Week of Jan.13 News Briefs


Atlanta demonstrators appear in court

Dozens of Atlanta protesters were arrested on Nov. 24 after the Ferguson grand jury decision,  according to NBC 11 Alive. They were released and appeared in an Atlanta City courtroom on Jan. 6. Those arrested were charged with either disorderly conduct or obstruction of a walkway. Thirty Atlanta lawyers have come together to volunteer and represent the demonstrators. The legal team insists several of the accused were only walking down the street. Judge Herman Sloan dismissed charges against several individuals and reset the court date of 15 others to Jan. 21.



Teen refuses chemo

A prior ruling by the Connecticut Supreme Court stating that 17 year-old Hodgkins lymphoma patient, Cassandra Callender, cannot refuse chemotherapy was upheld on Jan. 8, according to Fox News. Callender was diagnosed in September 2014 and went missing in November after two treatments. The teen returned home and refused further treatment with support of her mother Jackie Fortin. The family now argues the girl believes chemotherapy will harm her body more than the cancer. The hospital reported Fortin and the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) took temporary custody of the girl. The state then argued the teen didn’t understand the seriousness of her diagnosis and lacked the competence to make a mature decision.



Blogger punished for insulting Islam

Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for a reported cybercrime and insulting Islam, according to BBC News. On Jan. 9, Badawi received the first 50 lashes on his back publicly in the city Jeddah. Additional flogging will occur weekly. The blogger was previously cleared of charges claiming he had renounced Islam, which may resulted in the death penalty. Badawi is the co-founder of the Liberal Saudi Network, a website that is now banned. Islamic law is strictly enforced in Saudi Arabia and political dissent is not tolerated. A spokeswoman from the U.S. state department has reached out asking Saudi Arabia to cancel his punishment and review his case.