(via US rendition: every suspected flight mapped)
I think I might have helped a bit with this
President Mauricio Funes of El Salvador should ensure that a woman who faces substantial risk of death if her pregnancy continues can obtain an abortion without criminal penalty.
The woman, “Beatriz,” a pseudonym to protect her identity, suffers from serious health problems, according to medical reports from her doctors, and is pregnant with an anencephalic fetus with no chance of surviving infancy. Forcing her to continue the pregnancy violates her fundamental human rights, including the rights to life and to health.
Three separate sonograms carried out by the National Maternity Hospital on March 12 and 21, 2013, have shown that “Beatriz,” a 22-year-old mother of one, is pregnant with an anencephalic fetus. An infant born with this disorder lacks a cerebrum, a part of the brain, which almost always leads to death within hours or days of birth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, Beatriz’s doctors fear she may suffer hemorrhaging, severe pre-eclampsia, a condition that is a leading cause of maternal death, and potential kidney failure due to her pre-existing medical conditions, including Lupus, an auto-immune disease.
On March 22, lawyers for the National Maternity Hospital (Hospital Nacional Especializado de Maternidad) requested permission from the government to perform an abortion in her case, because her doctors believe there was a “strong probability of maternal death” and the fetus was not viable.
El Salvador has a total ban on abortion without exception, putting Beatriz and any doctor performing an abortion at risk of prosecution.
A Guatemalan court has convicted a former dictator of genocide involving Mayans. More details: -
A Guatemalan court has convicted former dictator Efrain Rios Montt on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity, sentencing him to 80 years in prison.
The 86-year-old former general is the first former Latin American leader ever found guilty of such a charge.
A three-judge tribunal issued the verdict after the nearly two-month trial in which dozens of victims testified about horrific atrocities.
Rios Montt denies having knowledge of the massacres that happened involving indigenous people while he was in power.
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Chris Grayling claims there were only 54 “successful” immigration judicial reviews in 2011 (Report, 23 April). In 2011 our small practice lodged 41 immigration judicial review applications. Of these, 38 (over 92%) were either won in court or (more often) settled out of court in our favour. — Letter to the Guardian from Margaret Finch and Sean Mcloughlin, Directors, TRP solicitors, Birmingham, published 25 April 2013
What I find so depressing is that the case highlights the difficulties increasingly encountered by the judiciary at all levels when dealing with litigants in person. Two problems in particular are revealed. The first is how to bring order to the chaos which litigants in person invariably – and wholly understandably – manage to create in putting forward their claims and defences. Judges should not have to micro-manage cases, coaxing and cajoling the parties to focus on the issues that need to be resolved. Judge Thornton did a brilliant job in that regard yet, as this case shows, that can be disproportionately time-consuming. It may be saving the Legal Services Commission which no longer offers legal aid for this kind of litigation but saving expenditure in one public department in this instance simply increases it in the courts. The expense of three judges of the Court of Appeal dealing with this kind of appeal is enormous. The consequences by way of delay of other appeals which need to be heard are unquantifiable. The appeal would certainly never have occurred if the litigants had been represented. With more and more self-represented litigants, this problem is not going to go away. We may have to accept that we live in austere times, but as I come to the end of eighteen years service in this court, I shall not refrain from expressing my conviction that justice will be ill served indeed by this emasculation of legal aid. — Sir Alan Ward in Wright v Michael Wright Supplies  EWCA Civ 234
Growing up in the European Parliament. I suspect this little girl may turn out to be awesome.
Sorry, Killer Robots: Campaign Aims to Stop You
So you thought a Terminator-like future of metal machines mowing each other down on battlefields sounded pretty cool, did you?
Well, wipe that smile off your face, fleshy one. Killer robots are a real threat to our future and must be outlawed now, according to a campaign launched in London on Tuesday by five international NGOs, led by Human Rights Watch.
The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots — yes, that is its real name, and you can find its websitehere — calls for a comprehensive ban on the development, production, and use of fully autonomous weapons. The launch event came a month in advance of a UN report on the subject, set to be delivered to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on May 27.
“Killer robots would cross moral and legal boundaries, and should be rejected as repugnant to the public conscience,” said Human Rights Watch’s Arms Division Director Steve Goose. “Lethal armed robots that could target and kill without any human intervention should never be built.”
The campaign brought out its big guns for a press event at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster: Jody Williams, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate from the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, and Dr. Noel Sharkey, an artificial intelligence expert from Sheffield University.
Undermining the message slightly, they also brought the cute-looking 1950s-style sci-fi robot pictured above. What, no T-1000?
Still, the campaign is in earnest, and Sharkey ticked off many reasons why he fears killer robots in our future: the fact that the Pentagon is currently hiring more drone operators than actual pilots, for example, and the building of its X47B unmanned plane, which works like a drone on steroids.
But Sharkey didn’t single out U.S. research efforts; he fears this is a global problem. “There are a lot of people very excited about this technology in China, Russia, Israel,” he told the Guardian, “very excited at what is set to become a multibillion-dollar industry. This is going to be big, big money … We won’t hear about it until China has sold theirs to Iran.”
“I think we are already there,” Sharkey told reporters at the event. “If you asked me to go and make an autonomous killer robot today, I could do it. I could have you one here in a few days.”
A slightly bemused UK government spokesman told Reuters that “there are no plans to replace skilled military personnel with fully autonomous systems.”
For a little light reading, try the Human Rights Watch 50-page report on the subject, Losing Humanity: the Case Against Killer Robots.
Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images
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Hocine Hassina remembers family members who disappeared during the Paris massacre of 1961, as she stands next to the Saint Michel Bridge by the Seine river in Paris. (Photo: Reuters)
The Paris massacre occured on october 17, 1961. As Algeria’s battle for independence spilled into France, Paris police chief Maurice Papon ordered police to crack down on thousands of Algerian protesters who defied a curfew. At least 300 algerians were killed (bodies were later pulled from the River Seine)