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School gives iftaar meals to pupils

first_imgAbout 250 children and adults broke their fast at Athwood Primary School every Friday for the month of Ramadaan. In poverty-plagued Hanover Park, a primary school has ensured that for at least one day a week its pupils didn’t go home to meagre meals after a day of fasting during Ramadaan.From 5.30pm to 7.30pm every Friday during the Muslim holy month, Athwood Primary School’s hall hosted an iftaar (breaking of the fast) for the pupils. Both staff and pupils of all faiths were invited to enjoy a meal together.Principal Kevan Petersen started the initiative during Ramadaan last year after noticing that many pupils and their families had little to break their fast with.He said he had done the same thing at Heideveld Primary School when he had been the principal there.The iftaars are supported by public donations.Every Friday, the children and their families received a meal and a take-away box and each child received a party packet. Children who gathered at the school gate were also fed.“We also got donations of food parcels for 30 of the most needy families, and we hope more will be coming in. The community has really embraced the idea so gladly because of the need, and I am so proud of the pupils for their good behaviour during the iftaar,” he said. “One Friday one girl received her party packet, and she asked for her sister at home, and a lady almost cried because it shows that they think about others as well.”He said the school hoped that by changing children’s attitudes it could “change the entire community one meal at a time”.School caretaker John Jacobs prepared the hall every Friday for the iftaar.“It’s a very good idea,” he said. “The mothers of the children really appreciate it and the community as well. The families started queueing outside on a Friday; they were very excited, and they saw all the food to eat. “I helped to set up for them and I saw that the children were safe. My four children and I also ate with them,” he said. Taahirah Esau, the coordinator of the project has been working in the community of Pinate Estate for many years. She said that through the iftaar programme the children were able to feel the spirit of Ramadaan. “From the beginning of the year, the children have asked if we are having it again this year. We have a very small hall, so we can only accommodate so many people. The children from all over came to boeka here not only pupils from our school. We are hoping that other schools will adopt the idea as well. We would like to thank our main sponsor, Al Musaa-id, for their generosity,” she said.last_img read more

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Houston mother charged in deaths of son, 7, and daughter, 5

first_img Published: August 15, 2016 7:26 AM EDT Houston mother charged in deaths of son, 7, and daughter, 5 SHARE Author: The Associated Press center_img Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know. HOUSTON (AP) – Authorities say a Houston mother who matter-of-factly told an acquaintance that she had drowned her two children in a bathtub has been charged in their deaths.Houston police spokesman Kese Smith told The Associated Press that 30-year-old Sheborah Thomas was charged Sunday with capital murder.Smith says “all indications are she is the one who acted alone” in the killing of her 7-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter, whose bodies were found under a neighbor’s house Sunday.She says the mother told an acquaintance that she had killed the children.Smith says Thomas was so matter-of-fact about it that he thought she was joking.Smith says investigators are interviewing the mother and have not determined a motive.last_img read more

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Fed keeps rate unchanged but hints of coming hike

