European Court of Justice says Facebook must remove ‘illegal’ posts globally

Sunday, October 6, 2019

On Thursday, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) — the supreme court on matters of European Union (EU) law — ruled in regard to the case “Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek vs. Facebook Ireland Limited”. The Luxembourg-based court issued a judgement favorable to the plaintiff, Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek, a politician in Austria, allowing an Austrian court to require social media site Facebook to remove a post from its site made by a user in Ireland. The ruling made proclamations which analysts say could have far-reaching implications for regulation of content on the Internet beyond the borders of the EU. The court’s decision cannot be appealed.

In 2016, a Facebook user registered from Ireland shared publicly a news article from the Austrian news site oe24.at along with some comments of their own. The post, which was about Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek, the then chair and spokesperson for The Greens, could potentially be seen by anyone with access to Facebook. The comments called her political party facsist and termed her a “corrupt oaf” and a “lousy traitor”.

Glawischnig-Piesczek sued in Austria for defamation and won. Facebook was ordered to remove the post which it did by making it unavailable to view in Austria only. This apparently did not appease Glawischnig-Piesczek. As a result, the Supreme Court of Justice (Oberster Gerichtshof?) of Austria brought the case before the ECJ, asking for clarifications of EU law.

The EU law Electronic Commerce Directive 2000 provides liability protections for hosting sites. In its finding, the ECJ set rules for compliance with rulings from a court from any EU member nation for any website which hosts user content:

By today’s judgment, the Court of Justice answers the Oberster Gerichtshof that the Directive on electronic commerce, which seeks to strike a balance between the different interests at stake, does not preclude a court of a Member State from ordering a host provider:

  • to remove information which it stores, the content of which is identical to the content of information which was previously declared to be unlawful, or to block access to that information, irrespective of who requested the storage of that information;
  • to remove information which it stores, the content of which is equivalent to the content of information which was previously declared to be unlawful, or to block access to that information, provided that the monitoring of and search for the information concerned by such an injunction are limited to information conveying a message the content of which remains essentially unchanged compared with the content which gave rise to the finding of illegality and containing the elements specified in the injunction, and provided that the differences in the wording of that equivalent content, compared with the wording characterising the information which was previously declared to be illegal, are not such as to require the host provider to carry out an independent assessment of that content (thus, the host provider may have recourse to automated search tools and technologies);
  • to remove information covered by the injunction or to block access to that information worldwide within the framework of the relevant international law, and it is up to Member States to take that law into account.

According to the ruling, a host, such as Facebook, must remove the original post as well as re-posts and posts which state essentially the same thing if it is deemed against the law. Steve Peers of the University of Essex, speaking to BBC, said, “If there’s a court order to say that someone’s been defamed, then Facebook has to also search for different variations of it”, also observing, “[t]here’s no harmonised defamation law internationally”.

Jennifer Daskal of American University and contributor to Slate wrote, “a single EU country (in this case Austria) could demand an online provider (in this case Facebook) to take down an objectionable post, monitor its site for equivalent content, and take down those postings as well. And it says a country could do so on a global scale, regardless of where the poster or the viewer is located. In so ruling, the court demonstrated a shocking ignorance of the technology involved and set the stage for the most censor-prone country to set global speech rules.”

Facebook released a statement which read, in part, “This judgment raises critical questions around freedom of expression and the role that internet companies should play in monitoring, interpreting and removing speech that might be illegal in any particular country”. Facebook further claimed, “It undermines the long-standing principle that one country does not have the right to impose its laws on speech on another country”.

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UK house prices have fallen 10.5% this year, says Nationwide Building Society

Thursday, August 28, 2008

After dropping 1.9% in July, house prices in the United Kingdom are now falling at the fastest rate since 1990, according to Nationwide Building Society.

The average price of a home has dropped by £20,000 down to £164,654, losing 10.5% of its value in 2008. Property values fell by 1.9% in the past month, and 1.5% in July. In another study, it was revealed that house prices have been steadily falling since October last year.

Nationwide’s chief economist, Fionnuala Earley said that activities in the housing market had recently been “very subdued”, although there are signs of increased interests in home sales, possibly due to the appeal of lower house prices.

