From The Guardian

BBC 'no bias' rules prevent staff joining LGBT pride marches

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Director general Tim Davie introduces new social media guidelines and ban on ‘controversial’ gatherings

BBC journalists have been told that new rules on impartiality mean they may no longer be able to go on LGBT pride marches, even in a personal capacity, in case their presence is taken as a sign of political bias.

The BBC’s director general, Tim Davie, introduced the rules on Thursday. They are designed to shore up the public perception of BBC impartiality, following long-running criticism pushed by rightwing media outlets about alleged biases of corporation staff.

Related: BBC journalists told not to 'virtue signal' in social media crackdown

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Nearly 1,000 instances of police brutality recorded in US anti-racism protests

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Police attacks on citizens and journalists over five months accompanied by incidents of tolerance of or collaboration with far right

The United States is currently experiencing one of the longest continued periods of civil unrest in generations, after demonstrations sparked by George Floyd’s death expanded to protests against black Americans killed by police and systemic racism in the country.

more than 500 of instances of police using less-lethal rounds, pepper spray and teargas;

60 incidents of officers using unlawful assembly to arrest protesters;

19 incidents of police being permissive to the far right and showing double standards when confronted with white supremacists;

five attacks on medics;

and 11 instances of kettling.

Related: America's protest crackdown: five months after George Floyd, hundreds face trials and prison

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Police spying inquiry to examine targeting of UK black justice groups

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Judge will hear evidence on undercover operations against campaigns such as Stephen Lawrence

A public inquiry into undercover policing is poised to reveal details of how police repeatedly spied on black justice groups, including several run by grieving families whose relatives were killed by police or died in custody.

The judge-led inquiry was launched six years ago by the home secretary at the time, Theresa May, after the Guardian revealed police covertly monitored the campaign for justice over the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence.

Related: Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police Paul Lewis and Rob Evans – review

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Protests grow across Muslim world against French president Emmanuel Macron – video report

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Demonstrations are growing across the Muslim world against the French president Emmanuel Macron and his perceived attacks on Islam and the prophet Muhammad.

In Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, about 40,000 were involved in a demonstration organised by the country’s largest Islamist party on Tuesday, while protests took place in Pakistan, Palestine, Iran and Afghanistan.

French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo republished cartoons of Muhammad in September, before the trial of 14 people accused of involvement in a terrorist attack against the publication’s offices in 2015 for publishing the same caricatures.

Macron has defended the publication, pledged to fight ‘Islamist separatists’ and said his country ‘would not give up cartoons’

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Chile's latest steps towards true democracy are a beacon for the world | Kirsten Sehnbruch

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Hopes are high that the overwhelming vote to overturn the Pinochet-era constitution marks the beginning of a new era

On Sunday, Chileans voted overwhelmingly in favour of establishing a new constitution. After one year of almost continuous social and violent protests, the country erupted upon hearing the news with the kind of jubilant parties and street celebrations that were last seen when a 1989 plebiscite put an end to the 17-year dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

Chile’s current constitution was written by Pinochet’s adviser and rightwing ideologue Jaime Guzmán, and was approved at the time by a rigged referendum. When Chile subsequently became a democracy in 1990, authoritarian principles enshrined in this constitution constrained the country’s process of democratisation and imposed a neoliberal model of economic development. The constitution had allowed Pinochet to nominate senators, established a voting system that initially overrepresented the political right, and required supermajorities for reforming institutions such as the armed forces and education system.

Related: Celebrations as Chile votes by huge majority to scrap Pinochet-era constitution

Kirsten Sehnbruch is a British Academy global professor at the LSE and co-editor of Democratic Chile: The Politics and Policies of a Historic Coalition

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Secrets and lies: untangling the UK 'spy cops' scandal

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Those duped into having relationships with undercover police are hoping for answers from the inquiry

The public inquiry into undercover policing might never have happened were it not for a chance discovery in a van in Italy. Lisa Jones was having a “blissful holiday” in July 2010 touring the mountains with her boyfriend, an environmental activist who went by the name Mark Stone.

Searching for her sunglasses in the glove compartment, her hand pressed against the leather cover of a British passport. Inside, she saw her boyfriend’s photo beside a stranger’s name: Mark Kennedy. She then found a mobile phone containing emails from two children, calling her boyfriend “Dad”.

Related: UK political groups spied on by undercover police – the list

Related: Peter Francis: the changing faces of an undercover police spy - in pictures

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Belarus riot police burst into apartment looking for protesters – video

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Video shows riot police in Minsk bursting into an apartment in the city searching for protesters who had been seeking refuge after officers used stun grenades at a rally against the regime of Alexander Lukashenko, who continues to hold on to power despite two months of mass protests since he declared victory in the presidential election in August.

