PARIS--France's top constitutional court mostly upheld a new French surveillance law that would give intelligence services broad new powers to spy in France and abroad.
The court-backed provisions of the law allow a wide range of new surveillance techniques meant for the Internet age, including the collection of "metadata" about online traffic and the use of software that can monitor every keystroke on a computer. The court said intelligence services can use these tools without approval of a judge, though the government must still seek permission from an independent body created to oversee surveillance activities.
The court, known as the Constitutional Council, did strike down a provision of the law that would allow emergency surveillance without the approval of the prime minister or another minister in the government.
Recently in International Category
The Obama administration is preparing to release convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard from prison, according to U.S. officials, some of whom hope the move will smooth relations with Israel in the wake of the Iran nuclear deal.Such a deal for Israel. First we sign the most toothless agreement since Neville Chamberlain came back from Munich in 1938 waving a document and claiming "peace in our time," an agreement that practically guarantees that a country determined to wipe Israel off the map will acquire nuclear weapons. But not to worry, we will make it up by releasing one spy.
Such a decision would end a decadeslong fight over Mr. Pollard, who was arrested on charges of spying for Israel in 1985 and later sentenced to life in prison. The case has long been a source of tension between the U.S. and Israel, which has argued that a life sentence for spying on behalf of a close U.S. partner is too harsh. Israel has for years sought Mr. Pollard's early release, only to be rejected by the U.S.
Now, some U.S. officials are pushing for Mr. Pollard's release in a matter of weeks. Others expect it could take months, possibly until his parole consideration date in November.
These international stories often involve questions of the reach of U.S. law. Devlin Barrett, Christopher Matthews, and Aruna Viswanatha have this story in the WSJ.
Khalid Al Fawwaz was sentenced today for his part in the 1998 Embassy Bombing plot. He received three life sentences and a ten-year sentence, concurrent. And Judge Kaplan added this:
The Court makes the following recommendation to the Department of Justice: The Court is mindful of the fact that defendant may have the ability to apply to the U.S. Department of Justice under the international prisoner transfer program to be allowed to serve some or all of his sentence in another nation. Although a decision on any such application, if one is made, would be up to the Department of Justice, the Court strongly recommends that any such application be denied. The defendant has been convicted of very serious crimes against American citizens. His punishment ought to be served in, and more particularly, always remain under the control of the United States of America.Now that's refreshing to hear from a federal judge.
He only suggested that the topic be up for debate. And that is enough to produce a thunderstorm of condemnation in today's PC EU.
"In relation to Brussels, a debate about democracy has come about," Orban said in an interview on Echo TV. "Where are we living? In the Middle Ages, where they declare that there are taboos which are not worthy of debate?"It is quite bad enough that the EU has bludgeoned smaller and poorer countries into abolition as a part of the price for the economic advantages of joining the big EU market, but to dictate to countries what they are even allowed to discuss -- and then claim that this censorship is in the name of "human rights" -- is gross hypocrisy. When did freedom of speech stop being a human right?
[T]he bigger story [in the Bergdahl case] is the extravagant price the U.S. has paid because President Obama wanted to score political points.
Readers will recall that then-Private First Class Bergdahl went missing from his post in Paktika province in eastern Afghanistan in June 2009. Fellow soldiers suspected desertion, though the Army conducted a risky manhunt to recover him...
The Associated Press has reported that an internal Pentagon investigation in 2010 found "incontrovertible" evidence that he had walked away from his post. Journalists also uncovered an exchange of letters in which the soldier wrote to his father "the title of U.S. soldier is just the lie of fools," that he was "ashamed to even be american," and that "the future is too good to waste on lies." Replied father Robert: "OBEY YOUR CONSCIENCE!"
All of this would have been known to President Obama and National Security AdviserSusan Rice when the Administration decided to swap Sgt. Bergdahl for five Guantanamo Bay detainees--all top Taliban leaders--in May 2014. Mr. Obama even invited Sgt. Bergdahl's parents to a [chipper -- ed. addition] Rose Garden ceremony to announce the swap, while Ms. Rice declared on a Sunday talk show that the soldier had served his country with "honor and distinction."
"It has been described as one of the most dangerous post-mortem examinations ever undertaken in the Western world, and I think that's probably right."A scientist talking to other scientists would have said 1.66 x 1014 emissions per second, but you have to dumb it down for lawyers.* Emissions per second is actually a poor way to express radiation exposure. Better ways involve rads, rems, or grays.
So testified forensic pathologist Nathaniel Cary on Wednesday, the second day of the inquiry into the 2006 poisoning death of Russian defector Alexander Litvinenko. The proceeding, held at the Royal Courts of Justice, aims to examine the circumstances under which Litvinenko was murdered with radioactive polonium-210, a highly unusual poison and one of many Hollywood-ready elements of the case that has made it a tabloid fixture for nearly a decade.* * *The details of the case largely are more prosaic, when they're not confusing for a lay audience. The top-secret Scientist A1 was there to tell the inquiry that "one gram of polonium-210 emits one-six-six, zero-zero-zero, zero-zero-zero, zero-zero-zero, zero-zero-zero alpha particles per sec--"
"Pausing right there," an exasperated barrister interrupted, inadvertently triggering laughter in the courtroom and the press annex. "I may be wrong, but 166 quadrillion per second?"
Jordan has executed 11 men convicted of murder, ending an eight-year moratorium on the death penalty in the country.
The interior ministry said the men, convicted in different cases, had been hanged at dawn on Sunday.
Jordanian authorities gave no reason for the lifting of the 2006 moratorium on capital punishment.
Interior Minister Hussein Majali recently said the public blamed a rise in crime on the non-application of the death penalty, AFP news agency reports.
Pakistan hung two convicted militants in the first executions in six years and security forces killed more than 50 suspected militants on Friday (Dec 19) as the country's leaders vowed decisive action in the wake of a Taliban school massacre that left 149 people dead.
The bloody rampage in the northwestern city of Peshawar on Tuesday brought international condemnation and promises of swift, decisive action against militants from Pakistan's political and military leaders.
Pakistan's de facto foreign minister Sartaj Aziz told AFP the attack was his country's own "mini 9/11" and a game changer in its fight against terror.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif relinquished the six-year ban on the death penalty in terror-related cases two days after the school attack.
Two militants convicted of separate terrorism offences were the first to face the noose at a jail in central Punjab province, the province's home minister, Shuja Khanzada, told AFP.
The article says CJLF "advocates sealing the U.S.-Mexico border." Um, no. We are in favor of having a secure border so that criminals we deport can't just waltz back in. Questions of how much and what kind of legal immigration we should allow and what kind of trade restrictions we should have are not our field, and we take no position. We would certainly never advocate the complete cut-off implied by the word "sealing."
Almost a million crimes a year are disappearing from official figures as chief constables attempt to meet targets, a study by the police watchdog has disclosed.
Its report exposed "indefensible" failures by forces to record crime accurately, and said that in some areas up to a third of crimes are being struck out of official records.
Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary said violent crimes and sex attacks were particularly vulnerable to being deleted under "inexcusably poor" systems.
Although the report stopped short of accusing police of widespread "fiddling" it said there was an "undercurrent of pressure not to record a crime across some forces" and "wrongful pressure" by managers.
It means violent criminals and even rapists are not investigated, potentially allowing offenders to strike again.
Englishmen, though, only get one legislative vote -- for their representative in the Parliament of the United Kingdom. That may be about to change, Nicholas Winning and Jenny Gross report in the WSJ.