released by Glenn Greenwald from trove leaked by Edward Snowden show that the agency officially viewed arguments about 'due process' to be an 'adversary propaganda theme'
, listed alongside military threats to drones. [more inside]
Who owns Marvelman? Part I
and part II
- the concluding chapters of Padraig O Mealoid's epic 16 part history
of one of comic's most disputed characters. meanwhile another hole in comics history
is about to be filled in as Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell's Zenith finally gets collected in full
- Lowell Bergman (the journalist portrayed by Al Pacino in The Insider
) has investigated News Corporation
for PBS Frontline [transcript]
. He depicts Rupert Murdoch's British operation as a criminal enterprise, routinely hacking the voicemail and computers of innocent people, and using bribery and coercion to infiltrate police and government over decades. Enemies are ruthlessly "monstered
" by the tabloids. Bergman also spoke to NPR's Fresh Air
But the hits keep coming: in recent days News Corp has been accused of hacking rival pay TV services and promoting pirated receiver cards in both the UK
. With the looming possibility of prosecution under America's Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
, how long will shareholders consider Rupert Murdoch irreplaceable? [Previous 1 2 3 4]
The Naked Rambler now in prison for 6 years for nudity
Six years ago, Naked Rambler Stephen Gough's hike from Land's End to John O'Groats brought him media fame – and a prison sentence. Then another, and another, and… why has he been locked up ever since?
MI6 intends to use the 1994 Intelligence Services Act to deny all application of UK law to extraordinary rendition.
The case in question revolves around the forcible extradition of several Libyan dissidents back to Gaddafi's Libya and entirely predictable torture, including a pregnant woman. s.7 of the Act states that any intelligence agency action authorised on foreign soil by a Secretary of State is automatically exempt from legal action in any UK court. This could be said to conflict in some ways with the Human Rights Act 1998 and international law, especially since the HRA may be held to have implicitly repealed s.7 of the 1994 Act. [more inside]
England's Obscenity Trial of the Decade
is over, with unanimous Not Guilty verdicts being returned for all 6 charges. R v Peacock
was a rare outing for the Obscene Publications Act 1959
and its out-lawing of media which depraves
, and despite being shown DVDs of explicit homosexual acts, fisting, testicular torture, rape scenes, prolaspses and other acts the prosecution described as extreme the jury decided the material didn't breech the law. Alex d.
live tweeted the proceeding and Peacock's supprters are celebratory
. The question now is what is obscene in today's society, and is the act still relevant
. [more inside]
"On Tuesday 21 June 2011 six photographers were assigned different areas of the City to photograph. Some used tripods, some went hand held, one set up a 5 x 4. All were instructed to keep to public land and photograph the area as they would on a normal day. The event aimed to test the policing of public and private space by private security firms and their reaction to photographers. All six photographers were stopped on at least one occasion. Three encounters led to police action. This is what happened.
" (The actual video starts at 1:14.)
UK respite and foster parents may no longer be homophobic, even when it is due to religious belief.
An English Christian couple acting as foster parents have been banned from further placements due to their statement that they could not tell children that homosexual relationships were of equal value, with judges stating that their claims that adoption should still be allowed as a "a travesty of reality
". Reaction from the UK religious right (such as it is) is venomous
. [more inside]
- "How Britain is using classical music as a form of social control".
The Obama administration has repeatedly threatened to conceal future information of terrorist threats from the British government, unless the British government disobeys the High Court ruling requiring them to release information about the US government's acknowledged torture program. This may be a breach of the Convention Against Torture. Glenn Greenwald
has new evidence. Previously.
Extreme pornography illegal in Britain since Monday, 26 January, thanks to the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008
. Aside from changes to custodial sentencing guidelines (and early release guidelines to ease overcrowding), the most controversial aspect of the law relates to the legal definition of extreme pornography.
An image is deemed to be extreme if it "is grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character" and "it portrays in an explicit and realistic way, any of the following
(a) an act which threatens a person’s life,
(b) an act which results, or is likely to result, in serious injury to a person’s anus, breasts or genitals
(c) an act which involves sexual interference with a human corpse
(d) a person performing an act of intercourse or oral sex with an animal (whether dead or alive)
BDSM groups, among others, have campaigned and protested against the law.
Aside from concerns about the legality of kink, some have pointed out that some comics and graphic novels would also fall afoul of the new law
, a Christian
registrar, has won her discrimination case
after refusing to conduct same sex civil partnerships
. " Islington Council cared too much
about the "rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual" community, the panel ruled. "
A 15-year-old in London is being prosecuted
for holding a sign
calling Scientology a "cult", during a peaceful demonstration (0:55-1:40)
. The teenager refused to back down, quoting a 1984 high court ruling from Mr Justice Latey, in which he described the Church of Scientology as a "cult" ... The City of London police came under fire two years ago when it emerged that more than 20 officers, ranging from constable to chief superintendent, had accepted gifts worth thousands of pounds from the Church of Scientology. The City of London Chief Superintendent, Kevin Hurley, praised Scientology for "raising the spiritual wealth of society" during the opening of its headquarters in 2006. Last year a video praising Scientology emerged featuring Ken Stewart, another of the City of London's chief superintendents via
Britain: Home of freedom
in the Commons for the first time since his election in 1997. MPs refused to pass laws allowing terrorist suspects to be jailed without trial for 90 days, and Blair's parliamentary majority of 66 turned into a minority of 31. The government has been holding back on the vote for months in an attempt to persuade their party to back the Prime Minister - they failed.
