Belize’s Supreme Court Just Struck Down A Law That Made Homosexuality Illegal – BuzzFeed News

Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin ruled on August 10 that the law criminalizing “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” violates constitutional protections for human dignity, privacy, and equality before the law. The case had been brought by Caleb Orozco, director of United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) more than six years ago. The Chief Justice ruled that the definition of “sex” in the country’s constitution, includes sexual orientation. BuzzFeed has the text of the ruling. Activists hope that the ruling will have an impact on other Caribbean countries; the attorney general of Antigua said that the government would be “looking at” the ruling. American Religious Right groups such as the Alliance Defending Freedom and C-Fam have provided support to Belize Action, a group that fought the decriminalization effort. (Religious Dispatches)

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EPA Issues Publication About Cleaning Up Brownfield Sites and Getting to No Further Action

Please see the New York State portions of the USEPA’s publication: “Cleaning Up Brownfields Under State Response Programs – Getting to ‘No Further Action'”:  http://www.dec.ny.gov/data/der/factsheet/epabfnfa.pdf

These pages provide information on aspects of New York State’s response programs available to owners and prospective purchasers of brownfields.  It is a guide for owners of brownfields properties on the general requirements for entering a brownfield into a state cleanup program and the process for attaining a state decision or certification of the need for “no further action”.

The full report may be found at: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/cleaning-brownfields-under-state-response-programs-getting-no-further-action

Solid Waste Management Facilities (Part 360), Proposed Regulations – NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

Comprehensive Revisions, Enhancements and Structure Changes

This proposed rulemaking is a comprehensive revision to existing regulations. The last comprehensive revisions to the regulations governing solid waste management in New York State occurred in 1993. In support of these regulatory changes a Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DGEIS) [PDF] (292 KB) has been prepared. The revisions include technical amendments and clarifications, as well as updated criteria needed due to legal and policy developments.

The existing regulations for solid waste management facilities are currently found in Part 360. A component of this proposed rulemaking is to subdivide the solid waste management facility regulations into groups that are similar in nature, such as facilities that recycle and recover materials. Therefore, the current Part 360 criteria will be found in Parts 360, 361, 362, 363, 365, and 366. In addition to the solid waste management facilities and activities currently regulated under Part 360, this proposed rulemaking includes revisions to regulations governing waste transportation (Part 364) and state assistance grants to municipalities related to solid waste management (Part 369). This rulemaking will also incorporate minor amendments to Parts 621 and Parts 370-374.

Read more here…

Tax Breaks for the Military

IRS Summertime Tax Tip 2016-06, July 15, 2016

If you are in the U. S. Armed Forces, there are special tax breaks for you. For example, some types of pay are not taxable. Certain rules apply to deductions or credits that you may be able to claim that can lower your tax. In some cases, you may get more time to file your tax return. You may also get more time to pay your income tax. Click Here for some tips to keep in mind.

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Federal Student Loan Discharge Procedures Expand-Empire Justice Center

Advocates will recall that in 2012, the Department of Education amended its regulations governing discharge of federal student loans based on total and permanent disability.  See the December edition of the Disability Law News, http://www.empirejustice.org/issue-areas/disability-benefits/non-disability-issues/misc/federal-student-loan.html#.V3QEscv6vIU.  But not all disabled borrowers were aware of or able to take advantage these provisions. 

As part of the March 2015 Presidential Student Aid Bill of Rights Memorandum, President Obama required the Secretary of Education and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, in consultation with the Commissioner of Social Security, to develop a plan to identify federal student loan borrowers who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and determine which beneficiaries qualify for a total and permanent disability discharge of their student loans.  In April, the Department of Education announced it will begin contacting borrowers identified by this match to inform them of the loan cancellation process. 

Of the people the Department identified, over 100,000 of those borrowers have been certified for the Treasury Offset Program, meaning that they are at risk of losing federal tax refunds, and of  having a portion of their Social Security benefits taken.  While the new matching program is intended to help SSDI recipients apply for this relief, it will not automatically stop those offsets from occurring.  Borrowers still need to apply for relief.  A Department of Education website includes information on how to get a “total and permanent disability” discharge of federal student loan debt.  There is also an online application.  http://www.disabilitydischarge.com/Application-Process/. 

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Life of the Law

www.lifeofthelaw.org

“Law is alive,” the authors of Life of the Law

declare. “It doesn’t live in books and words. It

thrives on our streets, in our schools, in our

courtrooms, and in our lives.” Written and produced

by a team of journalists and scholars, Life of the

Law is a regular 30-minute podcast dedicated to

examining legal news and history in a manner that

enables everyone – not just trained legal scholars –

to understand the significance and nuances of these

developments. Recent episodes have covered the

impact of new French anti-terrorist policies on

French citizens, the history of forced-sterilization

laws and the question of modern-day reparations to

survivors, and an examination of the jury selection

process. On its website, users can browse through

past podcasts (currently there are 85) and either

listen online or download full PDF transcripts.

Interested listeners can subscribe to this podcast

on iTunes as well. 

Copyright © 2016 Internet Scout Research Group – http://scout.wisc.edu

Gretchen Carlson’s Lawsuit Against Roger Ailes

Gretchen Carlson‘s Lawsuit Against Roger Ailes

Ms. Carlson, the Fox anchor, says that Roger Ailes, the chairman of Fox News, fired her from the network after she refused his sexual advances.

Read the Complaint here.

Original Document (PDF) »

Contributed by: News Documents, The New York Times

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