BREAKING NEWS: The #nobelprize2014 in Peace is awarded to Indian Kailash Satyarthi and Pakistani Malala Yousafzay
He was also given a 3-year suspended sentence for a firearms conviction.
Last month, Judge Thokozile Masipa found the double-amputee athlete not guilty of murder, but guilty of culpable homicide.
Pistorius, 27, did not dispute that he shot and killed Steenkamp. However, Pistorius argued that he believed she was an intruder when he shot her through a locked bathroom door at his home in Pretoria in the early-morning hours of Feb. 14, 2013.
Prosecutors had called for a minimum of 10 years in prison, while attorneys for Pistorius suggested a lighter sentence combining house arrest with community service, saying prisons would not be able to accommodate his disability, according to The Associated Press.
His attorneys also said the leader of a prison gang had threatened Pistorius.
Pistorius rose to fame by competing in running events while wearing the blade-like prosthetics that gave him his nickname, “Blade Runner.” In 2012, he became the first amputee to compete in an Olympic track event, running in two events in the 2012 Summer Games in London.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated that Pistorius had been given a suspended sentence. He was sentenced to 5 years in prison for the count of culpable homicide, and 3 years suspended for the firearms count.
BREAKING: Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced to 5 years in prison for culpable homicide. #OscarTrial #PistoriusTrial #OscarPistorius
— Justin Gibson (@JGibsonDem)October 21, 2014
BREAKING: Oscar Pistorius sentenced to 5 years in prison pic.twitter.com/RoRAyWgO49— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews)October 21, 2014
#OscarPistorius Masipa: 27 years old, double amputee, no employment, no previous convictions.— Gia Nicolaides (@GiaNicolaides)October 21, 2014
#OscarPistorius Masipa: Corrections certain it could deal with disabilities among prisoners— Laurel Irving (@laurelirving7)October 21, 2014
Masipa turns to #OscarPistorius’ personal circumstances: currently not employed, single, no previous convictions, double amputee.— Nastasya Tay (@NastasyaTay)October 21, 2014
The judge is known to give harsh sentences for violence against women so that should have a bearing on #OscarPistorius sentencing— Drew (@KhocolateRain)October 21, 2014
#OscarPistorius Masipa: This would not be the first time they deal with a disabled accused - I believe they are equipped to deal with OP.— POWER987 News (@POWER987News)October 21, 2014
#OscarPistorius Masipa: If an inmate required a bench in the shower - I cannot think that he would not be accommodated.— POWER987 News (@POWER987News)October 21, 2014
Both offences by #OscarPistorius “very serious” says Judge, citing “gross negligence” argument of prosecution.— andrew harding (@BBCAndrewH)October 21, 2014
Judge accepts #OscarPistorius remorse, as shown in court and in efforts to reach out to R Steenkamp’s family.— andrew harding (@BBCAndrewH)October 21, 2014
#OscarPistorius Courts do not exist to win popularity contests, says Masipa— Kamva Somdyala (@kamva_somdyala)October 21, 2014
“The loss of life cannot be reversed… hopefully this sentence will provide some sort of closure for the family” - Masipa #OscarPistorius— The New Daily (@TheNewDaily_)October 21, 2014
Masipa says correctional supervision, suggested by Marinag adn Vergeer, is not appropriate #OscarPistorius MV— Jacaranda Newsteam (@JacaNews)October 21, 2014
— Seala (@seala_m)October 21, 2014
They won “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”
Updated — Oct. 10, 9:13 a.m. ET
Pakistani teen Malala Yousafzai and Indian children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi are the joint winners of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, it has been announced.
The pair were given the honor by the Nobel committee “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”
Malala — a teenage education activist who was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman on a school bus in 2012 — becomes the youngest recipient in the prize’s history.
The pair will share prize money of 8 million kronor, or $1.11 million.Carlo Allegri / Reuters
A statement from the Nobel committee said: “Despite her youth, Malala Yousafzai has already fought for several years for the right of girls to education, and has shown by example that children and young people, too, can contribute to improving their own situations.
“This she has done under the most dangerous circumstances. Through her heroic struggle she has become a leading spokesperson for girls’ rights to education.”
