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Rights group halts Chechnya work

Al Jazeera English - Europe - Rights group halts Chechnya work
Russian human rights group Memorial has suspended its work in Chechnya following the murder of Natalia Estemirova, one of the most outspoken activists of the organisation. Russia's Ekho Moskvy radio quoted Alexander Cherkasov, a Memorial executive committee member, as saying on Saturday that the decision was taken out of concern for other workers in the Chechnya office. "We have seen that the work that Natalia [Estemirova] was involved in, the work done by our colleagues in Chechnya - documenting crimes committed by representatives of the authorities - is fatally dangerous. "We can't put them at risk," he was quoted as saying.

July 14, 2009

Awful Bald Man Hurls Toddler into Ann Arbor Fountain; Mother Cackles with Glee

Enjoying some fountain fun: Pre-art fairs party draws a...

U.S. Army Major refuses to go to Afghanistan because of conspiracy theory

Soldier balks at deploying; says Obama isn’t president - Breaking News - Ledger-Enquirer.com Can you imagine the shitstorm that would have broken out if a soldier refused deployment because Bush was appointed by the Supreme Court?
U.S. Army Maj. Stefan Frederick Cook, set to deploy to Afghanistan, says he shouldn’t have to go. His reason? Barack Obama was never eligible to be president because he wasn’t born in the United States. Actually, Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961, two years after it became a state. Cook’s lawyer, Orly Taitz, who has also challenged the legitimacy of Obama’s presidency in other courts, filed a request last week in federal court seeking a temporary restraining order and status as a conscientious objector for his client.

July 13, 2009

FBI agent says Guantanamo was like ‘animal house’

"He who makes a beast out of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man." -- Samuel Johnson Raw Story - FBI agent says Guantanamo was like ‘animal house,’ says photos show drunken carousing ‘day and night’
The first full-time female FBI agent stationed at the US prison in Guantanamo, Bay, Cuba says she witnessed a drunken “spring break” atmosphere during her tenure — and has photographs to prove it. In a little noticed complaint Friday, the 43-year-old agent, Theresa Foley, alleges that she experienced a “generally sexist, discriminatory and ‘boys club’ atmosphere” during her time at Camp Delta in Cuba and that she contracted a permanent debilitating disease as a result of being forced to sleep in rat-infested quarters. Foley is suing the Justice Department over her illness and purported sexual harassment. Her illness has led to a hysterectomy and spinal collapse.

July 01, 2009

RIAA wins infringement case against usenet.com -- Betamax case law shriveling

Rut roh. Via Waxy. RIAA triumphs in Usenet copyright case | Digital Media - CNET News
Note: See Usenet.com's reaction at "Usenet.com says RIAA 'whittling down' Betamax case." The Recording Industry Association of America has prevailed in its copyright fight against Usenet.com, according to court documents. In a decision that hands the RIAA an overwhelming victory, U.S. District Judge Harold Baer of the Southern District of New York ruled in favor of the music industry on all its main theories: that Usenet.com is guilty of direct, contributory, and vicarious infringement. In addition, and perhaps most important for future cases, Baer said that Usenet.com can't claim protection under the Sony Betamax decision. That ruling says companies can't be held liable for contributory infringement if the device they create is "capable of significant non-infringing uses." Baer noted that in citing the Betamax case, Usenet.com failed to see one important difference between it and Sony. Once Sony sold a Betamax, an early videotape recorder, the company's relationship with the buyer ended. Sony held no sway over what the buyer did with the device after that. Usenet.com, however, maintains an ongoing relationship with the customer and does has some say in how the customer uses the service.
The day is coming when your right to make a copy of media for your own use will end. You'll be sold a plastic disc or a download and agree to a End User Licensing Agreement under which you must not ever make a copy in any way. Which breaks down to you not owning your own stuff. Boycott the RIAA.

Israel kidnaps former US Rep, Nobel Laureate from ship in international waters

Raw Story | Israel captures peace activists en route to Gaza
A group of 21 peace activists sailing to Palestine were intercepted and arrested by Israeli authorities on Tuesday as they attempted to bring food and medical supplies to the war-torn city of Gaza. Israel said it plans to deport most of the people involved, including former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and Mairead Maguire, a Nobel laureate. The group insists they were not in Israeli waters. In a media advisory, the arrests were characterized as kidnapping. “This is an outrageous violation of international law against us,” said McKinney in a press release issued by the Free Gaza Movement. “Our boat was not in Israeli waters, and we were on a human rights mission to the Gaza Strip. President Obama just told Israel to let in humanitarian and reconstruction supplies, and that’s exactly what we tried to do.”