Poland reacted coolly to a warning that it may incur fines for continuing to log in the Bialowieza forest, a UNESCO World Heritage site, asserting on Tuesday that its actions were lawful, Reuters reports. The Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice said on Monday that Poland would be fined €100,000 ($117,360.00) a day if it did not stop large-scale logging in the ancient forest, which straddles the border between Poland and Belarus. Environment Minister Jan Szyszko did not clarify whether Poland planned to halt logging in order to avoid the fine, saying only: “We fulfill the tribunal’s recommendations 100 percent.” The court reiterated its July stance that Poland must stop the logging immediately pending a final ruling in a case that the EU’s Brussels-based executive brought before the tribunal.
A court in Florida has decided that homeowners do not, in fact, have the right to garden on their own property. While the court says flower gardens and fruit trees are acceptable horticultural pursuits for a front yard, for some reason vegetables are non-negotiable. Leave it to big government to make it illegal for property owners to grow their own food, on their own land.
The front-garden debacle in Florida’s Village of Miami Shores first began a few years ago, when the municipality decided to crack down on gardening. Tom Carroll and Hermine Rickets, homeowners who’d lived in the area for 17 years, were “advised” to tear down the vegetable garden in their front yard. Town officials had changed the zoning laws, making the practice of growing food in your front yard strictly prohibited. The officials told Carroll and Rickets that they would face fines of up to $50 per day if they failed to dig up their garden.
The couple did not silently dig up their garden at the behest of local bureaucrats; instead, they chose to fight for their freedom. With representation from the Institute of Justice, they sued, stating that the city was violating their constitutional right to use their own property as well as the equal protection clause.
You’d think they had a sure-fire win; since when can the government tell you what kinds of plants can and cannot be grown in your own yard, right? But sadly, property rights in Florida were dealt a major blow, instead of being protected.
Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals has sided with the local officials and their attorney, who proclaimed, “There certainly is not [a] fundamental right to grow vegetables in your front yard.”
Though the married couple had been growing vegetables in their front yard for many years, the courts decided that it was somehow reasonable to outlaw “the cultivation of plants to be eaten as part of a meal, as opposed to the cultivation of plants for ornamental reasons.”
As the Institute for Justice contends, this ruling is a major blow to property rights in America. It’s a major blow to food freedom, as well. IJ Attorney Ari Bargill, who represented Carroll and Rickets in court, commented, “If Hermine and Tom wanted to grow fruit or flowers or display pink flamingos, Miami Shores would have been completely fine with it. They should be equally free to grow food for their own consumption, which they did for 17 years before the village forced them to uproot the very source of their sustenance.”
Bargill also stated, “Today’s decision gives local government the power to flatly ban homeowners from growing plants in their front yards simply because they intend to eat them.” Viewing the ruling in this rational perspective shows just how unjust this ruling is; the Founding Fathers are rolling in their graves, no doubt. If the homeowners were manufacturing crystal meth in the front yard, perhaps then there’d be something to talk about. But no, these people were simply growing vegetables — hardly anything that should be of concern to the government.
But it’s not just Miami Shores that’s been cracking down on self-sufficient homeowners. Families in Orlando have been targeted by similar ordinances. Jason and Jessica, from the Orlando-area, started a petition after the local authorities ordered them to tear up their garden in 2016. Their petition garnered some 10,000 signatures, and the government ultimately backed down from their ludicrous demands.
Not only do these bogus property restrictions infringe on homeowners’ property rights, these kinds of ordinances take a serious stab at Americans’ rights to food freedom — and further contribute to our culture of dependence. Keeping a home garden is one of the best ways to bolster your independence — no wonder the government is so against it. [Related: Read more stories about self-sufficiency at FoodFreedom.news]
Sources for this article include:
A recent French court case has sharpened the debate over the age of sexual consent and rape. This is the second recent case that highlights the normalize of pedophilia currently taking place across western society.
In the most recent case, a jury at Meaux, near Paris, said last week that the prosecution failed to prove any of the four criteria required for a rape conviction under French law – threat, violence, constraint or surprise.
The accused, a Cape Verde citizen now aged 30, who has not been named, admitted to meeting the 11-year-old girl in the street where she was playing, taking her to the park and engaging in sexual intercourse, which he claims was consensual.
According to a report in le Parisien newspaper:
Prosecuted for rape on minor under 15 years, the accused, a Cape Verdean today aged 30, was acquitted on Tuesday evening by jurors of the Assize Court of Seine-et-Marne. At the hearing, the Advocate General had required eight years of imprisonment, with a socio-judicial follow-up. On Friday, the public prosecutor’s office of the Paris Court of Appeal appealed this verdict. “Until 15 years old, a child must be preserved. You can not get him sex. His consent is not informed, “says Dominique Laurens, the prosecutor Meaux.
