It uses a “tiny” wireless chip and a “miniaturised” glucose sensor embedded between two layers of lens material.
The firm said it is also working on integrating tiny LED lights that could light up to indicate that glucose levels have crossed certain thresholds.
But it added that “a lot more work” needed to be done to get the technology ready for everyday use.
“It’s still early days for this technology, but we’ve completed multiple clinical research studies which are helping to refine our prototype,” the firm said in a blogpost.
“We hope this could someday lead to a new way for people with diabetes to manage their disease.”
Many global firms have been looking to expand in the wearable technology sector – seen by many as a key growth area in the coming years.
Various estimates have said the sector is expected to grow by between $10bn and $50bn (£6bn and £31bn) in the next five years.
Within the sector, many firms have been looking specifically at technology targeted at healthcare.
Google’s latest foray with the smart contact lens is aimed at a sector where consumer demand for such devices is expected to grow.
According to the International Diabetes Federation, one in ten people across the world’s population are forecast to have diabetes by 2035.
People suffering from the condition need to monitor their glucose levels regularly as sudden spikes or drops are dangerous. At present, the majority of them do so by testing drops of blood.
Google said it was testing a prototype of the lens that could “generate a reading once per second”.
“This is an exciting development for preventive healthcare industry,” Manoj Menon, managing director of consulting firm Frost & Sullivan told the BBC.
“It is likely to spur a range of other innovations towards miniaturizing technology and using it in wearable devices to help people monitor their bodies better.”
Google said it was working with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to bring the product to mainstream use.
It added that it would look for partners “who are experts in bringing products like this to market”.
Google said it would work with these partners to develops apps aimed at making the measurements taken by the lens available to the wearer and their doctor.
Mr Menon said it was “commendable” that Google was willing to work with other partners even before the product was commercially ready.
“Their open innovation approach is going to help accelerate the development of this product and get it out to the market much faster,” he said.
Other firms have also been looking towards wearable products that help monitor the health of the wearer.
Earlier this month, a gadget called Sensible Baby was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. It is a sensor put in an infant’s night clothes that tracks their temperature, orientation and movement.
It sounds a smartphone app alarm if it detects a problem.
Several smartwatches that can monitor data by studying key indicators such as the the wearer’s heart rate and temperature have also been launched.
Last year, Japanese firm Sony filed a patent for a ‘SmartWig’, with healthcare cited as one of its potential uses.
It said the wig could use a combination of sensors to help collect information such as temperature, pulse and blood pressure of the wearer.
The U.S. Supreme Court said Friday that it would consider whether to make it easier to hold companies liable for encouraging others to commit patent infringement.
The court agreed to hear an appeal by Internet services company Limelight Networks Inc.LLNW -4.11%, which is fighting a patent infringement lawsuit brought by larger rival Akamai Technologies Inc.AKAM -3.94%
A badly splintered federal appeals court ruled in 2012 that Akamai could proceed with allegations that Limelight encouraged its customers to infringe an Akamai patent involving a method for helping website owners manage online traffic efficiently.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in a 6-5 decision, ruled Limelight would be liable if Akamai could prove that Limelight performed some actions outlined in the patent and then directed its customers to perform the remaining steps in the patent.
Limelight, which denied Akamai’s allegations, argued that a company shouldn’t be held liable for encouraging patent infringement unless some single party performs every step in the patent.
Akamai said the lower court’s ruling correctly closed a loophole that allowed companies to induce patent infringement without any penalty.
A host of technology companies, including Google Inc. , Cisco Systems Inc.CSCO -0.14% and Oracle Corp.ORCL -0.94%, urged the Supreme Court to hear the case. They warned that the lower court ruling would dramatically expand patent-infringement liability for companies whose high-tech products could be used to facilitate patent infringement by others.
The Obama administration also urged the court to hear the case, voicing similar arguments.
The Supreme Court likely will hear oral arguments in April, with a decision expected by the end of June.
Source – abajournal.com/ By – Martha Neil Category – Matthews Bark
When David Seeley was working as a deputy prosecutor for Clark County, Wash., he happened to handle a number of cases against the son of a woman who said she knew Marlon Brando.
He didn’t believe her when she said the famous actor was interested in her son’s cases. And in 2000, when she called Seeley up shortly after he went into private practice and told him Brando wanted to meet him because she’d been impressed with his work, Seeley thought she was joking. When he had an assistant call the Los Angeles number the woman gave him, however, Brando’s iconic voice was soon on the other end of the line, reports the Seattle Times.
The woman who’d given him the number was a business manager for Brando and Seeley took a flight to Los Angeles the day after the phone call to meet the celebrity who would become his new client. Seeley, now 49, served as Brando’s general counsel for the last four years of the actor’s life and has continued to serve as general counsel for Brando Enterprises following the actor’s death in 2004. A partner of Livengood, Fitzgerald & Alskog, Seeley also handles general litigation, criminal defense and school district matters working in an office decorated with licensed Brando memorabilia.
“Any time the phone rang after 10 p.m. at home, I knew it was Marlon,” says Seeley. “I think to some degree he was lonely and a little isolated late in his life.”
Brando didn’t like Los Angeles lawyers, who he felt charged too much, Seeley says, and, although Brando never discussed acting or his films, he had eclectic business interests.
On Seeley’s first visit to Los Angeles, the lawyer brought with him a Seattle patent attorney, at Brando’s request. The actor, who loved to play bongo and conga drums, had a drumhead-tightening device patented in 2002, the Times recounts. At Brando’s instigation, Seeley also whipped up a contract on short notice for Michael Jackson to pay his client $1 million to introduce him for a television special. The introduction wasn’t used, but Brando still got the $1 million.
An Internet marketing plan to sell signed coconuts from Tetiaroa, an atoll in French Polynesia that Brando purchased after first visiting the island during the filming of Mutiny on the Bounty, was less fruitful. Although Seeley said he was present when Brando discussed the idea on speakerphone with Jeff Bezos of Amazon, it never went anywhere.
Nonetheless, the actor left a $26 million estate, and his survivors expect to profit from a 99-year lease that will allow a developer to open a luxury “eco-resort” on Brando’s island next year. It will be air conditioned through a plan Brando envisioned, using piped seawater, the article notes.
Source – abcnews.go.com/ By – SARAH DiLORENZO and GEIR MOULSON Category – Matthews Bark
The Grenoble University Hospital Center said the retired racing driver arrived at the clinic in a coma and underwent immediate surgery for a serious head trauma.
It was not clear whether the 44-year-old Schumacher was still in a coma but the hospital statement, which was signed by a neurosurgeon, an anesthesiologist and Marc Penaud, the hospital’s deputy director, said “he remains in a critical condition.”
Schumacher fell while skiing off-piste in Meribel earlier Sunday and hit his head on a rock, according to a statement from the resort. Resort managers said he had been wearing a helmet and was conscious when rescuers first responded to the scene.
Earlier in the day, the Meribel resort said Schumacher had been taken to Grenoble for tests and authorities said his life was not in danger.
But the situation began to appear more serious when the resort said that orthopedic and trauma surgeon Gerard Saillant had traveled from Paris to the hospital in Grenoble to examine Schumacher. German news agency dpa said it was Saillant who operated on Schumacher when he broke his leg during a crash at the Silverstone race course in 1999.
In an email to The Associated Press, Schumacher’s manager Sabine Kehm said the champion German driver was on a private skiing trip and “fell on his head.”
“We ask for understanding that we cannot give running updates on his condition. He wore a helmet and was not alone,” Kehm said. Schumacher’s 14-year-old son was skiing with his father when the accident happened, the resort said.
As news of the accident spread, Formula One drivers used social media to wish Schumacher a quick recovery.
His former Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa, who recovered from life-threatening injuries sustained at the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2009, wrote on Instagram: “I am praying for you my brother!! I hope you have a quick recovery!! God bless you Michael.”
The Twitter feed of Germany’s Adrian Sutil, who drives for Sauber, read: “I hope Michael Schumacher will get well soon! All my best to him and his family.” Romain Grosjean of Lotus tweeted: “All our thoughts to Schumi and his family! Hope you will recover soon #legend #Schumi.”
Support also came from leading German sports personalities, ranging from the NBA to soccer. Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki said his thoughts were with Schumacher, while Lukas Podolski, who plays for Arsenal in the English Premier League, tweeted: “Bad news from Switzerland: please get well soon, Michael Schumacher. All the best for you, my friend! #getwellsoon #MichaelSchumacher.”
