Taliban Declares Harshest Ever Mass Censorship Campaign
The Taliban Minister for the Prevention of Vice and the Promotion of Virtue in Afghanistan declared that all television sets, videocassette recorders, videotapes and satellite dishes must be removed from citizens' homes within 15 days or the technological devices will be smashed by the religious police.
In an attempt to isolate the Afghan population, the Taliban has added these "causes of corruption in society" to their list of unacceptable household items. Audiotapes, films, and most other forms of entertainment have already been banned for months. Leonard Sussman of Freedom House referred to these new rules as the harshest anywhere. "The Taliban is killing urban communication," he said, referring to the censorship as "the worst of the worst."
The communications ban comes at a time when human rights and women's rights activists in the west have stirred political opposition to the Taliban's severe oppression of its citizens. Any individual found with the aforementioned video equipment will be punished by Islamic law, according to a radio broadcast in Kabul, although no explanation of that penalty was given. In 15 days, houses will be arbitrarily raided by heavily armed and uneducated Taliban militia in mass inspections for illegal devices.
Media Resources: The New York Times - July 10, 1998
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .