I don’t celebrate the Gregorian new year as I was born in a Persian country with Persian celebrations. Our new year starts at Farvardin 1st, which is around March 21. It’s the start of Spring called Nowruz.

However, the world is running with the Gregorian calendar therefore it is important. My blog dating system is also set to Gregorian calendar.

I really like the term “new year new me” as it is used to express the feeling of need for changing the bad habits and replacing them with good ones. However, I think human beings, such me myself, are always trying to be better and a new year, in this matter, is just working as an mental empowering thing.

But aside from that, I think I don’t want a new me. I hope in the new year I keep fighting for justice and I keep providing what I can for the benefit of all. I hope I don’t change much and if I change, it’s for the better of all, not just me myself.

I hope my fundamentals don’t change. Human beings grow and a sign of that is that our ideas change but for now, I don’t wish a new me as my ideas and ideals are pretty great, in my mind at least.

So new year, not a new me; hopefully.

Loujan al-Hathloul is a well-known Saudi women’s rights activist. NBC News has reported that she is now sentenced to nearly six years in prison because of her activism despite international pressure for her to be released, according to a member of her family.

Loujain al-Hathloul’s sentence had been suspended for two years and ten months, her sister Lina al-Hathloul said on Twitter. When added to the time she has already served in detention since her arrest in May 2018, she may be released in two months, according to her sister.

Lina Al-Hathloul tweeted that her sister was also subject to a five-year travel ban and that the public prosecutor and Al-Hathloul could both still appeal.

An independent Chinese journalist who reported from Wuhan at the height of the initial coronavirus outbreak has been jailed for four years by a Shanghai court, her lawyer said Monday, CNN has reported.

Zhang Zhan, 37, was found guilty of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble,” according to one of her defense lawyers Zhang Keke, who attended her hearing. The offense is commonly used by the Chinese government to target dissidents and human rights activists.

A former lawyer, Zhang traveled some 400 miles from Shanghai to Wuhan in early February to report on the pandemic and subsequent attempts to contain it, just as the authorities began reining in state-run and private Chinese media.

China tries so hard to broadcast a fake image of itself showing it’s supporting human rights and having acceptance from people and at the same time they jail independent journalists who do their job.

Journalism is not a crime. As a matter of fact, jailing journalists shows more corruption than what that journalists tried to report. This is a simple Streisand effect. China should stop this and start respecting people, and a necessity of that is to allow the flow of information be/remain free.

A Pennsylvania school district has asked the Supreme Court to rule on whether students may be disciplined for what they say on social media, New York Times has reported.

The Supreme Court next month will consider whether to hear the case of Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L., involving a student’s freedom of speech while off school grounds.

It was a Saturday in the spring of 2017, and a ninth-grade student in Pennsylvania was having a bad day. She had just learned that she had failed to make the varsity cheerleading squad and would remain on junior varsity.

The student expressed her frustration on social media, sending a message on Snapchat to about 250 friends. The message included an image of the student and a friend with their middle fingers raised, along with text expressing a similar sentiment. Using a curse word four times, the student expressed her dissatisfaction with “school,” “softball,” “cheer” and “everything.”

Though Snapchat messages are ephemeral by design, another student took a screenshot of this one and showed it to her mother, a coach. The school suspended the student from cheerleading for a year, saying the punishment was needed to “avoid chaos” and maintain a “teamlike environment.”

The student sued the school district, winning a sweeping victory in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in Philadelphia. The court said the First Amendment did not allow public schools to punish students for speech outside school grounds.

I think that is right. Students shouldn’t be influenced by school rules, outside of school. I remember few years ago a student was suspended because he had a confederate flag on his car and many black students complained about it.

I supported that suspension as schools should have rules to protect other students, such as being physically and mentally abused. However, in this case, this is happening outside of school and she should be free to express her opinions whether school officials like it or not, without fear of anything happening to her.

I understand that her post (on Snapchat) was about a matter happened in school but the post wasn’t breaking any law or harming any student. If she threatened any student or coach (or official), then it would be OK to take action against her but we can’t see such thing so far.

I believe students, and other people related to school should be able to freely express their opinions or emotions about any matter whether in school or not without fear of anything happening to them, as long as they don’t harm anyone.

There are some social networks I use and there are some I don’t use, for reasons. Some social networks are very good core but they don’t suit the standards I believe an online social networking service should have.

For example, I believe Twitter has a brilliant idea behind it but I don’t use it, because there are more factors than the idea behind the network that matters when we are considering joining a social network.

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If free public libraries didn’t already exist and someone tried to invent them, some people would be condemned as a communist plot. Right-wing should stop linking everything to communism.

When Bernie Sanders start talking about public healthcare, many accused him of being a communist, while he is far from it. I personally don’t support communism because I believe it leads us to a dictatorship but communism is just one ideology on the left, not all, and people should know about this before they link every publicly-beneficial thing to communism.

Free healthcare should and is basic human right. Nobody should be in danger of physical or mental damage/harm because of their financial situation.

Liberty, public libraries, free education, water, clean air, clean environment, and protection of nature are only few items that every human being should have, free of charge and always accessible, with no exception.

Federal prosecutors accuse Zoom executive of working with Chinese government to surveil users and suppress video calls. The case is a stunning blow for the $100 billion video-call giant and raises questions about how the California-based company protects users’ data around the world, The Washington Post has reported.

The question is, security of whom? For a Chinese “security” executive at Zoom, “security” meant the security of the Chinese regime. He reported on users to China, and snooped on meetings. If they discussed the Tien An Men Square massacre, he terminated the meetings and the participants’ accounts, on the orders of China.

Zoom management responded to the scandal by promising that in the future Zoom would only cancel an account on China’s command this way if the user is in China! Like the security, privacy, and life of people matters differently based on their birthplace or region they live.

Such a ridiculous response to a critical question like this. This is why we should avoid these disgusting companies. This is why we should never trust or even respect them. They sicken me.

A homeless man sentenced to life in prison for a $20 marijuana sale is freed after 12 years, CNN has reported. In 2008, Fate Winslow was approached by a plain-clothed undercover police officer in Shreveport, Louisiana, looking for some marijuana.

Winslow, recently homeless at the time, borrowed a friend’s bike and came back 10 minutes later with two small bags of marijuana worth $20, according to the Innocence Project New Orleans, who represented Winslow.The officer arrested Winslow.

And because Winslow had three priors — a burglary of a business when he was 17 in 1985, a car burglary in 1995 and possession of cocaine when he was 36 — the $20 sale landed Winslow a life sentence, according to IPNO.

On Wednesday, Winslow walked free after his case was re-sentenced for 12 years, with credit for time already served.

Good to hear that. I hope he won’t commit a crime again and more than that, I hope the judicial system starts a well-needed immediate reform. The war on drugs must have taken some very bad drugs 12 years ago.