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The first argued case in the new Supreme Court term will be Heien v. North Carolina, a Fourth Amendment case about whether a reasonable mistake of law can create cause for a Fourth Amendment search or seizure. I think the defendant has the better argument that the answer is no. In this post, Ill explain the case and why I think the defense should prevail.

I. The Facts, and A Brief History of Brake-Light Law

The facts of the case are simple. A North Carolina police officer stopped a car for having a broken right rear brake light. The stop led to a consent search, and the search led to the discovery of drugs in the car. So far it sounds like a pretty routine Fourth Amendment traffic stop case. But heres the twist: If you look closely at thetext of North Carolinas traffic laws, its at best unclear whetheritprohibits driving with one broken brake light.

A little bit of history is helpful here. Decades ago, it was common for cars to come equipped with only one brake light. The early brake lights often had STOP written on them,and unsurprisinglythey were known as stop lamps. At the time, it was common for the traffic laws to require cars to have only one stop lamp.

Thats antiquated now, of course. But a lot of state laws still have a residual form of this. In particular, many state laws require one working stop lamp for antique cars but two such stop lampsfor more modern cars. To get a flavor of this common practice, see the laws of Florida, California, Texas, New York, Michigan, Tennessee, the District of Columbia, or Ohio.

North Carolinas traffic law is different. The key statutory provision requires that modern cars have a stop lamp but has no such requirement for pre-1956 cars.Heres the language:

No person shall sell or operate on the highways of the State any motor vehicle, motorcycle or motor-driven cycle, manufactured after December 31, 1955, unless it shall be equipped with a stop lamp on the rear of the vehicle. The stop lamp shall display a red or amber light visible from a distance of not less than 100 feet to the rear in normal sunlight, and shall be actuated upon application of the service (foot) brake. The stop lamp may be incorporated into a unit with one or more other rear lamps.

Violation of this law is a misdemeanor criminal offense, see N.C.G.S.A. 20-176.

Why require only one stop lamp for more modern cars and none for older cars? I have no idea. Its hard to know what the legislature was thinking. A few other states in the southern U.S. have traffic codes that also require only one stop lamp, perhaps just as a historical relic. See Alabamas code, for example, which dates back to 1927. Georgia, West Virginia, and South Carolina have similar language but add the additional requirement that all original equipment has to be working properly, which as a practical matter requires multiple working brake lights. See, e.g., Georgia 40-8-26; W. Va. Code Ann. 17C-15-18(a)(1); State v. Jihad, 553 S.E.2d 249 (S.C 2001) (interpreting South Carolinas brake light law). North Carolinas law appears to be somewhat unique. It has a provision that the originally-equipped tail lights have to be working (that is, the red lights that go on when the front headlights or parking lights are on), but it does not appear to apply that same standard to brake lights.

Ok, back to the case. At trial, Heien argued that the North Carolina traffic law did not prohibit driving with one broken brake light so long as the other brake light was working. After all, with one brake light out and the other working, the car did have a functioning stop lamp. The North Carolina Court of Appeals agreed with Heiens reading of North Carolinas law. Under its decision, driving with one broken brake light is perfectly legal in North Carolina.

More here:
Volokh Conspiracy: A few thoughts on Heien v. North Carolina

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Heads of Ayr and Lunan Bay in Angus are worst offenders for illegal contaminants By Rob Edwards Environment Editor

The annual survey of Scotland’s bathing waters, due to be unveiled by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) this week, will show that contamination from human and animal faeces this summer has been worse than last year.

The two dirtiest beaches were at Heads of Ayr in South Ayrshire and Lunan Bay in Angus, which suffered so much pollution that they failed to meet basic sewage safety limits introduced 38 years ago. Last year, no beaches in Scotland breached these limits.

But this year three samples of water at Heads of Ayr in May and August contained levels of toxic E-coli bacteria in breach of the legal limits. According to Sepa, this was because heavy rain caused “sewer overflows” and washed animal waste from farmland and urban areas.

Another two beaches – Irvine in North Ayrshire and Eyemouth in the Borders – also recorded five sample failures between them. But four of these are liable to be discounted because they were correctly predicted by electronic warning signs at the beaches.

