Showing posts with label Abuses. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Abuses. Show all posts

July 21, 2019

If Trump Does Not Care About Kids in Cages No AC, Water nor Toothbrushes Why Would He CareAbout Plastic Straws Killing Sea-Turtles?



                 Image result for straws killing sea turtles
GIMME MY PLastic Straws!! No Paper FTT (F*The Turtles)

President Trump appears to have identified his newest American enemy — paper straws. 
His reelection campaign is now selling reusable and recycled straws in their 2020 online store, and Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale blasted out the slurping non-soggy alternative in an email titled "Make Straws Great Again," a play on the president's famed slogan. 
"I'm so over paper straws, and I'm sure you are too. Much like most liberal ideas, paper straws don't work and they fall apart instantly. That's why we just launched our latest product - Official Trump Straws," Parscale wrote late Friday. "Now you can finally be free from liberal paper straws that fall apart within minutes and ruin your drink."
Journalist Yashar Ali appears to have been the first to notice the new merchandise in Trump's campaign store. A pack of 10, which are red and emblazoned with "TRUMP" in silver, is available for $15. However, they currently take almost two weeks for shipping. 
Parscale had registered his frustrations with the newest eco-friendly fad earlier this week on Twitter. 
And earlier on Friday, Trump himself weighed in on the issue during a gaggle with reporters, saying "I do think we have bigger problems than plastic straws, arguing that plates and wrappers are also made of plastic but aren't receiving as much attention or disdain. 


"Everybody focuses on the straws. There's a lot of other things to focus [on]," he said. 
Many environmental groups have been pushing for alternatives to plastic disposable straws, which gained traction in the wake of a video showing a sea turtle with a plastic straw stuck up its nose. However, the paper alternatives many restaurants have begun using often quickly become mushy and unusable as the liquid permeates them. There are other non-paper, non-plastic alternatives which are slowly gaining steam, including hay straws, bamboo straws, reusable metal straws, glass straws, or encouraging patrons not to use straws, as Starbucks has with new lids.  
This is hardly the first time Trump has tried transform such an issue into a partisan wedge and has especially taken glee time and time again in mocking environmental initiatives, such as the Green New Deal, or has cast doubt on the reality of climate change. And it could also be his way of trying to distract from yet another rough week politically in the wake of his racist attacks on four Democratic freshmen congresswomen of color. 
The scourge of paper straws, however, isn't just a conservative issue, as Trump's campaign wants to frame it. Earlier this week, Sacha Haworth of the liberal opposition research group American Bridge tweeted her own frustrations with paper straws. 
(Full disclosure: This journalist, and many others, have also often tweeted about paper straw grievances). 
This also isn't the first time that efforts to make disposable dinnerware greener have been used as a political cudgel. After Democrats flipped the House in 2006, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pushed to phase out styrofoam in the Capitol cafeterias, bringing in "corn-based, compostable dishes and utensils," according to The Hill. But when Republicans won back the House in 2010, they brought back the non-recyclable styrofoam.

