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Thread: world news thread

  1. #1
    An Egyptian court has convicted three police officers for torturing and publicly humiliating a suspected thief, according to "judicial sources" cited by Reuters Saturday. The higher-ranking police officer was sentenced to five years in jail, while the two lower-ranking officers were sent to jail for one year each. According to the court, the three officers beat the detainee with batons and forced him to wear women's clothing in public, which violated the prisoner's honor.

    The sentencing is part of the country's recent crackdown on police brutality. In November, two police officers were sentenced to three years in prison for sodomizing and beating detainee Emad el-Kabir in 2006 while videoing the incident on a cell phone. Egyptian bloggers posted the video on the Internet later that year. In April, Amnesty International released a report criticizing Egypt for systematic human rights abuses of detainees in its police stations, military camps and centers run by State Security Investigations.
    ...............................................
    Asif Ali Zardari , the husband of slain former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto , called again Saturday for a UN-led international investigation into the circumstances surrounding his wife's assassination. This is the second time Zardari has called for a UN-led inquiry similar to the ongoing probe into the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri Zardari accused members of President Pervez Musharraf's ruling regime of involvement in the assassination and rejected any investigation involving the Pakistani government as illegitimate. Musharraf has acknowledged mistakes in the handling of the case, including hosing down the site hours after the attack, but has insisted that Pakistan can run its own probe with the assistance of Britain's Scotland Yard. The United States has already taken the posiiton that a UN investigation is unnecessary.

    Bhutto was assassinated December 27 at a political rally in Rawalpindi. She was campaigning in the lead-up to parliamentary elections then scheduled for January 8, where her Pakistan People's Party was challenging Pakistani Prime Minister Pervez Musharraf's Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid . The elections have since been postponed to February 18. AP has more.
    ...............................................
    Italian prosecutor Franco Ionta said Friday that he would "almost certainly" appeal a Rome court's October 2007 dismissal of a criminal case against US Army Spc. Mario Lozano for the murder of Italian intelligence agent Nicola Calipari and the attempted murders of agent Andrea Carpani and Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena . The comment came after the court released a statement of reasons for its ruling stating that it lacked jurisdiction to try the US soldier.

    Lozano was tried in absentia beginning in April last year. Lozano's lawyers had argued that the Italian court lacked jurisdiction , as members of multinational forces in Iraq were each under the sole jurisdiction of their home countries. The Italian agent and journalist were shot at while entering a US checkpoint on the way to the Baghdad airport after the agents secured the release of Sgrena from Iraqi kidnappers. US and Italian officials have failed to agree on details surrounding Calipari's death. A US investigation cleared US soldiers of wrongdoing, while an Italian probe [ concluded the killing was accidental but found that there were serious miscommunications and confusion about the rules of engagement for checkpoints. Reuters has more

  2. #2
    Lawyers for an Oklahoma man filed a taxpayer lawsuit Thursday seeking to overturn a state immigration law as an alleged violation of the state constitution. The Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2007 denies illegal immigrants state identification and requires all Oklahoma government agencies to verify immigrants' citizenship before conferring benefits. The suit, which names Gov. Brad Henry and the Tulsa County Board of Commissioners , argues that the law is unconstitutional because "it creates a Bureau of Immigration and allows for the appropriation and expenditure of public funds" and improperly delegates legislative power to federal authorities. AP has more. The Tulsa World has local coverage.

    The bill, which took effect on Nov. 1, 2007, was challenged by the National Coalition of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders in federal court last October. US District Judge James Payne dismissed the challenge by saying the plaintiffs did not have standing to sue because none of them had suffered a cognizable injury as a result of the bill. The constitutionality of the law remained open to challenge in other proceedings as Payne did not rule on the merits of the case. The bill is considered one of the country's toughest on illegal immigration

  3. #3
    US District Judge Laura Swain Wednesday dismissed Spanish damage claims against the American Bureau of Shipping , a non-profit organization that inspects and certifies ships, in connection with a major 2002 oil spill. Spain had filed suit in the Southern District of New York against ABS after the Bahamas-flagged oil tanker Prestige sank off the northwest coast of Spain, spilling nearly 77,000 metric tons of heavy fuel oil in the country's worst pollution disaster. Citing the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage , which provides that the owner of a vessel that has spilled oil carries liability for pollution damage and exempts third parties unless they acted recklessly, Swain ruled that "Spain, as a signatory to the CLC, is bound by CLC's provisions and, therefore, must pursue its claims under that convention in its own courts." Reuters has more.

