India: Kerala Nun who protested against rape-accused former Bishop expelled

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

Kerala nun who protested against rape-accused former bishop expelled

The nun said she was issued four show-cause notices and that she replied to all and appeared before the superior general in person. She added she will remain a nun till her last.

KERALA Updated: Aug 07, 2019 14:40 IST

Ramesh Babu
Ramesh Babu
Hindustan Time, Thiruvananthapuram
Sister Kalapura said she will move the court after consulting fellow nuns and others.
Sister Kalapura said she will move the court after consulting fellow nuns and others. (HT image)

A Catholic nun in Kerala said on Wednesday she has been removed from her position by the Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC) after she supported an agitation to arrest Franco Mullakkal, a former Jalandhar-based bishop accused of rape.

Sister Lucy Kalapura said the decision to expel her was taken two months ago and she was forced to sign papers by FCC authorities on Wednesday. She said most of the charges raised against her were baseless and that she was asked to vacate the convent immediately.

Sister Kalapura said she will move the court after consulting fellow nuns and others.

“I was victimised for speaking the truth. I will continue my fight. Many nuns are suffering silently. They will come out in coming days,” the nun said.

Two months ago, she had appeared before the Mother General of FCC congregation in Aluva of Ernakulam district to explain her position on the show-cause notices issued to her. She had also sought police protection to go to the congregation headquarters, saying her life was in danger.

The nun said she was issued four show-cause notices and that she replied to all and appeared before the superior general in person. She added she will remain a nun till her last.

Sister Kalapura said her struggle was not against the church but against some people who supported injustice and corrupt practices. She has also expressed her desire to meet Pope Francis.

“Some of the charges against me are quite frivolous. One of them is that I bought a car without informing the church and another that I appeared in a normal dress in a function,” she said.

She said the main grouse against her was that she openly supported the agitation Mullakkal.

A 43-year-old nun had filed a police complaint in June 2018, alleging Mullakkal had raped her in 2014 and continued to sexually assault her two more years. Later, she also released a seven-page letter she wrote to the Vatican ambassador in India narrating how her plight was overlooked by church authorities in Kerala.

When police failed to arrest the bishop, five of her fellow nuns staged a sit-in protest in Kochi. Many like Kalapura had joined the sit-in protest.

Later, a special investigation team formed to probe the case arrested Mullakal in September last year after several rounds of questioning.

There were many attempts to intimidate and transfer the five nuns, who stood in support of the victim. The victim and five nuns are now confined to their convent in Kuravilangad in Kottayam. The trial against the deposed bishop started in Kottayam last month.

“Sister Lucy Kalapura was victimised for supporting us. It’s sad that church authorities are stifling saner voices,” Sister Anupama, also who led the stir against Mullakal, said.

First Published: Aug 07, 2019 14:04 IST

China Mobile bid to operate U.S. services denied by FCC over security concerns

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NBC NEWS AND REUTERS)

 

China Mobile bid to operate U.S. services denied by FCC over security concerns

China Mobile, which is owned by the Chinese government, sought approval in 2011 to provide interconnection services for phone calls between the U.S. and other countries.
Image: FTC Chairman Ajit Pai Testifies On Proposed Budget Estimates Before The Senate Appropriations Committee

Federal Communication Commission Chairman Ajit Pai testifies before the Senate Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee about his FY2020 budget requests in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on May 07, 2019.Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Loss Of Internet Freedom = Loss Of Freedom

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTE)

 

Editor’s Note:In Unpacked, Brookings experts provide analysis of Trump administration policies and news. Subscribe to the Brookings Creative Lab YouTube channel to stay up to date on the latest from Unpacked.

The issue:

On June 11, 2018, the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of the Open Internet Order—the net neutrality rules—went into effect. In the wake of this change, Americans are wondering how the repeal will affect them, and what it means for the future of internet access. Though consumers may not see changes quickly, the shift on net neutrality undermines the nation’s history on network regulation, creating a new era in how these networks operate in America.

Internet companies will now have the opportunity to start to discriminate in very subtle ways.

The things you need to know:

  • Consumers can expect not to see any rapid changes as a result to the change in Net Neutrality rules
  • Internet services will likely not jump on this quickly and begin to extract the advantages of this repeal, but they will begin to discriminate in subtle ways
  • There is a pending court appeal that challenges the FCC’s ability to repeal Net Neutrality
  • The Congressional Review Act, which has already passed the Senate, would repeal the FCC’s decision
  • To understand what impact the repeal of the Open Internet rule might have, you have to understand why it was put in place to begin with
  • The underlying concept of networks in America, all the way back to the telegraph, has been that there needs to be first-come, first-serve, non-discriminatory access
  • The reason why we have this rule is because of monopoly networks
  • In most communities, there is one internet service provider – you don’t have a choice. When you have a monopoly situation, there is an incentive to discriminate to help the monopoly owner
  • In the past the government has always said that companies cannot discriminate to favor themselves – those concepts were at the heart of the Open Internet Order and they have now gone away
  • Internet companies will now have the opportunity to start to discriminate in very subtle ways
  • The court decision on the AT&T acquisition of Time Warner (and its assets like CNN) is important because when you have a merger of wired and wireless internet service and give them the opportunity to discriminate against competitors to favor their own content, then you have a new day in how America’s networks operate

The sources:

A wide gulf between federal agencies on broadband competition

The state of tech policy, one year into the Trump Administration

Where’s the fire? With unclear legal authority, Trump FCC rushes to hand responsibility over internet service to FTC

Anywhere America Steps Back: China’s Communist Government Steps Forward

 

THE WEEKEND ROUNDUP 

A new rift in world affairs appears to be opening up: a division between pro-globalization Asia, with China in the lead, and the transatlantic nations that have turned against globalization.

