Posts Tagged ‘illegal’
Imam Abu Omar, now living in Egypt
Italy’s highest appeals court has upheld guilty verdicts on 23 Americans, all but one of them CIA agents, accused of kidnapping a terror suspect.
Their case related to the abduction of an Egyptian cleric in Milan in 2003.
The man, known as Abu Omar, was allegedly flown to Egypt and tortured.
The Americans were tried in absentia, in the first trial involving extraordinary rendition, the CIA’s practice of transferring suspects to countries where torture is permitted.
The practice has been condemned by human rights groups as a violation of international agreements.
The group of Americans – 22 of whom were CIA agents and one an Air Force pilot – are believed to be living in the US and are unlikely to serve their sentences.
Italy has never requested their extradition but they will be unable to travel to Europe without risking arrest…
The court upheld the sentences of the lower court which had sentenced all of them to seven years in prison, apart from Seldon Lady [CIA station chief], who was given a nine-year sentence.
The Court of Cassation also ruled that five senior Italian secret service agents – including the former head of the country’s military intelligence agency – should be tried for their role in the kidnapping.
I have no idea if Abu Omar was connected to terrorism or not. What I do know is that my government, the government of the United States of America broke every relevant law on civil liberties with the rendition and torture program run under the governance of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
Anyone associated with that program – especially including the thugs whose only defense is that they were just obeying orders – is equally guilty in my eyes and I am certain in the judgement of history.
Just weeks after the Supreme Court largely reaffirmed the Obama administration’s immigration enforcement powers in its legal battle with Arizona, federal officials are facing a new, politically tricky clash with local authorities over immigration, this time in Chicago.
At a news conference on Tuesday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he would propose an ordinance that would bar police officers from turning over illegal immigrants to federal agents if the immigrants do not have serious criminal convictions or outstanding criminal warrants.
In contrast to the Obama administration’s long-running confrontation with officials in Arizona, who are mostly Republicans, the latest challenge to the president’s immigration policies comes from Mr. Emanuel, his former chief of staff, and from other Democratic allies in President Obama’s hometown.
“If you have no criminal record, being part of a community is not a problem for you,” Mr. Emanuel said, speaking at a high school library in Little Village, a Latino neighborhood. “We want to welcome you to the city of Chicago.”
The mayor said the proposal was part of his goal to make Chicago the “most immigrant-friendly city in the country…”
Chicago is governed separately from Cook County. The city’s ordinance would give its police department more power to decide which immigrants to turn over to federal agents, but it would not curtail most cooperation as Cook County has done…
Mr. Emanuel did not pose his initiative as a challenge to Mr. Obama. Rather he laid blame on Congress for inaction on immigration. The City Council will consider the ordinance this month.
All these chickens are coming home to roost to pay for decades of diminished responsibility by liberals – coupled with several flavors of activist bigotry from conservatives in both parties.
Over the decades of diminished access to the United States – especially aimed at barring Hispanic immigrants from Mexico and Central America – I wonder how many undocumentados would have arrived here legally? Seems to me that a significant majority of those now here would have had little problem passing through the system if standards were kept to the designs of those who originally formulated our nation’s immigration policy.
A 20-year-old girl has sought protection by the Rajasthan authorities from members of a village community council who, she says, are threatening her with serious consequences if she did not accept her childhood marriage, officials said Monday.
She also requested the district administration officials to annul her marriage that was solemnised when she was a mere five-year old, they added.
The girl, Rekha Kumari, is a resident of Peepar city area of the district, some 330 km from state capital Jaipur.
“She filed an application before the local sub-divisional officer Sunday, requesting security from a village community council or panchayat. She says that they were threatening to expel her from the locality, which means she and her family members would not be able to mingle with other villagers. It also warned of slapping huge cash fines on her and her family members if she did not accept the marriage,” a senior district administration officer told IANS.
The officer said that Rekha is doing graduation from a government college in Peepar city. She was married with the consent of her grandfather when she was only five years old…
“After the death of her grandfather recently, her so-called in-laws started pressuring the girl to start living with them which she refused as the boy she was married to is hardly literate,” said the officer. He added that the in-laws then approached the village panchayat members who started threatening the girl.
