From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Johann Opitz)
Europeans Outlaw Net Hate Speech
The Council of Europe has adopted a measure that would criminalize Internet hate speech, including hyperlinks to pages that contain offensive content. The provision, which was passed by the council's decision-making body (the Committee of Ministers), updates the European Convention on Cybercrime. Specifically, the amendment bans "any written material, any image or any other representation of ideas or theories, which advocates, promotes or incites hatred, discrimination or violence, against any individual or group of individuals, based on race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin, as well as religion if used as pretext for any of these factors." ... Many European countries have existing laws outlawing Internet racism, which is generally protected as free speech in the United States. The council cited a report finding that 2,500 out of 4,000 racist sites were created in the United States. Critics say that the measure may push hate groups to set up virtual shop in t!
he United States, pointing to a decision last year by a U.S. judge who ruled that Yahoo did not have to block French citizens' access to online sales of Nazi memorabilia, which are illegal in that country. The judge determined that U.S. websites are only subject to American law. ... European countries may decide to censor U.S. content themselves, as Spain has done, suggested Carlos Snchez Almeida, a cybercrime lawyer located in Barcelona. Spain recently passed legislation authorizing judges to shut down Spanish sites and block access to U.S. Web pages that don't comply with national laws. ... Representatives of the 44 European countries on the European Council must decide whether to adopt or reject the measure during the next Parliamentary Assembly session in January. Countries who support the amendment will then need to ratify it in their national legislatures before making it law.
Vietnam jails internet dissident
A Vietnamese dissident has been jailed for four years for publishing criticism of the Communist government on the internet. Le Chi Quang, a 32-year-old lawyer, was convicted of "acts of propaganda" against the state during the one-day trial in Hanoi, a court official said. Foreign journalists were not allowed to attend the trial. The conviction came as Vietnam's internet service providers (ISPs) confirmed that the authorities have blocked access to the BBC's Vietnamese language website. ... Despite Vietnam's constitutional guarantees of a free press, in reality dissidents take considerable risks if they speak out.
WI: Wolf recovery has farmers howling
It starts after sunset with howls echoing from the black woods at the edge of the pasture. Then the cows begin to moan. It is the return of the endangered timber wolf. And for the Fornengo family, there is nothing remotely romantic about it. These beef cattle ranchers in northwestern Wisconsin say nighttime wolf raids cost them 92 calves last year alone, and they expect similar losses when the cattle are finally tallied for this year. They say they are being driven out of business - and practically out of their minds - by a wildlife recovery program run amok. When they think of wolves, they see red. Blood red.
NYC: SHOCKER OF BOOTED STUDENTS
Scores of city teenage students are being illegally discharged - or "pushed out" - of public high school, an explosive report obtained by The Post charges. There were 160,000 discharges of students from schools from 1998 through 2001, according to the draft analysis by the group Advocates for Children and Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum's office. Many students are discharged for legitimate reasons - such as moving or transferring to another school. Others can be discharged for not being in attendance for 20 consecutive days or when they turn 21. But the report alleges that some students are being forced out because they're behind in credits - and students who are officially discharged are not counted as dropouts. ... The report said the new state Regents exam requirements and merit pay to high school administrators for performance might be encouraging principals to "force out" struggling students.
Canada: Way clear for safe drug-injection sites
Health Canada is reviewing the criteria for safe-injection sites for drug addicts and will be ready to accept proposals from interested cities by the end of this year. The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act has already been reviewed to ensure there is no legal impediment to creating centres where intravenous drug users could safely inject their drugs. The ministry is now shaping the guidelines under which cities could make proposals to open a safe-injection centre, Farah Mohamed, a spokesperson for Health Minister Anne McLellan, said Saturday.
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