The New MIVILUDES Report: Bad Methodology, Unreliable Results
The New MIVILUDES Report: Bad Methodology, Unreliable Results

Privileging the saisines (i.e., reports by those who write to denounce a “cultic deviance”) may only lead to biased conclusions.

by Massimo Introvigne

The MIVILUDES, the French Inter-ministerial mission for monitoring and combating cultic deviances (dérives sectaires), which is now part of the Ministry of the Interior, published last week its report for the years 2018–2020.

Like Diogenes wandering with his lantern in search of an honest man, the MIVILUDES wanders around France with the anti-cult ideology as its lantern looking for dishonest “cultic deviances.” Dérives sectaires is a quintessentially French formula and invention, of which MIVILUDES is no less proud than of the Tour Eiffel. It comes out handy to find “cultic” dangers even where no “cult” (which should be translated into French with the corresponding derogatory word, secte) exists.

The report does include some informative parts, mostly found in the pages devoted by researcher Bilel Ainine to the Muslim folk therapeutic practices of roqya and hiyama, although even here the use of an anti-cult and police jargon makes an


Drugs: focus on prevention and education
Drugs: focus on prevention and education

The international day against drug abuse and drug trafficking celebrated on June 26 is an important day! We must take this opportunity to organize information campaigns. This scourge concerns us all and we must get more involved every day to put an end to it. Drug use creates serious problems for society, important financial burden, medical costs, accidents

Cannabis use among adolescents and young adults in Switzerland has increased significantly over the past decade. In 2017, 9% of teenagers and young adults aged 15 to 24 said they had used cannabis in the past month. Crystal Meth, a synthetic drug, is becoming more popular in our country. Worldwide, alcohol is the most widely used psychoactive substance among young people. In Switzerland, 13% of the boys and 8% of the girls aged 15 declare to have been really drunk at least once during the month preceding the survey.

I have always advocated zero tolerance for street dealing! My profession as a police officer and my experience in the field show me every day the devastation caused by drugs and the concern of parents when drug dealers approach our schools. It may sound utopian, but prevention and education on the danger of drugs are key instruments, the first ones to be put on the list of solutions to curb this problem. Informing children and their parents without moralizing or accusing, but emphasizing the effects and risks involved will bring about a change. An informed young person will be able to decide for himself and thanks to this he will be able to say no to the dealers!

“When we talk about the life and future of the next generation, it is really better to prevent than to cure,” said Yuri Fedotov, Director General of UNOV and Executive Director of UNODC (2010-2019). Let’s commit to this day! Because we can all do something about it.

First Person: Owner of first ‘vegan football club’ scoring sustainable goals
First Person: Owner of first ‘vegan football club’ scoring sustainable goals

A football club in the west of England has been recognized by the United Nations for its leading role in setting goals to tackle climate change, from planning a low-carbon stadium to selling only 100 percent vegan food. Ahead of the kick-off  of the delayed Euro 2020 football competition, owner and chairman, Dale Vince, told UN News that the club aims to be a beacon of sustainability in the sporting world

“Forest Green Rovers began as a rescue mission for me in 2010. This 120-year-old club was facing closure and it happened to be located close to the town, Stroud, where I built Ecotricity, an energy company that aims to replace fossil fuels with sustainable green energy.

I’m a football fan so I thought I’d help out and just a day or so into owning the club, I started to recognize issues that really conflicted with my outlook and the way I lived. The first thing was red meat; we were serving beef lasagne to our players and I was horrified to find myself part of the trade-in meat which is so harmful to the environment. So, we stopped that. We then realized we had to change just about everything to create a green football club, something that had never been done before.

We were communicating with football fans who would stereotypically be considered a very difficult audience and not interested in climate and sustainability issues. We decided to weave sustainability into the DNA of the club, putting it on an equal footing with football.

We identified energy, transport, and food as, biggest sources of carbon emissions in Britain which represent 80 percent of everybody’s personal carbon footprint.

Forest Green Rovers

Forest Green Rovers has pioneered a football kit made from recycled plastic and coffee grounds.