Malala tweeted this in reaction her win:
A press release has said she intends to make a full statement after she finishes her school day.
In an interview, Nobel institute head Geir Lundestad hinted that Malala did not receive the prize last year due to her age:
We waited. We did not give Malala the Noble Peace Prize last year. The committee took its time. We have seen her in action throughout the world. The committee has been remarkably impressed how she has been able, despite her young age, to speak and have a tremendous impact … people are incredibly moved by Malala. So we took our time but we are very optimistic that this will work out well. Of course, its true, she’s a girl, she’s 17-years-old and this will dramatically change her life and we hope for the better.
The Nobel committee said Kailash Satyathi’s work — which focuses on preventing child labor — had followed in the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi.Getty Images/Bobby Bank
“Showing great personal courage, Kailash Satyarthi, maintaining Gandhi’s tradition, has headed various forms of protests and demonstrations, all peaceful, focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain,” the Nobel committee said in a statement.
“He has also contributed to the development of important international conventions on children’s rights.”
The Nobel committee also remarked on the significance of rewarding the prize to both a Pakistani and an Indian, as they “join in a common struggle for education and against extremism.”
In an interview with the Nobel Prize’s website, Satyarthi said it was a “great honour,” and a “great moment for all those children” forced to work through their childhoods.w.soundcloud.com / Via Nobel Prize
Leaders and dignitaries from around the world have tweeted their congratulations to the pair:
BREAKING: Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, former dictator of Haiti, has died of a heart attack, his lawyer reports. He was 63 years old.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Jean-Claude Duvalier, who presided over what was widely acknowledged as a corrupt and brutal regime as the self-proclaimed “president for life” of Haiti until a popular uprising sent him into…
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Jean-Claude Duvalier, who presided over what was widely acknowledged as a corrupt and brutal regime as the self-proclaimed “president for life” of Haiti until a popular uprising sent him into a 25-year exile, has died. He was 63.
Duvalier died Saturday from a heart attack at the home of a friend in Port-au-Prince where he had been staying, said his lawyer, Reynold Georges, and several officials in the impoverished nation.
The former leader, known as “Baby Doc,” made a surprise return to Haiti in 2011, allowing victims of his regime to pursue legal claims against him in Haitian courts and prompting some old allies to rally around him. Neither side gained much traction, however, and a frail Duvalier spent his final years quietly in the leafy hills above the Haitian capital.
Haitian President Michel Martelly expressed his condolences to the former dictator’s family, making no mention of the widespread human rights abuses that occurred under Duvalier and his more notorious predecessor and father, François “Papa Doc” Duvalier.
"On behalf of the entire government and people of Haiti, I take this sad occasion to extend my sincere sympathies to his family, his relatives and his supporters across the country," Martelly said.
The elder Duvalier was a medical doctor-turned-dictator who promoted “Noirisme,” a movement that sought to highlight Haiti’s African roots over its European ones while uniting the black majority against the mulatto elite in a country divided by class and color.
"Papa Doc" tortured and killed political opponents, relying on a dreaded civilian militia known as the Tonton Macoutes.
In 1971, François Duvalier suddenly died of an illness after naming his son to succeed him. At 19, Jean-Claude Duvalier became the world’s youngest president.
Jean-Claude Duvalier ruled for 15 years, retaining the Tonton Macoutes and the brutality of his father’s regime, though to a lesser extent. The son’s administration was seen as less violent and repressive than that of the father, though it perhaps was more corrupt.
Wisps of press freedom and personal criticism, something never tolerated under the elder Duvalier, emerged sporadically during the reign of “Baby Doc” because of international pressure. Still, human rights groups documented abuses and political persecution. A trio of prisons known as the “Triangle of Death,” which included the much-feared Fort Dimanche for long-term inmates, symbolized the brutality of his regime.
Since his return from exile, victims of the regime have testified in a criminal investigation of human rights abuses during his 15-year reign but the case has moved fitfully and there had been few signs of progress. His death brings an end to that effort without giving Haiti a chance to reconcile with that past, said Amy Wilentz, author of “The Rainy Season: Haiti Since Duvalier,” and other works about the country.
