Should the burqa be banned?
A storm of controversy has been stoked after photographs emerged of police in Nice ordering a Muslim woman on the beach to remove items of clothing following a burqini ban in 15 French towns. But is it right for governments to decide what a woman should, or should not wear? Some, especially in Western society, see the burqa as a tool of oppression against women. But for others, governments banning the clothing some Muslim women wear is an infringement of personal freedoms and, in Western society, an Islamophobic measure. Should it be up to the state to decide?
Three years after promising a referendum, Prime Minister David Cameron announced in late February that Britain will go to the polls on June 23 to answer the question: "Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?" If voters opt to leave, it will have profound consequences not only for the UK but for the EU and transatlantic relations. The EU is already embattled and a divorce with its second-largest economy and second most populous member state - albeit one which has always had a troubled relationship with the bloc - could inflict grave damage. The US has declared a "profound interest" in a very strong UK staying in a strong EU. Within Britain, the debate is already fierce and being fought on five main fronts: Migration, the economy, security, Britain's global influence and sovereignty.
Often described as the world’s oldest profession, there are few jobs that evoke such controversy. Today more than 40 million people around the world have turned to prostitution to make a living and many sex workers see their trade being as legitimate as any other. But with human trafficking and child exploitation rife in the dark underbelly of the illegal sex trade, for many others, prostitution is far from a choice. Most countries have laws against prostitution, but the practice thrives because, as with any market, where there is demand for sex there will always be people willing to sell it. Is legalisation and regulation the best way to ensure this market is a safe one for its predominantly female and frequently vulnerable workers in which to operate? Or should governments do everything they can to crack down on the practice? If so, who should be criminalised: those who sell sex, those who buy it, or both?