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Virginia Governor Seeks Dismissal of Suit Over School Masks | Virginia News

Written by DENISE LAVOIE, Associated Press

RICHMOND, Virginia (Associated Press) – Governor Glenn Youngkin has asked the Virginia Supreme Court to dismiss a lawsuit challenging his executive order allowing parents to opt out of mandates requiring children to wear masks at school.

A filing released late Thursday from Attorney General Jason Millais’s office cited a state law that says parents have a “fundamental right to make decisions about the upbringing, education and care of their children.” Miyares also argues that Yongkin’s order falls within the broad authority given to the governor to address the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Miyares argues that the executive order — which Yongkin issued on his first day in office — “restores parents the authority to assess the risks and benefits that COVID-19 poses to their children’s circumstances and make the best decision for their children based on current health information.”

Virginia school districts have required masks in part under a 2021 state law that requires personal instructions during the pandemic and for schools to adhere “to the maximum extent practicable” to mitigation guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC currently recommends vaccinating anyone 2 years of age or older, regardless of their vaccination status.

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Since Yongkin issued his executive order on January 15, he has faced opposition from school districts and Democratic lawmakers. A group of Chesapeake parents filed the suit in Virginia’s Supreme Court, saying Youngkin’s order violated state law.

“The petitioners do not have adequate remedy in law and have no time to spare. They and their children could potentially suffer irreparable harm and damage if this court refuses to grant immediate relief,” they wrote.

The Yongkin Order stated that parents of any child in a primary or secondary school or early-school educational or childcare program “may choose for their children not to be subject to any mandate of the mask.”

School districts in many of the state’s most populous areas have told parents, however, that they plan to keep existing mask mandates in place, at least temporarily. Several other school districts said they plan to comply with Yongkin’s order and will allow parents to opt out of mask mandates. The Chesapeake School Board voted Thursday to remove the district’s requirement for masks, WAVY-TV reported.

Yongkin, a Republican who has been an advocate of the vaccination effort but has campaigned against mandates for masks and vaccines, recently said he would “use every resource within the governor’s authority” to make sure parents can choose whether their children wear masks.

Miyares argues that one of the reasons the court is dismissing the lawsuit is that the Chesapeake School Board’s decision to lift the mask mandate “means that whatever the petitioners believe they have been subjected to cannot be traced back to some extent” to Yongkin’s executive order.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Doggy Daycare Owner Appalled After State’s Attorney Declines To Prosecute State Inspector Jose Guillen, Who Was Caught On Camera Groping Her

Doggy Daycare Owner Appalled After State’s Attorney Declines To Prosecute State Inspector Jose Guillen, Who Was Caught On Camera Groping Her

Chicago (CBS) A government inspector was caught on camera groping the owner of a dog nursery in Bucktown, and CBS2 learned he would not face criminal charges.

Illinois Department of Agriculture inspector Jose Guillen was fired after we first reported the story last summer. Shortly thereafter, several other defendants came forward.

Read more: Comedian Louis Anderson dies at 68

CBS2 investigator Megan Hickey on Thursday examined why prosecutors have not pursued a case against Guilin.

“Then he started putting his hand on my shoulder, on my arm, on my back. I didn’t know what to do. I was like, let it happen and it’s over,” Aeslin Pup Hub owner Leah Bendig told us in July.

It wasn’t just Bindig’s word against Guillen – it was all taped to tape. Surveillance video showed that Guillen – who was there for a check-up at the daycare for the dogs on which Bindig’s livelihood depends – got a little too close to make contact.

In fact, Guillen has been caught on camera time and time again checking out more than just daily cuddly Leah Bindig in 2019. He’s been seen touching her against her will – her shoulders, her back, her back end – and pressing himself against her while holding her findings. Inspect them.

“He’s holding the holster while he’s cuddling me, and it’s not signed that we passed — and I’m like, ‘What do I do? What do I do? Tell him to stop?'” Nindig said last year.

What Bindig didn’t realize when she spoke to us is that she *isn’t the first.

“He shook my hand, pulled me in, and then the hand moved from the middle of my back to the top — then down to my rear end,” Magda Simsek, owner of Gypsy Cats NFP, Feline Sanctuary, told Us in July.

Nearly a dozen businesswomen have come forward to CBS2 investigators with nearly identical stories of sexual harassment.