In the reasons for the judgment, the court explains that none of the elements of rape, namely, threat, violence, coercion or surprise, are established and there is doubt as to whether the accused had aware of coercing the one with whom he had sex. At no point in the verdict is there any mention of the age of the child.
“My client is traumatized,” says her lawyer Me Laure Habeneck. “In his defense, the accused referred to the African heat (sic). It is to be hoped that this justification will not be at the root of the jury’s deep conviction. It appears from this decision that a sexual relationship between a 22-year-old man and an 11-year-old girl is normalized in our society.“
The girl, who is of Congolese origin, was reportedly playing with her cousin when the man approached her and invited her for a walk in the park, according to le Parisien.
After going to the park, under the guise of going for a walk, the man – who was 22 at the time — proceeded to undress the girl and forced her to have sexual intercourse, says the 11-year-old victim. The girl claimed during the hearing that she asked the man to stop and told the stranger her age as he sexually assaulted her.
The man maintains the act was consensual, and that the girl told him she was almost 15 – the age of consent in France. To obtain a rape conviction, prosecutors needed to prove that the sex was non-consensual.
Despite the girl’s testimony about telling the man her age, the jury chose to believe the man who initially lied about engaging in a sexual encounter with the child.
“My client maintained at the hearing that the complainant lied to her about her age. He says they flirted,” said Samir Mbarki, attorney for the defense.
According to the girl’s counselor, who met her after the incident, she was of “girlish physique, [and] could not be confused with a teenager or a woman,” according to le Parisien.
The girl told no one of the alleged sexual assault, and the incident only coming to light after the girl’s family noticed she was pregnant months later.
Her mother told le Parisien: “The man has destroyed the life of my daughter.”
Prosecutors were seeking an eight-year jail term for the man, but after two days of hearings, an acquittal verdict was delivered. The decision has been appealed.
Apparently, the word of the defendant, who initially lied to investigators and said nothing happened between him and the young girl — only to later change his story about having sex with the 11-year-old girl — was enough to secure an acquittal.
In another recent case, a French court dropped rape charges against a 28-year-old man who allegedly raped an 11-year-old girl, as prosecutors claim the sex was “consensual” citing a lack of violence.
As we previously reported, authorities claim the child consented to the sexual acts and was not coerced into having intercourse, despite being 11-years-old, claiming that the child willingly followed the accused who had previously approached her twice for intimacy.
“There was no violence, no constraint, no threat, and no surprise,” the prosecution said.
That incident sparked mass outrage in France, as critics of the decision have noted that actual consent is not even possible at such a young age. The man is now charged with sexual assault of a minor under the age of 15 – with a maximum penalty of five years in prison – but not rape, which in France carries a sentence of fifteen years imprisonment and twenty years behind bars if the victim is a minor.
Both recent cases are similar in the fact that there was no “violence” was used to force the sex, although an argument could be made that taking off the clothes of an 11-year-old girl and penetrating her could constitute violence – especially given the fact that a child of that age has no ability to consent and little to resist.
In the wake of the case, human rights groups called for changes to French laws, saying a legal age under which sexual consent is never presumed should be introduced.
While it is currently illegal in France to have sex with anyone under 15, rape charges can only be brought if prosecutors can prove the act was non-consensual.
Despite its age of consent, France currently does not have any law which defines sex with someone below a fixed age as rape.
Currently, if there is no violence or coercion proved, people may only be charged with sexual abuse of a minor charge and not rape — which has a maximum sentence of five years in prison. The penalties for rape are much more severe.
In the wake of the recent decision, Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet said that the age of just 13 was now a “limit that is worth considering” by lawmakers, according to The Sun.
The man is set to be retired next year after the prosecution appealed his acquittal.
Please share this story in hopes of waking people up to the creeping normalization of pedophilia taking place across Western society!
Germany’s top court has called on the country’s parliament to legally recognize a ‘third gender’ which allows intersex people to identify as neither male nor female. Germany could become the first European country to allow a third gender on birth certificates.
The current law on civil status discriminates against intersex people as it rules out “the registration of a gender other than ‘male’ or ‘female,’” the Federal Constitutional Court said in a ruling on Wednesday. The German parliament should introduce new provisions into current legislation by December 31, 2018, it said.
The court made its ruling in favor of an appeal brought earlier this year by an intersex person whose name hasn’t been revealed in the German media. The person was registered as female but chromosome analysis showed that the plaintiff was neither male nor female. The person brought the appeal to the top court after several lower courts had ruled against the bid for gender change in the birth register.
“Even if this person chose the option ‘no entry’ [for gender], it would not reflect that the complainant does not see themself as a genderless person, but rather perceives themself as having a gender beyond male or female (sic),” according to the ruling. Civil status is not “a marginal issue,” but rather a “position of a person within the legal system, as stated by the law,” the statement said. The German constitution does not require civil status to be “exclusively binary in terms of gender,” it added.