first_img SHARE Fed keeps rate unchanged but hints of coming hike WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve is keeping a key interest rate unchanged but sending a strong signal that it will likely boost rates before the end of the year.The Fed said in a statement Wednesday that the U.S. job market has continued to strengthen and economic activity has picked up.It characterized the near-term risks to the economic outlook as “roughly balanced.” It was the first time it has used that wording since last December, when it last raised rates. Most analysts have said they think the Fed will next raise rates in December.For the first time in nearly two years, there were three dissents to the Fed’s statement Wednesday.Until recently, many Fed watchers had thought a rate hike was likely this week. They believed that the Fed, starting with a late-August speech by Chair Janet Yellen in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, was preparing investors for an imminent increase.Yellen suggested then that given the job market’s solid gains and the Fed’s outlook for the economy and inflation, “the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has strengthened in recent months.”Other Fed officials, including Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer, made similar observations, seemingly part of a collective signal that a September rate hike was probable if not definite.Sentiment shifted, though, after Lael Brainard, a Fed board member and Yellen ally, laid out the case for delaying a resumption of rate increases for now. Brainard’s comments, coupled with a string of weaker-than-expected economic data, led watchers to conclude that there will likely be no rate increase this week.Still, many analysts had expected the statement the Fed released Wednesday to signal that modestly higher lending costs were coming soon – in part to satisfy the growing number of Fed officials who have pushed for a resumption of rate increases.Some economists had pointed to the minutes of the Fed’s July meeting and comments from officials since then to suggest that the central bank’s “hawks” – those who think it should be acting faster to raise rates – are gathering adherents from the dove camp. Doves tend to be wary of raising rates quickly for fear for undermining growth.Others said that members of the dove camp, who include Yellen, weren’t yet convinced, especially after the recent string of tepid readings on the economy.Job growth slowed in August. A manufacturing gauge slid back into recession territory. An index that tracks the services economy, where most Americans work, fell to its lowest level since 2010. U.S. shoppers retreated in August to depress retail sales after four straight monthly gains.These were signs, too, that the economy might be struggling to accelerate after three straight quarters of anemic growth.And perhaps most critical for some Fed officials, inflation has yet to make significant progress in rising toward the central bank’s 2 percent target range.The Fed’s statement Wednesday was issued hours after the Bank of Japan, struggling to rejuvenate an ailing economy, set a more ambitious goal for raising inflation and announced steps meant to raise the profitability of financial firms.Analysts expressed doubt, though, that the Bank of Japan’s new target would change the mindset of shoppers and businesses long used to a stagnant economy and flat or declining prices. They said they expected Japan’s central bank to eventually slash its policy rate further.In Europe, Mario Draghi, head of the European Central Bank, is seeking help from the governments of the 19 counties that use the euro currency. The ECB this month left its aggressive stimulus measures unchanged and urged European governments to spend more on infrastructure and to enact reforms to make their economies more efficient and business-friendly. The eurozone economy is growing slowly, but inflation remains well far below the ECB’s 2 percent annual target.The Bank of England also decided to keep British rates unchanged last week. The United Kingdom’s economy is holding up better than expected after British voters voted in June to leave the European Union. The Brexit decision caught markets by surprise and generated alarm about the prospects for Britain’s economy. In August, the Bank of England cut rates and expanded its stimulus program. But it decided leave its main rate unchanged this month. Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know. Published: September 21, 2016 2:27 PM EDT Updated: October 7, 2016 2:23 AM EDT last_img read more

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Flood fears renewed as California braces for another storm

first_imgFlood fears renewed as California braces for another storm Author: AP Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know. SHAREcenter_img Published: February 20, 2017 8:06 AM EST TRACY, Calif. (AP) Some Northern California residents are preparing for another powerful Pacific storm by patrolling levees for signs of danger, reviewing evacuation plans and filling hundreds of sand bags.One resident near Tracy, which is 80 miles east of San Francisco, said that though the levees appear in good shape, they decided take charge after the San Joaquin River started rising.“We have a levee response team, a sand bagging team, teams to check on what walkers checking on the levees find,” said San Joaquin River Club resident Paula Martin, who is helping coordinate emergency plans for the private neighborhood of 800 homes.Martin said the neighborhood has sirens in the clubhouse and at a church that can warn residents of impending flooding.“Our community is pulling together like real champs,” she said, adding that volunteers have been patrolling the levees every two hours.The area saw rain and wind Sunday afternoon but forecasters said a storm packing a bigger punch will reach the San Francisco Bay Area overnight before moving to the Central Valley.The San Joaquin River at a measuring station near Vernalis – about 10 miles southeast of Tracy – remained Sunday at “danger stage,” meaning it keeps approaching the top of levees, said Tim Daly, a spokesman with San Joaquin County Office of Emergency Services.“When the water gets that high and more water is coming, there is just too much pressure and levees can break,” Daly said. “They can be topped.”Another area of concern is the Don Pedro reservoir, which officials said was at 98 percent capacity on Sunday. The reservoir captures water from the Tuolumne River, a key tributary of the San Joaquin.Meanwhile, water was receding in the farm community of Maxwell, about 70 miles north of Sacramento, where dozens of people sought higher ground Friday after creeks topped their banks and inundated houses. Crews used boats to rescue residents from the low-lying neighborhood.Officials advised residents to be ready to evacuate.“We’re telling those people to keep a bag close by and get ready to leave again,” said Colusa County Assistant Sheriff Jim Saso Saso. “If the water comes back up, it’s going to be those areas affected.”About 60 miles east, the water level continued to fall at Oroville Dam, where a damaged spillway had raised major flood concerns and prompted the evacuation of 188,000 people last weekend.The amount of water flowing down the spillway was increased from 55,000 cubic feet a second to 60,000 cubic feet a second Sunday afternoon in anticipation of the storm, the California Department of Water Resources said. Last week, outflows were at nearly 100,000 cubic feet a second.During recent storms, authorities up and down the state have dealt with overflowing creeks, mudslide threats in foothill areas blackened by fires, road collapses and hundreds of toppled trees in neighborhoods. At least three people have died.last_img read more