“I thought he was going to shake my hand—he reached out to shake my hand—and he pulled me up, hugged me, and next thing I knew, there was a hand on my ass,” said Bonnie Bloom, owner of Lucky Dog Pet Service.

At least four women went to Chicago police to report abuse after our story was broadcast.

“I knew it was wrong, but he had all the power,” said Kate, an animal rescue owner and retired police officer in Chicago. “He was controlling whether or not I would get the license.”

Bendig said the moment they all met at the police station was incredibly emotional.

“We didn’t know there were other women like that had happened to them, and part of me, like, regrets that I didn’t come forward soon — due to the fact that if it did, then it happened after that,” she said.

Guillen was fired by the Department of Agriculture after our story aired. Meanwhile, prosecutors told Lea’s legal team, “It looks pretty dry,” attorney Mindy Schwab said.

They were looking into the official misconduct charge, because the alleged confrontations all occurred while around-the-clock Guillen was getting paid by Illinois taxpayers.

“What he’s doing is violating the law, and he’s doing it in his official capacity on behalf of the state,” Schwab said.

But six months later, those victims were told that the Cook County District Attorney’s office was “refusing to pursue the charges.”

When I asked Hickey why, she was simply told “No comment”.

“So touching my ass wasn’t enough? Isn’t it enough to say inappropriate comments?” Bindig said. “I mean, you know, tell me, Kim Fox, at what point physically – how far did he have to go where you say it’s inappropriate?”

Read more: Retired CPD officer Richard Halgen, killed while crossing the street at a Hit-And-Run game in Edison Park

Keith Morris Hoover is the executive director of the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, or CAASE.

“I think the chances are very good that we can stop this behavior by interrupting it,” she said.

Hoover agrees that it is difficult to understand how these complaints do not fall under official misconduct.

“It is very reasonable for the victims to interpret the refusal to prosecute him as an expression of belittling what happened to the women,” she said.

Hoover said this was in line with their report looking at decades of sex crime data in which sex crime survivors who reported them to Chicago police faced “grossly inadequate responses.”

“At least a criminal charge could have sent some kind of message, there’s something that could happen to you if you were to act like this,” Schwab said.

As for Guillen, he did not respond to our multiple requests for comment. But he sat for video testimony.

In this filing, Gillen initially claimed that he had “nonverbal consent” to touching Bindig because Bindig was smiling at him. He also claimed she made the first move – although the raw surveillance video shows otherwise.

“Non-verbal approval, it doesn’t exist with everyone — just in this case,” Guillen said in the filing.

But later in the filing, the interpretation completely changed – he claimed that at one point he was “falling” and used Leah’s ass to catch his balance.

lawyer: “So did you fall after that?”

Gillen: “I was keeping my balance to make sure I didn’t fall.”

lawyer: “And to keep your balance, you ended up touching her buttocks?”

Gillen: “This is correct.”

lawyer: “Was there nothing else stopping you from losing balance?”

Gillen: “No. No.”

Bindig says that even a disappointing setback like this wouldn’t stop her from speaking out.

“At what point, like, does this stop?” She said. “I mean, some might say, you know, it’s not as bad as other physical abuse, but that’s how it starts.”

Once again, the Cook County District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on our story. There is still a civil case pending against Guillen, but the state of Illinois claimed immunity and was excluded from the case.

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We have also reached out to Guillen’s attorney for comment on this story. She replied, “No comment.”


Covid-19, Omicron Variant and Vaccine News: Live Updates

Covid-19, Omicron Variant and Vaccine News: Live Updates

credit…Josh Haner/The New York Times

For more than two years, with the Corona virus spreading to most countries in wave after wave of infection, the virus has failed to reach some of the remote islands scattered in the Pacific Ocean. Even as cases surfaced as far away as Antarctica, these islands – through geographic isolation and strict policies – have mostly remained untouched by the pathogen.

not longer.

Because the highly transmissible Omicron variant spreads rapidly and has an infection unparalleled in an epidemic, it has found a foothold in a number of island nations.

Some are recording their first cases, which have spread among the local population, since the pandemic began. Others who have maintained large numbers of epidemic cases are anxiously watching as local outbreaks spread.

