Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

The unprecedented corporate power grab known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal could be headed for a possible vote in Congress later this year. But thanks to the work of thousands of CREDO activists, whether it has enough support … Continue reading

The unprecedented corporate power grab known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal could be headed for a possible vote in Congress later this year. But thanks to the work of thousands of CREDO activists, whether it has enough support to pass is still an open question.

Unfortunately, the TPP just got a major boost from some of the largest and most well-known internet companies. A trade association representing companies including Google, Amazon, Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, and Yahoo just announced their full support of the TPP.1,2

This is outrageous. The TPP is antithetical to the interests of internet users. Furthermore, many of these companies pride themselves on putting the rights and interests of their users first and claim that principles such as free speech and privacy are at the core of their mission. TPP directly undermines those values in favor of corporate profit.

Tell members of the Internet Association: Disavow endorsement of the TPP. Click here to sign the petition.

Google, Amazon, Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, and Yahoo don’t have to go along with the Internet Association’s disastrously poor decision to endorse the TPP. One of its members, Reddit, has just come out and disavowed the endorsement.3 This is why we are joining with our friends from Fight for the Future to pressure other members to do the same.

The TPP was written and negotiated in absolute secrecy, and it’s easy to see why. It would eviscerate broad swaths of regulations that protect consumers, workers, the environment, and the soundness of our financial system. And it would set up a global system where corporate profits trump the policy priorities of sovereign governments.

Passage of the TPP could mean more American jobs offshored, developing countries losing access to lifesaving medications, and unsafe foods and products pouring into our country. The deal includes countries that are notorious for human rights violations without once mentioning “human rights” in its 5,600 pages.

The deal could also mean the end of internet freedom as we know it. It would expand corporate copyright enforcement at the expense of privacy and free speech. It would criminalize tinkering and modifying products under fair use purposes. And it would allow corporations to avoid the legal and democratic process by using secretive international tribunals to attack internet users’ rights – the same tribunals that could be used to undermine environmental and consumer protections.

The members of the Internet Association have no obligation to support this wrongheaded endorsement of the TPP. And, fortunately, many of these companies would be extremely sensitive to a backlash from their own users. After all, companies like Facebook and Twitter wouldn’t have a product if it weren’t for their users’ ability to freely express themselves and create content on a daily basis.

Tell members of the Internet Association: Disavow endorsement of the TPP. Click here to sign the petition.

With the media currently focused on the corrupt practices of corporations revealed in the release of the Panama Papers,4 we have the opportunity to shine the spotlight on how the TPP is just another attempt by corporations to skirt domestic and international law.

If we can get these major internet companies to publicly reject the TPP, as Reddit just did, we can turn this pathetic and self-defeating endorsement into exactly the opposite: A major public statement against the TPP and the corporate power grab it represents.

Tell members of the Internet Association: Disavow endorsement of the TPP. Click below to sign the petition:

http://act.credoaction.com/sign/TPP_Internet?t=7&akid=17517.5084505.ftxYLO

Thank you for your activism.

Murshed Zaheed, Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Add your name:

Sign the petition ?
  1. Internet Association Member List.
  2. Statement In Support Of The Trans-Pacific Partnership,” Internet Association, March 30, 2016.
  3. Reddit statement on Twitter disavowing TPP endorsement,” Reddit, March 30, 2016.
  4. Panama Papers: Leaks spur global investigations,” BBC, April 4, 2016.

¿O es que nos dieron la opción del filtro con la bandera del Líbano?

El peligro de ponerse la foto de perfil con el filtro de la bandera francesa

A raíz del atentado de este viernes en París, Facebook ha impulsado un filtro opcional para todos los usuarios de la red.

La manipulación colectiva por parte de los grandes medios de comunicación es evidente. El silencio que impera o la frialdad a la hora de exponer cifras de muertos cuando se trata de un atentado que ha tenido lugar en el conocido como Mundo Árabe contrasta con el dramatismo de la exposición cuando se trata de un atentado en territorio europeo o norteamericano. Y aunque esta estrategia comunicativa es un modelo de éxito a la hora de crear ciudadanos y sociedades de primera y de segunda, cada vez son más los europeos que entienden que están siendo manipulados y que tratan de apartarse de la influencia de los grandes medios que con su acción o inacción construyen muros entre sociedades que parecen infranqueables.

