"I have never welcomed the weakening of family ties by politics or pressure" - Nelson Mandela.
"He who travels for love finds a thousand miles no longer than one" - Japanese proverb.
"Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence." - Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
"When people's love is divided by law, it is the law that needs to change". -
David Cameron.

Friday 15 February 2013

Today's links

The JCWI on the All Party Parliamentary Group.


On Monday 11 February, I attended the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Migration inquiry into the effects of the family immigration restrictions introduced in July 2012. It was the first (of two) sessions on verbal evidence into the It has decided to focus its remit on to two key issues: the income requirement and elderly dependent relatives.

Last night was the first of two verbal sessions, the second will be held  on 4th March. On the panel to consider the evidence were: Sarah Teather (LibDem MP), Lord Hussain (LibDem Peer), Baroness Hamwee, Chair (LibDem Peer), Kate Green (Lab MP) and Lord Teverson (LibDem Lord)

I believe the 'final contributor' mentioned below is our very own https://twitter.com/BritCits tweeter :

The final contributor targeted her questions about elderly dependents directly at Prof Metcalfe, who was obliged to respond, looking like he’d rather be having root canal treatment. He was somewhat rescued by Sarah Teather who suggested the questions were better aimed at the Government – a body of people strangely unrepresented in the room.



Deportation boy begs to be allowed to stay in Burnley with his dad.


 AN EIGHT-YEAR-OLD boy caught up in a deportation battle has pleaded to be allowed to stay in his adopted home of Burnley.

Yesterday The Lancashire Telegraph reported the plight of Seth Tutt, and his five-year-old sister Leigh, who were brought here by their father Justin Tutt, 29, after the sudden death of their mother.

They face the prospect of deportation in five weeks when their holiday visa runs out.

https://twitter.com/mryahbut tweets :
UK @ukhomeoffice shame 5&7 year old kids to be returned to S. Africa to live in care because UK dad doesnt earn 25k. Mother suicide last yr!

'We don't feel welcome' - why aspiring students are thinking twice about the UK.


International students sign up for UK degrees as British universities set up branches and franchises across the world.


In an excerpt from his book Why It's Still Kicking Off Everywhere, Paul Mason argues that a global protest movement, based on social networks, is here to stay.


In February 2011, in a blog titled Twenty Reasons Why It's Kicking Off Everywhere, I argued that there was a "new sociological type" at the heart of the global protests: "the graduate with no future". Since then indignados have flooded into Madrid's Puerta del Sol; Occupy camps have sprung up in hundreds of cities across the globe; and student protests in Chile and Quebec have completely changed the political atmosphere there. The anger is undimmed. But the limits of what young protesters are prepared to do have become more obvious.

Software that tracks people on social media created by defence firm.

Exclusive: Raytheon's Riot program mines social network data like a 'Google for spies', drawing ire from civil rights groups.

Evening Standard: Migrants are crucial to London's success.


Who will pick the strawberries? Farmers fight to keep migrant workers.

"The freedom to marry the person you love is one that should be afforded to all citizens and, for too long, has been denied to our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. When two people love each other, no government entity should stand in the way of letting them express that love. It is time that our laws reflect our values and I am so proud that on this Valentine’s Day, the Illinois Senate has voted to approve gay marriage. I commend Senator Heather Steans and Representative Greg Harris for their work on this and I urge the Illinois House to take up this bill in the same bi-partisan fashion.”

Marriage equality in Illinois : http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/mayor/press_room/press_releases/2013/february_2013/statement_from_mayoremanuelonillinoissenatepassageofmarriageequa.html
https://twitter.com/Independent tweets :
Amazon 'used neo-Nazi guards to keep immigrant workforce under control' in Germany http://ind.pn/15hfaU7


https://twitter.com/MigrantVoiceUK tweets :
Austrians demonstrating tomorrow! Good luck friends! https://twitter.com/refugee_action Austria big refugee demo in #Vienna –

More : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21179674

https://twitter.com/RefugeeAction tweets :
Best thing you'll listen to all day: @BBCRadio4 speaks to the #GlasgowGirls, whose #asylum story is now a musical: http://bbc.in/WuSsTZ


https://twitter.com/MigrantVoiceUK tweets :
Divided We Fall: Intolerance in Europe Puts Rights at Risk http://www.irr.org.uk/news/facing-up-to-racial-violence/


https://twitter.com/frasernelson tweets :
Slavery, not horse meat, is the real scandal on our doorstep. My column in Tomorrow's Telegraph: http://soc.li/EuouqfU


Triumph for canal boat litigant in person.


