Defamation? Germany launches criminal probe into satirical poem about Erdogan — RT News

English: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip E...

English: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Third Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is an amazing story published by Russia’s leading news agency RT. It reports that a German prosecutor’s office has confirmed that it is investigating if TV comedian Jan Böhmermann violated the law by reciting a “defamatory poem” about Turkish President Erdogan, while Chancellor Angela Merkel called the piece “deliberately insulting.”

Source: Defamation? Germany launches criminal probe into satirical poem about Erdogan — RT News

‘Deliberately insulting’ is a weasel expression. Satire is part of Western culture and a part of a free society.

Two open questions readily come to mind:

  1. Whilst one must respect the laws of Germany, I wonder if there was political pressure to start the criminal probe?
  2. Surely, it’s no coincidence that Erdogan has Merkel over a barrel with regard to refugees.

Thoughts?

Centre planning sugar tax to fight obesity, diabetes – Times of India

The Times of India, junk food and sugar-sweetened beverages will soon be taxed higher and subjected to tougher advertising norms. The Indian government plans these measures to control the growing incidence of diabetes in the country.

Source: Centre planning sugar tax to fight obesity, diabetes – Times of India

When I spent six weeks in India in 2014, I was amazed at the obesity and prominence of junk food. What really shocked me was that the Indian middle classes often associated more junk food with prosperity. There is, of course, a similar crisis in China which I have witnessed first hand too.

The thing about junk food that is often missed is that it’s seriously addictive, promoted by ruthless Western companies target marketing young people and promoting peer pressure.

It’s interesting that the UK has introduced a sugar tax but unfortunately has so far not attacked junk-food. The food industry has a powerful lobby but it’s time for governments to slash healthcare costs by targeting the junk-food companies?

Just like banks and oil companies have special levies, I feel that there’s now a need for penal levies on junk-food companies?

Thoughts?