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USA | Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death is a terrible opportunity for Trump

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"Sometimes it felt like she was America’s last hope. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court judge since 1993, achieved celebrity status during Trump’s four years. Affectionately given the nickname “Notorious R.B.G” by a slew of online followers, she was the subject of superhero memes and the inspiration for much light-hearted merchandise (Urban Outfitters stocks T-shirts emblazoned with her face and her famously blunt quotes, and I gifted a friend in Brooklyn a cuddly Ginsburg doll for her newborn last year.)
Beneath the jokes, the quotes and the well-designed tote bags, however, ran an undercurrent of anxiety and fear. The fact that Supreme Court judges have lifetime appointments meant that many were morbidly obsessed with Ginsburg — who battled cancer on numerous occasions, and died of its complications today — staying alive long enough to get to the election. She herself clearly felt the same way, if NPR’s reports about her dying wishes are to be believed: “My most fervent wish is …

Iran's Supreme Court Uphold Death Sentence Against Prisoner After 29 Years of Limbo

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Iran’s Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence against a prisoner who suffered almost 29 years on death row.
The prisoner, Moein Salavarzi has languished in a cruel limbo after being arrested and charged with murdering his brother in 1991.
In a phone call to his family last week, the 55-year-old said that his death sentence has been upheld by the Supreme Court.
Judicial officials during the past years claimed that the prisoner’s case was missing and that they upheld the sentence due to the inquiries of the victim’s children.
Iran’s Islamic Penal Code allows the family of a murder victim to insist on execution or to pardon the killer and receive financial compensation. 
The Iranian authorities contend that qisas – the sentence for convicted murderers – is not execution, even though people sentenced to qisas are put to death by the state. 
This contention is not accepted in international law.
Moein Salavarzi has been denied a lawyer during this period because he could not to pay for legal …

USA | Barrett could be Ginsburg's polar opposite on Supreme Court

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Amy Coney Barrett paid homage to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her White House speech Saturday as a shatterer of glass ceilings. She said she would be mindful of the woman whose place she would take on the Supreme Court.
She even commented that her children think their father is the better cook, much as Ginsburg used to talk about her husband's prowess in the kitchen.
But the replacement of the liberal icon Ginsburg, the second woman to serve on the high court, by Barrett, who would be the fifth, would represent the most dramatic ideological change on the Supreme Court in nearly 30 years and cement conservative dominance of the court for years to come.
Barrett, a judge on the federal appeals court based in Chicago, made clear in her Rose Garden address that she looks to conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, for whom she once worked, and not Ginsburg, on matters of law.
“His judicial philosophy is mine, too. Judges must apply the law as written. Judges are not policy …

USA | Trump’s tax revelation could tarnish image that fueled rise

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The bombshell revelations that President Donald Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes the year he ran for office and paid no income taxes at all in many others threaten to undercut a pillar of his appeal among blue-collar voters and provide a new opening for his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, on the eve of the first presidential debate.
Trump has worked for decades to build an image of himself as a hugely successful businessman — even choosing “mogul” as his Secret Service code name. But The New York Times on Sunday revealed that he paid just $750 in federal income taxes in 2016, the year he won the presidency, and in 2017, his first year in office. He paid no income taxes whatsoever in 10 of the previous 15 years, largely because he reported losing more money than he made, according to the Times, which obtained years’ worth of tax return data that the president had long fought to keep private.
The development comes at a particularly precarious moment for Trump, w…

USA | How Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court could affect LGBTQ rights

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President Donald Trump nominated federal Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court Saturday, a choice LGBTQ rights groups are concerned could lead to a reduction in the rights of LGBTQ Americans.The Supreme Court has historically been important for the advancement of LGBTQ rights, with its rulings giving gay and lesbian people marriage equality and recently, protecting queer and trans people from employment discrimination under federal law.
And there are a number of important cases soon to come before the court; for example, Fulton v. City of Philadelphia is set to be heard the day after Election Day. That case, in which a religious adoption agency is seeking the right to turn away LGBTQ couples, will determine whether taxpayer-funded organizations are allowed to discriminate against LGBTQ people.
Senate Republicans have already promised a speedy confirmation process to install Trump’s nominee before the election, suggesting Barrett wil…

USA | Barrett’s Record: A Conservative Who Would Push the Supreme Court to the Right

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As an appeals court judge, Judge Barrett has issued opinions that have reflected those of her mentor, Justice Antonin Scalia, but with few of his occasional liberal rulings.WASHINGTON — Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court, has compiled an almost uniformly conservative voting record in cases touching on abortion, gun rights, discrimination and immigration. If she is confirmed, she would move the court slightly but firmly to the right, making compromise less likely and putting at risk the right to abortion established in Roe v. Wade.
Judge Barrett’s judicial opinions, based on a substantial sample of the hundreds of cases that she has considered in her three years on the federal appeals court in Chicago, are marked by care, clarity and a commitment to the interpretive methods used by Justice Antonin Scalia, the giant of conservative jurisprudence for whom she worked as a law clerk from 1998 to 1999.
But while Justice Scalia’s methods occasionally drove hi…

USA | Trump selects Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court

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(CNN) -- President Donald Trump on Saturday said he is nominating Amy Coney Barrett, a conservative federal appeals court judge, to succeed the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the US Supreme Court.
Calling it a "very proud moment indeed," Trump called Barrett a woman of "towering intellect" and "unyielding loyalty to the Constitution."
Barrett, Trump said, is "one of our nation's most brilliant and gifted legal minds."
The expected nomination comes at a critical time in history, as the President openly questions the integrity of the upcoming election and has not committed to a peaceful transfer of power in the event he loses. He's repeatedly said that the Supreme Court needed to have all nine seats filled ahead of Election Day, in case the court needed to weigh in on the legality of mail-in ballots being sent to Americans across the country amid the coronavirus pandemic. And several weighty cases loom on the immediate horizon, should sh…

Iran | Six Prisoners Executed at Rajai Shahr Prison on September 23

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Iran Human Rights (IHR); September 26, 2020: IHR previously reported the execution of a female prisoner, Mahtab Shafiei in Rajai Shahr Prison, Karaj. 
According to the newly obtained information, five male prisoners were also executed with Mahtab that day. 
All five prisoners appear to have been sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for murder.
According to Iran Human Rights, on 23 September, one woman and five men were executed in Rajai Shahr Prison. All five appear to have been sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for murder.
Yesterday, IHR reported the execution of a female prisoner whose identity was established as 32 year old Mahtab Shafiei. She had been sentenced to death for the murder of her husband and his grandmother, and was transferred from Qarchak Prison in Varamin to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj on Tuesday to be executed.
Another executed prisoner has been identified as Hossein Shahani, previously held at Hall 2, Ward 1 of the prison but no information is yet available …

Iran | Female Prisoner Executed in Karaj

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Iran Human Rights (IHR); September 26, 2020: A woman sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for murder has been executed at Rajai Shahr in Karaj.
According to Iran Human Rights, on the morning of Wednesday, September 23, a woman was executed in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj. Her identity has been established as Mahtab Shafiei, 32, who had been sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for murder.
According to the HRANA news agency, which first published the news, Mahtab Shafiei was arrested and sentenced to death about 7 years ago for the murder of her husband and her husband’s grandmother.
She was ultimately transferred from Qarchak prison in Varamin to one of the solitary confinement cells in Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj on September 22 in preparation for the implementation of her sentence and executed on September 23. 
Ms Shafiei was previously transferred to Rajai Shahr Prison for execution last winter, but her execution was postponed as she had managed to buy time.
At the time of public…