One of the most extreme examples is Kiribati, a group of atolls and reef islands scattered across an area of ​​the Pacific Ocean twice the size of Alaska.

The country, which has a population of about 119,000, has kept its borders closed due to the spread of the pandemic. Until recently, it had only recorded two cases of Covid from a ship returning in May. The crew has been quarantined and no outbreak has been recorded.

But when the first international flight entering Kiribati within 10 months arrived last week from Fiji, 36 passengers tested positive for the virus. The infection was later transmitted to a security worker at a quarantine center and two other people, according to the national broadcaster, Radio Kiribati.

Now the capital, Tarawa, will go into lockdown on Monday. Most residents will be able to leave their homes only to buy food. All workplaces will be closed except for those providing essential and emergency services.

In Tonga, where aid workers rush to deliver life-saving supplies after a volcanic eruption triggered a tsunami that devastated the island nation, recovery efforts have been complicated by its coronavirus-free status.

credit…By Yujal Patel

The nation has reported only one case of coronavirus throughout the pandemic, and local authorities have expressed concerns about letting in foreign aid workers who may be carriers of the virus.

Solomon Islands also reported its first community transfers this week. The authorities said that the source was a boat that arrived illegally on the island of Untung Java from Papua New Guinea, with an injured passenger on board.

“Comrades of the Solomon Islands, what we fear has happened,” Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavari said on Tuesday. “We now have community transmission of Covid-19 in Ontung Java.”

He added, “It is expected that the number of infected people will increase rapidly in the coming days and weeks.” “We expect some people to get seriously ill. We also expect that some people may lose their lives.”

A day later, community transmission was detected in the capital, Honiara, forcing the authorities there to impose a sudden closure. As of Friday, there were 169 positive cases in the country but only 56 beds were available for Covid patients.

Palau also recently reported an outbreak of the coronavirus after nearly two years virus-free. As of Friday, there are 183 active cases and more than 600 people are in quarantine. The state suspended schools for two weeks and imposed a ban on community gatherings.

Samoa is considering canceling repatriation flights after a plane from Australia landed in the country with 10 passengers on board who tested positive for the virus. They are all in isolation, and there is no indication yet that the virus has spread in the community.

However, the cases represent the largest number of coronavirus cases the island nation has seen since the start of the pandemic. Previously, Samoa had only reported two cases in quarantine.

Stu Sternberg’s incredibly bad split city idea is finally dead, let the tax shakedown for a new Rays stadium begin | Tampa Bay News | Tampa

Stu Sternberg's incredibly bad split city idea is finally dead, let the tax shakedown for a new Rays stadium begin | Tampa Bay News | Tampa

After three years holding Tampa ransom with a futile and globally-hated plan to split seasons with Canada, Rays main owner Stu Sternberg has finally received his proverbial hitman in the jock belt.

This afternoon, Major League Baseball officials rejected Sternberg’s plan to divide the city, a final fatal blow to his horrific idea of ​​paying millions of tax dollars from Tampa and Montreal to build two publicly-supported, unused stadiums.

“Today’s news is quite choppy,” said Sternberg, whose lease on Tropicana Field in Saint Petersburg expires in 2027. “The Executive Board of Major League Baseball has decided to terminate the plan for sister city Tampa Bay and Montreal.”

Sternberg’s comic plan was widely criticized by everyone from fans, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, last St. Pete Mayor Rick Chrisman, legendary athlete Dick Vitale, minority team mates, and even Canadians. However, the plan has garnered support from sources such as the Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board (whose former investor owns the property near the proposed new stadium) and a few wealthy locals, who also benefit directly from the new stadium.

For now, Sternberg says his goal is to keep the team in the zone, despite the bullshit in the same territory for the past decade and a half. “Our goal is – and has always been – for Rays to thrive here in Tampa Bay, today in future generations,” a statement from the team said.

This, of course, is actually the opposite of what Sternberg told the audience. as pointed out pitch shadow On his Twitter account, Sternberg previously said that “cense“If a team doesn’t get a stadium, there is”Five other markets“He can sell the team to, and that The team will sell Someone is going to move them out of Tampa Bay.

That’s all said it was never grounded for our attendance at Sternberg. It’s about tax breaks. It appears that Sternberg, who has a net worth of $800 million, is now stuck in Tampa Bay, but that doesn’t mean he won’t threaten to leave to get what he wants.

