Marge Piercy's sprawling fictionalized history, Sex Wars, puts post-Civil War New York City as the battleground of the American dream: an era of vast fortunes and crushing poverty — an era surprisingly like our own, in which some of the most infamous characters in American history collide over the issues of sexuality, censorship, women’s rights, and privacy.
Since its launch in 2009, the BBC Persian's television channel has been a thorn in Iran's side. The regime has tried jamming the station’s satellite signals and intimidating the families of journalists who work for the network.
Recently, journalist Kyaw Kyaw Aung of Radio Free Asia published an unprecedented interview with Tint Swe, the powerful head of Burma’s Press Scrutiny and Registration Department. In it, the official pledged to end press censorship.
The Burmese government, one of the most repressive in the world, may be moving toward reform. Last week, authorities pledged to ease harsh censorship laws and released more than 200 political prisoners – with a pledge to release hundreds more.
Wednesday, September 21, 1:30 pm: news arrives that at least six people were arrested in Iran, accused of a "cover-up to fulfill the needs of the British secret service in exchange for big sums of money." Iran’s Culture Minister called them subversives and enemies of the Islamic system.
Truth is hard to come by in the Central Asian country of Turkmenistan. The government is one of the most repressive in the world and rarely allows international journalists or human rights groups into the country. Earlier this month, a munitions depot exploded in the city of Abadan, Turkmenistan.
If an accidental explosion killed nearly 1,400 people anywhere else in the world, it would be front-page international news. But when a munitions depot exploded earlier this month in Turkmenistan, the news barely made it past a few blogs. The repressive government claims only 15 to 20 people died.