The footage, filmed on Sunday and later posted to social media, shows a policeman using a baton to beat a man who was draped with the pre-Soviet red-and-white flag, the symbol adopted by the opposition. Police detained at least three other men, while several others were sheltering on the upper floors of the building, a witness said. 

Officials in Belarus detained more than 500 people at nationwide anti-government protests on Sunday, including 160 in the capital, Minsk, the interior ministry said on Monday

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Philadelphia protesters take to streets after police killing of black man

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  • Walter Wallace, 27, shot ‘several times’ by officers
  • Police in riot gear disperse demonstrators

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Philadelphia to protest against the shooting by police of Walter Wallace, a 27-year-old black man who officers said had a knife.

Late on Monday and into Tuesday, interactions between protesters and police turned violent at times, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Video showed many yelling at officers and crying.

Related: America's protest crackdown: five months after George Floyd, hundreds face trials and prison

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America's protest crackdown: five months after George Floyd, hundreds face trials and prison

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Some protesters face stacked charges and threats of deportation; others have been charged with police assault with no reports of injuries

Lee Percy Christian III didn’t think Arizona law enforcement could stop him from protesting – until they locked him up indefinitely.

Earlier this month, Christian, 27, was arrested for “unlawful assembly” after a Black Lives Matter protest in Phoenix and jailed without bond because of outstanding charges from previous demonstrations. Prosecutors later suggested bond be set at $100,000. Christian’s lawyers and a judge agreed he could be released on a lower bond – if he didn’t participate in future public protests.

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As India drifts into autocracy, Gandhi is inspiring students' nonviolent resistance | Amartya Sen

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The Hindu nationalist regime has cultivated religious animosity – undermining the nation’s secular traditions

Nothing is as important, the philosopher Immanuel Kant claimed, as the “freedom to make public use of one’s reason on all matters”. Unfortunately, as Kant also noted, the opportunity to argue is often restrained by society – sometimes very severely. A disturbing fact about the world today is that authoritarian tendencies have been strikingly on the increase in many countries – in Asia, in Europe, in Latin America, in Africa and within the United States of America. I fear I have to include my own country, India, in that unfortunate basket.

After India secured independence from British colonial rule, it had for many decades a fine history of being a secular democracy with much personal liberty. People showed their commitment to freedom and their determination to remove authoritarian governance through decisive public action, for example in the general elections in 1977, in which the despotic regulations – dressed as “the emergency” – were firmly rejected by the people. The government obeyed promptly.

Related: Amnesty specialises in hard truths. No wonder Modi froze it out of India

Amartya Sen is a Harvard professor and Nobel-prize winning economist.
This is an edited extract of a speech that he gave upon winning the 2020 Peace prize of the German Book Trade

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Chileans vote by huge majority to replace Pinochet-era constitution – video report

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Chileans celebrated on the streets after voting overwhelmingly to tear up the country's constitution, imposed four decades ago under the military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. 

In Santiago's Plaza Italia, the focus of massive protests last year that led to the poll, fireworks rose above a crowd of tens of thousands of people singing in unison as the word 'rebirth' was beamed on to a tower above. Exit polls showed that 78.24% of people had voted to approve a rewrite, while 21.76% rejected the change. Many have expressed hopes that new guiding principles will temper an unabashedly capitalist ethos with guarantees of more equal rights in healthcare, pensions and education

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Wilton Gregory of Washington DC will be first African American cardinal

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  • US prelate among 13 new cardinals named by Pope Francis
  • Gregory criticised Donald Trump amid George Floyd protests

Pope Francis named 13 new cardinals on Sunday, among them Washington DC archbishop Wilton Gregory, who will be the first African American to earn the coveted red hat and who made headlines this summer when he criticised Donald Trump’s willingness to use religion for political purposes.

Related: Pope Francis backing same sex unions isn't a surprise. But it's still a big deal | James Alison

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Chile: millions head to polls in referendum on constitutional reform

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Abolishing Pinochet-era constitution was key demand of last year’s protests

Chilean streets filled on Sunday for the first time since the start of the coronavirus outbreak as millions of people turned out to vote on whether to get rid of the country’s Pinochet-era constitution in favour of a fresh charter drafted by citizens.

A new constitution was a key demand of fierce anti-government protests that erupted last year over inequality and elitism in one of Latin America’s most advanced economies, and have simmered ever since.