And instead of just paying for his stadium, he’s now more likely to do his best to get that nice tax break, and IIt is also safe to say that the editorial staff of the Times and these wealthy people in Tampa will help him do this.

why not? Mayor Castor has stated so far that she wants the team to stay. “Our goal all along has been to keep Rice in Tampa Bay,” Castor said in a statement. “We’ve been working on sister city proposals and the full season, and now we can focus all of our energy on an entire season.” I’m optimistic that Rice will invite Tampa Bay home for many years to come.”

Echoing that sentiment, Ken Welch added that he hopes Rays will work with St Pete and consider “the planned development of major development proposals in the Tropicana field.”

It’s important to note that no specific dollar amount has been publicly announced for Tampa’s proposed “boutique” stadium, but a poll sent out by Mayor Jane Castor’s reelection campaign asked residents if they were cool with spending $350 million for the idea, with Sternberg pushing. Another 350 million dollars.

But that’s pretty much irrelevant at this point because a new full season stadium would require a roof, and likely Costing over a billion dollars, that’s a lot of money to muster in a short period of time.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Sternberg will have to finalize plans for a new stadium by next year to have it ready for the 2028 season opener, which looks highly unlikely at the moment.

“It’s no secret that as yet we don’t know where we’ll play on Opening Day 2028. We don’t have a plan. There was no plan B,” boss Brian Old told the publication. The community who want to see us successful. We look forward to entering into conversations with them in the very near future.”

In other words, let the audience blackmail begin!


Hungary Opposition Leader Flags Tax Cuts for Poor as Orban’s Party Gains Ground | World News

By Gergeli Zacac and Christina Than

BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Hungary’s opposition intends to lower the tax burden on the poor while ensuring fiscal discipline to put the country on track to adopting the euro if a six-party coalition wins power in the April 3 election, its leader Peter Marczai said. to Reuters.

For the first time since taking power in a landslide victory in 2010, Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his nationalist party Fidesz will face a united front of opposition parties in the ballot.

The latest opinion polls published in December and January show the race close, but with Fidesz slightly ahead of the opposition alliance.

Orbán’s government has boosted spending and broad tax breaks that critics say are unsustainable and favor the middle class and the wealthy.

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Marki Zay, 49, an independent and out-of-political local mayor whose primaries victory last year stunned even some allies, said the opposition’s focus in the government would instead be on improving the incomes of poorer Hungarians.

“There will be progressive taxes,” Marky Z, who is currently home isolation after a positive COVID-19 result halted his campaign, said in an interview with Zoom.

“But we will deliver this not by increasing the higher rate for the richest but by lowering it further for the poor,” he said, also proposing a targeted reduction of the value-added tax rate on basic food products.

He also said he would bring Hungary back into fiscal discipline, adding that the country needed to strengthen its forint currency and seek a “very stable” exchange rate to join the ERM-2 system, the entry room for the adoption of the euro, within 2-3 years.

He pledged a “very responsible budget.”

Any opposition government would contain the budget deficit by cutting back on unnecessary spending on government infrastructure and cracking down on corruption, he said, adding that Hungary’s strong GDP growth would also help offset lost revenue through tax cuts.

“There is no need to take major measures against the well-being of the ordinary Hungarian family,” he added.

The budget deficit ballooned to 8% of GDP in 2020, as the pandemic rocked the economy, and is expected to be at around 7.5% of GDP for 2021, largely due to increased spending in the run-up to the vote.

With inflation soaring to its highest level in a decade in 2022, high costs of living, low wages and pensions were among the main concerns of undecided voters based on a January survey by the liberal think tank Republikon.

The outcome of the election will determine whether the EU member state will continue down a self-proclaimed “illiberal” path that defied the bloc’s rules, or return to what the opposition describes as a more centrist democracy.

The same poll by Republikon showed concerns about corruption and democratic backsliding, the main campaign issues of Marche-Zay and the opposition coalition, ranked lower in the eyes of undecided voters.

One of the main issues facing the opposition is how to advance its agenda under the constitution and laws passed by Fidesz that promoted Orbán’s conservative ideology. Orban loyalists will hold key public positions for at least several years to come.

Marky Zay said the Democratic Left coalition and the former far-right and now center-right Jobbik agreed in principle on the need to declare some of Orban’s reforms invalid.

