Apple Shareholders Reject Creation of Rights Committee

February 14, 2018

The website AppleInsider reports that shareholders in the technology company Apple have rejected a resolution calling for the creation of a human rights committee within the company, as the business argued it would merely duplicate the efforts of its audit committee.

EU Watchdog Criticizes Council's Lack of Transparency

February 14, 2018

European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly has issued a report calling for increased transparency in the Council of the EU's decision-making on legislative proposals, finding that the current "behind-closed-doors" process "constitutes maladministration" and "undermines citizens’ right to hold their elected representatives to account."

NGOs Praise Climate Advocacy at UN Treaty Bodies

February 14, 2018

The Center for International Environmental Law and the Global Initiative for Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights have published a "synthesis note" calling for the UN's human rights treaty bodies to play a more active role in pushing governments to focus on fulfilling the global climate change agenda as an element of their obligations under human rights law.

UK Creates Tool to Block Online Terrorist Content

February 14, 2018

The UK's Home Office has announced that it has developed technology that can identify with a high degree of accuracy online terrorist content, such as propaganda from the Islamic State, and that it plans to share this tool with small social-media companies for use in blocking user from uploading such content to their platforms.

 

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  • UN Initiative Calls for Global Sharing Network for School Data

    February 15, 2018

    A blog published by UNESCO calls for the establishment of a Global Sharing Network that relies on Country Data Hubs to share national education data and publish it in one place to enable international organizations and others to develop strategies to help countries achieve education targets contained in the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

     
  • UNESCO, Consultants Seek Global Data on Schools

    February 15, 2018

    Representatives of the International Development Group and of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics describe the need for low-income countries to spend millions of dollars each year to produce data to use in collaboration with international organizations to reform their schools in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

     
  • OSCE Official Opposes Polish Law on Holocaust

    February 15, 2018

    The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Désir has warned Poland that legislation criminalizing statements that the Polish nation was complicit in the Holocaust constitutes a disproportionate restriction of the freedom of expression, arguing that "history is a matter of independent academic research and of free discussion, not of judiciary decision."

     
 
  • NGOs Seek Ejection of Energy Companies from EITI Board

    February 15, 2018

    A group of nongovernmental organizations have called on the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a program pushing oil, gas, and mining companies to disclose their payments to governments, to eject energy companies ExxonMobil and Chevron from the EITI board for not publicly reporting tax payments they made in the US.

     
  • GRI Praises Broad EU Corporate Reporting Mandates

    February 15, 2018

    A press release from the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) praises EU member states that have gone further than required in implementing the EU's non-financial corporate reporting directive by mandating that all or nearly all companies, regardless of size, issue public reports on their environmental and human rights impacts.

     
  • Activists Criticize Marathon Agreement on Rights Impacts

    February 15, 2018

    Inside Climate News reports that climate and human rights activist NGOs are criticizing as "superficial" an agreement the Marathon Petroleum Corporation, one of the stakeholders in the Dakota Access Pipeline, signed with shareholders committing to public reporting on its human rights impacts but stating that governments are ultimately responsible for protecting such rights.

     
 
  • EC Plans for Northern Ireland to Remain in Customs Union

    February 15, 2018

    Politico reports that the European Commission's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has ordered the preparation of a draft legal text providing that Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK, will remain in the EU customs union after Brexit, in the absence of "clarity" from the British government on the issue of the region's status.

     
  • EC Plans Global Application of Data Rules

    February 15, 2018

    David Schrieberg writes that the European Commission (EC) is planning to apply its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), coming into force in May this year, to foreign companies providing goods and services to citizens of EU member states and to ensure future trade and investment deals require compliance with the GDPR.

     
  • EU Officials Plan for Lengthy Brexit Transition

    February 15, 2018

    Reuters reports that EU officials involved in negotiations over the UK's departure from the bloc believe that a planned transition period after Brexit during which Britain would remain subject to EU rules and potentially to judgments of the Court of Justice of the EU is likely to last significantly longer than the two years proposed by UK leaders.

     
 
  • Court Sentences Texas Parents over Foreign-Fighter Statements

    February 16, 2018

    A court has sentenced to prison parents of two Texas men who traveled from their hometown of Plano to fight with Islamic State (IS) forces in Syria for lying to police and FBI investigators about their sons' whereabouts and about international terrorism.

     
  • US Pushes for Economic Sanctions on Pakistan

    February 16, 2018

    The New York Times reports that the US and its allies will push the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global body established to monitor and combat terrorism financing, to include Pakistan on a watch list for its alleged support of Islamist radical groups, a designation that will likely lead to economic sanctions against the country's government.

     
  • Indonesian Courts Begin Trial of IS Cleric

    February 16, 2018

    An Indonesian court has indicted Aman Abrdurrahman, a cleric who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) and who is accused of masterminding from his prison cell a series of terrorist attacks targeting civilians and "white foreigners" in the world's most populous Muslim-majority county.