Headlines from Around the World: 1/26/15

Attorney General Eric Holder is now barring local and state police departments from seizing assets without warrants or criminal charges. This comes through a new limiting of Equitable Sharing, a federal program that allowed for relatively easy seizures and allowed for the police department making the seizure to keep 80% of the property. The decision comes after a Washington Post investigation found that local and state police officers were routinely pulling over drivers over minor traffic violations, pressing motorists to allow for warrantless searches, and seizing cash without returning it unless it was proven to be legally acquired.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has announced plans to sue Fox News over a misleading story regarding so called “no-go zones” for non-Muslims. The story by Fox stated that there are sections of the city where sharia law is practiced and that non-Muslims and police officers feared to go into. The idea of this has been generally mocked and pointed out as inaccurate by European and especially French media outlets and has been said to have been made up purely to create anti-Muslim sentiment following the terrorist attack in Paris earlier this month. Outside legal analysts are generally in agreement that the lawsuit would not work in US courts and US law protects publishers from international defamation suits. There has since been a formal apology by the news network.

The US Senate has passed 98-1 an amendment affirming that climate change is not a hoax. The vote in question came as part of an amendment to a proposed law regarding the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The amendment was proposed by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) following comments by Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) that climate change was a hoax. The lone no vote came from Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), who has since stated his no vote was because he was opposed to the idea of what he is calling a “political show vote”.

Following a Bay Area woman’s heavily publicized effort to allow herself to end her life after a terminal cancer diagnosis, California lawmakers have put into a law a bill that will allow for a more expanded right-to-die for California’s terminally ill. The bill now makes it legal for doctors to prescribe lethal doses of medication to terminally ill patients rather than being forced to die of natural causes over the course of what could be months. According to advanced end of life option advocate group Compassion and Choices, similar laws are being planned to be introduced in Washington, DC and twelve other states.

Despite being a leading force in the war against the terrorist group ISIS, the Kurdistan region was not invited to an anti-ISIS conference in London where world leaders plan to strategize and pledge support in defeating ISIS. Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani in a statement said, “I express my and Kurdistan people’s disappointment with the organizers of this conference and it is unfortunate that the people of Kurdistan do the sacrifice and the credit goes to others.” Outside analysts say that the reason Barzani said this is to not offend Turkey by recognizing Kurdistan.



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