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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

  • Appeals Court Rules in Maher Arar Case: Innocent Victims of Extraordinary Rendition Cannot Sue in US Courts

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    On Monday, a federal court of appeals dismissed Canadian citizen Maher Arar’s case against US officials for their role in sending him to Syria to be tortured. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that victims of extraordinary rendition cannot sue Washington for torture suffered overseas, because Congress has not authorized such lawsuits. In 2002, Syrian-born Maher Arar was held in New York on his way back to Canada from a family vacation in Tunisia. A subsequent Canadian public inquiry has shown Arar was held on erroneous advice from Canadian officials who accused him of ties to Islamic militants. US authorities then flew Arar to Syria, where he was imprisoned and tortured for a year. Canadian authorities exonerated Arar in 2007, apologized for their role in his torture, and awarded him a multi-million-dollar settlement. [includes rush transcript]

  • Israeli Activists Criticize US House for Considering Resolution Condemning Goldstone Report on Israeli War Crimes in Gaza

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    The House is expected to overwhelmingly vote today to condemn a UN inquiry that found Israel committed scores of war crimes in its three-week assault on the Gaza Strip. Headed by the South African jurist Richard Goldstone, the inquiry also accused Hamas of war crimes and said both sides should investigate the allegations or face international prosecution. Over 1,300 Palestinians were killed in the Israeli attack, a majority of them civilians. Nine Israelis were killed by Palestinians and another four by so-called friendly fire. The bipartisan, non-binding House measure calls the Goldstone inquiry "irredeemably biased and unworthy of further consideration or legitimacy." The vote comes one day before the United Nations General Assembly is expected to take up the inquiry’s findings. [includes rush transcript]

  • "By the People: The Election of Barack Obama": New Documentary on Barack Obama’s Historic Presidential Run

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    Tomorrow will mark one year since President Obama’s historic election as the nation’s first African American president. A new documentary tracks Obama’s seemingly improbable road to the White House with an unprecedented look at his campaign. Filmmakers Amy Rice and Alicia Sams began following Obama in May 2006, eight months before he announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination. Their film is as much a look at the campaign behind the scenes as it is at the grassroots movement of supporters that propelled Obama to victory. [includes rush transcript]

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