Daily Archives: March 26, 2011

Former Ukrainian President Charged in Journalist’s Death

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On Thursday, the prosecutor general’s office in Kiev charged former President Leonid Kuchma in connection with the 2000 murder of an opposition journalist, Georgy Gongadze. It is not yet clear whether the former president will be charged with ordering the murder or if he will be charged in a lesser role.

Kuchma, who served as president of Ukraine from 1994 to 2005, did not comment on the charges against him but did proclaim his innocence.

Gongadze was the founder of the Ukrainska Pravda (Ukrainian Truth), a website that investigated and exposed government corruption. In 2000, Gongadze was abducted and later found beheaded in a wooded area outside Kiev. His death led to widespread protests against the government.

Via Impunity Watch.


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American Soldier Sentenced for Killing Afghan Civilians

Wednesday, an American soldier, Spc. Jeremy Morlock, was sentenced to 24 years in prison for killing 3 Afghan civilians.

His sentencing came after he pleaded guilty to three counts of murder and one count each of conspiracy, illegal drug use, and obstructing justice. He was convicted in a conspiracy with four other soldiers to kill unarmed Afghan civilians.

Military judge Lt. Col. Kwasi Hawks said he intended to sentence Morlock to life in prison but was bound by a plea deal. Morlock will receive 352 days off his sentence for time served.

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No Gay Marriage in California During Appeal

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On Wednesday, a federal appeals court refused to allow same-sex marriages to take place in California while it considers the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the voter-approved ban on gay marriage.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris joined gay marriage proponents in urging the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to lift a stay placed on the lower court’s ruling to strike down Prop. 8.

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New Orleans Hospital Settles for Katrina Deaths

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On Wednesday, a New Orleans hospital and its parent company settled a class action lawsuit in the deaths and injuries of patients who were stranded there during Hurricane Katrina.

About 2,000 patients and staff were stranded at the hospital. Later, 45 bodies were recovered from the building. Most of the dead succumbed to dehydration as the hospital waited for supplies for four days.

The terms of the settlement are confidential, but it is known that the 400 hospital staff who were trapped in the building would not be eligible to receive part of the settlement.

Katrina, which hit New Orleans in August 2005, left 85% of New Orleans flooded.

Via The Boston Globe.

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