Tag Archives: Legal proceedings

Italian judge weighs Salvini trial for 2019 migrant standoff | World | Instant News

ROME (AP) – A judge in Sicily on Saturday began considering whether to prosecute former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini for refusing to let a Spanish migrant rescue ship dock in Italian ports in 2019, holding people at sea for days.

Salvini, leader of the far-right League party, was present for the preliminary hearing in the Palermo’s court bunker courtroom. He tweeted that he believed he was doing the right thing under Italian law, “defending the security and dignity of Italy” by refusing to board the Open Arms rescue ship.

The judge for the preliminary hearing, Lorenzo Iannelli, is deciding whether to try Salvini or file the case.

Palermo prosecutors accused Salvini of kidnapping, having held migrants in the sea off the coast of Lampedusa for days in August 2019. During the standoff, several migrants threw themselves into the sea in despair as the captain begged for a safe and close port. Finally after 19 days of ordeal, the remaining 83 migrants on the ship were allowed to disembark at Lampedusa.

Salvini has maintained a hard line on migration as interior minister during Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s reign, from 2018-2019. While demanding that EU countries do more to accept migrants arriving in Italy, Salvini argues that humanitarian rescue ships only encourage smugglers based in Libya and that his policies actually save lives by preventing risky journeys across the Mediterranean.


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Italian Americans demand a change in the name of the Columbus holiday | Instant News

A member of the Philadelphia City Council and Italian American groups sued the mayor’s government in federal court over the decision to change the name of the city’s Columbus Day holiday to Indigenous Peoples Day.

PHILADELFIA – A member of the Philadelphia City Council and Italian American groups sued the mayor’s government in federal court over a decision to rename the city’s Columbus Day holiday to Indigenous Peoples Day.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday stated that while both groups deserve recognition, Mayor Jim Kenney “should not take action discriminating against Italian Americans to exalt other ethnic groups in its stead,” reported The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Plaintiffs, including Board Member Mark Squilla, alleged that Kenney’s recent executive order to rename the October holiday fits a pattern of discrimination by the mayor against his Italian-American constituency, which they say should be designated a protected class.

Also cited are attempts to remove a statue of Christopher Columbus from south Philadelphia and last year’s removal of a statue of former mayor and police commissioner Frank Rizzo from outside a city service building near City Hall after being the target of protests.

After the Rizzo statue was removed, protesters gathered at the Columbus statue at the Marconi Plaza statue and protesters also arrived. The groups clashed for days before the city covered the statue with a wooden structure and announced plans to seek its removal.

Many Italian Americans have embraced 15th-century explorers – once hailed as American inventors – as cultural heroes, but not all agree. Cities across the US have observed Columbus’ legacy in recent years, accelerated by protests against racial injustice that began the final sprint after George Floyd’s death.

When ordering the vacation name to be changed, Kenney said in a proclamation that Christopher Columbus’ story was “very complicated”, adding that the explorer “enslaved the native population, and punished individuals who failed to fulfill the services it expected through violence and, in some cases, murder.”;

Philadelphia is not the first city to remove the name Columbus from an October vacation to recognize Native Americans – Los Angeles, Denver and Austin, Texas, were among the switching municipalities.

Back in Philadelphia, the plaintiffs also accused discrimination in prioritizing neighborhood designations for the distribution of the coronavirus vaccine, something the city says is a region and target group with low vaccination rates.

On Tuesday, Kenney called the lawsuit a “useless political tactic” and said it would “waste valuable resources as we try to tackle a devastating pandemic and work to build safer and fairer cities for all residents. . “


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LA judge disciplines third time for bad behavior on bench | Government-and-politics | Instant News

Jordan wanted to accept the plea offer, but it was released when Germany refused.

“I’ll tell you, politeness doesn’t die,” Connolly told Germany. “If you accept the deal, Ms. Jordan will have that six-year contract. He will get more time than that. So, you know, take that into account. “

Jordan was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

In another instance last year, Connolly was upset with defense lawyers who asked to appear at the indictment over the phone because they feared exposure to COVID-19. Connolly has agreed to a telephone trial, but then appears to be against the lawyers and their clients.

The lawyers for the brothers Jorge and Felipe Ramirez, who are charged with assaulting a police officer, have asked that their client be released without bail for fear they are vulnerable to the coronavirus in prison.

Defense attorney Martin Lijtmaer said he had a letter proving the health of his client and the judge snapped repeatedly: “How would I see the letter, if you weren’t in my courtroom?”

Lijtmaer tried to answer, saying, “Your Highness, with respect, the reason I didn’t …” before being cut off.