El peligro de ponerse la foto de perfil con el filtro de la bandera francesa

A raíz del atentado de este viernes en París, Facebook ha impulsado un filtro opcional para todos los usuarios de la red.

La manipulación colectiva por parte de los grandes medios de comunicación es evidente. El silencio que impera o la frialdad a la hora de exponer cifras de muertos cuando se trata de un atentado que ha tenido lugar en el conocido como Mundo Árabe contrasta con el dramatismo de la exposición cuando se trata de un atentado en territorio europeo o norteamericano. Y aunque esta estrategia comunicativa es un modelo de éxito a la hora de crear ciudadanos y sociedades de primera y de segunda, cada vez son más los europeos que entienden que están siendo manipulados y que tratan de apartarse de la influencia de los grandes medios que con su acción o inacción construyen muros entre sociedades que parecen infranqueables.

Ley Fayad

iniciativa de ley sobre Internet

Por: Luis García  – 28 octubre, 2015

El martes 27 de octubre, el Senador del Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI), Omar Fayad, presentó una iniciativa de Ley Federal para Prevenir y Sancionar los Delitos Informáticos, redactada en colaboración con la Policía Federal.
El pasado martes 27 de octubre fue presentado ante el Senado mexicano un proyecto de Ley Federal para Prevenir y Sancionar los Delitos Informáticos, cuyo principal impulsor es el diputado del PRI Omar Fayad. Si tienes la osadía de abrir el enlace al PDF y consigues leerlo completo sin sacarte los ojos con un tenedor, posiblemente termines un poco preocupado por el futuro del Internet en México.
La ONG mexicana R3D, dedicada a la defensa de los derechos digitales, publicó un análisis en el cual plantean que la iniciativa “prácticamente criminalizaría Internet entero”, y ciertamente, incluso a partir de una lectura superficial del texto se desprende su pésima redacción, ambigua y amplia como para dar cabida a que prácticamente cualquier conducta sea considerada ilícita.

iniciativa de ley sobre Internet

Por: Luis García  – 28 octubre, 2015

El martes 27 de octubre, el Senador del Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI), Omar Fayad, presentó una iniciativa de Ley Federal para Prevenir y Sancionar los Delitos Informáticos, redactada en colaboración con la Policía Federal.
El pasado martes 27 de octubre fue presentado ante el Senado mexicano un proyecto de Ley Federal para Prevenir y Sancionar los Delitos Informáticos, cuyo principal impulsor es el diputado del PRI Omar Fayad. Si tienes la osadía de abrir el enlace al PDF y consigues leerlo completo sin sacarte los ojos con un tenedor, posiblemente termines un poco preocupado por el futuro del Internet en México.
La ONG mexicana R3D, dedicada a la defensa de los derechos digitales, publicó un análisis en el cual plantean que la iniciativa “prácticamente criminalizaría Internet entero”, y ciertamente, incluso a partir de una lectura superficial del texto se desprende su pésima redacción, ambigua y amplia como para dar cabida a que prácticamente cualquier conducta sea considerada ilícita.

Being and Time

Every attempt of the human race to impose on nature by technology seems to always result in the paradox of achieving the opposite of what is sought. Modern technology provides the possibility of 24×7 worldwide connections with an ever expanding … Continue reading

e86bc914-dcd4-11e3-bfe0-12313b090d61-large

Every attempt of the human race to impose on nature by technology seems to always result in the paradox of achieving the opposite of what is sought. Modern technology provides the possibility of 24×7 worldwide connections with an ever expanding circle of acquaintances. Yet it seems people feel more isolated than ever. A trending and recurring topic in social media is the superficiality and impersonality of social media interactions. People that claim to be above the lure of Facebook daily post what they have for lunch and their exercise routines. It is curious, because what one have for lunch is the essence of life, but the symbol of the thing is not the thing, and the sharing of the symbol is no the sharing of the thing. That’s the core of our problems with meaning: our inability to distinguish between symbols and reality. Moreover, the oversupply of self-help book that demand of all of us an optimal use of our time to reach perfection and success, leave us with no time for authentic being.

