Tag Archives: laws

Denmark goal vs England ‘shouldn’t have stood’ as FIFA Laws of the Game prove

Mikkel Damsgaard handed Denmark a shock lead against England in their Euro 2020 semi-final with a stunning free kick, but the goal should not have stood, according to FIFA’s Laws of the Game. 

The midfielder struck a wonderful effort from 30 yards after Mason Mount had conceded a foul outside the penalty area. 

The ball flew over the England wall and beyond goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. The Everton shot-stopper received some criticism by commentators and pundits for not stopping the effort, which went in slightly left-of-centre of the goal. 

But Denmark appeared to breach FIFA’s rule book in the build up to Damsgaard stepping up. 

Attacking players are not meant to be within a yard of the defensive wall until the ball is struck and is back in play. 

Denmark set up a three-man wall just next to England’s. However, they moved closer to the Three Lions players just before the ball was struck. 

The incident was noticed by Twitter user David Mooney, who quoted a section from FIFA’s Laws of the Game. 

“Where three or more defending team players form a ‘wall,” they say, “all attacking team players must remain at least 1m (1 yrd) from the ‘wall’ until the ball is in play.”

England had set up a five-man wall, which included Kalvin Phillips lying on the ground to prevent a low shot. 

Declan Rice, John Stones, Harry Maguire and Harry Kane were the players attempting to block Damsgaard’s kick. 

But Damsgaard’s strike was excellent and it would have felt incredibly harsh to rule it out. 

Gareth Southgate’s side had started nervously but equalised just before half-time. 

Bukayo Saka’s cross was turned into his own net by Denmark defender Simon Kjaer. 

“Most definitely [Pickford should have done better]. 

“We feared the worst when they lined up. 

“The goal was coming, Denmark were getting through us far too easily, it’s a long way out and I always think if the ball goes in the corner there’s no problem. The ball goes in the centre of the net, and the goalkeeper has to do better. 

“His big problem is that ultimately he’s blocked, he doesn’t see it until late, then he goes late himself.

“But he has to get in a position where he can go earlier, it’s right above him and he’ll be really disappointed.”


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Author: Sam Smith
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Proving Racist Intent: Democrats Face High New Bar in Opposing Voting Laws

Democrats and voting rights groups say they can no longer count on the federal courts, including the Supreme Court, to serve as a backstop for preventing racially discriminatory voting restrictions.

The 6-to-3 decision by the Supreme Court on Thursday that upheld voting restrictions in Arizona has effectively left voting rights advocates with a higher bar for bringing federal cases under the Voting Rights Act: proving discriminatory intent.

That burden is prompting civil rights and voting groups to recalibrate their approach to challenging in court the raft of new restrictions that Republican-controlled legislatures have passed this year in the aftermath of Donald J. Trump’s election loss in November. No longer, they say, can they count on the federal courts, including the Supreme Court, to serve as a backstop for preventing racially discriminatory voting restrictions.

“We have to remember that the Supreme Court is not going to save us — it’s not going to protect our democracy in these moments when it is most necessary that it does so,” Sam Spital, the director of litigation at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, said Friday.

The high court gutted the central protection of the Voting Rights Act in a 2013 decision, and on Thursday the court further limited the act’s reach in combating discriminatory laws, establishing strict new guidelines for proving the laws’ effects on voters of color and thus requiring litigants to clear the much higher bar of proving purposeful intent to discriminate.

Mr. Spital said his group would have to carefully assess its next moves and “think very carefully” before bringing new cases that, if defeated, could set damaging new precedents. The Arizona case, filed in 2016 by the Democratic National Committee, was considered a weak vehicle for challenging new voting laws; even the Biden administration acknowledged that the Arizona law was not discriminatory under the Voting Rights Act. Choosing the wrong cases, in the wrong jurisdictions, could lead to further setbacks, Mr. Spital and other voting rights advocates said.

At the same time, Mr. Spital said, it is imperative that voting restrictions enacted by Republicans not go unchallenged.

