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US won’t take action against Guantánamo nurse who refused to force-feed

Gitmo nurseHuman rights NGO Reprieve has welcomed the US Department of Defense’s decision, announced today, to drop proceedings against a military nurse who refused to carry out force-feedings at Guantanamo Bay.

In July last year, information received by Reprieve lawyers from one of their clients held at Guantanamo revealed that one military medical professional had refused to carry out force-feedings on prisoners engaged in a peaceful hunger strike. The Miami Herald’s Carol Rosenberg subsequently obtained confirmation from the DoD that a medical provider had been unwilling to carry out the procedure, and as a result had been reassigned.


Enbridge, Michigan settle over 2010 Kalamazoo River oil spill

Kalamazoo spillOil giant Enbridge Energy will pay Michigan $75 million to restore a waterway contaminated in 2010 by 800,000 gallons of oil — one of the largest inland spills in U.S. history — state officials said on Wednesday.

The settlement comes a week after the company settled in a separate class action lawsuit over damages to local residents as a result of the spill, with compensation including pre-paid gift cards and additional payments for some living near the contaminated area.


Sharp announces $1.86 billion loss, plans thousands of job cuts

Sharp  electronicsJapanese electronics giant Sharp on Thursday said it was cutting thousands of jobs in a fresh turnaround plan to keep it afloat as the struggling firm posted a bigger-than-expected $1.86 billion annual loss.

The net loss — much larger than the $251 million forecasted — came as Sharp said it would cut about 10 percent of its 49,000-strong global workforce, including 3,500 jobs in Japan.

The firm said it hoped to swing a $670 million operating profit in the current fiscal year, but it did not give a net profit forecast.


Satanic Temple abortion battle may become class action, lawyer says

satanic templeThe Satanic Temple’s bid to allow a Missouri follower to circumvent state laws restricting abortion may soon become a class-action lawsuit, the woman’s legal counsel said Wednesday.

Court documents filed Monday and obtained by Al Jazeera argue that, as a Satanist, a woman referred to as “Mary Doe” should not have to undergo the state’s mandatory 72-hour wait period, be offered an ultrasound to listen to a potential heartbeat and receive requisite informational materials that her attorneys say are designed to dissuade her from the procedure.


Va. Man Wrongfully Convicted of Attempted Rape Is Pardoned After 29 Yrs.

Michael mcAlister freedGov. Terry McAuliffe on Wednesday pardoned a Virginia man who has spent 29 years in prison for an attempted rape that authorities now say he did not commit.

Michael Kenneth McAlister, 58, was exonerated just five days ahead of a hearing that could have led to his indefinite confinement as a violent sex offender under the state's civil commitment law.


U.S. House Votes To Ban Abortions After 20 Weeks

pro choiceThe U.S. House on Wednesday passed 242-184 a rewritten version of a bill to ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy -- the second Republican attempt at advancing the measure.

In January, Republican Speaker John Boehner pulled the bill from a planned vote amid opposition by House Republican women and centrists who said its exceptions for victims of rape and incest were too narrow.

That earlier version would have allowed an exception for rape victims only if they had reported their assult to police.


Senate strikes deal to pass fast-track trade bill

senate passes trade billSenate leaders have reached a deal to advance President Barack Obama’s trade initiative after a failed vote prompted a furious round of negotiating on Wednesday.

After trading offers throughout the night, party leaders agreed to vote on a fast-track trade bill that was blocked just 24 hours before by Democrats who’d wanted more assurances that their priorities would also be considered.


ICC urges Israel to give material for preliminary Gaza probe

Gaza invasionThe prosecutor of the International Criminal Court warned Israel Tuesday that if it doesn't provide reliable information for her preliminary probe into possible war crimes in Palestinian territories she may be forced to decide whether to launch a full-scale investigation based on Palestinian allegations.

Fatou Bensouda said in an interview with The Associated Press that she hasn't received any information yet from either side regarding last summer's Gaza war and urged Israel and the Palestinians to provide information to her.


Hillary’s Lawyer Sues Ohio To Thwart Voter Suppression Tactics That Helped GOP Steal Ohio In 2004

Protect voting rightsHillary Clinton’s top campaign lawyer and voting rights activists have sued Ohio in federal court to overturn a half-dozen Republican-created barriers that could suppress “hundreds of thousands” of likely Democratic votes in 2016.

These include many of the tactics used by the GOP in 2004 that helped Republicans steal the election for George W. Bush, including narrowing voter registration, moving polling places, creating long lines, disqualifying eligible voters’ ballots, and limiting options to correct mistakes made by voters or by poll workers.


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