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Tuesday, Jul 29th

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Historic decisions by SCOTUS: DOMA is unconstitutional! Parties cannot bring suit against Prop 8!

DOMAA landmark supreme court ruling has struck down a controversial federal law that discriminated against gay couples in the US, delivering a stunning victory to campaigners who have fought for years to overturn it.

The court also knocked back a separate appeal against same-sex marriage laws in California, restoring the right to gay marriage in the largest US state and nearly doubling the number of Americans living in states where gay marriage would be legal.

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WHO: A third of women worldwide suffer domestic violence

Violence against womenAbout a third of women worldwide have been physically or sexually assaulted by a former or current partner, according to the first major review of violence against women.

In a series of papers released on Thursday by the World Health Organization and others, experts estimated nearly 40 percent of women killed worldwide were slain by an intimate partner and that being assaulted by a partner was the most common kind of violence experienced by women.

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Red Cross to Guantánamo judge: Don’t give 9/11 defense lawyers our confidential record

ICRC“The ICRC goes places, to places of conflict that no one else can go to. We visit and speak to people that no else can speak to,” said attorney Matthew MacLean, arguing that release of Red Cross records would jeopardize its ability to have confidential dialogues with governments worldwide.

Army Col. James L. Pohl, the judge, heard the arguments on the second day of pretrial hearings in the case of five men accused of funding, training and directing the hijackings that killed 2,976 people in New York, the Pentagon and Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001. The men chose to skip the hearing, a prerogative the judge granted them, until their actual death-penalty trial begins.

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Prosecutor: Court ruling cuts vision for Guantánamo war crimes trials

Gitmo trialsExpect only seven more captives to be charged at the war court, the chief Pentagon prosecutor said Sunday, offering a much reduced vision of the scope of the special court after a federal court setback.

Six prisoners await death-penalty trials — Khalid Sheik Mohammed, 48, and four other alleged plotters accused of killing 2,976 people in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks plus a Saudi man accused of engineering al-Qaida’s USS Cole bombing that killed 17 U.S. sailors. Seven others have already been convicted of al-Qaida foot-soldier crimes.

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Guantánamo doctors must refuse to force-feed hunger strikers – physicians

Gitmo hunger strikesA group of senior American doctors has called on military physicians at Guantánamo Bay to refuse to work in a mass force-feeding programme that is being used to keep hunger-striking detainees alive.

Writing in the prestigious and influential New England Journal of Medicine, the three doctors called Guantánamo "a medical ethics free zone" and said that medical staff had a moral duty to allow the prisoners to go on hunger strike without coercing them into treatment. They also called on doctors to refuse to take part in force-feeding.

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One of the Darkest Periods in the History of American Prisons

American prison abusesIt has been an extraordinary three weeks in the history of the American penal system, perhaps one of the darkest on record. In four states, from the Atlantic to the Mississippi, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes, the systemic abuse and neglect of inmates, and especially mentally ill inmates, has been investigated, chronicled and disclosed in grim detail to the world by lawyers, government investigators and one federal judge.

The conclusions are inescapable: In our zeal to dehumanize criminals we have allowed our prisons to become medieval places of unspeakable cruelty so far beyond constitutional norms that they are barely recognizable.

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Oregon man claims FBI present at his torture in UAE

Yonas FikreA former Oregon businessman is suing the U.S. government and two FBI agents he says had him tortured in the Middle East after he refused to become an informant.

Yonas Fikre, a naturalized U.S. citizen of Eritrean descent, says the agents were present when he was imprisoned and tortured in the Gulf nation for 106 days, The Oregonian reported Thursday.

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