“It will force us to work even harder in the cases that we do bring,” he said. “Once the rules of the game are set, even if they are tilted against us, we have the resources — we have extraordinary lawyers, extraordinary clients, and we have the facts on our side.”

Thursday’s ruling also laid bare an uncomfortable new reality for Democrats and voting activists: that under existing law, they can expect little help from the federal courts on election laws that are passed on a partisan basis by the party that controls a state government. Republican lawmakers in Georgia, Florida and Iowa have moved aggressively to push through voting laws, brushing aside protests from Democrats, voting rights groups and even major corporations.

Arizona Republicans were candid about the partisan nature of their efforts when the Supreme Court heard the case in March. A lawyer for the Arizona Republican Party told the justices that the restrictions were needed because without them, Republicans in the state would be “at a competitive disadvantage relative to Democrats.”

“It’s much harder to prove these things — it takes a lot more evidence,” said Travis Crum, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis who specializes in voting rights and redistricting cases. “Courts are often reluctant to label legislators racist. That’s why the effects standard was added in 1982.”

The high court’s decision also raises the stakes for 2022 contests for governor in the key swing states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, where Democratic governors are poised to block measures proposed by Republican-controlled legislatures. If a Republican won the governor’s seat in any of those states, the legislature would have a clear path to pushing through new voting laws.

Republicans on Friday lauded the Supreme Court ruling, calling it a validation of the need to combat voter fraud — though no evidence of widespread fraud emerged in President Biden’s victory.

Justin Riemer, the chief counsel at the Republican National Committee, argued that the new “guideposts” set by Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the majority opinion, were welcome and would force a recognition of the broader options for voting available in a state.

“It reaffirms, for example, that states have an incredibly important interest in protecting against voter fraud and promoting voter confidence,” Mr. Riemer said. “When the court looked at Arizona’s laws, it noted how generous the voting provisions were.”

Mr. Riemer noted that Democrats would also have a harder time in meeting new standards for showing that laws impose unreasonable burdens on voters.

“I don’t want to say completely shuts them out of Section 2, but it’s going to make it very difficult for them to strike down laws that are really minimally, if at all, burdensome,” Mr. Riemer said, referring to the section of the Voting Rights Act that addresses racially discriminatory practices.

Major Supreme Court decisions affirming a new restriction on voting have historically been followed by waves of new state-level legislation. In 2011, 34 states introduced some form of new voter identification legislation after the court upheld Indiana’s voter identification law in 2008.

The first immediate test of a newly emboldened legislature will come next week in Texas, where lawmakers are scheduled to reconvene for a special session, in a second attempt by Republicans to pass an election overhaul bill. The first attempt failed after Democrats in the State Legislature staged a contentious late-night walkout, temporarily halting proposals that were among the most restrictive in the country.

Those proposals included bans on new methods of voting, a reduction in Sunday voting hours and provisions that would make it easier to overturn elections and would greatly empower partisan poll watchers.

The uncertain legal fights will play out in a federal judiciary remade during Mr. Trump’s administration, and Democrats in Congress have failed to enact federal voter protections.

The legal defense fund that Mr. Spital represents sued Georgia in May over its new voting laws, arguing that the laws would have a discriminatory effect. Other lawsuits, including one the Department of Justice filed last week, argue that Georgia acted with intent to discriminate against voters of color.

But some Democrats, while lamenting the decision by the Supreme Court, noted that they still had plenty of constitutional tools to challenge repressive voting laws.

“Obviously, it is now going to be more difficult to litigate,” said Aneesa McMillan, a deputy executive director at the super PAC Priorities USA, who oversees the organization’s voting rights efforts. “But most of our cases that we challenge, we challenge based on the First, the 14th and the 15th amendments of the Constitution.”

Among the guideposts Justice Alito articulated is an assessment of “the standard practice” of voting in 1982, when Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act was amended.

“It is relevant that in 1982 States typically required nearly all voters to cast their ballots in person on election day and allowed only narrow and tightly defined categories of voters to cast absentee ballots,” Justice Alito wrote.

Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling established a series of guideposts for determining whether merely the effect of a voting law is discriminatory, rather than the intent.
Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times

The court did not address the purpose clause of Section 2. But those cases often rely on racist statements by lawmakers or irregularities in the legislative process — trickier elements of a legal case to prove than the effects.

“You’re not going to get that smoking gun kind of evidence,” said Sophia Lakin, the deputy director of the A.C.L.U.’s Voting Rights Project. “It’s pulling together a lot of circumstantial pieces to show the purpose is to take away the rights of voters of color.”

Mikala Compton/Reuters

In Texas, some Democrats in the Legislature had been hoping that they could work toward a more moderate version of the bill in the special session that starts next week; it remains to be seen whether the Supreme Court decision will induce Republicans to favor an even more restrictive bill.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and State Representative Briscoe Cain, both Republicans, did not respond to requests for comment. Speaker Dan Phelan and State Senator Bryan Hughes, both Republicans, declined to comment.

But whether the Supreme Court decision will open the floodgates for more restrictive voting legislation in other states remains an open question; more than 30 state legislatures have adjourned for the year, and others have already passed their voting laws.

“It’s hard to imagine what a spike in voting restrictions would look like now, because we are already seeing such a dramatic surge, more than at any time since Reconstruction,” said Wendy Weiser, the director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, a research institute. “But passing new waves of legislation has certainly been the response in recent years.”

Gov. Tony Evers of Wisconsin is one of the Democratic governors who are holding off voting measures passed by Republican-led legislatures. On Wednesday, he vetoed the first of several pieces of Republican legislation on the electoral process.

In an interview, he said Republicans’ monthslong effort to relitigate the 2020 election had had the effect of placing voting rights on the level of health care and education among the top priorities of Wisconsin voters.

“It’s rising up as far as people’s recognizing that it’s an important issue,” Mr. Evers said. “They brought it on themselves, frankly, the Republicans have. I don’t think the people of Wisconsin thought the election was stolen. They understand that it was a fair election. And so the Republicans’ inability to accept Donald Trump’s loss is making it more of a bread-and-butter issue here.”

Author: Reid J. Epstein and Nick Corasaniti
Read more here >>> NYT > Top Stories

Democrats Brace for a Narrower Path to Challenge New Voting Laws

The Supreme Court’s ruling on Thursday involving Arizona voting laws appeared to limit the options for voting rights groups to mount legal challenges to restrictive new measures being passed in Republican-controlled states.

Voting rights activists, on the defensive this year in the face of a wave of restrictive new voting laws, grappled on Thursday with new guidance from the Supreme Court signaling that the challenge will be even steeper now for opposing these laws in court.

The 6-to-3 ruling established a series of “guideposts” for what could potentially constitute a violation under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, appearing to limit one of the few paths Democrats and activists have for mounting legal challenges to new measures currently being proposed and passed in Republican-controlled states.

“The test is more difficult to meet than Congress intended when it passed the act and that is necessary to meet the moment, in terms of the number of states and local governments out there designing racially discriminatory electoral rules,” said Chad Dunn, the co-founder of the Voting Rights Project at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a former election lawyer. “So on that point, I think the dissenting justices got it exactly right: The test is too restrictive.”

There are other legal avenues to challenge restrictive voting laws besides the Voting Rights Act, including under the First, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution. But the act has been paramount in helping to rein in laws that could disproportionately affect communities of color, and the decision could threaten some of the legal strategies that voting rights groups and election lawyers have been drafting to challenge some of the new laws.

Mr. Dunn noted that the court’s decision on Thursday did not invalidate or significantly hollow out Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. “I do think the test will work to stop a lot of discriminatory electoral practices,” he said. “And that part is good news.”

President Biden said he was “deeply disappointed” in the court’s ruling and said it would cause “severe damage” to the federal government’s ability to protect voting rights. He again urged Congress to enact new protections for voting.

“The court’s decision, harmful as it is, does not limit Congress’s ability to repair the damage done today,” Mr. Biden said. “It puts the burden back on Congress to restore the Voting Rights Act to its intended strength.”

