Online petition to revoke Brexit gets 600,000 supporters in less than 24 hours

An online petition asking to revoke Brexit gathered more than 600,000 signatures in less than 24 hours. (AFP)
Updated 21 March 2019
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Online petition to revoke Brexit gets 600,000 supporters in less than 24 hours

  • The petition launched on Wednesday admitted that a second referendum ‘may not happen — so vote now’
  • The petition was started by Margaret Anne Georgiadou, who said: ‘It’s almost like a dam bursting’

LONDON: An online petition asking the British government to revoke Brexit briefly crashed on Thursday after a surge in support saw it garner more than 600,000 signatures in less than 24 hours.
With just eight days to go until Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union, the petition launched on Wednesday admitted that a second referendum “may not happen — so vote now.”
“The government repeatedly claims exiting the EU is ‘the will of the people’. We need to put a stop to this claim by proving the strength of public support now, for remaining in the EU,” the petition read.
A House of Commons spokesman said the technical difficulties on the website for the petition were caused by “a large and sustained load on the system.”
The petition was started by Margaret Anne Georgiadou, who told the BBC: “It’s almost like a dam bursting.
“It’s now or never for a lot of people,” she said.
Britain’s parliament will be able to vote next week on a range of preferred courses of action for the government to take if MPs reject for a third time a divorce deal negotiated by Prime Minister Theresa May.
One of those options could be to revoke Article 50 — the formal procedure under which Britain is negotiating to leave the bloc after 46 years of membership.
Parliament last week voted against holding a second referendum after the main opposition Labour Party, which has been highly ambivalent on the issue, abstained.
Georgiadou, who voted to stay in the EU in the 2016 referendum, said Remainers like her had been “silenced and ignored” since that vote.
“In a democracy, everyone’s included. In a referendum, the losers have no voice. I was annoyed about that,” she said.


Japan apologizes to those forcibly sterilized, vows redress

Updated 24 April 2019
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Japan apologizes to those forcibly sterilized, vows redress

  • An estimated 25,000 people were given unconsented sterilization while the 1948 Eugenics Protection Law was in place until 1996
  • The government had until recently maintained the sterilizations were legal at the time

TOKYO: Japan’s government apologized Wednesday to tens of thousands of victims forcibly sterilized under a now-defunct Eugenics Protection Law and promised to pay compensation.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said he was offering “sincere remorse and heartfelt apology” to the victims.
His apology comes just after the parliament enactment earlier Wednesday of legislation to provide redress measures, including $28,600 (¥3.2 million) compensation for each victim.
An estimated 25,000 people were given unconsented sterilization while the 1948 Eugenics Protection Law was in place until 1996. The law was designed to “prevent the birth of poor-quality descendants” and allowed doctors to sterilize people with disabilities. It was quietly renamed as the Maternity Protection Law in 1996, when the discriminatory condition was removed.
The redress legislation acknowledges that many people were forced to have operations to remove their reproductive organs or radiation treatment to get sterilized, causing them tremendous pain mentally and physically.
The government had until recently maintained the sterilizations were legal at the time.
The apology and the redress law follow a series of lawsuits by victims who came forward recently after breaking decades of silence. That prompted lawmakers from both ruling and opposition parties to draft a compensation package to make amends for the victims.
The plaintiffs are seeking about ¥30 million each ($268,000) in growing legal actions that are spreading around the country, saying the government’s implementation of the law violated the victims’ right to self-determination, reproductive health and equality. They say the government redress measures are too small for their suffering.
In addition to the forced sterilizations, more than 8,000 others were sterilized with consent, though likely under pressure, while nearly 60,000 women had abortions because of hereditary illnesses, according to Japan Federation of Bar Associations.
Among them were about 10,000 leprosy patients who had been confined in isolated institutions until 1996, when the leprosy prevention law was also abolished. The government has already offered compensation and an apology to them for its forced isolation policy.