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are men backing women’s lib in iran? men in scarves

Hamid Dabash in his mother's rusariimage:cnn

“They (Iranian government officials) use a standard cliche to try to humiliate men, as if being a woman were something bad, and thousands of Iranians respond by posting these pictures, showing there is absolutely nothing wrong with women or veiling," said Dabashi, who is a supporter of the arrested protester, Tavakoli.

“ Proud to wear my late mother's rusari, the very rusari that was forced on my wife in Iran, the very rusari for which my sisters are humiliated if they choose to wear it in Europe, and the very rusari that the backward banality that now rules Iran thinks will humiliate Majid Tavakoli if it is put on him -- He is dearer and nobler to us today than he ever was.”

documents on Iran

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no civil partnerships in the uk if you’re straight!

“A straight couple in London, Tom Freeman and Katherine Doyle, have been had their request for a civil partnership turned down by Islington registry office. They were handed a letter of refusal that informed them: "Part one of the Civil Partnership Act 2004 states that a civil partnership is a relationship between two people of the same sex and therefore we would not be able to take notice of your proposed civil partnership."

“Speaking outside the registry office after their failed bid, the couple told Pink News:

“Today we have been refused access to a legal institution because of our sexuality. We are saddened and disappointed. In a democratic state, all institutions should be open to all people. We are going to take legal advice and take it to the European court of human rights if necessary." ”

Note that this would not happen if the UK adopted the PACS declaration available in France.
[PACS: pacte civil de solidarité - civil agreement of solidarity (mutual support). A PACS can be made between unmarried, same-sex or opposite-sex couples.]

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another socialist ‘new’ labour move to outlaw cooperation

In the ‘New’ Labour onrush to isolate and alienate people in order to extend their fascist central control state, they are now moving to stop people cooperating and living together.

Getting people to distrust one another and to spy on neighbours is much enhanced by removing any form of private cooperation.

Naturally, as usual with any mafia, ‘New’ Labour tries to sell it as more ‘protection’ while, no doubt, trying to extract more tax.

“Plans to limit homes being rented to more than six unrelated people to prevent 'studentification' have been attacked by landlords and the students' union.

“Government proposals to use planning laws to restrict houses of multiple occupation, the official label for properties rented to groups of unrelated people, have been branded a 'knee-jerk reaction' and 'nimby's charter'. ”

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interesting kerfuffle emerging as iran blocks facebook in election lead-up

"The social networking site Facebook has been blocked by the government in advance of this country's presidential elections next month. The site was used by several candidates running against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad." [Quoted from allheadlinenews.com]

Marker at abelard.org

“Blockings and filtering of websites are not linked to the government but to the judiciary and a special committee there in charge of fighting moral abuse in internet," an internet provider in Tehran said.

“President Ahmadinejad himself denied calling for a ban on Facebook for period before the country's presidential elections.

“ "I should make an inquiry and ask about this," he said in a Monday press conference when asked about the issue.

“ "I believe in maximum freedom of expression," he added.

“As Iran gears up for the June 12 elections, Facebook has become increasingly popular among Iranian voters who discuss their views and engage in heated presidential debates on the social website.

“At least 25 million of Iran's population of 78 million is estimated to have Internet access. [Quoted from presstv.ir]

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uk’s newlabour tightening the net this time on travellers

“The travel plans and personal details of every holidaymaker, business traveller and day-tripper who leaves Britain are to be tracked by the Government, the Daily Telegraph can disclose.”

“Anyone departing the UK by land, sea or air will have their trip recorded and stored on a database for a decade.

“Passengers leaving every international sea port, station or airport will have to supply detailed personal information as well as their travel plans. So-called "booze crusiers" who cross the Channel for a couple of hours to stock up on wine, beer and cigarettes will be subject to the rules.

“In addition, weekend sailors and sea fishermen will be caught by the system if they plan to travel to another country - or face the possibility of criminal prosecution.

“The owners of light aircraft will also be brought under the system, known as e-borders, which will eventually track 250 million journeys annually.

“Even swimmers attempting to cross the Channel and their support teams will be subject to the rules which will require the provision of travellers' personal information such as passport and credit card details, home and email addresses and exact travel plans.

“The full extent of the impact of the government's "e-borders" scheme emerged amid warnings that passengers face increased congestion as air, rail and ferry companies introduce some of the changes over the Easter holidays.”

