Day: September 21, 2020

A hopeful signal for Hong Kong’s human rights and rule of law?



a display in a store


© Hong Kong Free Press


These days, the bad news coming out of Hong Kong seems to arrive on an almost daily basis: Legco elections delayed for a full year. Pan-democratic legislators barred from running for re-election. Apple Daily publisher Jimmy Lai arrested, along with prominent activist Agnes Chow and several others. Pro-democratic legislators charged with rioting in Yuen Long, even though video footage quite clearly shows them coming to the aid of victims of the attack. The list goes on and on.

Recent weeks have brought more worrying news for those concerned about judicial independence and the rule of law in Hong Kong. Sing Tao Daily and Apple Daily reported that Stanley Ho Chun-yiu, a magistrate, had been re-assigned to an administrative posting and would no longer hear cases. (Hong Kong Free Press also reported on the case). Ho’s rulings, in particular his recent acquittal of District Councillor

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UK government plans to remove key human rights protections



Robert Buckland wearing a suit and tie: Photograph: Simon Dawson/Reuters


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Simon Dawson/Reuters

The government is planning to “opt out” of parts of the European convention on human rights in order to speed up deportations of asylum seekers and protect British troops serving overseas from legal action.

The proposals are being coordinated by Downing Street aides. They are intended to rule out claims in areas where judges have supposedly “overreached” their powers.

The restrictions, according to the Sunday Telegraph, could pre­vent mi­grants and asylum seek­ers from us­ing the leg­is­la­tion to avoid being removed from the UK and to shield Bri­tish sol­diers against claims following over­seas op­er­a­tions.

Downing Street’s determination to restrict human rights powers has become entangled with the EU withdrawal negotiations. The government is resisting giving Brussels a formal undertaking to adhere to the convention.

A government spokesperson said: “The UK is committed to the European convention on human rights and to protecting human

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Trump Jr. tweet turns URI mural into political brouhaha



a group of people standing around a table: A section of a mural by Arthur Sherman painted in 1954 at the University of Rhode Island. [Courtesy of Pam Sherman]


© Provided by Providence Journal
A section of a mural by Arthur Sherman painted in 1954 at the University of Rhode Island. [Courtesy of Pam Sherman]

Donald J. Trump Jr. has dropped into a discussion about racial diversity and the future of two murals on display at the University of Rhode Island since the 1950s, ready to call it another case of a war memorial cancel-culture in higher education.

“Truly sick,” Trump said in a tweet on Thursday. “Don’t let the Left destroy America. God knows they’re trying hard to do just that.”

But the murals in question do not depict “the events of World War II” as reported by a Brietbart News item, which Trump Jr. promoted in a tweet that included his own comment.

The two murals depict life in the era of the GI Bill after the war.

As of Friday, the future of the murals, which

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US lawyer says Assange faces decades in prison if convicted | International

LONDON (AP) — An American lawyer told an extradition hearing in Britain for Julian Assange on Monday that the WikiLeaks founder faces decades in prison if he is convicted on spying charges in the United States.

U.S. prosecutors have indicted the 49-year-old Australian on 17 espionage charges, and one of computer misuse, over WikiLeaks’ publication of secret U.S. military documents a decade ago. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison.

Attorney Eric Lewis, appearing as a defense witness, said the scope of the indictment pointed to “a very aggressive approach to sentencing on the part of the government.”

“All signs point to a very long sentence, measured in many decades,” said Lewis, a senior partner at Lewis Baach Kaufmann Middlemiss in Washington, DC.

“We are looking at a sentence somewhere between 20 years, if everything goes brilliantly, to 175 years, which the government could easily ask

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