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February 29, 2024

US Refuses to Assure UK Judges That Assange Won’t Be Executed If He’s Extradited

UK law prohibits extradition to a country that may impose capital punishment.

On February 20 and 21, as nearly 1,000 supporters of Julian Assange gathered outside the London courthouse, a two-judge panel of the High Court of Justice presided over a “permission hearing.” Assange’s lawyers asked the judges to allow them to appeal the home secretary’s extradition order and raise issues that the district court judge had rejected without full consideration.

The High Court panel, Dame Victoria Sharp and Justice Jeremy Johnson, were concerned that the U.S. government could execute Assange if he is extradited to the United States, a penalty outlawed in the U.K. Although Assange faces 175 years in prison for the charges alleged in the indictment, there is nothing to prevent the U.S. from adding additional offenses which would carry the death penalty.

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February 13, 2024

Supreme Court All But Ignores January 6 During Trump Disqualification Argument

Only Sonia Sotomayor appears willing to obey the command of the Disqualification Clause of the 14th Amendment.

Nearly 24 years ago, five right-wing members of the Supreme Court handed the presidency to George W. Bush in Bush v. Gore. Despite the conservatives’ hypocritical deference to the states on gun control, tobacco “rights,” disability rights and violence against women, the court overruled Florida’s interpretation of its election statutes to install Bush as president.

Now, the high court is poised to insinuate itself once again into a presidential election by allowing Trump-the-insurrectionist to remain on the ballot in Colorado in violation of the Disqualification Clause in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. But this time the six right-wingers on the court will likely be joined by at least two of their liberal colleagues.

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February 1, 2024

US Judge Admits Horror of Gaza Genocide, But Will He Dismiss Case Against Biden?

The judge noted that the US government doesn’t dispute the uncontradicted evidence of a “genocide in progress.”

Mere hours after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) found a plausible case that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza, a historic hearing took place in a federal courtroom in Oakland, California. Several Palestinians who are suing President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin for failure to prevent genocide and complicity in genocide testified before district court Judge Jeffrey White in a live-streamed session.

“I have lost everything in this war,” plaintiff Dr. Omar Al-Najjar testified from a hospital in Gaza. “I have nothing but my grief. This is what Israel and its supporters have done to us.” Al-Najjar reported that conditions are so bad there is “widespread childbirth in the street.”

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January 30, 2024

What Happens Now That the ICJ Has Ordered Israel Not to Engage in Genocide?

The ICJ ruling was a victory for Palestinians and for international law. Here are possible avenues for enforcement.

What comes next, now that the International Court of Justice (ICJ), also known as the World Court, has handed down its near unanimous ruling that South Africa presented a “plausible” case that Israel was violating the Genocide Convention?

The January 26 provisional ruling – which was a landmark victory for the Palestinian people, and indeed, for international law itself — now goes to the United Nations Security Council for enforcement. It would be within the Security Council’s purview to order economic or trade sanctions, arms embargoes, travel bans or even military force.

But in the likely event that the United States vetoes enforcement measures from the Security Council, the UN General Assembly can still act independently in materially significant ways.

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January 24, 2024

Biden’s Illegal Bombing of Yemen Intensifies the Risk of Regional War

The Houthis say their attacks in the Red Sea will continue until there is a ceasefire in Gaza.

In response to Israel’s assault on the people of Gaza in early October, Yemen’s Houthi movement, Ansar Allah, began mounting attacks on commercial ships in and around the Red Sea. The Houthis said the attacks were aimed at Israeli-connected or Israel-bound ships and they would continue until there is a ceasefire in Gaza. Meanwhile, the pressure on this vital trade route is impacting the global economy as ships are being redirected to more expensive routes.

On January 11, South Africa presented its case documenting Israel’s genocide in Gaza to the International Court of Justice. The following day, the U.S. and U.K. attacked 28 sites in Yemen. Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from a ballistic missile submarine killed five Yemenis and injured six. Four days later, the U.S. fired another cruise missile into Yemen.

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January 18, 2024

Israel Tells ICJ It Has the “Most Moral Army in the World” at Genocide Hearing

South Africa presented a powerful and compelling case that Israel is violating the Genocide Convention.

