Trump vacancy raises consternation with Europe

A key vacancy in the State Department is creating friction between the European Union and United States over a new agreement affecting thousands of U.S. companies that do business in Europe.

The agreement, known as the privacy shield, allows businesses to swiftly send personal data across the Atlantic, something that affects a huge swath of U.S. companies, from Facebook and Apple to Netflix and Google.

Without the shield, companies that operate in Europe would have to enter into special contracts to transfer personal data.

EU officials are worried that the Trump administration has yet to nominate an ombudsman at the State Department to oversee complaints from Europeans about the access U.S. national security agencies may have to their data.

Trump vacancy raises consternation with Europe | TheHill



Views among college students regarding the First Amendment

…there is a significant divergence between the actual and perceived scope of First Amendment freedoms. More specifically, with respect to the questions explored above, many students have an overly narrow view of the extent of freedom of expression. For example, a very significant percentage of students hold the view that hate speech is unprotected. In addition, a surprisingly large fraction of students believe it is acceptable to act—including resorting to violence—to shut down expression they consider offensive. And a majority of students appear to want an environment that shields them from being exposed to views they might find offensive.

Views among college students regarding the First Amendment: Results from a new survey


Undocumented Parents Arrested at Children’s Hospital While Awaiting Their Infant Son’s Surgery

Oscar and Irma Sanchez, both of whom are undocumented immigrants living in Texas, were arrested while awaiting a serious surgery for their two-month-old son, highlighting the excruciating human cost of President Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant crusade.

Undocumented Parents Arrested at Children’s Hospital While Awaiting Their Infant Son’s Surgery


India calls Pakistan ‘Terroristan’ in UN speech row 

In his speech [Pakistan’s] PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi accused India of “war crimes” in the disputed Kashmir region and of “exporting terror” to Pakistan.

…In his speech Mr Abbasi addressed the issue of the Afghan war, saying Pakistan refused to be a “scapegoat” for the conflict. The US accuses the Pakistani intelligence services of ties to militants who operate in Afghanistan, allegations Pakistan rejects.

On Kashmir, the Pakistani leader accused India of employing “massive and indiscriminate force” against civilians protesting against Delhi’s rule.

“Shotgun pellets have blinded and maimed thousands of Kashmiris, including children. These and other brutalities clearly constitute war crimes and violate the Geneva conventions,” he said.

He also asked the UN to appoint a special envoy to oversee the region.

Exercising the right of reply, Eenam Gambhir, India’s first secretary to the UN, said it was “extraordinary that the state which protected Osama Bin Laden and sheltered Mullah Omar should have the gumption to play the victim”.

“Pakistan is now Terroristan with a flourishing industry producing and exporting global terrorism,” the envoy said.

India calls Pakistan ‘Terroristan’ in UN speech row – BBC News


Trudeau confronts Canada’s failure of indigenous people in U.N. speech

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday admitted Canada had failed its indigenous people and told the United Nations his government would do better to improve the lives of aboriginals and achieve reconciliation.

Trudeau used his speech to the U.N. General Assembly to frankly acknowledge the dark history of Canada’s colonization as one of “humiliation, neglect and abuse” and promised to do more to help the nation’s 1.4 million indigenous people.

…“Though this path is uncharted, I am confident that we will reach a place of reconciliation,” Trudeau later added.

…indigenous Canadians, who make up about 4 percent of the population and face higher levels of poverty and violence and shorter life expectancies.

Canada’s national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women has been hit by resignations and complaints it is progressing too slowly.

…Many aboriginal communities do not have access to safe drinking water, and suicides have plagued several isolated communities.

…Acknowledging Canada’s attempt to force assimilation through residential schooling and other repressive policies, Trudeau called the living conditions aboriginals face “the legacy of colonialism in Canada.”

Trudeau confronts Canada’s failure of indigenous people in U.N. speech


Rohingya crisis: Bangladesh’s Sheikh Hasina at UNGA proposes creation of safe zone in Myanmar

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday proposed creating “safe zones” inside Myanmar, supervised by the United Nations, to protect the Rohingya Muslims who are fleeing violence in Rakhine state, AFP reported. According to the international body, more than 4,20,000 Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh since August 25, when fresh violence erupted in Myanmar.

“These people must be able to return to their homeland in safety, security and dignity,” Hasina told the UN General Assembly.

She also called on the international community to take immediate measures to find a permanent solution to the Rohingya crisis. She further urged the UN to send a fact-finding mission to Myanmar. The Bangladeshi leader demanded the full implementation of the Kofi Annan Commission report that recommends citizenship for the Rohingyas.

…The Bangladeshi prime minister accused the security forces of Myanmar of laying landmines on the border to prevent the refugees from returning. She called on the Myanmar government to end the violence in Rakhine state “immediately and forever.”

Rohingyas have been denied citizenship in Myanmar, and are classified as illegal immigrants, despite them claiming roots going back centuries in the country. The community has been subjected to violence by the Buddhist majority and the Army in Myanmar. 

Rohingya crisis: Bangladesh’s Sheikh Hasina at UNGA proposes creation of safe zone in Myanmar