Being, Heidegger claims in Being and Time, is “what determines beings as beings, that in terms of which beings are already understood.” In Heidegger’s view, fundamental ontology would be an explanation of the understanding preceding any other way of knowing. There is no access to being other than via beings themselves—hence pursuing the question of being inevitably means asking about a being with regard to its being. Heidegger concludes his work with a set of enigmatic questions foreshadowing the necessity of destruction of the history of philosophy: Is there a way leading from primordial time to the meaning of being? Does time itself reveal itself as the horizon of being?

But technology is not the source of the banality of our lives, rather it provides the opportunity for furious, socially sanctified, activity in which to drown our angst.

Do you remember an old Bruce Springsteen song called Glory Days? The lyrics tell the tale of three people who look back on times gone by with longing. The last verse goes like this: Yeah, just sitting back trying to recapture a little of the glory of, well time slips away and leaves you with nothing mister but boring stories of glory days.

shopping can kill

To inform people in boycotting Israeli products (made in Israel or made outside of Israel but directly or indirectly support Israel) send out an emails, tweets, share Facebook pages, post boycott information on forums and different blogs, send out text…

To inform people in boycotting Israeli products (made in Israel or made outside of Israel but directly or indirectly support Israel) send out an emails, tweets, share Facebook pages, post boycott information on forums and different blogs, send out text/SMS messages to people in your mobile phone book, call people and tell them.

Most consumers do not realize the extent of the penetration of Israeli goods in Europe, and in particular the UK market.

The purpose of this campaign is to draw awareness to this and to encourage people to join the boycott by starting with boycotting ‘made in Israel’ products.

Does the boycott work?

According to the Israeli Union of Industrialists, following the attack on Gaza, one in five Israeli exporters are having difficulty selling abroad due to the boycott. Yair Rotloi, chairman of the association’s foreign-trade committee revealed:

 “Twenty one percent of local exporters report that they are facing problems in selling Israeli goods because of an anti-Israel boycott, mainly from the UK and Scandinavian countries”. 

Facebook is not your friend.

Asked a Forbes.com blogger: “Is it okay for Facebook to play mind games with us for science? It’s a cool finding, but manipulating unknowing users’ emotional states to get there puts Facebook’s big toe on that creepy line.” Slate.com called … Continue reading

Asked a Forbes.com blogger: “Is it okay for Facebook to play mind games with us for science? It’s a cool finding, but manipulating unknowing users’ emotional states to get there puts Facebook’s big toe on that creepy line.”

Slate.com called the experiment “unethical” and said “Facebook intentionally made thousands upon thousands of people sad.”

Mr. Kramer defended the ethics of the project. He apologized for wording in the published study that he said might have made the experiment seem sinister. “And at the end of the day, the actual impact on people in the experiment was the minimal amount to statistically detect it,” he wrote on Facebook.

We are the product, not the customer

If you’re a Facebook user, some of your friends may have recently posted a status update titled “Privacy Notice.” It goes on to declare in legal-sounding language that since Facebook is now publicly traded it can make public use of your private content—and if you don’t repost the statement yourself, you are giving your implicit permission.

Sadly, you cannot protect your Facebook content with a reposted status update: It’s a hoax. But you can protect yourself by taking control of your privacy settings; see our step-by-step video on how to do just that.

Facebook commented on its own privacy page about the hoax:

We have noticed a recent status update that is being widely shared implying the ownership of your Facebook content has recently changed. This is not true and has never been the case. Facebook does not own your data and content.

Facebook privacy page


http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/andrewbrown/2010/may/14/facebook-not-your-friend
Continuar leyendo “Facebook is not your friend.”

