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13th January

  Don't mention Fawlty Towers...


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Lithuanian TV show taken off air after a nazi salute in a charades based game
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virginija buneviciute nazi saluteA Lithuanian actress and former politician made a Nazi-like gesture on a TV show, which was subsequently taken off the air.

The actress Asta Baukute was about to win, she jumped off her seat upon recognizing a melody by Lithuanian composer Simonas Donskovas, who is of Jewish heritage. She then made the gestures and yelled Jew, Jew, Jew in Lithuanian.

Neither the show host, the contenders nor anyone in the audience objected to her gesture.

Lithuania's public television, LRT, apologized for a live show called Guess the Melody in which a popular actress made gestures representing Adolf Hitler's moustache while raising her arm in a Nazi-style salute. LRT's deputy manager, Rimvydas Paleckis, expressed shock on the channel's Facebook page, saying:

This is in no way compatible with our values. The show is closed.

The local Jewish community expressed dismay at the incident.

 

6th January

  Political agitation...


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Finnish MP fined for voicing popular sentiments about terrorists
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Finland flagA Finnish MP has been fined for a Facebook post calling for a muslim-free Finland. Teuvo Hakkarainen from the nationalist Finns party was fined 1,160 euro for 'agitation against an ethnic group'.

Hakkarainen, whose party is part of the country's coalition government, made the call in a comment on the terrorist truck attack in France last July that killed 86 people. He said in the post:

All Muslims are not terrorists but all terrorists are Muslims.

The Finns party said it would next month discuss possible political sanctions for him.

 

13th December

  Nativity Naivete...


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'Peace and goodwill to all men'...except of course those running a Spanish sex shop with a sex toy nativity scene window display
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dildo nativityViolent threats have been made against a Spanish sex shop over its window display featuring a Christmas nativity scene made up of dildos.

The shop's website website reported that for three years ceramic dildos depicting Jesus, the Virgin Mary and Joseph have been put in the shop's window to great interest from local media.

However, this year the Toledo sex shop 203 reported an altogether more sinister response. A statement posted on the Non Sit Peccatum Facebook page claims people working at the sex shop have been the target of verbal aggression and the premises have been vandalized by people related to religious groups in recent weeks.

One letter sent to the shop's owner, Hector Valdivielso, asks if he thinks it is amusing to make to make fun of the beliefs of millions of people and threatens violence .

The shop removed the display far a while explaining that at no time did they mean to offend anyone. However an online poll found that about 80% of responders supported the display, and so the display was restored.

 

7th December

  Maybe best to not go there...

But surely a proposed new French law banning 'false information' on anti-abortion websites is incendiary stuff in what is essentially a religious debate
Link Here
France flagLawmakers in France have voted to ban misleading anti-abortion web sites. After a heated debate, the French National Assembly passed a bill to outlaw websites spreading misinformation about abortion. Pro-abortion activists have accused Pro-Life campaigners of pretending to give neutral information while putting pressure on women not to have abortions.

The new law, which still has to pass the Senate, extends an existing law against physical intimidation over abortion to digital media and would extend the scope of a 1993 law, which criminalizes false information related abortions, to digital media.

Providing false information on abortion online would be punishable by up to two years in prison and a 30,000 euro fine, a stipulation that pro-life advocates were quick to ridicule.

In the current fad for blaming all society's ills on 'false' news and information this adds an interesting possibility of religious commandments being tested in court as false information. The underlying religious view is that abortion is bad simply ecause their god said so.  And surely opponents will understandably see this as false information.

Bruno Retailleau, who heads the Republicans party group in the Senate, says the bill is totally against freedom of expression. He claimed the bill went against the spirit of the 1975 law legalizing abortion, which called for women to be informed of alternatives.

 

2nd December

  Censorship campaigners with a chipolata on their shoulder...

Moralists whinge about the French 12 rating for Seth Rogen's Sausage Party
Link Here  full story: Film Censorship in France...French age ratings are generally lower than most
Sausage Party DVD Greg TiernanSausage Party is a 2016 USA animation comedy adventure by Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon.
Starring Kristen Wiig, Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd. BBFC link IMDb

An animated fable about the delusion of religion. It is set in an American supermarket, its characters are horny and often blasphemous foodstuffs who at one point engage in a mass sex party.

