John Hayward

John Hayward

China Dethrones Turkey as World’s Worst Jailer of Journalists

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on Wednesday released its annual report on journalists in prison and found China taking the top spot from Turkey, ending a three-year winning streak. Former world champion oppressor Turkey remained in second place, with Saudi Arabia surging ahead to tie with Egypt for third. Eritrea, Vietnam, Iran, and Russia fought to round out the list of dungeon keepers.

A policeman (C) tells the media to move from the area as they detain protesters during clashes in the Wanchai district in Hong Kong on October 6, 2019. - A Hong Kong judge on October 6 rejected a challenge to an emergency law criminalising protesters wearing face masks as democracy …

Hayward: Terror Ties May Allow Pensacola Victims to Sue Saudi Arabia Under 9/11 Law

Several U.S. officials, including President Donald Trump, have strongly hinted the government of Saudi Arabia should provide financial assistance to the victims of the Pensacola terrorist attack and their families, given that the terrorist was a Saudi military pilot undergoing training at the Naval Air Station. If the Saudis do not provide such assistance voluntarily, the families might potentially resort to filing a lawsuit under the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) of 2016.

This photo taken from video provided by WEAR-TV shows emergency responders near the Naval Air Base Station in Pensacola, Fla., Friday, Dec. 6, 2019. The US Navy is confirming that an active shooter and one other person are dead after gunfire at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola. Area hospital …

Xi Jinping: 2019 Was a ‘Challenging’ Year for Communism

Chinese dictator Xi Jinping held a meeting of the Communist Party’s political bureau in which 2019 was discussed as an especially “challenging” or “testing” year for communism, particularly due to China’s sputtering economy.

China's President Xi Jinping (L) listens during a meeting with El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele (not pictured) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on December 3, 2019. (Photo by Noel CELIS / POOL / AFP) (Photo by NOEL CELIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

China Considers Banning Live-Streaming Content

China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism on Thursday suggested tighter controls on live streaming of public performances, including plays, music, and comedy shows. 

A live stream recording is seen on a mobile phone as journalists (R) wear protective gear and high visibility vests during a press conference to highlight allegations that police have mistreated and obstructed the media when covering clashes between the police and protesters, at police headquarters in Hong Kong on …

Iran ‘Fully Ready’ to Swap More Prisoners with U.S.

Iran indicated Monday it wants to swap more prisoners with the United States following the release of Iranian scientist Masoud Soleimani, traded for Chinese-American scholar Xiyue Wang, a graduate student at Princeton.

The worn bars in the cell block are seen at Alcatraz Island, a 22-acre rocky outcrop situated 1.5 miles offshore in San Francisco Bay, August 11, 2011. Seventy-seven years ago on August 11, 1934, a group of federal prisoners classified as "most dangerous" arrived at the new high-security penitentiary designed …

Over 6,000 Arrested Since Hong Kong Protests Began

A Hong Kong police official announced on Monday that 6,022 people have been arrested since protests began six months ago – 2,393 of them students and 340 under the age of 16, the youngest just 11 years old.

Police arrest anti-government protesters at Hong Kong Polytechnic University on November 18, 2019 in Hong Kong, China. Anti-government protesters armed with bricks, firebombs, and bows and arrows fought with the police at university campuses over the weekend as demonstrations in Hong Kong stretched into its sixth month with demands for …

Putin, Zelensky Meet in Paris to Restart Ukraine Peace Talks

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy met in Paris on Monday in an attempt to restart stalled peace talks on the conflict in eastern Ukraine, where Russian-backed separatist forces have been waging a deadly insurgency for the past five years.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy arrive for a working session at the Elysee Palace Monday, Dec. 9, 2019 in Paris. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine's president are meeting for the first time at a summit in Paris to find a way to end the …

Dozens of Islamic State Terrorists Surrender in Afghanistan

A group of 62 Islamic State fighters, including 30 Pakistanis and two Turkish nationals, surrendered to Afghan military forces in the Nangarhar area on Tuesday. The Afghan government, which is busy arranging extradition for captured foreign nationals, said the latest in a series of surrenders indicated ISIS is losing its ability to effectively resist the national military.

