Nas loses his property due to foreclosure







NasIn spite of having a sixth number one album, “Life is Good”, the world famous rapper Nasir Jones popularly known as Nas’ of the International Music Industry is facing quiet a turbulent time with respect to maintaining his financial matters. The New York star lost his house at Georgia which he bought way back in 2004 costing $585,000 which comprises of 2 bedroom and 3 bath pads to foreclosure. This house was later sold at a price of $348,500 by means of public auction as he could not meet the debt mounting to $507,000 due to Sun Trust Bank. The 3,500 sq. ft home features a pool and a hot tub, granite counter-tops, custom theatre, gym and game room. Evidences state that till date only his house has been up for auction.

However Nas has not stated his opinions or even counter argued any point regarding such a foreclosure before the media.

APARNA D. SHENOY
School of Law Christ University,
Bangalore

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Sanford Ltd. convicted for dumping oil waste into water







Sanford ltd. convicted for dumping contaminated oil waste into the US water

oil pollution in seaThe New Zealand fishing company, Sanford ltd. was convicted by a federal jury for dumping of oil wastes into the water of United States and also convicted one of the company’s employees for recording false information. The oil waste which was dumped into the sea polluted the water because pollution precautionary equipments weren’t used. The oil is known as bilge waste, it is contaminated with oil, lubrication fluids and other liquids which leaks out from the ship’s engines or pipes and hoses. The company has been asked to pay compensation money up to $3 million. It was argued before the jury that the Sanford ltd. never took the precautionary steps before dumping the oil waste into the sea and the company later in its records stated falsely that it had taken the required precautions, by this very act of the company ,it had violated the U.S. anti-pollution Laws. The company was acquitted only on the obstruction of justice charge, thereafter Mr.James Pogue the chief engineer of the fishing vessel was convicted for two of the three charges, he was acquitted on the conspiracy charge. It was further argued by the prosecutor that the sole intention of putting false information regarding the use of pollution control prevention equipment in the oil record book was done to impede, obstruct and influence the investigation and working matters which was within the jurisdiction of the United States coast guard.

However another chief engineer of the vessel Mr. Rolando Tan Vano, some charges against him was dismissed as he reached a plea bargain with prosecutors. Sanford Ltd. of Auckland is sentenced to next hearing on 16th November.

Priyanka S Kumar
School of Law Christ University,
Bangalore

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Ronald Reagan’s blood for sale







Ronald Reagan BloodA Guernsey based auction site has put up among other odd things, a vial of blood belonging to the erstwhile President of the USA, Ronald Reagan. There were reportedly three bidders already for the vial containing dry blood belonging to the former US president. The bidding which is going to close on Thursday had already reached $14,475 as of late Tuesday. The vial which is 5 inches long and half inch in diameter contains the dried blood allegedly belonging to the ex president complete with a lab report and a letter from the original seller claiming that the vial belonged to his family since 1981; that his mother worked in the laboratory where the presidents blood samples were tested after he was shot 69 days into his first term in 1981 by a mentally unsound person. The seller claims he offered the blood to the Reagan National Library three to four months back but was rejected, and so he offered the blood to this online auction website.

Aggravated by this the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation has threatened a lawsuit against both the seller and the website. They have claimed that they have set up an enquiry into the matter to verify its truth. And they have said that if it is true they will proceed against the website. They have also contacted the George Washington University Hospital, where he was rushed to after he was shot, and has asked them to find out how this could possibly happen.  They have said that if the story is true that it is a craven act and that they will use every legal means possible to stop its sale or purchase. Through the seller has claimed that he gave up the blood for auction only after it was rejected by the Reagan National Library, the Foundation has said that it is no excuse to sell the blood of the former president.

The former president’s wife Nancy Reagan, who is now 90, has not made any comment. The Executive director of the foundation was quoted saying, “any individual, including a president of the United States, should feel confident that once they enter into the care of a medical system, their privacy and rights should be held inviolable.”

Among other odd things for sale on this online auction website was a lock of burnt hair of Michael, a state piece of cake from the last royal wedding.

Ronald Reagan’s blood for sale

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Alabama presses for reforms in Immigration law







Alabama Immigration LawAlabama governor Robert Bentley has sent back to the legislature a proposed revision in the immigration laws. A press release by the governor’s office said that the governor was concerned with two provisions in the proposed reforms as violating the constitutional rights. The first reform was a provision that allowed for school children to be questioned about the legal status of their parents. This section is currently enjoined by a federal court and the governor believes that taking out this provision will remove this injunction and make the law more effective. The other provision that the governor had expressed concerns over related to documenting immigrants who had had matters before the court whether they were convicted or not. The release said that this would make the law more counterproductive as the motive of the law was to collect statistics and data not names.

Alabama Governor send back the Immigration law bill

Though the Governor himself has championed these reforms in the provisions he is a supporter of weeding out the illegal immigrants. To that extent the press release said that these reforms were to make the law more clear and therefore more enforceable. The governor was quoted saying that to love or work in the state it must be done legally and that this law was only to promote economic growth and development with fairness. An important reform that this brings in is that when stopped while driving, producing an ATM card or a voter registration as a temporary ID suffices. Previously driving without holding the license meant straight to jail.