Catholic and right-wing have whinged about a Seth Rogen cartoon featuring lots of strong language and a foodstuffs orgy scene.

France's film certification board,  (Centre National de la Cinematographie: Commission de Classification, CNC) has now come under renewed censorship pressure by conservative organisations angry at what they perceive as an overlenient rating given to a Hollywood cartoon.

In the US, the film was rated R for strong crude sexual content, pervasive language, and drug use. The film was cut in the US to avoid an NC-17 rating, with the censors asking for the deletion of the hairy scrotum of a pita bread. This cut version has been distributed worldwide. In the UK, it had 15 for very strong language, strong sex references . In France it has been given a 12 certificate.

Jean-Frédéric Poisson, president of France's Christian Democratic party whinged:

An orgy scene for 12-year-olds! Everything remains to be done to combat early exposure to pornography.

La Manif Pour Tours, which has campaigned against same-sex marriage fired of an angry tweet:

Hello CNC, explain how you can authorise the screening of a giant orgy for the whole family?

The Association of Catholic Families warned parents:

[The movie gives] the appearance of being intended for young people and children. its content is not only coarse, but also clearly pornographic, under cover of being 'politically incorrect'.

The French ratings board has traditionally been more lenient than its UK and US equivalents, but is not entirely out on a limb in Europe as Sweden awarded an even lower rating, 11A.

 

2nd December

  The Dark Web...

French court jails man for the habitual visiting of websites promoting Islamic State
Link Here
France flagA man in France has been sentenced to two years in prison for repeatedly visiting pro-ISIS websites, even though there is no indication that he planned to stage a terrorist attack. The man was convicted by a court iunder a new law that has drawn scorn from civil liberties groups. In addition to the two-year prison sentence, he will have to pay a ?30,000 fine.

Police discovered the man's browsing history after conducting a raid on his house. During the investigation, they found pro-ISIS images and execution videos on his phone, personal computer, and a USB stick. An ISIS flag was on the wallpaper of his computer desktop, and his computer's password was "13novembrehaha," a reference to the night gunmen killed 130 people in attacks across Paris. The man had been regularly consulting jihadist websites for two years, police said.

This week's conviction is the latest handed down under a controversial law that criminalizes the "habitual" consultation of websites that promote terrorism. The law makes exceptions for those who visit the sites "in good faith" -- for research, to inform the public, or for judicial purposes.

 

23rd November

 Update: Minority censorship...

Pakistan's TV censor bans 11 christian channels
Link Here  full story: TV Censorship in Pakistan...TV under threat from morally minded courts
Pakistan flagTV censors of the Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) have banned at least 11 Christian TV channels being run across the country.

The channels which have been blocked are Isaac TV, Gawahi TV, God Bless TV, Barkat TV, Praise TV, Zindagi TV, Shine TV, Jesus TV (Jessi TV), Healing TV, Khushkhabari TV, and Catholic TV , sources said. All the channels relayed religious programmes for Christians living in the country.

Pemra claimed the censorship was because the banned channels were broadcasting without licences but that was probably down to christian channels not being allowed to have licenses.

These TV channels are banned in line with ongoing Pemra campaign to ban illegal channels, Sheikh Tahir, the regulator's general manager media, told The Express Tribune . He said the blocked TV channels did not have licences to continue their transmissions.

Pemra seeks ministry's help in enforcing Indian DTH ban

In response to a question that why only Christian TV channels were banned, Sheikh Tahir, the Pemra's general manager medias claimed there was no segregation in the name of religion.

Talking to The Express Tribune , Nadim Anthony, a Christian advocate and rights activist, termed it a blow to the Christian minority of the country. Anthony said the blocked channels had a huge viewership, through which community members took religious guidance. He added:

There are so many Islamic TV channels functioning in the country but no one can dare ban them, which is discrimination.