Craig S. Smith is an American journalist. Until January, 2000, he wrote for The Wall Street Journal, most notably covering the rise of the religious movement Falun Gong in China. He joined The New York Times as Shanghai bureau chief in 2000 and wrote extensively about the practice of harvesting organs from executed prisoners in China. In 2002 he moved to Paris. He has reported for the Times in more than forty countries, from Iraq to Israel to Kyrgyzstan and covered the 2005 unrest in the French banlieues. In 2008, he joined Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li Tzar Kai's financial news venture as executive editor and subsequently became senior vice president of Li's Pacific Century Group. He rejoined The New York Times in late 2011 as China managing director. In late 2016 he returned to the U.S. as a writer at large for the Times and has since focused on Canadian stories.
He is married to Anna Esaki, daughter of Nobel laureate Dr. Leo Esaki, and they have two sons named Sky and True.
Ahmed Ouyahia (Arabic: أحمد أويحيى) (born 2 July 1952) is an Algerian politician who has been Prime Minister of Algeria from 2017 until 2019; previously he was Prime Minister from 1995 to 1998, from 2003 to 2006, and from 2008 to 2012. A career diplomat, he also served as Minister of Justice, and he was one of the founders of the National Rally for Democracy (RND) as well as the party's secretary-general. He is considered by Western observers to be close to the military of Algeria and a member of the "eradicator" faction in the 1990s civil war against Islamist militants.Albert Hofmann
Albert Hofmann (11 January 1906 – 29 April 2008) was a Swiss scientist known best for being the first person to synthesize, ingest, and learn of the psychedelic effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Hofmann was also the first person to isolate, synthesize, and name the principal psychedelic mushroom compounds psilocybin and psilocin. He authored more than 100 scientific articles and numerous books, including LSD: Mein Sorgenkind (LSD: My Problem Child). In 2007, he shared first place with Tim Berners-Lee in a list of the 100 greatest living geniuses, published by The Daily Telegraph newspaper.Brahim Yadel
Brahim Yadel is a citizen of France held in extrajudicial detention in the United States Guantanamo Bay detainment camps, in Cuba.
His Guantanamo Internment Serial Number was 371. The Department of Defense reports that he was born on March 17, 1971, in Aubervilliers, France.
Although originally convicted in France, his trial was overturned and he was released in February 2009.
On February 17, 2010, the Court of Cassation, the highest court in France, ordered a re-trial of Brahim Yadel and four other men.Falun Gong
Falun Gong (UK: , US: ) or Falun Dafa (; Standard Mandarin Chinese: [fàlwə̌n tâfà]; literally, "Dharma Wheel Practice" or "Law Wheel Practice") is a Chinese religious spiritual practice that combines meditation and qigong exercises with a moral philosophy centered on the tenets of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance (Chinese: 真、善、忍). The practice emphasizes morality and the cultivation of virtue, and identifies as a qigong practice of the Buddhist school, though its teachings also incorporate elements drawn from Taoist traditions. Through moral rectitude and the practice of meditation, practitioners of Falun Gong aspire to eliminate attachments, and ultimately to achieve spiritual enlightenment.
Falun Gong originated and was first taught publicly in northeastern China in 1992 by Li Hongzhi. It emerged toward the end of China's "qigong boom"—a period that saw a proliferation of similar practices of meditation, slow-moving energy exercises and regulated breathing. It differs from other qigong schools in its absence of fees or formal membership, lack of daily rituals of worship, its greater emphasis on morality, and the theological nature of its teachings. Western academics have described Falun Gong as a qigong discipline, a "spiritual movement", a "cultivation system" in the tradition of Chinese antiquity, or as a form of Chinese religion.
The practice initially enjoyed support from Chinese officialdom, but by the mid to late 1990s, the Communist Party and public security organizations increasingly viewed Falun Gong as a potential threat due to its size, independence from the state, and spiritual teachings. By 1999, government estimates placed the number of Falun Gong practitioners at 70 million. During that time, negative coverage of Falun Gong began to appear in the state-run press, and practitioners usually responded by picketing the source involved. Most of the time, the practitioners succeeded, but controversy and tension continued to build. The scale of protests grew until April 1999, when over 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners gathered near the central government compound in Beijing to request legal recognition and freedom from state interference. This demonstration is widely seen as catalyzing the persecution that followed.
