Whistling at the king of Spain is no longer a crime

All anarchists, public dissenters, and avid soccer fans should plan on making their way to Spain where whistling at the King has officially been declared legal. At the King Cup final soccer game in Valencia this past May, thousands of Basque and Catalan fans protested the presence of the King by booing, hissing, whistling, and waving separatist banners. DENAES, the Foundation for the Protection of the Spanish Nation, brought the issue to court:


Denaes was accusing these associations of having incurred into hate crimes, on having promoted the whistle to the national anthem, crimes for which they could be given up to five years of jail.

Nevertheless, the Court rests on the criterion of the district attorney to support that the facts denounced "cannot be constitutive of crime."

The court affirms that "the whistling carried out during the arrival of the King, during the interpretation of the national anthem, as well as the banners with the motto 'Good bye Spain' are protected by the freedom of expression, and it cannot be considered to be slanderous or insulting, much less that they support national hate or outrage to the Nation."

For this reason, the judge understands that the behavior registered during the final of Cup on May 13th does not "deserve penal reproach, bearing also in mind the principle of minimal intervention."

Personally, I will be working on attaining a crisp, clear whistling tone so as to be prepared for future travels to El Palacio de la Zarzuela. I like to be able to take full advantage of my civil liberties.


Tamil Tigers name new leader

Meet the new head of the LTTE, or at least what's left of it:

Selvarasa Pathmanathan was the rebels' chief of international relations and allegedly ran an international weapons smuggling ring. The Sri Lankan government has appealed to foreign governments to find and arrest him. [...]

Pathmanathan said earlier the Tigers would abandon their armed struggle and use nonviolence to achieve their goals, and he promised the group would reorganize itself based on democratic principles - a major change from Prabhakaran's dictatorial leadership style.

A former weapons smuggler certainly makes an unlikley candidate for the Tamil Gandhi. Peru's Sendero Luminoso -- which has largely made the transition from Marxist guerrilla movement to cocaine cartel -- might be an instructive model though.