So, we made installed solar panels and now the entire club is powered by 100% green energy. We provided electric car-charging points for fans. The grass of our pitch is organic, it’s free from pesticides and weed killers and we collect rainwater to irrigate the pitch rather than using mains water. Our club strip is even made from a composite material consisting of recycled plastic and coffee grounds.

We have created space for nature around the stadium with eco-trails where people can learn about what we are trying to do in terms of improving biodiversity. Slow worms and orchids thrive in those areas!  Our modeling shows a 20 percent increase in biodiversity on the land around the stadium

Then there was the transition to a vegan menu. This was radical 10 years ago and so counterintuitive because football can be macho and seemed an unlikely bedfellow of veganism.

Forest Green Rovers

Once built Eco Park will be the most sustainable football stadium in the world

We get described as the world’s only vegan football club and that has been a monster in terms of PR, in terms of making an impact by getting our message around the world.

Our next step is to build the 5,000-capacity Eco Park, made entirely from wood which will be the greenest football stadium with the lowest carbon footprint in the world.  It’s not just a football stadium and training ground but a 100-acre sustainable development project which will include a green tech business park, new wetland restoration of a canal, and parkland containing 500 trees and 1.8km of hedgerows.

‘Mistake to talk about making financial sense’

If you go back ten years, it was more expensive to be environmentally friendly than it is today. Solar panels were pricey and electric cars barely existed. Even plant-based food, which should be cheaper than meat, was more expensive.

I would say it’s a mistake to ask whether it makes financial sense to be sustainable. People often question how quickly will a solar panel pay for itself, but they never ask the same about their toaster, mobile phone, or car.

Looking at the big picture, even if it seems like it costs more on day one, it’s absolutely more economic in the long term to be sustainable because of the damage we are doing to the climate, wildlife, and habitats.

Forest Green Rovers

Forest Green Rovers has been recognized by the UN for its work on sustainability and climate action.

Example to others

I think this club has to lead by example; that’s how we bring about change. There are four Premier League clubs and some big clubs in Europe as well that, like Forest Green Rovers, have joined the UN’s Sports for Climate Action initiative, which aims to get the global sports community to take action to counter climate change. I think it’s human nature to see what your peers are doing and to feel that you need to join in.
Businesses are also reacting to what people want in terms of products and outcomes. I think football fans themselves are lobbying their clubs to act and they point to Forest Green Rovers quite frequently as an example to follow.

Our fans don’t just tolerate this sustainability concept, they embrace it in a life-changing way. So many of them have told me their families have gone veggie or vegan, drive electric cars, and have solar panels at home.
In my experience just about everything I’ve focused on in my career can be done better if it is done differently. One of the keys is absolutely to start with a fresh approach.

I also think it’s so important to have fun. If people see you enjoying yourself, they can feel that in your messaging and they are more likely to listen.  I don’t talk doom and gloom; I talk about what we can do”.

India-China ties at crossroads, depend on neighbour following rules: Jaishankar
India-China ties at crossroads, depend on neighbour following rules: Jaishankar

The relationship between India and China is at a crossroads and its direction depends on whether the neighbouring country adheres to various agreements on maintaining peace and tranquillity along the border, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Thursday, referring to the eastern Ladakh standoff.

Jaishankar said the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s visit in 1988 to China, 26 years after the 1962 conflict, led to a consensus on having stability along the frontier, which was followed by the signing of two important agreements in 1993 and 1996 on maintaining peace and tranquillity at the border.

The stability at the border led to the expansion of relations in several sectors, but it was adversely impacted following what happened in eastern Ladakh, he said at a webinar organised jointly organised by the Financial Times and the Indian Express.

At a media briefing, Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Arindam Bagchi said full restoration of peace and tranquillity in the border areas would enable progress in the bilateral relationship and that the disengagement of troops at friction points in eastern Ladakh remained “unfinished”.

The ties between the two countries came under severe strain following a deadly clash in the Galwan valley in eastern Ladakh in June last, over a month after the border standoff began between the Indian and Chinese militaries in multiple friction points in the region.

“I think the relationship is at a crossroads and which direction we go depends on whether the Chinese side will adhere to the consensus; whether it will follow through on the agreements which we both have made… What is very clear in the last year is that border tensions cannot continue with cooperation in other areas,” he said.