DVDFab

DVDFab Passkey 8.2.1.7 Download DVDFab Passkey 8.2.1.7 This is why DVDFab.com is down – the actual injunction Posted at 12 March 2014 15:44 CET by Jan Willem Aldershoff Recently we reported that the DVDFab.com domain was shutdown due to an injunction sought by the AACS LA (Advanced Access Content System Licensing Administrator). The AACS LA is the developer and licensee of  AACS , […]

DVDFab Passkey 8.2.1.7

This is why DVDFab.com is down – the actual injunction

Posted at 12 March 2014 15:44 CET by Jan Willem Aldershoff

Recently we reported that the DVDFab.com domain was shutdown due to an injunction sought by the AACS LA (Advanced Access Content System Licensing Administrator). The AACS LA is the developer and licensee of  AACS , a copy protection part of the Blu-ray specification. Their interest in DVDFab is not surprising, DVDFab contains functionality to circumvent the AACS copy protection, rendering it useless.

As DVDFab is in China the company is currently coping well, their website is still available through other domain names and orders are processed as usual.


DVDFab sees Facebook page removed, launchesIlikeDVDFab.com

Posted at 12 March 2014 17:41 CET by Jan Willem Aldershoff

While Facebook removed their  page today, DVDFab started a website explaining what happened and asking people for their support. On the website IlikeDVDFab.com the company asks people to tweet the message; “love this software and I need DVDFab come back! #DVDFabComeBack”.


http://en.dvdfab.cn/download.htm

women in Islam

The Iraqi Council of Representatives will vote to legalise Forced Child Marriage1.
The specifics of the legislation (part of the Jaafari Personal Status Law) are terrifying:

  • There will no longer be a minimum age to legally marry (it’s currently 18) but the law provides policies for divorcing a 9-year-old girl;
  • A girl’s father would legally be able to accept a marriage proposal on her behalf; and
  • The girl would be legally prohibited from resisting her husband’s advances and leaving the home without his permission.

It’s a recipe for a life in domestic and sexual slavery.

The law was sent to the Council of Representatives yesterday, and the vote could happen any time now. To prevent Iraq’s girls from becoming vulnerable to forced child marriage it is crucial that we act now.

Currently, Iraq has one of the most progressive policies on women’s rights in the Middle East — setting the legal marriage age at 18 and prohibiting forced marriage2.

Any minute now, the Iraqi Council of Representatives will vote to legalise forced child marriage. 1
The specifics of the legislation (part of the Jaafari Personal Status Law) are terrifying:
  • There will no longer be a minimum age to legally marry (it’s currently 18) but the law provides policies for divorcing a 9-year-old;
  • A girl’s father would legally be able to accept a marriage proposal; and
  • The girl would be legally prohibited from resisting her husband’s advances and leaving the home without his permission.
It’s a recipe for a life in domestic and sexual slavery.
Currently, Iraq has one of the most progressive policies on women’s rights in the Middle East — setting the legal marriage age at 18 and prohibiting forced marriage.2
Brave Iraqi women have been fighting against removing the minimum age for marriage, for their sake and for the sake of their daughters. Last month on International Women’s Day, countless women attended demonstrations in Baghdad protesting the Jaafari Personal Status Law. They called it the “Day of Mourning”.3
We may not have much time to stop Iraq from legalising forced child marriage and a lifetime of domestic and sexual slavery for girls and women. Call on the the Iraqi Council of Representatives to vote “no” to the Jaafari Personal Status Law today.


PUBLISHED: 14:41 GMT, 24 January 2013 | UPDATED: 14:42 GMT, 24 January 2013

Saudi Arabia’s feared morality police say they will not punish men who walk around in their underwear – but women still face harsh punishments if they violate strict laws on women’s dress codes.

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice has denied reports of a ban to counter the controversial trend of young men frequenting shopping malls in their undershirts and long pyjamas.

Women, however, are still expected to cover their body with a cloak, head covering and a veil according to the country’s strict Islamic laws.


