Month: August 2020

Nepal must reboot human rights, rule of law

Sometimes it can feel as though Nepal goes through endless cycles that bring us back every time to the place where we started. Maybe we just need more years to look back and see the progress.  

But up close, we seem to stand still. The present moment is like that. Consider these needs that remain urgent, yet have been forgotten:  

– The need for independent commissioners to deal with the demand of conflict victims for transitional justice, and the permanent need of society for the rule of law

– The need for independent police accountability mechanism to deal with the way democratic rights are sometimes repressed, especially during this Covid-19 crisis

Both pre-requisites continue to be urgent if this country is ever to deal with impunity and the daily humiliations of injustice that go unanswered. But we have been diverted time and again by petty politics.

It is now

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Trump pandemic border policy sends asylum seekers back to Ortega’s Nicaragua

Valeska Alemán, 22, paid a price for that notoriety. She was detained twice. Interrogators pried off her toenails. When she decided to leave the country, the United States seemed a natural destination: The Trump administration has been vocal in its opposition to Nicaragua’s crackdown — and its support of the country’s young protesters.

But by the time Alemán arrived at the U.S. border in July, the administration had launched a pandemic-era policy that sends Nicaraguans directly back to their country without letting them apply for asylum. Seventeen days after crossing into Texas, she was put on a plane back to Managua with more than 100 other Nicaraguans, almost all of them opponents of President Daniel Ortega.

Her backpack was full of documents to show U.S. immigration officials that the government appeared ready to kill her. The officials wouldn’t look at them. When she landed back in Nicaragua, it felt as

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AJC Urges Government, Civil Society to Act on QAnon Antisemitism

NEW YORK, Aug. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — American Jewish Committee (AJC), in a new position paper on QAnon, is urging government and civil society to strongly respond to the group’s antisemitic pronouncements and conspiracy theories.

“In a time of rising antisemitism and growing distrust and division in the United States, the QAnon worldview must be condemned in the strongest terms,” said Holly Huffnagle, AJC U.S. Director for Combating Antisemitism, who wrote the AJC position paper. “Antisemitic conspiracy theories about Jewish elites, globalists, and bankers are part and parcel of the QAnon belief system.”

Founded in 2017, QAnon is a loosely organized, far-right network of people who believe the world is controlled by a satanic cabal of pedophiles and cannibals, made up of politicians (mostly Democrats), mainstream media, journalists, and Hollywood entertainers. This cabal is accused of controlling a “deep-state” government whose purpose is to undermine and attack President

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‘The Public Record’ features lives of Louisvillians during COVID-19

Using their smartphones, 60 Louisville residents recorded their emotional and unique daily lives during the spring of 2020.

The result is “The Public Record,” a 37-minute documentary about the personal and political lives of Louisvillians in a time of polarization and isolation during a time of a worldwide health crisis and large-scale protests. 

“This film is unique for many reasons,” said Soozie Eastman, president of the Louisville Film Society, which is presenting the film as part of this year’s virtual FlyOver Film Festival. “Not only is the film a citywide view of what life has been like in Louisville over the past months, but the way that it was produced is unique.”

Each individual received coaching from Louisville based director Ben Freedman and executive producers Stephen Kertis and Chelsae Ketchum. The film’s producers coached them over Zoom calls to explain best practices for shooting video on their smartphones and capturing

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Rhea Chakraborty is Playing Double Game, Didn’t Even Offer Condolences to Family

Sushant Singh Rajput et al. posing for the camera: Photo Credit: Instagram/@rhea_chakraborty

© Taru Bhatia | Entertainment Desk
Photo Credit: Instagram/@rhea_chakraborty

Sushant Singh Rajput Death Case: With the Special Investigation Team of the CBI going out all guns blazing against all possible angles in the Sushant Singh Rajput case, senior advocate Vikas Singh representing the late actor’s family, slammed Rhea Chakraborty and claimed she “has never cooperated with Sushant’s family and is playing double game”. “Rhea has not cooperated with the family, she didn’t even offer condolences to the family when the mishap took place. Moreover, when the request for CBI probe was made, they opposed it tooth and nail. She may have put out a video in support of the CBI probe but her legal team opposed the same strongly,” the senior advocate said. He further said that if she really wanted to cooperate with the family, she could have withdrawn her petition from the Supreme Court. “Rhea is playing
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Gambia: The Enforcement of Covid-19 Regulations and the Human Rights Commission