Ten other beaches – in Ayrshire, Argyll, Edinburgh, East Lothian, Angus, Moray and Highland – had single water samples that failed the safety limits this summer (see table below). The contamination from bacteria and viruses can cause ear and stomach infections and, in extreme cases, be fatal.

Next year, much tougher new standards will come into force, meaning that many more bathing waters will be classified as badly polluted. In June, Sepa estimated that as many as 20 could be officially rated as “poor” under the new system.

The pollution has come under fierce fire from environmental groups worried about the health implications. “It’s very disappointing that Scotland’s beautiful beaches continue to fail the most basic water quality standards,” said Andy Cummins, campaigns director of Surfers Against Sewage.

“We are concerned that a wetter bathing season, combined with new, tougher water quality standards will result in a dramatic number of Scottish beaches failing water quality standards in the coming years.”

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Health fears as 14 Scottish beaches fail pollution tests

Mac Powell – Liberty University Convocation On September 19, 2014, at Convocation, North America's largest weekly gathering of Christian students, Mac Powell addressed the student body at Liberty University….

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Mac Powell – Liberty University Convocation – Video

NATO said Russia has embarked on a "significant" withdrawal of its forces from Ukraine, adding to signs that a truce is taking hold between the government in Kiev and separatist groups. "There has been a significant pullback of Russian conventional forces from inside Ukraine," Lieutenant-Colonel Jay Janzen, chief of media operations at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, said in an e-mailed …

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Ukrainian Unrest Eases as NATO Says Russia Cuts Presence

Civilization V: Swedish Space Race #40 – Freedom-Haters
Welcome to Civilization V! As Gustavus Adolphus, the Lion of the North, I'm going to try to lead the people of Sweden to the stars with a Science Victory. It's a standard size map, on the Prince…

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Civilization V: Swedish Space Race #40 – Freedom-Haters – Video

Land For Sale in Little Cayman, Cayman Islands for USD $ 299,000
Brought to you by Crown World Property Description Little Cayman Land – Exclusive land plot spectacularly located on the North West point of Little Cayman. Situated…

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Land For Sale in Little Cayman, Cayman Islands for USD $ 299,000 – Video

CRY FREEDOM RADIO.COM Throwing Off The Chains and Bringing People Together for Change!
CRY FREEDOM RADIO.COM is a NEW Internet Radio Station based in the North West of England that has been created to act as a broadcasting and website hub for all truth and activist information,…

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CRY FREEDOM RADIO.COM Throwing Off The Chains and Bringing People Together for Change! – Video

Alison Howard and Penny Nance – Liberty University Convocation
On September 12, 2014 at Convocation, North America's largest weekly gathering of Christian students, Alison Howard, Concerned Women for America's Communications Director introduced Penny…

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Alison Howard and Penny Nance – Liberty University Convocation – Video

If Scotland votes for independence, these tiny North Sea islands could leave, taking the oil with them.

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A Crazy Plan Could See These Oil-Rich Islands Secede From An Independent Scotland

590 Penn Ridge Place North Liberty IA 52317 Contact: Mike Van Dyke Lepic-Kroeger, REALTORS 319-248-0532, for more…

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590 Penn Ridge Place North Liberty IA 52317 – Video

If youre looking for an adventurous way to spend the winter holidays, Vaya Adventures is offering a Dec. 23 departure for a cruise on the Beagle through the Galapagos Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The eight-day itinerary begins on Santa Cruz Island with a tour of the Charles Darwin Research Center and the field work being done to preserve the Galapagos ecosystems. Other stops include Espaola Island and its colonies of blue-footed boobies; South Plaza Island, home to one of the largest sea lion colonies in the Galapagos as well as yellow and red land iguanas; and North Seymour Island, the largest nesting ground of frigate birds in the islands.

The Beagle, named for Darwins schooner, is a refurbished 105-foot-long yacht that holds a maximum of 14 passengers in seven air-conditioned cabins with private bath. Dates: Dec 23-30. Price: $4,180 per person. Includes bilingual naturalist guides on daily land expeditions. Does not include park fees (about $110 a person) and international airfare. Info: Vaya Adventures, (800) 342-1796

Follow us on Twitter @latimestravel, like us on Facebook @Los Angeles Times Travel.

