OND is a community feature on Daily Kos, consisting of news stories from around the world, sometimes coupled with a daily theme, original research or commentary. Editors of OND impart their own presentation styles and content choices, typically publishing each day near 12:00AM Eastern Time. I tend to look at newspapers' web sites around the world and country.Judge: Obama sex assault comments 'unlawful command influence'
OND Editors consist of founder Magnifico, regular editors jlms qkw, maggiejean, wader, rfall, and JML9999, alumni editors palantir, BentLiberal, Oke and ScottyUrb, guest editor annetteboardman, and current editor-in-chief Neon Vincent. We invite our readers to comment & share other news.
Stars & Stripes; Eric Slavin
Two defendants in military sexual assault cases cannot be punitively discharged, if found guilty, because of “unlawful command influence” derived from comments made by President Barack Obama, a judge ruled in a Hawaii military court this week.Obama makes policy comments. Defense lawyer says "oh noes!!!!" Judge rules no one may be discharged for bad conduct? #wtf
Navy Judge Cmdr. Marcus Fulton ruled during pretrial hearings in two sexual assault cases — U.S. vs. Johnson and U.S. vs. Fuentes — that comments made by Obama as commander in chief would unduly influence any potential sentencing, according to a court documents obtained by Stars and Stripes.
On Wednesday and Thursday, Fulton approved the pretrial defense motions, which used as evidence comments that Obama made about sexual assault at a May 7 news conference.
The judge’s pretrial ruling means that if either defendant is found guilty, whether by a jury or a military judge, they cannot receive a bad conduct discharge or a dishonorable discharge. Sailors found guilty under the Uniform Code of Military Justice’s Article 120, which covers several sexual crimes including assault and rape, generally receive punitive discharges.
The ruling sets the stage for defense attorneys to use the same arguments in sexual assault cases throughout the military.
AROUND THE WORLD
Detained Bahraini activist Nabeel Rajab writes to IFEX from prison
In a letter read out during the IFEX general meeting, detained Bahraini activist Nabeel Rajab thanked IFEX members for their support and encouraged them to continue fighting for free expression:Bahrain has a low-level civil disobedience movement, about 2 years old. The media doesn't give it attention comparable to other countries. Lucky for the Bahraini government, they are a US "ally." Thanks go to @lgdutchboy for the story.
Colleagues, heads and members of regional and international organisations that defend freedom of opinion and expression and human rights, my friends from the members of the IFEX network, activists and advocates, and leaders of civil society groups,
Dear friends, the unknown soldiers, the managers, administrators and workers at the IFEX office in Canada,
I picked up this photo from a twitter friend ( @USMCshrink ) and have no proper attribution.
Japan mulls joint training with U.S. using Osprey aircraft outside Okinawa
Ground Self-Defense Force units plan to join the U.S. Marine Corps in training involving MV-22 Osprey aircraft over Japan’s main islands, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said Thursday.'Money grab' hits state's vulnerable
By having the Self-Defense Forces drill outside of Okinawa, Japanese and U.S. officials hope to persuade local governments and communities to accept the presence of the controversial tilt-rotor aircraft, whose safety has been questioned due to accidents overseas.
“We have told the U.S. side (about the planned joint drill), which is part of measures to reduce the burden on Okinawa,” Onodera said at a news conference, referring to the prefecture’s hosting of the bulk of U.S. bases in Japan.
The Age; Henrietta Cook
The Napthine government has lifted public housing rents in response to carbon tax compensation payments, angering tenants and state and federal Labor.Austerity cannot end soon enough.
Essendon public housing tenant Val Mullally was fuming after she received a letter from the Department of Human Services last week informing her of a rent increase partially due to carbon tax compensation payments.
Victorian Public Tenants Association chairwoman Margaret Guthrie said the move unfairly targeted vulnerable Victorians.
''They have decided to target one of the most impoverished sections of the community, many who have disabilities, chronic illnesses and children and are no doubt facing increased bills for gas and electricity,'' Ms Guthrie said. ''Now the state government is saying we can grab a bit of extra money.''
National Standards: Teachers boycott device
New Zealand Herald; Kate Shuttleworth
Teachers and principals plan to boycott a $6 million computerised assessment device which would be compulsory for every primary student in 2015 as part of National Standards.Testing is bunk too. Good for those teachers.
The NZ Principals' Federation, the Educational Institute, the NZ Association of Intermediate and Middle Schools and the Catholic Principals Association have called on school boards, colleagues and the organisations developing the 'Progress and Consistency Tool' (PaCT) to stop their involvement, including a trial this year.
They say PaCT amounts to a national test and are concerned about how the data will be used.
The Ministry of Education has said it will make National Standards data more reliable.
'Racist attack' on Chinese students in France sparks widespread outrage
South China Morning Post; AFP
China’s internet users reacted with outrage to reports of a racist assault on six Chinese students studying in France, while others denounced the victims as children of wealthy officials.New mental health bill bans electric shocks, gives right to treatment
The oenology students were attacked early on Saturday in the wine-producing Bordeaux region, France’s interior ministry said, describing the violence as an act of xenophobia.