In addition to the crash at Silverstone, Schumacher was hurt seriously in a motorcycling accident in February 2009 in Spain when he suffered neck and spine injuries. He recovered sufficiently from those injuries to make a comeback in F1.
Schumacher initially retired from F1 in 2006 after winning five straight titles with Ferrari following two earlier ones with Benetton. He returned to the sport in 2010 and drove for three seasons for Mercedes without much success before retiring again last year.
Source – theguardian.com/ By – Jon Henley Category – Matthews Bark
Amiran Natsvlishvili is not complaining about the kidnapping. Nor about the brutal beatings, or the huge ransom his family had to pay for his release. The former managing director of a state car plant in Georgia is not bitter, either, about the accusations of embezzlement and misuse of public funds.
No, as his young lawyer argues in a bright, high-ceiling courtroom in Strasbourg, what Natsvlishvili really objects to is that the state lied to him.
Locked up for more than four months in the same vile cell as the man who kidnapped and beat him as well as a convicted murderer, when the state finally offered him a deal – cop a plea, pay a fine and you’re free – Natsvlishvili was so desperate that he jumped at it. And then he was told he could not appeal.
That is why we are here, says the lawyer to the judges behind the bench at the European court of human rights: this man has plainly been denied the right to a fair trial. Georgia of course denies it, but it is in breach of article 6, paragraph 1 of the European convention on human rights.
Along with the European commission in Brussels, the Strasbourg-based ECHR could reasonably lay claim to being one of the most maligned institutions in Britain. (“Hardly surprising, I suppose,” quips a senior British court official. “Our name contains the words ‘European’ and ‘human rights’. Not exactly a winning combination.”)
Conservative MPs have said it is high time for Britain to “quit the jurisdiction” of a “supranational quango”. The justice secretary, Chris Grayling, is “reviewing Britain’s relationship” with an institution he says has “reached the point where it has lost democratic acceptability”.
Grayling said last week the ECHR did not “make this country a better place”. David Cameron has said the court risks becoming a glorified “small claims court” buried under a mountain of “trivial” claims , and suggested Britain could withdraw from the convention to “keep our country safe”. The home secretary, Theresa May, has pledged the party’s next manifesto will promise to scrap the Human Rights Act, which makes the convention enforceable in Britain.
Former lord chief justice Lord Judge and three other senior British judges have recently backed this stance in high-profile lectures, arguing that by treating the convention as a “living instrument” the ECHR is “undermining democracy”. Its judges, rather than parliament, are now making British law, they allege, and parliamentary sovereignty should not be ceded to “a foreign court”. But another leading supreme court judge, Lord Mance, last week forcefully defended the ECHR’s contribution to British law.
Parts of the press have been more outspoken, railing against “meddling, unelected European judges” who are “wrecking British law” and demanding the government “draw a line in the sand to defend British sovereignty” by “defying Europe … and ignoring the rulings of this foreign court”.
That’s not how they see things in Strasbourg. In the 60 years of its existence, the ECHR has reached well over 10,000 judgments in cases such as that brought by Natsvlishvili, prompting changes to national laws and procedures in nearly 50 countries that have now signed the convention.
In the past decade, the court has required Bulgaria to care properly for people with mental and physical disabilities, and Austria to allow same-sex couples to adopt each other’s children. It has forced Cyprus to take action against sex trafficking and Moldova to halt state censorship of TV. Its judgments have compelled improvements in Russian prisons, and more effective punishment of domestic violence in Turkey.
In France, laws have been passed to protect domestic servants from forced labour, while illegitimate children now have equal rights to inheritance.
Britain has been obliged to take greater care of vulnerable prisoners, regulate the monitoring of employees’ communications, protect the anonymity of journalists’ sources, bring the age of consent for gay people in line with that for heterosexuals and force local councils to observe proper safeguards in evictions.
“It isn’t just about the human rights of individuals,” says Paul Mahoney, the court’s veteran British judge, “it’s about the functioning of the rule of law – of democratic institutions – in countries not all of which have, like the UK, enjoyed 300-odd years of democracy and freedom.
At the end of the day, it’s possible for somebody from a tiny village to come here, take their government to court and get the law changed. That really is a small miracle.”
