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UN Secretary-General calls for immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Ukraine – JURIST

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday called for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” in Ukraine “to allow progress in serious political negotiations, [aimed] in reaching a peace agreement based on the principles of the Charter of the United Nations”. Addressing the Ukraine crisis, Guterres said: “The war has led to the senseless loss of thousands of lives; the displacement of ten million people, mainly women and children; the systematic destruction of essential infrastructure; and skyrocketing food and energy prices around the world. This must stop.” Guterres explained that the UN and its various agencies have been working ceaselessly to support the victims of the ongoing hostilities. Currently, 1,000 UN staff members are stationed in Ukraine. UN humanitarian agencies have supported refugee-hosting countries and provided food, shelter, medicine and bottled water to nearly 900,000 people in eastern Ukraine. Food and medical aid are reaching the worst affected areas. The World Food Program has fed 800,000 people since the invasion and is building capacity to support 1.2 million people as of mid-April. The World Health Organization has reached more than half a million people with emergency health, trauma and surgery kits. “The solution to this humanitarian tragedy is not humanitarian. It’s political,” Guterres emphasized. He stressed the importance of the cessation of hostilities: The cessation of hostilities will allow essential humanitarian aid to be delivered and allow civilians to move safely. It will save lives, prevent suffering and protect civilians. I hope that a ceasefire will also help address the global consequences of this war, which risks aggravating the deep hunger crisis in many developing countries that already lack the fiscal space to invest in their recovery from the pandemic, and now face skyrocketing food and energy costs. I strongly appeal to the parties to this conflict, and to the international community as a whole, to work with us for peace in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and around the world. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights confirmed on Sunday that there have been 2,909 civilian casualties in Ukraine since Russia invaded the country on February 24. Of the 2,909 caught in the crossfire, 1,119 have died and 1,790 have been injured. Ukraine announced on Monday that it expects to hold face-to-face talks with Russia starting Tuesday. In an interview that has been banned in Russia, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Ukraine’s priority is a serious international treaty to resolve all conflicts once and for all. “We’re ready to do this,” he said. He also stressed the importance of a referendum for Ukraine’s neutral status.

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US Supreme Court Adds Controversial Election Case to October 2022 Docket – JURIST

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The US Supreme Court announced Thursday that it will hear a controversial election case dealing with an emerging legal theory based on the election clause of the US Constitution. The theory claims that, under the election clause, State legislatures have unlimited power to determine electoral policy and implementation, and that state courts or state constitutions cannot control that power. map, which was previously struck down by state courts and replaced with a court-ordered map to be used for the 2022 midterm elections. The court found that the original map violated the clause in the state constitution that protects the fairness of the election by giving Republicans an unfair advantage. The court previously declined to hear the emergency case, but Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas signaled a willingness to consider the new legal theory in their dissent. Judge Alito, writing in the dissent, said: Both sides make serious arguments, but based on the report we have received, my opinion is that the petitioners’ argument is stronger. The question being presented is one of federal and not state law because the state legislature, in enacting rules for congressional elections, is acting pursuant to a constitutional mandate under the Electoral Clause. Carolyn Shapiro, a law professor and founder and co-director of the Chicago-Kent College of the US Supreme Court Law Institute, took issue with the Justice’s interpretation, saying that “legislatures are created by constitutions. Their powers are defined by the constitutions. How those powers interact with other branches of state government is defined by state constitutions. The limitations of those powers are defined by state constitutions.”

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Trump Affiliated Businessman Sentenced to 20 Months in Prison for Political Donation Crimes – JURIST

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The Justice Department said Wednesday that Lev Parnas, a businessman involved in the Trump-Ukraine affair, was sentenced to 20 months in prison on multiple counts related to soliciting donations from a foreign national. Parnas was convicted on charges of “conspiring to make political contributions of a foreign national in conjunction with soliciting and aiding and abetting the making thereof, conspiracy to make fictitious donations, participation in a wire fraud conspiracy, and making false statements and falsifying records. Parnas will also pay more than $2 million in restitution. The charges of making political contributions by a foreign national stem from events that occurred in March 2018. Parnas and other associates wanted to launch a business to obtain retail marijuana licenses in the US. The group turned over hundreds of thousands of dollars in political contributions before the 2018 election to curry favor with anyone who could help Parnas and his associates obtain these licenses. Parnas and an associate made a donation of $325,000 and falsely claimed that the donation was from Global Power Producers (GEP). Parnas also lied about the fact that he was receiving bogus donations and the contributions were not his own money. The fraud guarantee charges are from between 2012 and 2019. Parnas planned to defraud several people by convincing them to invest in his company. He said the contributions would be used solely for his business. Instead, the payments were withdrawn in cash, placed in personal bank accounts, and used for personal expenses. Damian Williams, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, stated: “Parnas also defrauded the American public by pumping Russian money into US elections and lying about the origin of funds for political contributions. My office will continue to aggressively prosecute those who put their personal and financial benefit above their country and their investors.” The office’s Public Corruption Unit is handling the Parnas case.

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Indonesian parliament passes law to create more provinces in Papua amid fears of government crackdown – JURIST

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The Indonesian People’s Representative Council on Thursday approved legislation to establish three new provinces in the Papua region. The decision was made during the 26th plenary session when all members unanimously agreed to pass three bills that established the new provinces. Currently, the easternmost region of Indonesia is divided into two regions, Papua and West Papua. However, it will now be divided into five provinces. The three new provinces have been named, South Papua Province with Merauke as its capital, Central Papua Province with Nabire as its capital, and Papua Mountains Province with Jaya wijaya as its capital. Ahmad Doli Kurnia Tandjung, Chairperson of the Council Commission, stated that: The purpose of partitioning Papua is to speed up equitable development, speed up the improvement of public services, speed up community welfare and uplift the dignity of the indigenous people of Papua. Papua. Taking into account political, administrative and legal aspects, socio-cultural unity, human resource preparation, basic infrastructure, economic capacity, future developments and aspirations of the Papuan people. Veronica Koman of Amnesty International Australia expressed concern about how the legislation would affect Papuans. She said that by “cutting and dividing Papua into smaller administrative units, [the Indonesian government] hopes to divide and conquer Papuan identity and resistance.”

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