Tag Archives: Supreme Court

Buddha tattoo woman Naomi Coleman wins compensation

A woman who was deported from Sri Lanka for having a tattoo of the Buddha on her arm has won compensation.

Naomi Coleman, from Coventry, was detained for four days in April 2014.

The country’s Supreme Court said her treatment – during which a prison guard made sexually-explicit remarks to her and she was forced to give police money – was “scandalous and horrifying”.

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Here’s who Trump should pick as the next FBI director

A former FBI agent with more than two decades of service told Business Insider in a recent interview that they believed Fran Townsend, President George W. Bush’s homeland security adviser, would be a great choice for the bureau’s next director.

The former agent, who spoke on background to provide their candid thoughts on the fallout of President Donald Trump’s bombshell firing of FBI Director James Comey last week, said Townsend would check off a lot of boxes for Trump.

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EU threatens UK with astronomical £500BILLION Brexit DIVORCE BILL

THE EUROPEAN Parliament’s top Brexit negotiator has said Britain could face a £500billion (€600bn) Brexit divorce bill – ten times the figure initially expected.

Late last year it was widely reported Eurocrats were planning on slapping the UK with a £50billion (€60billion) exit bill as punishment for voting to abandon Brussels in the June referendum.

The EU defended the demand as it argued Britain had unpaid budget commitments, pension liabilities and loan guarantees to honour.

Continue reading EU threatens UK with astronomical £500BILLION Brexit DIVORCE BILL

Iceland court orders Vodafone to block Pirate Bay

Iceland has ordered two of its major internet providers, including Vodafone, to block access to the Pirate Bay torrent website. This is the first copyright-related ban in the country known for its strong opposition to censorship.

The Reykjavik District Court handed down an injunction on Thursday telling Vodafone and Hringdu – another major internet service provider (ISP) – to blacklist file-sharing websites like the Pirate Bay and Deildu, Iceland’s largest private torrent site.

They are the first ISPs in the country to be hit with such copyright website bans, according to Torrentfreak.com.

The ruling resulted from a long effort by music rights groups like the Recording Industry Association of America (and its Icelandic counterpart STEF) and the Motion Picture Association of America (SMAIS in Iceland), which sought to punish file sharing groups.

As part of an anti-piracy campaign, STEF reported the operators of the Pirate Bay to the Icelandic police in 2013 but to no effect. They adopted a technique used by copyright holders in other countries and demanded local ISPs to block not just the Pirate Bay, but also Deildu.

“We will never reach a final victory in the battle so it makes sense for people to realize that it’s likely that new sites will spring up. However, following similar actions abroad, visitors’ numbers to such sites have declined significantly,” Gudrun Bjork Bjarnadottir, director of policy at STEF, told local media after the court’s decision.

The move came as a surprise to some, as Iceland has a long-standing tradition of protecting the freedom of expression, which has recently been projected to virtual space. However, the country modified its Copyright Act in 2010, allowing for authorized injunctions against intermediaries.

Reuters / Danish Siddiqui

“This action doesn’t go against freedom of expression as it aims to prevent copyright infringement and protect the rights and income of authors, artists and producers,” the rights holders insisted.

Neither of the ISPs has yet indicated that they will submit an appeal to the Supreme Court, though Hringdu said the Court ruling runs counter to its company policy.

“It is clear that [the ruling] is not in harmony with Hringdu’s policy regarding net freedom,” director Kirstinn Petursson told Visir. “The company has placed great emphasis on the idea that our customers should have unrestricted access to the internet.”

Meanwhile, Deildu responded to the decision by quickly switching to a new domain – Iceland.pm

The Pirate Bay, which typically ignores (and at times ridicules) copyright claims and related court rulings, still had quite a journey [http://rt.com/news/pirate-bay-returns-sweden-504/ ] last year, as it was forced to switch domains seven times due to court orders. It eventually returned to Swedish domain .se, where, despite legal threats, the torrent site has remained safe up to this date.

In September, however, it was reported that the Pirate Bay now has 21 “virtual machines” (VMs) scattered around the globe with cloud-hosting providers. The cloud technology is said to have made the site more portable, eliminated the need for any crucial pieces of hardware, and therefore made the torrent site harder to take down.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews protest Israeli draft

Thousands of black-garbed men block highways and battle with police to protest attempts to draft them into the army.

Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews have blocked highways across Israel to protest attempts to draft them into the army, clashing with police who fired stun grenades at large crowds of black-garbed men.

The violent protests on Thursday came just days after a Supreme Court ruling ordered funding halted to ultra-Orthodox seminaries whose students dodge the draft and laid bare one of the deepest rifts in Israeli society, highlighting the fundamental disagreements between its secular majority and a devout minority over the character of the Jewish state.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews have for years been exempt from military service, which is compulsory for other Jewish Israelis.

The arrangement has caused widespread resentment and featured prominently in last year’s election, after which the ultra-Orthodox parties lost ground and found themselves outside the governing coalition.

Parliamentary approval

The new government immediately began pushing a bill that will alter the existing system to gradually reduce the number of exemptions and require all to register for service.

While it awaits parliamentary approval, this week’s court ruling – followed by Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s freezing of the funds – marked the first concrete sanction against draft dodgers and sparked angry reactions from ultra-Orthodox leaders who claim the military will expose their youth to secularism and undermine their devout lifestyle.

The opposition spilled into the streets on Thursday in the form of about a half-dozen simultaneous demonstrations that snarled traffic for several hours.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said some 400 activists tried to block the entrance to Jerusalem, while demonstrators hurled stones at police and set a patrol car on fire in the southern city of Ashdod.

Elsewhere, about 2,000 protesters blocked a major highway in central Israel.

Police on horses beat back demonstrators with clubs and used stun grenades to clear the roads. Two policemen were wounded and 35 protesters were arrested, Rosenfeld said.

The issue of army service is at the core of a cultural war over the place of ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israeli society.

The ultra-Orthodox, who make up about 8 percent of Israel’s 8 million citizens, largely have been allowed to skip compulsory military service to pursue their religious studies.

Older men often avoid the workforce and collect welfare stipends while continuing to study full time.

The ultra-Orthodox insist their young men serve the nation through prayer and study, thus preserving Jewish learning and heritage, and maintaining a pious way of life that has kept the Jewish people alive through centuries of persecution.