At least three major cases involving Section 2 claims are in the federal court system, according to a database of election litigation maintained by Ohio State University. One of those cases is a lawsuit that the Justice Department filed last week against Georgia, claiming that the state’s new omnibus voting law, S.B. 202, is racially discriminatory in both its intent and its impact.

While the case was brought under Section 2, some election lawyers said that it was unlikely to be derailed by the court’s decision on Thursday.

“There’s two ways to prove a Section 2 case — you can show there’s purposeful discrimination, or you can show that the law at issue had a discriminatory effect,” said Tom Perez, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and former chief of the civil rights division of the Justice Department. “The court narrowed the effects test. The purpose claims are unchanged, and the Georgia case is a purpose case. The Georgia cases that were recently filed, they include claims of intentional discrimination and they include constitutional claims.”

The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold two Arizona voting restrictions indicated that paths to challenging similar laws will be narrower.
Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times

Republicans said the court’s ruling would serve as a green light for G.O.P. state legislators to pursue addition restrictions on voting.

“Rhetorically, it will provide them a shield to say, ‘What we’re doing is perfectly legitimate, the Supreme Court lets us do it,’” said Benjamin L. Ginsberg, a veteran Republican election lawyer. “What’s important to look at in that opinion is what the court looks at in the usual burdens of voting. You have to be halfway informed about where your polling precinct is. If a bunch of people can’t figure out where their voting precinct is, that doesn’t mean you have to lesson common-sense protections to help them.”

The conservative Heritage Foundation, which along with its political arm, Heritage Action, has for years advocated making voting harder, said that states should follow Arizona’s lead in enacting tougher voting laws.

Garrett Bess, the vice president of Heritage Action, called the Supreme Court’s decision “an enormous win for election integrity and voter confidence.” He added: “State officials across the country should take note and work to enact similar policies in their states.”

Since the November election, at least 22 new laws in 14 states have been enacted that impose new restrictions on voting, alarming Democrats and voting rights groups who say the measures are a threat to one of the pillars of democracy. So far, Democrats have had little recourse as states like Georgia, Florida and Iowa pass new laws, other than to file lawsuits and mount aggressive voter education campaigns on the issue.

The two provisions of Arizona law at the core of the Supreme Court decision on Thursday were increasingly common restrictions on voting that have appeared in other states. One law banned third parties from helping voters in dropping off their absentee ballots, a process Republicans derisively refer to as “ballot harvesting” but that is designed to help older, sick or otherwise disabled voters with handling their ballot. The other law canceled all votes cast in person at the wrong precinct.

At least 22 states have passed or introduced a law restricting ballot collections, according to a database maintained by the Voting Rights Lab, a liberal-leaning voting rights group. And one of the provisions in Georgia’s law would bar any voter from being allowed to vote provisionally at the wrong precinct before 5 p.m.

Rushes of similar legislation have followed Supreme Court rulings on voting laws in the past. After the Court upheld an Indiana voter identification law in 2008, numerous other states, including North Carolina, Texas and Pennsylvania, sought to pass similar laws.

Jen Jordan, a Georgia state senator who is seeking the Democratic nomination for state attorney general, said the ruling on Thursday would make it more difficult to bring legal challenges against the state’s new voting law, known as S. B. 202, because it would be necessary to prove that Georgia Republicans intended to make it harder for people of color to vote, rather than that being the effect of the new law.

“It’s very difficult to gather enough evidence or appropriate evidence to show actual intent,” she said, “and that seems like the only way you can do it now under the V.R.A.”

Even as some voting rights groups noted that it was not a worst-case scenario ruling, Democrats around the country were quick to deride the decision by the Supreme Court, which broke down along the court’s 6-3 ideological divide, and vowed to redouble their efforts to pass federal voting legislation.

“Today’s Supreme Court decision reinforces what we already know: Voting rights are under assault in America and we must act with the fierce urgency of now to end the era of voter suppression once and for all,” said Representative Hakeem Jeffries, a New York Democrat who is the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.

