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The use of facial recognition technology by British police has violated human rights and data protection laws, a court said Tuesday, in a decision praised as a victory against invasive practices by the authorities.

In a case trumpeted as the first of its kind, Britain’s Court of Appeal ruled Tuesday in the case of civil rights campaigner Ed Bridges, who argued that South Wales Police caused him “distress’’ by scanning his face as he shopped in 2017 and as he attended a peaceful anti-arms protest in 2018.

The appeals judges ruled that the way the system was being used during tests was unlawful. The decision does not necessarily mean that facial recognition cannot be used at all, but that authorities should take greater care in how they deploy it.

The judges said they faced two question about how the technology is applied: who is captured in the video surveillance and where. “In relation to both of those questions too much discretion is currently left to individual police officers,” they said.

The judgment said there was no clear evidence that the software was biased on grounds of race or sex. But the judges said that police forces using the controversial and novel technology “would wish to satisfy themselves that everything reasonable which could be done had been done in order to make sure that the software used does not have a racial or gender bias.”

Megan Goulding, a lawyer for civil rights group Liberty, which supported Bridges’ claim, said the facial recognition systems are discriminatory and oppressive.

“The court has agreed that this dystopian surveillance tool violates our rights and threatens our liberties,’’ Goulding said. “Facial recognition discriminates against people of color, and it is absolutely right that the court found that South Wales Police had failed in their duty to investigate and avoid discrimination.’’

Police said they had already made some changes in the use of the technology in the time it has taken to hear the case. The chief constable of South Wales Police, Matt Jukes, described the judgement as something the force could work with and said the priority remains protecting the public while being committed to using the technology in ways that are “responsible and fair.’’

“Questions of public confidence, fairness and transparency are vitally important, and the Court of Appeal is clear that further work is needed to ensure that there is no risk of us breaching our duties around equality,’’ he said.



Four Oklahoma tribes are asking a federal court to void gambling compacts between the state of Oklahoma and two other tribes — agreements that the Oklahoma State Supreme Court recently invalidated.

The Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Citizen Potawatomie Nations filed a lawsuit Friday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., asking for a declaration that the U.S. Department of Interior violated federal law by allowing the agreements Gov. Kevin Stitt signed with the Comanche Nation and the Otoe-Missouira Tribe to take effect.

“While the Oklahoma Supreme Court has declared those agreements invalid under Oklahoma law, their validity under Federal law must also be addressed to avoid damage to the integrity of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act,” attorneys for the tribes said in a statement. “The Tribes filed this suit to protect IGRA’s established framework and the Tribal operations conducted under it.”

Officials with the Department of Interior, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the governor’s office did not immediately respond to request for comment Saturday. The lawsuit was first reported by The Oklahoman.

The chairman of the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association, Matthew Morgan, said the group supports the tribes’ efforts.

“As we have stated from the beginning, Governor Stitt never had the legal authority to enter into these gaming agreements,” Morgan said in a statement. “It is sad that Governor Stitt has placed the tribal governments in this position.”

Oklahoma’s high court ruled July 21 that Stitt overstepped his authority. The deals would have allowed the Comanche Nation and the Otoe-Missouira Tribe to offer wagering on sporting events and house-banked card and table games.

Republican state Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat and Republican House Speaker Charles McCall filed that lawsuit and are also seeking to invalidate compacts that the Republican governor signed with the Kialegee Tribal Town and Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians. Attorneys for the governor filed a brief in state court this past week arguing that their compacts are valid because they do not include sports betting or house-banked games.

The lawsuit “is the latest in a series of efforts by legislators to wrest away the executive authority of the governor to negotiate and enter into compacts with Indian Tribes and improperly vest such powers solely to the legislative in the legislative branch,” according to the brief filed Tuesday.

Treat and McCall allege Stitt ignored state law requiring gambling compacts be approved by the Legislature.

On July 28, a federal judge ruled that Oklahoma’s gambling compacts with the Cherokee, Choctaw and Chickaw nations signed 15 years ago automatically renewed on Jan. 1. Stitt had argued that the compacts had expired.


A court in the West African nation of Cape Verde has approved the extradition to the United States of a Colombian businessman wanted on suspicion of money laundering on behalf of Venezuela's socialist government, his lawyers said Tuesday.

The court made the decision to extradite Alex Saab on Friday, but his legal team said in a statement it was informed about the decision only on Monday. They said they would appeal.

Saab was arrested in June when his private jet stopped to refuel in the former Portuguese colony on the way to Iran.
Saab was waiting for the court to schedule a hearing at which he could argue against extradition, according to the statement sent by the legal team, which is led by former Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon.

