The High Court has confirmed what we already knew: human genes are not inventions

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Opinion The company Myriad had intellectual property rights for 20 years in Australia over genetic material the High Court now recognises it never invented. This won’t happen again, writes Luigi Palombi. ABC – TheDRUM – By Luigi Palombi Almost two and a half years ago, I wrote a piece for The Drum on the subject of the patenting of human genes. Justice Nicholas of the Federal Court of Australia had just handed down his decision in the case of D’Arcy ... Read More »

What more can Australia do to end the death penalty worldwide?

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Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has initiated a parliamentary inquiry into Australia’s efforts in campaigning against the death penalty. The Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade has sought submissions with regard to: … reviewing how Australia currently engages internationally to promote abolition of the death penalty, and further steps Australia could take to advocate for worldwide abolition. This inquiry is a progressive response to the executions of Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran in Indonesia this year. The ... Read More »

US state executes multiple murderer from El Salvador

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The state of Virginia late Oct.1 executed multiple murderer Alfredo Prieto, rejecting last minute court appeals from lawyers for the Salvadoran immigrant. Hurriyet – WASHINGTON – Agence France-Presse Prison officials said in a statement that Prieto, who was put to death by lethal injection, was pronounced dead at 9:17 pm (0117 GMT Friday). His final words, they said, were: “Let’s get this over with.” Prieto had been convicted of or linked to nine killings across the United States. His attorneys ... Read More »

Why the West turns a blind eye to Saudi Arabia’s brutality


Opinion Saudi Arabia inflicts punishments every bit as obscene as those enforced by the Islamic State. But it’s also a reliable and convenient ally, and that matters more to the West than the life of a democracy protester, writes Jeff Sparrow. ABC – By Jeff Sparrow One of the iconic photos from the presidency of the second George Bush shows Dubya at his Texas ranch, holding hands with the Saudi king Abdullah bin Abdulaziz. The image encapsulates the West’s longstanding ... Read More »

Brazil congressman fined for saying colleague ‘not worth raping’

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Politician made outrageous comments in Congress The Telegraph – By Nick Allen, Washington A judge has ordered a Brazilian congressman to pay a colleague more than $2,500 for saying she wasn’t worth raping. Jair Bolsonaro, 59, told Maria do Rosario on the floor of Congress: “I wouldn’t even rape you because you don’t deserve it.” He claimed that his political opponent had called him a “rapist” in 2003. Mr Bolsonaro, a conservative, made his comments in December on World Human ... Read More »

Climate change refugee faces deportation

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A man who for years has argued to be allowed to stay with his family in New Zealand because of climate change in his homeland is to be deported. SBS – Source: AAP A Kiribati man who made an unsuccessful bid to become the world’s first climate change refugee will apply to the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations as he awaits deportation from New Zealand. Ioane Teitiota has for years argued his family’s health was at risk if ... Read More »

First-ever civil drone conviction in Britain handed down in landmark case

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RT – A 42-year-old man has been convicted of drone related offences after flying a drone over football stadia and through busy and congested areas of central London. The conviction is the first prosecution of its kind in the UK. Nigel Wilson, from Nottingham, pleaded guilty to seven offences in breach of the Air Navigation Order 2009 and has been forced to pay a fine of £1,800 (US$2,760). He was also issued with a Criminal Behavior Order banning him from ... Read More »

Federal Circuit Court judge Alexander Street accused of bias after rejecting hundreds of migration cases

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A Federal Circuit Court judge from one of Australia’s most famous legal families has been accused of apprehended bias after he rejected more than 250 appeals in migration cases in six months. ABC – By the National Reporting Team’s Natasha Robinson Rulings of Judge Alexander “Sandy” Street have been subject to several appeals in two recent cases in the Full Federal Court, which has strongly criticised the newly appointed Federal Circuit Court judge. In a highly unusual move, applicants have ... Read More »

Papua New Guinea’s supreme court halts asylum seeker deportations

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Exclusive: immigration department will defy highest court in the land if it continues forcing men held on Manus to return to their countries of origin The Guardian – Ben Doherty, @bendohertycorro Papua New Guinea’s supreme court has stepped in to halt all deportations of asylum seekers back to their home countries, ordering an interim injunction late on Tuesday to stop forcible removals. Two Iranian asylum seekers have been sent back from the Australian-run detention centre in Manus province to Tehran ... Read More »

