apparel – rings, bracelets and all that. In between the two spaces of time, I kept track of him as a poet. _____________________________________________ “Without questioning the bona fides of the cult he was subscribing to, critics esteem him as a poet who despite a firm commitment to his cause, would not employ poetry as a means to propagate his ‘amoral’ views.” _____________________________________________ His adolescence found him rediscovering himself, even suspecting the validity of his gender in the mundane scheme of existence. This caused him to immigrate to the United States, to Chicago to be precise, where he stayed until his death. Despite the distance, his presence was always felt in the literary circles of his mother country, and elsewhere also, through his poetry articulating his yearnings and aspirations as a gay. It was a rebellious deviation from the rigid socio-moral norms of the indigenous society at gross variance with the domineering liberalism of the West. He invented his own set of symbols with concomitant imagery and diction to describe and illustrate his socio-moral and poetic convictions. His poetic collection Narman was, as it were, his hermaphroditical manifesto. Without questioning the bona fides of the cult he was subscribing to, critics esteem him as a poet who despite a firm commitment to his cause would not employ poetry as a means to propagate his ‘amoral’ views. His human qualities – decency, refinement, cordiality, scrupulousness, and philanthropy – seemed to weigh heavily in his favour when one sought to study and evaluate his poetic work. In his own estimation he has not died, but has only ‘disappeared’ – leaving it for his successors to determine his position in the literary annals. Back in the mid 1980s, an upcoming young poet killed himself by jumping before a running train in Multan. He was Aanis Moeen Balley, scion of an illustrious literary family headed by Fakhruddin Balley. In a letter addressed to his parents, he confided thus: ‘This act of mine could be traced to a single cause that I am fed up with the monotonous routine of life. Any leaf that I turn over from the book of life, bears the same imprint that I have already perused on the preceding one. Therefore, now I have decided to skip over the whole lot of the intervening leaves in order to read what is written on the last one.’ As a literary prodigy he composed some 400 to 450 ghazal and 200 to 250 nazm spanning his short literary career, and shared the company of literary figures like Josh, Faiz, Dr Syed Abdullah, Jabir Ali Syed and Aslam Ansari courtesy his eminent father. His verse would betray a morbid obsession not with death itself but with the idea of death. It was a narcissistic concern with his romantic aspirations and their material vacuity that drove him seemingly to the cul-de-sac of emotional disenchantment, fear and desertion. Ironically, Aanis remained undiscovered as a poet during his life time. The literary world took cognizance of his poetic genius only posthumously when Josh regarded him as ‘a young Socrates’; Faiz described him as a fully grown up intellectual; Akhtar Hussain Jafri perceived the ideal of poetry in his verse; Ahmad Nadim Qasmi read a mesmeric charm in his lines; Wazir Agha termed him a Keats in the making; and Murtaza Birlas appreciated his individuality as a poet deeming his personality inwardly as complex as his verse. Like Shakeb Jalali and Mustafa Zaidi, Aanis too chose self-immolation as a benevolent escape from the rigours of a consuming existence: the consumption was visibly ingrained in his hypersensitivity to the drab monotony of life pitched tenaciously against his adventurous temperament as would be borne out from his last epistle. And his last verse too, curiously in the same vein, would sum up the grinding travail of a restive soul crying for peace: Dooba nahin khursheed ufaq paar gaya hai/Deewar ko dhaanay pas-e-deewar gaya hai.
Wearing a democratic disguise, unbridled dictatorship on the rampage The unceremonious sacking of the NADRA chief is a minuscule reflection of the government’s desperation in its bid to hide the multifarious skeletons in its closet. His later reinstatement by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) would be particularly dismaying for the ruling hierarchy as it not only thwarted its attempt to bury the massive controversy surrounding its victory in the last general elections, it also provided an advance indication of the apex judiciary’s role and conduct post Iftikhar Chaudhry’s tenure. So panicked was the government that the orders of the sacking of the NADRA chief were issued at 0130 hours which came in the wake of his reported refusal to surrender before the mounting government pressure and threats regarding verifying results of the May 11 elections particularly in the ruling PML-N stronghold, Lahore. This related to constituencies from where some leading stalwarts of the party had won including, among others, the incumbent prime minister, speaker of the national assembly and the railways minister. That brings us to the core issue that plagues the conduct of the May 11 elections and the lack of legitimacy accorded to its results. Understandably, the thumb-impression-verification component was introduced with the noble intention to sanctifying the process of the national elections and eliminating the prospect of tampering and bogus voting. It