Deputy registrar Michael O’Boyle is equally forthright. “For six decades,” he says, “this institution has radiated a highly impressive body of case law out to the legal systems of a large number of countries – 47 today. It’s an advance in civilisation.”
Earlier this week, we mentioned the ridiculous argument from a University of Tennessee law professor, Lucy Jewel, that law degrees confer non-economic benefits like “cultural cachet,” which make the deal valuable to people who risk financial ruin to get it.
Professor Jewel writes: “Every graduation, when I see the beaming smiles from my students’ family members, I do not think about the fact that they are getting a degree from a so-called fourth-tier toilet law school; I see people who have achieved a dream (albeit at great financial expense) and obtained a credential that signifies membership in a powerful profession.”
Guys… I just can’t. I can’t keep beating back every stupid argument that any law professor can come up with to defend the systemic price-gouging of American law students. I am just one man and they are many. I have never in my life confronted a group of educated people so eager to justify the precise manner in which they economically take advantage of students — kids, really — too stupid to know any better. At this point, if a law professor took candy from a baby she’d say she did it to help the kid save on dental bills.
You want talk about the non-economic benefits of going to law school? FINE! Let’s talk about the social and cultural “cachet” you’ll get, and see if it’s worth all the CASH you won’t ever be seeing again…
1. You’ll Be A Lot Of Fun At Parties.
Has anybody ever said: “You know, Brad was a prick before he went to law school, but now that he thinks he can justify everything by telling me to Google a statute, he’s really mellowed.” Wait, that’s never been said? What about: “Jane was also such a sweet and open-minded girl, and now that she’s in law school and can passionately argue out of both sides of her mouth for every position, her new mix of equivocating judgmentalism is really quite fetching.”
Oh, that’s right, nobody’s ever said that, because law school turns nice people into pricks and pricks into Super Villains.
But hey, you’ll always have something to say! A law degree means never having to STFU ever again!
2. Cops LOVE Hearing About Your Rights.
Having a law degree means YOU have the power to turn any ordinary stop and encounter with the police into an arrest and a court date. Just think of the fun you’ll have antagonizing and pissing off law enforcement officials with all your fancy law-talkin’. Turning a “warning” into a thousand-dollar citation is really cool when you are (almost totally) sure that you’ll prevail in court. And if you are a minority, telling Officer Racist that he doesn’t have probable cause to make you stop and talk to him will feel really empowering when you are sitting at the station with a plunger up your ass and no witness to all the scary ways you “resisted” arrest.
3. But At Least You’ll Be Able To Understand When Your Rights Are Taken Away.
4. Reading Fine Print Is Fun.
A normal person doesn’t even see the fine print. Can you believe it? They just gloss over that stuff and move on with their lives. But not you, J.D. holder. You always notice it; you can’t help noticing it. Warning labels too. And privacy agreements, man, you could redline the terms and conditions on your new iPad in your sleep if you had to. There’s a whole world of absolutely meaningless boilerplate language out there just waiting for somebody to read it.
(As for Judge Richard Posner, he’s too smart to bother with fine print.)
5. Arguing With People Is A Great Way To Make Friends And Get Laid.
Obviously, lawyers are much better at getting sex than musicians, artists, or the very wealthy. If Jay-Z wants to woo Beyonce, he has to sing and dance, lavish her with gifts, and seem like an awesome and cool person. But if a lawyer wants to get with the prettiest girl at the party, all he has to do is go up to her and explain it to her. Logically. Perhaps with a reference to her past precedent with men. “Look Barbara, I know you like good-looking guys who are fit and have no more than one chin. But where has that gotten you? You are 32, still unmarried, and starting to show signs of age. Don’t you think it’s time that you settled? My offer will stand for the next two hours or until the bar closes.”
And we’ve recently discussed how lawyers make great roommates. You never have to worry about a lawyer/friend bending the spirit of an agreement beyond all recognition solely for their personal benefit.
6. People Will Ask You For Legal Advice, For Free, All The Time.
Nothing says “I am respected within my community” like friends and family demanding that you perform tasks for them for no remuneration. Like, if your friend asks you to help him move, he might throw you a couple of bucks or a case of beer. But if he wants you to “figure out if this will makes sense,” well… he respects you so much that he expects you can do it quickly and for no money.