The Chinese embassy in Paris said on Sunday that it “strongly condemns” the assault.
“We ask relevant authorities in France to investigate the case swiftly, to bring the perpetrators to justice, and take relevant action to ensure the safety of Chinese students,” it said in a statement.
Three of the alleged attackers have been detained and are now in police custody. A female student seriously hurt by a glass bottle thrown at her face during the assault was in hospital and underwent surgery.
Times of India; IANS
The right of mentally-ill patients to decide their mode of treatment, decriminalizing suicide for them and a ban on electric shock treatment without anaesthesia are some of the progressive provisions of the new mental health bill proposed by the government.Shutter down strike observed in Quetta
"The bill was passed by the union cabinet last week," health secretary K Desiraju told IANS.
Once passed by parliament, the bill will repeal the Mental Health Act, 1987.
If passed, it will make access to mental healthcare a right for all. Also, such services would be affordable, of good quality and available without discrimination.
An estimated 10-12 million or one to two per cent of the population suffers from severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and nearly 50 million or five per cent from common mental disorders such as depression and anxiety, yielding an overall estimate of 6.5 per cent of the population.
Dawn; Syed Ali Shah
A shutter down strike was observed in Quetta against twin suicide bombings in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan on Sunday.India wary of China arms firm’s invite to Sharif
Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), a Pashtun nationalist group, and traders community had given the call of strike to condemn the incident. All shops and markets were closed during the strike. The flow of traffic remained thin throughout the day during the strike.
Balochistan government also observed a day of mourning against the tragic bombing which targeted female students in Sardar Bhadur Khan Women University along with officials and nurses in Bolan Medical Complex Hospital Quetta.
Strict security measures were adopted by the provincial administration to maintain law and order and avoid occurrence of another untoward incident in the provincial capital.
Hindustan Times; Shishir Gupta
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s invitation to China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) to ostensibly help Islamabad in energy infrastructure development has raised eyebrows in South Block given the company’s alleged involvement in supplies to India’s northeast insurgent groups.China - India - Pakistan: Billions of people, nuclear weapons, gender imbalances, religious differences.
SADC leaders urge Mugabe to delay vote
Mail & Guardian; Marina Lopes
Southern African leaders on Saturday told Zimbabwe to ask its courts to extend a July 31 deadline to hold elections, amid high tension between President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai over the timing of the vote.This looks messy and complicated. I was actually open to any African story, but Zimbabwe dominated the M&G's Africa section.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit in the Mozambican capital came two days after Mugabe declared the election day, a date immediately rejected by Tsvangirai, his partner in coalition and main political rival.
Mugabe had argued he was following an order from the Constitutional Court to hold the election by the end of July, but Tsvangirai said it was too soon to allow the reforms of the media and security forces required for a free and fair vote.
Legislator Odalis Monzon said the proposal would “prohibit all types of baby bottles” as a way to improve children's health.Breastfeeding is perfectly normal and natural. I heard an ad for formula that eases crying this week. I nearly threw something. I have strong opinions on this. Backed by good data.
”We want to increase the love (between mother and child) because this has been lost as a result of these trans-national companies selling formula,” Monzon said on state television on Thursday.
She said the Law for the Promotion and Support for Breast-Feeding, passed in 2007 did not establish any sanctions for using formula. However, she did not say what the sanctions might be if the proposed change to prohibit bottle feeding is passed by Congress, where the Socialist Party has a majority.
Now, I will finish with two on Syria, and add some commentary.
Egypt cuts Syria ties, calls for no-fly zone
Hürriyet Daily News
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi said June 15 he had cut all diplomatic ties with Damascus and called for a no-fly zone over Syria, in the latest blow to the embattled President Bashar al-Assad.Chemical Weapons Charge: Berlin Rules out Arms for Rebels
Addressing a rally called by Sunni Muslim clerics in Cairo, Morsi said: “We decided today to entirely break off relations with Syria and with the current Syrian regime.” He also warned al-Assad’s allies in the Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah to pull back from fighting in Syria.
“We stand against Hezbollah in its aggression against the Syrian people,” Morsi said. “Hezbollah must leave Syria - these are serious words. There is no space or place for Hezbollah in Syria.” Morsi said he was organizing an urgent summit of Arab and other Islamic states to discuss the situation in Syria, where the United States has in recent days decided to take steps to arm the rebels.
Washington has said it may soon move to supply weapons to Syrian rebels, a move that has been met with reserve by the international community. Western diplomats also told the news agency Reuters that the US government is considering a no-fly zone in Syria.Where was Egypt one year ago? 18 months ago? Why is everyone blathering about a no-fly zone completely unable to enforce one? Don't they know that Russia sent in all that anti-aircraft weaponry already? Where was the Arab League?
