Sunday, January 29

International Updates

Federal judge allows search warrant evidence in former Los Angeles councilman trial
International Updates

Federal judge allows search warrant evidence in former Los Angeles councilman trial

A federal judge in the US District Court for the Central District of California Monday ruled against former Los Angeles City Councilman José Huizar, allowing evidence collected from a 2016 FBI search warrant at Huizar’s trial. Huizar argued that there were issues with the FBI search warrant. Huizar served on the Los Angeles City Council from 2005 to 2020 and chaired the Planning and Land Use Management Committee until November 2018. Huizar was first indicted on federal criminal charges in July 2020. Federal prosecutors alleged Huizar used his Los Angeles City Council position to enrich himself and his associates in a pay-to-play scheme for Los Angeles real estate development. Huizar faces federal criminal charges including a RICO conspiracy charge, 12 counts of honest services wir...
ACLU files suit requesting COVID-19 booster shot access for immigration detainees
International Updates

ACLU files suit requesting COVID-19 booster shot access for immigration detainees

ACLU filed a lawsuit Monday requesting access to COVID-19 booster shots for seven individuals (“the plaintiffs”) detained by immigration authorities. The lawsuit is aimed at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). According to the Complaint, the seven plaintiffs have been denied the booster shot, despite multiple requests. The plaintiffs also point out that the US government currently has a surplus of COVID-19 vaccines, indicating that supply shortages are not a concern. All seven of the plaintiffs are eligible to receive the vaccine, per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. The Complaint alleges that the plaintiffs are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 because they have preexisting medical conditions and the ...
US Justice Department announces new strategy to combat human trafficking
International Updates

US Justice Department announces new strategy to combat human trafficking

US Attorney General Merrick Garland Monday released the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) new National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking, signaling a new executive effort to disrupt human trafficking networks and assist victims of trafficking. The new strategy draws its mandate from several pieces of legislation, including the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 and the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. The plan is intended to introduce a series of new DOJ initiatives that will complement government-wide federal anti-trafficking efforts, as well as better coordinate activities with other agencies. Specifically, the strategy will prioritize new victim screening protocols, provide better training to law enforcement to identify trafficking and increase capacity to pr...
UK PM announces ‘Brexit Freedoms’ bill to hasten removal of EU regulations
International Updates

UK PM announces ‘Brexit Freedoms’ bill to hasten removal of EU regulations

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Monday a new “Brexit Freedoms Bill,” that will allow the country to remove or amend EU regulations with ease. The bill will allow legislators to remove “retained EU law” which was implemented under the European Union Withdrawal Agreement Act during the Brexit transition period. The UK officially left the EU in January 2020 but has relied on said retained EU law in domestic law enforcement. Johnson revealed that the bill will allow the legacy of EU law to remain as a “bridging measure” accompanying governmental reform. Repealing or amending EU laws under the current framework can take years, but this new bill will allow the process to move “further and faster.” The bill is also estimated to cut £1 billion in red tape expenses for businesses th...
UN Secretary-General slams North Korea for violating international law with missile tests
International Updates

UN Secretary-General slams North Korea for violating international law with missile tests

North Korea has conducted ballistic missile testing in clear violation of international law, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a scathing statement released Tuesday. Pyongyang provoked an international uproar this weekend after conducting long-range ballistic missile testing. The latest round was the most significant of its kind since 2017, and the seventh iteration of missile testing this year, reportedly sparking concerns that North Korea may intend to back-peddle its commitments under a 2018 moratorium to curb weapons testing. In the statement, issued on behalf of Guterres by his spokesperson, the UN leader said, “The Secretary-General condemns the launch of a ballistic missile of possible intermediate-range by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on 30 Jan...
ECHR rules no human rights violations in two Russia cases
International Updates

ECHR rules no human rights violations in two Russia cases

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) Tuesday ruled in favor of Russia in two human rights cases, finding the country’s handling of the employment and criminal cases did not violate the European Convention on Human Rights. In Kramareva v. Russia, a Russian employee claimed a wrongful termination after another person was employed to perform the same duties on a full-time basis. A Russian court found the termination of Kramareva’s employment was lawful in accordance with the domestic labor statute and granted only pecuniary damages. The applicant appealed to the Russian Supreme Court, but the case was dismissed. Kramareva brought the case to the ECHR, arguing that Russia violated the right to a fair hearing under Articles 1 and 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The ECHR...
Rights groups urge Thailand not to deport Laotian pro-democracy activist
International Updates

Rights groups urge Thailand not to deport Laotian pro-democracy activist

Human rights activists and organizations urged Thailand Tuesday against the deportation of activist Khoukham Keomanivong, a founding member of pro-democracy group, Free Lao, back to his native Laos. According to Radio Free Asia (RFA), Keomanivong was brought to Don Mueang Kwaeng District Court in Bangkok on Monday and convicted of overstaying his visa. He was then transferred to the immigration bureau but released on bail Tuesday. Citing restrictions imposed by Thai authorities about discussing the conditions of his release, Keomanivong stated: What I can say right now is that I’ve been bailed out with the help of a human rights lawyer and the U.N. I can only sleep and stay in and travel to certain restricted areas, and I can’t travel to the provinces…I stopped my political activities ...
Facebook faces $3.2 bln UK class action over market dominance
International Updates

Facebook faces $3.2 bln UK class action over market dominance

  Social Media giant Facebook (FB.O), now known as Meta Platforms, faces a 2.3 billion pound plus ($3.2 billion plus) class action in Britain over allegations it abused its market dominance by exploiting the personal data of 44 million users. Liza Lovdahl Gormsen, a senior adviser to Britain's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) watchdog and a competition law academic, said she was bringing the case on behalf of people in Britain who had used Facebook between 2015 and 2019. The lawsuit, which will be heard by London's Competition Appeal Tribubal, alleges Facebook made billions of pounds by imposing unfair terms and conditions that demanded consumers surrender valuable personal data to access the network. Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, the law firm representing Lovd...
Govt acted Unlawfully with ‘VIP Covid Contract Lane’, UK Court rules
International Updates

Govt acted Unlawfully with ‘VIP Covid Contract Lane’, UK Court rules

  The British Government acted unlawfully by setting up a fast-track "VIP lane" to allow ministers and officials to recommend suppliers of personal protective equipment during the coronavirus pandemic, a London Court ruled on Wednesday. Opposition politicians have accused the government of running a "chumocracy", awarding deals to those with family or business links to people in power, including for what turned out to be unusable PPE in some cases. The campaign groups, the Good Law Project and EveryDoctor, brought legal action claiming some suppliers were given an unfair advantage in obtaining contracts worth hundreds of millions of pounds. The contracts included one worth over 340 million pounds ($465 million) given to pest control firm PestFix and another worth 252 mil...
Google moves High Court, seeks more time to respond to CCI probe
International Updates

Google moves High Court, seeks more time to respond to CCI probe

  ‘Billing integration deadline extended, no cause for haste’ Tech titan Google has filed a writ in the Karnataka High Court seeking more time to reply to CCI’s queries pertaining to a probe into Play Store rules. Google said it respects the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) investigative process and “will continue to engage cooperatively and constructively in the interest of a fair investigation”. “We have filed a writ in Karnataka High Court regarding the interim relief application in the Google Play probe by the CCI, seeking to move forward in line with established due process principles,” a Google spokesperson said in an email on Monday. A source aware of the company’s position on the matter said Google had extended the timeline for developers in India to integrate...