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Freedom Of Speech

December 18, 2007 | Robyn Dixon, Times Staff Writer
With a presidential election scheduled for March, the Zimbabwean government Monday announced changes to security and media laws that it has used in the past to suppress demonstrations and close independent newspapers. Analysts quickly countered that the measures would not ensure a free and fair vote unless the election was delayed in order for newspapers to reopen and for the other reforms to have an effect.
December 18, 2007 | Bruce Wallace, Times Staff Writer
Park Yong-shik is as bald now as he was 27 years ago when he was one of South Korea's most popular television actors, playing bad guys and funny guys, from shoemakers to Buddhist monks. He was 34 and enjoying the best years of his career when Gen. Chun Doo-hwan came to power in a military coup, rigged an election to become president and, among other autocratic acts, made it clear that the actor who looked a lot like him would never again be seen on TV.
December 7, 2007 | Kim Murphy, Times Staff Writer
She was a sales clerk in a WH Smith bookshop at Heathrow Airport, and when she wasn't ringing up newspapers, paperbacks and chewing gum, she was penning militant poetry on the backs of used sales slips. "The desire within me increases every day to go for martyrdom," Samina Malik, a slight, soft-spoken 23-year-old, wrote on one receipt.
November 10, 2007 | TIM RUTTEN
All but unnoticed by most of the news media, a criminal case working its way to trial in a federal courtroom in Alexandria, Va., could create perilous new restrictions on both Americans' political speech and the right of their free press to report national security issues. The constitutional implications of these proceedings are alarming enough on their own.
October 31, 2007 | David G. Savage, Times Staff Writer
The Supreme Court struggled Tuesday to determine if a provision of the nation's child pornography law goes too far and violates the free-speech protection of the 1st Amendment. No one disputes that it is a crime to have pornographic pictures of children or send them via the Internet. What remains unclear is whether it is illegal to merely talk about and offer pornographic pictures of children via the Internet.
October 18, 2007 | Paul Pringle, Times Staff Writer
If the state and federal governments get their way, night-flying planes will soon resume dousing the Monterey Peninsula with a moth-targeting pesticide, before they move on to other areas of Northern California. State regulators insist the chemical compound is safe. But they also insist they can't disclose much of what's in it. "Trade secrets," said Steve Lyle, spokesman for the state Department of Food and Agriculture.
September 28, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
Antiwar T-shirts displaying the names of slain American service members are political speech protected by the 1st Amendment, U.S. District Judge Neil Wake ruled in Phoenix. The judge temporarily blocked enforcement of a new state law that made it a misdemeanor to sell items that used names of slain troops without permission of their families.
September 19, 2007 | Greg Krikorian, Times Staff Writer
Former officials of a Texas-based Islamic charity, each charged with supporting terrorists, were guilty of little more than criticizing Israel and its treatment of Palestinians, lawyers for the five men said Tuesday. "This is political speech," defense lawyer Marlo P. Cadeddu said in closing arguments. "And the First Amendment reaches . . . its zenith when it protects political speech."
August 28, 2007 | Dawn C. Chmielewski, Times Staff Writer
Yahoo Inc. on Monday asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit brought against the Internet company by civil rights advocates, arguing that it had become unfairly ensnared in a political debate over free speech in China. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company is fighting efforts to hold it accountable for the imprisonment and alleged torture of two Chinese citizens after it disclosed their identities to government officials.
July 23, 2007 | Jonathan Abrams, Times Staff Writer
"Grandpa Terrace" didn't mince words. He wanted the mayor of Grand Terrace, a small city wedged between two scenic mountain ridges in San Bernardino County, run out of office. The anonymous blogger posted documents on his website that, he said, showed that Mayor Maryetta Ferre and Mayor Pro Tem Lee Ann Garcia were beholden to developers putting up big-box stores such as Lowe's. "We need to recall them now," "Grandpa Terrace" fumed a year ago.
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