On 20 July 1999, the Communist Party leadership initiated a nationwide crackdown and multifaceted propaganda campaign intended to eradicate the practice. It blocked Internet access to websites that mention Falun Gong, and in October 1999 it declared Falun Gong a "heretical organization" that threatened social stability. Falun Gong practitioners in China are reportedly subject to a wide range of human rights abuses: hundreds of thousands are estimated to have been imprisoned extrajudicially, and practitioners in detention are subject to forced labor, psychiatric abuse, torture, and other coercive methods of thought reform at the hands of Chinese authorities. As of 2009, human rights groups estimated that at least 2,000 Falun Gong practitioners had died as a result of abuse in custody. One observer reported that tens of thousands may have been killed to supply China's organ transplant industry (see Organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners in China). In the years since the persecution began, Falun Gong practitioners have become active in advocating for greater human rights in China.
Falun Gong founder Li Hongzhi has lived in New York City since 1996, and Falun Gong has a sizable global constituency. Inside China, estimates suggest that tens of millions continued to practice Falun Gong in spite of the persecution. Hundreds of thousands are estimated to practice Falun Gong outside China in over 70 countries worldwide.Harlem Désir
Harlem Jean-Philippe Désir (French: [aʁ.lɛm de.ziʁ]; born 25 November 1959) is a French politician who served in the government of France as Secretary of State for European Affairs from 2014 to 2017. Previously he was First Secretary of the French Socialist Party. Since 2017, he has served as the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media.He Zuoxiu
He Zuoxiu (Chinese: 何祚庥; pinyin: Hé Zuòxiū; born 1927) is a Chinese physicist and member of Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is a member of the Chinese Communist Party and a self-described "steadfast believer in Marxism". Along with Sima Nan, He is known as a "crusader" against supernatural and "unscientific thinking," and became famous in China for his criticism of the spiritual movement Falun Gong and support for its nationwide ban. He is also a critic of traditional Chinese medicine.Khalid El-Masri
Khaled El-Masri (also Khalid El-Masri and Khaled Masri, Levantine Arabic pronunciation: [ˈxaːlɪd elˈmɑsˤɾi, -ˈmɑsˤɾe], Arabic: خالد المصري) (born June 29, 1963) is a German and Lebanese citizen who was mistakenly abducted by the Macedonian police in 2003, and handed over to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). While in CIA custody, he was flown to Afghanistan, where he was held at a black site and routinely interrogated, beaten, strip-searched, sodomized, and subjected to other cruel forms of inhumane and degrading treatment and torture. After El-Masri held hunger strikes, and was detained for four months in the "Salt Pit", the CIA finally admitted his arrest and torture were a mistake and released him. He is believed to be among an estimated 3,000 detainees whom the CIA abducted from 2001–2005.In May 2004, the U.S. Ambassador to Germany, Daniel R. Coats, convinced the German interior minister, Otto Schily, not to press charges or to reveal the program. El-Masri filed suit against the CIA for his arrest, extraordinary rendition and torture. In 2006, his suit El Masri v. Tenet, in which he was represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), was dismissed by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, based on the U.S. government's claiming the state secrets privilege. The ACLU said the Bush administration attempted to shield its abuses by invoking this privilege. The case was also dismissed by the Appeals Court for the Fourth Circuit, and in December 2007, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear the case.
On December 13, 2012, El-Masri won an Article 34 case at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The court determined he had been tortured while held by CIA agents and ruled that Macedonia was responsible for abusing him while in the country, and knowingly transferring him to the CIA when torture was a possibility. It awarded him compensation. This marked the first time that CIA activities against detainees was legally declared as torture. The European Court condemned nations for collaborating with the United States in these secret programs.Laid Saidi
Laid Saidi is an Algerian who was imprisoned, for 16 months, in a CIA black site in Afghanistan called "the salt pit".
Saidi claims to have spent months in the dark prison prior to his detention in the salt pit.Muriel Degauque
Muriel Degauque (July 19, 1967 – November 9, 2005) was a Belgian woman from Charleroi and a convert to Islam.La Derniere Heure, a Belgian newspaper, claimed on December 1, 2005 that she was a suicide bomber in Iraq. According to Belgian authorities, a Belgian woman committed a suicide car bomb attack on November 9, 2005 against a U.S. military convoy south of Baghdad. The Belgian was the only person killed, but one American soldier was injured.
Belgian authorities subsequently questioned her family and determined Degauque as the bomber. A bakery worker, she married a Muslim man and quickly became radical in her religious views. The couple moved into Iraq from the Syrian border, presumably to join the Iraqi insurgency. Degauque's husband failed to detonate his explosive belt and was killed in a separate incident by US troops.Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Paul Stéphane Sarközy de Nagy-Bocsa KOGF, GCB (; French: [nikɔla saʁkɔzi] (listen); born 28 January 1955) is a retired French politician who served as President of France and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra from 16 May 2007 until 15 May 2012.
