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Protect free media in democracies, urges Estonia's former president Kersti Kaljulaid
Protect free media in democracies, urges Estonia's former president Kersti Kaljulaid | Global Stage

Protect free media in democracies, urges Estonia's former president Kersti Kaljulaid

In recent years, numerous reports and studies have emerged warning that democracies around the world are backsliding and autocracy is on the rise. A free media could be the key to reversing this trend, according to former Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid.

The former Estonian leader said supporting free media is part of defending democracy. “Democracies indeed are always voluntary. You always have to go and vote and sustain our democracies, and every nation finally has the right to ruin their country as well. We've seen countries… give up on democratic path,” Kaljulaid said during a Global Stage panel on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference last month.

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FILE PHOTO: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes a housing announcement in Ajax, Ontario Canada November 30, 2023.

REUTERS/Carlos Osorio/File Photo

Judge delivers blow to Trudeau

Did Tucker Carlson and other conservative American critics of Justin Trudeau have a point? Canada’s Federal Court ruled Tuesday that the prime minister’s government violated the constitutional rights of anti-mandate protesters by cracking down on the convoy protests that paralyzed Ottawa in 2022.

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Should AI content be protected as free speech?
AI-generated content and free speech: Navigating the thin line | Global Stage | GZERO Media

Should AI content be protected as free speech?

Americans love free speech, and for all its flaws, the American government does take a lighter hand than many other major democracies. But even in the US, there are limits. So where does misinformation and fabricated imagery and audio generated by AI fit into free speech?

Eléonore Caroit, vice president of the French Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, says she understands the sensitivities around taking down political speech in the US. "In the US, you have the First Amendment, which is so important that anything else could be seen as censorship,” she said, “Whereas, in France, I think we have a higher tolerance to some sort of regulation, which is not going to be seen as censorship as it would in the US.”

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A mock 10 baht banknote bearing an illustration of a yellow duck instead of the Thai king or his predecessor is pictured in Bangkok on Nov. 25, 2020.

Kyodo via Reuters Connect

Hard Numbers: Thai royal canard, Biden’s deficit plan, Japan’s gender pay gap, golden Odin, Greek walkout

2: Prepare to read the next sentence twice. A man in Thailand is facing two years in jail for selling calendars of … rubber ducks. The squeaky fowl has long been a symbol of the country’s pro-democracy movement, and since these birds were dressed in royal regalia, authorities say they insulted the monarchy. The country’s defamation laws have been used to convict 200 people since 2020.

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A Pakistani ranger stands near Indian and Pakistani flags during a fair in Chamliyal in the northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.

REUTERS/Amit Gupta

What We're Watching: India-Pakistan talk water, Saudis float Yemen ceasefire, Polish writer in peril

India and Pakistan break bread over... water? Representatives from India and Pakistan are meeting this week to discuss water-sharing in the Indus River for the first time since the two countries severed relations following India's suspension of autonomy for Kashmir almost three years ago. It's a big deal — especially for the Pakistanis, whose farmers get 80 percent of the water they need to irrigate their crops from the Indus. Even more importantly, the meeting is also the latest sign of an apparent thaw in Indo-Pakistani ties, starting with last month's ceasefire agreement on Kashmir. A recently released readout of the secret talks that preceded that truce shows unusual impetus by both sides to make progress, and was followed up by rare conciliatory messages between Delhi and Islamabad. Given the long history of animosity between the two nuclear-armed nations -- they have gone to war three times since 1948 -- it's hard to be optimistic, but let's see if these water talks can move things along further.

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