A boat owner has won his appeal against the British Waterways Board preventing him from mooring his boats alongside his land on a tidal stretch of the Grand Canal.  Although he had no common law right to permanently moor the boats, he had committed no actionable wrong in doing so, and they were therefore not moored “without lawful authority” within the meaning of the British Waterways Act 1983. This judgment is an interesting and important endorsement of the principle in English law that everything is permitted except what is expressly forbidden.


Under pressure, Spain opens door to foreclosure reform.


“We have wrestled out an important victory today. Social media has been ablaze in recent days leaving one thing for certain: the victory is ours and ours alone.” A Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca (PAH) spokesperson said these words recently in Barcelona to crowds gathered in front of the Popular Party's (PP-the governing party) headquarters in Madrid. For years, the PAH [Platform of People Affected by Mortgages] has lead a public effort in the fight against mortgage-based evictions in Spain.


Russia - migrant workers exploited at Olympic sites, claims watchdog.


Qatar announces planned migrant workers charter to fend off World Cup criticism.

The Minister of State for Immigration, Mark Harper, laid a written ministerial statement before the House of Commons yesterday authorising the UK Border Agency to use linguistic analysis to analyse the language of persons making an asylum claim where they claim to be of Palestinian national origin or Syrian nationality or Kuwaiti nationality, to assist in determining whether those asylum seekers are of the national origin or nationality respectively as claimed.


Boy, 16, killed on 2nd anniversary of Bahrain protests.



Days before the second anniversary of Yemen's revolution, Munif Al-Zubairy set himself on fire in capital city Sanaa, to show solidarity with the country's striking injured revolutionaries.


Saudi women protesters arrested, accused of 'impairing development'.


Secret life and death of Australian-Israeli Prisoner X.


Drop by drop, the Shahbag intersection in Bangladesh's capital city Dhaka has become an ocean of people, demanding justice for atrocities committed during the country's 1971 liberation war and death penalty for war criminals.

According to some estimates as many as 500,000 people are at Shahbag.


Syria images dominate World Press Photo awards.


Chechen president's unlikely Instagram.


It's hard to tell who noticed alihan777‘s Instagram account first. Russian TV personality Tina Kandelaki mentioned the nickname in a friendly tweet [ru] on January 8, 2013, but gave no indication of the owner's identity.


As Pope resigns, Russians resigned to Putin.



Russian teacher briefly fired for defending lgbt rights.


North Korean nuclear test old hat for South Koreans.

For some South Koreans, living in the shadow of their now three-time nuclear neighbor to the north, the news was cause for anger and alarm. For others, such as @capcold on Twitter, it meant that another tired cycle of negotiations, diplomatic talks, and economic sanctions was set to begin.


North Korea's nuclear slap on Chinese New Year.


While the Chinese were celebrating their Lunar New Year, Pyongyang launched their third underground nuclear test just 100km away from their border with China. So far the Chinese government's response has been moderate. But online, both the pro-North Korea nationalists and the anti-North Korea liberals are not happy.


Xi Jingping's mystery fan blogger revealed.


An anonymous blogger in China who ignited the country's curiosity with intimate details of incoming Chinese President Xi Jingping‘s comings and goings has revealed himself to be a college dropout unaffiliated with the communist party. [Update: Zhang Hongming announced with bitterness in the Fan's group would stop update on late afternoon of February 11, 2013.]


Netizens' message to architect of Great Firewall: Get lost.


For Chinese New Year’s, Fang, known as the father of the Great Firewall, posted a nice little greeting (in third-person) on his Sina Weibo: “Fang Binxing wishes everyone a happy new year! Success in all endeavors in the Year of the Snake!” it began.

By Monday afternoon, upwards of 10,000 Weibo users — among the (now) 30,000 reposts — forwarded the message with an appended note: ...


Taiwanese writer finds poetry in laid-off workers' railway protest.


Japan's conservation groups.


Damp and marshy, they seem boring and barren. But contrary to their appearance, tidal flats or coastal wetlands are rich in biodiversity and help maintain balance in the water cycle. For Japan, which hosts 46 of the 2,087 registered wetlands worldwide [pdf], their conservation is essential.

In connection this this - it's interesting to read the works of Alex Kerr - 'Lost Japan' and 'Dogs and Demons' - for more on Japan, tradition, civil society, development and the relationship with the environment :



HK activist jailed for burning Chinese flag.


Sina Weibo blocks Chinese premier's name.


Meteor strike in Russia.


Avalanche in New Zealand.


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