The Bank of England stated there has been an increase in the number of people taking out a fixed rate mortgage as opposed to a variable rate loan. Further research by Nationwide has concluded that mortgage approvals also fell by 65% last month.

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Illinois high schools now required to buy insurance for athletes

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

This past Sunday, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law a bill known as “Rocky’s Law” that requires Illinois high schools, through the local school district, to buy catastrophic injury insurance up to US$3 million or medical costs for up to five years, whichever one comes first, that covers student athletes. The insurance must cover student athletes while they are competing.

The legislation was named after Rasul “Rocky” Clark. In 2000, the Eisenhower High School football player became paralyzed from the waist down as a result of a tackle during a game. His school based health insurance covered the costs of his medical treatment. A legislator sponsoring the bill noted that the need for this type of insurance is rare. Clark’s mother attended the legislation signing. Her son died last year.

Before parents can claim money from school insurance, they first must pay out US$50,000. Schools have until January 1, 2014 to comply with the law. Schools cannot charge students more than US$5 to defray the cost of insurance. If a school district already requires student to be covered through private health insurance, they are exempted from this law.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Illinois_high_schools_now_required_to_buy_insurance_for_athletes&oldid=1970513”

Iranian International Master Dorsa Derakhshani discusses her chess career with Wikinews

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

In February 2017, the Iranian Chess Federation announced two teenage chess players, Dorsa Derakhshani and her younger brother Borna Derakhshani, were banned from representing the national team. The federation announced their decision although Dorsa Derakhshani had previously decided and informed the chess federation she did not wish to play for Iran.

Dorsa Derakhshani is currently 21 years old and holds the International Master (IM) as well as Woman Grand Master (WGM) titles. Her brother, Borna, plays for the English Federation and holds the FIDE Master title.

Dorsa Derakhshani was banned since she did not wear a hijab, an Islamic headscarf, while competing at the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival in January 2017. Under the laws of Islamic Republic of Iran, hijab is a mandatory dress code. Her brother Borna Deraskhsani was banned for playing against Israeli Grand Master (GM) Alexander Huzman at the same tournament. Iran does not recognise the existence of Israel, and previously, Irani athletes have avoided playing against Israeli athletes.

Mehrdad Pahlavanzadeh, the president of the country’s chess federation, explained the decision to ban the players saying, “As a first step, these two will be denied entry to all tournaments taking place in Iran and in the name of Iran, they will no longer be allowed the opportunity to be present on the national team.” ((fa))Farsi language: ?????? ????? ?? ??? ??? ?? ??? ????? ?? ?? ???? ???????? ?? ?? ????? ? ?? ??? ????? ?????? ??????? ????? ??????? ? ???? ???? ???? ?? ??? ??? ?? ??????? ????. He further stated, “Unfortunately, something that should not have happened has happened and our national interest is paramount and we have reported this position to the Ministry of Sports.” ((fa))Farsi language: ????????? ?????? ?? ????? ????????? ?????? ??? ? ????? ??? ?? ?? ?? ???? ?????? ???? ? ?? ??? ???? ?? ?? ????? ???? ?? ????? ?????.

IM Dorsa Derakhshani, who currently studies at Saint Louis University in the United States and plays for the United States Chess Federation, discussed her chess career, time in Iran and the 2017 controversy, and her life in Saint Louis with a Wikinews correspondent.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Iranian_International_Master_Dorsa_Derakhshani_discusses_her_chess_career_with_Wikinews&oldid=4583918”

Evergrande real estate firm makes missed September bond payment, avoids default

Saturday, October 23, 2021

China property giant Evergrande Group wired USD83.5 million in interest owed in an offshore bond from September 23 on Thursday, temporarily averting default, according to a Reuters source and Chinese newspaper Securities Times.

The wire to a Citibank fiduciary account following a 30-day grace period came after assurances by various members of the Chinese government, Reuters reported. At a Beijing forum Wednesday, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He described the risks as controllable, and chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission Yi Huiman said that while authorities needed to curb excessive debt more broadly by “improv[ing] the effectiveness of the constraint mechanism on debt financing”, the matter would be dealt with properly.

