Thousands of pro- and anti-Russian demonstrators are rallying in front of the parliament building in Simferpol, the capital of Ukraine’s autonomous Crimea region. Scuffles are occasionally breaking out between the two sides in the face-to-face protests.
The rival groups are protesting for and against the new national authorities in Kiev. Part of the residents proclaimed that Crimea will not going to obey Kiev, while the local Muslim community of Crimean Tatars expressed support for the new Ukrainian authorities.
Two separate rallies, consisting of several thousands of protesters, are facing each other. Russians are shouting “Russia-Russia!” and “Berkut!”, the name of the special police task force disbanded yesterday by the new Ukrainian authorities, who blame them for heavy-handed policing of opposition activists in recent months in central Kiev. The Muslim community protesters are shouting “Ukraine-Ukraine!” and “Crimea is not Russia!” Pro-Russian demonstrators are holding Russian flags, while Tatars are holding Ukrainian flags and flags of their own nationalist organizations.
Video footage from the scene appears to show that both sides are preparing for a clash. According to some reports, police who were separating the two sides have left the scene.
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A report on abortion prepared for the French Government by the High Council for Equality Between Women and Men claims abortion rights are being threatened by the existence of pro-life information and websites available online. The report even accuses famed search engine Google and free online encyclopaedia Wikipedia of unjustly favouring pro-life websites — merely by making these websites available. This report is a clear and straight attack on freedom of expression and information. It is an attempt to explore ways to silence any pro-life voices that oppose the already excessive abortion agenda.
The basis of these allegations is unclear. In fact, according to the 36-pages report (officially titled “Rapport relatif à l’accès à l’IVG”), pro-abortion websites are more frequently visited than pro-life websites: as of September 2013, the most visited abortion-related website accessed via Google is a “pro-choice” website of the French Government. In fact, the report indicates that of the top 10 most visited websites, as examined by the High Council, five are pro-abortion and two are pro-life. The remaining three websites are merely publicly-edited websites (such as Wikipedia) or one of several online forums.
Nevertheless, the fact that some pro-life websites are being accessed through Google, and that pro-life information is being made available at Wikipedia, has led the Government’s High Council for Equality Between Women and Men to conclude that such online organizations are unfairly supporting a pro-life agenda.
Although the report also acknowledges that no study exists demonstrating any link between the information available on the internet and the number of abortions performed, the High Council warns of the threat posed by the easy availability of pro-life information on the internet.