But despite reports that the regime of dictator Bashar Assad may have used chemical weapons, Germany says it has no plans to deliver arms to the rebels, a government spokesman said on Friday.
Steffen Seibert, spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel of the conservative Christian Democrats, said Germany would stick with its position of not providing weapons to a country engaged in a civil war for "legal reasons". The opposition had made the same demand. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the German Foreign Ministry said it had no information of its own about the use of deadly poison gas by the regime in Damascus.
Although Germany doesn't intend to provide weapons aid, the country has been providing "non lethal support" since the beginning of June in the form of bullet-proof vests and first-aid kit deliveries to the Free Syrian Army.
Assad has Russia, China, Hezbollah, Iran.
Rebels have Syrian Free Army, Turkey, some Islamists, and first aid kits from Germany? What about surgical suites, emergency medical supplies for bullets, explosions, burns, etc?
I do not claim to know the right answer. There may not be a right answer. There may be a few answers that are okay. There is no happy ending for this country.
ACROSS THE USA
Woman runs over armed carjacker who threatened kids in Baytown
ABC13.com; Kevin Quinn
A woman robbed at knifepoint in Baytown fought back, running over her attacker with her car on Friday. It was a terrifying ordeal for a woman and her children when an armed man suddenly appeared in her back seat.Rawstory quoted the woman/hero as saying "he messed with the wrong witch" - I am guessing that Wolf Blitzer has not inquired about her thanking any particular god yet.
What happened next ended with the suspect having to be flown to a hospital. The woman's husband tells Eyewitness News she was trying to hit a telephone pole in order to disorient the attacker. He apparently jumped form the van and the woman ran over him.
Martinez was taken by Life Flight to the hospital with serious injuries to his back. He was listed in stable condition Friday night and is expected to face serious charges. Martinez's criminal history includes rape and burglary convictions.
The children were unhurt in the incident, and their father is thankful for his wife's actions.
Indian River Lagoon mystery ailment killing dolphins, manatees, pelicans
Tampa Bay Times; Craig Pittman
The Indian River Lagoon on Florida's east coast has long been known as the most diverse ecosystem in North America.Buyouts cost taxpayers millions extra
Its 156 miles of water boast more than 600 species of fish and more than 300 kinds of birds.
The lagoon is not just an ecological treasure. To the towns along its edge — Titusville, Cocoa, Melbourne, Vero Beach and Stuart, among others — it accounts for hundreds of millions in revenue from angling, boating, bird-watching, tourism and other waterfront activities.
But these days the Indian River Lagoon has become known as a killing zone.
Algae blooms wiped out more than 47,000 acres of its sea grass beds, which one scientist compared to losing an entire rainforest in one fell swoop.
Then, beginning last summer, manatees began dying. As of last week, 111 manatees from Indian River Lagoon had died under mysterious circumstances. Soon pelicans and dolphins began showing up dead too — more than 300 pelicans and 46 dolphins so far.
Des Moines Register
More than 100 victims of the 2008 Iowa floods could receive buyouts well above their property’s assessed value before the devastation hit, a Des Moines Register investigation shows.HERE IN UTAH
Those buyouts — some more than $1 million above pre-flood assessments — are in line to cost taxpayers an extra $9.3 million in the city of Cedar Rapids alone.
Property owners received the higher payouts after appealing the city’s appraised values and paying for their own private assessment with a licensed appraiser.
Despite the sometimes wide disparities in appraised values, those private assessments were generally accepted by city and state officials without question or without an independent review, according to interviews with city of Cedar Rapids staff members.
No more Andrew Jackson for Utah Democrats
Salt Lake Tribune; Paul Rolly
The new name of the event is the Taylor & Mayne Awards Concert and Celebration, which takes place Thursday at the Gallivan Center.Yay for progress in Utah! We have to celebrate it when we find it!
It is named for Todd Taylor, the executive director of the Utah Democratic Party for 22 years — making him the longest tenured political party executive director in the country before he died last year, and Ed Mayne, the longtime president of the Utah AFL-CIO and Democratic state senator, who died in 2007.
Speaking of the decision to dump Jefferson-Jackson, which traditionally is the name of local Democratic Party fundraisers throughout the country in honor of the two presidents credited with founding the modern Democratic Party, State Democratic Chairman Jim Dabakis said it was the unanimous sentiment of the State Central Committee that Jackson’s name had to go.
Gun show offers free concealed weapons classes to Utah educators
Fox 13; Mark Green
The topic of teachers with guns is a controversial one as the national debate about preventing gun violence rages on.OTHER
While elements of Congress are pushing for stricter gun legislation, some states like Utah are fighting for more Second Amendment protections for gun owners.
In the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, some people believe teachers should be given guns and trained to use them. The Rocky Mountain Gun Show embraced this idea and offered free concealed weapons classes for educators this weekend at the South Towne Expo Center.
Miss Utah's amazing answer to women being the breadwinners yet making less than men from Matt Binder. Also at Deadspin. This is painful. It's like Sarah Palin from BYU.