US launches secret bid to stop release of hunger-striking Guantánamo detainee

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Objection to freeing Tariq Ba Odah, who is 56% of his ideal body weight, comes as Obama administration fights to stop detainees seeking freedom in federal courts The Guardian – Spencer Ackerman in New York @attackerman In an extremely rare legal manoeuvre, the Obama administration has challenged a legal request to free a hunger-striking Guantánamo Bay detainee entirely in secret. US officials said the objection to freeing Tariq Ba Odah, who is undernourished to the point of starvation, and the ... Read More »

Scott Morrison loses High Court case against a refugee

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Former immigration minister Scott Morrison’s decision to refuse a Pakistani refugee a protection visa on a “national interest” basis has failed in the High Court. The Sydney Morning Herald – Sarah Whyte, Health and Indigenous affairs correspondent The court has unanimously found that the man, who arrived by boat on Christmas Island in 2012, be granted a permanent protection visa, which had been previously refused by a delegate of the Minister. Mr Morrison had argued that because the man had ... Read More »

Adani mine: NSW Bar chides Tony Abbott over ‘sabotage’ comments

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Mark Kenny: Adani and government caught cutting corners Courts do not exist to further the interests of governments, the NSW Bar has told Prime Minister Tony Abbott, as it delivered him a sharp lesson in the separation of powers. The Sydney Morning Herald – Nicole Hasham, Environment and immigration correspondent The rebuke came after Mr Abbott on Friday said the overturned approval of Australia’s largest coal mine meant courts could be used for “sabotage”. Approval for Queensland’s Carmichael coal mine was set aside this week after the Federal Court ruled Environment Minister Greg ... Read More »

Former Bulgarian intelligence head sentenced to 10 years in jail

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Bulgaria’s former intelligence chief Kircho Kirov was sentenced to 10 years in jail on August 7 for misappropriation of public funds and violations of financial discipline, prosecutors said. Hurriyet – SOFIA – Reuters Kirov, convicted for misappropriating nearly 5 million levs ($2.8 million) and filing for more than 1,000 non-existent expenses between 2007 and 2011, denied any wrongdoing and will appeal the verdict. “I believe in the fairness of the Bulgarian judicial system and I believe I will be able ... Read More »

Wikileaks says case of Canberra Defence leaker is ‘cautionary tale’ for whistleblowers

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WikiLeaks says the prosecution of a junior Canberra bureaucrat alleged to have posted secret information online should serve as a cautionary tale to potential whistleblowers. The Age – Michael Inman, Courts reporter for The Canberra Times. The organisation – which specialises in protecting those who wish to leak government secrets – urged would-be whistleblowers to seek expert help to disclose sensitive information. Department of Defence graduate Michael Scerba, now 24, has been accused of leaking information that risked serious harm to Australia’s ... Read More »

For one Palestinian, no money can compensate for lost land

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RAMALLAH, West Bank — Al-Hage Abdul Rahman al-Qassem stood near the land he owns on the outskirts of the Beit El Israeli settlement, which was built on Palestinian land in northern Ramallah. He distributed sweets to passers-by, celebrating the ruling of the Supreme Court of Israel against the illegal construction there. Summary: A Palestinian man is celebrating his victory in Israel’s Supreme Court after a three-decade battle for land he still can’t use — and won’t sell. Al-Monitor – Author: Aziza Nofal – Translator: Joelle El-Khoury ... Read More »

Pakistan defies rights protests to hang ‘teen’ convict

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Pakistan on August 4 executed a man convicted of killing a child, brushing aside a storm of protests from rights groups that his confession had been extracted by torture and he was a minor at the time of the crime. Hurriyet – KARACHI – Agence France-Presse Shafqat Hussain was hanged shortly before dawn at a jail in Karachi for killing a seven-year-old boy in the city in 2004, his brother and a prison official told AFP. The case raised grave ... Read More »