“President Xi’s appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos next week,” I write in a blog post this week, “comes at both an auspicious and inauspicious moment. It is an auspicious moment because President-elect Donald Trump has all but announced America’s withdrawal from the world it has largely made over recent decades — and from which Asia has most benefited.” Since Europe has become inwardly absorbed with anxieties over terror attacks, immigration and failed integration, I continue, “that leaves China as the one major power with a global outlook. Ready or not, China has become the de facto world leader seeking to maintain an open global economy and battle climate change. In effect, President Xi has become the ‘core leader’ of globalization.”

“The inauspicious aspect is the reverse,” I go on to say. “The general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party is speaking to the converted from the pulpit in the foremost church of the global elite that gathers annually in Davos. Aligning with the global business elites in such a high profile manner places China even more squarely in the negative sights of the populist wave sweeping the Western democracies. It affirms in their minds that China is the main enemy of the working and middle class in the West.” China’s increasing show of force in the South China Sea this week in response to what it sees as provocations by the incoming U.S. administration also does it little favor in Western eyes.

Alexis Crow makes the counter-case that globalization continues to be beneficial to the West, saying trade is closely correlated with economic growth. “Increased wages in Southeast Asia boost demand for goods from new economy sectors in the West,” she writes. She also notes, as a case in point, how Chinese investment is creating thousands of jobs in Ohio.

Writing from Vladivostok, Artyom Lukin wonders how heightening conflict with China, as Trump tilts toward a closer embrace of Moscow, will play out. “Given Trump’s obvious hostility to China and his friendliness to Russia,” he writes, “Moscow may move into the apex spot of the triangle, having better relations with Beijing and Washington than they have with each other.” As Lukin sees it, Russian President Vladimir Putin may well seek to, “position himself as a sort of mediator between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.”

Based on his experiences with Putin, Alexey Kovalev offers some advice as a Russian journalist to his American colleagues who this week faced their first press conference with Donald Trump. “Facts don’t matter. You can’t hurt this man with facts or reason. He’ll always outmaneuver you. He’ll always wriggle out of whatever carefully crafted verbal trap you lay for him. Whatever he says, you won’t be able to challenge him.” He welcomes his American colleagues to “the era of bullshit.” Fearing this is only the beginning of what’s to come in the battle between Trump and the press, Howard Fineman writes, “It’s not a video game. It’s Washington in the Trump era, and we’ve just seen an unsettling preview.”

Many Africans are also wondering how a Trump presidency that is hostile to China will unfold for them. As Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden report, while America’s role in the world is growing uncertain, China is becoming more predictably favorable. As the year opened, China outlawed its domestic ivory trade and Foreign Minister Wang Yi is making a visit to Africa his first overseas trip of the year. China has also committed $60 billion in financing for African projects.

Writing from Singapore, Parag Khanna takes another tack entirely, suggesting that an America caught up in the turmoil of a populist backlash might learn a thing or two not only from other successful states like Germany, but from China as well. America, Khanna observes, “is caught in a hapless cycle of flip-flopping parties and policies while overall national welfare stagnates. Populism has prevailed over pragmatism.” He further remarks that, even in the West, there is grudging admiration for, “China’s ability to get things done without perpetual factionalism holding up national priorities, such as infrastructure.”

The populist drift in both the U.S. and Europe deeply concerns the Human Rights Watch organization, Nick Visser reports. “They scapegoat refugees, immigrant communities, and minorities. Truth is a frequent casualty,” he cites the watchdog’s director, Kenneth Roth, as saying. Nick Robins-Early looks at the trend of populism in Europe, noting that this year will be a test for the far-right, specifically in France, Germany and The Netherlands.

Writing from New Delhi, Swati Chaturvedi fears the consequences of the anti-Muslim and anti-woman hate speech that seems part and parcel of a Hindu brand of populism taking hold in India today. “Trolls,” she says, “are the goons of the online world. … lies and violent words can have deadly consequences in the real world.”

In an interview, former Iranian President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr sees opportunity for the regime in a Trump presidency where others see only trouble. “Khamenei’s supporters believe not only that Trump will maintain the Vienna nuclear agreement,” he says, “but also that his policies in Syria and the Middle East will maintain the interests of the regime.”

Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, also has a positive spin on the negativity surrounding President-elect Trump. He thinks Americans are more than capable of rising to disruptive challenges of new technologies behind so much political anxiety today. Wheeler argues that the slogan “‘Make America Great Again’ became a surrogate for ‘Make me secure again amidst all this change.’ Great swaths of the electorate sought stability in a world where everything seemed to be changing.” Wheeler reminds his fellow Americans that they’ve been here before: “Like today,” he says, “the technology revolution of the 19th century produced a longing for stability. But instead of retreating, Americans pushed forward to build a new security around new concepts. Universal education, employee rights, governmental offsets to abusive market power and other initiatives targeted the new problems. The result was the good old days many now long for.”

Writing from Geneva, Richard Baldwin sees a double blow to the labor market – in both rich and poor countries ― of both offshoring and robots. “Rapid advances in computing power and communication technology,” he contends, “will make it economical for many more people to work remotely across borders.” As medical costs rise in the rich countries, for example, Baldwin expects to see more and more “telesurgery” where the patient and doctor are divided by hundreds of miles.

In this world so afflicted by hatred and violence, Turkish novelist Kaya Genc also sees a way to unite amidst division, finding beauty and peace in the quotidian event of a winter snowfall. “Snow saved Istanbul,” he writes this week from his beloved hometown on the shores of the Bosphorous. “As flakes fell from the sky, the city was relieved of its status as the new destination of international terror. … There was a hint of something chilling in the air, and I felt relieved that it was not man-made.” 

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