Author: Nick Corasaniti and Reid J. Epstein
This post originally appeared on NYT > Top Stories

Four new driving laws set to be introduced in June with drivers facing heavy fines

End of lockdown – 21 June

Under the current coronavirus roadmap, all legal social distancing rules will come to an end on 21 June.

For drivers, this will open up a range of extra freedoms to see friends and family over the summer.

Under current rules, drivers are not allowed to share a private vehicle in groups of more than six, except where everyone is from no more than two households.

The current regulations also mean drivers cannot stay overnight in holiday accommodation or in a second home with groups larger than six.

These are expected to be dropped on June 21 while international travel is expected to slowly come back to life.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Life and Style Feed
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Gardening tips: FIVE laws of gardening gardeners must keep in mind

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Life and Style Feed

Overhanging branches

In the same vein, overhanging branches also belong to neighbours.

Offending trees can be trimmed back, but only to the outer boundary of the property line.

Gardeners will have to steer clear of leaning over the fence, as this may constitute trespass, and they can’t touch anything protected by a Tree Preservation Order.

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Software giant SAP agrees to pay $8 million in penalties

Author: RT
This post originally appeared on RT Business News

German software multinational SAP has agreed to pay more than $ 8 million in penalties as part of a deal to settle complaints it broke US federal law by exporting thousands of products to Iran, the US Department of Justice said.

Federal prosecutors have agreed not to press charges against the global company as part of its deal with the US Justice, Treasury and Commerce departments.

The Justice Department (DOJ) said in a statement on Thursday that the deal it struck with the global software company is the first of its kind.

SAP, which is headquartered in the German town of Walldorf, admitted that it violated laws around exports and US sanctions related to Iran, and agreed to help US authorities with their investigations.

Also on rt.com Will Europe follow China in crackdown on Big Tech monopolies? RT’s Boom Bust investigates

Prosecutors allege that the company illegally exported thousands of software products to Iranian firms over at least seven years.

According to DOJ officials, under the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, companies can benefit from self-disclosure agreements if they make disclosures before the “imminent threat of disclosure or government investigation”.

John Demers, Assistant Attorney General at the DOJ’s National Security Division, said the situation “could have been far worse” for SAP if it hadn’t admitted to the illegal exports. “We hope that other businesses, software or otherwise, will heed this lesson,” he told reporters on Thursday.

SAP said in a statement it “welcomed” the conclusion of the US investigations and that it “accepts full responsibility for past conduct.”

This is not the first time the company has paid financial penalties to US authorities in relation to its foreign business activities. In 2016, the software giant agreed to give up $ 3.7 million in sales profits after an investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission found that an SAP executive had paid $ 145,000 in bribes to a senior Panamanian government official.

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Biden: 'Reassuring' to see companies speak out against voting laws

President BidenJoe BidenJoe Biden’s surprising presidency The Hill’s Morning Report – Biden, McConnell agree on vaccines, clash over infrastructure Republican battle with MLB intensifies MORE[2][3][4][5][6][1] on Tuesday credited private companies with speaking up in opposition to new voting laws being passed in Georgia and elsewhere while warning about the impact on workers when businesses leave, calling on states to “smarten up.”

Biden was asked at a White House event on vaccinations whether The Masters golf tournament should relocate out of Augusta, Ga., in response to the new Georgia law, which experts say makes it more difficult for minorities in particular to vote.

“I think that’s up to The Masters,” Biden said. “It is reassuring to see that for-profit operations and businesses are speaking up about how these new Jim Crow laws are just antithetical to who we are.”


“There’s another side to it, too,” Biden continued. “The other side to it, too, is when they in fact move out of Georgia, the people who need the help the most, people who are making hourly wages, sometimes get hurt the most.”

“I think it’s a very tough decision for a corporation to make or a group to make, but I respect when they make that judgment,” he added. “And I support whatever judgment they make. But the best way to deal with it is for Georgia and other states to smarten up and stop it.”

Biden’s comments came as several companies have spoken out against the Georgia voting law, and after Major League Baseball moved its All-Star Game out of the state to Colorado.