"What this means is that there will never be a trial against him and there won’t be a chance for the Haitian people to have justice and to purge from its soul the true horrors of the Duvalier era," Wilentz said. "It’s an end but there is no closure that comes with it."
As president, Duvalier married the daughter of a wealthy coffee merchant, Michèle Bennett, in 1980. The relationship caused a scandal among old Duvalierists because she was a mulatto. The lavish wedding, which reportedly cost $5 million, also caused an uproar given Haiti’s deep poverty.
Under Duvalier’s rule, Haiti saw widespread demographic changes. Peasants moved to the capital in search of work as factories popped up to meet the growing demand for cheap labor. Thousands of professionals fled a climate of repression for cities such as New York, Miami and Montreal.
Tourists also flocked to the country, some in search of a form of tropical hedonism that included booze, prostitution and Voodoo ceremonies for which the country became legendary.
The National Palace became known for opulent parties as Duvalier’s wife took overseas shopping sprees to decorate and collect fur coats. Duvalier relished taking his presidential yacht out for a spin and racing about in sports cars.
Under mounting pressure from the administration of U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Duvalier made pretenses of improving the country’s human rights record by releasing political prisoners. Still, journalists and activists were jailed or exiled. Haitians without visas or money left by boarding flimsy boats in a desperate effort to reach Florida shores.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch estimated that up to 30,000 Haitians were killed, many by execution, under the regime of the two Duvaliers.
As Haiti’s living conditions deteriorated, Pope John-Paul II made a visit in 1983 and famously declared: “Things must change.”
Three years later, they did. A popular uprising swept across Haiti, and Duvalier and his wife boarded a U.S.-government C-141 for France.
The couple divorced in 1993. Duvalier later became involved with Véronique Roy, who accompanied him on his 2011 return to Haiti.
While in exile in France, Duvalier occasionally made public statements about his eagerness to return to Haiti. Supporters periodically marched on his behalf in the Haitian capital.
On Jan. 16, 2011, Duvalier made his surprise return. He said he wanted to help in the reconstruction of Haiti, whose capital and outlying cities were heavily damaged by a magnitude-7.0 earthquake the year before. Many suspected he came back in an effort to reclaim money he had allegedly stashed. Others said he merely wanted to die in his homeland.
Despite the occasional stay in the hospital, Duvalier seemed to enjoy his new life back home and was free to roam the capital. He was spotted attending government ceremonies and dining with friends in several high-end restaurants. In 2013 he began renovating an old house that Roy said had been destroyed in the wake of his 1986 ouster.
Duvalier and his wife, Michèle, had two children, son François Nicolas “Nico” and daughter Anya.
Rain falls on Hong Kong’s #UmbrellaRevolution
SCMP: Protesters in Hong Kong have defied heavy rain as they continue to gather on the eve of China’s October 1st National Day, a major public holiday celebrated across the country, to protest the city’s embattled chief executive and to fight for democratic elections.
Photo: Rain falls on Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay (Felix Wong)
Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona-based Religious Right powerhouse, has urged Slovakia’s constitutional court to allow anti-gay activists to place a referendum on the country’s ballot that would reinforce the current bans on same-sex marriage, adoption, and domestic partner protections and add a provision making it harder for schools to offer sex education.
The court is considering a petition seeking a referendum submitted by the Slovak Alliance for Family. The measure calls for a vote on four questions:
· The definition of a marriage as a union of one man and one woman.
· A requirement that adoptive parents be married.
· Prohibiting registered partnerships between gay and lesbian couples.
· Permitting parents to opt out their children from sex education classes taught at public schools.
"The people of Slovakia should have the freedom to preserve marriage and family if they so choose," said Alliance Defending Freedom senior legal counsel Roger Kiska, who filed an amicus brief with the court. "This referendum will allow Slovaks to affirm current Slovak law and important social values, which is perfectly acceptable under the Slovak Constitution."
The opt-out of sex education classes, however, is not existing law.
