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Guatemala Lawmakers Propose Jail For “Hate” Speech

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Guatemala Lawmakers Propose Jail For "Hate" Speech

Guatemala lawmakers have introduced legislation that would punish with prison time certain kinds of speech criticising elected officials and candidates.

Five legislators introduced the legislation on Tuesday but reactions have followed, prompting charges that it would violate constitutional measures guaranteeing freedom of expression.

The initiative targets “those who make acts of pressure, persecution and harassment” against politicians “in any medium of diffusion and/or on digital platforms, with the end of impeding the exercise of their political rights.”

It calls for sentences of two to three years.

Eva Monte, a lawmaker who has supported President Jimmy Morales, denied that the bill would stifle free speech and said it aims to crack down on defamation.

“This will serve to punish, for example, when a candidate or politician is linked to cases of corruption but in reality is not being investigated or accused.

“That would be a kind of coercion and should be punished.

“This also seeks to protect lawmakers, the vice president and the president,” Monte said.

Morales is suspected of accepting illicit campaign finance contributions, but a request to withdraw the immunity from prosecution that he enjoys as sitting president was not approved by congress.

The president denies wrongdoing.

Human rights prosecutor Jordan Rodas warned that the measure is unconstitutional.

“It goes against the free expression of thought,” Rodas said. “Politicians should mind their actions to avoid criticism.”

The bill goes first to a congressional commission for analysis of its constitutionality.

Two similar initiatives earlier this year were heavily criticised, including by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and failed to win approval by lawmakers.

Amid allegations of possible illegal activity against Morales, family members and political associates, the president has moved to defang a UN commission investigating corruption in the country.

The president recently declined to renew the commission’s mandate for another two years, giving it until the end of its current term next September to wrap up its activities and leave the country.

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Business News

Experts Support Trade Multilateralism

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Experts Support Trade Multilateralism

Several experts from different countries have voiced their support for multilateralism in trade.  They particularly pointed to china’s actions to promote cooperation based on win-win results.

Sanusha Naidu, a foreign policy analyst based in South Africa, said the recent G-20 summit has told the world the significance of multilateralism in trade which has played an active role for the global economy.

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World News

150 Nations Sign International Agreement On Migration

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150 Nations Sign International Agreement On Migration

More than 150 nations have signed a landmark international agreement on managing migration.

The UN pact, which is not legally binding, was adopted at a meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco, but it has been shunned by some countries including the U.S., Australia and at least six EU nations.

Its objectives include the integrated management of borders and giving migrants access to basic services.

Critics fear it will increase migration but the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the pact was based on co-operation and regulating migration.

He called it a source of “collective shame” that 60,000 migrants had died on perilous journeys since 2000.

All 193 UN members, except the united states, finalised the pact five months ago

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Nigerian News

Nigeria Remains Third Most Terrorized Country In The World

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Nigeria Remains Third Most Terrorized Country In The World

Nigeria still holds the unenviable position as the third most terrorized country in the world.

The 2018 global terrorism index, released on Wednesday, says  this is as a result of the spate of terrorism in Nigeria.  It also points to what it called the “increase in violence involving Fulani extremists”.  The report says this is happening as deaths committed by Boko Haram are falling..

Nigeria is ranked only below Iraq and Afghanistan, both in first and second positions.

This year alone, hundreds of Nigerians have been killed in attacks by suspected herdsmen as well as clashes between the herders and farmers/communities.

States worst hit in the attacks are Plateau, Benue, Zamfara, Taraba and others.

The report also noted that, compared to the peak of “terrorist deaths” in 2014, “the largest falls in the number of deaths occurred in Iraq, Nigeria, and Pakistan.

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