is, therefore, extremely strange that practically all political parties which are perched in the saddle of power and which should have heartily supported the idea of thumb-impression-verification to prove the legitimacy of their electoral victory have doggedly opposed it. This particularly concerns the ruling PML-N and the MQM who are believed to have tampered with the election process by resorting to dishonourable means and methods to ensure the victory of their nominated candidates. That does not mean that the other political parties may not have been equally guilty of having indulged in non-transparent practices. It only means that since their existent stakes are not being threatened, they have tactically opted to stay clear of the controversy line. The electoral history in Pakistan makes for a humiliating reading. It is generally assumed that the only fair election ever held in Pakistan led to its dismemberment. Should it, therefore, follow that the election process in Pakistan should forever remain flawed? There have also been instances of the establishment’s interference in the process to push for the results of their liking and the apex court’s adjudication in one such matter awaits the government’s attention. In the post-election scenario, the conduct of the provincial election commissioners had also been questioned particularly that of the Punjab Election Commissioner. There were serious questions raised with regard to his partiality towards one political party that ultimately won the elections. There were even demands for his resignation which remained unheeded and the man stuck it out with his ignominious conduct casting seething doubts over the entire electoral process. The abject lack of capacity and empowerment of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) were the principal ingredients that led to a flawed election process. The exercise was further aggravated by the ECP’s preponderant dependence on the existing administrative structures which had been inducted into power by the previous governments and which owed their allegiance to them and not to the state of Pakistan or a hazy concept of holding a free, fair and transparent election in the country. Merely posting some of them 10 kilometres north or twenty kilometres south did not deter them from interfering in the election process in every conceivable manner to the advantage of their masters. _____________________________________________ “While the government and its religious and neo-religious partners remain engrossed in pursuing a policy of appeasement of the perpetrators of terror and violence, the latter are gaining in power, spread and confidence. They now believe that the whole country is within their grasp and all they need is one major push.” _____________________________________________ The ECP itself remained a divided house with a weak leadership at the time of conducting the election process as well as failing to swiftly respond to many questions and complaints that were raised with regard to the lack of transparency in the election process and its own role therein. It constituted election tribunals which were slow to take off and remained dysfunctional because of the gross pressure and interference of the newly-installed governments at the centre and in the provinces. So, the pre-election non-transparent environment was replicated by the post-election conduct of those who had the highest stakes in the election process: the leaders of the political parties which won and their patrons and supporters. Consequently, it may be correct to conclude that the entire election process was effectively hijacked by interested parties and groups and pre-meditated results were ensured by using all means at their disposal. The abysmal performance of the incumbent governments is a sad reflection of the same flawed election process that manoeuvred to throw up leaderships not deserving to be elected. It was a viciously contrived process which hit hard at the prospect of Pakistan taking charge of its destiny by envisioning and formulating policies to take it out of the existent quagmire. As a result, Pakistan today is irretrievably ensconced in a deadly embrace with militancy and terrorism and there does not appear even a hint of hope on the horizon that things are going to be any different in the future. Confronted with the prospect of shrinking space and time, Pakistan is fast losing out on its existential battle with a scourge that is not only of its own making, it also refuses to address it in any meaningful manner. Most of the leading government institutions are at a standstill because their heads have not been appointed for fear of judicial intervention. The government hopes that all this will change in the post-Iftikhar Chaudhry era. But, will it? Even more important, should it? If the judiciary’s approach were to change as is hoped by the incumbent political leadership, it will proceed unchecked with appointing its cronies, its Mamnoon Hussains to all key positions to accrue results of its liking. Will that serve the national interest? Nawaz Sharif has his man in the presidency. He believes that he also has his man in the GHQ. Even if one were to concede his wish to give him a level of comfort, it is the judiciary that has been a thorn in his back and, by all indications, will continue to be so in the foreseeable future because, thankfully, the induction of the new Chief