7. Mommy and Daddy Will Be Really Proud.
Sure, you might spend the rest of your career trying to conceal the fact that your law degree doesn’t confer the ECONOMIC benefits that Mommy and Daddy thinks that it does (or would if you just tried harder), but they’ll be really freaking proud of their child, “the lawyer.”
(Unless you have a sibling who is a doctor. If that’s the case, you should just skip this point.)
8. You’ll Just Love Law School, Almost Inexplicably, Because…
9. You’ll Never Be Wrong Again.
Do you realize that lawyers get to say things like “I totally believe blah blah blah, but IN THE ALTERNATIVE…. everything I just said is wrong but everything I’m saying now is right, so either way I’m right and always have been.” It’s a goddamn super power. I had an argument last winter with a lawyer friend (which are the only kinds that I have left, see #5, supra) ABOUT WHETHER SNOW WAS COLD. He was arguing that it wasn’t (on some kind of cosmic, Kelvin-scale), and I was arguing that it was. And we were both right. And in support of my argument, I said that treating snow as “not cold” was (wait for it) RACIST because it didn’t take into account cultural differences among disparate people… and instead of just laughing or punching me in the face, he engaged with my point!
Getting a law degree is like getting a ticket into BS Nirvana. You know, if you are into that kind of thing.
10. You Get To Read Above the Law.
In a way, ATL is just like law school. You get to sit here and be told that the way you used to think was wrong and intellectually weak. All around there are people doing much worse than you, and some people doing much better than you, which just kind of makes you feel bad about yourself. You leave, stronger and more informed, but in a sad, bitter way. And all that knowledge doesn’t help you one goddamn bit when it comes time to GET A JOB.
Really, if we charged you $30,000 a year to read, and then talked about the “social cachet” you received from wasting your money, we’d get ABA accreditation.
Social media mogul Facebook has even been tracking what their users don’t type. It’s a pretty sure bet that nearly every Facebook user has typed out a comment or a status update, and then had second thoughts only to delete it before hitting Enter or Post. Well it turns out that Facebook knows about it and tracked it.
Employees at Facebook have dubbed this “self-censorship,” and they have just conducted a study of this personal filtering method. Facebook summer software engineer and Carnegie Mellon Ph.D. student, Sauvik Das, along with Facebook data scientist, Adam Kramer, have been conducting a study on this “self-censorship.”
The two project leaders studied data collected in July 2012 from 5 million English-speaking users over a 17-day period. The study found that 71 percent of the users censored their own posts. The users that held back did so on an average of 4.52 status updates and an average of 3.2 comments.
The censored data is collected when a user enters text it triggers code to be sent to the web browser from Facebook. This code sent from Facebook then analyzes what was typed and sends the metadata back to Facebook. Experts have compared this method to how an email program creates a draft of an email message, but the difference is that a user knows that the draft is being created, unlike the Facebook tracking method.
If a user has a Facebook account, it means that they have agreed to the Facebook’s Data Use Policy. Most users are aware that agreeing to the policy means Facebook collects information that users choose to share. However, the policy goes even deeper. Facebook’s policy also covers tracking what users choose to type but do not share.
The study did say that Facebook was not tracking what users actually did say, and they only tracked if users censored their comment or status post. However, both Das and Kramer have stated in the study’s conclusion that they are looking to expand their study to see what was actually being censored. Facebook says that the more they know about why and how their users are self-censoring their posts, the more they can help to minimize it.
The study found five common reasons why people were possibly filtering their posts.
User will censor posts to stop an argument or to avoid instigating one.
People will also think twice about posting a comment if they fear they may offend someone.
Users may fear that they will bore their friends with the comment.
People may have a fear of being inconsistent with their own self-representations.
The user may be stopped by technical reasons.
The study also gathered demographics from the Facebook users with some behavioral features as well. In addition to these, Facebook also tracked the average number of friends, and their political ideology in relation to their friends’ beliefs. This information was used to cross reference the data gathered from their friends. Those cross sections were:
The user’s political stance compared to their friends views.
The user’s political ideology compared to how homogenous their friends are.
How gender-diverse their network is, in relation to their own gender.
Facebook has had much interest in how their users think and how they react with their site. There may be plans in future to track a user’s mouse movement over the Facebook page to further understand the user’s habits. So it should really come as no surprise when they are even tracking what users don’t type.