More than 400,000 citizens signed the petition supporting a referendum, according to Roger Kiska—more than the required number of signatures. However, Slovak President Andrej Kiska asked the Constitutional Court to review the measure because of a provision in the country’s constitution that forbids holding a referendum to change “fundamental rights and liberties.”
h/t: Miranda Blue at RWW
Police and pro-democracy demonstrators clashed in Hong Kong this weekend, following a week of student-led boycotts and protests against China’s political control in Hong Kong.
The protests came after a week of student-led boycotts and demonstrations against China’s political reign over Hong Kong, and specifically to China’s rule that only Beijing-vetted candidates will be able to run for Hong Kong’s chief executive, the city’s top position.
Organizers asked protesters to go home late on Sunday, fearing police would use rubber bullets, but still the groups did not disperse.
At least 26 people were injured and taken to the hospital, CNN reported. There are not yet details on the severity of the injuries. Six of those hurt were police officers, but it’s not clear if they were included in the 26.
To protect themselves from tear gas, demonstrators donned goggles, masks and raincoats, and some brought umbrellas.
Demonstrators told CNN that they believe undercover police officers had joined in with the protest groups, and others said they saw police “preparing water cannons.”
The main pro-democracy advocacy group organizing the protests — Occupy Central — is not affiliated with the broader Occupy movement and is hoping to fight against China’s decision to mandate what candidates can make a bid for Hong Kong’s top civil position.
“Occupy Central has formally begun,” said a statement by the group. They added:
The two nights of occupation of Civic Square in Admiralty have completely embodied the awakening of Hong Kong people’s desire to decide their own lives. The courage of the students and members of the public in their spontaneous decision to stay has touched many Hong Kong people. Yet, the government has remained unmoved. As the wheel of time has reached this point, we have decided to arise and act
There are reports on Twitter that Instagram has been blocked in China, perhaps to shield users from seeing pictures of the Hong Kong riots.
If the world doesn’t get the Ebola outbreak in West Africa under control quickly, the disease could become a permanent fixture in the region, spreading as routinely as malaria or the flu, the World Health Organization warns Tuesday in a new report.
In the worst-case scenario – if nothing is done to effectively control the outbreak — there could be 1.4 million Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone by Jan. 20, according to a report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
BREAKING: US military launches 1st airstrikes against #ISIS in #Syria
BREAKING NEWS: U.S. military launches first airstrikes against ISIS targets in Syria, NBC News confirms
Tumblr, can you please spread awareness of the riots currently breaking out in Glasgow city centre in George Square -
Union supporters have begun rioting in the city waving Union Jacks, saluting Nazis and attacking nationalists.
Absolutely nothing is being reported on BBC News, Sky News or ITV news! Spread the word!
These KIDS ( as you can clearly see them smiling) are loyalists, probably Rangers supporters, numpties, neds, bawheeds, it’s not a riot, more like an old firm game from the 80’s……….we don’t have riots in Scotland, more like a ‘bit of noise’ people are there to cause a nuisance because they don’t have lives.
He told a press conference in his official residence of Bute House that he would stand down as first minister in November when a new SNP leader will be chosen.
Salmond said he had made the decision in the morning after the referendum result emerged: “For me right now there is a decision as to who is best placed to lead this process forward politically.
"I believe that in this new exciting situation, redolent with possibility, party, parliament and country would benefit from new leadership."
He said he would not accept the SNP’s nomination to be a candidate for leader at the party’s annual conference in Perth in November, allowing a new party leader to be elected.
Given the SNP’s majority in the Scottish parliament, the new leader will also become first minister.
Despite defeat in the referendum, his decision is a surprise: Salmond had repeatedly stated before the vote that he planned to stay on until after the 2016 Scottish election.
Salmond is likely to be succeeded by his deputy Nicola Sturgeon, who has become a commanding figure in the independence campaign after being appointed by Salmond to lead the referendum process.
Speaking minutes after Salmond’s announcement, Sturgeon said that she could think of “no greater privilege” than to succeed Salmond as SNP leader and first minister, but that the decision “is not for today”.
She added: “My priority this weekend, after a long and hard campaign, is to get some rest and spend time with my family. I also want the focus over the next few days to be on the outstanding record and achievements of the finest first minister Scotland has had.”
