But a new one is picking up steam. Why? By Michael B. Mukasey Dec. 1, 2013 6:41 p.m. ET Anyone looking for proof that bad policy begets more bad policy need look no further than the all-too-aptly-named Free Flow of Information Act of 2013. The bill may be taken up on the Senate floor as early as this week. The proposed legislation has had predecessors that failed to become law: the Free Flow of Information Acts of 2007, 2008 and 2009. Each, like the current bill, was said by its proponents to provide urgently needed protection for reporters seeking to shield confidential sources from discovery through federal…
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Russian activists ask IOC Bach to investigate gay law
In the face of declining enrollments, the heads of law schools confront financial pressures that many have never dealt with. Schools are forgoing millions of dollars in tuition revenue by shrinking their enrollments. To balance their budgets, some deans have reduced faculty and staff through layoffs and attrition. At the same time, they are spending limited resources to attract more students and find more jobs for their graduates. They are throwing themselves into curriculum reform and cajoling alums to hire students for either internships or full-time positions. “We’re in a longer-term correction in terms of jobs,” said Harold Krent, dean of the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. “Technology changes, globalization trends, corporate pressures on law firms and tax issues for state governments all have contributed. We have to ensure we continue to be as relevant as we can.” IIT Chicago-Kent received 2,661 applications for its 2013 entering class, down 31 percent from 2010, when it received 3,854. Law schools face a difficult choice when the applicant pool shrinks. They can keep enrollment steady by loosening admissions standards, but the strategy could endanger their status in the influential rankings by U.S. News & World Report.
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Supreme Court refuses to hear appeal of New York’s ‘Amazon Tax’ law
The young reporter said Friday in a statement that this case is the new law’s first big test. “Now that we have a new law that broadens the definition of rape, we should stand by what we fought for,” she said. “We have spoken, time and again, about how rape is not about lust or sex, but about power, privilege and entitlement. Thus this new law should be applicable to everybody — the wealthy, the powerful, and the well-connected — and not just to faceless strangers.” Tejpal has apologized to the reporter, describing the incident as drunken banter in a text message shortly afterward. He later called it a bad lapse of judgment, an awful misreading of the situation. But he has also claimed he is the victim of a political conspiracy, and his attorney houston has called the new rape law draconian.” Tejpal has offered to step down as editor for six months, which critics say would be a woefully inadequate punishment. In any case, the authorities have now stepped in and are to take a statement from the editor Friday. He is free on anticipatory bail until Saturday. The case now threatens the future of Tehelka itself, a previously well-regarded magazine known for its hard-hitting investigative pieces and liberal bent. The scandal has tarnished the magazines carefully constructed, decade-long image as an advocate of womens rights, human rights and marginalized groups. Its managing editor, Shoma Chaudhury, who initially tried to defend Tejpal, quit this week, and other staffers are reportedly leaving. Although it often published pieces advocating women’s rights, critics have noted that Tehelka did not have a sexual harassment committee or a grievance redressal system within its organization, now mandated under a new law passed by Parliament in April.
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High-profile media scandal poses first major test of India’s new sexual assault law
Credit: Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji PARIS (Reuters) – Gay rights activists on Saturday asked International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach to launch an independent investigation into the implications of Russian law during next year’s Sochi Games, they said. Bach met Russian activists during his two-day visit to Paris, IOC and gay rights organization All Out told Reuters. “I can confirm a constructive meeting did take place,” an IOC official said. The activists, who had flown from Moscow after others failed to meet Bach in Sochi earlier this month, raised their concerns over the law passed in June that bans “gay propaganda” among minors. The law has been denounced by critics and in the West as discriminatory and aimed at stifling dissent, prompting some calls for a boycott of the Games. President Vladimir Putin, who has hoped to make the Games a showcase of modern Russia, last month said all people would be welcome in Sochi. However, gay rights activists have reported a rise of violence toward their community and stressed on Saturday that the law was not compliant with the Olympic charter. “During the meeting, the IOC was urged to launch an independent investigation on the legal implications of the anti gay laws … as these laws are infringing the Olympic charter and notably the sixth principle of non discrimination,” All Out said in statement. A list of questions that could help steer the investigation was handed to Bach, they added, saying they were expecting the IOC to announce within days whether it would proceed.
