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The most recent jailing linked to the Tiananmen protests occurred on April 4th this year. A court in the south-western city of Chengdu sentenced an activist, Chen Bing, to three-and-a-half years in prison for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”. His offence: labelling bottles of baijiu alcohol with the iconic image of the lone protester who stared down tanks near the square. That picture, and any other reference to Tiananmen in 1989, is politically taboo in China. Each year, as the anniversary approaches, the relatives of those killed by the army, including the mothers of school pupils gunned down in cold blood, are placed under surveillance or taken on enforced trips out of town.
The cover-up is a headache for internet and social-media companies, which are obliged to employ armies of people to erase banned content. In order for these 20-somethings to be able to spot and delete references to Tiananmen, they must first be taught what happened there, the New York Times reported in January from one “content-reviewing factory”.
China’s leaders want the outside world to believe that they rule in a majoritarian compact accepted by almost all their citizens. They would include in that social contract the grim dystopia that they have built in the far-western region of Xinjiang, where perhaps a million members of the Muslim Uighur minority have been sent to re-education camps and millions more endure unsleeping high-tech surveillance. Party leaders insist that most Chinese approve of this, believing it a price worth paying for eliminating radical Islam and the threat of terrorism.Communist bosses should be careful what they wish for. Nobody knows how stable their support is because China is so secretive, and because the broad contentment of a country enjoying economic growth is easy to mistake for informed consent. But if a Tiananmen anniversary ever does pass without a flicker of dissent, that would be a dangerous moment, setting up the Chinese nation, and not just its rulers, for a backlash across the democratic world. For the party’s swaggering, authoritarian ways are a challenge to the universal values which help to define the West. That is true even though President Donald Trump is a disturbing outlier. He has described the violence in Beijing 30 years ago as a “strong, powerful government” quelling a “riot”, albeit with horrible force.
The results will be drawn-out, and chaotic. Unlike EU Regulations like the GDPR, which become law on passage by the central EU institutions, EU Directives have to be transposed: written into each member country’s national law. Countries have until 2021 to transpose the Copyright Directive, but EU rarely keeps its members to that deadline, so it could take even longer.We can expect media and rightsholders to lobby for the most draconian possible national laws, then promptly march to the courts to extract fines whenever anyone online wanders over its fuzzy lines. The Directive is written so that any owner of copyrighted material can demand satisfaction from an Internet service, and we’ve already seen that the rightsholders are by no means united on what Big Tech should be doing. Whatever Internet companies and organizations do to comply with twenty-seven or more national laws – from dropping links to European news sites entirely, to upping their already over-sensitive filtering systems, or seeking to strike deals with key media conglomerates – will be challenged by one rightsholder faction or another.
My crime? Popping a wheelie on a motorcycle in Manhattan. Even though the charge was dismissed in a New York City court, a Philadelphia-based judge still deemed my interaction with the police to be a technical violation of my probation — stemming from a 2007 arrest — and sentenced me to two to four years in prison despite the fact that I didn’t commit a crime. The judge also refused my motion for bail, calling me a “danger to the community” and a “flight risk.” The ordeal cost me my most precious commodity: my freedom. I served five months. With the help of friends and the intervention of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, I was released on bail this past April and was able to resume my life.But I know I’m the exception to the rule — a lucky one. It’s clearer than ever that a disproportionate number of men and women of color are treated unfairly by a broken criminal justice system. The system causes a vicious cycle, feeding upon itself — sons and daughters grow up with their parents in and out of prison, and then become far more likely to become tied up in the arrest-jail-probation cycle. This is bad for families and our society as a whole.
The three public agencies involved in the future operations of Irvine Lake have not announced a plan for its reopening for recreation use since its closure in 2016.
Without sufficient historical financial information from SWD, OC Parks cannot project future financial opportunities at Irvine Lake. Minimal effort to engage one another, a lack of creative proposals and slow responsiveness between OC Parks and the water districts have allowed negotiations to stall.
Although not a party to any recreation rights, IRWD does have a right of approval over decisions affecting water use rights and water quality. Therefore, settling easement rights issues in a successor document to the 2003 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) among SWD, IRWD and TIC is required prior to concluding negotiations on recreation rights. Parties expect to complete this in the first half of 2019.A master plan for recreational activities remains to be developed.
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In his complaint filed with the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust, attorney David Winker claimed that team owners failed to register as lobbyists before urging commissioners to place their plan on the November ballot. Winker said principals of the team, including Beckham and brothers Jorge and Jose Mas, failed to register as lobbyists for the business entity that would negotiate a lease with the city, Miami Freedom Park LLC. Beckham and the Mas brothers are registered to lobby for a different company, Miami Beckham United, LLC.
Beckham plans to transform a city-owned golf course into Miami Freedom Park, a massive stadium and commercial complex. Now the ownership group has permission to negotiate a lease of city land next to Miami International Airport, currently home to Melreese golf course, for a 73-acre redevelopment that would include a 25,000-seat stadium, at least 750 hotel rooms and at least 1 million square feet of office, retail and commercial space. Owners also agreed to fund a 58-acre public park next to the complex.
After running through multiple possible sites over the years, including land in Overtown that ownership purchased, Melreese became the top choice after Jorge Mas argued a stadium needed surrounding development to be profitable. When the Mas brothers joined, the league gave Miami a team and a deadline — building permits for a stadium by November 2019.
Since Melreese was considered as a location for the stadium, the concept stirred controversy and sparked multiple lawsuits. Critics framed the proposal as a lucrative land grab dressed up as a necessary project to give MLS a home in Miami. They defended the value of Melreese, particularly a youth golf and mentoring program housed there called First Tee Miami, and blasted the rushed process that led to the referendum.
When commissioners voted to place the question on the November ballot after only days of considering preliminary lease terms, several questions remained unanswered. Among them: The true cost of cleaning up toxic soil underneath Melreese, dirt contaminated with ash from an old municipal incinerator. Those questions will remain as the city officials and team owners begin lease negotiations.The lease still needs approval from four of five city commissioners — which might be a long shot, given strong opposition from at least two commissioners. In July, Gort and Commissioner Manolo Reyes voted against placing the referendum on the ballot. On Monday, they both told the Herald they had not been swayed and they hoped the referendum would fail.
The survey also revealed: • Nearly half (46 percent) of those who admit to driving ‘intexticated’ do so for navigation. Other popular reasons cited for using smartphones behind the wheel included searching for audio or music, believing that someone required a quick response, and feeling more productive. • Ten percent of those surveyed say they have been involved in a crash in the last five years in which they believe distraction played a role. • Drivers surveyed said they were most likely to drive while ‘intexticated’ when they were alone in the car. The survey is part of the Automobile Club of Southern California’s (AAA’s) “Don’t Drive Intoxicated. Don’t Drive Intexticated.” Initiative, which aims to make texting while driving as socially unacceptable as drunk driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 9 people die every day from distracted driving and more than one thousand others are injured. AAA member DeeDee Gonzalez was one of them. In 2017, she was riding her motorcycle in Rancho Palos Verdes when a driver hit her head-on while he was looking at his smartphone. She was thrown from her bike, sustained multiple traumatic injuries, and could not walk for months after the crash. She will need some form of physical therapy for the rest of her life.“The legal consequences for texting and driving are not as severe as drinking and driving, which I will never understand. They’re both reckless behaviors,” said Gonzalez. “The law has not caught up with technology and I’m hopeful, maybe I’m optimistic about things getting better,” she said.