    In mid-November 2002, one of the twelve tanks on the Prestige burst during a storm off Galicia, prompting the captain to radio for help from Spanish authorities. Spain, however, refused to give the ship port and the leaky vessel was tugged around stormy seas for six days before it split in two and sank. Spain argued that ABS was negligent in classifying the 26-year-old, single-hulled vessel as fit to carry fuel six months prior to the disaster. ABS disputed Spain's allegations, stating that the disaster could have been averted if Spain had better handled the situation.

  4. #4
    A coalition of civil rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund , filed a new federal lawsuit Wednesday challenging an Arizona law aimed at preventing employers from knowingly hiring illegal immigrants . US District Court Judge Neil V. Wake Friday dismissed an earlier lawsuit filed by the groups, holding that that suit was premature because the law had not gone into effect and no one had been harmed, and also that the plaintiffs were wrong in suing the governor and the attorney general, because under the law, only county prosecutors, who were not defendants, would have the power to enforce the law. The rights groups said Wednesday that they expected the new lawsuit - filed against Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, Director of the Arizona Department of Revenue Gale Garriott and Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas would address the court's procedural concerns and allow it to rule on the merits of the case. The Arizona law in dispute goes into effect January 1.

    The Legal Arizona Workers Act gives the Superior Courts of Arizona power to suspend or revoke the business licenses of businesses that intentionally or knowingly employ illegal immigrants. Under the law, employers will be required to check the legal status of new hires using a free online federal program that checks names and identification documents to determine employment eligibility. The ACLU and other civil rights groups had filed the original lawsuit in federal court against the state of Arizona claiming that the law was unconstitutional and could lead to discrimination against minorities, especially Latinos. When Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano signed the legislation in July, she called the law "the most aggressive action in the country against employers who knowingly or intentionally hire undocumented workers.

  5. #5
    Britain should not deport foreign students even if they overstay their visas, an immigration chief has said in a leaked memo published Monday.

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    Students from China and India are among hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals who come to study in Britain every year, most of them legitimately to secure a British graduate degree.

    But critics allege that many use a student visa as a smokescreen to enter the country to work, and then refuse to leave after their paperwork has run out.

    A December 17 memo, sent to regional chiefs of the Border and Immigration Agency (BIA) and revealed by the Daily Mail newspaper, advises against deportation except in high priority cases.

    "Please instruct your enforcement teams not to proceed with enforcing any student refusal cases unless they are deemed, at at least inspector level, to be a priority," says the memo from Jonathan Lindley, the BIA's director of enforcement.

    Immigration Service Union official John Tincey blasted the memo.

    "This is an astonishing order. But this is the way the BIA is going in an era of 'risk assessment' and 'intelligence-led operations'," he said.

    "The main priorities are removing foreign national prisoners, followed by failed asylum seekers.

    "Student visa overstayers aren't on the list at all. Home Office priorities depend on what the media are paying attention to at any particular time... It all comes down to the service running out of money."

    The memo followed a case in which BIA chief Lin Homer personally intervened to halt a deportation.

    In response to the leaked document, Homer said: "The case that prompted this memo concerned a student who entered the wrong credit card details on an application that was submitted within time.

    "Student cases that show evidence of fraud or corruption will continue to be referred for enforcement action."

  6. #6
    As of Sunday, Jan. 6, 2008, at least 3,910 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. The figure includes eight military civilians. At least 3,178 died as a result of hostile action, according to the military's numbers.

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    The AP count is six higher than the Defense Department's tally, last updated Friday at 10 a.m. EST.

    The British military has reported 174 deaths; Italy, 33; Ukraine, 18; Poland, 21; Bulgaria, 13; Spain, 11; Denmark, seven; El Salvador, five; Slovakia, four; Latvia, three; Estonia, Netherlands, Thailand, Romania, two each; and Australia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, South Korea, one death each.

  7. #7
    BANGKOK (Reuters) - A Thai police sergeant was charged on Monday with killing a Canadian and attempting to kill the man's pregnant ex-wife during an argument between the tourists in the northern tourist town of Pai, the local police chief said.


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    Sergeant Uthai Dechawiwat was allowed to walk free during the investigation because he turned himself in after what he said was an accident and promised not to tamper with witnesses, Pai police chief Wanchai Suwanririkate said.