Friday, 15 March, 2002, 12:19 GMT  

Saudi police ‘stopped’ fire rescue
 
Saudi Arabia’s religious police stopped schoolgirls from leaving a blazing building because they were not wearing correct Islamic dress, according to Saudi newspapers.

In a rare criticism of the kingdom’s powerful “mutaween” police, the Saudi media has accused them of hindering attempts to save 15 girls who died in the fire on Monday.

An inquiry was launched by the Saudi government in wake of the deaths. The investigation was led by Abdul Majeed, the governor of Makkah. The Interior Minister, Prince Nayef, promised that those responsible for the deaths would be held accountable.[7] Nayef, at the time, stated that the deaths didn’t happen as a result of the fire, but rather the stampede caused by the panic. He acknowledged the presence of two mutaween and that they went there to prevent “mistreatment” of the girls. He asserted that they didn’t interfere with the rescue efforts and only arrived after everyone had left the building.[7]
On March 25, the inquiry concluded that while the fire had been caused by a stray cigarette, the religious educational authorities responsible for the school had neglected the safety of the pupils.[3] The inquiry found that the clerics had ignored warnings that overcrowding of the school could cause a fatal stampede. It also found that there was a lack of fire extinguishers and alarms in the building. Accordingly, the cleric in charge of the school was fired, and his office was merged with the Ministry of Education. The report dismissed allegations that the mutaween (of CPVPV) had prevented the girls from fleeing or made the death toll worse.[3]
Many newspapers welcomed the merger of the agency responsible for girls’ education with the Ministry of Education. Previously, the agencies had been separate and girls’ education had been in the hands of the religious establishment. The newspapers saw the merger as a step towards “reform”.


Elham Asghari is an Iranian swimmer who began swimming at the age of five. She holds several national open-water swimming records. Elham swims wearing a full-body swimsuit she designed that fully adheres to Iran’s Islamic dress code for women. She says the suit hinders her performance and causes her pain, adding a hefty six kilograms to her weight in water. Still she wears it in order to pursue her lifelong dream of being an open-water swimmer.
Achieving that dream has not been without its challenges for Elham. In Iran women are only allowed to swim in gender-segregated pools and are banned from participating in international swimming competitions. During a previous open-water record-attempt, Iranian police chased Elham in a boat in order to stop her from swimming. The propellers on the police boat sliced her legs and hip.
Elham broke her previous 20km open-water record, in June of 2013, by completing a swim in the Caspian Sea in just over eight hours. She swam in a private, women-only beach to avoid another run in with the police. Yet, Iranian officials have refused to recognize her record, stating that her swimming costume, which she had worn when setting her previous records, was illegal because “the feminine characteristics of her body were visible when she came out of the water.

As an Iranian-American woman living in the United States, I feel it is my duty to raise the publics’ awareness on the issue at hand. I’m asking the International Swimming Federation (FINA) to require the Iranian Swimming Federation to register the record Elham Asghari rightfully earned.
Elham Asghari is a talented, accomplished athlete who has worked tirelessly as an open-water swimmer. She continues to face obstacles and challenges that most athletes would never have to deal with on a daily basis. Like any other athlete she deserves to be recognized for her accomplishments. Please join me in asking FINA to help get Elham’s record recognized.


(CNN) — Women stood at the forefront of the Arab Spring, taking to the streets shoulder to shoulder with men in an effort to overturn oppressive old orders.

But while their efforts have seen dictators ousted and reforms introduced, the greater rights for women many hoped would emerge from the upheaval have not materialized.

Indeed, says Lebanese activist Diala Haidar, the rise of political Islam throughout the region in the wake of the uprising has raised the specter of hard-won gains for women being lost.

Haidar and four other women’s rights activists across the region started a campaign, The Uprising of Women in the Arab World, on Facebook in October 2011, to highlight injustices against women throughout the region.

“The Arab Spring took place under the banner of freedom, dignity and equality, and the three can’t be established if women are left behind,” said Haidar, 28, a laboratory supervisor.

