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Crusader

Religious Freedom: who has it worldwide

To measure religious restrictions around the world, the Pew Research Center has attempted to look at government policies and social hostilities. Their findings suggest that religious hostilities are at their highest level since 2007.

We've mapped all of their results here. Click on the drop down list to view social factors rather than governmental ones, click on a country to see past results, search for places and share your results on social media.

Higher scores reflect less religious freedom - you can find more detail on the results below the map.
religious freedom

V

Nicolas Anelka faces minimum five-match ban over 'quenelle'

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© Ian Kington/AFP/Getty Images
Nicolas Anelka makes the 'quenelle' gesture after scoring against West Ham in December last year.
Nicolas Anelka has been charged by the Football Association for making a gesture that was alleged to be "abusive or indecent or insulting or improper" during the match against West Ham on 28 December last year.

An FA statement said: "It is alleged that, in the 40th minute of the fixture, Anelka made a gesture which was abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper, contrary to FA Rule E3 [1].

"It is further alleged that this is an aggravated breach, as defined in FA Rule E3 [2], in that it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief."

Heart - Black

Pregnant teen 'sells unborn baby on Facebook'

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The 18-year-old, named locally as Veronica Carrera Chaparro, was arrested with her mother and sister following the baby's birth in November

A teenager sold her unborn baby on Facebook for just £68, police said. The 18-year-old, named locally as Veronica Carrera Chaparro, was arrested following the child's birth in November. Her mother and sister were also held on suspicion of assisting the sale. Chaparro, from Maipu in Chile, is believed to have discovered she was pregnant in February last year. She broke the news to her 17-year-old boyfriend two months later and begged him to keep it secret, but he told her family.

Police claim the teenager's mum Angela Chaparro, 42, and her 24-year-old sister Daniela Perez gave her three options. "Sell it, abort it or give it up for adoption," police chief Miguel Ampuero said.

Star of David

Israel produces pro-circumcision short film to fight opposing sentiments

circumcsion
© AFP Photo/Mohd Rasfan
As Council of Europe parliamentarians brace for a clash, the Israeli Knesset prepares a short film praising circumcision to be shown in response to other elements within the council actively seeking to fight the practice on human rights grounds.

The pro-circumcision film will be presented on Monday at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe's Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development by Israel's representative, MK Nachman Shai.

This is believed to be a retaliatory move by Israeli MKs to combat resolutions attacking ritual male circumcision, such as the October 2013 motion by the former COE MP Marlene Ruprecht, which called it a "violation of the physical integrity of children" and urged the members to initiate a public debate with human rights as the foundation.

Although the COE cannot actually pass binding laws, its 47-member-strong European composition is often viewed as a battle ground for future bills and is often a scene for cultural and legislative debate.

Heart - Black

Psychopathic Michigan GOP official: 'Herd all the Indians' to Detroit, build a fence and throw in corn

patterson
© WXYZ
A Republican county official in Michigan is in hot water after making racial comments about Detroit, including the idea that the city should be turned into a detention center for "all the Indians."

In a recent interview for a profile by The New Yorker titled Drop Dead, Detroit! Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson admitted, "Anytime I talk about Detroit, it will not be positive. Therefore, I'm called a Detroit basher. The truth hurts, you know? Tough sh*t."

Patterson recalled telling his children to "get in and get out" if they needed to go to Detroit.

"And, before you go to Detroit, you get your gas out here. You do not, do not, under any circumstances, stop in Detroit at a gas station! That's just a call for a carjacking," he said.

Patterson also proposed a fix to Detroit's financial problems: Turn the city into a reservation for Native Americans.

"I made a prediction a long time ago, and it's come to pass. I said, 'What we're gonna do is turn Detroit into an Indian reservation, where we herd all the Indians into the city, build a fence around it, and then throw in the blankets and the corn.'"

Attention

Kiev protests escalate: Police - outnumbered by protesters armed with firebombs - respond with stun grenades, teargas and water cannon

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© Julia Kochetova/Demotix/CorbisA scene of destruction in Kiev, where protesters burned four police buses and two lorries.
The sound of stun grenades continue to ring out and charred vehicles are smouldering in Kiev after a night of fierce clashes between protesters and police.

The leaders of the opposition, including former heavyweight boxer Vitali Klitschko, dismissed the violence as the work of "provocateurs" and were due to hold negotiations with the government later on Monday.

The anti-government protests, which have beset Kiev for two months, escalated into fiery street battles with police on Sunday as thousands of demonstrators threw rocks and firebombs and set police vehicles on fire. Dozens of protesters were injured and 100 police sought medical attention, with 61 being admitted to hospital.