Pro-Palestinian protesters watch the court proceedings on a large TV screen in front of the International Court of Justice on January 12, 2024, in The Hague, Netherlands.
Pro-Palestinian protesters watch the court proceedings on a large TV screen in front of the International Court of Justice on January 12, 2024, in The Hague, Netherlands.
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January 8, 2024

Israel Is Terrified the World Court Will Decide It’s Committing Genocide

South Africa, a party to the Genocide Convention, charged Israel with genocide in the International Court of Justice.

For nearly three months, Israel has enjoyed virtual impunity for its atrocious crimes against the Palestinian people. That changed on December 29 when South Africa, a state party to the Genocide Convention, filed an 84-page application in the International Court of Justice (ICJ, or World Court) alleging that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza.

South Africa’s well-documented application alleges that “acts and omissions by Israel … are genocidal in character, as they are committed with the requisite specific intent … to destroy Palestinians in Gaza as a part of the broader Palestinian national, racial and ethnical group” and that “the conduct of Israel — through its State organs, State agents, and other persons and entities acting on its instructions or under its direction, control or influence — in relation to Palestinians in Gaza, is in violation of its obligations under the Genocide Convention.”

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December 28, 2023

As US Veto Power Enables Genocide, There Are Still UN Options to Protect Gaza

Any party to the Genocide Convention can submit the matter to the World Court, which could make a finding of genocide.

As Israel continues its genocide against the Palestinians in Gaza — with the death toll now exceeding 20,000 (about 70 percent women and children) — the world seems powerless to stop the slaughter.

The Biden administration, Israel’s chief enabler, defanged the resolution that was ultimately passed by the UN Security Council on December 22, rendering it merely symbolic. The final resolution calls for humanitarian assistance but not for a ceasefire which would allow aid to reach the people of Gaza. The U.S. saved diplomatic face by not employing its customary veto, but it did not vote for the resolution, electing instead to abstain.

On the same day, Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons Paula Gaviria Betancur warned that Israel seeks to permanently change the composition of Gaza’s population with additional evacuation orders, and systematic and widespread attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure in areas of southern Gaza.

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December 12, 2023

The Forcible Transfer of 85% of Palestinians in Gaza Is a Crime Against Humanity

The biased chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court condemns Hamas but ignores Israel’s atrocious crimes.

Since the October 7 attacks by Hamas that killed 1,200 people in Israel, the Israeli occupying forces have killed more than 17,000 Palestinians, over 7,000 of them children, and wounded more than 46,000. Close to 1.9 million people — about 85 percent of Gaza’s population — have been forced to flee their homes and squeeze into roughly one-third of the Gaza Strip.

The vast majority of people in Gaza have been displaced and are on the verge of starvation.

On October 13, in anticipation of its ground invasion into Gaza, Israel ordered 1.1 million Palestinians in northern Gaza to evacuate to the south within 24 hours. Although that was an impossible deadline to meet, half the population of Gaza was forcibly transferred in response to the evacuation order. Then, Israeli forces carpet-bombed the north, striking homes and hospitals. Much of the area was reduced to rubble.

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December 2, 2023

The Supreme Court May Be Poised to Kill the Voting Rights Act Once and for All

A federal court said only the government, not civil rights groups or individuals, can enforce the Voting Rights Act.

The Voting Rights Act, which Congress passed to enforce the 15th Amendment, has been targeted by the right wing since it was enacted in 1965. In the last few years, the Supreme Court has weakened the Voting Rights Act but has never ruled that civil rights organizations and aggrieved individuals could not sue to enforce its provisions.

On November 20, 2023, a panel of the Eighth United States Circuit Court of Appeals ruled two-to-one in a racial gerrymandering case that only the Department of Justice (DOJ) can file lawsuits to vindicate voting rights under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. In Arkansas NAACP v. Arkansas Board of Apportionment, the appellate panel dismissed a lawsuit filed by Black Arkansas voters who claimed that the state’s congressional map would illegally “undermine the voting strength of Black Arkansans.”

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