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Pussy Riot members burned and bruised in McDonald's attack

Two members of Pussy Riot were left with chemical burns and head injuries after they were attacked by youths in a branch of McDonald's, the group said Thursday. Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova were left covered in green stains after "an organised group" of young men attacked them with antiseptic, pepper spray and weapons, Tolokonnikova's husband Pyotr Verzilov said in an e-mail to AFP.

US man defends shooting teen in race-tinged trial

A Florida man who shot and killed a black teenager in a dispute over loud music defended himself in court Tuesday at a racially-charged trial which has revived memories of a notorious case that gripped the United States last year. The murder trial of Michael Dunn has drawn comparisons to that of neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who was cleared of killing teenager Trayvon Martin after claiming self-defense under Florida's controversial 'stand your ground' law.

Japan ruling bloc to start talks in April on SDF's territorial defense

The Liberal Democratic Party and the coalition partner New Komeito party plan to start negotiations in April on a possible expansion of Self-Defense Forces operations and a new legal framework for defending territory even when the country is not under armed attack, a ruling party lawmaker said Wednesday. A high legal hurdle stands in the way of the SDF using armed strength for defense. When Japan has not been under armed attack, the SDF can only conduct operations within the limits of policing, and the use of armed strength is banned.

Florida releases woman jailed for 20 years for firing 'warning shot'

(Reuters) - A Florida woman sentenced to 20 years in prison after firing a "warning shot" during an argument with her abusive husband has been released on bond while she awaits retrial under a controversial part of the state's self-defense law. The case of Marissa Alexander, who was convicted of aggravated-assault with a deadly weapon, touched off a furor when her supporters compared it to the self-defense case of George Zimmerman, who was acquitted earlier this year of murdering an unarmed black teenager.

Ohio House advances broad 'stand your ground' bill

By Kim Palmer CLEVELAND (Reuters) - Ohio's state House approved a broad "stand your ground" measure on Wednesday that would grant gun owners wider latitude to use their weapons to defend themselves. Lawmakers in the Republican-controlled House voted 62-27 to advance the bill to the state Senate. If it eventually becomes law, Ohio would join at least 22 other U.S. states that have a version of the law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Brazil's native protesters try to break into Congress

Some 300 indigenous protesters tried to force their way into Brazil's Congress on Wednesday to demand respect of their land rights but were thwarted by police. Police tightened security around the legislature and even used pepper spray as the natives, adorned with feathers and traditional garb and carrying spears and arrows, raced to try to get inside. "There were about 300 indigenous people in the protests outside Congress. They tried to break in but were stopped by police who had to use pepper spray," a military spokesman told AFP.

New trial for Florida woman jailed for firing 'warning shot' at husband

By Bill Cotterell TALLAHASSEE, Florida (Reuters) - A woman sentenced to 20 years in prison after firing a "warning shot" during an argument with her abusive husband was granted a new trial on Thursday in a case under Florida's controversial self-defense law. The aggravated-assault conviction of Marissa Alexander, 32, touched off a furor last summer when her supporters compared it to the self-defense case of watchman George Zimmerman, who was later acquitted.

Florida woman jailed for firing 'warning shot' at husband wins new trial

By Bill Cotterell TALLAHASSEE, Florida (Reuters) - A woman sentenced to 20 years in prison after firing a "warning shot" during an argument with her abusive husband won a new trial on Thursday in a case under Florida's controversial self-defense law. A state appeals court ruled that Marissa Alexander, 32, deserved a new trial because the judge failed to properly instruct the jury regarding her claim of self-defense.

Over 100 women take up arms in Mexico to defend community

Mexico City, Aug 19 (EFE).- More than 100 women in the southern Mexican town of Xaltianguis have taken up arms to protect their community from organized crime groups, a local self-defense force official said Monday. The women signed up over the past four days with the Union of Peoples and Organizations of Guerrero State, or UPOEG, Xaltianguis community self-defense force commander Miguel Angel Jimenez told reporters.

New legislation body head eager to discuss collective self-defense

The new head of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau said Monday he is eager to discuss reviewing the government's current interpretation of Japan's war-renouncing Constitution over whether the country can exercise the right to collective self-defense. Ichiro Komatsu, former Japanese ambassador to France, said in an interview with Kyodo News that the bureau will be "proactively involved" in debating whether to change the current government interpretation.
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