Born in Paris, he is of 1/2 Hungarian Protestant, 1/4 Greek Jewish and 1/4 French Catholic origin. Mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine from 1983 to 2002, he was Minister of the Budget under Prime Minister Édouard Balladur (1993–1995) during François Mitterrand's second term. During Jacques Chirac's second presidential term he served as Minister of the Interior and as Minister of Finances. He was the leader of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party from 2004 to 2007.
He won the French presidential election, 2007 by a 53.1% to 46.9% margin to Socialist Ségolène Royal. During his term, he faced the late-2000s financial crisis (causing a recession and the European sovereign debt crisis) and the Arab Spring (especially in Tunisia, Libya, and Syria). He initiated the reform of French universities (2007) and the pension reform (2010). He married Italian-French singer-songwriter Carla Bruni in 2008 at the Élysée Palace in Paris.
In the 2012 election, François Hollande, candidate of the Socialist Party, defeated Sarkozy by a 3.2% margin. After leaving the presidential office, Sarkozy vowed to retire from public life before coming back in 2014, being subsequently reelected as UMP leader (renamed The Republicans in 2015). Being defeated at the Republican presidential primary in 2016, he retired from public life. He is currently charged with corruption by French prosecutors in two cases, notably concerning the alleged Libyan interference in the 2007 French elections.Peter Struck
Peter Struck (24 January 1943 – 19 December 2012) was the German Minister of Defence under chancellor Gerhard Schröder from 2002 to 2005. A lawyer, Struck was a member of the Social Democratic Party.Petru Groza
Petru Groza (7 December 1884 – 7 January 1958) was a Romanian politician, best known as the Prime Minister of the first Communist Party-dominated government under Soviet occupation during the early stages of the Communist regime in Romania.
Groza emerged as a public figure at the end of World War I as a notable member of the Romanian National Party (PNR), preeminent layman of the Romanian Orthodox Church, and then member of the Directory Council of Transylvania. In 1933, Groza founded a left-wing Agrarian organization known as the Ploughmen's Front (Frontul Plugarilor). The left-wing ideas he supported earned him the nickname The Red Bourgeois.
Groza became Premier in 1945 when Nicolae Rădescu, a leading Romanian Army general who assumed power briefly following the conclusion of World War II, was forced to resign by the Soviet Union's deputy People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs, Andrei Y. Vishinsky. Under Groza's term as premier until 1952, Romania's King, Michael I, was forced to abdicate as the nation officially became a "People's Republic". Although his authority and power as Premier was compromised by his reliance upon the Soviet Union for support, Groza presided over the consolidation of Communist rule in Romania before eventually being succeeded by Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej in 1952.Prostitution in Turkey
Prostitution in Turkey is legal and regulated. The secularization of Turkish society allowed prostitution to achieve legal status during the early 20th century. Known as "general houses" in the country, brothels must receive permits from the government in order to operate. In turn, the regulatory agencies issue identity cards to sex workers that give them rights to some free medical care and other social services. However, many local governments now have a policy of not issuing new registrations, and in some cities, such as Ankara and Bursa, brothels have been demolished by court order.Roșia Montană Project
Roșia Montană Project is a gold and silver mining project initiated by Roșia Montană Gold Corporation in Roşia Montană, Romania. If approved, it would become Europe's largest open-pit gold mine and it would use the gold cyanidation mining technique. Currently, the project is on-hold awaiting a parliamentary decision.
The benefits of the state consist of 20% of the shares owned by the publicly owned company Minvest Deva and the 6% royalties of the gold and silver extracted not taking into consideration other valuable metals such as Wolfram, Uranium, Tellurium, Germanium, Titanium, Molybdenum, Vanadium, Nickel, Chrome, Cobalt, Gallium, Bismuth, Arsenic or the Potassium-Feldspar. a Romanian company established in 1997, in Alba County, based in Roșia Montană, whose shareholders are the State-owned mining company Minvest Deva - with 19.31%, Gabriel Resources – with 80.46% (listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (GBU symbol)) and other minority shareholders – with 0.23%.
The project met a significant resistance from environmental groups and from neighbouring European countries, culminating in the nationwide protests by thousands of people across the country since September 2013.
