Archive for May, 2009

humorous-060_smallWith the virtual absence of any objective review of Sonia Sotomayor’s opinions or positions by members of Congress, the Senate Judiciary Committee appears to be gearing up for another confirmation process with little substantive content. As noted previously with regard to the Roberts and Alito hearings, confirmation hearings have become little more than extended photo ops for Senators.
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225px-official_portrait_of_barack_obamatorture -abu ghraibThe United Nations has released a new report on human rights that has found the record of the United states to be “deplorable.” With the continuing refusal of the Obama Administration to investigate war crimes and to support the Bush policies in court, we have lost an opportunity to show the country has committed itself to change these policies and demand accountability for those who implemented them.
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225px-antonin_scalia_scotus_photo_portrait225px-official_portrait_of_barack_obamaThis week saw the demise of a landmark case in the area of constitutional criminal procedure: Michigan v. Jackson. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court rolled back on the protection of defendants that guaranteed that they had the advice of counsel before speaking with police at critical stages of a prosecution. In Montejo v. Louisiana (07-1529), Justice Antonin Scalia said that the protection was not worth the loss of confessions and only caused confusion. The Obama Administration supported the rollback on protections for criminal defendants and argued for Michigan v. Jackson to be overturned.
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silvio_berlusconi_29-01-2008Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi has previously threatened to crackdown on the media for reporting his regular gaffes and notorious conduct. Now, the media mogul is reportedly trying to block publication of pictures with young women after the media pursues allegations of affairs. His wife, Veronica Lario, sought a divorce due to Berlusconi’s, 72, alleged fondness for girls, including a particular 18-year-old Neapolitan Noemi Letizia.

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Saudi Arabia flagSaudi Arabia has added to its macabre medieval tradition with what it called a “crucifixion” — the public display of a beheaded killed, Ahmed Al-Shamlani Al-Anzi. [Update: They did it again in 2013]
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hivmanPhilippe Padieu, who was described by his own lawyer as a “modern-day Casanova,” has been sentenced by a Texas jury to 45 years in prison for knowingly inflicting six women with the AIDS virus.

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160px-Carl_Levin_official_portrait225px-richard_cheney_2005_official_portrait Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has issued a stinging rebuke to former Vice President Dick Cheney — saying that undisclosed memos do not support his claim that torture works and save lives.
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