1 | Israel
Aid Ships Attacked
Israel deported nearly 700 foreign activists June 2, two days after its deadly raid on a flotilla of six aid ships that were headed to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, which has been under a naval blockade since 2007. Nine people were killed when Israeli soldiers stormed the ships May 31. At least four of the nine were Turkish citizens, a revelation that enraged the Turkish government and citizenry. Israel says its troops opened fire only after being ambushed by knife-wielding passengers. The Israel Defense Forces and news organization Al-Jazeera both released videos of the attack, but the footage offered no immediate clarity. Future challenges to the blockade seemed unavoidable, as the Cyprus-based Free Gaza Movement vowed to dispatch yet another aid ship.
2 | Washington
I Can Remain Silent, Right?
The Supreme Court ruled June 1 in Berghuis v. Thompkins that criminal suspects have to speak in order to remain silent. Writing for the majority in a 5-4 vote, Justice Anthony Kennedy said the decision puts the burden on the suspect to explicitly invoke his or her Miranda right to silence. Justice Sonia Sotomayor countered in her dissent that the decision "turns Miranda upside down."
Miranda v. Arizona requires police to inform suspects of rights
Supreme Court rules suspects must explicitly invoke the right to an attorney
The Obama Administration discusses modifying the Miranda rule for terrorism suspects
3 | Georgia
A Good Day for Saakashvili
President Mikheil Saakashvili's United National Movement Party dominated Georgia's local elections, earning an estimated 60% of the vote in the country's first ballot since its 2008 war with Russia. Saakashvili has been sharply criticized for his handling of the five-day conflict with Russia, but the election results indicate renewed trust in his government.
4 | China
Beijing Bars Confessions Obtained Through Intimidation
China has issued new regulations banning evidence acquired via threats and torture from being used in criminal prosecutions. All such material must also be tossed from any death-penalty cases currently under appeal. China's overreliance on evidence procured under duress was highlighted in May, when a convicted murderer was freed from jail after 10 years following the reappearance of the man he supposedly killed. The wrongfully convicted farmer had confessed, he explained, only after police beat him and deprived him of sleep for several days.
5 | Iran
Now with Even More Fuel!