Related: Chance for Chile to forge new path in vote to scrap Pinochet-era constitution

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Belarus 'people’s ultimatum' protest met with violent crackdown

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Over 100,000 march in Minsk threatening Lukashenko with nationwide strike should he refuse to step down

Belarusian riot police launched another violent crackdown in Minsk on Sunday evening, throwing stun grenades into crowds of peaceful protesters, chasing people through courtyards and making arrests as they attempted to curtail the 11th consecutive Sunday of protest in the country.

At least 100,000 people marched through the centre of the Belarusian capital earlier in the day to give what they called a “people’s ultimatum” to Alexander Lukashenko: step down, or face a nationwide strike that could cripple the economy.

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya

Related: Belarus police will fire on protesters if necessary, says deputy interior minister

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Fighting tyranny with milk tea: the young rebels joining forces in Asia

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Activists in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand have formed a novel international alliance to defy authoritarian rule

The language, the demands and the backdrop were different, but the protests across central Bangkok last week would have looked familiar to anyone who followed the mass demonstrations that roiled Hong Kong for a year from June 2019.

Crowds of young protesters, dressed in black and wearing hard hats, poured through the streets to locations announced at the last minute on social media. As the police closed in and the protesters prepared for confrontation, hand gestures and human chains ensured supplies including protective masks and water reached the front lines.

Some Thai protesters see not only a shared goal of democracy but a shared enemy in Beijing

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The Observer view on Poland's draconian abortion ban | Observer editorial

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The EU must defend itself against the attack on women’s rights in one of its member nations

Last week’s flawed ruling by a constitutional tribunal in Warsaw drastically restricting the right to abortion is a grim reminder that women’s rights and, more broadly, the rule of law are under serious threat in Poland. This oppressive decision is part of a slide towards authoritarianism that began in earnest after the rightwing populist Law and Justice party (PiS) of Jarosław Kaczyński won an absolute majority in 2015. It must not be allowed to continue.

Halting this deterioration is, first, a matter for the people of Poland. Although this predominantly Catholic, socially conservative country already has some of the strictest abortion prohibitions in Europe, surveys suggest that only a small minority supports additional curbs. Not for the first time, Kaczyński and PiS are deliberately ignoring the democratic consensus to advance a narrow ideological and religious agenda.

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'Just stop killing us': young Nigerians rise up against brutal police force

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Protesters remain defiant after at least 12 were gunned down in Lagos

After weeks of unrest, men in fluorescent coats were clearing ash and blood from the streets of Lagos on Saturday. But for many like 22-year-old Anthony Oyodele, the memories of soldiers firing live ammunition at hundreds of peaceful protesters at a tollgate in Lagos, killing at least 12 people, will be harder to scrub clean. “Whether here, or in Yaba, or Alausa, we all saw the atrocities online. It’s not possible that we will pass through there and not remember.”

A wave of protests which erupted across Nigeria against the now officially disbanded Sars police unit, and more generally against police brutality, have met the brutality they hoped could finally end. At several protests, police units have responded with force, and groups of young men wielding knives and sticks have attacked demonstrators. “It doesn’t make sense,” said Oyodele. “We were only demanding that they stop harassing and killing us but they still responded by doing even worse.”

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Police disperse fourth anti-lockdown march in London

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Thousands of protesters gather with some shouting at passersby to take off face masks

Tens of thousands of people joined a march through central London against the coronavirus restrictions on Saturday afternoon, calling for an end to lockdowns and other measures they described as a threat to civil rights.

Chanting and shouting at people to take off their masks, protesters marched a winding route through the centre of London, taking in Oxford Street, Leicester Square and Buckingham Palace, before ending at Trafalgar Square.

Anti #lockdown protesters march down Oxford Street, telling passers by to take off their masks

Related: Pub and restaurant check-in data hardly used by England's health officials

Related: Coronavirus vaccine final-stage testing to restart in US

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Teargas deployed at anti-lockdown protest in Naples on day of new curfew – video report

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Angry over a newly imposed 11pm to 5am regional curfew, demonstrators in the southern Italian city of Naples threw stones and bottles at police on Friday evening. The authorities responded with teargas. The stricter measures are an attempt to curb the spread of coronavirus, which has killed more than 37,000 people in Italy since the start of the pandemic

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Thousands join Poland protests against strict abortion laws

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Protests follow ruling that law allowing abortion of malformed foetuses is incompatible with constitution

Thousands of people marched in cities across Poland on Saturday in the third straight day of protests against a near-total ban on abortion, with some promising further action in the coming days.

The protesters were reacting to Thursday’s ruling by Poland’s highest court that an existing law allowing the abortion of malformed foetuses was incompatible with the constitution.

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