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TheSpeaker … A Film About Freedom
This controversial movie was produced by the American Library Association in 1977 to encourage discussion around the First Amendment and freedom of speech. It was digitized and provided in…

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TheSpeaker … A Film About Freedom – Video

Chief James Craig on citizens’ use of guns: Detroit’s top cop explains his controversial support of the Second Amendment Craig said he is not encouraging vigilantism, saying vigilantes are cowards who take the law into their own hands and should be punished. / Daniel Mears / The Detroit News

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Craig stands by 2nd Amendment support in wake of NRA magazine cover story

Several high-profile commencement speakers have withdrawn or been ‘disinvited’ because of protests. Free-speech advocates worry that today’s students only want speech they like.

The decisions by both International Monetary Fund director Christine Lagarde and Robert Birgeneau, former chancellor of the University of California, to withdraw as planned commencement speakers are only the latest in a rash of controversies this commencement season.

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Other planned speakers, including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, womens rights advocate Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Attorney General Eric Holder, and Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, have all either been disinvited from speaking or withdrew in the face of significant student protest.

The phenomenon isnt new; its become such a rite of passage in the spring that some free-speech advocates have started calling the spring disinvitation season. But its a trend that some believe is growing, and that many observers worry is shifting college campuses away from being a free marketplace of ideas.

Its incredibly disappointing that commencement speakers get cancelled because of the controversial nature of their remarks, says Ken Paulson, president of Vanderbilt Universitys First Amendment Center and dean of the College of Mass Communication at Middle Tennessee State University. We need more people to come in and raise hell on college campuses and provide challenging ideas and concepts.

By booking someone to speak at your commencement, youre not issuing a blanket endorsement of who they are or what they do, he adds. Given the amount of boring commencement speakers weve all heard, youd think it would be refreshing to hear someone provocative.

Ms. Lagarde, the IMF chief, was scheduled to speak at Smith College until a petition began circulating among students criticizing the IMF as a primary culprit in the failed developmental policies implanted in some of the worlds poorest countries and demanding that Lagarde be reconsidered as the commencement speaker.

Share those pearls of wisdom, send us your best graduation advice!

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Protesting commencement speakers: What happened to free speech on campus? (+video)

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

(CNN) — Free speech has consequences — especially when business interests are involved.

That’s a lesson most recently learned by real estate professionals David and Jason Benham, who lost the HGTV show they were scheduled to host after a recording of David Benham’s anti-homosexuality views emerged.

Should the Benham brothers have lost their HGTV show?

After the site Right Wing Watch published a post about the pair and posted a recording of Benham talking to a talk show host about “homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation,” HGTV dropped their planned show, called “Flip It Forward.”

“HGTV has decided not to move forward with the Benham Brothers’ series,” the network tweeted after the post went public.

The Benhams aren’t the first ones to lose work over their words. Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was banned for life from the team’s day-to-day operations and facilities — and fined $2.5 million — for racist comments that were recorded and posted online. Paula Deen became an ex-Food Network host after she admitted to using a racial slur. “Duck Dynasty’s” Phil Robertson was suspended after his controversial comments on homosexuals were published, though the A&E show has stayed on the air.

Opinion: What happened to Sterling was morally wrong

Regardless of the platform, the personal, political and corporate have ways of getting entangled with one another these days — particularly when corporations try to maintain very public reputations of welcoming diversity and inclusiveness, says crisis management consultant Eric Dezenhall.

“I defy you to go to a corporate meeting and not hear words incanted over and over again: ‘diversity,’ ‘inclusiveness,’ ‘transparency,’ ‘corporate social responsibility,’ ‘sustainability,’ et cetera,” he says. “If you step out of the narrow margins on some of these issues, there’s going to be a problem.”

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Underneath all the speech controversies, it's just business

Summary: The bill, passed by Russia’s upper house, will land on Putin’s desk. Opponents worry the law will stifle political expression and protest in a region dogged by free speech issues.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to sign into law in the coming days a bill that passed the upper house of the state parliament on Tuesday.