“At every stage of history we have been given the excuse, ‘It’s not the time to discuss women’s issues — we are at war, it’s a revolution,’ or whatever. It’s our time to say ‘We need our rights,'” she added.


RIYADH — Denied the right to travel without consent from their male guardians and banned from driving, women in Saudi Arabia are now monitored by an electronic system that tracks any cross-border movements.

Since last week, Saudi women’s male guardians began receiving text messages on their phones informing them when women under their custody leave the country, even if they are travelling together.

Manal al-Sherif, who became the symbol of a campaign launched last year urging Saudi women to defy a driving ban, began spreading the information on Twitter, after she was alerted by a couple.


International Olympic Committee rules require that countries allow both men and women to compete as a prerequisite for their participation in the Olympic Games. Saudia Arabia, a country that has never sent a female athlete to the games, has been warned of this, promised to correct the situation, and then sort of did nothing for awhile and hoped that no one would notice.

Now, one human rights group says enough is enough and is encouraging the IOC to bar the Middle Eastern Kingdom from the Games, on account of the fact that they’re clearly dragging their feet on this. In a letter to the IOC on Wednesday, the organization demanded Saudi Arabia be barred from the upcoming London Olympic Games if they fail to send a lady to compete.

For awhile, it looked as though Saudi Arabia would actually comply with the IOC’s warning. Equestrian Dalma Rushdi Malhas competed for the kingdom in the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, where she took home a bronze medal. Some analysts believed that she had the best chance to qualify for the Olympics, but now, it seems that the country’s all-male equestrian team is deep into training in Europe— without her.

Further, Olympic rules have bent over backward to allow countries with fewer highly trained athletes to send participants to the games by offering universality slots in many track and field and swimming events. The slots are reserved for countries that can’t produce any athletes that meet the qualifying standards. Saudi Arabia has not opted to fill any of those slots with female athletes.

A spokesperson from the IOC rejected the call for a Saudi ban, saying that the Games don’t issue ultimatums or deadlines to countries who wish to participate, that Malhas’s participation in the Youth Olympic Games was a positive sign that Saudi Arabia was serious about including ladies.

But Human Rights Watch isn’t not so sure this is the case. Girls and boys are strictly segregated in the country, and all girls schools do not offer any sort of physical education, exercise, or sports teams. For a Saudi woman to have any hope of training, she’d have to do it in another country. Saudi Arabia was never serious about including women in sport, and may never be.

Ban Urged on Saudi Arabia over Discrimination [NYT]

The Iraqi Council of Representatives will vote to legalise Forced Child Marriage1.
The specifics of the legislation (part of the Jaafari Personal Status Law) are terrifying:

  • There will no longer be a minimum age to legally marry (it’s currently 18) but the law provides policies for divorcing a 9-year-old girl;
  • A girl’s father would legally be able to accept a marriage proposal on her behalf; and
  • The girl would be legally prohibited from resisting her husband’s advances and leaving the home without his permission.

It’s a recipe for a life in domestic and sexual slavery.

The law was sent to the Council of Representatives yesterday, and the vote could happen any time now. To prevent Iraq’s girls from becoming vulnerable to forced child marriage it is crucial that we act now.

Currently, Iraq has one of the most progressive policies on women’s rights in the Middle East — setting the legal marriage age at 18 and prohibiting forced marriage2.

Any minute now, the Iraqi Council of Representatives will vote to legalise forced child marriage. 1
The specifics of the legislation (part of the Jaafari Personal Status Law) are terrifying:
  • There will no longer be a minimum age to legally marry (it’s currently 18) but the law provides policies for divorcing a 9-year-old;
  • A girl’s father would legally be able to accept a marriage proposal; and
  • The girl would be legally prohibited from resisting her husband’s advances and leaving the home without his permission.
It’s a recipe for a life in domestic and sexual slavery.
Currently, Iraq has one of the most progressive policies on women’s rights in the Middle East — setting the legal marriage age at 18 and prohibiting forced marriage.2
Brave Iraqi women have been fighting against removing the minimum age for marriage, for their sake and for the sake of their daughters. Last month on International Women’s Day, countless women attended demonstrations in Baghdad protesting the Jaafari Personal Status Law. They called it the “Day of Mourning”.3
We may not have much time to stop Iraq from legalising forced child marriage and a lifetime of domestic and sexual slavery for girls and women. Call on the the Iraqi Council of Representatives to vote “no” to the Jaafari Personal Status Law today.


