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Political Rights

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NEWS
June 22, 1993 | By CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER
In Vienna this week, representatives of every country on earth are in conference on human rights. The conference's principal aim - as is to be expected of any conclave of 183 governments, the majority of which are despotic - is to destroy the human-rights idea. Washington sent Secretary of State Warren Christopher to Vienna to hold the fort. The results were mixed. The destroyers, led by China, Iran, Cuba, Vietnam and other paragons of human rights, are not very subtle. Their strategy is to shred the idea of human rights by having the world deny that they are universal and by insisting that they "must be considered in the context of . . . national and regional particularities and various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds.
NEWS
June 9, 2012 | By Reem Khalifa, Associated Press
MANAMA, Bahrain - Riot police fired tear gas and stun grenades Friday as tens of thousands of protesters staged the biggest antigovernment demonstrations in weeks in the divided Persian Gulf nation. Opposition groups called for major rallies after a prominent rights activist, Nabeel Rajab, was placed back in detention earlier this week on fresh charges linked to his social media posts. Bahrain has experienced near daily protests for 16 months caused by an uprising by the kingdom's Shiite majority seeking greater political rights from the Western-backed Sunni monarchy.
NEWS
January 17, 2013 | By Peter James Spielmann, Associated Press
NEW YORK - Libya made major strides toward establishing democracy and political rights last year, a pro-democracy watchdog group said in a report Wednesday. The findings counter a widespread impression of the country as anarchic after the deadly militia raid in Benghazi that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. Freedom House's annual ranking of political rights and civil liberties around the world found worrying trends in many regions where it said the West was failing to promote and defend democracy.
NEWS
July 6, 1993 | by Beth Stephens, From the New York Times
The United Nations human-rights conference in Vienna has focused attention on a longstanding debate: Who decides what constitutes a human right? The United States is on shaky ground in that debate. Some governments argue that cultural variations justify different interpretations of fundamental human rights. They say basic guarantees of due process and democracy are Western concepts that are imposed on the Third World without its consent. Our government has reacted angrily to this claim, which is often an ill- disguised attempt to escape international scrutiny of human-rights abuses.
NEWS
March 8, 2013 | By Michael D. Schaffer, Inquirer Staff Writer
Mary Robinson doesn't mind the tough stuff. As the United Nations chief advocate for human rights, she traveled the world in a hot-spot hopscotch - Rwanda, Chechnya, Dagestan, East Timor, the West Bank - for hard discussions with people who didn't necessarily want her around. No matter. "I've never found it difficult to stand up to bullies," says the former president of Ireland (1990-1997) and U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997-2002). It's a matter-of-fact statement, not a boast.
NEWS
October 25, 2000 | By Lauren Mayk, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
Raymond Rodney Coleman was dismayed but not deterred by the Board of Education's rejection Monday night of a student bill of rights that included two pages detailing religious rights. Coleman, a minister and member of the Board of Education, said more needed to be done to inform students and faculty about students' rights to carry Bibles, pass out religious information, and pray in school, among other things. He said he planned to pursue a forum to discuss religious rights in public education with other local districts and county officials.
NEWS
December 24, 2012 | By Denis Gray, Associated Press
KABUL, Afghanistan - Taliban representatives at a conference did not insist on total power in Afghanistan and pledged to grant rights to women that the militant Islamist group itself brutally suppressed in the past, according to a Taliban statement received Sunday. The pledges emerged from a rare meeting last week involving Taliban and Kabul government representatives. The less strident substance and tone came in a speech delivered at a conference in France. The French hosts described it as a discussion among Afghans rather than peace negotiations.
NEWS
April 12, 2009 | By Carolyn Cook
When our forefathers broke from Britain, they left nothing to chance. They put it in writing. In unified thought, spirit, and action, the Declaration of Independence was signed by 56 white, male landowners representing 13 colonies. Hardly reflective of America today, it formally challenged the notion of the "divine right of kings" and guaranteed wealthy men equal rights. The Declaration of Independence provides the rationale through which the U.S. Constitution is interpreted.
NEWS
June 23, 2002 | By Cassio Furtado INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
A women's rights treaty endorsed by the United Nations 23 years ago and signed by President Jimmy Carter in 1980 but never ratified is gaining renewed momentum in the U.S. Senate. "It is long past time we join the rest of the world," said Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D., Del.), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. Biden is holding hearings on the treaty and pushing for ratification by the Senate. The Treaty for the Rights of Women condemns discrimination against women in any form - civil, political, economic, social and cultural.
NEWS
December 10, 1998 | By Jerome J. Shestack
The international human-rights movement is the most important social movement since the Second World War, the one that, despite bumps in the road, characterizes this half of the century more than any other. After the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, the promise of the human-rights movement was not immediately kept. Eastern Europe became a communist monolith suppressing civil and political rights. Authoritarian governments became dominant in most of South America and in large portions of Asia, Africa and the Mideast.