The police are waiting to see if threats escalate before they intervene – which is scary enough. Though child marriage is technically illegal in India, like a lot of leftover cultural practices, community response can be deadly.
Daylife/AP Photo used by permission
Thousands of protesters on foot, bicycle, skateboard or rollerblades, crossed Montreal late on Saturday to the deafening din of pots, fog horns and whistles in protest at new rules limiting their right to demonstrate.
Some carried Quebec flags, others red flags and placards denouncing the special law, hastily passed a week ago, intended to clamp down on a wave of student protests against rising tuition fees.
The emergency law requires protest organisers to give police at least eight hours advance warning of times and locations of demonstrations, with big fines for failure to do so.
Authorities had used the law to declare protests illegal, clearing the way for police to disperse protesters.
The march was immediately declared illegal by police, who had not been informed of the itinerary.
But the demonstrators were able to proceed without incident and the only arrest made was that of an irate driver annoyed at being blocked by the protesters, police said.
Similar events were held in Quebec City, Trois-Rivieres and in several other cities in the francophone province.
So much for freedom of expression in the democratic West. Please don’t believe a response this reactionary is limited to Canada – or to a Conservative government.
When push comes to shove, when the people of a nation like Canada stand up and express their dissatisfaction with lousy laws and even worse economic policies – the first response from politicians and other cowards who fear loss of power is to crush peaceful protest, to enact laws justifying the repression.
It’s happened before. It will happen again. Police are nothing more than a willing and often enthusiastic tool. The real villains are our democratically-elected stooges.
A giant “UFO fragment” has fallen from the sky near a remote village in Siberia, Russian media have reported.
The U-shaped object, resembling a silvery dome, is currently under inspection by Russian experts, after being covertly removed under cover of night from the possession of villagers who found it.
After discovering the device on Sunday, locals from the village of Otradnesnky had managed to drag the “UFO fragment” from the thick forest where it had fallen. They attached it onto a trailer and took it through the snow to their village, where local inspectors then examined it before alerting Moscow authorities.
In an official statement, Sergey Bobrov, who found the object, agreed to keep it safe.
But following their stealthy removal of the 200-kilogram metal fragment, police have it under close guard, on orders from unnamed authorities…
“The object found is not related to space technology. A final conclusion can be made after a detailed study of the object by experts,” said Roscosmos, the Russian space agency.
RTFA for the details. My guess is someone found Boris Badinov’s ilegal vodka still.
Although strange things seem to fall out of the sky in Siberia almost as often as they do in Roswell.
The historic seizure of 15 tons of pure methamphetamine in western Mexico, equal to half of all meth seizures worldwide in 2009, feeds growing speculation that the country could become a world platform for meth production, not just a supplier to the United States.
The sheer size of the bust announced late Wednesday in Jalisco state suggests involvement of the powerful Sinaloa cartel, a major international trafficker of cocaine and marijuana that has moved into meth production and manufacturing on an industrial scale…
Jalisco has long been considered the hub of the Sinaloa cartel’s meth production and trafficking. Meanwhile, meth use is growing in the United States, already the world’s biggest market for illicit drugs.
The haul could have supplied 13 million doses worth over $4 billion on U.S. streets.
The Sinaloa cartel, headed by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, is equipped to produce and distribute drugs “for the global village,” said Antonio Mazzitelli, the regional representative of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime.
“Such large-scale production could suggest an expansion … into Latin American and Asian markets,” Mazzitelli said…
Golly. There’s a surprise.
Abortion rates are higher in countries where the procedure is illegal and nearly half of all abortions worldwide are unsafe, with the vast majority in developing countries, a new study concludes.
Experts couldn’t say whether more liberal laws led to fewer procedures, but said good access to birth control in those countries resulted in fewer unwanted pregnancies.
The global abortion rate remained virtually unchanged from 2003 to 2008, at about 28 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44, a total of about 43.8 million abortions, according to the study. The rate had previously been dropping since 1995.
About 47,000 women died from unsafe abortions in 2008, and another 8.5 million women had serious medical complications. Almost all unsafe abortions were in developing countries, where family planning and contraceptive programs have mostly levelled off.
If the holier-than-thou Kool Aid Party gets its way, we can continue adding numbers of American women to that sum.
A Florida lawmaker is pushing to repeal a state law that makes it illegal to cohabitate with someone who is not their spouse, and makes it a crime punishable by a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail.