“Others fear that if we do not respect every law passed by Fidesz, we ourselves will destroy the rule of law in Hungary,” he said. “I strongly disagree with this. There is no rule of law in Hungary.”

Orbán, one of Europe’s oldest leaders, says his party’s two-thirds parliamentary majority has given him a mandate to press ahead with reforms.

Critics say the 58-year-old, who turned Hungary into an “illiberal country”, abused that majority to entrench Fidesz’s power even in the event of electoral defeat.

Forming the diverse six-party alliance is another challenge facing Markie Zee, who criticized some opposition lawmakers who said they were “too used to this system” after 12 years under Orbán.

“We don’t have agreement on many details, but we have agreement on principles. It is a very difficult task, but it is possible,” he said.

(Reporting by Gergili Szakas and Christina Than; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.


What are the benefits of the EdChoice program in Ohio?

What are the benefits of the EdChoice program in Ohio?

Note: This guest column was written by David Hodges who is defending the EdChoice Educational Choice Scholarship Program from a lawsuit.

Over the past two decades, Ohio has made a simple promise to its parents: If your child is designated to attend a poorly performing school or if your family meets certain income guidelines, your child can receive a scholarship to attend a special school that best meets your child’s needs.

This promise has enabled hundreds of thousands of Ohio students to have a brighter future by attending schools they would not otherwise have.

more: Messages: Equality, education is the right way to raise the level of those in need

But if a group of opponents of educational selection have their way, that promise may come to an end. Recently, they filed a lawsuit claiming that this alternative to the traditional public school system is unconstitutional. Although the Ohio Supreme Court had already held that the educational option was constitutional, opponents of the choice did not understand the message.

more: 100 Ohio public schools are suing, saying EdChoice voucher programs are unconstitutional

If the lawsuit succeeds, it will be devastating to the tens of thousands of Ohio students who rely on scholarship programs for an education that suits them.

To thwart this satirical lawsuit to expel these students from school, five Ohio families receiving grants to intervene in the case moved to defend the programs with help from my law firm, the Institute of Justice.

Take, for example, Christopher Boggs. A father of three, he and his wife live in Columbus, where they rely on scholarships to send their children to local private schools whose academics and curricula are awarded.

more: Messages: The Fair Schools Funding Scheme is the best way forward for education dollars

If it wasn’t for the scholarships they receive, they would have to send their children to schools that Ohio ranks as some of the worst performing in the state. But because of the scholarships, they can stay in the society they call their home.

Nor is their story unique. In 2021, more than 50,000 Ohio students used the scholarship programs to attend the schools most convenient for them. Their choice must be respected.

Doing otherwise would prioritize the demands of school districts over the students and families they are supposed to serve.

more: The plan will give every K-12 student in Ohio a voucher to attend a private school

Unfortunately, this is exactly what opponents of educational choice argue in their lawsuit. In their view, Ohio kids are just income statements on the balance sheet, and any alternative to the public school system threatens their bottom line.

In fact, in an email last January, a public school advocate sought to raise funds for this lawsuit by describing scholarship programs (and charter schools) as “markers” that “drain the life blood” of school districts.

No matter how difficult it is to describe scholarship recipients in this way, statements like these are revealing. The Ohio scholarship programs were enacted in recognition of the deep responsibility that parents have for their children’s education.

For many parents, the best way to exercise this responsibility is to send their children to a neighborhood school. But for other parents, a much better option is to take a different one. Scholarship programs in Ohio allow them.

more: Republicans want Ohio to become the second state in the US to have universal school vouchers

We live in a time when anyone can go to the supermarket and choose from dozens of breakfast cereals. But when it comes to educating our children, most of us only have one choice – and that choice is not the most suitable for everyone as one type of cereal is suitable for everyone.

Twenty years ago, the Ohio Supreme Court recognized this principle and rejected the idea that it was unconstitutional for students to have educational alternatives.

With this lawsuit, the courts can do it again.

David Hodges is an attorney specializing in educational selection at the Justice Institute. Hodges lives in Annandale, Virginia

Interview: ‘UNSC should step in to protect Indian minorities’ | United Nations News

Interview: ‘UNSC should step in to protect Indian minorities’ | United Nations News

Dozens of Hindu religious and political leaders gathered last month for a meeting at Haridwar, a prominent pilgrimage site for Hindus in the northern state of Uttarakhand, where several speakers called on the community to arm themselves for genocide against the Muslim minority.

