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In West Bank, teen offenders face different fates

BEIT UMAR, West Bank (AP) The boys were both 15, with the crackly voices and awkward peach fuzz of adolescence. They lived just a few minutes away from one another in the West Bank. And both were accused of throwing stones at vehicles, one day after the other.

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In West Bank, teen offenders face different fates

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Do West Bank Israelis, Palestinians live under different set of laws?

A tale of two rock throwing teens, highlightsdisparitiesin Israeli justice system in the West Bank, where Israelis are live under civilian rule and Palestinians are governed by military law.

The boys were both 15, with the crackly voices and awkward peach fuzz of adolescence. They lived just a few minutes away from one another in the West Bank. And both were accused of throwing stones at vehicles, one day after the other.

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But there was a crucial difference that helped to shape each boy’s fate: One was Israeli, and the other Palestinian.

The tale of the two teens provides a stark example of the vast disparities ofIsrael’sjustice system in the West Bank, a contested area at the heart of the elusive search for a lasting peace.

While Israeli settlers in the West Bank fall mostly under civilian rule, Palestinians are subject to Israeli military law. Israeli and Palestinian youths face inequities at every stage in the path of justice, from arrests to convictions and sentencing, according to police statistics obtained by The Associated Press through multiple requests underIsrael’sfreedom of information law.

The results can ripple for years.

“Jail destroyed his life,” said the Palestinian boy’s father.

Only 53 Israeli settler youths were arrested for stone-throwing over the past six years, the data shows, and 89 percent were released without charge. Six were indicted. Four of those were found “guilty without conviction,” a common sentence for Israeli juveniles that aims not to stain their record. One was cleared. The sixth case was still in court as of October, the most recent information available.

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Do West Bank Israelis, Palestinians live under different set of laws?

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In West Bank, Israeli and Palestinian teens arrested for rock throwing face different fates

ADVANCE FOR USE MONDAY, APRIL 21, 2014 AND THEREAFTER – In this Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013 photo, a Palestinian boy walks around his home in the village of Beit Ummar near the West Bank city of Hebron. At the age of 15, the boy was held for nine months in an Israeli military jail for throwing rocks at passing Israeli cars near his village in the West Bank. An Israeli 15-year-old boy was arrested for a similar crime at the same time but faced a different justice system. The Israeli boy refused to allow his photo to be taken. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)The Associated Press

ADVANCE FOR USE MONDAY, APRIL 21, 2014 AND THEREAFTER – This Friday, April 18, 2014 photo shows the Jewish settlement of Bat Ayin, north of the West Bank city of Hebron. Israeli settlers in the West Bank fall mostly under civilian rule, Palestinians are subject to Israeli military law. Israeli and Palestinian youths face inequities at every stage in the path of justice, from arrests to convictions and sentencing, according to police statistics obtained by The Associated Press through multiple requests under Israel’s freedom of information law. (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)The Associated Press

BEIT UMAR, West Bank The boys were both 15, with the crackly voices and awkward peach fuzz of adolescence. They lived just a few minutes away from one another in the West Bank. And both were accused of throwing stones at vehicles, one day after the other.

But there was a crucial difference that helped to shape each boy’s fate: One was Israeli, and the other Palestinian.

The tale of the two teens provides a stark example of the vast disparities of Israel’s justice system in the West Bank, a contested area at the heart of the elusive search for a lasting peace.

While Israeli settlers in the West Bank fall mostly under civilian rule, Palestinians are subject to Israeli military law. Israeli and Palestinian youths face inequities at every stage in the path of justice, from arrests to convictions and sentencing, according to police statistics obtained by The Associated Press through multiple requests under Israel’s freedom of information law.

The results can ripple for years.

“Jail destroyed his life,” said the Palestinian boy’s father.

Only 53 Israeli settler youths were arrested for stone-throwing over the past six years, the data shows, and 90 percent were released without charge. Five were indicted. Four of those were found “guilty without conviction,” a common sentence for Israeli juveniles that aims not to stain their record. The fifth case was still in court as of October, the most recent information available.

By contrast, 1,142 Palestinian youths were arrested by police over the same period for throwing stones, and 528 were indicted. All were convicted. Lawyers say the penalty is typically three to eight months in military prison.

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In West Bank, Israeli and Palestinian teens arrested for rock throwing face different fates

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Curious about Palestine, Israeli visitors return

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) This bustling center of Palestinian life is just a 20-minute drive from Jerusalem, but for Israelis it might as well be on the other side of the world.