Critics have likened the controversial bill as an attempt to stifle online dissent and anger that has been building by Putin’s opponents over the past two years.

The Federation Council approved by a wide majority new controls on Russian blogs and websites that see more than 3,000 daily visits. The Russian government says the law is designed to formalize “blogging” under Russian law, whereas opponents say it will restrict free speech in the country.

The law now needs to be signed into force by Putin, a former agent with the country’s internal security service. Putin rarely declines to sign or vetoes legislation passed by the two houses of the State Duma, which is dominated by the political party loyal to the president.

With more than 61 million online users in the country, Russia remains one of the largest growing online economies in the world.

The international community has in recent months continued to mount pressure against Russia for its domestic and foreign policies.

Russia remains in exile from the G8 economic member states after it annexed Crimea, a district of Ukraine, earlier this year following a referendum widely believed to be illegal under international law.Economic and trade sanctions have been imposed by the U.S. and the West, although European countries remain on the sidelines as they rely heavily on Nordic and Russian gas supplies.

The law will allow the government to fine bloggers, citizen journalists, and activists,up to $900 who fail to register as members of the media, and further fines if bloggers fail to uphold the Kremlin’s strict media rules.

Affected Russian bloggers and citizen journalists will be forced to check facts which can be disputed by the courts and the government, and to remain silent during elections. Injunctions can also be imposed on those classified as spreading “extremism,” which can include pornography or “obscene language.”

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Russia's free speech crackdown aims to stifle bloggers, censor Putin's political rivals

The Eleventh Circuit, the FISC, and Magistrate Judge Facciola have cases pending (or recently handed down decisions) involving this controversial new approach to the Fourth Amendment. Here's a run-down of the latest developments.

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Volokh Conspiracy: Courts grapple with the mosaic theory of the Fourth Amendment

Activists protesting the shooting death of 13-year-old Andy Lopez will have a free speech platform near the food court of the Santa Rosa Plaza, where just three weeks ago security guards ordered them to leave.

With the cooperation of mall owner Simon Property Group, the activists are scheduled to set up a table to distribute political literature, buttons and T-shirts related to the controversial Oct. 22 shooting death of the 13-year-old Santa Rosa boy.

The literature will include a fact sheet about the shooting and a petition calling for the prosecution of Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy Erick Gelhaus. The 24-year law enforcement veteran told investigators he shot Lopez on Moorland Avenue, just outside city limits, because he mistook the boy’s airsoft BB gun for an assault rifle.

Simon gave its consent Wednesday afternoon in a letter sent to Jonathan Melrod, the attorney for the Justice Coalition for Andy Lopez.

Mall management has confirmed that they are happy to cooperate and accommodate this request and have advised that they will provide a 6-8 foot skirted table to meet your needs, wrote Mark Payne, Simon’s senior associate general counsel.

Melrod called Simon’s concession a great victory for free speech rights that provides a modicum of respect to the loss the Lopez family suffered.

The move on Simon’s part represents a significant departure from its strict policy of not allowing protest banners, signs or shirts on the day of a scheduled protest, Melrod said.

Payne’s letter Wednesday was a response to a letter Melrod sent Monday notifying Simon that activists were planning to set up the table on March 29 for an indefinite period.

Melrod said the table was aimed at exercising free speech rights spelled out in the 1980 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins, which he said affirms the California Constitution’s extension of First Amendment rights at semi-public areas such as shopping centers.

(page 2 of 2)

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Lopez activists to get 'free speech' table at Santa Rosa mall

Activists protesting the shooting death of 13-year-old Andy Lopez will have a free speech platform near the food court of the Santa Rosa Plaza, where just three weeks ago security guards ordered them to leave.

With the cooperation of mall owner Simon Property Group, the activists are scheduled to set up a table to distribute political literature, buttons and T-shirts related to the controversial Oct. 22 shooting death of the 13-year-old Santa Rosa boy.

