Author: The Wall of Law

Refugee who sheltered Snowden hopes others who helped can join her in Canada

TORONTO — A newly arrived refugee who helped shelter whistleblower Edward Snowden in Hong Kong pleaded with Canadian officials on Tuesday to grant asylum to others who assisted the American fugitive years ago.

Vanessa Rodel said her excitement at now being in Canada with her seven-year-old daughter Keana was tempered by the knowledge that people with whom she still feels a strong bond have not been so lucky.

At a news conference in Toronto, held hours before she was to travel to Montreal and move into her new home, Rodel said her fellow members of the group that came to be known as Snowden’s “Guardian Angels” should be allowed to join her.

“I don’t want them left behind,” she said of the group of five, who include Keana’s father and two half-siblings. “I don’t want to feel that I forget about them because I’m here now in Canada. They’re still hoping they can come in Canada to feel safe and free.”

Rodel and Keana arrived in Toronto on Monday afternoon, two months after the federal government formally granted them refugee status.

Their arrival brought an end to what her lawyer Robert Tibbo described as a saga dating back to 2013.

At that time, when Snowden fled to Hong Kong after divulging classified documents from the U.S. National Security Agency, Tibbo said Rodel and a handful of others banded together to help in the whistleblower’s early days as a fugitive.

The information Snowden leaked exposed the scope of massive government surveillance operations. He currently lives in Moscow and is wanted in the United States on charges related to the leaks.

Five other people in the “Angels” group represented by Tibbo — three adults and two children — remain in Hong Kong. They had fled Sri Lanka years ago, and their applications for asylum in Hong Kong have been rejected.

Rodel, who went to Hong Kong after fleeing gender-based violence and human trafficking in the Philippines, said the group members all developed an unusually close bond.

“When we are … facing lots of problems, we always stick together,” she said. “We feel like we are family.”

The group gained notoriety in 2016 when their existence was revealed in Oliver Stone’s film “Snowden,” and Tibbo said they have since faced political persecution in Hong Kong.

The so-called “Angels” have been identified as a couple from Sri Lanka named Supun Kellapatha and Nadeeka Paththini, and their two young children. The fifth is Ajit Kumara, a Sri Lankan soldier who deserted the military. Rodel said Kellapatha is Keana’s father.

Tibbo and three Montreal-based lawyers set up a group to raise money for his clients. They filed asylum applications on their behalf, and collected about $350,000 for their expenses in Hong Kong and in Canada, should they all arrive as privately sponsored refugees.

Tibbo called on Ottawa to extend the same welcome Rodel and Keana received to the rest of the group.

“Canada needs to step forward,” he said. “The government of Canada has done the right thing for Vanessa and her daughter, but really what should have been done is all the families should have been brought into Canada at one time.”

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has said the government cannot weigh in on private refugee cases or comment on individual situations.

But Ethan Cox, spokesman for advocacy group For the Refugees, questioned that claim.

“The government has the ability to intervene and expedite the processing of the private-sponsored refugee claims of the remaining five Snowden refugees,” Cox said. “That is what we are asking today is for the government of Justin Trudeau to finish the job.”

@repost Good Family Lawyers

Via Divorce Documents

source https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/refugee-who-sheltered-snowden-hopes-others-who-helped-can-join-her-in-canada-1.4352058

By The Wall of Law March 26, 2019 Off

Mom left note saying system failed to protect her and baby

NEWPORT, Del. — A Delaware woman who killed her toddler and herself rather than surrender custody left a note to judges, lawyers and her family accusing the system of failing to protect them from domestic abuse.

The News Journal of Wilmington delved into this month’s deaths of Laura Connell and her 1-year-old boy, Walton. It reports about 450 children are killed by their parents each year, and that questions of custody were involved in nearly every case in which a mother acted alone.

Walton’s father was never charged with abuse. A judge in Tarrant County, Texas, approved her protective order, saying he was likely to repeat “family violence,” but another judge vacated the order without citing evidence, saying Connell wasn’t credible, and ordering her to give up the boy.

Walton’s father wouldn’t comment.

___

Information from: The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., https://ift.tt/zVbqEY

The Associated Press

@repost Prenup Lawyer near Me

Via Divorce Lawyer Free Consultation

source https://toronto.citynews.ca/2019/03/26/mom-left-note-saying-system-failed-to-protect-her-and-baby/

By The Wall of Law March 26, 2019 Off

Mom left note saying system failed to protect her and baby

NEWPORT, Del. — A Delaware woman who killed her toddler and herself rather than surrender custody left a note to judges, lawyers and her family accusing the system of failing to protect them from domestic abuse.

The News Journal of Wilmington delved into this month’s deaths of Laura Connell and her 1-year-old boy, Walton. It reports about 450 children are killed by their parents each year, and that questions of custody were involved in nearly every case in which a mother acted alone.

Walton’s father was never charged with abuse. A judge in Tarrant County, Texas, approved her protective order, saying he was likely to repeat “family violence,” but another judge vacated the order without citing evidence, saying Connell wasn’t credible, and ordering her to give up the boy.

