Drone strikes threaten 50 years of international law

Predator Drone Firing Missile 450x277 Drone strikes threaten 50 years of international law

Shoot for the moon, instead hit Pakistan (img by Red Dog Report)

tl;dr drone strikes violate international law, may qualify as war crimes.

@the Guardian:

The US policy of using aerial drones to carry out targeted killings presents a major challenge to the system of international law that has endured since the second world war, a United Nations investigator has said.

Christof Heyns, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, summary or arbitrary executions, told a conference in Geneva that President Obama’s attacks in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere, carried out by the CIA, would encourage other states to flout long-establishedhuman rights standards.

In his strongest critique so far of drone strikes, Heyns suggested some may even constitute “war crimes”. His comments come amid rising international unease over the surge in killings by remotely piloted unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). (more…)

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Court throws out FCC penalties for cursing, nudity

Family Guy FCC by paperfetish 450x337 Court throws out FCC penalties for cursing, nudity

“His chin looks like balls, you want me to cover that, too?” (img by paperfetish)

tl;dr you can say shit on TV now.

@Mercury News:

 Broadcasters anticipating a major constitutional ruling on the government’s authority to regulate what can be shown and said on the airwaves instead won only the smallest of Supreme Court victories Thursday.

The justices unanimously threw out fines and other penalties against Fox and ABC television stations that violated the Federal Communications Commission policy regulating curse words and nudity on television airwaves.

Forgoing a broader constitutional ruling, however, the court concluded only that broadcasters could not have known in advance that obscenities uttered during awards show programs on Fox stations and a brief display of nudity on an episode of ABC’s “NYPD Blue” could give rise to penalties. ABC and 45 affiliates had been hit with proposed fines totaling nearly $1.24 million.

Broadcasters had argued that the revolution in technology that has brought the Internet, satellite television and cable has made the rules themselves obsolete. The regulations apply only to broadcast channels. (more…)

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Mark Ruffalo and Tom Morello launch Robin Hood tax plan to outlaw Wall Street excess

Tom+Morello+arm+the+homeless 450x299 Mark Ruffalo and Tom Morello launch Robin Hood tax plan to outlaw Wall Street excess

“I came late to the genre of folk music.” (img by sofilambert)

tl;dr we should have a .5% tax on trades.

@the Raw Story:

Actor Mark Ruffalo and Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello have launched a new US campaign for a “Robin Hood tax”, a small levy on Wall Street transactions that organisers say could generate hundred of billions of dollars a year.

The campaign, backed by National Nurses United, the largest nursing union in the US, has already launched in 14 countries, including the UK, France and Germany.

Organisers of the campaign, which also features Coldplay singer Chris Martin, are calling for a tax of “less than half of 1%” on Wall Street transactions, which they say would not affect most Americans’ financial activity.

Adopting the 99% language of the Occupy movement, the campaign said the tax would “easy to enforce and tough to evade”. (more…)

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US Cleared for Giving Guatemalans Syphilis

syphilis postcard 450x301 US Cleared for Giving Guatemalans Syphilis

Not pictured: syphilis, because we love you. Link goes to printable syphilis awareness promo stuff, which is actually kind of cool if you’re into syphilis awareness. We totally are, obviously. (img by CATIE)

tl;dr holy shit we gave a bunch of Guatemalans the siph, and it was legal!

@Courthouse News:

The United States has immunity from a class action related to the gov’t-led infection of hundreds of Guatemalans with syphilis, a federal judge ruled, calling the study “a deeply troubling chapter in our nation’s history.”

During the 40 years that the Venereal Disease Research Laboratory within the U.S. Public Health Service conducted limited experiments on black men already infected with syphilis in Tuskegee, Ala., it also secretly infected other human subjects. The agency set its sights on Guatemala after unsuccessfully trying to infect prisoners at a Terre Haute, Ind., federal penitentiary with gonorrhea, according to the March 2011complaint.

A Presidential Commission of the Study of Bioethical Issues, convened by President Barack Obama in 2010, confirmed these claims. (more…)

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Hundreds of pet owls abandoned after Harry Potter craze fades


Hundreds of owls are being abandoned across the country after being bought as pets by Harry Potter fans.

Sanctuaries are full of the birds now the craze has faded after the release of the final Harry Potter film last year.

And it’s feared many more have been illegally released into the wild and will have starved to death or taken over territory inhabited by smaller wild owls.

There was a surge in demand for pet owls from fans who fell in love with Harry’s cute companion ­Hedwig. (more…)

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Hebrew National hot dogs not kosher, lawsuit claims

2224843728 7363ac6f48 z 450x337 Hebrew National hot dogs not kosher, lawsuit claims

A delicious abomination. (img by sheeshoo)


ConAgra Foods Inc has been sued by consumers who contend that hot dogs and other products sold under its Hebrew National brand are not kosher.

The lawsuit alleges that meat processing services provided to ConAgra by privately held AER Services Inc fell short of the standards necessary to label Hebrew National products as kosher. As a result, they said, ConAgra misled consumers and was able to charge premium prices.

Eleven individual consumers filed their complaint in May in Minnesota state court. ConAgra moved the case this month to a federal court in St. Paul. The lawsuit was reported last week by American Jewish World, a publication based in Minnesota. (more…)

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