England's most senior civil judge rules that Terrorism Act violates human rights

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Lord Dyson, the most senior civil judge in England and Wales, has ruled that Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act -- the law that lets the police detain anyone they like for six hours, without a warrant or access to legal advice, and compel them to answer questions -- violates the UK's international human rights obligations. Read the rest

12-year-old girl suspended because she lent her inhaler to a gasping classmate

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A 12-year-old honor student from Texas got suspended from school for giving her asthama inhaler to another girl who was wheezing and gasping in gym class. She could also be tranferred to an "alternative school" for up to 30 days. The girl told Fox 4 News she feels the punishment is not fair. “I was just trying to save her life. I didn't think I was trying to do anything bad,” she said.

The district says 30 days at alternative school is an initial automatic punishment for sharing a controlled substance including prescription drugs like inhalers - until there's a hearing to weigh all the facts. The final punishment could change and range from no days to the maximum of 30 days.

First, albuterol is not a controlled substance. Second where was the teacher or coach and why didn't they do anything to help the girl who was wheezing and gasping?

[via] Read the rest

TSA screener insists that full-body screening is mandatory

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Sai, who is seeking an injunction against the TSA's new mandatory full-body screening test (but only for people they don't like), flew out of SEA-TAC on Dec 31 and was told that the full-body scanner was mandatory. Read the rest

Cops have way more rights than you do

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When you get arrested, what happens next depends on the law and the Constitution, but when a cop arrests their co-worker, what happens next is determined by a cushy contract between the police union and the city that gives suspected crooked law enforcement officers every benefit of the doubt, and lots of ways to walk away free, regardless of the facts. Read the rest

Gamified compliance: China's reputation network Huxleys to the full Orwell

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The Extra Credits video series has a great segment on Sesame Credit, the Chinese government's public-private "reputation economy" that uses your social media postings, purchases and known associates to assign you a public score rating your citizenship and reliability. Read the rest

NM judge believes daily prison rape is a fit punishment for nearly all defendants

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New Mexico Second Circuit Court Judge Christina Argyres told an 18-year-old first time offender who'd pleaded guilty to burglary that she would grant him probation because if he went to prison he'd be "someone's bitch" and be "raped every day." Read the rest

South Carolina sheriff fires the school-cop who beat up a black girl at her desk

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Ben Fields, the South Carolina sheriff’s deputy who was video-recorded beating up a black schoolgirl who was sitting peacefully at her desk, has been fired. Read the rest

Cop bravely attempts to stop mother from breastfeeding her baby

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An Omaha, Nebraska policewoman substituted her ignorance of the law with an authoritarian compulsion to shame a mother who was feeding her infant the way mammals have done so for 65 million years. Rosalyn Mizzell, the mother who was breast feeding her child at a school forum meeting, said the officer told her, "Don't do that in front of me. Have more respect for yourself and everybody else here." The officer threatened to cite Mizzell for indecent exposure.

When Mizzell complained, she said the officer's apology "went along the lines of, 'I was offended, other people were offended, if you wanted to breastfeed you could have done it in the bathroom or stayed home.'"

The Omaha Police Department issued a statement that read: "Officers responded to a complaint from a citizen who thought the breast feeding was inappropriate. Officers followed up and did not cite the woman for any offense."

According to Nebraska state law, it is legal for mothers to breastfeed their children in "any public or private location where the mother is otherwise authorized to be." Read the rest

Virginia school suspends an 11-year-old for one year over a leaf that wasn’t marijuana

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One day, when I was in the sixth grade, a classmate came to school with a baggie containing tea leaves from a couple of Lipton bags. He joked that it was pot. The teacher saw it, told told the kid he was stupid for doing it, and tossed the baggie in the trash. End of story. That was the 1970s. Today, a kid in Virginia brings a Japanese maple leaf to school (which has a passing resemblance to cannabis) and he gets suspended for a year.

The student, the 11-year-old son of two school teachers, had to enroll in the district's alternative education program and be homeschooled. He was evaluated by a psychiatrist for substance abuse problems, and charged with marijuana possession in juvenile court. In the months since September, he's become withdrawn, depressed, and he suffers from panic attacks. He is worried his life is over, according to his mother, and that he will never get into college.

The only problem? The "leaf" found in the student's backpack wasn't what authorities thought it was -- it tested negative for marijuana three separate times.

Virginia school suspends an 11-year-old for one year over a leaf that wasn’t marijuana Read the rest

Making while brown: Texas schoolchild arrested for bringing homemade clock to school UPDATED

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Ahmed Mohamed is a gifted, driven maker-kid who's in the ninth grade at MacArthur High in Irving, Texas. When he showed the homemade clock he soldered and pieced together to his engineering teacher, he was told to keep it in his bag. But when the alarm went off in English class, his teacher accused him of bringing a bomb to school.

He told the teacher, and then the principal, and then the police offers who'd been summoned, that it was a digital clock he'd made and brought to school to show as evidence of the kinds of things he was making. He'd loved robotics club in middle school and was hoping to connect to a similar peer group in his new high school.

He was arrested, handcuffed, and paraded through the school with an officer on each arm, wearing his NASA shirt.

When he was brought before the school police, the officer who arrested him looked at him and said, "Yup. That’s who I thought it was." Ahmed Mohamed and his family (and the Council on Islamic American Relations) believe that the officer was referring to the color of his skin and his name.

Police spokesman James McLellan admits that Mohamed always maintained that the device was a clock, not a bomb, "but there was no broader explanation." When the Dallas Morning News asked him what "broader explanation" he was looking for, McLellan said, “It could reasonably be mistaken as a device if left in a bathroom or under a car. Read the rest

Knuckle-scanning anti-cheating software won't say what it's doing with Rutgers students' data

Rutgers students taking exams are required to pay $32 in fees for Verificient's Proctortrack, an anti-cheating program that collects, audio, video, web activity and "scans the ID, face and knuckles" as well as voice-prints. Read the rest

NYPD cop who beat up tennis star James Blake has a long, violent rapsheet

Officer James Frascatore's only been on the NYPD for 4 years, but has racked up a long history of complaints for unprovoked acts of brutality -- and for lying about them. Read the rest

North Dakota cops can now use lobbyist-approved taser/pepper-spray drones

Bruce Burkett of the North Dakota Peace Officer's Association introduced an amendment to ND HB 1328 that allows cops to shoot at citizens with drone-borne rubber bullets, tear gas, pepper spray, tasers and sound cannon. Read the rest

Six years after unprovoked beating, Denver cop finally fired

Denver Police Officers Ricky Nixon and Kevin Devine maced four women without provocation and shoved them to the ground in 2009, then lied about it for years. Read the rest

America does a better job of tracking bee deaths than deaths in police custody

Michael from Muckrock writes, "The federal government has a pretty good picture of where bees are dying across America, with two federal agencies collaborating on a systematic, scientifically-rigorous, long-term look at the problem, particularly important given the danger that colony collapse disorder presented." Read the rest

Defector from Kremlin's outsourced troll army wins 1 rouble in damages

Lyudmila Savchuk was fired from St Petersburg's Internet Research -- the Kremlin's troll factory -- for talking to the media about her job posting messages rubbishing Putin's opponents to Internet forums. Read the rest

Miami police union smears woman who posted video of cop beating handcuffed suspect in police cruiser

The woman recorded video of a Miami cop punching a suspect who had already been handcuffed and put in the back of a cruiser; the video was interrupted by another officer trying to seize her phone. Read the rest

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