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© Julia Kochetova/Demotix/Corbis Ukranian police used cold water to disperse protesters as temperatures plunged in Kiev.
Police responded with stun grenades, teargas and, for the first time in the country's history, water cannon, but were outnumbered by the protesters. Many of the riot police held their shields over their heads to protect themselves from the projectiles thrown by demonstrators on the other side of a cordon of buses.

The violence was a sharp escalation of Ukraine's two-month political crisis, which has brought round-the-clock protest gatherings, but had been largely peaceful. President Viktor Yanukovych last week signed an array of laws severely limiting protests and banning the wearing of helmets and gas masks. Many of the demonstrators wore hardhats and masks in defiance of the new laws.

Stop

KKK marks MLK Day by handing out fliers branding King 'a communist pervert'

MLK KKK flyer
© unknown
A white supremacist group marked Martin Luther King Jr. Day by passing out disparaging fliers in towns around the country.

The fliers were left on front lawns and driveways by The Loyal White Knights of The Ku Klux Klan and have been reported in east Texas, southern Kentucky, central North Carolina and central Virginia.

The fliers claimed the federal holiday celebrated "a communist pervert" and usually included a mugshot taken of King after his arrest during the 1956 Montgomery bus boycott and inflammatory information lifted from a mostly debunked chain email.

Among other false claims, the fliers allege that King's "aids" used tax-exempt donations to his Southern Christian Leadership Conference to hire white prostitutes and engage in group sex.

King's successor as SCLC president, Ralph David Abernathy, disclosed that the civil rights leader had engaged in extramarital affairs, but he had no sexual involvement with prostitutes or white women and did not use church donations for sexual encounters.

Residents who awoke to the fliers, which sometimes were placed inside baggies and weighted down with small rocks, said they were disturbed by the message and its timing.

Powertool

West Virginia chemical spill company files for bankruptcy

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© Steve Helber/APA leak from the Freedom Industries storage facility in Charleston contaminated water supplies for hundreds of thousands of residents.
The chemicals maker Freedom Industries Inc filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday, eight days after a leak from one of the company's storage tanks contaminated drinking water for hundreds of thousands of West Virginia residents.

A chemical used to process coal spilled into the Elk River in Charleston last week, prompting the state's governor to declare a state of emergency and ban the use of drinking water. More than 200 people have visited emergency rooms with nausea.

As a result of the leak, vendors have demanded Freedom pay in cash, draining the company of financing and prompting it to seek bankruptcy, according to documents filed in the US bankruptcy court in Charleston, West Virginia.

"Likewise, the defence of the numerous suits filed against the debtor will exhaust the debtor's liquidity," Freedom said in a court filing. The bankruptcy filing will put a stay on more than 20 lawsuits filed against the company over the spill.

Bulb

8 Habits of Intolerant People

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I find it difficult to believe that there still remain so many people who are intolerant of others; like those who are so vehemently against gay marriage even though other people's intimate relationships do not directly hurt them. It turns out these people share some similar traits. Over my years as a psychotherapist, I have worked with many people who have personality issues. I have observed the following about those who are quick to anger, resentful and begrudging of others.

Arrow Down

Rise in 'funeral poverty' means more than 100,000 in UK cannot afford to die

Funerals
© The Independent, UKDamning study says there is a lack of support to help Britain’s poorest pay for funerals.

Never mind the cost of living crisis - the rise of "funeral poverty" in Britain means more than 100,000 people will be unable to afford the cost of dying this year, researchers have said.

The average price of arranging a funeral, burial or cremation service with state administration now stands at £7,622, and has risen by 7.1 per cent in the past year alone.

Combined with the financial challenges faced by the poorest people in recession-hit Britain, it means the level of "funeral poverty" is up 50 per cent from three years ago.

According to a study from the University of Bath's Institute for Policy Research (IPR), the hundreds of thousands of people who will struggle to afford to die in 2014 will also leave their families with an unnecessarily difficult challenge to apply for state support.

For families on low incomes, the Social Fund Funeral Payment, first introduced in 1988, is intended to take the financial pressure away from giving their loved-one a proper funeral.

But the IPR report called for a review of the Department for Work and Pensions-administered payment, describing it as "outdated", "overly complex" and "insufficient" to meet the needs of the poorest in society.

In spite of the lowest-ever recorded mortality rates for England and Wales, the cost of dying has steadily increased over recent years.

The average cost of a funeral actually rose by 80 per cent between 2004 and 2013 and the costs of dying are expected to continue to increase over the next five years.

On average, the price of a typical funeral, including non-discretionary fees and a burial or cremation, is £3,456.