Grapevine: Crackdown in Kazakhstan?

Country's response to recent embarrassing incidents


And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...

Google Searched

Google says the popular search engine is seeing an alarming rise in the amount of content removal requests from governments including the United States.

Many of the requests are legitimate attempts to enforce laws covering personal privacy and hate speech.

However, Google says it is seeing more requests from government agencies trying to censor material that they simply don't like.

In a statement, Google said -- quote -- "It's alarming not only because free expression is at risk, but because some of these requests come from countries you might not suspect -- Western democracies not typically associated with censorship."

American Heritage

Four Cherokee activists say they are traveling to Boston in hopes of sitting down with Democratic Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren to discuss her Native American heritage claims. 

The Boston Herald reports the group is made up of a registered Democrat and three left-leaning Independents.

The women say Warren's claim that she is 1/32 Cherokee is offensive -- quote -- "We would like to see her look at the documentation and admit there's no Indian ancestry there and then apologize."

Warren's campaign has reportedly said staffers will connect with the group.

Can't Get No Respect

Finally, Kazakhstan isn't laughing.

The Atlantic reports the country is cracking down on people who disrespect its national anthem and state symbols with new legislation that imposes stiff fines and jail time.

The crackdown comes in response to some embarrassing incidents including people using the national flag to transport garbage.

The country made international headlines when officials accidentally replaced the national anthem with a spoof theme from the "Borat" comedy movie and Ricky Martin's "Livin' La Vida Loca" during two high-profile ceremonies.