(or Anti Social Behaviour Orders) are used to stop a variety of different anti-social behaviours
(Wikipedia Link only included to give background. The fun stuff is in the following BBC links)
You may have heard of the "McLibel Two
", the pair of Brits who, as part of a group called London Greenpeace (not affiliated with Greenpeace International, by the by), published a flier
decrying the nutritional and corporate values of McDonalds, and who subsequently lost a libel action brought against them by the corporation. It took a few years, but The European Court of Human Rights has overturned the decision
, based on the fact that the two did not receive legal aid assistance during the trial (where they represented themselves).
"After the War on Drugs - Options for Control
is a major new report examining the key themes in the drug policy reform debate, detailing how legal regulation
of drug markets will operate, and providing a roadmap and time line for reform." It's concise and reasonable, but is this report from the Transform Drug Policy Foundation (Google News lookup)
really "the first practical road map
for a benign drug policy that must follow the collapse of drug prohibition"? ... "No countries have yet legalised any drug covered under the U.N. convention" - will anything change anytime soon?
As of October next year, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995
comes into effect in the UK. Under this act, a disabled person may have rights to sue a service-providing company if they have difficulty accessing their website just as they might if they had difficulty accessing their headquarters. The Royal National Institute of the Blind website
includes a "web access centre
", which takes a good look at the issue of accessibility and provides sound advice to web designers whether they are legally obligated to tackle such issues or not.
In a new twist to a theme discussed earlier on MeFi
, on language censorship (but in an entirely different case) the UK might be the first country to jail a man for using a single court-prohibited word
As repellent as the defendant's behaviour was, can such a case of censorship and prohibition of freedom of speech ever be justified?
How Dodgy Are You?
I'm in the clear. No years in prison and no fine. Safe and boring. Let's see the Mefi criminal element emerge shall we? [Imagary may now be work safe and the quiz is based on UK law ...]
"Fo shizzle ma nizzle"
versus Her Majesty's Justice.
"Women Empowering Women".
This pyramid scheme
is spreading like wildfire in the UK, with huge amounts of money involved. Basically you get a lot of people to put up say £100. The more people you attract to add money to the pyramid, the better chance you have of moving up and becoming entitled to many times your initial outlay. However, no investment occurs; this is simple cashflow juggling. Someone I work with gained £12000 on it in under a month - now everyone wants in the act. But (and I've pleaded with these people) the participants don't seem to appreciate the sheer idiocy of such schemes. Their attitude is "my husband goes to the betting shop, it's just my bit of fun
". In the end, if you gain money, you're taking it directly
from another participant. This is exploitation of people (normally hard-up, heavily mortgaged parents, it seems), is morally wrong
and should be illegal - but it isn't in the UK
. Here's a link to a BBC feature on pyramid schemes
(aka trading schemes). This really
boils my piss, but it carries on because individual participants can benefit from the fraud themselves. I understand women are targeted in this case as men are more likely to get in fights when they realise they've lost large amounts of cash.
Seatbelts save lives
. Nineteen years ago today wearing seatbelts in cars became mandatory in the UK. Almost everyone
agrees that they save lives
but still many people don't bother
, especially in the back seat
, aged 17, was arrested and interrogated for 8 hours by the police without caution and without legal counsel. Despite having the reading age of an 11 year old, he was allowed to sign a confession to the brutal slaughter of typist Wendy Sewell. 27 years later at the UK Court of Appeal, he became today
the victim of the longest miscarriage of justice in the Britain's history.
Britain's strict gun laws not really working. While Britain has some of the toughest firearms laws in the world, the recent spate of gun murders in London has highlighted a disturbing growth in armed crime.
Could the NRA be correct? Should the Bobbies now be required to carry guns, something they have never done before?
blair postpones freedom of information act
until 2005, despite being a labour party pledge for 25 years...... after the undemocratic anti-terrorism legislation forced through parliament on monday, what hope for real civil liberties in the uk?
Cannabis laws to be relaxed, maybe...
Tony Blair wants to nix Double Jeopardy protection.
A right that has been considered vital since the days of the Magna Carta is under threat from Labour. Blair wants to make it possible that "someone acquitted of a killing can be put on trial again if new evidence emerges
". Why not just be sure of the case in the first place? This would only cause a rush to trial by unprepared prosecutors.
You be the judge
Mercy killing? Perhaps. You be the judge and pass sentence after reading the facts that convicted the father.
Perry Wacker gets a 14 year sentence.
For killing attempting to smuggle 60 people into the UK, he was sentenced to 8 years in prison. For killing 58 of them he was sentenced to a further 6 years.
He should have gotten the death sentence, or at least life-without-parole. Why was he charged with manslaughter instead of murder?
UK Govt. votes to ban hunting in England and Wales.
Browsing the web last night, several national polls were showing that more of the British Public were against a ban than in favour. Will the MPs who turned up to vote but not to debate (not very democratic?) live to regret their decision as the debate turns from animal welfare to civil rights?