News and Analysis (3/18/15)

If “his arrest – and that of other people, some of whom were sent straight to jail for one to four years – raised questions about free speech in France”, the sentencing of the comedian who “condemned the attacks without any restraint and without any ambiguity” shows France has no meaningful free speech:

“Most of the shots hit the fence, but one bullet traveled through Abdul’s bedroom window and struck his wife in the thigh while she was sleeping. Abdul said she woke up bleeding and screaming before being taken to a nearby hospital”:

“Today’s attack did not come out of nowhere. In fact, it comes amid ongoing counterterrorism efforts elsewhere in the country. Increasing pressure on terrorist activities … may have squeezed the balloon, with terrorists seeking softer targets with more symbolic impact in the capital” …

… and there is a similar development in Pakistan. “Christian protests started peacefully … [but] turned angry and ugly…. A Muslim wrongly accused of helping the suicide bombers was subsequently lynched on Sunday, and on Monday, two Christians were run over by car”:

“Wardani’s father Youssef believes the [Florida] teacher should have been suspended for at least a year [instead of five days] – if not fired. District administrators said the degree of punishment that could be leveled against Valdes was limited because of a teachers union agreement”:

“This is not about protecting cows. It is all about playing politics.  What one should eat or wear are personal choices and they simply cannot be imposed” — M. B. Rajesh, a member of parliament from Kerala:

“Cast member and aspiring medical student Freyaa Ali said there was a girl who had wanted to participate in the show, but was ultimately prevented from doing so by her relatives. ‘It wasn’t even the boxing and it wasn’t even the speech, it was the dancing we do in the ring'”:

“Visitors not travelling on a package tour have to apply in advance from 15 May – thought to be an attempt to weed out militants and human rights activists”:

Netanyahu’s 11th-hour campaign decision to swerve deep into right-wing territory – reversing his support for a Palestinian state and urging supporters to counter “droves” of Arab voters – has paid off in … a six-seat victory” …

… “By singling out Arab voters as a threat, Mr Netanyahu has trampled on the principle that all citizens are entitled to a legitimate say in their country’s governance…. And by openly burying the prospects of a two-state solution, he has eroded the foundation of all diplomatic efforts since the Oslo agreements“:

“Libya’s political crisis … has left the country with two parliaments and two governments, along with rival militaries and militias. The power struggle and fierce fighting has plunged the country into chaos and paved the way for the Islamic State group’s expansion”:

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