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French court to rule on Hollande affair lawsuit

A French court is to rule Thursday on the breach-of-privacy suit brought by actress Julie Gayet against Closer magazine for revealing her relationship with President Francois Hollande. The court in the Paris suburb of Nanterre is due to rule around 1330 GMT on Gayet's request of 50,000 euros ($69,000) in compensation and 4,000 euros in legal costs from the magazine. Closer set off a political earthquake in France in January by publishing photos of Hollande, 59, and Gayet, 41, arriving separately at a Paris apartment for alleged trysts.

Secrecy plagues Japanese executions

Human rights group Amnesty International said Thursday that Japan's use of capital punishment was "shrouded in secrecy" and criticised its treatment of death row prisoners who are kept in solitary confinement for years. Launching its annual review of the death penalty around the world, Amnesty said the United Nation's Committee Against Torture has signalled its concerns about the Japanese criminal justice system.

Amnesty International slams Japan's "secrecy" on death penalty

Human rights group Amnesty International criticized Japan on Thursday for its continued used of the death penalty and the "secrecy" surrounding the execution process. At the launch of Amnesty's annual release of death penalty statistics, spokeswoman Chiara Sangiorgio said Japan must give proper notice to death row inmates before the executions take place. She told Kyodo News, "They wonder every day if this will be their last. International standards require families, lawyers and the prisoners to be informed prior to the execution."

Conservative MP Steven Fletcher behind coming bill to allow assisted suicide

OTTAWA - A former Conservative cabinet minister who was left paralyzed from the neck down by a 1996 car crash plans to introduce two private member's bills which would allow assisted suicide in some cases. Stephen Fletcher, a Manitoba MP who was dropped from the federal cabinet last summer, is going against government policy with his legislation. One of Fletcher's two bills would, if passed, allow doctors to help people end their lives under certain restricted circumstances. The second would set up a commission to monitor the system.

Brazil's Congress approves Internet legislation, assuring equal access and user privacy.

SAO PAULO - The lower house of Brazil's Congress has approved legislation meant to ensure the privacy of Internet users and to guarantee what's called "Internet neutrality," that all content be treated equally by carriers. The bill known as the "Internet constitution" was approved Tuesday night, though it still must pass the Senate before becoming law. Approval was ensured last week when the government dropped a provision that would have required Internet companies such as Google and Facebook to store any information on Brazilian users on servers located in the country.

Sweden jails neo-nazis for attack on anti-racism march

Three Swedish neo-nazis were handed prison sentences on Wednesday for attacking a peaceful anti-racism demonstration in a Stockholm suburb last December, a district court said. Demonstrators including families with small children said they were attacked with bottles, stones, pepper spray and fire crackers while protesting against an uptick in swastika graffiti and nazi propaganda in the area. "The incident in Kaerrtorp on December 15, 2013 has been deemed a case of violent rioting," Soedertoern district court said in a statement.

Brazil's anti-spy Internet bill clears lower house vote

By Anthony Boadle BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil's lower chamber of Congress approved groundbreaking legislation on Tuesday aimed at guaranteeing equal access to the Internet and protecting the privacy of its users in the wake of U.S. spying revelations. To ensure passage of the bill, the government had to drop a contentious provision that would have forced global Internet companies to store data on Brazilian servers inside the country.

Brazil's anti-spy Internet bill clears lower house vote

By Anthony Boadle BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil's lower chamber of Congress approved groundbreaking legislation on Tuesday aimed at guaranteeing equal access to the Internet and protecting the privacy of its users in the wake of U.S. spying revelations. To ensure passage of the bill, the government had to drop a contentious provision that would have forced global Internet companies to store data on Brazilian servers inside the country.

Obama says U.S. needs to win back trust after NSA spying

By Adrian Croft THE HAGUE (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that U.S. intelligence agencies were not snooping on ordinary citizens but admitted it would take time to win back the trust of European governments and people after revelations of extensive U.S. surveillance. Former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden's disclosures about the sweep of the National Security Agency's monitoring activities triggered a national debate over privacy rights but also damaged relations with some European governments.

Student loan data on half a million people was left unsecured: watchdog

OTTAWA - A portable hard drive containing personal information on more than half a million people who took out student loans was left unsecured for extended periods and lacked password protection and encryption, says the federal privacy czar. Employees handling the device were not aware of the sensitivity of the information it contained, concludes a report from interim privacy commissioner Chantal Bernier. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada acknowledged last year the drive held data on 583,000 Canada Student Loans Program borrowers from 2000 to 2006.
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