“Even if 100 of us become soldiers and kill two million of them, we will win,” Sadhvi Annapurna Ma of Hindu Mahasabha (Great Assembly of Hindus) told a cheerful crowd at the event.

Videos of the meeting went viral on social media, sparking outrage and calls for the arrest of those who openly called for the killing. The following month, two of the speakers were arrested while others roamed freely as police say they are investigating.

Meanwhile, experts raised the alarm. During a congressional briefing in the United States, Professor Gregory Stanton, founder of Genocide Watch, warned in unequivocal words that “genocide can happen in India very well.”

In August of last year, Stanton, who engineered 10 stages of the genocide, put India in the eighth stage, that is, the oppression of society. The remaining two phases are extermination and denial.

Juan E Méndez is the first UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide (2004-2007), appointed by then-UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He also served as Chair and Commissioner of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture. He is currently Professor of Human Rights Law at American University in Washington, DC.

Mendez described the situation in India, home to 200 million Muslims, as “dangerous” and “extremely worrying.” Al Jazeera spoke with him about explicit calls for genocide against the minority and what the international community, including the United Nations, could do to prevent it.

Al Jazeera: How do you see calls for violence by extremist Hindu leaders in the Haridwar meeting?

John E. Mendes: I see them with great concern, especially in a context in which there have been decades of hostility toward minority communities. Calls for active violence are much more dangerous and are part of the equation, and specifically in this context, they can lead some people to take these calls seriously, to act on them, and to provoke others as well.

In this case, I will look for the worst, which is the observation that these speeches were made by non-state actors, i.e. people who claim to represent their ethnic group, who act as if it were protected speech and under free speech, such as if it was just an opinion.

After all, making calls to kill millions in any legal context is a crime, the crime of threatening to say the least. Thus, if there is no appropriate response to it by the government, I think the international community needs to demand action to limit the potential effects of rhetoric of this kind.

Al Jazeera: The US-based organization Genocide Watch and its founder Gregory Stanton has issued a genocide alert in India. Is India moving to a region where the word “imminent genocide” can be used?

Mendez: I think Genocide Watch is a very prestigious organization and its opinion should be carefully considered. The Ten Stages of the Stanton Genocide is a highly respected method for anticipating and preventing genocide. The benefit of this model is that it calls attention not only to the fact that there is a population at risk – in this case, India’s Muslim minorities – but also to the actions that must be taken to delay this situation.

The organization does its job not only by applying a meaningless model but by analyzing the facts on the ground. But let me say, as a former advisor on genocide prevention, that I agree with the kind of genocide calls and expressions of international concern.

Al Jazeera: India ratified the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in 1959, which criminalizes and prohibits genocide. With so many Hindu extremists calling for genocidal violence still roaming free, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi maintaining a clear silence, is India in breach of its commitments under the Genocide Convention?

Mendez: The Genocide Convention of 1948 relates to the prevention of genocide and imposes on all states and states the obligation that they have the capacity to do whatever is required to prevent genocide. The convention is not all explicit about the specific preventive measures that will be taken but it is understood that the government is on the front line when it comes to preventing genocide, especially those who have ratified the convention.

Therefore, in fact, it is the responsibility of the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to monitor the situation and respond appropriately to such calls for violence against any of the minorities and especially against the vulnerable populations and to deploy protections for them. . Obviously, one of them is to investigate, prosecute and punish those who have committed crimes under Indian law. Failure to do so constitutes a violation of the Genocide Convention.

Al Jazeera: Article 3 of the Genocide Convention provides for the punishment of direct and public incitement to genocide. It includes constitutionally responsible governors, public servants, or private individuals. Does the permanent International Criminal Court have any jurisdiction over India when it comes to prosecuting those who call for genocide against Muslims?

Mendez: No, unfortunately, that did not happen because India did not sign and ratify the Rome Statute. So, what happens in the territory of India and the crimes committed by Indians abroad can only come under the jurisdiction of the ICC if they have committed those acts in a country that has the jurisdiction of the ICC or if the UN Security Council decides to refer the case to the ICC. For example in the case of Sudan and Libya.