The literature will include a fact sheet about the shooting and a petition calling for the prosecution of Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy Erick Gelhaus. The 24-year law enforcement veteran told investigators he shot Lopez on Moorland Avenue, just outside city limits, because he mistook the boy’s airsoft BB gun for an assault rifle.

Simon gave its consent Wednesday afternoon in a letter sent to Jonathan Melrod, the attorney for the Justice Coalition for Andy Lopez.

Mall management has confirmed that they are happy to cooperate and accommodate this request and have advised that they will provide a 6-8 foot skirted table to meet your needs, wrote Mark Payne, Simon’s senior associate general counsel.

Melrod called Simon’s concession a great victory for free speech rights that provides a modicum of respect to the loss the Lopez family suffered.

The move on Simon’s part represents a significant departure from its strict policy of not allowing protest banners, signs or shirts on the day of a scheduled protest, Melrod said.

Payne’s letter Wednesday was a response to a letter Melrod sent Monday notifying Simon that activists were planning to set up the table on March 29 for an indefinite period.

Melrod said the table was aimed at exercising free speech rights spelled out in the 1980 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins, which he said affirms the California Constitution’s extension of First Amendment rights at semi-public areas such as shopping centers.

(page 2 of 2)

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Lopez activists to get mall spot



Religious freedom or discrimination?
Crossfire hosts Van Jones S.E. Cupp debate the controversial Arizona 'religious freedom' bill with Neera Tanden and Peter Sprigg. More from CNN at http://w…

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Religious freedom or discrimination? – Video



Controversial Religious Freedom Bill
Celebrations erupted after Arizona's Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the controversial Religious Freedom Bill.

By: Oregons FOX

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Controversial Religious Freedom Bill – Video

By Ryanne Wise and Erika Brock

The minority leader in the Indiana House is drafting an amendment to strip the controversial second sentence out of a constitutional proposal to ban same sex marriage.

But Rep. Scott Pelath said he’s not certain he’ll call the language for a vote. Instead, the Michigan City Democrat said he’s analyzing the best way to defeat the proposal.

The constitutional amendment – House Joint Resolution 3 – would, first, define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The second sentence would prohibit any legal relationship that is “identical or substantially similar” to marriage.

“My first approach is to extinguish the obvious stink bomb of the second sentence and if they are going to insist to move this forward, let’s at least get that monstrous language out of there,” Pelath said. “The second approach is letting HJR 3 die under its own lumbering brontosaurus-like weight.”

Pelath said he’ll talk to members of the Democratic caucus – who hold just 31 of the chamber’s 100 seats – before deciding how to proceed.

An amendment to HJR 3 means the constitutional amendment process would likely restart. That could postpone a possible ratification by voters from this fall to 2016.

Republicans will likely be waiting for Pelath’s decision as well. Rep. Casey Cox, R-Fort Wayne, voted for HJR 3 when it came before the House Elections Committee this week. But later, he said that he may vote against the proposal when it reaches the House floor next week.

Cox said he wants to “reconsider” the second sentence. He cited concerns raised by a lawyer with Indiana University, who said the provision threatens the school’s ability to offer benefits to same-sex partners.

“I thought IU’s council made some points that certainly need further discussion,” Cox said. “The caucus really wanted this to come to the floor. I can understand that. If it remains intact, I certainly reserve the right to vote no.”

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Pelath seeks best strategy for defeating HJR 3



Duck Dynasty s Hometown Shows Devil Coming. The Accuser cast out of heaven. Illuminati Freemason .
Duck Dynasty s Hometown Shows Devil Coming. The Accuser cast out of heaven. Illuminati Freemason . An investigative look into the Controversial Duck Dynasty …

By: Video Max Tex

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Duck Dynasty s Hometown Shows Devil Coming. The Accuser cast out of heaven. Illuminati Freemason . – Video

The city of Seattle will pay $38,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by the Second Amendment Foundation over failure to release public records relating to Mayor Mike McGinns January gun buyback.

