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Prince Harry ‘s fight for publicly funded protection was rejected Wednesday by a London judge who said the U.K. government didn’t act irrationally when it stripped him of security privileges after he quit working as a member of the royal family and moved to the United States. Harry plans to appeal the decision.

High Court Judge Peter Lane said the February 2020 decision to provide “bespoke” security to the Duke of Sussex on an as-needed basis wasn’t unlawful, irrational or unjustified.

“Insofar as the case-by-case approach may otherwise have caused difficulties, they have not been shown to be such as to overcome the high hurdle so as to render the decision-making irrational,” Lane wrote in the 51-page ruling that was censored throughout to protect identities and security arrangements for Harry and other public figures.

Harry said he planned to appeal the ruling and keep challenging the decision made by the group known by the acronym of its former name, the Royal and VIP Executive Committee, or RAVEC, a spokesperson said.

“The duke is not asking for preferential treatment, but for a fair and lawful application of RAVEC’s own rules, ensuring that he receives the same consideration as others in accordance with RAVEC’s own written policy,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

Harry claimed in the lawsuit that he and his family were endangered when visiting the U.K. because of hostility toward him and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, on social media and relentless hounding by news media.

His lawyer argued that RAVEC, which is made up of members of the royal family staff, the Metropolitan Police and several government offices, acted irrationally and failed to follow its own policies that should have required a risk analysis of the duke’s safety.

A government lawyer said Harry had been treated fairly and was still provided protection on some visits, citing a security detail that guarded him in June 2021 when he was chased by photographers after attending an event with seriously ill children at Kew Gardens in west London.


Dani Alves, one of the most successful soccer players of his generation, was found guilty of raping a woman in a Barcelona nightclub and sentenced to four years and six months in prison on Thursday.

The former Brazil and Barcelona right back was convicted in Spain under a new sexual liberty law that emphasizes the lack of consent of the victim as key to determining sex crimes.

A three-judge panel at the Barcelona Provincial Court convicted the 40-year-old Alves of sexual assault for the incident on Dec. 31, 2022.

The court ordered Alves to pay 150,000 euros ($162,000) in compensation to the victim, banned him from approaching the victim’s home or place of work, and from communicating with her by any means for nine years.

“I still believe in the innocence of Mr. Alves,” Inés Guardiola, Alves’ lawyer, said. “I need to study the ruling, but I can tell you that of course we will appeal.”

Guardiola said Alves was “calm and collected” when he heard the verdict in court.

“We are satisfied,” David Sáenz, a member of the victim’s legal team, said, “because this verdict recognizes what we have always known, that the victim told the truth and that she has suffered.”
The victim’s lawyer, Ester García, said on Wednesday she and her client would not be present for the verdict.

The victim said Alves raped her in the bathroom of a Barcelona nightclub on the morning of Dec. 31, 2022. The court considered it proven that the victim did not consent to sex and there was evidence, in addition to the defendant’s testimony, that she was raped.

Alves denied during the three-day trial this month that he raped the woman, testifying to the court “I am not that kind of man.”

State prosecutors had sought a nine-year prison sentence for Alves while the lawyers representing his accuser wanted 12 years. His defense asked for his acquittal, or if found guilty a one-year sentence plus 50,000 euros compensation for the victim.

The sentence of four years and six months is near the lowest sentence for a rape conviction, which when the rape took place was penalized by four to 12 years under Spanish law. That has since been modified to six to 12 years. The court in its sentence said it considered favorably for Alves that he had “before the trial paid the court 150,000 euros to be given to the victim without any conditions attached.”

Sáenz said his legal team did not agree with the application of the extenuating circumstance, saying the money did not compensate the harm done to their client. During the trial, medical experts testified she was suffering from post-traumatic stress.



An appeals court ordered the Dutch government on Monday to halt the export of F-35 fighter jet parts to Israel, citing a clear risk of violations of international law.

A trio of human rights organizations brought a civil suit against the Netherlands in December, arguing authorities needed to reevaluate the export license in light of Israeli military action in the Gaza Strip.

“It is undeniable that there is a clear risk that the exported F-35 parts are used in serious violations of international humanitarian law,” Judge Bas Boele said in reading out the ruling, eliciting cheers from several people in the courtroom.

The decision came as Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte traveled to Israel to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the conflict. Rutte was also expected to separately meet with Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the government would appeal. “It is up to the state to shape its foreign policy,” Geoffrey van Leeuwen, the minister for foreign trade and development said in a statement. In the meantime, van Leeuwen said his office would abide by the export ban.

