|9th Circuit Reverses Own Decision |
Contrary to an earlier ruling, an en banc panel of the Ninth
Circuit Court of Appeals held that Washington's felon disfranchisement law
does not violate Section Two of the Voting Rights Act. Last month,
the N.A.A.C.P. argued that the law denied the right to vote on a
discriminatory basis to African American, Latino and Native American
How Much is Too Much?
Supreme Court will hear the claims of Kansas-born Abdullah al-Kidd for
what he contends was an unconstitutional use of the “material
witness” law. Al-Kidd spent sixteen days in federal detention
- sometimes naked and shackled hand and foot - never to be charged with a
|Japan Proposes Nuclear Disarmament
Source: The Japan Times
Japan proposed a resolution to U.N. General Assembly which would
eliminate all nuclear weapons. This is Japan’s seventeenth
proposal for disarmament, but this time over fifty countries co-sponsored
the resolution. This resolution calls upon countries with nuclear
weapons to further reduce their arsenal, with the goal of complete
Burmese Farmers Seek Just Compensation
Over 600 Burmese farmers recently filed a lawsuit against the
Yuzana Company for stealing their land. However, some of the farmers
dropped the lawsuit after Yuzana promised to pay the farmers $80 per
acre. Now, Burma is releasing the chairman of Yuaana from any
prosecution over the stolen land.
|Indigenous Rights at Any Cost?|
Source: Latin American Press
Months ago, political prisoners from Chile’s indigenous
Mapuche population went on hunger strike to protest the government’s
application of Anti-Terrorism Law to their cases. The prisoners
justify their alleged crimes as a defense of their ancestral homeland and
an exercise of their right to social protest. Human rights groups
claim that the law has hampered the prisoners’ ability to build
Colombia's Vice President, Angelino Garzon, announced he and the
Inter-American Institute of Human Rights signed an agreement to improve the
country’s respect of human rights and international humanitarian
law. Garzon highlighted the agreement’s purpose of
“build[ing] an agenda which respects, not only life, but the
activity of human rights defenders...without fear of being threatened or
|South Sudan Leader Extends Amnesty|
Source: Daily Nation
Sudan regional president, Salva Kiir, is urging southern Sudan to stand
together as the vote regarding independence nears. In an attempt to
reconcile with political adversaries at a recent conference, Kiir shared
the platform with a northern politician and offered amnesty to rebel
fighters. Kiir stated, “no drop of blood should be shed
the capital of Somalia, has turned into what many are calling a ghost town
due to the indiscriminate killings which are taking place. Civilians
report that rotting bodies have begun to pile up. The fighting is
between African Union–backed government forces and Islamic
militants, the largest group being al-Shabab.
|German Chancellor Berates
Source: CNN International
Highlighting the tension between Germany and
its growing Muslim population, German Chancellor Angela Merkel opined that
multiculturalism in Germany has "absolutely failed." The
Chancellor stressed the need to overcome barriers of language and
education in order to improve opportunities for immigrants in Germany.
United Kingdom Begins Zimbabwe
After a four year hiatus, the United Kingdom
announced it would begin deporting Zimbabweans who had been denied asylum
protection in the U.K. Enforced returns of denied asylum-seekers
were previously suspended because Zimbabwe was declared to be
unsafe. The deportations come despite a recent human rights report
stating that Zimbabwe's rule of law has not improved.
|Middle East Gender Gap Improves|
Source: Gulf Times
World Economic Forum released its report ranking countries based on
standards of gender equality. Though all Gulf nations rank in the
bottom quarter, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates have seen significant
improvements when compared to their performance in previous years.
The report evaluates factors including economic opportunities, education,
politics and wage gaps in employment.
Israeli Housing Plans Displace Palestinians
Amnesty International (A.I.) asked Israel to
halt its plans to construct new Israeli housing in East Jerusalem.
The new development would displace Palestinians that call the area home
and would not afford them new housing or compensation. A.I. claims
the actions would constitute war crimes and would deprive Palestinians of
their rights to housing and water.
Access to Water|
In Azerbaijan, the supply of water is not
enough to keep up with the country’s population growth, especially
in the capital of Baku. Currently, 87 percent of Baku households are
rationing water. There is a plan in place to address Baku’s
inadequate infrastructure, but government spending watchdog groups are
criticizing the high cost of implementing such a project.
to Freedom of Speech
Human Rights Watch
recommends reversing the conviction of journalist Vladimir Berezovskii for
defamation and insult. Uzbekistan allows prosecution of any journalist
whose work is critical of Uzbekistan and the government.
Berezovskii was granted amnesty, but his conviction still
stands. The E.U. will assess Uzbekistan’s progress in
guaranteeing freedom of speech.