Al Jazeera: Do you think the world, especially the US, UK and European countries, has cared less about the Hindu nationalist threat to India’s minorities?

Mendez: Whatever (Hindu nationalists) have done so far should not lead anyone to any kind of complacency because in fact I think the situation is dangerous. Also, some of the Modi government’s public policies are discriminatory against minorities. These violations are in a continuum between discrimination, hate speech and violence and ultimately genocide.

The international community has a moral responsibility to protect people from this kind of harm. That is why the United Nations General Assembly approved it in 2005 as a convention to protect people. It is not binding on anyone but demonstrates the responsibility of the international community and every member of the international community for some kind of action to protect populations at risk.

Al Jazeera: Don’t you think that after the UN’s repeated failures to prevent genocide, it needs to push for more strict international guidelines and laws and proactive intervention?

Mendez: Yes, I think the United Nations should have done more since 2004 when the Office for the Prevention of Genocide was created. So I consider it a matter of self-criticism as well as criticism of the institution. The United Nations as an institution is only capable of doing what the member states, especially the more powerful member states, allow. Obviously within this very tight constraint, I think we should take into account the positive steps taken by the United Nations and criticize their limited nature and then build on them to do more. I hope it starts, but I must say I’m a little more skeptical or more pessimistic because the power relations in the international community today are less sympathetic to genocide prevention than they were in 2004 under Kofi Annan.

Al Jazeera: Do you think the United Nations should consider putting in place laws regulating social media companies that have been clearly used to prepare for genocide as we’ve seen in Myanmar as well as in Ethiopia, and trends we’re seeing in India?

Mendez: I believe that social media companies should be subject to the same rights to freedom of expression that are part of international human rights law, but also an obligation to act responsibly to prevent acts of violence. Now whether the UN is the best place to start regulating social media companies, I think it (the UN) should at least take the lead. In fact, any required legislation must be converted into a treaty and then the United States would have to ratify it. It is important to generate the driving words for this type of treaty that preserves freedom of expression in all its forms but also places limits on freedom of expression when it comes to incitement. The Genocide Convention obligates states to criminalize and prosecute cases of incitement to commit genocide. So we have some international elements of the legal framework but we probably need more than that.

Al-Jazeera: In your opinion, what is the responsibility of the international community in general and the United Nations in particular to avoid another genocide?

Mendez: I think there is a role the international community has to play sooner rather than later. The facts on the ground are so serious that some expression of concern comes from international forums such as the United Nations General Assembly, the United Nations Security Council and the United Nations Human Rights Council. That should happen soon. If the response from the Modi government is not appropriate, the UN Security Council must step in to protect Indian minorities and a Chapter 7 resolution is the way to do so. It has binding power and can include various things, one of which is the referral of the case to the International Criminal Court. I think it is important that the member states of the United Nations Security Council begin to consider whether or not they should be advised to take measures to protect vulnerable minorities in India.


The end of the blame game – introduction of no fault divorce

What are the changes in law proposed to allow divorce by mutual agreement to make it more convenient?

The Supreme Court justices, who in 2018 poorly rejected Tine Owens’ divorce petition, each made clear in their rulings that they were “hesitant”, “uncomfortable” and “concerned” with their decision. They explicitly took the divorce reform wand into Parliament and almost two years later, the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act of 2020. This law finally paves the way for “no-fault divorce,” something that practitioners have been calling for for years. The provisions of the law have not yet entered into force, but the new law is expected to enter into force by the fall of 2021. Unfortunately, it was too late for Tinnie Owens herself – in 2020, she finally obtained the right to divorce from her husband, after he had been separated for 5 years.

Until this last law, divorce in England and Wales always required either a “false” claim or a prolonged period of separation. Prior to 1857, a special Act of Parliament was required to obtain a divorce. Husbands can divorce if they show that their wives were an adulteress; Wives had to prove adultery And Life-threatening cruelty. There were approximately two private laws in Parliament annually, mostly by spouses, and they were very costly.