Salmond said the most important thing to the independence cause was not about who is first minister of Scotland.
This is the second time Salmond has dramatically resigned: he stood down from his first stint as Scottish National party leader in September 2000, only a year after the newly established Scottish parliament was founded in Edinburgh.
Aged 59, Salmond has now led the SNP for two spells of ten years; the first of which began in 1990. He said: “I think that’s a reasonable spell of service and I think there is an aspect that you have to understand and recognise when it is time to give someone else a chance to move that forward.”
Thursday’s Scottish independence referendum saw the no campaign fronted by Alistair Darling win 55.3% of the vote, compared to 44.7% for yes. But the proportion represented a high water mark for the independence movement and the Scottish National party.
Earlier, David Cameron, the British prime minister, declared a “clear result” in the referendum and promised a devolution revolution across Great Britain, including votes on English issues by English MPs at Westminster.
"There can be no disputes, no reruns – we have heard the settled will of the Scottish people," Cameron said in a statement outside No 10 Downing Street shortly after 7am on Friday.
The yes campaign scored four big successes, winning 53% of the vote in Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow, 54% in West Dunbartonshire, 57% in Dundee and 51% in North Lanarkshire.
However, the no camp was victorious in 28 authorities. It won overwhelmingly in areas where it was expected to do well, including Edinburgh, Aberdeenshire and Borders, but also in areas that could have gone to the yes campaign, including Falkirk, Inverclyde, Eilean Siar and Clackmannanshire.
In the final count, the no camp clocked up 2,001,926 votes to 1,617,989 for yes.
In his speech, Cameron made clear that the constitutional reforms, including in Scotland, would not be delivered until after the general election, and that Scottish measures would proceed in tandem with changes in England. “We have heard the voice of Scotland and now the millions of voices of England must be heard,” he said.
Cameron threw down a challenge to the Labour opposition to say whether it would agree to the introduction of English votes for English MPs, and announced that William Hague, leader of the House of Commons, would advance the issue in a special cabinet committee.
The prime minister, vindicated in his decision to stage a yes/no referendum, also revealed he had asked Lord Smith of Kelvin to implement the Scottish devolution reforms set out by the party leaders in the final weeks of the referendum campaign.
He announced that the government would shortly say more about the devolution of further powers to the cities and regions of the UK.
Cameron said: “The people of Scotland have spoken and it is a clear result. They have kept our country of four nations together and, like millions of other people, I am delighted.
"As I said during the campaign, it would have broken my heart to see our United Kingdom come to an end. And I know that sentiment was shared by people not just across our country but around the world because of what we have achieved together in the past and what we can do together in the future.
"So now it is time for our United Kingdom to come together and to move forward. A vital part of that will be a balanced settlement, fair to people in Scotland and importantly to everyone in England, Wales and Northern Ireland as well."
Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, said the referendum was a vote from the Scottish people for change. “We know our country needs to change in the way it is governed and we know our country needs to change in who it is governed for. We will deliver on stronger powers for a stronger Scottish parliament, a strong Scotland.”
But he said that would go beyond Scotland. “We will also meet the desire for change across England, across Wales, across the whole of the United Kingdom.”
Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, said the referendum “marks not only a new chapter for Scotland within the UK but also wider constitutional reform across the union”.
Echoing the SNP’s argument, he said a vote against independence was “clearly not a vote against change”.
"We must now deliver on time and in full the radical package of newly devolved powers to Scotland," he added.
Yet that result raises the risk of further turmoil, with MPs from Cameron’s Conservative party threatening to revolt against the prime minister’s late and potentially vital vow to quickly increase the Scottish parliament’s powers while protecting its spending.
The Ukip leader, Nigel Farage, said Cameron’s offer of more devolution for England did not go far enough. “The English are 86% by population of this union. They’ve been left out of all of this for the last 18 years. We still have a situation where Scottish MPs can vote in the House of Commons on English-only issues. I think what most English people want is a fair settlement,” he said.
The Queen made a statement on Friday saying the UK would respect the result of the referendum.
The prime minister wants to move fast to show that the three main UK party leaders will live up to their commitments made during the referendum campaign to deliver what the former prime minister Gordon Brown called home rule within the UK.
