Wednesday Links

An Indiana woman is upset after security guards ordered her 11-year-old daughter to delete a photo taken of a Taco Bell in the food court of a Merrillville mall. To make matters worse, the guards also threatened the girl with a copyright-infringement lawsuit by the fast food chain. Is it a job requirement that security guards be completely ignorant of the law?

Last week, Islamic police in Northern Nigeria smashed 240,000 bottles of beer as part of a wider crackdown on “immoral” behavior in the region. Okay…without booze, how do they expect people to cope with living in fucking Northern Nigeria?

– On that same topic, an unknown number of civilians were killed Monday morning when hundreds of Islamist fighters associated with the Boko Haram sect attacked a military base in the northern Nigerian city of Maiduguri.

A new Vietnamese law will impose fines of up to 100 million dong (US $4,740) on Internet users who post “propaganda against the state” or who spread “reactionary ideology” online–as part of the socialist republic’s latest crackdown on dissent.

In Kenya, journalists and activists are protesting a proposed law that would allow the government to fine journalists found to be in violation of a vaguely-worded media “code of conduct.” Kenyan journalists are right to be suspicious–this is clearly an attempt at silencing reporting that is critical of the government.

French tattoo artists are speaking out against a proposed ban on most colored inks. Can you imagine French authorities telling Seurat that he could only use black and gray on his Un dimanche après-midi à l’Île de la Grande Jatte?

Croatian voters have approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in the country, sparking worries that perceived homophobia could harm the country’s image abroad, particularly among gay tourists. Said President Ivo Josipović: “It’s not good for Croatia to establish itself as a country of intolerance.”

– Nine U.S. states have laws making it a crime for HIV-positive individuals to have sex without first disclosing to their partners that they have the virus–even if no transmission takes place. One Iowa man was convicted, imprisoned, and forced to register as a sex offender under such a law despite the fact that he used a condom and his risk of transmission was practically zero. Goddammit.

– French prosecutors have charged singer Bob Dylan with “inciting racial hatred” after comments he made about Serbs and Croats in a Rolling Stone interview prompted a complaint from the Council of Croats in France (CRICCF).

In Israel, a growing number of Jewish activists are demanding the right to pray at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, which is considered one of the holiest sites in both Islam and Judaism. Currently, Jews are allowed to visit the site but they must be escorted by police and are forbidden from praying. Proposals have been made to divide the site into Jewish and Muslim sections, but the Muslim organization that administers the site is rejecting any such plans, with its director proclaiming that: “This place belongs to the Muslim people, and no others have the right to pray here.” Asshole.

– And finally, the deportation of an Albanian-American woman living in Michigan has been put on hold while immigration authorities review her case. Cile Precetaj, of Troy, came to the U.S. from Albania in 2000, eventually getting married and having three children. Her request for asylum was turned down, however, and she was informed on Monday that she would be deported on Tuesday. Now she must wait while the government determines her fate. My heart goes out to this woman and her family. Hopefully compassion will prevail over the machinations of the unfeeling federal bureaucracy. What good could possibly come from tearing this family apart?

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