Category: International

Scottish Man Sentenced To Five Years After Killing Armed Burglar In His Home

We have previously discussed the use of lethal force to protect one’s home or business both in terms of the common law and “castle doctrine” laws. It is rare for jurors to convict homeowners who wound or kill armed robbers or burglar. However, in Glasgow, Patrick Phinn, 49, has been sentenced to five years for stabbing to death Ronald Pattison, who broke into his home and threatened Phinn and his partner.

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“Peace and All Good”: Italian Priest Dies After Giving His Ventilator To Young Patient

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We have seen the worst of religious opportunists in this crisis. There are also stories of amazing selflessness from religious groups and individuals. One such person is Rev. Giuseppe Berardelli, 72. Many of you may already have heard of this man but his story is as inspiring as it is tragic. According to Vatican News, Berardelli greeted everyone with the phrase: “Pace e bene” (“Peace and All Good”)

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“Do Remember They Can’t Cancel The Spring”: Artist David Hockney Sends Out Relief Painting For The World

David Hockney has unveiled a new painting which features bright yellow daffodils in front of a gloomy grey mass (pictured)
Instragram/Louisiana Museum

As doctors and health professionals around the world work to save lives, famed artist David Hockney, 82, decided to do his part for a world reeling from the coronavirus. Hockney sent out a new painting entitled “Do remember they can’t cancel the spring” to lift the spirits of people around the world. It worked for this humble observer. Maybe it will do the same for you.

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Copyright Before Corona: Company Threatens Italian Volunteers Who Made Desperately Needed Ventilators On 3-D Printers

Cristian Fracassi, who along with fellow volunteer Alessandro Ramaioli were tired of watching people die for lack of ventilators in Italy. The two men decided to act and made the ventilators for $1 to save lives. The company responded by saying that they were violating its copyright and may be liable for huge damages. The men are undeterred and responded “there were people whose lives were in danger and we acted. Period.”

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“The Holy Cup Cannot Carry Disease”: Greek Orthodox Churches Announce That Shared Drinking Of Wine Will Continue Despite Corona

We recently discussed videotaped of Iranians licking the doors and objects of Islamic shrines in the belief that such traditions are protected by God from Coronavirus. Now, Greek Orthodox churches in Australia have announced that they will allow congregations of hundreds of people to sip wine from the same spoon during mass because “the holy cup cannot carry disease.”

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I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings: A Song In Sienna Shows The Irresistible Spirit Of The Italian People

As many of you know, I adore Italy (the land of my roots) and I have specifically written about my love for Sienna. This videotape of people spontaneously singing in Sienna is really quite moving. Asked to stay indoor due to the raging virus, the beauty of this culture seems irrepressible. There is a Pagliacci feel to this sorrowful but strong song that spontaneously broke out in the deserted streets of Sienna.

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Canadian Court Acquits College Student After He Takes Magic Mushrooms, Breaks Into the Home of Professor, And Physically Assaults Her

A judge in Calgary, Canada has handed down what may be the first acquittal to a violent crime for a student who attacked a professor under the influence of magic mushroom or Psilocybin. Matthew Brown entered the home of Professor Janet Hamnett entirely naked and high on magic mushrooms. He then attacked her with a broomstick, leaving her with severe injuries. Nevertheless, Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Michele Hollins found him intoxicated to the point of “automatism” and acquitted him.

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Feminist Groups Call For Ban On Rough Sex Defense In The United Kingdom

Women’s Rights groups are moving in the United Kingdom to ban the use of the rough sex defense in criminal cases. Recently, the defense was used in the murder trial of Grace Millane, 22, who was killed on a backpacking trip to New Zealand. The banning of a defense raises troubling questions as criminal defendants, who may face life imprisonment or death in some countries, being denied the ability to present their own account to jurors — an account that they maintain is true.

