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News@Law, 12/18/2015

News@Law is a selection of the day's news clips regarding Harvard Law School.
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Bloomberg View
Arab Spring’s Dreams Became the Islamic State Nightmare
An op-ed by Noah Feldman:  Five years ago today, the self-immolation of Tunisian fruit sellerMohamed Bouazizi sparked the Arab Spring. At this distance, it's possible to ask a difficult question: Has the Arab Spring been good for the Arabic-speaking world? Are most people better off than they were five years ago? It's also possible to give a disturbing answer, one born of deep respect and admiration for those who bravely protested and in many cases gave their lives for dignity, justice and democracy.With the exception of Bouazizi’s home country of Tunisia, the uprisings associated with the Arab Spring have either been thwarted by dictators and monarchs or led to civil war and anarchy. Extraordinary as it was, the Arab Spring wasn't enough to lift the citizens of the countries involved out of political subjugation and into collective self-government.
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The Diplomat
Myanmar’s Government Is Persecuting Muslims Through Court Convictions
Last week, human rights group Fortify Rights called on the Myanmar government to drop charges against Muslim men on discriminatory grounds. There has been continued persecution of the Muslim community in the country – particularly against the Rohingya, who are subject to arbitrary arrest, institutional discrimination, detention, harassment, and killings. ...One of the defendant’s lawyers, Nandar Myint Thein, told The Intercept that the prosecution didn’t submit any “real evidence.” Matthew Bugher, a Fortify Rights representative in Myanmar and formerly a Global Justice Fellow at Harvard Law School, told The Diplomat, “Frankly, we have no clue what motivated the government to arrest these individuals… the only thing that we can be certain about is that the government failed miserably to support its case against the defendants.”
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Aljazeera America
Security experts question link between encryption and terror
The debate over whether tech companies should be required to break encrypted Internet communications for national security reasons has heated up since the Dec. 2 attack in San Bernardino, California, and reports on Friday that suspects in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks used the encrypted platform WhatsApp to plan their deadly rampage. ...In that light, the debate over encryption “doesn’t seem like a tailored response to the threat" but rather, "something law enforcement have been trying to pursue" for some time, said Andy Sellars, a fellow at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society and an advocate for digital rights. "Encryption is how we bank online, share medical records, private emails, etc.,” he added, so what lawmakers are proposing “could compromise our daily activities in a way ISIS never could.”
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Bloomberg Business
This Parent Trap Involves $71 Billion of Federal Education Debt
The U.S. government is sitting on a growing pile of debt backed by little more than parental love. That’s because parents can borrow tens of thousands of dollars a year for their kids’ college education without showing they can pay it back. About 3 million parents have $71 billion in loans, contributing to more than $1.2 trillion in federal education debt. As of May 2014, half of the balance was in deferment, racking up interest at annual rates as high as 7.9 percent. “It’s deeply problematic that the federal government is making relatively high-interest loans without thinking about, much less checking, whether the people they’re lending to will be crippled by this debt,” said Toby Merrill, a Harvard Law School lecturer who has counseled defaulted parents through the school’s Project on Predatory Student Lending. “We’re impoverishing the less-privileged population who are aging. That’s a terrible policy.”
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Newsweek
How a ’90s Internet law determined a 2014 rape case (exclusive
...“We can stay out a little longer,” [Owen] Labrie tells me after lunch. With glasses, an untucked shirt and a sweater, the 20-year-old has the casual mien of a college student, but Labrie is not in school. He was supposed to be a sophomore at Harvard by now. Instead, he’s on a kind of parole, with a strict curfew. The former prep school superstar was convicted earlier this year on misdemeanor and felony sex charges involving a younger girl, and he has to get to his mother’s soon, or he’ll be subject to arrest. ... You can understand prosecutors wanting to use the Internet predator statutes to widen the scope of their investigation of Labrie. It allowed them broader subpoenas. It was a wrench in their toolbox, and they used it. “But that’s a total dodge,” says Nancy Gertner, a Harvard Law professor, Democratic appointee to the federal bench and a women’s rights attorney who is not the only feminist troubled by Labrie’s case, especially how it began as a three-week plea deal and ended up as a felony and a lifetime on the sex registry. “They had discretion.”
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Politico
A big week ahead, as lawmakers look to fund the government
Ted Cruz and Mike Lee released an interesting bill last week: the RESULTS Act, intended to provide for reciprocal approvals of drugs and devices. (For example, if, say, Canada approves Drug X for sale up north, FDA would have to consider doing so as well.) But Harvard scholar Rachel Sachs believes the law’s title is a bit of a misnomer
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Harvard Gazette
An enduring Christmas groove
Melancholy, upbeat, serene, and infectious are just some of the words that describe Vince Guaraldi’s quintessential holiday soundtrack, “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” whose unforgettable blend of jazz and carols has enchanted listeners for 50 years. The music, many agree, is the backbone of the beloved animated special starring cartoonist George M. Schulz’s “Peanuts” gang. ... For many, including Harvard Law School faculty assistant Brad Conner, the composer’s fusion of Latin rhythms and blues riffs with traditional Christmas music served as an introduction to jazz. As a boy growing up in West Virginia, Conner loved the show’s animation, but it was Guaraldi’s music that captivated him.
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