Germany’s Third Option activist organization has hailed the court’s decision. “We are completely overwhelmed and speechless. That’s a small revolution in the gender area,” the group wrote on Twitter.
According to the UN, intersex people are born “with sex characteristics that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies.” Intersex traits can be “visible at birth” while in others “they are not apparent until puberty,” the agency says. Between 0.05 and 1.7 percent of the world population has intersex traits. “The upper estimate is similar to the number of red-haired people,” UN experts say.
In 2013, Germany became the first European country to allow parents of babies born with no clearly-defined gender characteristics to leave the ‘male/female’ field on birth certificates blank, creating a ‘third sex’ category in the public register. The law prevents parents from making hasty decisions on controversial genital surgeries for their newborns.
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Source Article from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheEuropeanUnionTimes/~3/sHNv4Qm0Eto/
Parliament ordered to create new term for birth certificates and other official documents by the end of next year
The highest court in Germany has ruled that a third sex must be included on official documents.
The Federal Constitutional Court has ordered the creation of a new term covering intersex people, using a “positive name for the sex” for birth certificates by the end of next year.
The ruling came after an intersex person, who is neither a man nor woman according to chromosomal analysis, brought a legal challenge after attempting to change their registered sex to “inter” or “divers”.
Authorities rejected the original application because under German civil law a child must be listed as male or female, or the section left blank.
Judges sitting in Karlsruhe ruled that the current requirements are incompatible with Germany’s constitution, violating provisions on privacy and discrimination.
“The legislature [parliament] has until 31 December 2018 to create a new regulation,” the ruling said.
Norman Finkelstein’s Kangaroo Court Appearance Postponed
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Scheduled for November 3, it’s postponed until December 13.
A previous article explained his outrageous political persecution – stemming from what happened to his former student/friend Dr. Rudolph Baldeo, a Guyanese national, overcoming long odds to complete medical school and be board certified to practice.
Along with his Mineola, New York practice, he provided pro bono medical services in his native country and elsewhere, actions deserving high praise.
At home, he was involved in messy divorce proceedings. Finkelstein explained attorneys Michael Chetkov and Allyson Burger colluded to frame him, maliciously slandering him, lying in court, perjuring themselves, disgraceful actions warranting disbarment.
Finklestein followed proceedings in court, committed to help his persecuted friend, seeking justice he was being denied.
Police state-style recriminations followed, Finkelstein arrested on September 6 late at night, hostile detectives barging into his apartment.
He was painfully handcuffed, taken to a police precinct far from his residence, jailed in a cold cell, forced to sleep on a stone floor with no blanket, brutally treated overall.
In court the next day, he was served with an Order of Protection, forbidding any contact with attorneys Chetkof and Burger.
He’s falsely charged with aggravated harassment and “threat” – for alleged constant emails to Chetkof and Burger, “a flat-out lie,” Finkelstein explained.
If they didn’t want his legitimate emails, breaking no laws, and told him so, he’d have stopped sending them.
His arrest was outrageous intimidation, the way “vulture-lawyers” operate, bringing false charges, police complicit in enforcing them.
Blacks, Muslims and other disadvantaged Americans endure similar horrendous mistreatment and much worse, including long prison sentences on trumped up charges or minor ones too insignificant to matter.
America’s gulag prison system incarcerates countless victims for political reasons alone, not for criminality, charges against targeted individuals phony – Finkelstein targeted the same way.
If convicted next month in court, he faces up to two years in prison – for the “crime” of honorably helping his friend Dr. Baldeo avoid injustice.
Politicized injustice in America is longstanding – thousands imprisoned for their race, ethnicity, Islamic faith or political activism, an indictment of police state ruthlessness.
Explaining the postponement of his court appearance until December 13, Finkelstein thanked 15,000 individuals signing his petition for justice – saying he “personally witnessed…17 months (of) horrors,” as follows:
“How two Long Island vulture-lawyers framed, blackmailed and terrorized a penniless immigrant who made good.
How these vulture-lawyers left Dr Rudolph Baldeo homeless, penniless, and verging on suicide.
How I desperately begged and pleaded with these vulture-lawyers to accept a fair and equitable settlement.
How these vulture-lawyers wouldn’t be sated by anything less than the last bite of flesh from Dr Baldeo’s carcass.
How these vulture-lawyers then framed me on fabricated, frivolous and trumped-up charges.
Whatever Fate befalls me, I harbor no regrets.
Dr Baldeo was crucified in broad daylight.
It was my duty to rise to his defense.
Wherever and however I end up, the indelible Court record of my testimony will forever haunt Michael Chetkof and Allyson Burger, as it trails them like a pitch-black shadow cast by their Evil deeds.”
A Final Comment
It’s my duty as an activist writer to defend heroic figures like Finkelstein as best I can through commentaries and speaking out.
