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Afghanistan Dispatch: Taliban’s Chaotic Earthquake Relief Response May Cause More Deaths – JURIST

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Law students and lawyers in Afghanistan are reporting with JURIST on the situation there after the Taliban takeover. Here, a law student in Kabul reports on the complications the Taliban government is already causing for earthquake relief after a tremor killed and injured hundreds of people in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday morning. For privacy and security reasons, we are withholding the name of our correspondent. The text has been slightly edited to respect the author’s voice. A 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck the southern region of Afghanistan early Wednesday. The earthquake hit Khost and Paktika province harder than other parts of the country, destroying houses and killing hundreds of people. Originally 25 dead and over 40 wounded were reported, but the figures quickly changed and a second report increased the figures to around 250 dead and around 180 wounded. In recent hours, the death toll has been reported to be much higher, and by late afternoon in Kabul, the reported numbers were around 1,000 dead and 610 injured. The 8Am newspaper, citing local Taliban officials, estimates casualties in just two districts of Paktika province to be as high as 2,500 in Barmal and Khogyani. The Taliban initially approved 1 billion Afs in aid money for the affected areas, but Afghanistan International already reports that the aid allocation has been cut by a tenth, to just 100 million Afs. Inconsistent aid figures, the lack of any kind of data management and the complete absence of professionals at the decision-making level among the Taliban have made the situation more than a failure. The lack of professionals in a government system is felt more than ever in a catastrophe like this; As a result, there is no particular plan to help the homeless and injured. Apart from the cruelty of nature and the ignorance of a group whose competence in government could not be less, the Taliban leaders are taking advantage of this crisis and the numbers seem to be manipulated. to rally international aid while cutting their own emergency aid contribution to a tenth of its original amount. This is an act of utter apathy and immorality. It will bring hesitation and confusion and place an undue burden on humanitarian organizations and NGOs who want to make plans and pass budgets to send aid in a hurry. The delay this causes in carrying out adequate relief efforts will result in the death of innocent citizens who might be saved if they could receive medical assistance and shelter in time.

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US Supreme Court Grants Review of Federal Bankruptcy Case – JURIST

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On Monday, the US Supreme Court agreed to hear MOAC Mall Holdings v. Transform Holdco, a case examining appellate court jurisdiction over sales orders in federal bankruptcy proceedings. The case revolves around the sale and transfer of a lease for a store in a shopping center. In 1991, Sears obtained a lease for a store in the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The lease only cost Sears $10 a year and was supposed to last 100 years. Sears, however, went bankrupt in 2018. As part of federal bankruptcy proceedings, Sears sold its assets and the Mall of America lease was transferred to Transform Holdco LLC, a corporation formed by Sears’ new owners. Mall of America sought to prevent the transfer because they claim that Transform Holdco LLC does not intend to occupy the leased facilities but to sublet them to other companies. Transform Holdco LLC argues that the long-term lease constitutes a substantial portion of the value Sears was sold for in the bankruptcy proceeding. The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit transferred the lease as it was deemed “integral” to a court-approved bankruptcy sale. Mall of America filed a petition with the US Supreme Court, arguing that a remedy is available that would not affect the validity of the sale. Therefore, according to Mall of America, the appellate court should be allowed to intervene. Transform Holdco LLC responds that no such remedy exists, and that the Second Circuit’s ruling should stand. The US Supreme Court must now determine whether federal bankruptcy law limits appeals on sales orders deemed “comprehensive,” even when a remedy is available that will not affect the validity of the sale. The court is set to hear oral arguments in the case next term.

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US appeals court to rehear challenge to Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine executive order – JURIST

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The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an order on Monday stating that the court will rehear Feds for Medical Freedom v. Biden, a challenge to President Joe Biden’s 2019 executive order that required federal employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or face termination. In late May and early June, America First Legal Foundation, America’s Frontline Doctors, Airline Employees For Freedom Health, and an additional group of vaccine plaintiffs filed four amicus briefs in favor of a new full hearing. The plaintiffs in Rodden v. Fauci also filed a class action lawsuit made up of federal employees who contracted COVID-19, developed COVID-19 antibodies, “but remain subject to the federal employee vaccination mandate.” The Rodden plaintiffs argue that Biden and the “agencies he directs have no power to direct the personal medical decisions of federal employees,” and therefore this executive order is like an illegal government mandate. In addition, the group asserts that the panel’s refusal to review executive employment decisions is unlawful and thus protects “the exercise of unlawful governmental power.” In January 2022, a Texas judge blocked Biden’s executive order. Other state judges have also blocked enforcement of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate. In December 2021, a Georgia judge blocked the COVID-19 vaccination mandate for government contractors after the Texas Governor ordered a statewide ban on all COVID-19 vaccination mandates in October 2021 .

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Ukraine’s richest man sues Russia for loss of property and profits – JURIST

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Ukraine’s richest man on Monday filed a lawsuit with the European Court of Human Rights against Russia for “serious violations of his property rights during Russia’s unprovoked aggression against Ukraine.” Rinat Akhmetov, a Ukrainian businessman who owns much of the country’s manufacturing infrastructure, says he has lost billions of dollars in business since the Russian invasion began. Akhmetov’s announcement highlighted both ongoing human rights violations and infrastructure destruction committed by Russia. He wrote: In addition to the untold human suffering he has caused, Russia’s invasion has resulted in massive destruction of Ukraine’s infrastructure. The shelling of the Azovstal steel complex in Mariupol by Russian artillery seeking to eliminate the last vestiges of Ukrainian resistance in that city has become an international symbol of Russia’s disregard for international law and human rights. As the owner of the Azovstal steel complex, Akhmetov has suffered estimated losses of billions of dollars in both property and profits as a direct result of the Russian invasion. This lawsuit is one of the first initiated by a private individual against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. Akhmetov stated several times throughout the announcement that he hopes the court will award him damages so that Ukraine can begin to rebuild.

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