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Trump seeks to move past US troubles on first trip abroad

first_img Published: May 20, 2017 8:53 AM EDT Trump seeks to move past US troubles on first trip abroad RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) President Donald Trump, in the first stop of his maiden trip abroad, received a regal welcome Saturday in Saudi Arabia, feted by the wealthy kingdom as he aims to forge strong alliances to combat terrorism while pushing past the multiple controversies threatening to engulf his young administration.Trump arrived in Riyadh after an overnight flight and was welcomed at elaborate airport ceremony punctuated by a military flyover and a handshake from Saudi King Salman. He is the only American president to make Saudi Arabia, or any majority Muslim country, his first stop overseas – a choice designed in part to show respect to the region after more than a year of Trump’s harsh anti-Muslim campaign rhetoric.The visit kicks off an ambitious international debut for Trump. After two days of meetings here, Trump will travel to Israel, have an audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican and meet with allies at a NATO summit in Brussels and the Group of 7 powerful nations in Sicily.Trump waved from the doorway after Air Force One touched down and before descending the staircase with first lady Melania Trump. The 81-year-old King Salman, who used a cane for support, was brought to the steps of the plane in a golf cart. The leaders exchanged pleasantries and Trump said it was “a great honor” to be there.Several jets then flew overhead leaving a red, white and blue trail.Soon after, Trump tweeted for the first time on international soil as president. “Great to be in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Looking forward to the afternoon and evening ahead.”At a later ceremony at the grand Saudi Royal Court, the king placed the Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud, the nation’s highest civilian honor, around Trump’s neck. The medal, given to Trump for his efforts to strengthen ties in the region, has also been bestowed on Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister Theresa May and Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama.The king and Trump were overheard discussing natural resources and arms, and the king bemoaned the destruction caused by Syria’s civil war.White House officials hope the trip, complete with images of the accompanying pomp and pageantry of a president abroad, will help Trump recalibrate after one of the most difficult stretches of his young presidency. The White House bungled the president’s stunning firing of FBI Director James Comey, who was overseeing a federal investigation into possible ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia. This week, the Justice Department relented to pressure from Democrats and named former FBI chief Robert Mueller as special counsel to lead the probe.But fresh news reports about the Russia investigation surfaced shortly after Trump departed and threatened to overshadow the nine-day trip.The New York Times reported that Trump called Comey “a real nut job” while discussing the ongoing investigation with two Russian officials in the Oval Office earlier this month. He also told them that firing Comey had “taken off” the “great pressure” he was feeling from the investigation, the Times reported.Meanwhile, The Washington Post reported that an unidentified senior Trump adviser was being considered a “person of interest” in the investigation. Separately, Comey agreed to testify at an upcoming, open hearing of the Senate intelligence committee, the panel said.Despite those troubles, Trump was warmly received in Saudi Arabia in contrast to his predecessor. Saudi’s ruling family grew deeply frustrated with Obama’s detente with Iran and his restrained approach on Syria. The king did not greet Obama at the airport when he visited last year.Billboards featuring images of Trump and the king and emblazoned with the motto “Together we prevail,” dotted Riyadh’s highways, and Trump’s hotel was bathed in red, white and blue lights and, at times, an image of the president’s face.Mrs. Trump wore a black pantsuit with a golden belt and did not cover her head, consistent with the custom for foreign dignitaries visiting Saudi Arabia. Her husband had criticized former first lady Michelle Obama for not wearing a headscarf during a 2015 visit to the kingdom.Trump arrived as Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani won re-election by a wide margin, giving the moderate cleric a second, four-year term to continue pushing for greater freedoms and outreach to the wider world.For a president who campaigned on an “America First” platform, the trip is a crucial moment for U.S. allies to size up Trump’s commitment to decades-long partnerships while trying to move behind his previous controversial statements.In a sweetener for Saudi Arabia, U.S. officials said the Trump administration planned to announce $110 billion in advanced military equipment sales and training to the kingdom. The package includes tanks, combat ships, missile defense systems, radar and communications, and cybersecurity technology.After spending much of Saturday meeting with King Salman and other royal family members, Trump was ending the day at a banquet dinner at the Murabba Palace. On Sunday, he’ll hold meetings with more than 50 Arab and Muslim leaders converging on Riyadh for a regional summit focused largely on combating the Islamic State and other extremist groups.Trump dodged one potential land mine when Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who has been indicted on war crime and genocide charges, announced that he would not attend the summit for personal reasons.The centerpiece of Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia is a speech Sunday at the Arab-Islamic-American summit. White House aides view the address as a counter to Obama’s 2009 speech to the Muslim world, which Trump criticized as too apologetic for U.S. actions in the region.Trump will call for unity in the fight against radicalism in the Muslim world, casting the challenge as a “battle between good and evil” and urging Arab leaders to “drive out the terrorists from your places of worship,” according to a draft of the speech obtained by The Associated Press. The draft notably refrains from mentioning democracy and human rights – topics Arab leaders often view as U.S. moralizing – in favor of the more limited goals of peace and stability.The draft also abandons some of the harsh anti-Muslim rhetoric that defined Trump’s presidential campaign and does not contain the words “radical Islamic terror,” a phrase Trump repeatedly criticized Hillary Clinton for not using during last year’s campaign. Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know. SHARElast_img read more