Maybe the “vulture-lawyers” will target me next, the price paid by many in police state America for truth-telling.
VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
The French administrative court has ordered the removal of a cross from a monument to Saint John Paul II in a public square in the northwest of France, saying it violates the secular nature of the state.
Italian media noted the irony of the ruling, remarking that the cross-removal is not taking place “in Raqqa, the capital of the Islamic State in Syria, but in Brittany, in the heart of Western Europe.“
The Conseil d’Etat, France’s highest administrative court, ruled last week that the statue of the Polish Pope in Ploërmel, Brittany, could remain but the large cross above the monument must be eliminated.
“Since the cross is a religious sign or emblem within the meaning of Article 28 of the Law of 9 December 1905 and its installation by the municipality does not fall into any of the exceptions provided by this article, its presence in a public location is contrary to this law,” argued the French court.
The law of 1905, which separates Church and State, forbids “raising or affixing any symbol or religious emblem on public monuments or in any public place,” with the exception of museums, cemeteries and places of worship.
The 25-foot high monument was donated to mayor Paul Anselin by Russian artist Zurab Tsereteli in 2006 and erected in a town square. The sculpture depicts Pope John Paul standing in prayer with his hands clasped, with a simple arch above him, surmounted by a cross.
In 2015, the Rennes tribunal had already ordered the removal of the entire statue but upon appeal, the high court allowed the statue to remain, provided the offending cross disappears.
The city of Ploërmel now has six months to eliminate the cross, and must pay €3000 to the National Federation of Free Thought (Fédération nationale de la libre-pensée), which has been leading the legal battle to have the statue removed since 2015.
Over the weekend social networks in France lit up with the viral hashtag #MontreTaCroix (“Show your cross”), with which many Internet users have shared images of crosses taken everywhere around the country. Many have used the campaign to recall France’s Christian roots, calling the symbol inseparable from the history of France.
Gilles Pennelle, the president of the National Front party in Brittany’s Regional Council, pointed out the paradox that “the French court allows burkinis on the beaches but bans a cross over the statue of John Paul II in Ploërmel.”
For his part, the current mayor of Ploërmel, Patrick Le Diffon, did not rule out bringing the case before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
“The statue is part of the landscape of Ploërmel for twelve years, and it does not disturb the inhabitants,” he said. “On the contrary, it is an undeniable tourist asset for the municipality. The mayor added that “this monument is a work of art and it requires the authorization from the artist to modify it.”
The Polish Prime Minister, Beata Szydło also weighed in on the argument, complaining of “censorship” and saying that if the cross must come down the statue should be transferred to Poland where it will be appreciated.
“The Polish government will try to save the monument of our compatriot from censorship, and we will propose to transfer it to Poland, if French authorities and the local community agree,” she said, adding that Pope John Paul “is a symbol of united Christian Europe.”
Poland may have some competition, however. A Hungarian elementary school has also stepped forward to request the cross if the French remove it.
In July of this year, President Donald Trump signed an order blocking all new transgender recruits from enlisting. Today, a U.S. district court judge in D.C. has blocked the attempt to change the military policy. The Hill reports that the judge ruled the directive cannot be enforced while the case “works its way through the court.” Gender rights activists are considering the decision a “win.”
The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) filed a motion on August 9, 2017 for a preliminary injunction. The aim was to block the order, which would prevent thousands of transgender people who are already serving in the military. NCLR and GLAD also asked to block the ban on government funds for gender reassignment surgeries. However, the last motion was denied.
In Jane Doe v. Donald J. Trump, the court sided with the status quo in regard to transgender people serving in the military. Said NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter: “This is a complete victory for our plaintiffs and all transgender service members, who are now once again able to serve on equal terms and without the threat of being discharged. We are grateful to the court for issuing such a clear, powerful decision recognizing that there is no legitimate reason for treating qualified transgender service members differently than others.”
Said Joshua Block, senior staff attorney with the ACLU: “The federal courts are recognizing what everyone already knows to be true: President Trump’s impulsive decision to ban transgender people from serving in the military service was blatantly unconstitutional.”
President Trump’s decision made headlines in July, when wrote in a string of tweets: “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.”
Referencing the President’s former tweets, Sarah Warbelow, HRC’s legal director, said in a statement: “Donald Trump’s erratic tweets and half-baked orders disrespect the bravery of the countless transgender people who have fought, and in many cases died, for their country. The immediate harm to our national defense and to the thousands of transgender people serving and wishing to serve their country must be stopped—and we are grateful that a federal judge has blocked this administration from discharging any qualified individuals because of their gender identity while these cases continue to make their way through the courts.”
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I am Luke Miller, content manager at Truth Theory and creator of Potential For Change. I like to blend psychology and spirituality to help you create more happiness in your life.Grab a copy of my free 33 Page Illustrated eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control Here