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Curious about Palestine, Israeli visitors return

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Hugh Muir's diary: The House of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

All sorts in the Lords these days Scepticism and secularism is all around, but here is proof that this is a time of miracles. Just the other day, the government was asked by Lord Beecham to reveal how many female prisoners had been held in segregated units for more than three and six months. Ministers said the answer would be far too expensive to provide

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Hugh Muir's diary: The House of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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Chuck Schumer: Jeb Bush ‘A Lot Better Than Some’ of the Other Republicans – Video



Chuck Schumer: Jeb Bush 'A Lot Better Than Some' of the Other Republicans
Schumer said on Morning Joe that Bush “would be a lot better” than some of the other Republicans who may run for president in 2016. Schumer, appearing on MSN…

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Chuck Schumer: Jeb Bush ‘A Lot Better Than Some’ of the Other Republicans – Video

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Gay marriage law turned on a personal opinion

Ive just finished reading Judge Bernard Friedmans ruling in the case that last week overturned Michigans 10-year-old voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. I probably should have called that Friedmans opinion, because thats all it is.

The Reagan-appointed federal judge makes barely even the slightest attempt to pretend he is offering a legal ruling here. Rather, it is clear from the wording of his opinion that he was simply exercising a veto over the decision the states voters made on the question of what will define marriage in Michigan.

Lets start with the basic legal question at hand. Friedman was asked to decide if the Michigan Marriage Amendment violated the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution by denying the right to marry to homosexuals.

Plaintiffs argued that it did because the state has no compelling interest in doing so. The office of Attorney General Bill Schuette argued that the state has such a compelling interest because a) it protects the rearing environment for children; b) its best to be cautious when redefining something as fundamental as marriage; c) it upholds tradition and morality; and d) it is within the states power to define marriage.

Now, I must say this about the states strategy: It stunk. Schuettes team would have been better off arguing only Item D simply that the state has the power to define marriage because by letting so much ride on A, B and C, they afforded Friedman the opportunity to base his rule on his own personal disagreement with A, B and C. And thats exactly what he did.

As you read through Friedmans opinion, you will find that much of it consists of his personal commentary about the various witnesses who testified concerning the well-being of children raised in heterosexual versus homosexual environments.

Both sides had experts with research arguing their respective sides. Since were still dealing with a relatively new societal phenomenon, its impossible to say which side is correct based on the data alone.

But its easy to see which side Friedman personally agrees with, because he consistently found rationales for dismissing the research of the states witnesses.

For example, when they offered research showing that lower percentages of children of same-sex couples do well, Friedman simply speculated that maybe some of them had already started struggling before they were living with gay couples.

When the states researchers criticized the sample sizes of research by the other side, Friedman argued that its too inconvenient for researchers to gather data from big sample sizes. He also dismissed out of hand the entirety of one researchers evidence simply because it was funded by an anti-gay marriage organization as if there is no chance the funding sources of the other side could have also had some bias.

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Gay marriage law turned on a personal opinion

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Poll finds millennials lean liberal, but identify as independent

Results of a poll put together by the Pew Research Center shows that millennials lean liberal and vote Democrat, but see themselves as Independent.

According to the survey that interviewed 1,821 adults, with 617 of those being millennials, 50 percent of those between the ages 18 and 33 see themselves as politically independent, but often vote Democrat because of their liberal views in most social issues.

Millennial adults are also the most racially diverse population in the U.S., with about 43 percent being non-white.

CBS News reports that of those interviewed, only 31 percent felt that there was a distinct difference between the two major political parties, much lower than the 58 percent of people ages 69 to 86. More than half, 51 percent, of millennials also believe that there won’t be any money left in the Social Security System by the time they are old enough to retire.

Social and religious issues is where millennials differ the most between the age groups of people interviewed. For those 34 and older, at least 69 percent believe in a God, while millennials sit at around 58 percent certain and 28 percent believe, but aren’t sure. Only 38 percent of millennials identify as religious, compared with the other generations (Gen X, Boomer, Silent) who are no lower than 52 percent.

The Atlantic notes that while millennials lean more liberal in most social issues such as marijuana legalization, gay marriage, and immigration, they actually are close to the other generations when it comes to abortion and gun control. In fact, a higher percentage of Gen Xers, 59 percent, believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases, 3 percent higher than millennials.

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Poll finds millennials lean liberal, but identify as independent

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And the winner is …

February 20, 2014 And the winner is … Local artist Tamara Chasteen named Citizen of the Year Anonymous The Huntsville Item The Huntsville Item Thu Feb 20, 2014, 11:21 PM CST HUNTSVILLE Local artist and longtime Wynne Home Arts Center volunteer Tamara Chasteen was chosen Citizen of the Year for 2013 by past winners of The Huntsville Items big award. Chasteen accepted the award from Huntsville Item publisher Rita Haldeman during a celebration for the four finalists held Thursday evening at the HEARTS Veterans Museum.

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And the winner is …

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Ben White Israeli Apartheid HD – Video



Ben White Israeli Apartheid HD
Pluto author Ben White returns with an expanded second edition of his controversial book Israeli Apartheid. Forget all the other introductions to the subject…

By: Pluto Press

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Ben White Israeli Apartheid HD – Video

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