National News

Anti-Abortion Activists’ Indictment Undermines GOP’s Plans to Defund Planned Parenthood
A Texas grand jury decided Monday to indict two members of the anti-abortion campaign, Sandra S. Merritt and David R. Daleiden, on felony charges of tampering with a governmental record with the intent to defraud. The two are charged specifically with counterfeiting California driver’s licenses in order to appear as biotechnology representatives to gain access to Planned Parenthood centers and research conferences. Daleiden also has a misdemeanor charge related to attempted purchase of human organs. The two were responsible for videos that allegedly proved that Planned Parenthood has profited from the sale of fetal tissue. Polls show that the majority of Americans support federal funding for abortions, which is something that the GOP opposes.

Eight Oregon Protestors Arrested, One Dead, After Altercation with Law Enforcement
Ammon Bundy and four other Oregon protesters were arrested during a traffic stop that turned into a violent altercation between the protesters and officers. The others were arrested in separate incidents, and one man turned himself in to authorities. The protestors have been booked by the F.B.I. and face felony charges for conspiring to impede officers of the United States from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation or threats. This incident came after the group, led by Bundy, forcibly took over a section of federal land and refused to leave, leading to a standoff with federal authorities. Neither the protestors nor police incited any violence until this incident.

California Governor Jerry Brown Proposes Sentencing Reform
Governor Jerry Brown announced he wants Californians to support a ballot measure at the polls in November that would significantly change the way juveniles are tried in court and reduce the sentences of felons currently in state prison. His proposal requires that judges, not prosecutors, should decide if a juvenile should be tried in adult court. In the past, juveniles who have been tried as adults are subsequently given harsher sentences in adult prisons. If Californians support this measure, it would increase sentencing credits for inmates who complete rehabilitation programs and allow nonviolent felons to seek parole after they have completed their base sentences. Associated Press

International Spotlight

Human Rights Watch Criticizes Europe’s Handling of the Migrant Crisis
Executive director of the international advocacy group Human Rights Watch Kenneth Roth wrote in the 26th annual World Report that “Blatant Islamophobia and shameless demonizing of refugees have become the currency of an increasingly assertive politics of intolerance.” According to the group, European governments are allowing widespread fears of migration and terrorism to erode their commitment to principles of civil rights and liberal ideas. Specifically, it criticized European countries for putting up razor wire fences, restricting movements across borders and for pledging 3 billion euros, or about $3.25 billion, to Turkey to help stem the flow of refugees. On the other hand, the advocacy group praised Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany for demonstrating “remarkable leadership” in the migrant crisis.

Two Turkish Journalists Face Life in Prison
Can Dundar, editor in chief of Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet, and its Ankara representative Erdem Gul, have been charged with espionage for attempting to overthrow the government and supporting a terrorist organization after they released a report stating that Turkey was allegedly supplying arms to Islamist militants in Syria. Although the two said they were doing their jobs, Turkish prosecutors claim they were working with a U.S.-based cleric to discredit the government. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey is behind the lawsuit, and he said on television that the two would “pay a heavy price” for their actions. Protesters are asking U.S. Vice President Joe Biden to call on Turkey to protect freedom of speech in a visit to the country.

Uber Ordered to Pay 1.2 Million Euros ($1.31m) in France
A French court ordered Uber to pay a rival taxi group National Union of Taxis (UNT) Tuesday after ruling that its drivers were unlawfully collecting fares on the streets, which can only be done with a taxi license. Under French law, Uber drivers are required to return to their garages after every fare. Although Uber claims that it regularly informs its French drivers of the policy, the court accused Uber of being “ambiguous” in its communications with its drivers about the regulation. Members of the UNT came together Tuesday to protest Uber’s presence in public transport, along with millions of teachers, health workers and others who are angered by labor reforms.