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Open Government Partnership

Open Government Partnership

The Religious War on Reproductive Health | Daylight Atheism When it comes to reproductive health in America, progress often seems like a one-step-forward-two-steps-back kind of situation. But let's start with some rare good news: in January, the Obama administration announced that most employers would have to cover birth control in their employee health plans with no co-pay - enraging religious groups, which had hoped for a broad exemption for church-run businesses. This rule is a straightforward application of anti-discrimination law. Since no one is being forced to use contraception, this seems like a nonsensical complaint. This is the same thing as pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control pills: they interpret "religious freedom" not to mean, "I will not use birth control because my religion says it's not OK", but to mean, "I will not allow you to use birth control because my religion says it's not OK". Now, the bad news. If you've ever donated money or time to support Komen, I urge you to never do so again.

Justice Doesn’t Come Cheap. Can the ICC Afford It? The Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) made public new findings on Tuesday with respect to alleged crimes committed in Nigeria. After receiving 59 complaints since 2005, the OTP has concluded that there are grounds to believe that Boko Haram, a militia group mainly active in northeastern Nigeria, has committed the crimes against humanity of murder and persecution. The OTP report said it had found that the group has, since July 2009, “launched a widespread and systematic attack that has resulted in the killing of more than 1,200 Christian and Muslims civilians in different locations throughout Nigeria.” This moves the OTP into the final stages of its decision whether to open a new investigation. The ICC depends on voluntary cooperation from states in order to implement its mandate. States have consistently demanded that the ICC comply with a “zero growth” approach to its budget. The Nigeria findings show that the demands on the OTP will not decrease.

Watch: M.I.A's middle finger to Saudi Arabia's insane driving laws trumps Madonna's sexy pop The video for M.I.A's new track Bad Girls has just been released. Why is there so much hype around it? Well, first, M.I.A's aesthetic, whether you're find her irritating or not, is significant in its power, influence and downright badassness. Anyway, it's not hard to imagine what the Sri Lankan-British singer – a sucker for political statements – is saying. They also said that if the ban was lifted, there would be "no more virgins" in the Islamic Kingdom within ten years. Naturally, she looks amazing against a background of fires, spinning beamers and jiving children. It's a sexy film, brimming with dust, steam, oil and pouts. It trumps poor Madonna, who also released a video today.

Mis Cuadernos | Rubén Aguilar Valenzuela Can the US Army accept atheists? 3 February 2012Last updated at 14:48 By Kate Dailey BBC News Magazine Sgt Justin Griffith wants atheists to be given more respect in the armed forces In a land of faith and flag, Justin Griffith is challenging the US military to abandon its religious ties. When he was a child growing up in Plano, Texas - a place he describes as the "oversized, goofy buckle on the Bible belt" - he would bring his bible to science class and debate his teachers on the finer points of evolution. "In my head, I won every time," says Mr Griffith, now 29. But somewhere along the way, his penchant for picking ideological fights with the non-religious got him in trouble. "It was so painful. Mr Griffith found peace with his atheism, but he is not done sparring with the opposite team. As an active-duty sergeant in the US Army, he's leading the charge to get atheists more respect in the armed forces. Protest rock Continue reading the main story “Start Quote End QuoteBenjamin AbleFort Bragg spokesman Bigger microphone

Página 24 Jalisco | El Mejor Periodismo Diario سعوديات يرفعن دعوى قضائية للحصول على رخصة قيادة تقدمت مجموعة من النساء السعوديات بدعوى لدى المحكمة الإدارية (ديوان المظالم) ضد إدارة المرور للمطالبة بالحصول على رخصة قيادة سيارة، وأعلن محامي المدعيات أن المحكمة الإدارية قبلت النظر في الدعوى. واستقبلت المحكمة الإدارية قضية رفعتها الناشطة السعودية منال الشريف ضد الإدارة العامة للمرور في السعودية تطلب فيها إلغاء قرار منع استخراج "رخصة القيادة" للسيدات في البلاد، بحجة عدم وجود نظام يجيز للمرور تطبيق هذا المنع، وقد قبلت المحكمة النظر فيها. وأكد المحامي عبدالرحمن اللاحم في حديث لصحيفة "الحياة" اللندنية، أمس، أن ديوان المظالم قبل النظر في مطالبة موكلته منال الشريف بإلغاء القرار الصادر من الإدارة العامة للمرور حول منع إصدار رخصة قيادة لها بعد تقدمها بطلب ذلك في فرع الإدارة بالمنطقة الشرقية. واعتبر اللاحم أن هذه القضية تعد سابقة في القضاء الإداري في السعودية، وقال: "اعتمدنا على تضمينها ببعض ما تنص عليه الأنظمة في السعودية، ومنها النظام الأساسي للحكم الذي رسخ المساواة بين الرجل والمرأة، إضافة إلى نظام المرور العام الذي لــم يميز بين الرجل والمرأة في حق إصدار رخصة القيادة".

Shock, anger follow Benetton's controversial kissing ads Benetton's ads showing world leaders kissing each other on the mouth has caused an uproar in various parts of the globe, angering the Vatican enough to take legal action. The ads are part of the company's "Unhate" campaign -- and yet another example of "shockvertising" by the Italian clothing company. The poster-size ads were unveiled in major cities including New York, Milan and Paris on Wednesday. The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday about the digitally manipulated images in the ads, two of which show President Obama kissing Hugo Chavez, above, and Chinese President Hu Jintao. [ The White House had a succinct response to the Obama ads. The Vatican quickly said it would take legal action to stop the distribution of the photo montage featuring the pope and Ahmed el Tayeb, the head of Cairo's Al Azhar institution. On Thursday, Bill Donohue, president of the New York-based Catholic League, had this to say in a news release: Calling all Occupiers!

Iran Monitoring Cyber Cafes as it Tests 'Closed' Web Alternative The Internet is already heavily restricted in Iran, but authorities in the country are hatching further plans to crack down on cyberspace by introducing tighter monitoring of Internet users. The Guardian reports that the state will soon begin gathering an alarming amount of information relating to anyone who accesses the Internet from a cyber cafe in the country. A national police statement reveals the details that will be collected from each customer: Internet cafes are required to write down the forename, surname, name of the father, national identification number, postcode and telephone number of each customer. Equally as concerning are the rumours that the country is developing its own closed Internet which could replace the open Web in the country, in a similar style to North Korea’s intranet, where access to the open Web is extremely limited. These moves have greater motive, however, as the country prepares for a new election in March.