    "Since he has surrendered after the shootout, we let him go free after informing him of charges of murder and attempted murder," Wanchai told Reuters by telephone from the picturesque hill town popular with foreign backpackers.

    Wanchai quoted witnesses as saying Uthai, who had just finished his shift, was asked to stop a fight between John Leo Del Pinto, 25, and his ex-wife Carly Reisig, 24, on Saturday night.

    But the man, 5ft 11in tall, and his ex-wife turned on the 5ft 3in policeman, who pulled out his pistol when they started beating him, they were quoted as saying.

    "The policeman, who is about 1.6 meters, was beaten to the ground by the man, a bodybuilder 1.8 meter tall, and the hippy woman," Wanchai said.

    Del Pinto tried to snatch the pistol, shots were fired and the couple fell, according to witnesses, Wanchai added.

    Del Pinto, a frequent visitor to Pai, died at the scene. Reisig was being treated in a hospital in nearby province of Chiang Mai and her wounds were not life threatening, Wanchai said.

    Police and Canadian consular officials would interview Reisig, who was pregnant by a Thai man, Wanchai said.

  8. #8
    Originally posted by mike_2007:
    Britain should not deport foreign students even if they overstay their visas, an immigration chief has said in a leaked memo published Monday.

    ADVERTISEMENT

    Students from China and India are among hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals who come to study in Britain every year, most of them legitimately to secure a British graduate degree.

    But critics allege that many use a student visa as a smokescreen to enter the country to work, and then refuse to leave after their paperwork has run out.

    A December 17 memo, sent to regional chiefs of the Border and Immigration Agency (BIA) and revealed by the Daily Mail newspaper, advises against deportation except in high priority cases.

    "Please instruct your enforcement teams not to proceed with enforcing any student refusal cases unless they are deemed, at at least inspector level, to be a priority," says the memo from Jonathan Lindley, the BIA's director of enforcement.

    Immigration Service Union official John Tincey blasted the memo.

    "This is an astonishing order. But this is the way the BIA is going in an era of 'risk assessment' and 'intelligence-led operations'," he said.

    "The main priorities are removing foreign national prisoners, followed by failed asylum seekers.

    "Student visa overstayers aren't on the list at all. Home Office priorities depend on what the media are paying attention to at any particular time... It all comes down to the service running out of money."

    The memo followed a case in which BIA chief Lin Homer personally intervened to halt a deportation.

    In response to the leaked document, Homer said: "The case that prompted this memo concerned a student who entered the wrong credit card details on an application that was submitted within time.

    "Student cases that show evidence of fraud or corruption will continue to be referred for enforcement action."
    <span class="ev_code_RED">But critics allege that many use a student visa as a smokescreen to enter the country to work, and then refuse to leave after their paperwork has run out.</span>


    See... america is not unique.

    Good job Mike

  9. #9
    Oil futures fell sharply Monday, extending their retreat from $100 as investors sold on concerns that a cooling economy will curb demand for oil and gasoline.
    Comments by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Monday suggesting there is no simple fix for the nation's housing crisis added to worries about the economy raised by last Friday's Labor Department jobs report; the government's data showed that employers added far fewer jobs last month than expected.

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    Traders seemed to shrug off news of a confrontation Sunday between U.S. and Iranian warships in the Strait of Hormuz.

    "The market overall is still a bit spooked by the larger economy question," said Kevin Saville, managing editor for the Americas energy desk at Platts, the energy research arm of the McGraw-Hill Cos.

    A stronger dollar Monday also weighed on oil prices. Crude futures offer a hedge against a falling dollar, and oil futures bought and sold in dollars are more attractive to foreign investors when the greenback is falling. Many analysts believe the weakening dollar helped draw speculative investors into oil markets this fall and winter, driving oil prices above $100 a barrel last week.

    On Monday, light, sweet crude for February delivery dropped $2.82 to settle at $95.09 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the third day in a row oil prices have declined.

    Earlier Monday, oil prices rose after U.S. military officials said Iranian Revolutionary Guard boats harassed and provoked three U.S. Navy ships in the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

    "There was a bit of a jump there ... but unless there were shots being fired, it wasn't going to be sustained," Saville said.

    Concerns that the West's standoff with Iran could grow into a wider confrontation helped boost oil prices last year.