The settlement was signed today by Carl Marquardt, legal counsel to mayor Mike McGinn, and includes an apology for the mayors offices failure to releaserecords about the controversial buyback program that netted about 700 guns but also provoked criticism from public health and gun-rights advocates that it wouldnt reduce gun violence.

The city of Seattle acknowledges that it had a duty under the Washington Public Records Act to provide all documents in response to the Second Amendment Foundations public disclosure request in a timely manner, and that it did not do so While the initial failure to produce records in this case was unintentional, the city acknowledges that it did not meet the requirements of the Public Records Act, and for that we sincerely apologize.

The statement goes on to say that the city is working to improve its processes for locating documents and responding to public-records requests. The Seattle Police Department earlier this year paid $20,000 to The Seattle Times to settle a claim that it had not released public records as required by state law.

In February, the Second Amendment Foundation, based in Bellevue, requested all communications and related documents about the gun buyback andin response received from the city more than 1,500 emails between five McGinn staffers. But in June, a reporter for Seattlepi.com wrote thathis own public-records request showedthat the states most prominent gun control group, Washington CeaseFire, was not notified about the gun buyback before it was announced.

Ralph Fascitelli, president ofWashington CeaseFire, emailed the mayor when he learned of the plans and told him that buybacks often backfire and thatthe overwhelming research shows that they are a waste of resources, according to the Seattlepi.com report.

Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, said the emails detailed in the news story were not previously disclosed to the organization. In filing the lawsuit, he accused McGinns staff of playing games with the governments legal requirement to be transparent and accountable.

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Withheld documents about gun buyback will cost city $38,000



MPs insist Bill not meant to curtail Media freedom
Members of parliament are defending themselves over the passage of the controversial Kenya Information and communications Bill, saying the bill is not out to…

By: NTV Kenya

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MPs insist Bill not meant to curtail Media freedom – Video

Viera, FL Officials of a gun rights advocacy group in Florida have decided to remove a 9mm semi-automatic handgun from their raffle after attention was brought to the fact that its the very same model handgun George Zimmerman used to kill Trayvon Martin.

The Gun Rights Preservation Forum had intended to raffle off a Kel-Tec PF-9 (along with a copy of the Bible) at an event attended by Zimmermans attorney, Mark OMara. It was OMara who suggested dropping the PF-9 from the lot.

He will still appear at the event on November 4, and the raffle is likely to be reschedules, reports Opposing Views. The handgun has indeed been removed from the raffle completely.

Bob White, chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Central East Florida, said that the raffle was only meant to support Kel-Tec as a gun manufacturer. The group wasnt trying to make a statement about the Zimmerman verdict. Still, he admitted that postponing the raffle is the right thing to do.

We have no doubt that George Zimmerman used this weapon legally in the defense of his own life. Certainly, its use prevented further serious bodily harm to himself, and he may very well have saved his own life by its use. We also recognize, though, that another life was lost in the process, and we do have empathy for the parents of Trayvon Martin. Losing their son was tragic, regardless of the circumstances.

White also admitted that the raffle, coupled with OMaras appearance, might distract from the actual goal of advocating Second Amendment rights.

At the same time, it could potentially cause needless additional heartache for the parents of Trayvon Martin, he said. Nothing good could come from such a thoughtless act.

White said that he was unaware that the PF-9 was the same model handgun used by Zimmerman in the controversial killing.

[Image: Shutterstock]

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Second Amendment Group Decides Raffling Off George Zimmerman’s Gun Isn’t A Great Idea

Hours before his proposal to Kim Kardashian on WiLD 94.9′s “The JV Show” in San Francisco, Kanye West sat down for an interview to explains his concerts and criticism.Specifically, the hip-hop star talks about his controversial portrayal of Jesus at his concerts, his “white” voice, and even the Illuminati.