“We are extremely grateful that there is justice and that the court was willing to speak out on justice,” lead lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld told reporters after the hearing.

Oxfam Novib, Pax Nederland and The Rights Forum filed the case in December. They argued the continued transfer of the aircraft parts makes the Netherlands complicit in possible war crimes being committed by Israel in its war with Hamas.

In January, a lower court sided with the government, allowing the Dutch to continue sending U.S.-owned parts stored at a warehouse in the town of Woensdrecht to Israel. The Netherlands is home to one of three F-35 European regional warehouses.

Other countries are also considering restricting weapons sales to Israel. Human rights groups in the United Kingdom have brought a similar suit against their government, attempting to block weapons exports to Israel.


A Pakistani court on Saturday convicted and sentenced former Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife to seven years in prison on a charge that their 2018 marriage violated the law, officials and a lawyer said.

The latest verdict follows another case in which Khan and his wife, Bushra Bibi, were sentenced to 14 years in prison on Wednesday for corruption. It comes ahead of Feb. 8 parliamentary elections in which Khan has already been disqualified because of graft convictions while his party is struggling to run an election campaign.

It was Khan’s fourth conviction since 2022, when he was ousted from power. His sentences total 34 years and will be served concurrently.

Analysts say Khan’s multiple and apparently hasty convictions are seen by his party and supporters as punishment for his rhetoric against Pakistan’s powerful military leadership, which has ruled the country for half of its 76-year history. During his final months in power, Khan had broadened his fight with opponents to include the military.

The lawyer for the couple, Intisar Panjutha, said the verdict was announced by Judge Qudrat Ullah a day after the trial ended. Khan and his family insist the trial is politically motivated.

The prosecution said Khan and his wife violated the law that a woman must wait three months before marrying again.

Bibi, Khan’s third wife, was a spiritual healer who was previously married to a man who claimed that they divorced in November 2017, less than three months before she married Khan. Bibi has said they divorced in August 2017.

She and Khan, who had been married twice before, denied they violated the three-month waiting period — a requirement of Islamic law and upheld by Pakistan.

The ruling was condemned by Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party. Its head, Gohar Khan, told reporters that Khan will appeal. “This is a bogus case against Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi, but still they were given maximum prison sentence by the court,” he said.

The couple were also fined 500,000 rupees ($1,800) each.

Khan is currently serving multiple prison terms at Adiala prison in Rawalpindi, where his trials were held because of security concerns.

He is embroiled in more than 150 legal cases, including inciting people to violence after his arrest in May 2023. During nationwide riots in May, Khan’s supporters attacked the military headquarters in Rawalpindi, stormed an air base in Mianwali in the eastern Punjab province and torched a building housing state-run Radio Pakistan in the northwest.

The violence subsided only when Khan was released at the time by the Supreme Court.

Khan and Bibi also face another graft case, allegedly involving giving undue benefits to a property tycoon in return for establishing an Islamic university.



The U.N. world court on Friday came down hard on Israel’s war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip, calling on Israel to “take all measures” to prevent a genocide of the Palestinians. But it stopped short of demanding an immediate cease-fire, as the South African sponsors of the case had hoped.

All sides tried to claim victory with the ruling, seizing on different elements that buttressed their positions.

Israel celebrated the court’s rejection of the cease-fire request and said it had endorsed the country’s right to self-defense. Yet harsh criticism of Israel’s campaign in Gaza could further dent its image in the court of public opinion.

The Palestinians welcomed what amounted to an overwhelming rebuke of Israel’s wartime tactics by a lopsided majority of judges over the heavy death toll and humanitarian disaster in Gaza. The six measures in the ruling were approved by margins of 15-2 and 16-1, with even Israel’s representative on the court joining the majority on two of the questions.

As Israel presses ahead with its offensive, Friday’s ruling adds to the growing international criticism of Israel and could put more pressure on it to scale back or halt the operation altogether.

The court did not rule on the core issue of whether Israel’s devastating military offensive against Hamas amounts to genocide. That question likely won’t be answered by the court for years.

But it did not rule out the possibility that Israel is conducting genocidal acts. In imposing “provisional measures,” the court found that concerns about possible genocide merit further review.

It called on Israel “to take all measures within its power” and “ensure with immediate effect” that its military does not commit genocidal acts, including those causing the unnecessary deaths of Palestinians or humanitarian suffering.

It also called on Israel to prevent “public incitement to commit genocide,” pointing to a series of inflammatory statements by Israeli leaders. Israel was ordered to report back to the court within one month on steps it is taking to meet these demands.

