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Taipei Walking Tours - A Guide To Taipei In 6 Days

Taiwan is one of the most underrated tourist destinations in Asia. With about 10.74 million tourists in 2017, it lags behind Asian neighbours like Thailand (35 million), Hong Kong (58 million), Japan (28.7 million), or Indonesia (14 million).
Nevertheless, Taiwan is a great place to visit due to its amazing food, fascinating history, traditional Chinese culture, friendly atmosphere, safety, and natural attractions. Moreover, Taiwan has a very convenient visa policy. Citizens of many countries, including the United States and most European Union members, can travel to Taiwan without a visa and stay there for up to 90 days. You can literally buy a plane ticket and go to Taiwan without doing any paperwork.    
If you travel to Taiwan, your first destination will probably be the capital and largest city: Taipei.




Taipei is the political and economic centre of the island, with lots of attractions ranging from modern skyscrapers and shopping centres to night markets, colonial Japanese architect…
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Il Nuovo Dittatore - Una distopia politica

In un'Italia impoverita, caotica e instabile, Giulio Marciani crede che la democrazia abbia fallito, e che l'unico modo per risolvere i problemi del Paese sia la creazione di una nuova dittatura, modellata sul neoautoritarismo di nazioni come la Russia, la Cina e Singapore. Egli costruirà uno Stato moderno e ricco, in cui i cittadini impareranno ad obbedire, e a rinunciare alla propria libertà in cambio del benessere. Nasce così un assolutismo illuminato, fatto di materialismo, paranoia, e compromessi morali. "Il nuovo dittatore" è un romanzo distopico sulla crisi della democrazia occidentale, e sulle possibilità del futuro.


Prologo
Con calma il Presidente si avvicinò ai prigionieri, le cui braccia e gambe erano incatenate al vecchio muro scrostato ed umido. Fissava lo sguardo sui loro volti impauriti, spossati da giorni di fame e privazioni, sudati, sudici, pallidi. Il terrore li faceva tremare come gatti infreddoliti, bagnati dalla pioggia. Li osservava con un’espres…

Twitter withdraws ban on "Mohammed" post of German politician Sawsan Chebli

On May 4 Sawsan Chebli, a German politician of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and Berlin State Secretary, posted a tweet that was later deleted by Twitter for allegedly violating the platform's new rules regarding election manipulation.
"My father's name was Mohammed. My name is Sawsan Mohammed Chebli. My oldest nephew's name is Mohammed. My niece gave her son her grandfather's name. Shortly: We will make sure that this name never disappears!" wrote Chebli on her Twitter profile. 
#Servicetweet für die #AfD: Mein Vater hieß Mohammed. Ich heiße Sawsan Mohammed Chebli. Mein ältester Neffe heißt Mohammed. Meine Nichte hat ihrem Sohn den Namen ihres Opas gegeben. Kurzum: Wir werden schon dafür sorgen, dass dieser Name nie verschwindet! pic.twitter.com/HPkVwkJIWH — Sawsan Chebli (@SawsanChebli) May 4, 2019
Her tweet was expressly directed at the far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD).
The AfD has called asylum and immigration an "existential threat to Eu…

German court rules pro-Nazi car license plate can be revoked

A court in the German city of Duesseldorf has ruled that the license identifier "HH 1933" may be revoked by the Road Traffic Licensing Department (RTLD). 
According to Der Spiegel, the motor vehicle licensing authority of the district of Viersen had authorized a requested personalized registration plate featuring the ID "HH 1933." After a citizen issued a complaint, however, the license plate was revoked. The driver appealed the decision in court.    

"HH 1933" is thought to be a reference to the Nazi salute "Heil Hitler" (HH) and to the year 1933, when the Nazis seized power. 
On May 2 a court in Duesseldorf ruled that the RTLD may revoke the licence plate.  The court ruled against the Department's initial request that the driver replace the licensing plate. The court found that the Department only has the authority to prohibit the vehicle from being driven on public roads, but not to order a replacement of the licensing plate. 

The Putin-proof golden rule to combat Russia's active measures - stop trashing each other

In his report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election Special Counsel Robert Mueller described how Russia's Internet Research Agency (IRA) spread propaganda and disinformation and manipulated American public opinion through the use of social media.
"The IRA conducted social media operations targeted at large U.S. audiences with the goal of sowing discord in the U.S. political system," the document stated.
These operations are described by the report as "active measures," a term that refers to the Russian intelligence's methods of propaganda and subversion directed at foreign governments. Originally, the phrase was used in the context of the Soviet Union's secret service, the KGB, but its practice has continued after the fall of the Soviet Union and has once again become a central part of Moscow's strategy.
Oleg Kalugin, a former KGB operative, told CNN in 1998:
[T]he other side of the Soviet intelligence, very important: perhaps I …

Russian "Active Measures" Social Media Campaign - Excerpts from the Mueller Report

On April 18, a redacted version of the "Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election," commonly referred to as the "Mueller Report," was released to the public.  The 448 pages-long document details Russia's propaganda and manipulation tactics through social media,  as well as cooperation between the Trump Campaign and Russian entities for the purpose of damaging Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. 

The following excerpts from the Report describe Russia's "active measures" on social media:
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II. Russian "Active Measures" Social Media Campaign
The first form of Russian election influence came principally from the Internet Research Agency, LLC (IRA), a Russian organization funded by Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin and companies he controlled, including Concord Management and Consulting LLC and Concord Catering (collectively "Concord"). The IRA conducted social media operations target…

European far right leaders gather in Yalta to defend Russia's Crimea policy

In early April the Ukrainian embassy in Berlin notified the German government that 22 individuals, including five lawmakers of the far right, anti-EU Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, and two of the socialist Left party, planned on attending the Yalta International Economic Forum in Russia. 
The 5th Yalta International Economic Forum titled "World. Russia. Crimea. New Global Reality" took place in the Crimean city of Yalta on April 17 - 20 for the purpose of attracting investment and promoting relations between Russia and foreign politicians willing to accept Moscow's annexation of Crimea in 2014. 
At a conference held within the framework of the Forum, Head and Prime Minister of Crimea Sergey Aksyonov urged Friends of Crimea clubs to consolidate efforts to lift sactions imposed on Russia after the annexation of Crimea.  
"We saw how many allies we have," Aksyonov said. "Today we understand that we are not doomed by the sanctions."
Friends of Crimea cl…

Singapore as a pioneer of capitalist authoritarianism

On July 18, 2010, British author Alan Shadrake was arrested in Singapore, two days after the country's attorney general had submitted an affidavit recommending his prosecution on charges of "scandaliz[ing] the Singapore Judiciary."

The 75-yeard-old Shadrake had arrived in Singapore to promote his book 'Once a Jolly Hangman: Singapore Justice in the Dock’, which uncovered alleged bias in the implementation of the madantatory death penalty for drug trafficking by the judicial system. Police detained him after a complaint was lodged by Singapore's Media Development Authority.

On November 3, 2010, Alan Shadrake was convicted for "scandalizing the judiciary." Singapore’s attorney-general argued that "public confidence in the Singapore Judiciary cannot be allowed, in any way, to be tarnished or diminished by any contumacious behaviour." The defendant claimed that his book amounted to "fair criticism on matters of compelling public interest,&quo…