|

Saudi Arabia’s feared morality police say they will not punish men who walk around in their underwear – but women still face harsh punishments if they violate strict laws on women’s dress codes.

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice has denied reports of a ban to counter the controversial trend of young men frequenting shopping malls in their undershirts and long pyjamas.

Women, however, are still expected to cover their body with a cloak, head covering and a veil according to the country’s strict Islamic laws.


Friday, 15 March, 2002, 12:19 GMT  

Saudi police ‘stopped’ fire rescue
 
Saudi Arabia’s religious police stopped schoolgirls from leaving a blazing building because they were not wearing correct Islamic dress, according to Saudi newspapers.

In a rare criticism of the kingdom’s powerful “mutaween” police, the Saudi media has accused them of hindering attempts to save 15 girls who died in the fire on Monday.

An inquiry was launched by the Saudi government in wake of the deaths. The investigation was led by Abdul Majeed, the governor of Makkah. The Interior Minister, Prince Nayef, promised that those responsible for the deaths would be held accountable.[7] Nayef, at the time, stated that the deaths didn’t happen as a result of the fire, but rather the stampede caused by the panic. He acknowledged the presence of two mutaween and that they went there to prevent “mistreatment” of the girls. He asserted that they didn’t interfere with the rescue efforts and only arrived after everyone had left the building.[7]
On March 25, the inquiry concluded that while the fire had been caused by a stray cigarette, the religious educational authorities responsible for the school had neglected the safety of the pupils.[3] The inquiry found that the clerics had ignored warnings that overcrowding of the school could cause a fatal stampede. It also found that there was a lack of fire extinguishers and alarms in the building. Accordingly, the cleric in charge of the school was fired, and his office was merged with the Ministry of Education. The report dismissed allegations that the mutaween (of CPVPV) had prevented the girls from fleeing or made the death toll worse.[3]
Many newspapers welcomed the merger of the agency responsible for girls’ education with the Ministry of Education. Previously, the agencies had been separate and girls’ education had been in the hands of the religious establishment. The newspapers saw the merger as a step towards “reform”.


Elham Asghari is an Iranian swimmer who began swimming at the age of five. She holds several national open-water swimming records. Elham swims wearing a full-body swimsuit she designed that fully adheres to Iran’s Islamic dress code for women. She says the suit hinders her performance and causes her pain, adding a hefty six kilograms to her weight in water. Still she wears it in order to pursue her lifelong dream of being an open-water swimmer.
Achieving that dream has not been without its challenges for Elham. In Iran women are only allowed to swim in gender-segregated pools and are banned from participating in international swimming competitions. During a previous open-water record-attempt, Iranian police chased Elham in a boat in order to stop her from swimming. The propellers on the police boat sliced her legs and hip.
Elham broke her previous 20km open-water record, in June of 2013, by completing a swim in the Caspian Sea in just over eight hours. She swam in a private, women-only beach to avoid another run in with the police. Yet, Iranian officials have refused to recognize her record, stating that her swimming costume, which she had worn when setting her previous records, was illegal because “the feminine characteristics of her body were visible when she came out of the water.

As an Iranian-American woman living in the United States, I feel it is my duty to raise the publics’ awareness on the issue at hand. I’m asking the International Swimming Federation (FINA) to require the Iranian Swimming Federation to register the record Elham Asghari rightfully earned.
Elham Asghari is a talented, accomplished athlete who has worked tirelessly as an open-water swimmer. She continues to face obstacles and challenges that most athletes would never have to deal with on a daily basis. Like any other athlete she deserves to be recognized for her accomplishments. Please join me in asking FINA to help get Elham’s record recognized.