Once China’s top real estate developer, Evergrande had accumulated approximately USD305 billion in liabilities, two per cent of the Chinese gross national product, after “dwindling resources” cut its value by 80%, according to Reuters. September data revealed Chinese home sales by value fell by nearly 17% year-on-year, according to The Guardian, and fears over its default led to a slowdown in China’s third quarter GDP growth to a year low of 4.9%. Two sale negotiations with rival developers Hopson Development and Yuexiu, valued at USD2.6 billion and USD1.7 billion, respectively, were suspended, reportedly due to a lack of consent by the government of Guangdong province currently overseeing Evergrande’s restructuring.

News of Evergrande’s remittance caused its shares to rise by as much as 7.8% this morning after a two-week pause in trading for the anticipated sale of 50.1% in Evergrande Property Services Group, and offering some reprieve for bondholders, according to Reuters. Portfolio manager at GaoTeng Global Asset Management James Wong, interviewed by The Guardian, called the news “a positive surprise”, adding “[i]f Evergrande pays this time, I don’t see why it won’t pay the next time.” Jun Rong Yeap for IG Asia pte., interviewed by Bloomberg, said the report “overturned” the narrative “that Evergrande will face difficulty in securing cash ahead”.

Further missed payments are due October 29 and November 11 after similar 30-day grace periods; including yesterday’s USD83.5 million, nearly USD280 million is owed to bondholders.

Stocks have been down for many major Chinese developers: Reuters Wednesday reported year-to-date stock prices fell 87.8% for Sinic Holdings, currently in Fitch Ratings’ ‘restricted default’ after failing to make an October 18 bond payment valued, according to The Guardian, at USD246 million; 80.2% for Evergrande itself; 78.3% for E-House, 58.5% for Fantasia Holdings and 54.6% for Kaisa Group, which defaulted in 2015 and had bonds reach record lows.

Estimates of the Chinese real estate market’s size range from 16 to 25% of the Chinese gross domestic product, according to The Guardian. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s aim to transform the country’s economy from one of debt-fuelled “inflated” growth to one of improved “quality and returns” included imposing regulations on developers that limited their capacity to borrow. A Guardian comment piece from economist George Magnus published on October 15 made reference to China’s “ghost cities” and “rampant credit creation” that has given rise to high vacancy rates and the “financialisaton of housing”.

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Colleges offering admission to displaced New Orleans graduate students

See the discussion page for instructions on adding schools to this list.Tuesday, September 13, 2005

NAICU has created a list of colleges and universities accepting and/or offering assistance to displace faculty members. [1]Wednesday, September 7, 2005

This list is taken from Colleges offering admission to displaced New Orleans students, and is intended to make searching easier for faculty, graduate, and professional students.

In addition to the list below, the Association of American Law Schools has compiled a list of law schools offering assistance to displaced students. [2] As conditions vary by college, interested parties should contact the Office of Admissions at the school in question for specific requirements and up-to-date details.

The Association of American Medical Colleges is coordinating alternatives for medical students and residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina. [3]

ResCross.net is acting as a central interactive hub for establishing research support in times of emergency. With so many scientists affected by Hurricane Katrina, ResCross is currently focused on providing information to identify sources of emergency support as quickly as possible. [4]

With so many scientists affected by Hurricane Katrina, ResCross is currently focused on providing information to identify sources of emergency support as quickly as possible.

Physics undergraduates, grad students, faculty and high school teachers can be matched up with housing and jobs at universities, schools and industry. [5] From the American Association of Physics Teachers, the Society of Physics Students, the American Institute of Physics and the American Physical Society.

If you are seeking or providing assistance, please use this site to find information on research support, available lab space/supplies, resources, guidelines and most importantly to communicate with fellow researchers.

The following is a partial list, sorted by location.