Georgia-based companies like Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola have also criticized the law, which expands early in-person voting hours, requires additional voter ID to complete mail-in voting, reduces the number of ballot drop boxes in some locations, and makes it a crime for anyone other than election workers to provide food or water to people standing in line.

The criticism has sparked blowback from Republicans[7], led by former President TrumpDonald TrumpJoe Biden’s surprising presidency The Hill’s Morning Report – Biden, McConnell agree on vaccines, clash over infrastructure Republican battle with MLB intensifies MORE[9][10][11][12][13][8], who have called for supporters to boycott products made by companies that have waded into the debate.

Conservatives have also argued the decision to move the MLB All-Star Game will do more harm than good as it will negatively impact the Atlanta area’s tourism industry and workers in the area.

The pressure to speak out against restrictive voting laws has grown in other states considering laws to overhaul elections. American Airlines[14] and Dell, both of which are headquartered in Texas, have opposed GOP proposals in the state that would limit access to the ballot.

[email protected] (Brett Samuels )

White good laws: New rules to make washing machines and fridges last longer and cut bills

“Going forward, our upcoming energy efficiency framework will push electrical products to use even less energy and material resources, saving people money on their bills and reducing carbon emissions as we work to reach net zero by 2050.”

This month, new labels have also been introduced which show customers how energy efficient a product is.

The scale will run from A to G, with most new products made expected to be classed as A+, A++ or A+++.

It will replace the old system and the current letters, meaning fewer appliances will be classified as ‘A’.

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Drivers warned over three new driving laws set to be introduced from April 2021

The easing of lockdown restrictions will open up extra freedoms for motorists while updates to the tax system could see road users forced to splash out extra cash to stay on the road. Learner drivers will also celebrate in April as tests and lessons finally resume after much delay in 2020.

Lockdown driving restrictions ease

The Government’s next step out of lockdown comes into effect from April 12th and will see divers finally given extra freedoms.

The re-opening means drivers will no longer need a valid reason to be using the roads.

Currently, road users should only travel if they absolutely must for work purposes, dropping off children at school or for exercise.

The new rules mean it is now perfectly legal for motorists to travel out of their local areas to outdoor attractions such as zoos, farms, theme parks and drive-in cinemas.

READ MORE: Drivers could be fined £2,000 for not securing their boot 

In a statement, they said: “The planned dates to restart car driving lessons is Monday 12 April, with tests due to restart 10 days later on Thursday 22 April.

“This will allow candidates time to practise on a variety of roads and in different driving conditions so they’re well prepared for driving independently before coming for a test.”

Driving schools have welcomed the decision after months “left in the dark” with no firm answers on when classes would continue.

However, with thousands of learner drivers having their tests cancelled in 2020 the DVSA has a task on its hands to battle the full extent of the backlog caused by the pandemic.

Red Driving School CEO Ian Macintosh said: “The backlog built up as a result of the pandemic must be tackled in a swift and efficient way.

“The DVSA should do its utmost to employ additional examiners, reopen all test centres and hold tests seven days a week to ensure this happens.

“Nobody should be put off learning to drive – it’s an important life skill which supports social mobility and helps instil independence in younger generations.”

Car tax changes

Updates are set to be made to both Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) rates and Benefit in Kinds charges in April.

Banks figure out new ways to rip people off by changing laws to get away with it – Max Keiser

Max and Stacy look at the endless money-printing by the US Federal Reserve, discussing the future of the latest stimulus checks and the role of banks in all of that.

“So, the government sends the money to the banks and the banks want to keep it, essentially – they don’t want to distribute it,” says Max, explaining that’s “simply because they like to get it and use it and spend it, and give themselves bonuses and buy apartments and yachts and stuff. That’s the only reason.”

He adds that “A lot of this has been the history of the past 40 years. During this bull market, banks figure out new ways to rip people off, they get caught, and what they then do is they change the law or introduce new laws, and if there are any problems, they extend and pretend. They just make the maturities longer and the coupons lower.”

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