Critics of the law have however not been impressed by these tactics of the governor and they feel that making these small changes do not change the overall effect of the law. They feel that if anything this law is only going to exacerbate issues of discrimination and racial profiling. They hold that it will bring a rift in between the immigrant communities and the law enforcement. Alabama officials who support the bill however hold that as there is no effective federal bill to put an end to illegal immigration this bill is necessary for the state.

Alabama presses for reforms in Immigration law

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John Edwards legal defense team take off







John EdwardsThe legal team appearing for the Presidential bidder of 2008, John Edwards, opened defence on Monday. After weeks of digging through scandalous confessions of extramarital affairs and love children the court has finally turned to a more serious issue: campaign finance law. The ex presidential candidate has been indicted on 6 felony counts. These included making false statements, conspiracy and on violating campaign contribution laws to which he had already pleaded not guilty.

John Edwards trial begins

John Edwards daughter will also be expected to testify this week although it has not been decided when exactly. Lara Hoggard who supervised the campaigns reporting to the Federal Election Commission said that the FEC had told Edwards that there was no need to report the sums of money. This was confirmed by the FEC former chairman Scott Thomas. Scott Thomas testified in court without the Jury as the prosecution claimed that his testimony was not material to the criminal case at hand. John Edwards further clarified that both the sums of money were not recorded as campaign contributions as they were received for his private use and not to convince a US citizen to vote for him. Both sums of money were intended to protect his wife and children and conceal his mistress and their affair. Edwards accepted that what he did was wrong but not illegal.

Elizabeth Edwards on John Edwards Trial

A former pollster Harrison Hickman testified that Elizabeth Edwards temper could be unmanageable at times. When the news about the affair got onto the papers Mrs Edwards kept insisting that she didn’t want to be humiliated by the incident.  It was to keep from her the secret of the affair that the huge sums of money were accepted. That is why they were never recorded as election campaign sums.

John Edwards trial – Andrew Young said donations are legal

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New York appeals court: viewing child pornography legal in state







child pornography viewingThe New York Court of Appeals on Tuesday rendered a judgment that has left many in the society aghast. As per the decision of the Court, in a case against James D Kent, a college professor at Marist College, New York, viewing child pornography is not a crime in New York. In the case before the Court, Kent was charged on several grounds of promoting sexual performance by a minor and possessing a sexual performance by a minor. The Court dismissed two counts of possession against Kent who was convicted in 2009.

Viewing child pornography legal in New York

According to the Court, during the investigations it was found that the certain images found on Kent’s hard drive was not downloaded onto his system but was already present in the system cache. According to the Court, viewing of pornographic cached images not accompanied by any affirmative action such as printing and downloading, do not constitute “ possession and procurement” under the Penal law. The Court held that in respect of cached images, the Prosecution must in the least prove that the system owner was aware of the existence of such images. It is necessary to show that the perpetrated had control over the images. The Court held that it could not prove possession when the image was automatically downloaded onto user’s system without his consent.

Though the Court condemned child pornography, it insisted that it is the not the duty of the Court but that of the Legislation to criminalize and envisage maximum punishment in cases such as this. It seems in this case the Court has conveniently resorted, as a justification for its action, to the age old definition of its duties that merely requires within its ambit, the Court to interpret the law. As long as the law criminalizes only possession and procurement within its ambit, the Court explanation seems to suggest that its hands are tied.

Protection of children is a customary norm in all societies and the international community has for years condemned child pornography. The increase in instances of internet child pornography has made it an issue that requires immediate international attention. Internationally, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child provides the basis for development of national laws regarding protection of children. Article 34 of the Convention envisages the protection of children against pornography and requires parties to make appropriate laws to achieve the same. However United States has only signed the same but has not ratified it. In the United States, the federal laws governing child pornography are the Children’s Internet Protection Act, 2000,  Protection Act, 2003. Furthermore the Code of the United States in Title 18, Section 225, 2251A and 2260 criminalizes offences involving children including sexual exploitation of children, production and importing into United States material that sexually depicts minors etc. despite such federal laws, each State is empowered to enact its own laws.

The judgment by the New York Appeals Court has been severely criticized in all circles. The citizenry in New York is outraged by the decision of the Court and felt that the Court did not give proper importance to legislative intent and has called on the legislature to take immediate action.

New York appeals court: viewing child pornography legal in state

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Probation or jail for Dharun Ravi







Dharun RaviWas it a teenage prank or something more hateful? Dharun Ravi the student of Indian origin who was found guilty of bias intimidation for spying on his roommates sexual encounter has requested the court to give him probation rather than a jail sentence.

Dharun Ravi is set to be sentenced on the 21st of May and faces up to 10 years imprisonment followed by deportation to his native India. This case has garnered a lot of attention and interest from the world in general and the United States in particular. The victim of this prank or hate crime committed suicide creating a furore among gay rights activists who find  this kind of  bullying clearly intended because of the victim’s sexuality. However it is important to note that there have been opinions pointing out the contrary to. Many feel that it was a prank that went horribly wrong. It was more to show his friends of what a computer genius he was. Many feel that he has been unfairly demonized.