December 21, 2017

Crack Down on Gay Men in Indonesia Continues Despite The Courts


FILE - One of two Indonesian men is publicly caned for having sex, in a first for the Muslim-majority country where there are concerns over mounting hostility towards the small gay community, in Banda Aceh, May 23, 2017.
 Activists in Indonesia are warily celebrating the Constitutional Court's narrow rejection last week of a conservative group's petition to ban gay and extramarital sex.
The surprising 5-4 verdict in the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation came during a long anti-LGBT crackdown that began in January 2016. The ruling, while welcomed by the LGBT community, does not end their battle for acceptance. The Constitutional Court’s decision focused more on the fact that it was the wrong venue to consider such a ban than on the human rights implications.
“I am relieved and feel so happy,” said Lini Zurlia, a gay rights activist in Jakarta after the Constitutional Court’s decision. “But I’m still worried about the next process at the legislative level,” she said. Parliament is expected to consider the ban.
FILE - A plainclothes policeman holds a rifle as he escorts suspects during a police investigation into a men's club after a weekend raid on what authorities described as a "gay spa" in Jakarta, Indonesia, Oct. 9, 2017.
FILE - A plainclothes policeman holds a rifle as he escorts suspects during a police investigation into a men's club after a weekend raid on what authorities described as a "gay spa" in Jakarta, Indonesia, Oct. 9, 2017.
The same day the Constitutional Court ruled, a North Jakarta court sentenced eight gay men to more than two years in prison for taking part in a gay sex party at a sauna, which was recently shut down on the grounds it was the site of sex work. Analysts say the sentences are further evidence of how criminalization continues to affect Indonesia’s LGBT population.
Nebulous pornography law
The major legislation criminalizing LGBT people in Indonesia is not a sodomy law or ban on gay sex, but a vague “pornography law” that has been used to charge everyone from sexters to sex workers to sauna attendees. Just this year, more than 200 LGBT people were arrested under the pornography law. Due to this unchallenged law, the narrow court victory, and the ongoing crackdown, many LGBT Indonesians are on edge once more after the celebratory moment last Thursday.
FILE - Police officers escort men arrested in a raid on a gay sauna at North Jakarta police headquarters in Jakarta, Indonesia, May 22, 2017.
FILE - Police officers escort men arrested in a raid on a gay sauna at North Jakarta police headquarters in Jakarta, Indonesia, May 22, 2017.
The eight people charged were among 141 gay men detained at a raid last May on the Atlantis Gym and Sauna, a move that drew criticism from the international human rights community. The men were stripped and faced police questioning while naked. Most were released the next day.
Those charged included a director, strippers, a gym trainer, a receptionist and a security guard, according to the Associated Press. Activists have called the pornography law used to prosecute them a serious incursion into civil liberties.
The law prohibits sex parties and defines “‘deviant sexual acts’ to include: sex with corpses, sex with animals, oral sex, anal sex, lesbian sex, and male homosexual sex,” according to Human Rights Watch. It sometimes intersects with the Electronic Information and Transactions Law, which prohibits exchanging “indecent” material on digital platforms, effectively criminalizing actions like sharing nude photos.
The extremely broad sweep of the laws means they have ensnared Indonesians ranging from the sauna patrons to the prominent hardline Islamist cleric Habib Rizieq Shihab. Authorities put out an arrest warrant for him for allegedly exchanging explicit WhatsApp messages with a woman.
According to a 2013 Pew report, 93 percent of Indonesians believed homosexuality was not acceptable.
Last year, there was an acute “gay panic” in which, among other things, a transgender boarding school was shut down, a former minister called on the public to kill gay people, and the vice president personally attacked a United Nations program focused on LGBT rights.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo defended LGBT rights with a statement in October 2016, although he qualified it by saying, “In Indonesia… Islam does not allow [homosexuality].” He has been mostly silent on the issue since then.
“Yes, certainly stigma and discrimination against LGBT continues to exist,” said Christian Supriyadinata of Gaya Dewata, a gay and transgender rights group in Bali. “As long as policy holders and leaders continue to think in terms of norms and morality, the LGBT community will continue to face discrimination. Whereas LGBT has nothing to do with morality. Crimes can be committed by anyone.”
FILE - One of two Indonesian men is publicly caned for having sex, in a first for the Muslim-majority country where there are concerns over mounting hostility towards the small gay community, in Banda Aceh, May 23, 2017.
FILE - One of two Indonesian men is publicly caned for having sex, in a first for the Muslim-majority country where there are concerns over mounting hostility towards the small gay community, in Banda Aceh, May 23, 2017.
Homosexuality is legal in Indonesia except in the semi-autonomous Aceh province, which observes Sharia, or Islamic law. Two young men were caned in Aceh after a group of vigilantes broke into their home and caught them having sex.


June 13, 2017

"Finding Mr. Gay Syria" This Film Highlights LGBT Abuses




From arrests to honor killings to cold-blooded murders, when Mahmoud Hassino saw the rights of Syria's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community trampled in the brutal civil war, he wanted to find a way to tell the world. 
In the midst of war, Hassino set out to find Syria's "Mr. Gay" to send to an international beauty pageant. 
Hassino, a Syrian journalist, and gay rights campaigner saw LGBTQ people targeted by all sides in Syria's six-year-old conflict. And women disproportionately bore the brunt of the violence. 
A scene from the new documentary "Mr. Gay Syria" Les Films D'Antoine/Coin Film/Toprak Film
"With the war, gender-based violence reached a peak," said Hassino, 42. "Women suffered and the LGBT community as well. Any kind of gender expression is not possible during any war." 
His quest to find "Mr. Gay Syria" is now the subject of a documentary directed by Ayse Toprak, a Turkish journalist for whom Hassino worked as a fixer. 
The documentary, to be screened at the Sheffield documentary festival in Britain on Tuesday, depicts the lives of gay and bisexual Syrians in Istanbul as they compete for a place in the Mr. Gay World competition. 
NOT JUST ISLAMIC STATE
When anti-government protests started in cities across Syria in 2011, Hassino hoped one of the outcomes would be more freedom for LGBTQ people. 
The uprising sparked hopes of more rights for minorities in a country where homosexuality is illegal, and people started coming out about their sexual orientation, talking about gay rights and women's rights, Hassino said. 
During the first few months of the civil war that ensued, it seemed as though Hassino's hopes had come true. 
"It had become easier for LGBT people because people weren't targeted systematically," Hassino told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from Berlin, where he now lives. 
But soon, they became a target for all groups involved in the conflict. In the most notorious example, rights groups have accused Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq of killing dozens of gay men by throwing them from buildings or stoning them. 
Gay men in Syria can face arrests, "honor killings" at the hands of family members, or murder by Islamic State and other militant groups. 
BEAUTY CONTEST
Hassino, who had worked in Syria with Iraqi sexual and gender minorities, decided to shed light on the abuses by sending a Syrian to the Mr. Gay World beauty pageant in Malta last year. 
"I had the idea of trying to create a media buzz around the situation which also highlights the Syrian LGBT refugee problem," Hassino said. 
Even though the competition's winner, Husein, did not make it to the event because of visa restrictions, Hassino himself traveled to Malta to raise awareness of the persecution gay Syrians face. 
He says the film will document their experiences for future generations. 
"As a journalist, I think documentaries are more important than beauty pageants," he said. 
Hassino now works with LGBTQ refugees in Germany -- many of whom were targeted and beaten up in refugee camps. His hopes for a swift change in attitudes to LGBTQ people have ebbed away. 
"Maybe after the war ends we'll talk about rights. But not now."

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