Below are highlights (via Rap-Up.com):

On bringing Jesus on tour: “I had a friend of mine that’s a pastor there as we started discussing how we wanted to deliver it. My girl even asked afterwards, ‘Hmm, is that weird if Jesus comes on stage?’ No, we do plays all the time where people play Jesus. You know what’s awesome about Christianity is we’re allowed to portray God. We’re allowed to draw an image of him, we’re allowed to make movies about him. Other religions you’re not allowed to do that.”

On the message behind his religious theatrics: “It’s a painting, it’s a sculpture, it’s a moving opera, it’s a play, it’s a message. I’m not gonna even do any comparisons with that ’cause God knows where my heart is at. One of the things that I wanted to really get across with that message is that you can have a relationship with Jesus, that you can talk to Jesus.”

On his relationship with Jesus: “I’m a performance artist, I’m a believer, and I think if anytime the word Jesus can be used more in our lives, I believe it’s a good thing. With my heroes, people wanna be like Mike. I wanna be like Christ.”

On the Illuminati: “It’s a sexy word. We could make a cologne out of it or something. There’s only two things on my mind when I create, God and Jesus.”

On his “white” voice: “It was a classist move that even when you get invited to certain dinner parties or even when you’re in certain magazines it’s still like a Dinner for Schmucks situation. Are they inviting you to be a part of what you’re doing or are they inviting you to laugh at your teeth? And ask you a million questions like, Oh, those are cool teeth.’ And then we have our thing that every time we do it, we give em the white voice. It goes both ways, but we’re right now in a crash of the classes. America, being the newest country, and especially out here in San Francisco, where people can just became a billionaire off an idea, and the amount of information you get on the Internet and that people can educate themselves, the shift is gonna change. I think that I’m one of the people at the forefront because I had to fight to get into fashion shows eight years ago.”

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Kanye West Talks Jesus Portrayal, His 'White' Voice & Illuminati

Study blames PLDT’s ‘de facto monopoly’ for low internet penetration, high broadband costs

MANILA – Thanks to netizens who opposed the controversial anti-cybercrime law, internet in the Philippines remains one of the freest in the world, according to a new study released Friday by US-based group Freedom House.

The Philippines ranks 10th worldwide in the “Freedom on the Net 2013″ report, which identifies key trends in internet freedom and digital media in 60 countries.

Iceland topped the list, followed by Estonia, Germany, the United States, Australia, France, Japan, Hungary, Italy, and United Kingdom.

Iran placed at the bottom.

The study evaluates countries based on obstacles to access, limits on content, and violations of user rights.

Freedom House, the non-governmental organization behind the study, said the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 would have seriously affected internet freedom in the Philippines.

The controversial law, which has been suspended by the Supreme Court, would allow authorities to block online content without a warrant, facilitate government surveillance, and punish online libel with up to 12 years imprisonment.

“While the new anti-cybercrime act remains on hold, there is no systematic government censorship of online content, and internet users in the Philippines enjoy unrestricted access to both domestic and international sources of information,” the study said.

It added that The OpenNet Initiative found no evidence of internet censorship by government, although monitoring and filtering activities in the workplace have been reported in the country.

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Philippines among world's best in internet freedom

Sep 112013

A new poll confirms a libertarian renaissance in 2013.

FreedomWorks commissioned a national survey of registered voters last month, shared first with POLITICO, that finds 78 percent of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents self-identify as fiscally conservative and socially moderate.

Its not that Republicans are suddenly self-identifying as libertarians and devouring Ayn Rand novels, but more that they seem to be embracing underlying libertarian priorities and views about the role of government.

(PHOTOS: Libertarianism goes mainstream)

The GOP dominated politics for a generation with a coalition of libertarians, social conservatives and defense hawks that Ronald Reagan successfully cobbled together in 1980. The tea party-affiliated FreedomWorks argues in a 23-page report that the so-called three-legged stool has become lopsided.

The poll asked Republican voters what they are most interested in: 40 percent said individual freedom through lower taxes and reducing the size and scope of government, 27 percent picked traditional values and 18 percent chose a strong national defense.

Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway, who ran the poll, said shes seeing a spike in voters who feel the government is too expensive, invasive and expansive.

