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    Wannabe dictators are making their move


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    Post  Sanicle Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:52 am

    Coronavirus might be giving some European governments an excuse to tighten grip on power

    What's happening in the governments of Slovenia, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria and Kosovo are all mentioned in this article and none of what's being said is good. Targeting those who speak out about the actions of these men is part of the activity.

    On the evening of Sunday, March 15, Blaz Zgaga was at home watching television when he received a Twitter notification.
    He opened his phone to check it and felt his blood run cold.

    Slovenia's new COVID-19 authority had just republished a message which named him and three others, suggesting they were on the run: "Psychiatrists are looking for four patients who escaped quarantine."

    "I was shocked," he told the ABC. "And I was scared."

    The account which republished the message is called @KrizniStabRS, and was set up by the Krizni stab Republike Slovenije, or the Crisis Headquarters of the Republic of Slovenia.

    The new top body had been established less than 48 hours earlier to take command of the instruments of state and to coordinate Slovenia's response to the pandemic.

    "This is where you will be able to get all the key information about the action #Slovenia [is taking] to curb the epidemic," the account tweeted at 2:15pm.

    Five hours later, it republished the defamatory tweet, which, if read quickly, suggested Zgaga and three others — world-famous philosopher Slavoj Zizek, poet and essayist Boris A Novak and prominent anthropologist, Darko Strajn — were wanted by authorities.

    The tweet went on to say that the four "have the covid-marks/lenin (sic) virus", a giveaway this was not a public emergency bulletin, but mere online abuse.

    The Government deleted its message after an outcry on social media, but by then the damage had been done. There were further attacks on the four the following day in the government-aligned press, and a rash of online deaths threats to Zgaga.

    One such missive stated the award-winning investigative reporter "must literally be shot!".

    "It's really not a nice situation," Zgaga said.

    "The Government is abusing its position to smear me."

    He believes the message was prompted by his lodgement, on the Friday, of a Freedom of Information request seeking details about this mysterious new body, the so-called Crisis Headquarters.

    As far as he could see, Slovenian law made no provision for such an instrument. And the manner in which it was established rang alarm bells.

    The Krizni stab was unveiled on the night of Friday, March 13 after a bizarre and unprecedented parliamentary session in which Janez Jansa seized power.

    Mr Jansa's background is extraordinary. A former defence minister, he was exposed as a key member of a covert gun-running scheme supplying Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina with weapons during the 1990s war.

    Mr Jansa was dismissed from cabinet in 1994, accused of overseeing a special forces unit which carried out a brutal assault on an informer assisting police with an investigation into corrupt arms deals.

    In 2013, three months into his second term as prime minister, the Ljubljana Lower District Court found he had solicited bribes worth 2 million euros ($3.64 million) from the Finnish defence firm Patria, and handed him a two-year prison sentence.

    In both cases, Zgaga, who has written about national security in the Balkans for decades, had been responsible for exposing Mr Jansa's double-dealing.

    "I'm just trying to do my job," he told the ABC.

    "But I believe, yes, he doesn't have quite a positive attitude towards me."

    Defence and police heads sacked

    But it was more than just Mr Jansa's past which concerned Zgaga on the night of March 13.

    It was not just that the new Prime Minister sidestepped the existing provisions for a state emergency and had no legal power to create the Krizni stab. It was also the decisions the controversial new body immediately took.

    Within hours, Mr Jansa's Crisis Headquarters dismissed the heads of the defence force, the military intelligence agency and the national police.

    His new police director-general was a mid-ranking officer who had previously been ensnared in a scandal involving misuse of government funding.

    And the man he appointed to run military intelligence was directly involved in the 1994 assault which led to Mr Jansa's dismissal from office.

    The Crisis Headquarters also specifically excluded the head of civilian intelligence from a new national security committee, prompting his resignation.

    And the government representative on the board of the National Institute of Public Health, previously a leading figure in infectious disease research, was swiftly replaced by a parliamentary advisor working for the ruling party.

    On March 24, the Crisis Headquarters was disbanded, but its decisions still stand.