Asked about China’s attempts to expand its influence in the region and competition between the two countries, Jaishankar said India is ready to compete and it has its inherent strength as well as the influence that goes deep into the Indo-Pacific on the one side and Africa and Europe on the other.

“It is one thing to compete, it is another thing to have violence on the border,” he said.

“I am ready to compete. That is not the issue for me. The issue for me is how I manage a relationship if the basis of the relationship has been violated by one side,” he said.

The external affairs minister said the economic relationship and ties in other sectors between the two countries were driven by the stabilisation of the border through the 1980s and 1990s.

“I do not have a clear-cut answer at this point of time. We had the border conflict of 1962 and it took us really 26 years to have the first prime minister’s visit in 1988, when Rajiv Gandhi went to China. There was a 1988 sort of consensus which stabilised the border,” he said.

He was asked about where things stand now in ties between the two nations.

Jaishankar said the agreements in 1993 and 1996 on border management paved the way for the expansion of overall ties.

“Those agreements essentially stipulated that you will not bring large armed forces to the border and the Line of Actual Control would be observed, respected and there would be no attempt to change the status quo unilaterally. Now what we saw last year was actually China departing from the 1988 consensus,” he said.

Jaishankar said there is definitely going to impact the ties if the peace and tranquillity at the border are disturbed, “if you disturb the peace and tranquillity if you have bloodshed, as you pointed out, if there is intimidation if there is continuing friction at the border.”

To a question on further disengagement in eastern Ladakh, Bagchi said that full restoration of peace and tranquillity in the border areas would enable progress in bilateral ties.

He also referred to Jaishankar’s telephonic talks with the Chinese foreign minister last month.

Bagchi said Jaishankar conveyed to his Chinese counterpart that while the process of disengagement had commenced earlier this year it remained “unfinished” and emphasised early completion of the process. “In this context, the two sides have agreed in the interim that they would maintain stability on the ground and avoid any new incidents,” he said.

“It is our expectation therefore that neither side should take any action that is not keeping with these understandings. Full restoration of peace and tranquillity in the border areas would enable progress in the bilateral relationship,” Bagchi added.

India and China completed the withdrawal of troops and weapons from the north and south banks of Pangong lake in February following a series of military and diplomatic talks.

The two sides are now engaged in talks to extend the disengagement process to the remaining friction points.

There was no visible forward movement in disengagement of troops in the remaining friction points as the Chinese side did not show flexibility in their approach to them at the 11th round of military talks with the Indian Army on April 9.

The Chinese military is currently conducting a drill in its training areas near the Ladakh region.

Chief of Army Staff Gen M M Naravane said on Wednesday India is keeping a constant eye on activities by the Chinese military. He also hoped that both sides would be able to make forward movement in resolving issues in other areas.

In the interactive session, Jaishankar said the Quad or Quadrilateral dialogue has brought together countries with a growing degree of comfort with each other, shared interest in key global and regional challenges like connectivity, maritime security, technology, vaccines, resilient supply chains and climate change.

“Today, Quad fills a gap which cannot be addressed simply by four bilateral relationships, aggregated, and a multilateral or regional structure which isn’t there. Something has to fill that space. Quad helps to fill the gap,” he said.

Jaishankar also said that arguments of the Cold War cannot be used to deny other countries their right to maximise their options.

Why did the case of the murderer Petrus Arcan mark the treatment of information on minors?
Why did the case of the murderer Petrus Arcan mark the treatment of information on minors?


See initial in Spanish HERE

In the area of Justice, you will find remedies that have fun with the same part just like alchemy since they will be capable of working wonders and, furthermore, since they will be like articles that support the nation’s appropriate framework. These formulas could be the so-called burden of evidence.

The duty of proof is really essential. Everyone is innocent until proven responsible. It is actually understanding called the concept of presumption of purity.

An individual commits a criminal activity, whoever burden of evidence can it be to prove it?

Not at all the accused himself.

This is the part of the prosecution to show and substantiate the facts with witness testimony and evidence a variety.