The perfect storm is being created between the NSA, the IRS, the implementation of Obamacare and now Syria, she said. People are looking at the government more suspiciously. Theyre looking with deeper scrutiny and reasonable suspicion.

(Also on POLITICO: Libertarianism goes mainstream)

FreedomWorks, which is among the groups leading the controversial push to defund the federal health care law even if it risks a government shutdown, argues that GOP voters have limited appetite for grand bargains that would raise taxes. Two-thirds of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said they want their member of Congress to keep their promises and stick to principles as opposed to compromise in a bipartisan way to get things done.

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Poll: Republicans go libertarian

Rep. Ron Paul, who is a three-time presidential candidate, will speak tonight in Kresge Auditorium.

Paul was also named one of Time magazines top 100 most influential people, and The Indianapolis Star named him first on the most interesting people to visit central Indiana this fall.

Doors open to students at 6:30 p.m. and the general public at 6:50 p.m. Students should bring their student ID.

Hes a well known spokesperson for the social ideological movement of libertarianism, said Brett OBannon, professor of political science.

OBannon believes that this is a good opportunity for students to better understand Libertarianism.

Its an opportunity to see someone widely associated with these doctrines defend them, OBannon said. Its an opportunity to pose a question or two to the standard bearer of contemporary Libertarianism, perhaps to get him to defend some of his controversial stuff or better explain some of his stuff. One particular controversial issue surrounding Paul is that he will be giving a keynote address at the Fatima Centers Path to Peace conference in Niagra Falls, Ontario, right after speaking at DePauw. The conference is known to host some radical views.

He has things to answer for, OBannon said. [The] conference widely hailed to anti-semitic and racist sponsored by the Fatima Center. He ought to perhaps be questioned on that. Ken Owen 82, executive director of media relations and coordinator for the Ubben Lecture Series, noted that initially, he was concerned by the news of his keynote speech.

Pauls speaker agency is run by a person of the Jewish faith, and several of the employees for the firm are Jewish, as well.

The first thing I did was call over there, and their response was basically, Theres no way. Hes not an anti-semite. We work with him everyday. We spend a lot of time around him. Hes a good man. Disregard it, Owen said.

Owen noted that the accusations generated through the blogosphere, and Owen has faced some pushback for many speakers that have come to campus.

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Rep. Ron Paul to speak tonight as part of Ubben lecture series

Japan’s prime minister vowed Tuesday to “expel by force” any Chinese landing on islands at the centre of a territorial row, after eight Chinese government vessels sailed into the disputed waters.

The latest clash over the archipelago upped the stakes in a tense diplomatic battle as nearly 170 Japanese lawmakers visited the controversial Yasukuni war shrine in central Tokyo, seen as a potent symbol of Japan’s imperialist past, riling its neighbours China and South Korea.

Tokyo summoned the Chinese ambassador to Japan after the state-owned Chinese ships entered its territorial waters while Beijing called the shrine visit an “attempt to deny Japan’s history of aggression”.

The flotilla is the biggest to sail into the disputed waters in a single day since Tokyo nationalised part of the island chain in September.

The islands are surrounded by rich fishing grounds and are believed to harbour vast natural resources below the seabed.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed to “expel by force” any Chinese landing on the islands in the East China Sea, and promised “decisive action”.

“We would never allow a landing,” Abe told parliament in response to questions from lawmakers, adding: “It would be natural for us to expel by force if (the Chinese) were to make a landing,” he said.

Chinese ships have frequently sailed around the five Tokyo-controlled islands in recent months sparking diplomatic clashes.

The Chinese maritime surveillance ships entered the 12-nautical-mile zone off the islands, which China calls Diaoyu and Japan calls the Senkaku, around 8:00 am (2300 GMT Monday), the Japan Coast Guard said.

The eight vessels left by about 7:15 pm, Jiji Press news agency reported, quoting the regional coast guard headquarters.

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Japan vows force if Chinese land on disputed islands



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