Archive for August 17th, 2016

In Malaysia, Humor Is No Laughing Matter

By Sarah Hucal
US News
Aug. 16, 2016

A political cartoonist’s court case raises questions about this Asian nation’s limits on expression.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – His office has been raided, his employees arrested and his books banned. His last publisher worked at night, unwilling to take a sample of his previous work, lest it be discovered. Yet political cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, known to most as Zunar, refuses to put down his pens, providing cartoon commentary on the Malaysian government.

Zunar has been charged with nine counts of Malaysia’s Sedition Act for social media posts criticizing the Federal Court’s decision to uphold the sodomy conviction of Anwar Ibrahim, the ruling party’s main political rival. Yet, despite facing a possible 43 years of jail time, the award-winning cartoonist continues to encourage what he says is the safest and most-powerful form of protest: laughter. “There’s no law to stop you from laughing,” points out the cartoonist during an interview in his office in the Malaysian capital.

The cover of his latest book portrays Prime Minister Najib Razak as a swashbuckling pirate. The prime minister is shown wielding a bag of 2.6 billion Malaysian ringgit, representing the $731 million the U.S. Justice Department alleges he received illicitly from the public investment fund he oversees.

Najib has denied wrongdoing and maintains the money was a gift from an unnamed Saudi donor. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pokemon Go Turned One Couple’s Life Into ‘A Nightmare.’ Now They’re Suing.

Lauren C. Williams
August 16, 2016

A Michigan couple is suing the game’s co-creators Nintendo, Niantic, and Pokemon Co. for turning their street into “a nightmare.”

Scott Dodich and Jayme Gotts-Dodich live on what used to be a “peaceful, quiet, and safe” suburban street directly across a small public park in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. But since Pokémon Go was released July 6, the couple’s quaint neighborhood located outside of Detroit, has turned into “a nightmare,” according to court documents.

The Dodiches filed a class-action lawsuit with the U.S. District Court of Northern California alleging that the augmented reality mobile game’s co-creators— the developer, Niantic software company, Nintendo, the owner, and Pokémon Co., which licenses the game—are responsible for player trespassing private property and threatening homeowners in pursuit of catching Pokemon.

The residents of Revere Street had their lawns trampled. They were yelled at for calling the police, according to the complaint, and were threatened by players visiting the popular Pokéstop and Pokégym or hangout in nearby Wahby Park. Players also peered into the windows of residents’ homes, hiding in bushes after dark to wait out the police.

Pokémon Go players “are on our lawns . . . looking right into our windows to catch a Pokémon,” the Dodiches said in the complaint. As residents “[we] don’t feel safe sitting on our porch.” Read the rest of this entry »

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