The artist ‘Headache Stencil’ uses graffiti to criticize military rule in Thailand

Headache Stencil posing in front of a portrait of Thailand’s prime minister shaped in a maneki-neko cat. Source: Headache Stencil, used with permission. (GV) – Through street graffiti and murals, the masked artist Headache Stencil has been depicting Thailand’s ongoing clamor for democracy and reforms. When the military grabbed power in May 2014 and subsequently drafted a new constitution reinforcing a military-backed government, they vowed to restore elections and civilian rule, but this has yet to be realized. Headache Stencil started making graffiti after the 2014 coup. In an interview with…

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Asylum-seekers say they cross the border illegally because they don’t think they have other options

United States (TexasTribune) – After a cop took Claudia to a field, grabbed her by the throat and threatened to kill her and her 7-year-old son Kevin this spring, it didn’t take long for the 26-year-old single mother to decide it was time to get out of El Salvador. What happened next illustrates why so few Central American migrants enter the country the “right way” — at the international bridges, or ports of entry, where migrants can request asylum without crossing the border illegally. Claudia said she quickly called a friend who…

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South Sudan: No Amnesty for War Crimes

  (HRW) – South Sudanese leaders should not undermine their efforts to bring an end to the country’s devastating conflict with an amnesty for war crimes and crimes against humanity, Human Rights Watch said. The parties to the conflict signed a peace agreement on August 5, 2018, in Khartoum, agreeing to new power sharing arrangements and a timetable for further talks. On August 8, President Salva Kiir offered a “general amnesty” to heads of armed groups involved in the nation’s five-year civil war as part of the agreement to end…

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On anniversary of war, Georgians curse Putin

(EAN) – A rowdy rally was held in front of the former Russian embassy in Tbilisi on August 7 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Russia-Georgia war. Protesters held posters with photos of Georgia’s main antagonist, Russian President Vladimir Putin, along with a Russian caption that translates, roughly, “go f— yourself.” Photos of Georgian soldiers who died in the war also were on display at the rally. The photos featured the soldiers’ names followed by the words, in Georgian and English: “Imagine there were no Putin – I’d be…

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Cancer Study May Win Fallout Victims Compensation for First US Nuclear Test

(Sputnik) – Michael Levin, a spokesperson for the institute, which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), told The Associated Press Tuesday that the study should be concluded by early next year. The Trinity Test was the world’s first man-made nuclear explosion, detonated on July 16, 1945, in the Jornada del Muerto region of New Mexico. The test was to confirm that the design for a terrible new weapon, one that could destroy entire cities in a single explosion, could actually work. Trinity’s success gave the US military the go-ahead to use the weapon in combat, which it did several…

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Bangladesh: Rohingya Endure Floods, Landslides

(HRW) – The Bangladeshi government should relocate Rohingya refugees living in a severely overcrowded mega camp to safer ground in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, Human Rights Watch said in a report issued today. The refugees, who fled the Burmese military’s campaign of ethnic cleansing that began in August 2017, should not have to face flooding and landslides, and should have sturdier shelters and adequate education for their extended stay. August 5, 2018 Report “Bangladesh Is Not My Country” The Plight of Rohingya Refugees from Myanmar The 68-page report, “‘Bangladesh Is Not…

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Papers, Please: Unfortunately, Trump Isn’t Much Ahead of His Time

(Garrison) – At a Florida campaign rally on July 31, President Donald Trump informed the crowd, by way of promoting voter ID laws, that “if you go out and you want to buy groceries, you need a picture on a card. You need ID.” Twitterverse mockery ensued, mostly to the effect that Trump has little experience with the real world in which no, normal people generally do not need photo ID to buy milk, bread, and the latest edition of The National Enquirer at one’s local supermarket. Maybe Trump is out of…

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Australian Coroner’s Report a Refugee Tragedy

(HRW) – Hamid Khazaei was a fit and healthy young man when he arrived on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island in September 2013, transferred there by the Australian government under its draconian asylum-seeker policy. Less than a year later, the 24-year-old Iranian was dead from septicemia after a sore on his leg became infected.   On July 30, a Queensland coronial investigation found that Khazaei’s death was “preventable” and resulted from “a series of clinical errors, compounded by failures in communication that led to poor handovers and significant delays in his retrieval…

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Information disorder: The essential glossary

Trying to follow the national conversation about “fake news” and the spread of bad information online can be confusing because not everybody is using the same vocabulary. Claire Wardle, a research fellow at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, has created a glossary to help everyone understand certain words and phrases and how terms that may seem quite similar actually have very different meanings. For example, disinformation is false information meant to cause harm while misinformation is false information that might cause harm, although not deliberately. Below,…

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Why Oregon Should Keep its Landmark Sanctuary Law

(HRW) – The Mexican farmworker was only 23 years old and working in an almond orchard in California when the foreman began to offer her food and drink, while reminding her of his power and telling her he could get her more work. This made her uncomfortable, so she always refused, but on the third day, she told me he took her alone to a remote field and raped her. She told no one. She could not afford to leave the job, and he continued to rape her. She did not even…

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