Sincerely? Connolly said. “You haven’t come to the courtroom yet.”


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Estimated 25 million to see increased federal food benefits National | Instant News

SACRAMENTO, California (AP) – About 25 million Americans will qualify for more money in food aid under a new policy adopted by Democratic President Joe Biden’s administration.

The changes announced late Thursday also came after the United States Department of Agriculture reached a settlement with two California plaintiffs suing last year after they were blocked from accessing increased benefits approved by Congress because of the coronavirus pandemic. This could mean an increase in monthly benefits for about 1 million Californians.

“This is a real increase in community benefits that will make it a little easier to keep food on the table,” said Lindsay Nako, director of litigation and training at Impact Fund, which represented the California plaintiffs with Western Center on Law. & Poverty.

Plaintiffs in Pennsylvania have reached a similar settlement with the USDA.

Congress approved emergency allowances through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, sometimes called food stamps, after the coronavirus hit last March. But people who already receive the maximum monthly allowance – meaning the lowest income household – are not eligible for the increase.

Robin Hall is one of them, and he is the plaintiff in the California case. Hall, who is in his mid-40s, lived in transitional housing in late 2019 and was dealing with homeless people as the pandemic started. She has health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, that determine her nutritional needs, and she will turn to food banks and other local programs to fill the void when she runs out of benefits each month. At the time the lawsuit was filed, the maximum monthly support payment in California was $ 194.

“The pandemic is making it more difficult to obtain regular food,” Hall said in a statement released by the Western Center. “This emergency assistance will be of great help to me and many others. I feel very honored to be able to fight for everyone like me. “

Households that did not receive at least $ 95 per month in increased benefits during the pandemic will be eligible to receive up to that amount in the future. Any household that already gets this amount will not see an increase. It may take states several weeks to implement the increases, the USDA said.

Households that do not get an increase in allowances are those who are already earning the lowest. Forty percent are households with children, 20% include the elderly and 15% have someone with a disability, according to a USDA press release.

This marks a shift in policy between the Biden and Trump administrations. When Biden took office in January, he issued an executive order directing all federal agencies to reassess pandemic assistance programs. The sequence specifically mentions the increase in the benefits of food for the lowest income household.

The USDA estimates the policy change will send a total of $ 1 billion each month to 25 million people. California, the country’s most populous state, will see the largest increase of nearly $ 120 million-plus in benefits per month. Texas residents will earn an additional $ 81 million per month.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


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The Australian judge said the man who filmed the dying officer was hated | Instant News

A judge said the man who filmed four police officers dying at the crash site while describing it as justice was “perhaps the most hated man in Australia.”

MELBOURNE, Australia – A man who filmed four police officers dying in an accident last year describing it as justice is “perhaps the most hated person in Australia,” a judge said Wednesday while considering his sentence.

Judge Trevor Wuler said public anger over Richard Pusey’s actions was understandable.

The judge spoke at a pre-sentence hearing after Pusey, 42, pleaded guilty earlier this month to several charges. He will be sentenced April 28 and faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Pusey, a mortgage broker, was pulled over by officers for traveling 149 kilometers (93 miles) per hour on her Porsche. Officers were discussing whether to confiscate the car when a truck hit them. Pusey had missed because at that time he was urinating on the side of the highway.

As other witnesses rushed to help, Pusey took out her cellphone and made two videos of the scene. He enlarged the faces and wounds of three male and one female officers, called the officers vulgar, and said the sight was “absolutely stunning” and represented “justice.”

Others at the scene urged Pusey to help, but he ignored them, saying “they are dead.”

He later pleaded guilty to abusing public decency, speeding, and reckless behavior. He also admitted to having ecstasy, having returned positive testing for ecstasy and marijuana by the time he was pulled over.

Defense lawyer Dermot Dann said Pusey had asked him to apologize to the officer’s family.

“He was embarrassed, and ashamed, with the tape and what was said on the tape,” said Dann.

He said Pusey had a severe personality disorder, including anti-authority traits that played a role in his behavior at the crash site. He said Pusey had been trying to get help for his condition.

Her lawyers said Pusey did not immediately mock the dying officer and said there was room for mercy among the curses.

Dann said Pusey had spent nearly nine months in detention and his release was on a community corrections order, which would allow him to serve a sentence outside of prison.

But prosecutor Robyn Harper said Pusey’s actions were deliberate, heartless and robbed them of the dignity they deserved in their final moments.

The judge agreed that Pusey would assess public order before the sentencing hearing at the end of April.

The man who drove the truck, Mohinder Singh, pleaded guilty to 10 charges in December and will be sentenced next month.


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