Whether Turkey’s authoritarian president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, maintains power remains an open question as officials continue to count votes following Sunday’s presidential and parliamentary elections.
Tens of millions of people cast ballots in the pivotal election before polls closed at 5:00 pm local time. Preliminary results indicate that Erdoğan of the right-wing Justice and Development Party (AKP) holds a dwindling lead over Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who heads the center-left Republican People’s Party (CHP) and is the joint candidate of a six-party opposition coalition.
“It will be like the Taliban regime,” says Melek Önder, asked what will happen to women’s rights if Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is re-elected as president of Turkey in the election on Sunday.
Önder is a spokesperson for We Will Stop Femicides (Kadin Cinayetlerini Durduracagiz), one of the most active groups in Turkey’s women’s movement. The platform was founded in 2010 after Cem Garipoğlu, 17, murdered his girlfriend Münevver Karabulut, also 17. It collects data on femicides and campaigns against violence against women.
Human rights defenders on Tuesday condemned an intense Israeli aerial bombardment of densely populated areas of Gaza that killed at least 13 Palestinians—including at least 10 civilians and three leaders of a militant resistance group—while wounding more than 20 others.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF)—which is calling the airstrikes Operation Shield and Arrow—said it “targeted three senior Islamic Jihad commanders responsible for launching rockets toward Israel over the last month and planning further terror attacks,” as well as “weapons manufacturing sites and military compounds.”
Civil liberties defenders on Wednesday decried yet another bill passed by Florida’s GOP-controlled Legislature attacking academic freedom, while calling on Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis to take the unlikely step of vetoing the measure.
S.B. 266 would require Florida’s Board of Education and its state university system’s board of governors to establish faculty committees tasked with reviewing and, if deemed necessary, rejecting or adjusting all general education courses.
The United States’ counterterrorism efforts in Somalia, which were ramped up after the emergence of the armed group al-Shabab in 2006, are worsening the East African country’s instability, according to a new analysis released Thursday as progressives in Congress voted for a withdrawal of all U.S. troops from the nation.
As the Costs of War project at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University said in the new report, the U.S. has spent at least $2.5 billion on counterterrorism operations in Somalia since 2007, including funding for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somali National Army. This figure does not include the undisclosed amount of money the government has poured into intelligence and military operations there.
Last year, after the U.S. Supreme Court ended the federal right to abortion, voters in Kansas, California, Michigan, Vermont, Kentucky, and Montana used the ballot initiative process to show their support for reproductive freedom, both by defeating GOP-backed anti-abortion measures and approving constitutional amendments aimed at preserving abortion access.
Governor Ron DeSantis speaking with attendees at the 2022 Student Action Summit at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida. Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/CC
EDITOR‘S NOTE: The bill was signed last evening.
Reproductive rights defenders on Thursday braced for a near-total abortion ban in Florida as Republican state lawmakers sent legislation outlawing the medical procedure after six weeks to governor and likely GOP presidential candidate Ron DeSantis‘ desk for his all-but-certain signature.
S.B. 300 passed in the Florida House of Representatives by a 70-40 vote largely along party lines after approval by the GOP-controlled Senate earlier this month. If signed into law as anticipated, the legislation will replace an existing 2022 Florida law prohibiting abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy with a six-week ban containing exceptions for victims of rape, incest, or human trafficking; in cases of fatal fetal abnormalities; or to save the pregnant person’s life.
A protest at the Tennessee Capitol for stricter gun laws in the state. Photo: Shannon Watts/Twitter
So far in 2023, there have been 90 incidents of gunfire at primary and secondary schools in the US. The most recent happened on 27 March at the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, a small private Christian school with classes ranging from preschool through to sixth grade (up to 12 years old). The Nashville shooter slaughtered six innocent victims, including three nine-year-olds, before being killed by the police.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, it was the 130th mass shooting of the year, meaning that mass shootings are currently occurring at a rate of about 1.5 per day in the so-called “land of the free”.
Democracy defenders on Monday sharply criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s agreement to place the country’s National Guard under the control of National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, a far-right extremist who has advocated the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.
Netanyahu’s move is in exchange for a promise from Ben-Gvir’s Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) party to remain in the prime minister’s governing coalition despite an earlier threat to exit if Netanyahu delayed a highly controversial judicial overhaul. Facing massive street protests and a general strike by the nation’s largest trade union, Netanyahu agreed on Monday to postpone the legislation until April or early May. Continue reading →
The plan has incited an unprecedented wave of controversy among Israelis, as hundreds of thousands of protestors have gathered for a 12th straight week across the country in opposition to the plan. Yet it’s not simply the persistence and size of the protest that is evidence of the crisis. It’s who is protesting. Continue reading →