Amy Cramer, who finished law school in 2011, was one of the fortunate ones, if you define fortunate as finding a temporary job as an employee benefits consultant for $18 an hour soon after graduation.More than 14 percent of her classmates at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago had not found any job nine months after graduation. Cramer recently joined the ranks of unemployed lawyers when her contract job ended in October.
“I love the law, but being unemployed is very tough on the psyche,” said Cramer, 28. “I don’t know if it’s bad luck or something I’m doing wrong. There’s so much self-doubt in the process.” The job market has been tough for law school graduates for several years. But law schools were slow to react to changing market conditions. They kept growing enrollments, despite fewer jobs. In 2010, a record of more than 52,000 students started law school, according to data compiled by the American Bar Association, which accredits U.S. law schools. Since then, enrollments have fallen nationally amid a dwindling pool of applicants.
Would-be lawyers are thinking twice about spending $40,000 to $50,000 a year in private school tuition to study for a profession that isn’t creating enough new jobs to match the supply of graduates every year. The first to reduce their enrollments were lower-tier schools, according to published reports. But now the pain is spreading up the ranks. National admissions data for the entering Class of 2013 are being compiled by the American Bar Association, but a survey of law schools in Illinois shows sharp declines in enrollment.At Loyola University Chicago, the entering Class of 2013 was one-fourth smaller than the 2012 class. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign enrolled 170 students, which was 28, or 14 percent, fewer than a year ago.
Even elite schools can’t escape the trends. Northwestern University, No. 12 in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges rankings, trimmed its 2013 entering class of three-year law students to 177, or 14.5 percent, from 207 the year before. Unless law schools relax their admissions standards, enrollments may continue to shrink, judging by the numbers of people considering getting a Juris Doctor degree. The Law School Admission Council reported that 33,673 people took the law school entrance exam, known as the LSAT, in October, down nearly 11 percent from the same test month last year. The exam is administered four times a year.
The would-be professionals turning away from law school are not fleeing in any obvious direction. For example, interest in graduate business schools waned after 2009 amid a tepid recovery and uncertain job prospects. Applications for Master of Business Administration programs rebounded this year, but much of the increase came from overseas demand, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council.In the face of declining enrollments, the heads of law schools confront financial pressures that many have never dealt with. Schools are forgoing millions of dollars in tuition revenue by shrinking their enrollments. To balance their budgets, some deans have reduced faculty and staff through layoffs and attrition.
At the same time, they are spending limited resources to attract more students and find more jobs for their graduates. They are throwing themselves into curriculum reform and cajoling alums to hire students for either internships or full-time positions.”We’re in a longer-term correction in terms of jobs,” said Harold Krent, dean of the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. “Technology changes, globalization trends, corporate pressures on law firms and tax issues for state governments all have contributed. We have to ensure we continue to be as relevant as we can.”
IIT Chicago-Kent received 2,661 applications for its 2013 entering class, down 31 percent from 2010, when it received 3,854.Law schools face a difficult choice when the applicant pool shrinks. They can keep enrollment steady by loosening admissions standards, but the strategy could endanger their status in the influential rankings by U.S. News & World Report. Or they can preserve their academic credentials, accept fewer students and find ways to make up the revenue shortfall.
In 2012, Krent trimmed IIT Chicago-Kent’s first-year enrollment by 7 percent, from 308 full- and part-time students to 286, and the same number of students matriculated this year. From 2010 to 2013, the school has registered a modest decline in its median LSAT score, to 158 from 161, out of a possible score of 180.Krent said it hasn’t been easy balancing the goals of admitting students who can succeed in law school and pass the bar exam and maintaining revenue. Law school tuition also supports the undergraduate and graduate programs at the Illinois Institute of Technology. “Some people at the university would prefer if we guarantee 300 seats,” Krent said. David Yellen, Loyola’s law dean, said university officials supported his decision to cut the first-year class, agreeing to accept less revenue from the law school.
So prosecutors thought they had a solid case when they charged a Manatee County woman who failed to tell her female partner that she was HIV-positive. A Tampa appeals court, however, threw out the case, ruling that “sexual intercourse” could take place only with a penis and a vagina — in other words, between a man and a woman. But last month, a South Florida appeals court issued a conflicting opinion, upholding charges against a Key West man whom police had accused of lying about being HIV-positive to his male partner. The ruling more broadly defined intercourse, finding that it did not require opposite genders or specific body parts.The Florida Supreme Court is likely to end up resolving the clashing opinions, which are being closely monitored by gay-rights advocates.