    At the pump, meanwhile, gas prices rose 0.2 cent overnight to a national average of $3.106 a gallon, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service. Gas prices have been on the rise for weeks, following oil's jump back into record territory. But with oil prices now sliding, the gains at the pump are likely to be limited, analysts say.

    February gasoline futures fell 8.12 cents to settle at $2.4298 on the Nymex Monday.

    Heating oil futures fell on forecasts for unseasonably warm weather in the Northeast over the next few days, said Addison Armstrong, director of exchange traded markets at TFS Energy Futures LLC in Stamford, Conn., in a research note.

    "Longer range forecasts are also expected to yield warmer than usual temperatures for the month of January, keeping a lid on demand until colder temperatures return," Addison said.

    February heating oil futures fell 9 cents to settle at $2.5935 a gallon on the Nymex.

    February natural gas, on the other hand, rose 3.8 cents to settle at $7.879 per 1,000 cubic feet on revised forecasts for cooler weather in the Midwest, which relies more heavily on natural gas than heating oil.

    In London, Brent crude futures fell $2.40 to settle at $94.39 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

    Associated Press Writers George Jahn in Vienna and Gillian Wong in Singapore contributed to this report.

    ...............................................................................................
    A man killed his girlfriend, then filleted and cooked parts of her body before calling police to tell them what he was doing, authorities said Sunday.


    Christopher Lee McCuin allegedly killed his girlfriend and then called police to say he was boiling her body parts.

    Christopher Lee McCuin, 25, called 911 on Saturday and told an emergency dispatcher he had killed Jana Shearer, 21, and was boiling her body parts at his mother's home, said Smith County Sheriff J.B. Smith.

    When authorities arrived at the home, they found Shearer's mutilated body, one ear boiling in a pot of water on the stove and a fork sticking out of some human flesh sitting on a plate on the kitchen table.

    Authorities said it was unclear whether McCuin consumed any part of Shearer's body.

    "We cannot prove that he did," Smith told The Associated Press. "He was either going to, had been or led us to think that he was doing it."

    Authorities believe Shearer, 21, was abducted from her home Friday night and killed. Her death and mutilation was apparently the beginning of a crime spree that also included McCuin allegedly stabbing the boyfriend of his estranged wife and breaking into a business.

    The stabbing victim is in critical condition at an area hospital, officials said.

    McCuin, of Tyler, about 110 miles east of Dallas, was charged with capital murder. He was being held in the Smith County Jail on a $2 million bond Sunday and did not have an attorney, officials said. He was scheduled to be arraigned Monday, Smith said.

    Before he called 911, McCuin told his mother and her boyfriend to look in their garage, authorities said. There the couple saw the remains of Shearer. McCuin's mother and her boyfriend fled the home and flagged down a police officer. McCuin dialed authorities after they left. Watch how killing shocks quiet Texas neighborhood

    A man who answered the door Sunday night where the body was found declined to comment.

    Shearer appeared to have died from blunt trauma to her head, Smith said. She may have been kidnapped Friday night, when her mother witnessed her get into McCuin's truck.

    "There was no struggle but she could see the girl left with no shoes, no purse and no cell phone," Smith said.

    McCuin then drove to his estranged wife's home, where he stabbed William Veasley, 42, Smith said. McCuin was still in that home when deputies arrived, but escaped in his car after a short chase, Smith said.

    "We thought it was a disturbance or an assault," Smith said.

    McCuin wasn't seen again until Saturday morning, when he arrived at his mother's home and called her into the garage so she could "come see what he had done," Smith said.

    When sheriff deputies arrived, McCuin barricaded himself in the home for a short time before coming out. After he emerged, officers entered and found Shearer's body, Sgt. Gary Middleton said.

    Detectives were trying to determine where the slaying happened. They think McCuin drove to his mother's home with the dead woman in the back seat of his extended-cab pickup, Smith said.


    Freddy Castillo, who lives two houses down, said he frequently heard McCuin and his girlfriend argue in the house and the yard.

    "They would get pretty loud," Castillo said. "They'd yell back and forth and then he would just get in his car and leave
    ................................................................................................
    A family friend said Monday that Princess Diana had described her relationship with Dodi Fayed as "all over" just two weeks before the couple died in a car crash in Paris.


    Diana, Princess of Wales, in London on March 6, 1996.