A number of locals refuse to sell their properties to the Roșia Montană Gold Corporation and, in order for the project to commence, the state would need to exercise eminent domain.Securitate
The Securitate (pronounced [sekuriˈtate], Romanian for Security) was the popular term for the Departamentul Securității Statului (Department of State Security), the secret police agency of the Socialist Republic of Romania. Previously, before the communist regime, Romanian secret police was called Siguranța Statului. It was founded on 30 August 1948, with help from the Soviet NKVD, while Romania was practically under the Red Army's occupation. Following the overthrow of Nicolae Ceaușescu in 1989, the DSS lived on until 1991, when Parliament approved a law reorganizing the DSS into various subdivisions.
The Securitate was, in proportion to Romania's population, one of the largest secret police forces in the Eastern bloc. The first budget of the Securitate in 1948 stipulated a number of 4,641 positions, of which 3,549 were filled by February 1949: 64% were workers, 4% peasants, 28% clerks, 2% persons of unspecified origin, and 2% intellectuals. By 1951, the Securitate's staff had increased fivefold, while in January 1956, the Securitate had 25,468 employees. At its height, the Securitate employed some 11,000 agents and had a half-million informers for a country with a population of 22 million by 1985. Under Ceaușescu, the Securitate was one of the most brutal secret police forces in the world, responsible for the arrests, torture and deaths of thousands of people.Sergeant York (film)
Sergeant York is a 1941 American biographical film about the life of Alvin York, one of the most-decorated American soldiers of World War I. It was directed by Howard Hawks and was the highest-grossing film of the year.The film was based on the diary of Sergeant Alvin York, as edited by Tom Skeyhill, and adapted by Harry Chandlee, Abem Finkel, John Huston, Howard E. Koch, and Sam Cowan (uncredited). York refused, several times, to authorize a film version of his life story, but finally yielded to persistent efforts in order to finance the creation of an interdenominational Bible school. The story that York insisted on Gary Cooper for the title role derives from the fact that producer Jesse L. Lasky recruited Cooper by writing a plea that he accept the role and then signed York's name to the telegram.Cooper went on to win the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal. The film also won for Best Film Editing and was nominated in nine other categories, including Best Picture, Director (Hawks), Supporting Actor (Walter Brennan), and Supporting Actress (Margaret Wycherly). The American Film Institute ranked the film 57th in the its 100 most inspirational American movies. It also rated Alvin York 35th in its list of the top 50 heroes in American cinema.
In 2008, Sergeant York was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".Sexual slavery
Sexual slavery and sexual exploitation is attaching the right of ownership over one or more persons with the intent of coercing or otherwise forcing them to engage in one or more sexual activities. This includes forced labor, reducing a person to a servile status (including forced marriage) and sex trafficking persons, such as the sexual trafficking of children.Sexual slavery may also involve single-owner sexual slavery; ritual slavery, sometimes associated with certain religious practices, such as ritual servitude in Ghana, Togo and Benin; slavery for primarily non-sexual purposes but where non-consensual sexual activity is common; or forced prostitution. Concubinage was a traditional form of sexual slavery in many cultures, in which women spent their lives in sexual servitude. In some cultures, concubines and their children had distinct rights and legitimate social positions.
The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action calls for an international effort to eradicate sexual slavery as an abuse of human rights. The incidence of sexual slavery by country has been studied and tabulated by UNESCO, with the cooperation of various international agencies.The New York Times
The New York Times (sometimes abbreviated as the NYT and NYTimes) is an American newspaper based in New York City with worldwide influence and readership. Founded in 1851, the paper has won 125 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. The Times is ranked 17th in the world by circulation and 2nd in the U.S.
The paper is owned by The New York Times Company, which is publicly traded and is controlled by the Sulzberger family through a dual-class share structure. It has been owned by the family since 1896; A.G. Sulzberger, the paper's publisher, and his father, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., the company's chairman, are the fourth and fifth generation of the family to helm the paper.Nicknamed "The Gray Lady", the Times has long been regarded within the industry as a national "newspaper of record". The paper's motto, "All the News That's Fit to Print", appears in the upper left-hand corner of the front page.
Since the mid-1970s, The New York Times has greatly expanded its layout and organization, adding special weekly sections on various topics supplementing the regular news, editorials, sports, and features. Since 2008, the Times has been organized into the following sections: News, Editorials/Opinions-Columns/Op-Ed, New York (metropolitan), Business, Sports of The Times, Arts, Science, Styles, Home, Travel, and other features. On Sunday, the Times is supplemented by the Sunday Review (formerly the Week in Review), The New York Times Book Review, The New York Times Magazine and T: The New York Times Style Magazine. The Times stayed with the broadsheet full-page set-up and an eight-column format for several years after most papers switched to six, and was one of the last newspapers to adopt color photography, especially on the front page.