Alabama |Alaska |Arizona |Arkansas |California |Colorado |Connecticut |Delaware |District of Columbia |Florida |Georgia |Hawaii |Idaho |Illinois |Indiana |Iowa |Kansas |Kentucky |Louisiana |Maine |Maryland |Massachusetts |Michigan |Minnesota |Mississippi |Missouri |Montana |Nebraska |Nevada |New Hampshire |New Jersey |New Mexico |New York |North Carolina |North Dakota |Ohio |Oklahoma |Oregon |Pennsylvania |Rhode Island |South Carolina |South Dakota |Tennessee |Texas |Utah |Vermont |Virginia |Washington |West Virginia |Wisconsin |Wyoming |Canada

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Food with cancer-causing dye recalled in Britain

Saturday, April 30, 2005

The British Food Standards Agency (FSA) has announced a recall of foods containing banned dyes which increase the risk of cancer. The food products were sold at the Tesco, Waitrose, and Somerfield supermarkets.

A Bristol company called “Barts Spices” found the illegal Para Red substance in their Barts Ground Paprika, which was sold in 48g and 46g jars with a “Co-op” label. The batch codes on the affected products are 5032 and 5089 (expiration Dec 2007), and 5075 (expiration February 2007).

Tesco also found that their 130g package of BBQ rice cakes (expiration November and December 2005) contained both Para Red and Sudan I.

“It would be very prudent to assume that it could be a genotoxic carcinogen,” FSA scientific advisers told reporters.

“As a company committed to supplying only the very finest quality food ingredients, we took the immediate decision to withdraw our ground paprika spice from all outlets selling the product and advertised a product recall in the national press,” a Barts Spices spokesman said in a statement.

Sudan I is only authorized for industrial use to colorize petroleum products, such as shoe polish. Para Red and Sudan I are banned under the British Colours in Food Regulations of 1995.

Britain last went through a major food recall in February, when Worcester Sauce was found to contain chili powder dyed with Sudan 1.

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Iranian International Master Dorsa Derakhshani discusses her chess career with Wikinews

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

In February 2017, the Iranian Chess Federation announced two teenage chess players, Dorsa Derakhshani and her younger brother Borna Derakhshani, were banned from representing the national team. The federation announced their decision although Dorsa Derakhshani had previously decided and informed the chess federation she did not wish to play for Iran.

Dorsa Derakhshani is currently 21 years old and holds the International Master (IM) as well as Woman Grand Master (WGM) titles. Her brother, Borna, plays for the English Federation and holds the FIDE Master title.

Dorsa Derakhshani was banned since she did not wear a hijab, an Islamic headscarf, while competing at the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival in January 2017. Under the laws of Islamic Republic of Iran, hijab is a mandatory dress code. Her brother Borna Deraskhsani was banned for playing against Israeli Grand Master (GM) Alexander Huzman at the same tournament. Iran does not recognise the existence of Israel, and previously, Irani athletes have avoided playing against Israeli athletes.

Mehrdad Pahlavanzadeh, the president of the country’s chess federation, explained the decision to ban the players saying, “As a first step, these two will be denied entry to all tournaments taking place in Iran and in the name of Iran, they will no longer be allowed the opportunity to be present on the national team.” ((fa))Farsi language: ?????? ????? ?? ??? ??? ?? ??? ????? ?? ?? ???? ???????? ?? ?? ????? ? ?? ??? ????? ?????? ??????? ????? ??????? ? ???? ???? ???? ?? ??? ??? ?? ??????? ????. He further stated, “Unfortunately, something that should not have happened has happened and our national interest is paramount and we have reported this position to the Ministry of Sports.” ((fa))Farsi language: ????????? ?????? ?? ????? ????????? ?????? ??? ? ????? ??? ?? ?? ?? ???? ?????? ???? ? ?? ??? ???? ?? ?? ????? ???? ?? ????? ?????.

IM Dorsa Derakhshani, who currently studies at Saint Louis University in the United States and plays for the United States Chess Federation, discussed her chess career, time in Iran and the 2017 controversy, and her life in Saint Louis with a Wikinews correspondent.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Iranian_International_Master_Dorsa_Derakhshani_discusses_her_chess_career_with_Wikinews&oldid=4583918”

South Korea: Fire in hospital housing elderly people kills at least 37

Friday, January 26, 2018

Fire broke out on Friday morning and destroyed the bottom two floors of a six-story hospital in Miryang, South Korea, killing at least 37 people, most of them elderly. More than a hundred injuries were reported, with eighteen people in critical condition. This is the highest death toll from fire in South Korea in almost a decade.

