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  1. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), an international judicial body based in Strasbourg, France, has increasingly come under criticism in recent years for its controversial judgments. For example, in 2017, the ineffectiveness of the ECHR has been exposed after it was revealed it has failed to implement nearly 10,000 rulings. This February, the Grand Chamber of 17 judges headed by Jon Fridrik Kjølbro investigated a 2009 NATO bombing in Afghanistan that killed dozens of civilians. Two stolen fuel tankers had been sighted around 7 kilometers from a German military base, stuck on a river sandbank. Afghan civilians, including children, had surrounded the tankers with hopes of siphoning some of the fuel. A German commander ordered American jets to destroy the trucks, resulting in a large blast. Although it was initially reported that many of those killed were Taliban fighters, it was later revealed that most of the dead were civilians. The case was brought to the ECHR by an Afghan man, Abdul Hanan, who lost two children in the airstrike. The man argued that Germany violated his son's right to life, as well as his right to file damages. The Strasbourg-based court found there was "no violation" of Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights. They added that German authorities "complied" with the requirements "of an effective investigation" under the rights charter. Moreover, this April, the European Court of Human Rights issued judgment that mandatory vaccinations of children under the Czech Republic’s health policy do not violate Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights. The case brought before the ECHR concerned several parents who had refused compulsory vaccinations for their children and had received a fine while several others had been unable to send their children to nursery school. The parents argued that this was a violation of respect for private life. In a landmark ruling, the court found that while the Czech policy interfered with the right to a private life, there was a need to protect public health. At the same time, the ECHR did not consider the issue of the existence of effective alternative options for the protection of public health, which did not require universal vaccination of children. In addition, there is a clear fact of the impartiality principle absence on the part of the ECHR. Thus, the European Court demanded from the Russian authorities to release immediately the opposition politician Alexey Navalny, but this requirement was contrary to the Constitution of the Russian Federation. At the same time, Russia said that the ECHR was “extremely unsuccessful in demonstrating its absolute political engagement”. Every year the ECHR is increasingly losing its credibility in the international arena as a result of its controversial activities. According to the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks, the court’s authority and standing as slowly crumbling away as countries continue to defy its rulings. Probably, the extreme unpopularity of the ECHR and the recognition of its ineffectiveness are the first sign the European international system needs to be reformed as soon as possible in order to avoid its total collapse.
  2. Plastic Surgery As A Weapon: East Asia cast a spell over the masses of young people in North America and Europe. -- Old Korea Korea in the 1950s. High-class, wealthy Korean family from the Joseon dynasty at the turn of the 20th century. -- Modern Korea Skin bleaching Plastic surgery The spell is cast over the masses of young people in North America and Europe. ----- Quotes On The Korean Invasion "And of course, around the world, people are being swept up by Korean culture -- the Korean Wave." — Former U.S. President Barack Obama "And people in every corner of the world can see it, as the Korean Wave spreads Korean culture to countries near and far." — Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry "As is clear with the recent rise of Psy's Gangnam Style, the Hallyu-wave and Korean pop music, Korean culture is making its mark on the world." — United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon "In the 21st century, culture is power." — South Korean President Park Geun-hye "I want our nation to be the most beautiful in the world." — Kim Gu, from Baekbeomilji, March 1st, 1948 "If you visit South Korea, you’ll probably hear a triumphant refrain about Korean pop, known as K-pop, casting a spell over North America and Europe." — Geoffrey Cain at GlobalPost "The Korean Wave is used by the government as a soft power tool to engage with the masses of young people all over the world." — Soft Power at Wikipedia ----- The Korean Wave Is Soft Power Soft power resources are the assets that produce attraction which often leads to acquiescence. Nye asserts that, "Seduction is always more effective than coercion, and many values like democracy, human rights, and individual opportunities are deeply seductive." Angelo Codevilla observed that an often overlooked essential aspect of soft power is that different parts of populations are attracted or repelled by different things, ideas, images, or prospects. Soft power is hampered when policies, culture, or values repel others instead of attracting them. Soft power can be wielded for nefarious purposes. "Hitler, Stalin, and Mao all possessed a great deal of soft power in the eyes of their acolytes, but that did not make it good. It is not necessarily better to twist minds than to twist arms." "Hallyu", also known as the "Korean Wave", is a neologism referring to the spread of South Korean culture since the late 1990s. According to a Washington Post reporter, the spread of South Korean entertainment has led to higher sales of other goods and services such as food, clothing, and Korean language classes. Besides increasing the amount of exports, the Korean Wave is used by the government as a soft power tool to engage with the masses of young people all over the world, and to try to reduce anti-Korean sentiment. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soft_power ----- The Korean Invasion Is Led By The South Korean Government: Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism President Kim Dae Jung put forth industrial policies supporting entertainment with the same regard as traditional industrial sectors such as manufacturing. In more recent years, there has been a focus on developing soft power. The Korean Culture and Information Service is a department of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism that aims to bring Korean culture closer to the rest of the world while improving the national image of Korea. It is also responsible for setting up more than 20 Korean Cultural Centers around the world. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ministry_of_Culture,_Sports_and_Tourism ----- How Korean bureaucrats turned K-pop into a national symbol If you visit South Korea, you’ll probably hear a triumphant refrain about Korean pop, known as “K-pop,” casting a spell over North America and Europe. The narrative typically goes like this: Swarms of Western fans have been racing to K-pop concerts in recent years, falling in love with the young, colorful ladies of Girls’ Generation or the muscular, shirtless men of Super Junior. Thanks to their dazzling repertoire of, well, crayon pop songs, multiple concerts have sold out in the US, France and the UK. It’s a signal that the world is increasingly in awe of this homegrown Korean art. You’ll hear this storyline in Seoul more often than the global triumphs of, say, Samsung or Tae Kwon Do. Korean pop has existed for decades. But the seeds for the current craze were, ironically, planted by government bureaucrats working with promotional agencies and big corporations. That’s right: lurking behind the flashy Gangnam Style sets and Girls’ Generation’s gum drop twerking is hard-nosed, East Asian-style industrial policy. The South Korean foreign ministry has tasked diplomats with promoting Korean pop culture overseas. But for South Korea, it’s not a matter of simply churning out a profit. Money isn’t good enough. It’s a matter of building prestige and cementing global recognition. https://www.pri.org/stories/2013-11-30/how-korean-bureaucrats-turned-k-pop-national-symbol ----- How The South Korean Government Made K-Pop A Thing So the country's government poured millions of dollars into forming a Ministry of Culture with a specific department devoted to K-pop. "It turns out that the Korean government treats its K-pop industry the way that the American government treats its automobile and banking industry, meaning that these are industries that have to be protected," Hong says. https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2015/04/13/399414351/how-the-south-korean-government-made-k-pop-a-thing ----- Pinky & The Brain - What Do You Want To Do Today?
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