On the one hand, they support legal rulings that convey equal status to same-sex relations — but they also oppose the HIV disclosure law, arguing that the long-controversial statute stigmatizes people infected with the virus. “It’s a progressive ruling, but the law itself is draconian,” said Norm Kent, a South Florida activist and criminal-defense lawyer who publishes the South Florida Gay News. Scott Schoettes, the HIV Project Director for the gay-rights group Lambda Legal, said it was hard to see “a silver lining” in a disclosure law he called unjust.
“It’s nice to have courts recognize relations between two men,” he said. “But it would be nice to recognize granting us our rights in an affirmative sense, not just when it comes to criminalizing our sex lives.” In Florida, it is a third-degree felony — punishable by up to five years in prison — for a person who knows he or she is HIV-positive to have sex with someone else without informing them. The law came into effect as part of the “Control of Sexually Transmissible Disease Act” that Florida lawmakers passed in 1986 as fears about HIV, which can lead to AIDS, were growing nationwide. The disclosure law also covers other sexually transmitted diseases, such as herpes, gonorrhea and chlamydia — but HIV is the only one that carries a felony charge. Thirty-four U.S. states and territories have passed similar laws. Detractors are widespread. In February, President Barack Obama’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS issued a resolution calling criminalization of HIV an “unjust, bad public health policy” that “is fueling the epidemic rather than reducing it.”
The council pushed for states to repeal or revise the laws. Critics say the laws ignore scientific data that show HIV is rarely transmitted through oral sex or digital penetration, and that the risk is often considerably low even in cases of vaginal or anal sex. “All of these laws are just based upon misconceptions about how easy it is to transmit HIV. It’s not that easy,” said Schoettes, a lawyer who believes the laws should be altered to include proving “intent” and that a victim actually contracted the virus.The law came under scrutiny in 2010, when the Second District Court of Appeal in Tampa took up the case of an HIV-positive Manatee County woman charged with having oral and digital-penetration sex with another woman.
Read more : miamiherald.com/2013/11/18/3763310/hiv-disclosure-law-sparks-unique.html#storylink=cpy
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pakistan’s former military ruler, Pervez Musharraf, was freed on bail Thursday after six months under house arrest.“Islamabad’s commissioner issued the release order at 10:30 a.m. today,” said Aasia Ishaque, a spokeswoman for Mr. Musharraf’s party, the All Pakistan Muslim League, referring to the top district official. A court granted bail to Mr. Musharraf on Sunday in a case related to his role in the 2007 military siege of a mosque in Islamabad where militants were holed up. His lawyers submitted surety bonds on Wednesday. He can travel freely within the country. But he is barred from traveling abroad without court permission, Ms. Ishaque said.
Speculation has been rife here that he will go into exile after his release, on the pretext of visiting his ailing mother in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. Ms. Ishaque denied the speculation. “He is not leaving,” she said. “He will stay in Pakistan.” Ms. Ishaque said the threat level to Mr. Musharraf’s security was “extraordinarily high.” “He will not hold any public meetings for the next two days,” she said. “After that, he will start meeting people and will also hold a press conference.” Since April, Mr. Musharraf has been at his farmhouse on the outskirts of Islamabad, the Pakistani capital. Paramilitary troops and police officers guard the premises because of threats against the former ruler from militants from the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
Mr. Musharraf, 70, was put under house arrest soon after his return to Pakistan from self-imposed exile in March. He faces an array of criminal charges, including involvement in the deaths of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto; a nationalist politician, Akbar Khan Bugti; and a religious leader, Abdul Rashid Ghazi. Mr. Musharraf has denied the accusations and said the cases against him are politically motivated. Mr. Musharraf took power after a bloodless military coup in 1999 and ruled until 2008, when he was defeated in an election. He faces potential treason charges over his role in suspending the Constitution in 2007, though few analysts believe that the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is likely to go ahead with those charges. Mr. Musharraf was disqualified from running in the general election in May, in which his party performed poorly. Few Pakistanis have shown much enthusiasm for returning him to power.