The legal team described the extradition order as “alarming” and accused Cape Verdean authorities of denying him his legal rights. The defense lawyers plan to appeal to Cape Verde’s Supreme Court and, if necessary, the Constitutional Court, the statement said.

U.S. officials trying to reignite their campaign to oust Maduro believe Saab holds many secrets about how Venezuelan president, his family and top aides allegedly siphoned off millions of dollars in government contracts at a time of widespread hunger in the oil-rich nation.

Venezuela’s government had protested the arrest of Saab, 48, who it said was on a “humanitarian mission” to buy food and medical supplies. Saab came onto the radar of U.S. authorities a few years ago after amassing a large number of contracts with Maduro’s government.

Federal prosecutors in Miami indicted him and a business partner last year on money laundering charges connected to an alleged bribery scheme that pocketed more than $350 million from a low-income housing project for the Venezuelan government that was never built.


Several judges are being appointed to help Mississippi courts with backlogs of cases that have developed during the coronavirus pandemic.

As many as 30,000 court cases might have been affected by temporary shutdowns and other limits imposed on the state’s courts to try to limit the spread of the virus, the state Supreme Court said in a news release.

The high court announced some appointments of special judges Friday. They are for Hinds County Court; Warren County Court; the 21st Circuit Court District in Holmes, Humphreys and Yazoo counties; and the 16th Chancery Court District in Jackson, George and Greene counties.  Other judges have also requested help.

The Mississippi Legislature budgeted $2.5 million of federal coronavirus relief money to assist the state courts. Special judges will be paid with the federal money, which is available until December.


President Donald Trump says he will take action as soon as Saturday to ban Chinese-owned video app TikTok from the United States.

Trump made the announcement to reporters Friday on Air Force One as he returned from Florida.

“As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States,” Trump said.

U.S. lawmakers have raised intelligence and privacy concerns about the company’s ownership. The company has denied allegations that it shares user data with the Chinese government.

The move comes as Trump has ratcheted up tensions with China during the coronavirus pandemic and stalled trade negotiations between the two nations.

The company’s operations in the U.S. has been under review by the secretive Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

Trump said he could use emergency economic powers or an executive order to enforce the action, insisting, “I have that authority.”



Spain’s National Court heard testimony Monday in an investigation into whether a Spanish company was hired to spy on Julian Assange during the seven years the WikiLeaks founder spent in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.

The court is investigating whether David Morales, a Spaniard, and his Undercover Global S.L. security agency invaded the privacy of Assange and his visitors at the embassy by secretly recording their meetings. The intelligence that Morales’ company collected is suspected of being handed over to third parties, according to court papers.

Among those set to face the court's questions Monday were prominent Spanish lawyer Baltasar Garzón, who is part of Assange’s legal team; former Ecuadorean consul in London Fidel Narváez; and Stella Morris, a legal adviser and Assange’s partner, who revealed earlier this year that she had two children with him while he lived in the embassy. Staff of the Spanish security company are due to testify on Tuesday.

Assange, whose lawyers filed a complaint at the court to trigger the investigation, is in a British prison after being removed from the embassy last year. He is fighting extradition to the United States, where he faces espionage charges over the activities of WikiLeaks.

The court is conducting an investigation, begun last year, before deciding whether there is evidence of wrongdoing that warrants a trial.

Undercover Global, also known as UC Global, was hired by Ecuador’s government to provide security at the Ecuadorean embassy in London between 2015 and 2018. Its main task was to secure the property’s perimeter, including the deployment of security staff, due to Assange’s presence inside, court papers say.



The Supreme Court ruled broadly Wednesday in favor of the religious rights of employers in two cases that could leave more than 70,000 women without free contraception and tens of thousands of people with no way to sue for job discrimination.

In both cases the court ruled 7-2, with two liberal justices joining conservatives in favor of the Trump administration and religious employers.

In the more prominent of the two cases, involving President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, the justices greenlighted changes the Trump administration had sought. The administration announced in 2017 that it would allow more employers to opt out of providing the no-cost birth control coverage required under the law,  but lower courts had blocked the changes.

The ruling is a significant election-year win for President Donald Trump, who counts on heavy support from evangelicals and other Christian groups for votes and policy backing. It was also good news for the administration, which in recent weeks has seen headline-making Supreme Court decisions go against its positions.

In one of those earlier cases, the court  rejected Trump’s effort to end legal protections for 650,000 young immigrants. In another, the justices said a landmark civil rights law protects gay, lesbian and transgender people from discrimination in employment.

Another particularly important decision for Trump is ahead. The justices are expected to announce Thursday whether Congress and the Manhattan district attorney can see the president’s taxes and other financial records he has fought to keep private.

In its second big ruling on Wednesday, the court sided with two Catholic schools in California in a decision underscoring that certain employees of religious schools can’t sue for employment discrimination.

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