Indian student Dharun Ravi demand probation

As his sentencing date nears, Ravi’s lawyers Steven Altman and Philip Nettl have increased their efforts to get his conviction either overturned or instead try to get his sentence to a probation whereby he wouldn’t be sent to jail or deported back to India.  They stated that a sentencing of that magnitude meant serious injustice to Ravi.

Following a long trial in March, Ravi was found guilty on bias intimidation and invasion of privacy charges for using a webcam and spying on his Rutgers University roommate Tyler Clementi. Tyler committed suicide in September 2010. Many described his actions careless and not malicious with intent to cause extreme harm. His parents and his friends have stated that the way the media has portrayed has been extremely unfair.

Probation or jail for Dharun Ravi

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Feds file law suit against Sheriff Arpaio







Sheriff Joe ArpaioThe feds, on Wednesday sent the Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County the notice of intent to file civil action. The civil action is based on the claims of mistreatment of the Hispanics in the county. The Justice Department accused Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his office of unconstitutional and unlawful actions against the Hispanic community. The complaint said that the Sheriff’s office as well as the sheriff himself engaged in abusing the Hispanic inmates and racial profiling. The lawsuit against the sheriff was the result of the breakdown of negotiations between the Sheriff and the justice department in the appointment of a monitor to oversee the details of the arrests and detentions. This is only the second lawsuit resorted to by the Department after discussion and negotiation failed. The department of justice has maintained that the office of Sheriff Arpaio has acted and tried for bad faith and put the settlement talks in jeopardy. The Justice department has said that the Sheriff’s office had engaged in dividing the people on the basis of their skin colour and race and thus been operating outside the laws of the nation.

Law suit against Sheriff Joe Arpaio

While Sheriff Joe Arpaio the country’s self claimed toughest sheriff has said that ‘he will fight to the bitter end. He said that a series of meetings were scheduled to discuss the allegations. But the Department gave him an ultimatum over the appointment of a monitor. The sheriff office has made clear that they have no intentions of giving power over to the monitor. They further said that appointment would obviate the need for a sheriff and that the monitor would take over the powers of the office entirely. Sheriff Joe Arpaio called an emotional press conference later where he continued to forcefully denounce the transfer of power to ‘Obama’s government’ and the Justice Department.

The lawsuit has covered the following details;

  1. Discriminatory and unconstitutional practices against the Hispanics
  2. Unfair practices followed in jails against the Hispanics
  3. Subjecting perceived critics to baseless allegations and cooked up suits
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Obama endorses same sex marriages







Obama Back Gay MarriageDesperate times call for desperate measures. In what seems to be Obama’s mad rush to collect the votes on Tuesday Obama officially endorses same sex marriages. Till date he has maintained a politically neutral front on this much challenged debated and sensitive issue. Though in the US six states have legalised same sex marriages it has not been officially legalised by the nation itself. Though Obama has formally endorse same sex marriages only on Tuesday, he had more than a year ago he had stated that the Department of Justice would no longer endorse the Defense of Marriage Act. The DOMA has defined marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman where spouse can only be of opposite sex.

Obama backs Gay Marriage

Now advisors say that Obama had intended to define his stand on same sex marriages after he got the democratic ticket. However many believed that Obama would not make a definitive stand on the hotly contended issue. They thought that he would rely on the strong support from gay voters for having ended a ban on openly gay people in the military and disavowing a federal law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Such a caution was understandable because of the controversy he would have to deal with for a definitive stand on this hotly debated issue.

Obama endorses same sex marriages

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How to spend 300 million dollars







Dollar-foreclosureFlorida is state whose citizens have been the hardest hit as far as foreclosures have been considered. As part of the 8.4 billion dollars that have been allocated by the Florida state to cash and mortgage relief Florida’s attorney general has 300 million to dole out to help struggling home owners out of foreclosure. Until May 14 the people of Florida may give suggestions to their attorney general on how to spend that money. The money may be used for setting up foreclosure prevention programs and can be used to hire housing counselors, setting up hotlines, provide legal assistance etc. Tens of thousands of Floridians will benefit from the nationwide settlement with the banks. Florida’s share of 7.6 billion will be used to benefit home owners in the form of loan modifications, principal reductions, short sales and moving assistance.

How to spend $300 million dollars got from Foreclosure settlement

About 170 million will be used to make cash payments to the borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure between 2008 and 2011. Another 309 million will be used to help present borrowers who have gone underwater.

John Lucas, Bondi’s press secretary, said there is no estimate yet for how many homeowners will be helped with the $300 million.

 The office of the the attorney general stated that they were in the early stages of gathering the necessary public opinion. They said they would make an ultimate decision once they conclude a meeting with people from all fields.

Foreclosure settlement amount of Florida reach 300 million dollars. Anybody can share their ideas to Attorney General of Florida in spending 300 million dollars got through Foreclosure Settlements. Simply Call Pam Bondi Attorney General of Florida and suggest your valuable idea on how to spend 300 million dollars.

Attorney General Florida seeks ideas for spending $300 million got from Foreclosure Settlement

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