(CNN) — Women stood at the forefront of the Arab Spring, taking to the streets shoulder to shoulder with men in an effort to overturn oppressive old orders.

But while their efforts have seen dictators ousted and reforms introduced, the greater rights for women many hoped would emerge from the upheaval have not materialized.

Indeed, says Lebanese activist Diala Haidar, the rise of political Islam throughout the region in the wake of the uprising has raised the specter of hard-won gains for women being lost.

Haidar and four other women’s rights activists across the region started a campaign, The Uprising of Women in the Arab World, on Facebook in October 2011, to highlight injustices against women throughout the region.

“The Arab Spring took place under the banner of freedom, dignity and equality, and the three can’t be established if women are left behind,” said Haidar, 28, a laboratory supervisor.

“At every stage of history we have been given the excuse, ‘It’s not the time to discuss women’s issues — we are at war, it’s a revolution,’ or whatever. It’s our time to say ‘We need our rights,'” she added.


RIYADH — Denied the right to travel without consent from their male guardians and banned from driving, women in Saudi Arabia are now monitored by an electronic system that tracks any cross-border movements.

Since last week, Saudi women’s male guardians began receiving text messages on their phones informing them when women under their custody leave the country, even if they are travelling together.

Manal al-Sherif, who became the symbol of a campaign launched last year urging Saudi women to defy a driving ban, began spreading the information on Twitter, after she was alerted by a couple.


International Olympic Committee rules require that countries allow both men and women to compete as a prerequisite for their participation in the Olympic Games. Saudia Arabia, a country that has never sent a female athlete to the games, has been warned of this, promised to correct the situation, and then sort of did nothing for awhile and hoped that no one would notice.

Now, one human rights group says enough is enough and is encouraging the IOC to bar the Middle Eastern Kingdom from the Games, on account of the fact that they’re clearly dragging their feet on this. In a letter to the IOC on Wednesday, the organization demanded Saudi Arabia be barred from the upcoming London Olympic Games if they fail to send a lady to compete.

For awhile, it looked as though Saudi Arabia would actually comply with the IOC’s warning. Equestrian Dalma Rushdi Malhas competed for the kingdom in the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, where she took home a bronze medal. Some analysts believed that she had the best chance to qualify for the Olympics, but now, it seems that the country’s all-male equestrian team is deep into training in Europe— without her.

Further, Olympic rules have bent over backward to allow countries with fewer highly trained athletes to send participants to the games by offering universality slots in many track and field and swimming events. The slots are reserved for countries that can’t produce any athletes that meet the qualifying standards. Saudi Arabia has not opted to fill any of those slots with female athletes.

A spokesperson from the IOC rejected the call for a Saudi ban, saying that the Games don’t issue ultimatums or deadlines to countries who wish to participate, that Malhas’s participation in the Youth Olympic Games was a positive sign that Saudi Arabia was serious about including ladies.

But Human Rights Watch isn’t not so sure this is the case. Girls and boys are strictly segregated in the country, and all girls schools do not offer any sort of physical education, exercise, or sports teams. For a Saudi woman to have any hope of training, she’d have to do it in another country. Saudi Arabia was never serious about including women in sport, and may never be.

Ban Urged on Saudi Arabia over Discrimination [NYT]

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From the Activity log, select “Comments”, and you’ll get a chronological list of all your comments. In addition, you can also request a download of your Facebook data, if you want to do some automated analysis or processing on it. You can do this from Account settings. It takes a while for the download to be […]

From the Activity log, select “Comments”, and you’ll get a chronological list of all your comments.

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In addition, you can also request a download of your Facebook data, if you want to do some automated analysis or processing on it. You can do this from Account settings. It takes a while for the download to be ready. “Once your download is ready, [Facebook will] send an email to the email address listed on your Facebook account along with a link to your download.”

However, it’s quite possible neither of these methods provide the amount of likes on each of your comments. The description on types of provided data does mention that