To phrase it differently, the plaintiff gets the so-called burden of research. Both in municipal and administrative litigation, it’ll be the plaintiff, and in unlawful legislation, it’s the average man or woman prosecutor or the unique or general public prosecution.

But once a reporter is sued for a published report, who bears the duty of evidence?

In cases like this, it is to the reporter although the media socket to show which they acted with homework, which means that they made every work to have and validate the disputed information.

They could not be obliged to prove that whatever they published corresponded in to the absolute truth, nevertheless they must show that what they published during the time ended up being, for many of them, the facts, good analysis obtained. After having made every energy to cross-check that information.

This is just what the Constitutional Court features thought as truthful information.

The big courtroom has in fact recognised that, on many events, it’s virtually not practical understand the truth inside fast time agreed to reporters.

It’s for that reason establish it is adequate when it comes to journalist, after having made every work, after having “acted with as a result of diligence”, to trust the knowledge he/she makes available to site visitors or audience corresponds towards the truth. When it is often shown that she or he acted with diligence and effort within the quest for the news, the reporter is generally exonerated from obligation.

However, it just isn’t constantly the scenario. Since there is no rule without exemption. You’ll manage to show, because a reporter, that you’ve really acted with all the current diligence worldwide, and remain condemned with this.

For example? Every thing regarding minors.

Rules end you against getting photographs of minors or reproducing his or her names. Regulations with regards to Legal cover of Minors, specifically, is extremely explicit. Its purely prohibited.


Assuming this really is damaged, then comes the conviction, because happened regarding Petrus Arcan, the Moldovan murderer who, in 2003, attacked a villa maybe not far from below, in Pozuelo, killed the attorney Arturo Castillo, left their particular partner really injured and assaulted their two daughters.

The Petrus Arcan scenario noted a pre and post for news, so far as information on minors may be included, because most of the published the violence to which both women have been subjected and, although a lot of wouldn’t supply their companies and surnames, they performed have the ability to determine them. Some even ventured to publish their particular photographs.

Since this couldn’t be carried out, publications, radio and tv stations was in fact sued because of the wife and daughters about the lawyer Castillo for unlawful disturbance into the private and family members privacy in connection with two minors. Statements ranging from 6,000 euros, in the case of small news, to 150,000 euros, with regards to big news.

The architect for this technique ended up being, it must be stated, one of the most brilliant solicitors in this area, Gregorio Arroyo, who for many years was indeed the appropriate representative of this today defunct Grupo 16.

The news defended by themselves.

Many argued your companies involving ladies had received for them because of the police on their own and, therefore, originating from an authorised supply, they considered which they had been exempt from virtually any obligation.

Other people embraced the classic explanation they’d acted with research, this means that. they’d taken every step to show that information had been true.

To no avail.

In these cases, whenever minors are participating, the ability to privacy prevails within the to information.

The old stating that lack of knowledge of the legislation doesn’t exempt from conformity was put on these.

What the law states about the Legal Protection of Minors also extra legislation establishes extra protection, in terms of advertising and information, both for youngster sufferers and child alleged offenders.

Inside value, the reporters, in attempting to show which they had acted vigilantly, offered all the evidence needed for their belief.

The legal activities recorded by lawyer Gregorio Arroyo whenever you consider the Petrus Arcan circumstance up against the press had been won. Without exemption.

He’d discovered it easy for reporters plus the media defendants showing they had neglected to abide by what the law states and also to carry the duty of proof, which had fallen to him, to a successful summary.

And he won, for that reason establishing the principal precedent.

Before this instance, the Madrid Juvenile Prosecutor’s Office had claimed many rulings into the protection connected with image and privacy of minors, which aided to organize exactly what occurred later with Arcan.

City diplomacy offers opportunities
City diplomacy offers opportunities

Published originally on December 26th 2020 at the TaipeiTimes.

This year has been unusual on many levels. In the midst of a global health crisis ravaging the world, Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil in September led a delegation of 89 civic and political leaders to Taiwan, the only corner of the world that for more than 250 days (until Tuesday) did not register a single locally transmitted COVID-19 infection.

