Monthly Archives: August 2011

On This Day…

The flag of Washington, D.C.

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In 1963, the hot-line communications link between Washington, D.C. and Moscow went into operation.

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Somali Pirates Get Life Term

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Two Somali pirates accused of hijacking an American boat and murdering four of its passengers have been sentenced to life in prison. Their co-conspirators will be sentenced in a few weeks.

Burhan Abdirahman Yusuf and Ali Abdi Mohamed are among eleven men who have pleaded guilty over the February hijacking of the American yacht Quest near the coast of Oman.

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Representative Wants to Make Copyright Law More Beneficial to Artists

The senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, Representative John Coyners Jr. (MI), has called for a revision of United States copyright law to remove ambiguities about who is eligible to claim ownership rights to songs.

When copyright law was revised in 1976, artists and songwriters were granted “termination rights” that enable them to regain control of their work after thirty-five years. The major record labels are now fighting the efforts of recording artists and songwriters who try to invoke those rights.

Because Republicans are the majority party in the House, lawyers and managers have expressed doubts that a bipartisan agreement can be reached, as Republicans are more sympathetic to record labels than the artists who work for them.

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Rebels Find Evidence of Mass Killings in Tripoli

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Rebel forces sweeping Tripoli to clear out the last of Gadhafi‘s forces have found a warehouse containing the charred remains of many prisoners who were killed and burned. The warehouse is near the southern Tripoli headquarters of the Khamis Brigade, Libya’s most notorious military unit.

The horrific find makes Libyan rebels more concerned about the fate of thousands of other prisoners who had been held in Tripoli by Gadhafi’s regime.

It is believed that prisoners of the Gadhafi regime were kept in underground bunkers that were abandoned when the rebels pushed into Tripoli.

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On This Day…

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In 1991, the Supreme Soviet, the parliament of the U.S.S.R., suspended all activities of the Communist Party, bringing an end to the institution.

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EPA Settles Civil Rights Pesticide Suit

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On Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency ruled that California pesticide regulators discriminated against Latino schoolchildren when they annually approved a powerful pesticide used near their schools. The finding stems from a civil rights complaint filed in 1999.

The complaint alleged that approval of methyl bromide used in California had a disproportionately adverse impact on the health of Latino children because their schools are often close to agricultural fields.

The EPA Office of Civil Rights analyzed pesticide use data in California from 1995 to 2001. It concluded that Latino children were at greater risk than non-Latino children.

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Khmer Rouge First Lady Has Dementia

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On Monday, a health expert told the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) that Ieng Thirith, the only female Khmer Rouge leader on trial before the U.N.-backed court, is suffering from dementia and memory loss. The 79-year-old is facing charges over the deaths of up to two million people during the Khmer Rouge’s 1975-1979 regime.

The court-appointed geriatrics expert told judges that Ieng, the sister-in-law of Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot, had memory problems and needed further assessment.

Ieng’s trial alongside three other senior Khmer Rouge officials on charges including crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes officially opened in June.

Ieng, the regime’s “First Lady,” famously lost her cool during a 2009 court appearance, telling prosecutors they would be “cursed to the seventh circle of hell.”

In July, Ieng’s lawyers said they were unable to take instructions from her.

In the first trial before the ECCC, the court sentenced former prison chief Duch to thirty years in jail for overseeing the deaths of 15,000 people.

Via RNW.

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