Justice is beyond the realm of any dominant administrative control. Already, there are murmurings emanating from the ruling echelons to establish the supremacy of the parliament with regard to the procedure adopted for appointments in the apex judiciary by making the parliamentary commission more powerful. If accomplished, it would reduce the judiciary to the level of a servile division of the prime minister’s secretariat to be manipulated and used as per his whims and fancies. What an awful prospect! But given his temperament, it is not beyond reckoning that soon a battle would be unleashed to dismantle the institution of the judiciary to bring it on a par with any other subservient government department. This is so because the fraudulently-elected and dictatorially-inclined leadership is completely out of sync with the contemporary demands and expectations of the judiciary in the onerous task of establishing and maintaining sustainable checks on the performance of the government and the state institutions and not allowing these to be overly influenced by the illegal and unconstitutional directives of the executive as is vouched for by the sacking of the NADRA chief and the non-appointment of the heads of innumerable institutions it controls. In addition to all this, there are problems of a different kind that stalk the prime minister. Rather than getting down to addressing these, he is doing the bit of the ostrich with his head deeply immersed in sand wishing these to go away. But, go away these will not. By all appearances and indications, the severity and implications of the existential challenges confronting the state are bound to multiply. The appearance of consensus that the All Parties Conference (APC) had thrown up has already been blown away with the PPP, ANP and the MQM disagreeing vehemently with the government’s moves and those of the religious right and the neo-religious parties in dealing with the spectre of militancy and terrorism. Elevating the militants to the status of ‘stakeholders’ has already dented the government’s legitimacy and strategy, unveiling its true intentions: continue patronising the spectre of terrorism and violence that it has bred and nurtured in its backyard and which it feels threatened to confront. Its neo-religious partners appear even more eager and willing in partnering the scourge of militancy and its perpetrators for their electoral interests. This is what disasters are made of. We have one which is staring us in our faces, but we prefer to look the other way. _____________________________________________ “It was a viciously contrived process which hit hard at the prospect of Pakistan taking charge of its destiny by envisioning and formulating policies to take it out of the existent quagmire. As a result, Pakistan today is irretrievably ensconced in a deadly embrace with militancy and terrorism and there does not appear even a hint of hope on the horizon that things are going to be any different in the future.” _____________________________________________ In a recent survey in ten districts of Punjab conducted by Pattan Development Organisation, as many as “ninety-three percent respondents were unable to mention even a single act or policy of the PML-N government that has benefited them while more than half of them said that they could not state any policy of the government that has benefited the country”. This has happened in less than six months of the coming into power of the incumbent corrupt coterie of rulers. There is massive problem brewing. While the government and its religious and neo-religious partners remain engrossed in pursuing a policy of appeasement of the perpetrators of terror and violence, the latter are gaining in power, spread and confidence. They now believe that the whole country is within their grasp and all they need is one major push. Convening another facile APC or blocking the NATO routes cannot salvage for the absence of pragmatic planning and firm action in the face of the myriad challenges that Pakistan faces, each one more grave than the others. The flawed narrative pursued for so long is showing increasing signs of paralysis as a corrupt leadership remains engrossed in securing and advancing its personal paradigm by trying to make irrelevant all institutions that may pose a threat. Wearing the democratic disguise, unbridled dictatorship is on a rampage. Beware my worst fears: the prime minister is gradually rising to the full stature of his (lack of) capability, capacity and courage. Raoof Hasan is a political analyst and the Executive Director of the Regional Peace Institute. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A recent bill to protect child privacy has met with a barrage of frantic disapproving nods from Google, Twitter and Facebook. You’d think that child privacy would be an important issue for the tech giants, but evidently anything that hampers their ability to rule the masses is a big no-no. The FTA plans to give the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA) a makeover is not being taken well. Objections to proposed changes have already been filed so that the companies don’t have to give up their ability to track their users. We’ve taken a step backwards from dealing with issues such as cell phone spyware and PC monitoring software to literally having to worry about tech giants fundamentally choosing their own wealth over privacy.