The visit caused quite a stir in international media and intensified already strained ties between the EU and China. Taiwan, a technologically advanced economy with a robust democracy, is a like-minded partner of the EU, but remains a highly sensitive matter within EU-China relations.

China considers Taiwan a breakaway province, despite never having ruled it. The EU has its own “one China” policy, but has officially committed to promoting “practical solutions regarding Taiwan’s participation in international frameworks.”

Following the Czech delegation, Brussels and Beijing engaged in a harsh exchange, with Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) threatening that the senate president would pay a “heavy price,” while his German counterpart warned China against making such threats against an EU member state.

As tensions in EU-China relations remain high, and international cooperation becomes more challenging, there is good reason to return to the visit, and consider some of its less talked about contributions.

Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib, who oversaw the signing of the Prague-Taipei sister city framework in January, was also in the delegation. In a global context where cities become key players in addressing complex challenges through innovation and creativity, this aspect deserves more attention.

As the pandemic has illustrated, local governments can increase their capacity to network internationally and bring solutions, while catalyzing new political consciousness. Cities shape identities. They help celebrate connectivity, diversity and openness by warming people-to-people relations and enhancing social networks. This, in turn, facilitates government-to-government ties.

Considering Taiwan’s abnormal international status, city diplomacy provides a particularly valuable platform to circumvent its isolation, by leveraging international cooperation and information sharing on a city-to-city level. Taiwan’s cities must further invest in such diplomacy and seek to build on the momentum the “Taiwan model” has ensured.

The sister-city agreement linking Prague and Taipei includes a wide range of cooperation, including on business, science, technology, tourism, education, healthcare and culture, as well as a smart city cooperation agreement. Through this partnership, the cities can act in their own right, stress collaboration over competition, empower their citizens and contribute to making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Taiwan is already working toward meeting the 17 SDGs. As COVID-19 is taking the world further away from the goals, cities’ contributions have become all the more relevant.

As such, Taipei has sought to advance several goals, including good health and well-being (Goal 3), quality education (Goal 4), decent work and economic growth (Goal 8), innovation and infrastructure (Goal 9), and sustainable cities (Goal 11).

Taiwan has a story to tell, but participating in international organizations will remain difficult. Taiwanese scientists were even excluded from participating in all UNESCO-affiliated events, which has shown that Taiwan is being excluded from international participation. It also indicates that China’s influence within UN organizations continues to increase. Yet, this should not constrain sharing science across cities. Cities are about choices and choices bring opportunities for all.

According to the Taipei City Government Web site, it has established ties with 51 sister cities across 37 countries. Four of these are in Europe: Versailles (1986), Warsaw (1995), Vilnius (1998) and Riga (2001). Since 2012, Helsinki is also a “friendship city” of Taipei.

These partnerships need a fresh approach and adjustment to address current challenges. In addition, it is evident that more similar cooperation should be built across Europe. This will require rapprochement from Europe and Taiwan. Both sides must recognize the value of using city diplomacy to leverage existing strengths and to enable new ones to flourish.

A meeting between Budapest Mayor Gergely Karacsony and Representative to Hungary Liu Shih-chung (劉世忠), a former Tainan deputy secretary-general, is a welcome initiative. The two exchanged ideas on smart cities, innovation and city diplomacy. The next welcome step would be to establish a sister-city agreement. This would benefit both cities, just like the Grenoble, France-Taoyuan sister-city cooperation signed in March 2018 is hoped to do, particularly in technology, innovation and circular economy.

Kaohsiung, with the largest harbor in Taiwan and among the top 50 world container ports, should also consider expanding its network in Europe, with Rotterdam, the Netherlands, or Antwerp, Belgium, adding to its only sister city in Europe, Erzgebirgskreis, Germany (1993).

In a hyper-connected world, cities across Taiwan should further embrace the practical benefits of city diplomacy. At the same time, as the EU rethinks its China policy, European cities must be more involved, and expand their international sister-city network.

Following the Czech delegation visit, Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said the visit was proof that “nothing can stop Taiwan and the Czech Republic’s determination to defend freedom, democracy and protect human rights.”

Let city diplomacy take this forward into the year to come.