Here are this week’s headlines:
- Palestinian viral slap video teen and her mother are to be held until her trial
Reported by Andrew MacDonald
An Israeli judge has ordered the continued detention of Ahed Tamimi until she appears at trial before an Israeli military court.
The 16-year-old Palestinian girl was arrested after being filmed slapping an Israeli soldier back in late December. Ms Tamimi has been charged with assaulting security forces, incitement and throwing stones.
Additionally, the court said that “because she is so dangerous there is no possibility of bail,” her lawyer, Gaby Lasky, told reporters.
Israeli security forces occupy the West Bank. Tensions have increased over the years as the construction of Jewish settlements have been on the rise. Clashes are common as Palestinians often protest against the Israeli presence. Donald Trump declaring Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has only exacerbated the unrest.
The video of Ms Tamimi shows her pushing, then slapping, an Israeli soldier in the face. A few days later, a subsequent video was released which captured her arrest late at night.
Ms Tamimi’s mother, Nariman Tamimi, who allegedly live-streamed the slapping on social media, was also charged with incitement and assault.
Some have hailed the teenager as a hero by Palestinians, who saw her as standing up to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.
Critics claim that the charges against Ms Tamimi are based on the motion that she has been “embarrassing the occupation”. Questions have also risen as to whether it is appropriate for the use of the military courts system to deal with a minor.
The sentence for assaulting a soldier is up to 10 years. However, a sentence that severe is unlikely to apply to a minor.
- Is Legal aid in Scotland on the brink of collapse?
Reported by Sara Saquib
Legal aid is an important aspect of advocating for equality, as for those who can’t afford a solicitor, it gives them the chance to have their case fought for in the best manner.
Over the years the legal aid provided by solicitors in Scotland has run into an increasing amount of problems. It has now been announced that on the 25th of January, new legislation will be put into place which will mean that legal advice will be available for anyone who is under police questioning.
With increasing cuts to legal aid over the years, it is no surprise that this announcement has been met with hostility by unhappy lawyers across the country. The job of a lawyer in this field has become increasingly difficult, with wages dropping and the demand for their services constantly increasing. As a result, hundreds of lawyers who have been employed by the Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) are dropping out of the new police scheme.
To build upon this, the president of the Glasgow Bar Association has stated that there is a general sense of unhappiness amongst the lawyers. It seems important to note that this new initiative is not at odds with the type of work legal aid lawyers do on a day to day basis. It is not the initiative itself that they are unhappy about, but rather, the fact that the service has been so underfunded that it seems nearly impossible to comply with this new legislation.
It seems that a serious reconsideration is needed about the amount of funding that is given to the legal aid sector. Although this new legislation has caused outrage, it simply highlights a problem that has been there for years. It has been speculated that if this problem persists, the legal aid service in Scotland will come to a halt.
- Bitcoin Plummets
Reported by Spencer Yap
Following international crackdowns, Bitcoin drops to a six-week low of £8,500. Other cryptocurrencies, however, suffered a bigger lost, losing up to a fifth of their total valuation.
China started by banning initial coin offerings (ICOs), similar to an IPO on the stock exchange. This was followed by a shutdown of Chinese cyptocurrencies exchanges. However, the most significant crackdown of all is China’s plans to discourage mining of cryptocurrencies. China houses a total of three quarters of the total mining. Such miners have moved operations to China in order to take advantage of its cheap electricity bills in the rural areas of China. However, many have broken Chinese regulations which ban the direct sale of energy to consumers. This has led some companies to look overseas to establish their mining operations. Bitmain “which runs China’s two largest Bitcoin-mining collectives, is setting up regional headquarters in Singapore and now has mining operations in the U.S. and Canada. BTC. Top, the No. 3 mining pool, is also opening a facility in Canada.”
South Korea is also looking into tighter regulations, announcing last week that it may ban domestic cryptocurrencies exchanges. Simultaneously, police and tax authorities in the nation are looking into the possibility of tax evasion by such exchanges, with Coinone and Bithumb (the two largest exchanges in South Korean) being raided by authorities. Officials from the two exchanges commented that “local police also have been investigating our company since last year, they think what we do is gambling” and that they were asked by “the tax officials to disclose paperwork and things.”
Read more here.
- Prosecutors consider coroner’s finding after death of a 13-month-old toddler
Reported by Paige Waters
Prosecutors are considering the coroners finding that Poppi Worthington, a 13 month old toddler who died in December 2012 was sexually assaulted by her father before her death.
Poppi’s mother has called for prosecutors to re-examine the case after Monday’s ruling that Poppi’s father, Paul Worthington, abused his daughter shortly before her death. A senior coroner for Cumbria, David Roberts, concluded on Monday that on the balance of probabilities, Poppi was abused by her father.
A spokesman for the CPS said “we have received a copy of the coroners decision and will now consider this carefully in liaison with Cumbria constabulary”.
Roberts stated that Poppi had suffocated in her sleep while she slept next to her father “in an unsafe sleeping environment”, and he ruled out that penetration was the cause of death.
Paul has been investigated on multiple occasions over the death, but remains uncharged and innocent. The CPS reviewed the evidence in 2016, but they decided that there was no realistic prospect of a conviction after the police had failed to collect vital evidence.
It was not until eight months after the death of Poppi that the police started to investigate properly and proceed to arrest Worthington and Poppi’s mother.
Read more here.