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Trump to issue stop-payment order on health care subsidies

first_imgObamaCare is a broken mess. Piece by piece we will now begin the process of giving America the great HealthCare it deserves!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2017The Department of Health and Human Services had made the announcement in a statement late Thursday. “We will discontinue these payments immediately,” said acting HHS Secretary Eric Hargan and Medicare administrator Seema Verma. Sign-up season for subsidized private insurance starts Nov. 1, in less than three weeks, with about 9 million people currently covered.In a separate statement, the White House said the government cannot legally continue to pay the so-called cost-sharing subsidies because they lack a formal authorization by Congress. Officials said a legal opinion from the Justice Department supports that conclusion.MORE: Calling it a beginning, Trump signs health care orderHowever, the administration had been making the payments from month to month, even as Trump threatened to cut them off to force Democrats to negotiate over health care. The subsidies help lower copays and deductibles for people with modest incomes.Halting the payments would trigger a spike in premiums for next year, unless Trump reverses course or Congress authorizes the money. The next payments are due around Oct. 20.The top two Democrats in Congress sharply denounced the Trump plan in a joint statement.“It is a spiteful act of vast, pointless sabotage leveled at working families and the middle class in every corner of America,” said House and Senate Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi of California and Chuck Schumer of New York. “Make no mistake about it, Trump will try to blame the Affordable Care Act, but this will fall on his back and he will pay the price for it.”The president’s action is likely to trigger a lawsuit from state attorneys general, who contend the subsidies to insurers are fully authorized by federal law, and say the president’s position is reckless.“We are prepared to sue,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. “We’ve taken the Trump Administration to court before and won.”Word of Trump’s plan came on a day when the president had also signed an executive order directing government agencies to design insurance plans that would offer lower premiums outside the requirements of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.Frustrated over setbacks in Congress, Trump is wielding his executive powers to bring the “repeal and replace” debate to a head. He appears to be following through on his vow to punish Democrats and insurers after the failure of GOP health care legislation.MORE: Trump’s health secretary resigns in travel flapOn Twitter, Trump has termed the payments to insurers a “bailout,” but it’s unclear if the president will get Democrats to negotiate by stopping payment.Experts have warned that cutting off the money would lead to a double-digit spike in premiums, on top of increases insurers already planned for next year. That would deliver another blow to markets around the country already fragile from insurers exiting and costs rising. Insurers, hospitals, doctors’ groups, state officials and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have urged the administration to keep paying.Leading GOP lawmakers have also called for continuing the payments to insurers, at least temporarily, so constituents maintain access to health insurance. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., is working on such legislation with Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington.The so-called “cost-sharing” subsidies defray copays and deductibles for people with low-to-modest incomes, and can reduce a deductible of $3,500 to a few hundred dollars. Assistance is available to consumers buying individual policies; people with employer coverage are unaffected by the dispute.Nearly 3 in 5 customers qualify for help, an estimated 6 million people or more. The annual cost to the government is currently about $7 billion.But the subsidies have been under a legal cloud because of a dispute over whether the Obama health care law properly approved them. Adding to the confusion, other parts of the Affordable Care Act clearly direct the government to reimburse the carriers.For example, the ACA requires insurers to help low-income consumers with their copays and deductibles.And the law also specifies that the government shall reimburse insurers for the cost-sharing assistance that they provide.MORE: President Donald Trump tours damage in Naples EstatesBut there’s disagreement over whether the law properly provided a congressional “appropriation,” similar to an instruction to pay. The Constitution says the government shall not spend money unless Congress appropriates it.House Republicans trying to thwart the ACA sued the Obama administration in federal court in Washington, arguing that the law lacked specific language appropriating the cost-sharing subsidies.A district court judge agreed with House Republicans, and the case has been on hold before the U.S. appeals court in Washington. Up to this point the Trump administration continued making the monthly payments, as the Obama administration had done.While the legal issue seems arcane, the impact on consumers would be real.The Congressional Budget Office estimated that premiums for a standard “silver” plan will increase by about 20 percent without the subsidies. Insurers can recover the cost-sharing money by raising premiums, since those are also subsidized by the ACA, and there’s no legal question about their appropriation.Consumers who receive tax credits under the ACA to pay their premiums would be shielded from those premium increases.But millions of others buy individual health care policies without any financial assistance from the government and could face prohibitive increases. Taxpayers would end up spending more to subsidize premiums. WASHINGTON (AP) In a brash move likely to roil insurance markets, President Donald Trump will “immediately” halt payments to insurers under the Obama-era health care law he has been trying to unravel for months.Before sunrise Friday morning, Trump went on Twitter to urge Democrats to make a deal: “The Democrats ObamaCare is imploding,” he wrote. “Massive subsidy payments to their pet insurance companies has stopped. Dems should call me to fix!”The Democrats ObamaCare is imploding. Massive subsidy payments to their pet insurance companies has stopped. Dems should call me to fix!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2017 Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know. Author: Associated Press Trump to issue stop-payment order on health care subsidies Published: October 13, 2017 7:32 AM EDT Updated: October 14, 2017 6:02 PM EDT SHARElast_img read more