A state must have guards and fences aimed at protecting the fundamental rights of the citizens. One of the guards that should be playing a fundamental role in preventing impunity in the enforcement of the law is the National Human Rights Commission. The Commission should have COVID-19 policy and strategic plan. It should be able to conduct advocacy on the role of security forces in the enforcement of the law. People are calling Foroyaa from the hinterland to ask whether they should pay fines to security forces for alleged violation of the curfew.

This means that people do not know what due process is. They do not know that they have a right to fair hearing before an Independent and impartial tribunal.

It is the Commission recognised as the authority that should be receiving reports on excesses in enforcing the law. Foroyaa is of the opinion that impunity in law

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Splaining How Government Works to Young Voters

Name: Ben Sheehan

Age: 35

Hometown: Washington, D.C.

Now Lives: In a two-bedroom condo in the Hancock Park section of Los Angeles, with his fiancée, Jackie, and his dog, Chooch.

Claim to Fame: Until 2016 Mr. Sheehan was the head of talent for the humor site Funny Or Die, in charge of concocting outrageous skits with celebrities, like when Michael Bolton starred as himself in a spoof screen test for “Office Space.” Now he’s using humor for civic education. His nonprofit, O.M.G. W.T.F. (it stands for “Ohio, Michigan, Georgia, Wisconsin, Texas, Florida”), explains how the government works to millennials and Gen Z-ers — “a.k.a., the people who have been deprived of civic education these last 20 years,” Mr. Sheehan said.

Big Break: In 2013, when he was a consultant for Funny or Die, charged with getting more musicians on the site, he ran into Scooter Braun, Justin Bieber’s manager, at

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A Reward for a Functioning Society

Image credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

On July 5, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle said in the middle of a press conference regarding the restart of Major League Baseball and what would later be known as summer camp, “sports are like the reward of a functioning society.” This sentence was amidst a much longer, thoughtful reply about the societal and health conditions under which MLB players were being brought back. It’s a very similar sentiment to one Jane McManus used on April 7, when she discussed the White House’s meeting with sports commissioners. She said “sports are the effect of a functioning society—not the precursor.” 

Both versions of the same sentiment spoke to a laudable ideal in the context of a country that was not addressing a rampaging virus, and opting instead to bring sports back for the feeling of normalcy rather than the reality of it. “Priorities,” as McManus said.

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De Blasio’s descent: How New York City’s mayor became so unpopular across the political spectrum

While New York City may have flattened the coronavirus curve, swaths of the once vibrant and bustling Big Apple remain boarded up. Crime is running rampant. A mass exodus of both people and businesses has left buildings dark, and the uncertain future of what used to be the seeming center of the world has both the left and right pointing fingers at Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio.

How and why did the 59-year-old mayor become so unpopular across the political spectrum?

City & State New York’s First Read survey, conducted by the Honan Strategy Group in late June, showed that only 1 in 10 out of more than 400 political insiders – ranging from conservatives to liberals and all views in between – approve of de Blasio and his handling of 2020’s defining crises: the global pandemic and the turmoil stirred over police brutality and systematic racism.

According to the

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Epstein Lawyer Alan Dershowitz Donated to Katherine Fernandez Rundle

When Alan Dershowitz’s name pops up in a news headline or on social media, you never know what you’re going to get. Is Dershowitz, the high-profile defense attorney who helped secure a non-prosecution agreement for the late millionaire sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, arguing that the age of consent is too high? Is he maligning the victims of his former client, or bashing the woman who has accused him of sexual assault when she was a teen? Maybe he’s fighting in court to keep Epstein’s secrets under wraps.

Dershowitz’s name recently turned up in an interesting place: a campaign-finance report for Citizens for Justice PC, a political committee supporting Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. Dershowitz contributed $1,000 to Rundle’s re-election campaign in late July, according to a campaign treasurer’s report.

In her 27 years as Miami-Dade state attorney, Rundle has painted herself as a champion for victims of crime. During

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