Fighters with Afghanistan's Taliban militia talk with villagers in Ahmad Aba district on the outskirts of Gardez, the capital of Paktia province, on July 18, 2017. Civilian deaths in Afghanistan hit a new high in the first half of 2017 with 1,662 killed and more than 3,500 injured, the United …

Iraq: Prime Minister Resigns After Two Months of Protests

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Madhi announced his resignation on Friday in an address broadcast on state television. He did not specify exactly when his resignation would take effect, but the Iraqi parliament will meet on Sunday to begin the process of choosing a successor.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Madhi announced his resignation on Friday in an address broadcast on state television.

Hayward: Give Thanks for Your Freedom as Everyone from Hong Kong to Iraq Fights for Theirs

Protest movements are sweeping the world, from Hong Kong to Iraq. Protesters in each country are aware of the other movements and frequently give them shout-outs or adopt their tactics. The fate of all these movements is uncertain, but they share a more unambiguous commitment to sovereignty than most global protest stories of the past few decades, and perhaps an understanding that national and cultural identity are vital weapons against authoritarian hegemonic powers. Smaller governments may not guarantee freedom and human rights, but big ones almost guarantee their absence.

Students hold the US flag and sing the Star-Spangled Banner at the Hong Kong University (HKU) campus on September 20, 2019, as they rally for the US Congress to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. (Photo by Anthony WALLACE / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP …

Hong Kong Police Enter Polytechnic University as Siege Ends

The two-week police siege of Hong Kong’s Polytechnic University ended on Thursday as police entered the campus after a hundred-member search party of university staffers determined there were no protesters remaining inside.

Riot police stand guard as lawyer and newly elected district councillor arrive at the Polytechnic University to meet the left-over protesters in Hong Kong, Monday, Nov. 25, 2019. Hong Kong's pro-democracy opposition won a stunning landslide victory in weekend local elections in a clear rebuke to city leader Carrie Lam …

Iranian Minister Admits Hundreds of Banks and Government Buildings Burned in Protests

Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli admitted during a television interview on Wednesday that at least 200,000 people participated in protests inspired by rising gas prices across a hundred towns and cities last week, setting fire to about 730 banks, 50 bases used by security forces, 70 gas stations, and 140 government sites.

Flames consume Iran's consulate in the southern Iraqi Shiite holy city of Najaf on November 27, 2019, two months into the country's most serious social crisis in decades. - Iraqi protesters torched the Iranian consulate in the holy city of Najaf in a dramatic escalation of anti-government demonstrations that have …

Turkey to Resume ‘Operation Peace Spring’ in Northern Syria

The Turkish National Security Council issued a statement on Tuesday that “Operation Peace Spring,” the Turkish invasion of northeastern Syria, will continue despite cease-fire agreements brokered with the United States and Russia.

Turkish Army tanks drive to the Syrian Turkish border town of Jarabulus on August 25, 2016

Iran Blames U.S. for Protests, Calls America a Threat to Global Security

The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Monday blamed the United States and other “foreigners” for “interference in Iran’s internal affairs” for supporting the recent protests over gasoline price increases. Meanwhile, at a chemical weapons conference in The Hague, Iran’s representative denounced the U.S. as a threat to global security.

Abbas Mousavi, spokesman for Iran's Foreign Ministry, gives a press conference in the capital Tehran on May 28, 2019. (Photo by ATTA KENARE / AFP) (Photo by ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images)

Hong Kong’s 2020 Lunar New Year Parade Canceled for Being ‘Too Risky’

Organizers of Hong Kong’s Lunar New Year parade, a major annual event since 1996, announced it will not be held in 2020 because its route through an area that has seen a great deal of protest activity over the past five months is “too risky.” The parade will reportedly be replaced by a carnival, which would be stationary and easy to secure.

Performers take part in the annual Lunar New Year parade in the Kowloon district of Hong Kong on February 5, 2019 to mark the Year of the Pig. (Photo by Anthony WALLACE / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images)

Iranian Internet Restored; Protest Videos Reveal Chaos

Iran’s week-long blackout of the Internet ended on Sunday, unleashing a flood of online videos that revealed chaos and repressive violence during nationwide protests over rising gas prices.

A building that was damaged during recent protests is cordoned off, in Shahriar, Iran, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. Protests over government-set gasoline prices rising struck at least 100 cities and towns, spiraling into violence that saw banks, stores and police stations attacked and burned. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)