The court said it was gravely concerned about the fate of the hostages and called for their immediate and unconditional release. But the decision focused almost entirely on the plight of Gaza’s Palestinian civilians and urged Israel to do more to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid.

Yuval Shany, an expert on international law at the Israel Democracy Institute think tank, said the ruling was “not great” but could have been worse.


The United Nations’ top court on Friday ordered Israel to do all it can to prevent death, destruction and any acts of genocide in Gaza, but the panel stopped short of ordering Jerusalem to end the military offensive that has laid waste to the Palestinian enclave.

In a ruling that will keep Israel under the legal lens for years to come, the court offered little other comfort to Israel in a genocide case brought by South Africa that goes to the core of one of the world’s most intractable conflicts. The court’s half-dozen orders will be difficult to achieve without some sort of cease-fire or pause in the fighting.

“The court is acutely aware of the extent of the human tragedy that is unfolding in the region and is deeply concerned about the continuing loss of life and human suffering,” said court President Joan E. Donoghue.

The ruling amounted to an overwhelming rebuke of Israel’s wartime conduct and added to mounting international pressure to halt the nearly 4-month-old offensive, which has killed more than 26,000 Palestinians, decimated vast swaths of Gaza and driven nearly 85% of its 2.3 million people from their homes.

Allowing the accusations to stand stung the government of Israel, which was founded as a Jewish state after the Nazi slaughter of 6 million Jews during World War II.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the fact that the court was willing to discuss the genocide charges was a “mark of shame that will not be erased for generations.” He also vowed to press ahead with the war.

The power of the ruling was magnified by its timing, coming on the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“Those truly needing to stand trial are those that murdered and kidnapped children, women and the elderly,” former Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said, referring to Hamas militants who stormed through Israeli communities on Oct. 7 in the attack that set off the war. The assault killed some 1,200 people and resulted in another 250 being kidnapped.

The court also called on Hamas to release the hostages who are still in captivity.

Haim Abraham, a lecturer in laws at University College London, noted that the court decision indicated “that there is, on the face of things, a risk that genocide might have been conducted” by Israel.

Many of the measures were approved by an overwhelming majority of the judges. Of the six orders, an Israeli judge voted in favor of two — an order for humanitarian aid and another for the prevention of inflammatory speech.


A Japanese court sentenced a man to death after finding him guilty of murder and other crimes Thursday for carrying out an arson attack on an anime studio in Kyoto that killed 36 people.

The Kyoto District Court said it found the defendant, Shinji Aoba, mentally capable to face punishment for his crimes and announced the sentence of capital punishment after a recess in a two-part session on Thursday.

Aoba stormed into Kyoto Animation’s No. 1 studio on July 18, 2019, and set it on fire. Many of the victims were believed to have died of carbon monoxide poisoning. More than 30 other people were badly burned or injured.

Judge Keisuke Masuda said Aoba had wanted to be a novelist but was unsuccessful and so he sought revenge, thinking that Kyoto Animation had stolen novels he submitted as part of a company contest, according to NHK national television.

NHK also reported that Aoba, who was out of work and struggling financially after repeatedly changing jobs, had plotted a separate attack on a train station north of Tokyo a month before the arson attack on the animation studio.

Aoba plotted the attacks after studying past criminal cases involving arson, the court said in the ruling, noting the process showed that Aoba had premeditated the crime and was mentally capable.

“The attack that instantly turned the studio into hell and took the precious lives of 36 people, caused them indescribable pain,” the judge said, according to NHK. During the trial, Aoba told the victims’ families that he was sorry, but he did not show sincere regret or face their sufferings fully, and there was little hope for correction, the ruling said.

Aoba, 45, was severely burned and was hospitalized for 10 months before his arrest in May 2020. He appeared in court in a wheelchair.

His defense lawyers argued he was mentally unfit to be held criminally responsible.

About 70 people were working inside the studio in southern Kyoto, Japan’s ancient capital, at the time of the attack. One of the survivors said he saw a black cloud rising from downstairs, then scorching heat came and he jumped from a window of the three-story building gasping for air.

The company, founded in 1981 and better known as KyoAni, made a mega-hit anime series about high school girls, and the studio trained aspirants to the craft.

Japanese media have described Aoba as being thought of as a troublemaker who repeatedly changed contract jobs and apartments and quarreled with neighbors. The fire was Japan’s deadliest since 2001, when a blaze in Tokyo’s congested Kabukicho entertainment district killed 44 people.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi said the Kyoto Animation attack was “a highly tragic case” and that the government has since stepped up restrictions on gasoline sales, including mandatory identification checks of purchasers. Hayashi, however, declined to comment on the death penalty ruling.

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