    1 of 2 Under questioning at the British inquest into the deaths, Rodney Turner conceded that Diana might have told other friends something very different.

    Turner, a car dealer and long-standing friend of Diana's family, said he had told the princess that he opposed her relationship with Fayed. That opposition was based on his opinion of Fayed's father, Mohamed Al Fayed, Turner said.

    In a conversation in mid-August 1997, Turner said Diana told him: "It's all over." Turner said that statement "was really a shock to me."

    He said Diana added: "Don't fuss, don't fuss. It's all over. I've had a wonderful time."

    Later that month, however, she joined Dodi Fayed in southern France on a holiday. They died on August 31, 1997, after their car crashed into a concrete pillar in a highway tunnel in Paris.

    Turner supplied BMW cars for Diana's use starting in 1995.

    He said she had never expressed any fear that someone might tamper with her car, although others have reported such fears to the inquest.

    Steven Davies, who was a chauffeur for Diana starting in 1994, said he could not recall any occasion when he was asked to check a car for signs of tampering.

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    In October 1995, Diana told her lawyer, Lord Mishcon, that "reliable sources" whom she did not identify had told her that an attempt to kill or seriously injure her would be made through a car accident, possibly caused by tampering with the brakes, according to a 2006 police report. Diana said she believed that Camilla Parker Bowles, who was to marry Prince Charles in 2005, was also a target of this conspiracy.

    Mishcon, who died in 2006, recorded that he found the claim incredible but was surprised to hear that Diana's private secretary, Patrick Jephson, "half believed" it.

    Paul Burrell, Diana's butler, said he received a letter from her in October 1996 that said in part: "This particular phase in my life is the most dangerous, my husband is planning an accident in my car, brake failure and serious head injury in order to make the path clear for Charles to marry" another woman who worked as a royal nanny.

    Other witnesses have questioned whether that letter is genuine, noting that in October 1996 Diana and Charles had been divorced for two months. Burrell has yet to testify at the inques
    ................................................................................................
    A British citizen who spent two decades on Ohio's death row was released from jail Monday after pleading no contest to three charges related to a fire that killed a 2-year-old girl.


    Ken Richey smiles as he tastes freedom.

    Ken Richey, who once came within an hour of being executed, walked free for the first time since he was convicted of setting an apartment fire that killed the toddler in 1986.

    Prosecutors approved the deal after an appeals court overturned Richey's conviction and death sentence last year.

    The deal let Richey, a U.S.-British citizen, go home to Scotland without admitting that he had anything to do with the fire.

    Richey pleaded no contest to attempted involuntary manslaughter, child endangering and breaking and entering. His hands were cuffed in front of him during the half-hour hearing in Putnam County Common Pleas Court.

    A no-contest plea is not an admission of guilt but a statement that no defense will be offered, leaving the defendant subject to being judged guilty and punished.

    As part of the deal, Richey, 43, agreed to exit the country within a day, and plans to leave for Scotland on Tuesday. Prosecutors told him they were worried about threats against Richey, his family and attorney said.

    He'll be free, though, to return to the United States, because he's a citizen.

    Richey had been set to get out three weeks ago until a trip to the hospital for chest pains delayed his release. He's been in a county jail in Ottawa since then.

    Richey was convicted of setting a fire that killed 2-year-old Cynthia Collins and stayed on death row until a federal appeals court determined in August that his lawyers mishandled his case.

    The court overturned his conviction and sentence, saying expert testimony could have contended that the fire was an accident and not intentionally set.

    Richey was sent to county jail after the decision, and the state was set to try him again in March and seek another death sentence.

    Instead, Richey pleaded no contest to the state's charges accusing him of telling the toddler's mother he would baby-sit the girl, but failing to do so and leaving her in harm's way.

    Richey's case has generated limited interest in Ohio, but his name is a familiar one in Britain where there is no death penalty. He drew support from members of the British Parliament and the late Pope John Paul II.

    Richey plans to spend his first night of freedom playing video games and watching movies -- Superman III, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and Transformers -- said his brother, Steve.

    He'll leave for Scotland on Tuesday and stay with his mother in Edinburgh. He's said he might live on a farm, travel around Scotland, or maybe open his own nightclub. "I don't know what I'm going to do," he said.

    He also wants to write a book and speak out against the death penalty.

    "That's something I've got to do," he said. "There's still a lot of innocent people on death row that don't have a voice

  10. #10

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