International Tidings, April 16, 2019

Coup in Sudan

Last Thursday, the President of Uganda, Sudan Omar al-Bashir was removed from power through popular protest. According to the New York Times, anti-government sentiment had started to intensify in December of 2018 due to protests targeting high food costs. However, soon the protests began to target the authoritative regime led by former President al-Bashir. The plan to overthrow al-Bashir influenced the majority of the young people in the country, despite having to resist police and military brutality under al-Bashir control. The youth are still protesting, with the hopes that a coup d’etat will lead to a civil democracy in Sudan. As of now, the Constitution has been suspended, the government has been dissolved and a curfew was set for 10 p.m.  

Australia Tech Legislation

Last week, the Australian government passed federal legislation that, according to the New York Times, “criminalized disturbing behavior” in social media platforms. This legislation was created as a result of the massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand, led by an Australian white nationalist active in social media and technological platforms. The failure of social media and tech platforms to take down “disturbing violent material” will cause the government to take away 10 percent of the company’s annual income. There is an increasing backlash regarding the legislation because some tech companies have claimed such measures would not decrease hate speech, but rather limit freedom of speech. Other controversial points of the legislation is that there is not a specific definition for “disturbing violent material” and there is not a clear way to enforce the legislation for big international companies such as Google and Facebook.

South Korea Abolishing Anti-Abortion Law

Last Thursday, South Korea has passed a law criminalizing abortions as unconstitutional. The abortion law punished women and doctors involved in abortion to two years of prison and a fine around $1,700. Although the abortion ban was not enforced in the 70s and 80s due to overpopulation, regulations have increased due to low birth rates. The government’s views on the practice of abortion have also shifted. According to the New York Times, the South Korean government sees abortion as “unpatriotic.” Meanwhile, the rise of women’s rights movements has been resistant to the law despite the backlash. The South Korean Parliament has until 2020 to  decide to revise the law, otherwise, the abortion law will be void.

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