Daily News — CANVAS

Daily News and Updates 

A Small Spark of Hope for Democracy in the Indian Ocean

From the genocide of the Rohingya, to the violent crackdown on peaceful protesters in Nicaragua, to the surprising success of right-wing populism in Brazil, to the increasingly virulent strains of isolationist nationalism that have been taking root in eastern Europe, it’s a grim time for democracy around the world. But an unexpected source of hope has emerged from the Maldives, an island nation known for little more than its idyllic beaches and long history of authoritarian rule.

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In Celebration and In Protest—Queer People’s Power in Turkey

Despite the government ban on the Istanbul Pride March, approximately 1000 people chose to participate in a rally on Sunday, both in celebration of their identities and in protest of the government ban. Police, dogs, and armored vehicles confronted the protesters and eleven people were detained. However, activists continued to march.

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Hypocritical (Non-)Commitment to Human Rights Plagues White House

Avi Selk, Washington Post The United States withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) on Tuesday amidst growing criticisms against Trump’s zero-tolerance immigration policies. This move, which US UN Ambassador Nikki Haley has defended as an act of support for global human rights, has aligned the United States with Eritrea, Iran and North Korea, three of the world’s worst human rights offenders and the only other countries that have refused UNHCR membership. In the past six weeks, American customs officials have separated more than 2000 children from their asylum-seeking parents at America’s southern border. Many of these children are now housed in tent cities and converted warehouses, unable to see or communicate with their parents. In early June, the UN deemed these separations illegal under international law and called for their immediate halt. The US has since accused the UN of political corruption and incompetence and has withdrawn their membership from the Human Rights Council (HCR) as a whole. This decision is just the latest of many by the Trump Administration which disregard international treaties and human rights standards, setting an alarming precedent for the remaining years of Trump’s presidency. Ambassador Haley endorsed the withdrawal, stating “the United States will not sit quietly while this body, supposedly dedicated to human rights, continues to damage the cause of human rights. In the end, no speech and no structural reforms will save the members of the Human Rights Council from themselves.” However, the US’ departure from the world’s leading humanitarian organization arguably limits, rather than enables, the country’s ability to positively impact human rights. In her speech, Ambassador Haley cited... read more

Increasing Hate Crimes against Journalists threaten Indian Democracy

A rising tide of intolerance threatens journalists in India. Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office in 2014, journalists have been facing greater threats from an increasingly polarized environment in India. From the death of Gauri Lankesh, a known critic of Hindu right-wing extremism, last September to the recent hate crimes against Barkha Dutt and Ravish Kumar, there is a lack of press freedom and a growing assault on constitutional and democratic values.

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Georgian Prime Minister Resigns Amidst Protests Against Corruption

Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili resigned on Wednesday following several weeks of popular protest and political disagreements with Georgia’s ruling party. Kvirikashvili’s resignation accompanies several other step-downs by major government officials following popular outcry and protests against corruption.

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Death of Palestinian Medic Sparks Outrage and Investigations

The death of a medic in Gaza has prompted outcry and an investigation by Israeli officials. She was shot by Israeli Security forces as she approached the Gaza border fence.  Her death comes as hundreds of Palestinian protesters have been killed by the Israeli military near the border in a recent protests.

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What you need to know about Zimbabwe’s upcoming elections

On Wednesday, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced that the country is to hold presidential and parliamentary elections on July 30th. In less than two months, Zimbabwean citizens will have the opportunity to vote, in the first elections since the ousting of Robert Mugabe in November last year. What do you need to know about the upcoming elections?

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Kidnapping and Murder of Ecuadorian Journalists Just One Facet of Declining Free Press

At the end of March, an Ecuadorian media team was kidnapped by a rebel group along the Colombia-Ecuador border. Two weeks later, their deaths were confirmed and journalists in both countries are condemning their governments for the lack of action taken to secure the lives of their colleagues. And across the world, journalists suffer yet more injustices: arbitrary detention, harassment, and threats against their lives. Social movements must not only demand the hard work of journalists but also reciprocate with protection and support.

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People Power Rages in Armenia as Opposition Declares Revolution

Fueled by fear, hope, and anger, more than ten thousand Armenians have come out in protest to oppose the appointment of Serzh Sarkisian as prime minister. The leader of the demonstration has called for nonviolence, but past instances of excessive force by police against peaceful protesters bode poorly for those out on the streets. As the situation rapidly develops, and democracy slips from the people’s hands, their measured responses will be critical for charting the course of this conflict.

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Srdja Popovic Installed as St Andrews’ 53rd Rector

On Friday, April 13, Srdja Popovic officially became the 53rd Rector of the Scotland’s first university. “I am proud and honoured to serve as a Rector – a voice and empowerment of students of St Andrews. I am ready to commit my term to listening to the students and turning their initiatives into concrete action!”

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Bead Portrait Raises Awareness of Violence Against Indigenous Women

A Native American artist/activist is creating a large-scale portrait out of 4,000 beads. Each bead is to represent an indigenous woman who has gone missing or been murdered, and was hand-rolled by community members across the US. The portrait will honor the sister of a victim, and promote awareness of this issue through socially engaged art.

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