Most of the 7,000 temples and maths in Ayodhya have become centres of crime. Over the past few years, more than 250 sadhus have been booked for crimes, including murder; some have been killed in police encounters.
Special Report #6: The Victims of Male Circumcision (by Religion Hurts Humanity)
One of the most controversial pieces of international law in recent years, the TPP is President Barack Obama’s signature Asia-Pacific economic project aimed at protecting American interests in the region.
Since Wikileaks made the intellectual property (IP) chapter public, multiple organizations have provided extensive and detailed critiques. According to these analyses, the text demonstrates U.S. preference for increasing protections on existing copyrights and patents over balanced policies that promote global innovation, creativity and political freedom. The disclosures especially suggest the inordinate influence of the motion picture and pharmaceutical industries. In the first brief interview commenting on the leak, the U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman defended the proposal saying it is within the bounds of U.S. law. He happened to make this comment while touring Paramount Pictures studios in Los Angeles.
Further analysis of the IP chapter shows that it violates international consensus on several important issues. First, the U.S. is pushing provisions that conflict with the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Development Agenda, which requires that development concerns be a formal part of global IP policy. Second, the chapter also takes a controversial approach to the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Doha Declaration on the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and Public Health. TRIPS sets the standards for intellectual property protection in the world today, which are binding on all members of WTO. The Doha Declaration affirms that TRIPS signatories should interpret and implement TRIPS in a manner supportive of their own rights to protect public health and, in particular, to promote access to medicines for all. Although the IP chapter makes explicit reference to the Doha Declaration, the IP chapter is designed to narrow its scope, thereby limiting access to medicines and restricting what governments can do to protect public health.
Third, U.S. proposals also contradict the current policy discussions on access to medicines and on research & development at the World Health Organization and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. Fourth, the TPP chapter also jeopardizes the flexibilities guaranteed under fair use doctrine by pushing for strict enforcement of copyrights online.
The significance of the leak
The secretly negotiated trade deal symbolizes the consolidation of a “forum shifting” — a strategy designed to establish an international norm while evading multilateral and more transparent international agreements on intellectual property and internet policy negotiations, and the rights they grant to the public sector.
In addition to reinforcing the secret environment normally preferred by private interests, the closed-door negotiation of TPP disregards broader international efforts, takes advantage of power imbalances against the developing world and limits citizens’ freedoms as internet users, patients and consumers. The current effort to rebrand the talks as “trade” and make the deals non-transparent also counters progress made through decades of cooperation between civil society organizations and governments to create room for public engagement on IP policy.
Sam Harris - Morality and the Christian God (by Atheism-is-Unstoppable)
Universities UK (UUK) has issued guidance on external speakers saying that the segregation of the sexes at universities is not discriminatory as long as “both men and women are being treated equally, as they are both being segregated in the same way.”
UUK add that universities should bear in mind that “concerns to accommodate the wishes or beliefs of those opposed to segregation should not result in a religious group being prevented from having a debate in accordance with its belief system” and that if “imposing an unsegregated seating area in addition to the segregated areas contravenes the genuinely-held religious beliefs of the group hosting the event, or those of the speaker, the institution should be mindful to ensure that the freedom of speech of the religious group or speaker is not curtailed unlawfully.”
We, the undersigned, condemn the endorsement of gender apartheid by Universities UK. Any form of segregation, whether by race, sex or otherwise is discriminatory. Separate is never equal and segregation is never applied to those who are considered equal. By justifying segregation, Universities UK sides with Islamist values at the expense of the many Muslims and others who oppose sex apartheid and demand equality between women and men.
666 - Numberphile (by Numberphile)
The likely meaning of 666 and 616
We, the Last Thursdayists, followers of Last Thursdayism, members of The Church of Last Thursday, believe:
that the universe was created on Thursday, and will expire on Thursday.
that the universe was created by You as a test for yourself.
that you will be rewarded or punished when this universe expires based on your actions here.
that left-handedness is a sinful temptation.
that everyone but you was placed here and pre-programmed to act as parts of your test environment.
that everyone but you knows this.
WASHINGTON — The National Security Agency has been gathering records of online sexual activity and evidence of visits to pornographic websites as part of a proposed plan to harm the reputations of those whom the agency believes are radicalizing others through incendiary speeches, according to a top-secret NSA document. The document, provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, identifies six targets, all Muslims, as “exemplars” of how “personal vulnerabilities” can be learned through electronic surveillance, and then exploited to undermine a target’s credibility, reputation and authority.