Coda Story

‘Crazy invasive technology’: UK faces legal challenge for GPS tagging of migrants

A complaint has been filed by the anti-surveillance advocacy group Privacy International against the U.K. Home Office, which is rolling out GPS tracking devices for migrants entering the country through irregular routes. Privacy International says the practice is excessive, unlawful and threatens the fundamental rights to privacy to which everyone in the United Kingdom is entitled.
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Popular Russian fact checkers “don’t do politics” but push Kremlin propaganda

As a young Russian freelance journalist who has gone into exile, I have recently become alarmed by an insidious form of Kremlin-backed disinformation. Among my friends still in Russia — skeptical, reasonable people who have plenty of doubts about an unjust war of attrition being fought in their name in Ukraine — several have forwarded posts from “War on Fakes,” a “fact checking” site that claims to be restoring balance to a western media narrative that seeks to demonize Russia and Russians.
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Spyware threat haunts journalists and muzzles press in Togo

That’s how Togolese reporter Ferdinand Ayité, director of the West African nation’s L’Alternative newspaper, described himself last year after learning that his phone may have been infected with spyware. The revelations came from the now infamous Pegasus Project. The multi-newsroom investigation exposed the stunning global reach...

China’s destructive development in Cambodia celebrated by state media

China’s official state press agency Xinhua published an article early last week celebrating that over 80% of Cambodia’s rural population now has access to clean water and sanitation. This is due, apparently, in large part to China-aided development projects. The pro-Cambodian government Khmer Times published a similar article.

‘Banned’ Russian propaganda still easy to find on YouTube

“No culture cannot cancel culture,” says the once revered Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica, twice winner of the Palme d’Or. He also has French citizenship. Beard scraggly, hair and clothing artfully rumpled, Kusturica looks at the camera nonplussed: “And how can you separate Tolstoy or Turgenev from the history of Europe? This is impossible.”

CCTV cameras are tools of repression in post-coup Myanmar

From using GPS tracking of waste disposal to new digital payment systems to advanced CCTV technology in crime-heavy areas, Myanmar’s “smart cities” developments were an exercise in technocratic city management, in making cities safer, cleaner, more efficient and more livable. Following a coup in February 2021, which...

China wages war on ‘historical nihilism’

Just two hours before the long-delayed Chinese historical drama “A Love Never Lost” was set to premiere on July 18, it was pulled and replaced with a rerun of a 2020 “poverty alleviation drama.”. The showrunners blamed technical issues, but Weibo users weren’t convinced, as China Digital...

Myanmar junta drops propaganda on people from helicopters

Spreading false and alarming news and fomenting dissent against the army are the outlandish charges under which a Japanese journalist has been held in Myanmar. He was detained while covering an anti-junta protest in Yangon last weekend. He is one of over 140 journalists, including at least five foreign journalists, who have been arrested since February, 2021, when the military, known as Tatmadaw, seized power.

Austria jolted by suicide of a doctor assailed for defending evidence-based Covid medicine

The first death threat arrived last November, on the very day Lisa-Maria Kellermayr was set to take over her own medical practice. As she and her staff readied themselves to welcome their first patients in Seewalchen am Attersee, an idyllic lakeside town of 5,700, she received an email that outlined in painstaking detail how its author would come to Kellermayr’s office and slaughter her and her entire staff.

Pandemic spurs pushback against climate change regulations

This summer, we’ve been inundated with news of devastating heatwave after heatwave, unprecedented droughts, and raging wildfires. We’ve also been inundated with news and opinion on how European climate policies have left the continent in a position where it is over-reliant on Russian oil and gas to meet its energy needs.

The Re-education of Ukraine’s Children

Earlier this summer, in June, children from an occupied region of Luhansk were taken to a summer camp in Russia. The camp was made up of both Russian and Ukrainian children. The goal, authorities say, was to distract children from the grim reality of war. During the 10-day camp, activities...

The UK’s anti-corruption two-step: curtailing abuse of courts while underfunding anti-kleptocracy police

Many of you will know the work of Gabriel Zucman, at the University of California, Berkeley, in which he tries to pierce the layers of secrecy around offshore finance and see who really owns what. I was really excited to see an update to the ongoing project Missing Profits of Nations, which he and two Danish economists have been working on for a few years.

Medieval history powers a crisis of identity in Lithuania and Belarus

For Lithuanians, their country’s medieval history has been a source of pride, pageantry and identity. The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a cosmopolitan, multi-ethnic, multilingual state that sprawled across swathes of the Baltics and eastern Europe, including modern-day Lithuania, Belarus, and parts of Poland, Latvia, Ukraine, Moldova, and Russia.