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first_img Dinah Rose QC, Mark Summers and Helen Law (instructed by Birnberg Peirce & Partners) for the appellant; Clare Montgomery QC, Aaron Watkins and Hannah Pye (instructed by Special Crime Division, Crown Prosecution Service) for the respondent. On 2 December 2010, the respondent Swedish Prosecution Authority issued a European Arrest Warrant (the warrant) requesting the arrest and surrender of the appellant. The appellant was, at that time, in England, where he remained at the time of the instant hearing. The offences of which he was accused and in respect of which his surrender was sought were alleged to have been committed in Stockholm against two women in August 2010. They included sexual molestation and, in one case, rape. At the extradition hearing before the senior district judge, and subsequently on appeal to the Divisional Court, he challenged the validity of the warrant on a number of grounds. One of the grounds was that the warrant had been issued by a public prosecutor who was not a ‘judicial authority’ as required by article 6 of the Council of the European Union framework decision on the European Arrest Warrant and surrender procedures between member states of the European Union 2002/584/JHA (the framework decision) and by sections 2(2) and 66 of the Extradition Act 2003. He argued that a ‘judicial authority’ had to be impartial and independent both of the executive and of the parties and, as prosecutors were parties in the criminal process, they could not be independent and impartial. If, contrary to that argument, prosecutors could issue warrants under the framework decision, then the appellant contended that they fell outside the definition in the act, as it was clear that parliament had intended to restrict the power to issue warrants to a judge or court. Following his unsuccessful challenge, the appellant appealed to the Supreme Court. The issue was whether a warrant issued by a public prosecutor was a valid warrant issued by a judicial authority within the meaning of sections 2(2) and 66 of the 2003 act. The respondent submitted, inter alia, that the phrase ‘judicial authority’, in the context of the framework decision, and other European instruments, bore a broad and autonomous meaning. It described any person or body authorised to play a part in the judicial process. The term embraced a variety of bodies, some of which had the qualities of impartiality and independence and some of which did not. In some parts of the framework decision the term ‘judicial authority’ described one type, in other parts another. A prosecutor properly fell within the description ‘judicial authority’ and was capable of being the judicial authority competent to issue a warrant under article 6 of the framework decision if the law of the state so provided. ‘Judicial authority’ had to be given the same meaning in the 2003 act as it bore in the framework decision. Consideration was given to the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. The appeal would be dismissed (Lady Hale and Lord Mance dissenting). ‘Judicial authority’ in part 1 of the act should be accorded the same meaning as it bore in the framework decision, and that term was properly to be understood as including public prosecutors (see [80], [95] of the judgment). The purpose of the framework decision was to introduce a system of surrender between judicial authorities for those accused or convicted of serious criminal offences which required each of the member states to give a uniform interpretation of the phrase ‘judicial authority’. Article 31.3(b) of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties permitted recourse, as an aid to interpretation, to ‘any subsequent practice in the application of the treaty which established the agreement of the parties regarding its interpretation’. When one considered the draft September framework decision, it was beyond doubt that ‘judicial authority’ was a term that embraced both a court and a public prosecutor. Although the precise definition of ‘judicial authority’ was removed from the final draft, the overall scheme of the warrant did not change from that proposed in the September draft. In particular there remained a requirement for an antecedent process before the issue of the warrant. Article 2, under the heading ‘Scope of the European Arrest Warrant’ set out the offences in respect of which a warrant could be issued. Article 8 specified the content of the warrant, which included ‘(c) evidence of an enforceable judgment, an arrest warrant or any other enforceable judicial decision having the same effect, coming within the scope of articles 1 and 2.’ There could be two possible reasons for removing the precise definition of ‘judicial authority’ that had been included in the September draft. The first was to restrict the meaning by excluding from its ambit the public prosecutor. The second was to broaden the meaning so that it was not restricted to a judge or a public prosecutor. The second explanation was the more probable. Further, there was a strong presumption in favour of interpreting an English statute in a way which did not place the UK in breach of its international obligations (see [10], [22], [54],[59] [60], [67], [113], [122] of the judgment). In the instant case, the respondent judicial authority which had issued the warrant had been a ‘judicial authority’ within the meaning of that phrase in section 2 of the 2003 act and therefore the appellant’s challenge to the validity of the warrant failed (see [80] of the judgment). Decision of Divisional Court [2011] EWHC 2849 (Admin) affirmed. Extradition hearing – European Arrest Warrant – Appellant being arrested pursuant to European Arrest Warrantcenter_img Assange v Swedish Prosecution Authority: SC (Justices of the Supreme Court, Lords Phillips (president), Walker, Brown, Mance, Kerr, Dyson, Lady Hale): 30 May 2012last_img read more