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Ex-Rep Confirms His Proposal Of A Pardon For Assange To Clear The Russians In The DNC Hack [Updated]

This week, many were surprised by the disclosure made by the lawyers for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in London in the Westminster Magistrates’ Court. Edward Fitzgerald made a witness statement application for co-counsel Jennifer Robinson who shared information concerning ex-California representative Dana Rohrabacher. She claimed that he made Assange a startling offer: if he cleared the Russians as the source of the hacked emails at the Democratic National Committee, Rohrabacher could get a presidential pardon from President Donald Trump. Now Rohrabacher himself says that it is true and that he spoke of the plan with Trump White House Chief of Staff, though he did not speak of the plan with Trump himself. The timing is particularly unfortunate for the White House with a report that U.S. intelligence believes that Russia is again seeking to intervene in the election and appears to be intervening in favor of Trump. Update: A new story suggests that the Russians could also be helping Bernie Sanders.

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China: Coronavirus Is 100 Percent Lethal . . . To Free Speech

While China is being criticized for withholding information, it has confirmed one lethal side effect of the virus: the death of free speech. Chinese professor Xu Zhangrun has been arrested after publishing criticism of President Xi Jinping and the handling of the crisis. He is now cut off from the Internet, banned from social media, and could soon find himself in prison. The government will no doubt argue that he had a pre-existing lethal condition in China: a desire for free speech.

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The Death Of Free Speech: Zuckerberg Asks Governments For Instructions On “What Discourse Should Be Allowed”

I have written for years on the effort of European countries to expand their crackdown on free speech globally through restrictions on social media and Internet speech. It appears that Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has relented in what may prove the death knell for free speech in the West. Zuckerberg seems to relent in asking governments for regulations stipulating what speech will be permitted on Facebook and other platforms. It is the ultimate victory of France, Germany, and England in their continuing attack on free expression though hate speech laws and speech regulation.

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Meet Sidney Kelly: The Style of the Criminal Element

As many on this blog know, I have a certain (perhaps curious) affinity for old mugshots. The latest is from the New South Wales police department of a wonderfully sinister-looking fellow named Sidney Kelly from June 1, 1924. The police caption reads, “Illicit drug trader. Drives his own motor car, and dresses well. Associates with criminals and prostitutes.”

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Trump And The Democrats Go All In On Immigration

Somebody is really, really wrong. The Democratic presidential candidates have doubled down on the party’s opposition to the Trump immigration policies while supporting sanctuary cities, noncooperation with ICE on detainers and other issues. In the meantime, the Trump Administration is prevailing in litigation over his travel ban orders and it is now expanding the nations subject to the executive order. Both parties seem to believe that they have the voters on their side, including a new showdown in New York where Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed the “Green Light Law” allowing undocumented persons to get driver’s licenses. That has set off a major confrontation with Homeland Security which is vowing to suspend enrollment in the Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP).

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French Teenager Forces Free Speech Debate Over Her Calling Islam A “Religion Of Hate”

We have previously discussed the alarming rollback on free speech rights in the West, particularly in France (here and here and here and here and here and here and here). A teenager has sparked a national debate about blasphemy in France after an Instagram post calling Islam a “religion of hate”. Indeed, France has emerged as one of the greatest threats to free speech in the West and we continue to face calls for European-style speech crimes, including calls by its President on the floor of the House of Representatives. Now a teenager in France has triggered a debate over its plunge into speech crimes and regulation after characterizing Islam as “a religion of hate.” She can now be criminally investigated for hate speech under the notorious French speech law.

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Turkey Moves Toward Passage Of Controversial “Marry Your Rapist” Law

Flag of Turkey

We have often discussed the struggle of women in Muslim countries in resisting religious-based requirements for coverings and limitations on their movements and interactions. Turkey was once the exception among these countries as a secular, modern nation. That was before the rise of Islamic parties under the authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey under Erdogan has already rolled back on protections for girls and women in abuse cases. Now the country is considering a horrific law aptly called the “marry-your-rapist” bill. Under this legislation, men accused of having sex with underaged girls could avoid punishment if they marry their victims.

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