    Zgaga said the new Slovenian administration was using the coronavirus emergency as a means by which to entrench its power.

    Continue reading the article here:

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    Post  Sanicle Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:33 am

    From Business Insider, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and many more around the world --

    On Monday, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban effectively became the world’s newest dictator when the country’s parliament voted to suspend elections and granted him the power to rule by decree with no time limit.

    “At this point, Hungary is a full-on dictatorship – no if, ands, or buts. This was simply the last step in the process,” Sheri Berman, a political scientist at Barnard College, told Insider.

    But experts on authoritarianism say that while Hungary presents a particularly concerning case in terms of leaders exploiting the crisis, it is not unique.

    “Authoritarian leaders, whether in authoritarian regimes (e.g., China and Venezuela) or in (nominal) democracies (e.g., Israel and UK), are using the coronavirus crisis, like most crises, to strengthen their grip on power and weaken dissent and opposition,” Cas Mudde, a political scientist at the University of Georgia, told Insider.


    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been accused of conducting a “coronavirus coup.” Netanyahu, who has been indicted on corruption charges, has seen his trial delayed and rule of the country extended amid the pandemic. ..................


    In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte has been granted broad emergency powers, and he said he has ordered the police and military to shoot anyone who “creates trouble.” ...........


    Continue reading:


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    Post  mudra Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:36 pm

    These news come as no surprise sadly Sanicle.

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    Post  Sanicle Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:35 pm


    Coronavirus restrictions: Man fined $1000 for eating a kebab on a bench

    A man has been fined $1000 after he was caught eating a kebab on a park bench in Newcastle.

    The man, 21, was fined on Wednesday after he’d allegedly failed to comply with two previous warnings from police, to do with new social distancing measures.

    After giving the man two warnings, officers from Newcastle City Police found the man on Market St in Newcastle eating a kebab on a park bench. He was then slapped with the $1000 fine.

    Ministerial guidelines have given police powers to issue on-the-spot fines to people who won’t comply with social distancing guidelines under the Public Health Act, and in NSW members of the public violating these rules can be handed fines of up to $1000.

    Gatherings of more than two people, apart from immediate family, are banned as are all non-essential activities to try to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

    NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said police are trying to make reasonable decisions when enforcing the new rules and he’s urged NSW residents to use common sense.

    The police commissioner is personally reviewing each infringement notice. He said the rules are in place for 90 days until June 29 and hopefully not longer.

    The announcement came with a raft of other fines handed out across NSW and Victoria, including police spotting a man and woman sitting in their car in Muswellbrook in the NSW Hunter Valley on Wednesday.

    After conducting inquiries police found the man, 27, and the woman, 32, both didn’t have “a reasonable excuse not to be at home”. Both were handed Penalty Infringement Notices (PINs).

    Police also attended a single vehicle car crash in Lavington, where the sole occupant, a man, 51, allegedly told police he was on his way to visit his drug dealer.

    The man was arrested and taken to hospital for blood and urine tests, and checks later revealed he’d been disqualified from driving.

    He was given a Future Court Attendance Notice and an PIN for contravening a Public Health Order.

    They also fined two men who were spotted drinking alcohol at Casey’s Beach Reserve at Batehaven.

    Police allege when they were approached by officers they “became abusive and claimed they were exercising”.

    One of the men, 41, was charged with an unrelated offence and given an infringement notice for breaching a Public Health Order and the other man, 44, was given an infringement notice and moved along.

    NSW Police said in total they handed out 13 PINs in total over a 24-hour period.

    “I certainly won’t be seeking an extension – people will have gotten the message by then, hopefully,” he told reporters in Sydney on Thursday.

    Mr Fuller urged people who are confused about the rules to act as if they have COVID-19 and stay home in isolation.

    “A good rule of thumb is that if you are questioning whether you should be doing something, it is best to give it a miss,” he said.


    Question: Is this what it's like where you live? Do you have restrictions like this? Question

      Current date/time is Fri Jan 21, 2022 1:32 pm