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Friday, October 5, 2012

Five Suspected U.K. Terrorists to Be Extradited to the United States

The U.K. High Court decided today that five suspected terrorists can be extradited to the U.S. for trial, ending a protracted legal battle that involved rulings from the European Court of Human Rights two weeks ago. Each of them brought separate claims to the court, except for a common issue relating to prison conditions at the ADX Florence maximum security facility they expect to be held in if convicted in the U.S. The judges ruled that radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, Babar Ahmad, Syed Talha Ahsan, Adel Abdul Bary and Khaled al-Fawwaz failed to show “new and compelling” reasons for remaining in the U.K. and that there was no further legal avenue of appeal left to them. The Home Office, allowed by the judges “to act instantly”, said it would try to deport them “as quickly as possible”. The suspects would normally be handed over to the U.S. Marshals for extradition under the “alien transportation system”, commonly known as Con-Air.

U.S. Unemployment Rate Drops to Four Year Low

The U.S. Department of Labor has released figures that show that the country’s unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest rate since January 2009. September’s rate reached 7.8 percent, down from 8.1 percent in August. The last time unemployment figures were this low was just before the inauguration of President Barack Obama and the numbers could prove an important boost to the Democratic campaign after a lacklustre display at the presidential debate last Wednesday. Obama’s rival, the Republican candidate Mitt Romney, was largely labeled as the victor of that first clash. The numbers created an immediate stir on Twitter. Former General Electric CEO Jack Welch wrote that “these Chicago guys will do anything. Can’t debate, so change numbers”. Austan Goolsbee, former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers and a current Obama economic adviser, wrote back “love ya Jack, but you’ve lost your mind”.

Prime Minister Samaras Says Greek Democracy Under Threat

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said that the country would not survive beyond November without the next tranche of international aid and also suggested that Greek democracy was facing its biggest ever challenge. In an interview to the German newspaper Handelsblatt, Samaras said that the “cash box is empty” after November. He added that the rising numbers of Greek unemployed could turn in desperation to the policies offered by the neofascist Golden Dawn party, saying that the failure of the government coalition government would bring “chaos” to the country and that it represented Greece’s “last chance”. “The cohesion of Greek society is endangered by rising unemployment just as much as Germany was at the end of the Weimar Republic”, said Samaras.

Kenyans Win Right to Sue the U.K. Over Torture During Colonial Period

Three Kenyan citizens who were tortured during the country’s colonial era have been granted the ability to sue the British government in order to seek redress. The claimants, Jane Muthoni Mara, Wambuga Wa Nyingi and Paulo Muoka Nzili, were told that their case could proceed despite the time elapsed since the 1950s Mau Mau revolt against British rule. Their lawyers alleged that Mr. Nzili was castrated, Mr. Nyingi was severely beaten and Mrs. Mara had been subjected to sexual abuse in detention camps during the rebellion. The government had initially argued that the liability for torture by colonial authorities had transferred to the Kenyan Republic upon its independence in 1963.

Canadian Supreme Court Rules That Low-Level HIV Carriers Need Not Disclose Infection

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled today that people with low levels of HIV who use condoms during sex cannot be charged with sexual assault if they do not disclose their condition to partners. The court’s 9-0 decision updated a ruling from 1998 that said that consensual activity without HIV disclosure amounted to fraud, meaning that it wasn’t a valid consent. The HIV-positive partner could then be charged for sexual assault for putting his or her partner at significant risk of bodily harm. The judges ruled that bodily risk existed when there was a real possibility of transmission, and that that would not happen with a low viral load and condom use. The court’s ruling is also a recognition of the advances in the medical sciences in the last 14 years.

Weekend Read: “£1 Million Isn’t Rich Anymore”

The rise and fall of investment banking, from Barings and Barclays to Schroders, Chase and Goldmans. Under the stress of a collapsing market, all of the arguments used to justify their business models withered and died. In The New Statesman.

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