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US Law Didn’t Halt Cigarette Flow From NY Tribes
Credit: Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi ROME (Reuters) – With Silvio Berlusconi now out of parliament, Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta is under pressure to overhaul a voting law blamed for dragging Italy into political and economic stalemate after the last election. Letta was appointed to lead an unwieldy government of left and right forces after a vote in February this year yielded no clear winner. When he named the 47-year-old center-left politician, President Giorgio Napolitano gave him the task of overhauling a dysfunctional political and justice system that has stifled Italy’s economic growth for years. Letta’s administration was supposed to repair the system to prevent chronic political instability. The ripple effects of Berlusconi’s legal battles – in particular the lead-up and aftermath of the former premier’s conviction for fraud in August – largely sidetracked the government during its first seven months, however. That disruption has ostensibly subsided after Berlusconi’s ejection from the Senate. Now leading a smaller alliance made up of his center-left Democratic Party, a breakaway group of rebels from Berlusconi’s Forza Italia movement and a few centrists, Letta has made it clear that electoral reform is key. A new push to change the law, described by Letta as an “absolute evil”, comes with the constitutional court also due to hear a challenge this week on the grounds that the system deprives voters of their constitutional rights to fair representation and a working system of government. Most Italian politicians agree, at least in public, that the law must change.
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Letta prepares to tackle Italy’s voting law stalemate
Buyers still weren’t required to pay taxes. Some sites never asked buyers to prove their age, or even provide a real name. A few retailers proudly advertised that they would help protect tax scofflaws. “NO STATE TAXES, NO REPORTS to anyone EVER and NO Surprise Tax Bills,” boasted one site, Nativeblend.net. “The USA Federal PACT Act is in effect, but we beat it legally.” New York City took the unusual step last month of suing a Virginia-based delivery company, Lasership Inc., that had helped the reservation shops deliver cigarettes into the city without charging consumers the required tax of $5.85 per pack. The suit seeks $80.6 million in penalties. That suit followed an earlier one against a Buffalo company, Regional Integrated Logistics, that helped a consortium of Seneca businesses set up a new distribution network after the PACT act took effect in July of 2010. “We want to make it clear to the entire shipping community that anyone who participates in these illegal delivery sales into New York City will be subject to liabilities,” said Aaron Bloom, one of the attorney houstons handling the case for New York City’s Law Department. Paul Joyce, a lawyer houston for Regional Integrated Logistics, said the company “never knowingly violated any law” and had stopped all cigarette deliveries permanently in response to a court injunction last spring. A lawyer houston for Lasership declined to comment.
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Law schools adjust to lower enrollments
(Credit: Amazon) The US Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal by online retailers to throw out a New York state law that requires their customers to pay state sales tax on online purchases, according to The Associated Press . Related stories With its original shows so far, Amazon is no alpha The justices rejected the appeals without comment. Amazon and Overstock argue in their appeals that a New York state law requiring them to collect sales tax on items sold on their sites to consumers living in New York violates the Constitution. The e-commerce Web sites argue that customers shouldn’t be forced to pay state sales tax since these companies do not have a physical presence in New York. A 2008 New York state law considers local affiliates enough of a presence to collect the sales tax. Web retailers generally have not had to charge sales taxes in states where they lack a store or some other physical presence, The Associated Press story states. But New York and other states say that a retailer has a physical presence when it uses affiliates, which are people or businesses who refer customers to the Web site. New York was one of the first states to pass such a law, dubbed the “Amazon tax,” which requires sales tax collection on online purchases when an affiliate is used to sell goods. Retailers claim they lose $23 billion in uncollected taxes every year from taxes not collected from online sales.
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