February 24, 2014 |
As a wave of protests against government corruption and misrule rolls from country to country, nervous autocrats are using the same formula to crush dissent. From Russia, to Ukraine, to Venezuela, to Egypt, and beyond, there are copycat crackdowns: Arrest opposition leaders on absurd charges, hold show trials, beat - or sometimes shoot - protesters, and silence media that challenge the government's message. Then blame a foreign conspiracy for all that has gone wrong. This formula kept many dictators in power in the 20th century.
January 25, 2013 |
AMMAN, Jordan - The surprise victory of 37 Islamist and other government critics despite an election boycott injects a degree of dissent into Jordan's newly empowered parliament. The king has portrayed the assembly as a centerpiece of his reform package, but the opposition says it's not enough and vowed Thursday to stage more street protests. Initial results released Thursday showed the Islamists - who are not linked to the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood - and other opposition figures winning more than 25 percent of the 150-seat parliament, in sharp contrast to the outgoing legislature, which was almost entirely composed of the king's supporters.
August 11, 2012 |
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Florida Highway Patrol issued a report Friday defending its actions surrounding a chain of fatal crashes on a fog-choked roadway, suggesting that unpredictable weather and motorist failures made it unlikely that any amount of planning or policy changes could have prevented the 11 deaths. The patrol rejected many findings of an April report by another state agency, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which found errors but not criminal violations were made in decisions leading to the Jan. 29 wrecks that killed 11 people along Interstate 75 near Gainesville.
June 2, 2012 |
BEIRUT - The U.N.'s top human-rights body voted overwhelmingly Friday to condemn Syria over the slaughter of more than 100 civilians last week, but Damascus appeared impervious to the crescendo of global condemnation following a string of horrific massacres. Syria's most important ally and protector, Russia, voted against the measure by the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva. Russia has refused to support any move that could lead to foreign intervention in Syria, Moscow's last significant ally in the Middle East.
May 9, 2012 |
HARRISBURG — Spring is the season of pushback in the Capitol. The governor's spending plan is on the table, and invariably there are groups unhappy about its contents. With steep cuts proposed by Gov. Corbett in education and social services, the chorus of voices has grown louder this year — no fewer than a dozen rallies are scheduled in the Capitol this week alone — as the June 30 budget deadline looms. So, too, has the response by lawmakers, Democrats and Republicans alike, who think Corbett's "tough choices" budget cuts too deeply in the areas of education and social services.
January 9, 2012 |
The Pennsylvania State University board of trustees is dominated by a few wealthy and well-connected insiders, demands permanent secrecy, silences dissent, and is in dire need of reform, according to a scathing critical essay by a retired trustee seeking to return to the board. The first installment of a three-part, 3,700-word treatise by Ben Novak, a 1965 Penn State graduate who served as an alumni trustee from 1988 to 2000, was published in the Centre Daily Times newspaper on Sunday.
January 8, 2012
Paul J. Hetznecker is a criminal defense/civil rights lawyer who is representing several Occupy Philadelphia activists The spontaneous, peaceful Occupy movement has challenged us to closely examine the emergent corporate state and the corresponding demise of our democracy. Equally important is the spotlight the movement has put on the heart and soul of our democracy: the right to speak freely, to assemble in protest, and to express shared ideas through a collective, public voice.
November 9, 2011 |
BEIRUT, Lebanon - The death toll in the Syrian uprising has soared to at least 3,500, the United Nations said Tuesday, a sobering measure of a military crackdown that has bloodied city after city but failed to crush the eight-month-old revolt against President Bashar al-Assad's regime. Under the strain of daily killings, some Syrians see a fracturing of society as resentments over religion, sectarian identity, and poverty bubble to the surface. Moreover, there were new signs that an uprising that has been largely unarmed is increasingly starting to fight back, threatening more bloodshed.
October 13, 2011 |
THE Daily News People's Editorial Board just weighed in on the issue of school governance. I'm a member of the board, but I have to dissent from its solution, which is to change - well, nothing really. Keep the School Reform Commission and the entire top-down, one-size-fits-all system by which public education is dispensed in this city. Leave it all to the "experts" who have presided over the decline and fall of public education, here and elsewhere, for 50 years now. The People's Board suggests putting a parent on the SRC. Are all current members childless?
September 13, 2011 |
BEIRUT, Lebanon - Syrian troops mounted deadly new raids against dissent Monday as President Bashar al-Assad's embattled regime won key support from longtime ally Russia, which said a U.N. resolution on Syria must not contain sanctions. The top U.N. human-rights official said the death toll in Syria had reached at least 2,600 from the government's violent crackdown on protests the last six months, and the U.N. Human Rights Council named a panel to investigate allegations of rights abuses there.