The fire is believed to have started at about 7:30 local time, according to fire chief Choi Man-woo. It originated on the ground floor in the emergency room as per various officials. The hospital has 98 beds and a medical staff of about 35, and specializes in long-term care of elderly patients. It adjoins a nursing home, all of whose 94 residents were evacuated. Staff carried some patients out of the hospital on their backs.

One patient, Jang Yeong-jae, who told his story to JoongAng Ilbo, said he escaped by removing a screen from a window to get to a ladder placed by firefighters. He described people “running around in panic, falling over and screaming as smoke filled the rooms”. The majority of the victims died from smoke inhalation and are believed to be elderly, said the head of the city’s public hospital, Chun Jae-kyung. A doctor, a nurse, and a nursing assistant have died, according to the fire service; it took three hours to put out the fire.

In a press briefing, Seok Gyeong-sik, the director of the hospital, apologized to patients and their families. Son Kyung-chul, its chairman, stated that there were no sprinklers because the facility was small. Sprinklers are being installed in the nursing home, where a new law requires them by June 30.

Last month, 29 people died in a fire in a gym in Jecheon; the owner and the manager were arrested for safety violations. In 2014, a blaze in a nursing home in Jangseong left 21 dead. The President of South Korea, Moon Jae-in, responded to the Friday fire by calling an emergency meeting of his staff, and promised that the cause would be found rapidly “to prevent the recurrence of the fire in the future”.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=South_Korea:_Fire_in_hospital_housing_elderly_people_kills_at_least_37&oldid=4393642”

U.S. Supreme Court upholds health care mandate

Thursday, June 28, 2012

In a decision today, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the controversial healthcare law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010. The Supreme Court also upheld the individual mandate provision of the law, which would require most U.S. citizens to obtain health insurance by 2014, or pay a monetary penalty.

The Supreme Court ruled on the law 5–4. Chief Justice John Roberts authored the majority opinion. Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor jointed Roberts in the majority, while Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas were in the minority in supporting the repeal of the law.

The Court did, however, strike down a provision of the law which would have expanded Medicaid to make coverage available to anyone with an income less than 138% of the federal poverty line.

President Barack Obama made a public statement from the White House saying that the Supreme Court’s upholding of the law, “reaffirmed a fundamental principle that here in America — in the wealthiest nation on Earth – no illness or accident should lead to any family’s financial ruin.” Obama further added, “Whatever the politics, today’s decision was a victory for people all over this country whose lives will be more secure because of this law and the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold it.” Obama closed his statement by saying, “The highest Court in the land has now spoken. We will continue to implement this law. And we’ll work together to improve on it where we can. But what we won’t do — what the country can’t afford to do — is refight the political battles of two years ago, or go back to the way things were.” Adding, “With today’s announcement, it’s time for us to move forward — to implement and, where necessary, improve on this law.”

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney also gave a statement from Washington, D.C. saying, “What the Court did not do on its last day in session, I will do on my first day if elected President of the United States. And that is I will act to repeal Obamacare.” Romney clarified further by saying, “Let’s make clear that we understand what the Court did and did not do. What the Court did today was say that Obamacare does not violate the Constitution. What they did not do was say that Obamacare is good law or that it’s good policy.” Further adding, “Obamacare was bad policy yesterday. It’s bad policy today. Obamacare was bad law yesterday. It’s bad law today.” Romney closed by saying, “Our mission is clear: If we want to get rid of Obamacare, we’re going to have to replace President Obama.”

Eric Cantor, Republican leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, announced shortly after the ruling that the House would vote on repealing the law on July 11, following the July 4 holiday recess. Cantor said, “The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Obamacare is a crushing blow to patients throughout the country. Obamacare has failed to keep the President’s basic promise of allowing those who like their health care to keep it, while increasing costs and reducing access to quality care for patients.”

In the ruling of National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, John Roberts wrote, “Simply put, Congress may tax and spend. The federal government may enact a tax on an activity that it cannot authorize, forbid or otherwise control.” Meanwhile, Justice Anthony Kennedy authored the dissenting opinion, saying the entire law should have been repealed.

The ruling on the law comes after 26 states challenged the law in oral arguments in front of the Supreme Court in March.

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