Eleven Bosnian women relayed horrifying tales of rape, torture, forced prostitution, kidnapping, and killing in a U.S. civil trial against Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic. The victims are seeking millions of dollars, and charge Karadzic with ordering Bosnian Serb military personnel to commit atrocities against Croats and Muslims in a genocide plot in the early 1990s. The women took the stand, telling their stories through sobs and screams, displaying evidence of severe anxiety as a result of the torture. One victim, now 65 years old, reported being raped daily and burned with an electric cattle prod. The trial is expected to end today, but whether the victims will collect damages is doubtful.
The case comes under U.S. jurisdiction through a 1789 law, the Alien Tort Claims Act, which was originally designed to punish acts of piracy and protect U.S. ambassadors in foreign countries. The law gives non-U.S. citizens the right to file civil suits in the U.S. for injuries suffered in violation of international law. It has been applied to cases like this since the 1980s, although most defenders ordered to pay damages have yet to pay. Karadzic has not been present in the NY courtroom to present a defense, and is currently in hiding from a UN tribunal seeking him on genocide charges. The Bosnian women's case was filed by noted feminist scholar Catharine MacKinnon, who pioneered sexual harassment law in the U.S.
5/6/2015 Four Sentenced to Death, Eight to Prison for Brutal Murder of Afghan Woman - The verdict for the 49 men charged with the murder of 27-year- old Farkhunda came yesterday, following a highly publicized and televised week-long trial and public outrage for violence against women in Afghanistan.
Farkhunda, who was an Islamic law student, accused a local Mullah of acting inappropriately. . . .
5/5/2015 Sen. Reid Promises to Filibuster "Fast Track" for the TransPacific Partnership - Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid has promised to delay efforts to push through the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal until the Senate first deals with two stalled bills that may soon expire.
Reid says that the two measures, an infrastructure bill on highway funding, and reforms to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), are "very complicated issues," that require the Senate's attention "before we even deal with [the Trans-Pacific Partnership]."
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a massive free trade agreement currently being promoted by the Obama Administration, has been heavily criticized by humanitarian groups, environmental groups, and medical groups. . . .