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Intellectual property

first_img Piers Acland QC and Hugo Cuddigan (instructed by Mishcon de Reya) for the claimant; Mark Platts-Mills QC and Jonathan Hill (instructed by Simons Muirhead & Burton) for the defendants. Pollen Estate Trustee Company Ltd Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft v Round and Metal Ltd and another: ChD (Pat) (Mr Justice Arnold): 27 July 2012 Design – Design right – Infringement – Claimant company holding community registered designs and community trademarkscenter_img The claimant company held community registered designs Nos: 000032438-0004; 000304274-0004; 000609458-0006; and 000936281-0005 for wheels for motor vehicles. The claimant further held community trademarks Nos: 000091835 for the letters ‘BMW’; 000091884 for a sign device; 000302406 for the word ‘MINI’; 004319844 for a second sign device; and 0945064 for a third sign device. The first defendant company imported and sold replica alloy wheels for motor cars, including those of the claimant company. The first defendant further sold adhesive stickers for attachment to the wheels (the stickers), which reproduced the logos which formed the claimant’s sign devices. The first defendant operated an online store, which listed ‘18″ BMW parallel wheels’ and contained a photograph of a wheel bearing the word ‘MINI’. The claimant issued proceedings contending that the first defendant had infringed the community registered designs and community trademarks. The first defendant denied that its acts had amounted to infringement, relying on article 110(1) of the council regulation (EC) 6/2002 (on community designs) (the regulation), which excluded protection for a design right which constituted a component part of a complex product for the purpose of the repair of that complex product so as to restore its original appearance. There was no dispute that the second defendant was jointly liable for any infringements of the claimant’s rights that the first defendant had committed. The principal issues for determination were: (i) whether the defendants had infringed the claimant’s community registered designs; (ii) whether the defendants had infringed the claimant’s community trademarks; (iii) whether the defendants had a defence to infringement of the claimant’s community trademarks under articles 12 and 13 of the council directive (EC) 98/71 (on the legal protection of designs) (the directive). The application would be allowed. (1) Properly construed, article 110(1) of the regulation would not prevent registration of designs of component parts of complex products. It followed that article 110(1) of the regulation would operate as an exception to the right conferred by registration in particular circumstances of use of the design. The burden would lay on the defendant to establish that the exception applied. Further, article 110(1) of the regulation would be interpreted as being restricted to component parts which had been dependent on the appearance of the complex product. The language of article 110(1) of the regulation directed attention to what the part would normally be used for (see [51], [57], [73] of the judgment). In the instant case, the designs of alloy wheels of the kind in issue had not been dependent on the appearance of the car, because it had been clear from the evidence that replacement of wheels of one design with wheels of a different design would be a perfectly realistic option. Further, article 110(1) of the regulation would not apply as the defendants’ replica wheels had not been used to restore a complex product to its original appearance as supplied by the manufacturer or its authorised dealer. The defendants’ replica wheels had been used to improve the appearance of a car (see [78], [87] of the judgment). The first defendant had infringed each of the community registered designs and the second defendant would be jointly liable for the infringement (see [88], [118] of the judgment). (2) The first defendant had used the sign devices by supplying the stickers bearing the sign devices together with wheels to which they would be affixed. Further, the first defendant had not established that there would be no possibility of confusion flowing from its use of the signs. There would be a real likelihood of confusion, since the manner of use with respect to the online store had been such to give the impression that the wheels in question had been genuine BMW wheels. Further, although the goods had not been identical to those covered by the ‘MINI’ community trademark, they had been similar. The use of the sign device in the photograph had given rise to a likelihood of confusion (see [104], [106], [111], [112] of the judgment). (3) The defence under article 12 of the directive had depended upon the first defendant having acted in accordance with honest practices in industrial and commercial matters. That had not been the case where there had been a likelihood of confusion. Further, the court had been unable to understand how it could possibly be suggested that the first defendant had a defence under article 13(1) of the directive. The instant case had nothing to do with exhaustion of rights (see [113], [114] of the judgment). The first defendant had infringed the community trademarks and the second defendant would be jointly liable for the infringement (see [115], [118] of the judgment).last_img read more

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Sign here, Mr President

first_imgThe Law Society’s librarians are used to turning up treasures. But the signature of Herbert Hoover, 31st president of the United States, tucked away in an autograph book came as a surprise. The fascinating little book, signed by Hoover at the White House in 1930, was created by solicitor Gilbert Bailey on a Law Society delegation visiting the Canadian and American bar associations. Every member of the 130-strong delegation signed the book and its owner also managed to collect autographs of the chief justice of the US Supreme Court, the prime minister of Canada and – surprisingly shakily – the US president himself.last_img read more

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Churn hits bottom line

first_imgStaff turnover in the legal sector could be costing UK firms up to £805m a year, according to research from income insurance firm Unum.The average cost of replacing a legal sector employee is £39,887, the research found.last_img