According to 2010 U.S. Census figures, at least 544,907 Floridians reported being an “unmarried partner” — meaning they live in an intimate relationship with someone they are not married to, and thus are in defiance of Florida statute 798.02…
Last week, state Rep. Ritch Workman filed legislation — HB 4021 — to repeal that provision, as well as a related one that bars people from “living in open adultery…”
“What you do in your bedroom is your business, not the business of my great state,” said Workman, a Republican from Melbourne, adding that the statute is rarely enforced. “Quite frankly, I just want it gone…”
Actually, over 100 couples were arrested and charged under the law in the last year. Which illustrates how backwards Florida is – if nothing else.
Workman, himself married with two children, stressed that his legislative initiative is not anti-marriage or anti-family.
Rather, he described it as a practical move to remove statutes that are no longer realistic in today’s society. Workman said most legislators, even those who are more conservative in Florida, don’t want to discuss cohabitation and adultery.
“And I say ‘Great, let’s not talk about it,’” he said. “Let’s talk about an unenforceable and unenforced law that needs to be off the books.
Go back to our post a few days ago about the failure rate of Bible Belt marriages compared to educated parts of the country.
The wedding of Inna Zyskind and Pavel Kogan last week was one of the happiest days of their lives.
Friends and family watched as they exchanged vows and rings under a canopy in their quirky designer outfits. Then more than 1,000 guests attended an open-air festival in Tel Aviv, with street performers and musicians, partying long into the night.
The couple’s only regret is that their marriage is not legally recognised in Israel. In fact, it was organised by activist groups as part of a colourful protest against religious restrictions on who can marry.
Inna, who was born in Russia, was able to move here and become an Israeli citizen under the state’s law of return for Jews. But she is not recognised as truly Jewish by Israel’s orthodox rabbinical establishment. And in Israel, only religious marriages, not civil ones, are allowed…
“This was our demonstration,” says Pavel. “We’re secular people. We want to break the religious monopoly over this part of our life in Israel. We should be allowed a civil wedding…”
RTFA for detail, anecdotes, none of which should come as a surprise. Celebrating love and marriage, trying to live a civilized life in the 21st Century – in a nation that tries to cram people’s lives into tiny ideological boxes leftover from the Talmud – can be an exercise in futility.
To be expected in any land legally ruled by a culture which rejects history, science, secular knowledge.
Be careful before starting a Boy Scout troop in Gould, Ark. Or a Harry Potter fan club. Or a baseball team. The City Council adopted an ordinance last week making it illegal to form any kind of group without its permission.
That is a clear violation of the Constitution, legal scholars agree. But it is also a sign of just how nasty politics has gotten in Gould, a farming town of 1,100 some 70 miles southeast of Little Rock, where members of the Council have struggled with a local political group that seeks to influence how the town is governed. The mayor, Earnest Nash Jr., also happens to be a member of the political group, the Gould Citizens Advisory Council.
Even by the standards of small-town dramas, Gould’s situation is bleak. The town faces nearly $300,000 in unpaid taxes, and there have been frequent clashes among the mayor, the advisory group and the City Council over how to repay it. Those clashes — and a perception by the City Council that the citizens’ group is seeking too much influence — led to the ban on new organizations…
Last week, the Council overrode the mayor’s veto of two other controversial measures. One required that the citizens advisory council cease to exist. The other made it illegal for the mayor to meet with “any organization in any location” either “inside or outside Gould city limits” without the Council’s permission.
The advisory council, which calls itself a nonpartisan group that educates voters and raises money for public causes, says it will continue its work. But the City Council, in one ordinance, accused the group of “causing confusion and discourse among the citizens” by harshly criticizing local officials at public meetings.
As a result, the City Council said, “No new organizations shall be allowed to exist in the City of Gould without approval from a majority of the City Council…”
In the meantime, Mr. Nash said he would continue to do his job exactly as he always had.
“Technically, what I’m doing I guess is illegal,” he said. “But if I’m going to get arrested for meeting with citizens or letting them form their own groups, that’s a pretty good reason to go to jail.”
No doubt Congress wouldn’t mind passing similar legislation if very many voters decided to go their own way outside the limits of our 2-Party country club commedia della politica.