After a police raid, a Nicaraguan cartoonist has found sanctuary in the United States

Positive stories about Latin American immigrants and the United States are difficult to come by right now. But at least Pedro X. Molina and his family have found a happy ending.

Molina is an award-winning political cartoonist, whose scathing satire has been syndicated all across the world. Originally from Nicaragua, Molina was on staff at the Confidencial when their offices were raided and ransacked by police in December 2018. Like most dictatorial leaders, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega was none-too-pleased with the Confidencial for doing such terrible things as, well, reporting the truth about his brutal and inhumane actions—you know, like ordering a violent police raid on journalists who dared to criticize him. Read the rest

Wisconsin bar owner suggests killing NFL players who kneel

Racine, Wisconsin's Reefpoint Brew House is dealing with quite a lot of outrage. Co-owner John Valko's moronic statement suggesting NFL players who do not feel the way he does about our national anthem be killed has not been well received.

Via the Journal Times:

A co-owner of a popular lakefront restaurant advocated for the killing of kneeling NFL players in a Facebook comment posted Monday, according to multiple screenshots circulating on social media.

The owners of Reefpoint Brew House, 2 Christopher Columbus Causeway, acknowledged the comment from fellow co-owner John Valko in a statement released on their Facebook page Tuesday evening.

In the comment, which has been deleted but appears as a screenshot multiple times in the comments on the statement, Valko advocates for the killing of NFL players who kneel during the national anthem before games, something more than 200 players did Sunday.

“Kill the idiot players,” Valko wrote. “Execute them. They are nothing but garbage. The league is screwed up if they think it is their right. It is their duty to respect our country and our flag. They should go kneel in front of a freight train. Shame on these stupid misfits of society. They need to die.”

Read the rest

Twitter caves to global censorship, will block content on country-specific basis as required

A new Twitter policy which goes into effect today allows the social network "to reactively withhold content from users in a specific country," so that Twitter can further expand globally and "enter countries that have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression."

The Twitter blog post announcing this news was titled "Tweets still must flow." And yes they must, but apparently in some countries, only if they're censored? Snip:

We haven’t yet used this ability, but if and when we are required to withhold a Tweet in a specific country, we will attempt to let the user know, and we will clearly mark when the content has been withheld. As part of that transparency, we’ve expanded our partnership with Chilling Effects to share this new page, http://chillingeffects.org/twitter, which makes it easier to find notices related to Twitter.

Hmmm. Maybe I'm missing something, but it's hard to see this as anything but a huge setback and disappointment, given Twitter's laudable history on human rights, privacy, and freedom of expression—and the critical role the service played in global popular uprisings over the last year.

As journalist Shannon Young notes, "It would've been too ironic for twitter to have made this country-based censorship policy announcement yesterday, on the #Jan25 anniversary." And, as Shannon points out, the announcement comes just days after Google announced new terms of user data collection.

Related (or not): remember about a month ago, when that Saudi prince dropped $300 million on a Twitter investment? Read the rest