By Serajul Quadir DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh will consider making changes to a proposed law that journalists and countries such as the United States say could suppress free speech, a government minister said on Sunday after a meeting with a group of editors. The South Asian nation's parliament passed the Digital Security Act on Sept. 19, combining the colonial-era Official Secrets Act with tough new provisions such as allowing police to arrest individuals without a warrant. It would have come into force with the signature of President Abdul Hamid ahead of a general election expected in December. But Anisul Huq, Bangladesh's law, justice and parliamentary affairs minister, said the concerns will be raised in Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's cabinet. He did not say when that could happen. "We had a detailed discussion with representatives of the Editors' Council and took serious note of their concerns," Huq told Reuters. "We assured them that if the cabinet agrees, then we may make some … [Read more...] about Bangladesh to consider amending law seen curbing free speech
Viet Nam News HÀ NỘI — Proposals for draft amended Law on Education by the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET), especially regulations on private nurseries, are raising concerns among the public, including parents and nursery school teachers. According to the proposals, the number of children in a private nursery classroom may increase from 50 to 70. Teachers complain the regulation will place a heavy burden on their shoulders, while parents have raised concerns about the problems of childcare, infrastructure, teaching quality and management. Speaking with Việt Nam Education online newspaper, Nguyễn Kim Quý, doctor of psychology from Hà Nội Teachers’ Training College, also expressed concerns over the adjustment to the number of children in a private class. The proposed figure would make the classroom too crowded and unable to ensure the quality of child care, he said. "Currently, there are only about two teachers per class. … [Read more...] about Draft of amended Law on Education raises concerns
Supporters of the centre-left Democratic Party wave flags during the last election campaign meeting in Florence on Saturday. Photo: Claudio GIOVANNINI / AFP Italy on Sunday will vote for the first time under a new electoral law which has made the result difficult to predict and increased the chances of no party winning an overall majority. The final polls issued before a campaign ban came into force last month put billionaire Berlusconi's coalition in front, with 37 percent. But they also predicted that the bloc would fall short of the majority required to form a government. Under the complex electoral law introduced last year, one third of seats in parliament will be attributed on a first-past-the post basis while the remaining two-thirds are divided up by proportional representation. The new law favours coalitions and limits the chances of the populist Five Star Movement (M5S), which has ruled out any post-election deal with other parties, but it … [Read more...] about Italy’s new law risks confusing election result
Protestors outside the Riksdag on Wednesday. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT A second day of protests are due to take place near the Riksdag in Stockholm as both Swedes and asylum seekers demonstrate against the country's toughened asylum laws. Around 500 people demonstrated at Mynttorget square near Sweden's parliament building on Wednesday in protest against the new restrictions. The amended laws, which came into force on July 20th, have introduced a temporary residence permit as well as tightened family reunification laws. They are designed to significantly reduce the number of people seeking asylum in Sweden, which received a record 163,000 applications in 2015. And organizers of the protests against the changes say they expect even more people to turn up on Thursday, based on interest expressed on their Facebook group. “I came as a refugee to Sweden at the start of the 1990s, and I know how insecure it can be,” Rasha Daoud, who is now a Swedish citizen told news … [Read more...] about Hundreds more to protest tougher Swedish asylum laws
Home In-Depth Reporting Can anti-profanity laws and the fighting… National Pulse By David L. Hudson Jr. April 2018 Illustration by Sara Wadford In an age of declining civility and amplification of offensive speech via social media, it may seem strange, un-American or downright silly for people to be arrested for uttering profane speech. But it happens. People can, and have been, arrested for uttering profanity in public, cursing in a canoe, engaging in a toilet tirade in their own home, or cursing near a school or church. Anti-profanity laws remain on the books in some states with statutes that in many cases are relics of a bygone era, dating back to the 19th century but never erased. A 1962 South Carolina law prohibits cursing on a public highway or within hearing distance of a church or school. A Mississippi law, passed in 1848, prohibits using profane or vulgar language in the presence of two or more people. Those in violation can receive a $100 fine or up to 30 days in … [Read more...] about Can anti-profanity laws and the fighting words doctrine be squared with the First Amendment?