Walton’s father wouldn’t comment.

___

Information from: The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., https://ift.tt/zVbqEY

The Associated Press

@repost Uncontested Divorce

Via Common Law Spousal Support

source https://toronto.citynews.ca/2019/03/26/mom-left-note-saying-system-failed-to-protect-her-and-baby/

By The Wall of Law March 26, 2019 Off

Children’s aid society says it has fired Toronto lawyer who argued a 14-year-old girl is a ‘sexually mature young woman’

Downtown Kenora, Ont., seen here in a Sept. 2015 file photo.

“This statement is appalling and intolerable,” the executive director of the Kenora-Rainy River Districts Child and Family Services told the Star Monday in response to comments made by society lawyer Gary McCallum in an ongoing civil case.

@repost When Separating What Are My Rights

Via Spousal Support Agreement

source https://www.therecord.com/news-story/9239328-children-s-aid-society-says-it-has-fired-toronto-lawyer-who-argued-a-14-year-old-girl-is-a-sexually/

By The Wall of Law March 26, 2019 Off

Judge cautions lawyers to watch language in abortion case

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A federal judge in Kentucky has cautioned lawyers to watch their language in their bitter legal feud over abortion — this time over a lawsuit challenging two new state laws aimed at putting more restrictions on the procedure.

U.S. District Judge David J. Hale set a Friday hearing on a motion for a preliminary injunction requested by attorneys for EMW Women’s Surgical Center in Louisville — the only abortion clinic in Kentucky. Attorneys for Republican Gov. Matt Bevin are defending the laws passed recently by the GOP-dominated legislature and signed by the governor. The clinic’s attorneys argue both laws are unconstitutional.

In setting the hearing, Hale cautioned lawyers to “avoid intemperate language” in their pre-hearing documents.

The judge didn’t state any reason for urging attorneys to watch their language.

The lawsuit expanded the state’s legal wrangling with the American Civil Liberties Union over abortion laws.

The suit challenges laws to ban most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, and to ban the procedure for women seeking to end pregnancies due to the gender, race or disability of the fetus. The judge temporarily blocked enforcement of both measures.

In defending the law to ban gender-, race- or disability-based abortions, attorneys for Bevin and the state’s health and family services secretary said in an earlier court filing that plaintiffs “benignly” labeled it as a “reason ban.”

“In actuality, it bans something far more sinister: eugenics-based abortions,” the state’s attorneys said.

Eugenics is a belief that the human race can be improved through controlled breeding.

In the same filing, the state’s attorneys said: “Doctors must be viewed as healers, not as enablers and practitioners of eugenics and, more specifically, of overt racial discrimination, gender discrimination, and disability discrimination.”

The new law would require doctors performing abortions to certify in writing that, to their knowledge, their patient did not want to end her pregnancy because of concern over her unborn child’s sex, race, colour, national origin or disability. Doctors violating the measure would face felony prosecution and the loss of their medical license. Any clinic where a violation occurred would lose its license. Pregnant women would not face penalties.

The ACLU argues it removes a woman’s right to an abortion if the state “disapproves of her reason” for the procedure.

Meanwhile, ACLU attorneys have said the heartbeat bill would prohibit 90 per cent of abortions in Kentucky. A fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks into pregnancy, before many women know they’re pregnant.

The ACLU’s filings focused mostly on a woman’s constitutional right to abortion.

In asking the judge to block the two laws, the ACLU said both are “unquestionably unconstitutional under 46 years of Supreme Court precedent,” beginning with the court’s landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.

“The decision to terminate a pregnancy for any reason is motivated by a combination of diverse, complex and interrelated factors that are intimately related to the individual woman’s values and beliefs, culture and religion, health status and reproductive history, familial situation, and resources and economic stability,” ACLU attorneys said in the filing.

“The bans would prevent all of these women from obtaining a pre-viable abortion in the commonwealth,” they added.

Kentucky lawmakers and GOP-led legislatures in several other states have pushed anti-abortion measures in hopes of getting a case before the Supreme Court to challenge the Roe v. Wade ruling. The push comes amid rising optimism among conservatives that the restrictions might prevail in the reconfigured Supreme Court that includes President Donald Trump’s appointees, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

The ACLU has filed four separate lawsuits challenging a series of abortion laws in Kentucky that mostly passed after Republicans took total control of the state legislature in 2017.

Federal judges struck down two Kentucky abortion laws in recent years, and the state appealed both rulings. A trial was held last year in a third lawsuit challenging a Kentucky law aimed at a common second-trimester procedure to end pregnancies. A federal judge has not yet ruled.

Bruce Schreiner, The Associated Press


@repost Dividing Pensions in Divorce

Via Permanent Spousal Support

source https://toronto.citynews.ca/2019/03/26/judge-cautions-lawyers-to-watch-language-in-abortion-case/

By The Wall of Law March 26, 2019 Off