In 1857, the Matrimonial Causes Act introduced secular divorce on a large scale. Proof of adultery is still required, along with cruelty (such as incest or polygamy) or desertion if you’re petitioning. Amendments to divorce law were followed during the 20th century, but no divorce without cause was allowed until after the Divorce Reform Act 1969, which was later adopted into the Matrimonial Issues Act 1973. It has been and remains the basis of divorce law today. He authorizes divorce for one reason only: the irreversible breakdown of the marriage. It turns out that the marriage broke down by proving one of 5 possible facts, namely:

  • If the other spouse commits adultery;
  • the other spouse acted unreasonably so that the petitioner could not reasonably be expected to live with them;
  • there has been a separation period of at least two years and the other spouse agrees to the divorce;
  • there has been a period of at least two years of desertion; or
  • There has been a period of at least 5 years of separation (if the other spouse does not consent to the divorce).

As can be seen, the first two of these facts remain in error, and the last three require a long period of separation.

In 1996, the Family Code was the first local law to consider non-wrongful divorce, but the relevant part of that law was never implemented and was subsequently repealed. The new 2020 law (which applies equally to divorce, dissolution of civil partnership and judicial separation) still retains the condition of an irreversible breakdown of marriage but eliminates the need to show one of the five facts noted above; It suffices to declare a non-refundable breakdown.

There would be no opportunity to defend the divorce (although challenges would, of course, still be possible on the basis of jurisdiction, validity of marriage, fraud, coercion, and procedural compliance, for example) and it would be possible for the parties to act in solidarity. Request. The language also changes in favor of ‘Plain English’ as ​​Decree Nisi becomes ‘conditional’ and ‘Absolute Decree’ becomes ‘final’. The conditional order will not be possible before the 20-week period of reasoning has elapsed from the date the proceedings are filed and, as now, another 6 week period is required before the final order can be obtained. Divorce will not be possible during the first year of marriage.

This reform has been long overdue and warmly welcomed. Once in effect, this will not only save costs but should also be of great help to the parties and their children in bringing about a dignified end to the marriage and maintaining a cordial relationship between the parents as they transition into separate parenting. There will be no need to play the blame game.

The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act of 2020 is now in law and ready to introduce no-fault divorces later this year.



NYC Comptroller Blasts Gov.’s Housing Tax Incentive Reform

Tobacco Tax Dodger Gets 14 Mos. For Laundering $3.8M

By Maria Kuklanaris (January 20, 2022, 8:23 p.m. EDT) — Changes to New York City’s lucrative tax cut program proposed by New York Democratic Governor Cathy Hochhol are minor and do not represent an overhaul of program needs, the city’s superintendent said Thursday.

New York City Comptroller Brad Lander said changes to the city’s lucrative tax cut program proposed by New York Governor Cathy Hochhol are not the overhaul the program needs. (Photo by Michael M. Instead he said in the statement that the governor…

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Chevron, Total Exit Myanmar Over Deteriorating Conditions | Business News

Written by LORI HINNANT, Associated Press

TotalEnergies, one of the world’s largest energy groups, said on Friday it had halted all operations in Myanmar, citing rampant human rights abuses and the deterioration of the rule of law since the country’s military ousted the government. Siobhan also said she plans to move out.

The announcement came just a day after the French company called for international sanctions to be imposed on the oil and gas sector, which remains one of the military government’s primary funding sources.

Total and Chevron have come under increasing pressure over their roles in managing the offshore Yadana gas field, and PTT Exploration and Production in Thailand. Total owns a majority stake in the project and manages its day-to-day operations, while MOGE collects revenue on behalf of the government.

“Since the coup of 1 February, we have witnessed the development of the country and it is clearly not favorable: the rule of law and human rights situation in Myanmar has visibly deteriorated over the course of months, and despite the civil disobedience movements, the junta has maintained strength and our analyzes are that poor Long-term luck,” Total said.

political cartoons

Since seizing power, the military has brutally cracked down on opponents, kidnapped young men and boys, murdered health care workers and tortured prisoners.

Total said it would withdraw without financial compensation and hand over its interests to other stakeholders.

About 50% of Myanmar’s foreign currency comes from natural gas revenues, with MOGE expected to earn $1.5 billion from offshore and pipeline projects in 2021-2022, according to the Myanmar government’s forecast. Previous rounds of US and European sanctions against Myanmar’s military have ruled out oil and gas.

And in a statement issued shortly after Total’s announcement, Chevron said it also plans to leave “in light of the circumstances.”

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