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NEWS
March 8, 2013 | By Michael D. Schaffer, Inquirer Staff Writer
Mary Robinson doesn't mind the tough stuff. As the United Nations chief advocate for human rights, she traveled the world in a hot-spot hopscotch - Rwanda, Chechnya, Dagestan, East Timor, the West Bank - for hard discussions with people who didn't necessarily want her around. No matter. "I've never found it difficult to stand up to bullies," says the former president of Ireland (1990-1997) and U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997-2002). It's a matter-of-fact statement, not a boast.
NEWS
January 17, 2013 | By Peter James Spielmann, Associated Press
NEW YORK - Libya made major strides toward establishing democracy and political rights last year, a pro-democracy watchdog group said in a report Wednesday. The findings counter a widespread impression of the country as anarchic after the deadly militia raid in Benghazi that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. Freedom House's annual ranking of political rights and civil liberties around the world found worrying trends in many regions where it said the West was failing to promote and defend democracy.
NEWS
December 24, 2012 | By Denis Gray, Associated Press
KABUL, Afghanistan - Taliban representatives at a conference did not insist on total power in Afghanistan and pledged to grant rights to women that the militant Islamist group itself brutally suppressed in the past, according to a Taliban statement received Sunday. The pledges emerged from a rare meeting last week involving Taliban and Kabul government representatives. The less strident substance and tone came in a speech delivered at a conference in France. The French hosts described it as a discussion among Afghans rather than peace negotiations.
NEWS
June 9, 2012 | By Reem Khalifa, Associated Press
MANAMA, Bahrain - Riot police fired tear gas and stun grenades Friday as tens of thousands of protesters staged the biggest antigovernment demonstrations in weeks in the divided Persian Gulf nation. Opposition groups called for major rallies after a prominent rights activist, Nabeel Rajab, was placed back in detention earlier this week on fresh charges linked to his social media posts. Bahrain has experienced near daily protests for 16 months caused by an uprising by the kingdom's Shiite majority seeking greater political rights from the Western-backed Sunni monarchy.
NEWS
April 6, 2012 | By E.J. Dionne Jr
The Easter season is a celebration of deliverance, and the liturgical calendar sets up Easter Week as a kind of catharsis. Holy Thursday and the Last Supper have an ominous feel because they are preparation for Good Friday and the dolorous story of Jesus' crucifixion. Yet two days later, the tale ends in triumph and resurrection. Whatever questions Christians may have about the meaning of that empty tomb, most of us have experienced a sense of joy when the words "He is risen, alleluia!"
NEWS
October 28, 2011 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
Douglas Shaps, 53, of Lower Merion, executive director of the Montgomery County Democratic Committee from 1997 to 2000, died of colon cancer Saturday, Oct. 22, at Keystone Hospice in Wyndmoor. Mr. Shaps was a former official for several groups representing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. From 2006 to 2008, Mr. Shaps was a member of the national board of governors of the Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy organization for those groups. His companion, Sherard Knight, said Mr. Shaps was a member and officer of the Philadelphia Steering Committee of the campaign from 2000 to 2006 and executive director of Outfront Philadelphia, a political organization, in 2005-06.
NEWS
September 18, 2011 | By Michael Smerconish
On Friday, I delivered the keynote address at a convention of the National Association of Broadcasters in Chicago, the people who own, run, and program the nation's talk-radio stations. And unlike the spontaneity required to work in the business daily, this invitation afforded me plenty of time to plan what I wanted to say. I started by tracing my career path back to the old WWDB-FM (96.5), where the lineup of talkers then included Irv Homer, Frank Ford, Dominic Quinn, and Bernie Herman.
NEWS
September 1, 2010
By Roger Pilon When we think of human-rights problems, most of us imagine arbitrary arrests, political repression, religious persecution, torture, show trials, censorship, and the like. In America, we don't often have those kinds of problems. Even the current controversy over an Islamic center near ground zero isn't about the right to build there; it's about the wisdom of doing so. All of which made it surprising to learn from the Obama State Department that America does indeed have human-rights problems.
NEWS
April 12, 2009 | By Carolyn Cook
When our forefathers broke from Britain, they left nothing to chance. They put it in writing. In unified thought, spirit, and action, the Declaration of Independence was signed by 56 white, male landowners representing 13 colonies. Hardly reflective of America today, it formally challenged the notion of the "divine right of kings" and guaranteed wealthy men equal rights. The Declaration of Independence provides the rationale through which the U.S. Constitution is interpreted.
NEWS
December 9, 2005 | Jerome J. Shestack
Jerome J. Shestack is a former U.S. representative to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and a past president of the American Bar Association Fifty-seven years ago, on Dec. 10, 1948, the fledgling United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Eleanor Roosevelt was then chair of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights. She hailed the U.N. declaration as a "Bill of Rights for the World. " And Dec. 10 became known as Human Rights Day. This should be a day for celebration.
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