Ministers believe it is important to move quickly to avoid a repeat of the 1980 referendum in Québec. The triumphalist behaviour of Ontario fuelled the separatist cause that nearly succeeded in a second referendum in 1995.
For the no campaign there was relief: a spate of authoritative polls in the final days of the campaign had said the vote was on a knife edge, bringing Yes Scotland within touching distance of victory after a dramatic surge in support.
Sterling jumped, reaching a new two-year high against the euro in Asian trading hours, as the referendum was called in favour of the no vote. The FTSE 100 opened 44 points higher.
Scottish Independence Referendum Updates (12:54AM CDT/6:54AM GMT): NO vote in Fife (home to former PM Gordon Brown) puts the NO to independence side officially over the top. #ScotlandDecides #IndyRef #Scotland #ScottishReferendum
The 30th council to report is Fife. Fife votes 55.0% for No, 45.0% for Yes. #indyref— Nathaniel Rakich (@baseballot) September 19, 2014
Moray declaration in: Moray votes “no” in Scotland #IndyRef— Matthew Keys (@MatthewKeysLive) September 19, 2014
The No campaign has now clinched 50% of the total vote. Their magic number is now 0. #indyref— Nathaniel Rakich (@baseballot) September 19, 2014
Salmond: “Scotland has, by majority, decided not, at this stage, to become an independent country. I accept that verdict of the people.”— Matthew Keys (@MatthewKeysLive) September 19, 2014
Salmond calls “Yes” votes “substantial” for future independence of country— Matthew Keys (@MatthewKeysLive) September 19, 2014
Darling: “Today is a momentus result for Scotland, but also for the United Kingdom as a whole.”— Matthew Keys (@MatthewKeysLive) September 19, 2014
Scottish Independence Referendum Updates (12:04AM CDT/6:04AM GMT): Argyll and Bute, Aberdeenshire, and Edinburgh vote NO; 3 left to go. #ScotlandDecides #IndyRef #Scotland #ScottishReferendum
BBC is officially projecting that No will win. Good for them for waiting & being cautious—I wish our election forecasters would. #indyref— Nathaniel Rakich (@baseballot) September 19, 2014
#BREAKING: Scotland has voted against independence: BBC forecast— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) September 19, 2014
Aberdeenshire, home of Alex Salmond, is the 27th council to report. It votes No by a 60–40 margin. #indyref— Nathaniel Rakich (@baseballot) September 19, 2014
Edinburgh also goes heavily No, 61% to 39%. It’s the 28th council to report. #indyref— Nathaniel Rakich (@baseballot) September 19, 2014
Argyll & Bute becomes the 29th council reporting. There, Yes wins 41.5% and No wins 58.5%. #indyref— Nathaniel Rakich (@baseballot) September 19, 2014
Yes got demolished in two big councils, Edinburgh and Aberdeenshire. That’ll make it go down in history as less close. #indyref— Nathaniel Rakich (@baseballot) September 19, 2014
BREAKING: The Scotland Independence Referendum has failed, will remain in the United Kingdom. #Scotland #IndyRef #ScotlandReferendum #ScotlandDecides
— Justin Gibson (@JGibsonDem)September 19, 2014
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking)September 19, 2014
Scotland will stay in the UK, likely with more devolved powers.
Scottish Independence Referendum Updates (11:12PM CDT/5:12AM GMT): South Lanarkshire, Perth and Kinross, West Lothian, Scottish Borders, North Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, East Ayrshire vote NO; North Lanarkshire, Glasgow vote YES. #ScotlandDecides #IndyRef #Scotland #ScottishReferendum
West Lothian has opted for: THE UNITED KINGDOM. YES - 53,342 NO - 65,682— Britain Elects (@britainelects) September 19, 2014
North Ayrshire has opted for: THE UNITED KINGDOM. YES - 47,072 NO - 49,016— Britain Elects (@britainelects) September 19, 2014
East Ayrshire has opted for: THE UNITED KINGDOM. YES - 39,762 NO - 44,442— Britain Elects (@britainelects) September 19, 2014