Widespread shock as supreme court endorses dissolution of union between woman from Hindu family and Muslim man and orders forced marriage inquiry
The Indian supreme court has upheld a decision to annul the marriage of a 24-year-old woman in Kerala and force her to live back at her parents’ house because she married a Muslim man.
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Whether shouted or tweeted, prejudice devastates lives. That’s why prosecutors are committed to taking internet hate crimes as seriously as face to face ones
• Alison Saunders is the director of public prosecutions
People all over the world are questioning how those in positions of power can counter the kinds of extreme views that are increasingly being aired, and how societies might do more to prevent such opinions from gestating in the first place. These are huge questions with no straightforward answers. For many people in the UK, the scenes in Charlottesville last weekend may appear to be of scant relevance to their own lives. Even Thursday’s horrific events in Barcelona may feel somewhat distant.
But we should remember that there is a less visible frontline which is easily accessible to those in the UK who hold extreme views on race, religion, sexuality, gender and even disability. I refer to the online world where an increasing proportion of hate crime is now perpetrated. And this is why the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) today commits to treat online hate crimes as seriously as those committed face to face.
Hate crime is not only damaging for individuals but also for society, where it sows seeds of division and intolerance
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Readers Fr Alec Mitchell, Judith Daniels and Dr Henry Thompson respond to Joanna Moorhead’s article Confession is sacrosanct
As a (sinful) Anglo-Catholic priest, I, too, would never disclose anything said to me during the sacrament of confession (or reconciliation, as many now prefer to call it), even under threat of prosecution (Confession is sacrosanct, Joanna Moorhead, 17 August).
However, the confessor is at liberty to prescribe an act of penance, and this could surely include, in cases such as child abuse, domestic violence, or murder, for example, a promise to seek professional help, or even an admission of guilt to the appropriate authorities, before any further absolving could be given. In this way, all consciences would be respected and sacrilegiousness avoided.
Fr Alec Mitchell
Columbia professor Mark Lilla thinks an obsession with identity politics has wrecked American liberalism. Two writers respond to his provocative new book
Campus experiences lead him to say things which are half-true, untrue, false or completely meaningless
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The Democratic party has morphed into the home of graduate degree America, Black Lives Matter and Lena Dunham of Girls
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Eurosceptics want to ‘take control’ – but if the UK wants to maintain close links with the EU, it will need a compatible legal system
Since the UK voted to leave the EU, Theresa May has tried to boil down arguments over Brexit to simple soundbites. One of the favourite phrases deployed by the prime minister and her team is that the United Kingdom will “take back control” from Europe – over money, borders, and laws.
In a speech in January laying out the government’s negotiating stance, May was clear on the legal dimension of departure. Brexit would see the UK making a clear break from the jurisdiction of the European court of justice (ECJ), the Luxembourg-based guardian and interpreter of EU law, as it leaves the single market and customs union.
Doubts cast over Brexit red line as cabinet prepares to reveal more of its thinking this week
Theresa May’s Brexit strategy has been thrown into new doubt as a former head of the government’s legal services ridicules the prime minister’s claim that the UK can break free of all European laws while continuing to reap the economic benefits of the EU’s single market.
Sir Paul Jenkins, who was the government’s most senior legal official for eight years until 2014, told the Observer that the prime minister’s policy on the legal implications of Brexit was “foolish”. He insisted that if the UK wants to retain close links with the single market and customs union it will have no option but to observe EU law “in all but name”.
Related: Farewell to the ECJ? We may end up obeying laws but having no say in them
Ireland’s new taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, has been much more sceptical than the UK about the potential for avoiding border posts via virtual checks on importers. Whilst agreeing with British ministers and EU negotiators that it is inconceivable for there to be a return to a hard border with the north, Dublin argues that the best way for the UK to achieve this would be by permanently remaining in a customs union with the EU and seeking single market membership like Norway through the European Economic Area. The UK has conceded that some of this will be necessary in its interim phase after Brexit, but hopes clever technological solutions can allow it have looser economic links in the long run. Varadkar is not alone in being sceptical about whether such a cake-and-eat-it customs and trade strategy is viable.
Related: Breaking with the European court of justice won’t be easy | Toby Helm
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Surge comes after National Crime Agency report reveals there are potentially tens of thousands of victims in Britain
The number of calls to the modern slavery hotline has doubled in a week after the National Crime Agency’s report on the “shocking” scale of the problem.
The helpline, for people to report suspicions of modern slavery, received 150 calls in seven days this week, up from a weekly average of 75.
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Ex-criminals tell Co-op Insurance most thieves are opportunists who tend to avoid difficult break-ins
Burglars are most likely to be put off breaking into homes by CCTV cameras and barking dogs, according to a panel of former criminals.
Nearly half of the 12 former burglars consulted by Co-op Insurance said most thieves were opportunists wandering the streets who would avoid difficult break-ins that were likely to attract attention.
Terms of settlement undisclosed in case brought by Suleiman Abdullah Salim and Mohamed Ben Soud, who were held in a secret facility in Afghanistan
A settlement in a lawsuit against two psychologists who were paid tens of millions of dollars to design torture techniques used by the CIA in black-site prisons was announced on Thursday. The terms of the settlement were undisclosed.
Two of the plaintiffs in the case, Suleiman Abdullah Salim and Mohamed Ben Soud, were held and brutalized in 2003 in a secret CIA facility in Afghanistan that prisoners called “The Darkness”. Salim, who is Tanzanian, and Ben Soud, who is Libyan, were eventually released and are now living in their home countries with their families.
Related: Creators of the CIA’s ‘enhanced interrogation’ program to face trial
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Campaigners in Hong Kong and abroad say it is vindictive to imprison pro-democracy protestors over a sit-in. They are right
The jailing of Joshua Wong, Hong Kong’s youthful “face of protest”, and of his fellow activists Nathan Law and Alex Chow, is technically a matter of law but in reality one of politics. Two of them had already carried out community service for unlawful assembly or inciting unlawful assembly; the third had received a suspended sentence. That was not enough. They have been at the forefront of the pro-democracy movement, inspiring many more in Hong Kong to rally in defence of the greater freedoms it has enjoyed compared to the mainland under the “one country-two systems” formula. Authorities have been determined to silence these voices. By appealing against the “rather dangerous” supposed leniency of the original sentences, they have succeeded, for now.
The trio were among those who forced their way into Civic Square, just outside government offices, to hold a sit-in in 2014. Their arrests helped to spark the Umbrella Movement, an unprecedented mass act of peaceful civil disobedience which gave the lie to the belief that Hong Kong people do not care about politics or civil rights, only prosperity and stability. Many do; but young people in particular are increasingly concerned about the erosion of the region’s way of life – theoretically guaranteed until 2047, 50 years after handover, but in reality worn down at an increasing speed.