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Not clearly written, but this is a small step toward sanity

“There is one very significant issue that will always make data mining unworkable when used to search for terrorist suspects in a general population, and that is what we might call the "baseline problem": even with the most brilliantly accurate test imaginable, your risk of false positives increases to unworkably high levels, as the outcome you are trying predict becomes rarer in the population you are examining. This stuff is tricky but important. If you pay attention you will understand it.”

related material
cause, chance and Bayesian statistics - Bayes theory for conditional and marginal probabilities

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big brother strikes in putin’s paradise

“The Whisperers has been translated into 22 languages, including all the European languages of the former Soviet Union - except Russian, it now seems.”

“ On 4 December a group of masked men from the investigative committee of the Russian general prosecutor's office forced their way into the St Petersburg offices of Memorial. After a search the men confiscated hard drives containing the entire archive of Memorial in St Petersburg: databases with biographical information on victims of repression; details about burial sites in the St Petersburg area; family archives; sound recordings and transcripts of interviews.

“All the materials I collected with Memorial in St Petersburg (about one third of the sources used in The Whisperers) were also confiscated. The raid was part of a broader ideological struggle over the control of history publications and teaching in Russia that may have influenced the decision of Atticus to cancel my contract.

“The Kremlin has been actively for the rehabilitation of Stalin. Its aim is not to deny Stalin's crimes but to emphasise his achievements as the builder of the country's "glorious Soviet past". It wants Russians to take pride in their Soviet past and not to be burdened with a paralysing sense of guilt about the repressions of the Stalin period.”

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photographers to face arrest in uk

“Taking photographs of police officers could be deemed a criminal offence under anti-terrorism legislation that comes into force next week. Campaigners against section 76 of the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008, which becomes law on Monday, said it would leave professional photographers open to fines and arrest.”

“Under section 76, eliciting, publishing or communicating information on members of the armed forces, intelligence services and police officers which is "likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism" will be an offence carrying a maximum jail term of 10 years.”

“Val Swain, a member of Fitwatch, a collective which photographs police intelligence teams taking pictures of protesters, said: "I took a picture of an officer on my camera phone and he walked over and said, 'you are going to delete that'. We're in a public place, he's in a public role and he knew that. They've been gearing up for it but so far they've stopped short of arresting people. Now they will have the power to do it."

“Jeremy Dear, general secretary of the NUJ, said: "Police officers [...] believe they have the power to delete images or to take editorial decisions about what can and can't be photographed. The right to take photos in a public place is a precious freedom. It is what enables the press to show the wider world what is going on." ”

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another step toward the transparent society

“THE [UK] government is building a secret database to track and hold the international travel records of all 60m Britons.

“The intelligence centre will store names, addresses, telephone numbers, seat reservations, travel itineraries and credit card details for all 250m passenger movements in and out of the UK each year.

“The computerised pattern of every individual’s travel history will be stored for up to 10 years, the Home Office admits.

“The government says the new database, to be housed in an industrial estate in Wythenshawe, near Manchester, is essential in the fight against crime, illegal immigration and terrorism. However, opposition MPs, privacy campaigners and some government officials fear it is a significant step towards a total surveillance society.”

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political decision by echr backs spain’s scapegoat attack - xavier

In late 2002, the Spanish government caused an international environmental disaster, spreading filthy fuel oil from a damaged oil tanker over the coasts of at least three countries.

The Spanish authorities attempted to divert attention by making a scapegoat of the distressed ship’s master. Captain Mangouras, highly experienced and 69 years old at the time, was jailed in Spain for ten months, then kept under house-arrest, and only allowed to go home to Greece temporarily by posting a ludicrously high bail of 3 million euro. Captain Mangouras took his appeal against this mad bail to the European Court for Human Rights.

“ “This finding seems inexplicable,” ITF Seafarers’ section secretary Jon Whitlow told Lloyd’s List.

“ “The arrest of Capt Mangouras was a knee-jerk reaction by a flailing government. His continued detention was a politically-motivated attempt to shift blame in the face of a national disaster.” ”

“Capt Mangouras argued that the level of bail set was disproportionate to the accusations; there are alleged to have been “irregularities” in his conduct during the incident, which led to the release of 70,000 tonnes of fuel oil into the Atlantic.”

related material
Prestige oil disaster - latest Spanish government whitewash debunked

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