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Ecuador: Take a holiday cruise through the Galapagos Islands

Parry says he is ‘sick’ of seeing litter on the beach.

Monday, September 15, 2014 8:00 AM

Join in a Barefoot Beach Clean on one of North Devons beaches.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Three beach cleans will be held in Westward Ho!, Instow and Croyde this Saturday.

Meet at Westward Ho! Tesco Express at 9.30am; at the slipway opposite the Commadore Hotel in Instow at 11am; or at Croyde beach cafe at 10am for the clean ups.

Tom Bell, Marine Conservation Society campaigns manager, said: Our domestic habits over the last 50 years or so have resulted in dirty beaches.

We throw more stuff away than ever.

Plastic in the marine environment may take hundreds of years to break down and it washes up or is blown onto beaches in bits from micro pieces to larger chunks.

We flush stuff down the loo we shouldnt, and that ends up in our water ways and then our beaches.

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Beach cleans at Instow, Croyde and Westward Ho!

Sep 152014

Fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden claims there is a US National Security Agency facility in Auckland and another north of the city.

The former NSA analyst made an appearance at Internet Party founder Kim Dotcom’s “moment of truth” event at the Auckland Town Hall on Monday night via a video link from Russia.

The capacity crowd was on its feet and cheering as Mr Snowden’s face was beamed onto a big screen.

Hours before the event, in an article posted on The Intercept website, Mr Snowden said that any statement that mass surveillance isn’t carried out in New Zealand is “categorically false”.

“If you live in New Zealand, you are being watched,” he wrote.

In the course of his work at an NSA facility in Hawaii, Mr Snowden said he routinely came across New Zealanders’ communications using a mass surveillance tool the NSA shares with the GCSB, called XKEYSCORE.

“It allows total, granular access to the database of communications collected in the course of mass surveillance. It is not limited to or even used largely for the purposes of cybersecurity, as has been claimed, but is instead used primarily for reading individuals’ private email, text messages, and internet traffic.”

Mr Snowden told the Auckland audience there are NSA facilities in New Zealand that “the GCSB is aware of and that means the prime minister is aware of”.

One of those facilities is in Auckland and there is another north of Auckland.

While he was working at the NSA, Mr Snowden said using XKEYSCORE he could see records of conversations of people around the world.

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NSA facilities in NZ: Snowden

New Jersey Freedom (NJ Freedom) is North Jersey’s premier AAU basketball program for highly talented and dedicated youth players.

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Sep 122014

Apr. 2012 NATO tests new UAV at Camp Marmal, Regional Command North, Afghanistan. Video by RC North PAO.

By: nciagency

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NATO Survey UAV – Video

North Atlantic Treaty Organization(NATO),military alliance established by the North Atlantic Treaty (also called the Washington Treaty) of April 4, 1949, which sought to create a counterweight to Soviet armies stationed in central and eastern Europe after World War II. Its original members were Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Joining the original signatories were Greece and Turkey (1952); West Germany (1955; from 1990 as Germany); Spain (1982); the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland (1999); Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia (2004); and Albania and Croatia (2009). France withdrew from the integrated military command of NATO in 1966 but remained a member of the organization; it resumed its position in NATOs military command in 2009.

The heart of NATO is expressed in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, in which the signatory members agree that

an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all; and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defense recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

NATO invoked Article 5 for the first time in 2001, after terrorist attacks organized by exiled Saudi Arabian millionaire Osama bin Laden destroyed the World Trade Center in New York City and part of the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C., killing some 3,000 people.

Article 6 defines the geographic scope of the treaty as covering an armed attack on the territory of any of the Parties in Europe or North America. Other articles commit the allies to strengthening their democratic institutions, to building their collective military capability, to consulting each other, and to remaining open to inviting other European states to join.

After World War II in 1945, western Europe was economically exhausted and militarily weak (the western Allies had rapidly and drastically reduced their armies at the end of the war), and newly powerful communist parties had arisen in France and Italy. By contrast, the Soviet Union had emerged from the war with its armies dominating all the states of central and eastern Europe, and by 1948 communists under Moscows sponsorship had consolidated their control of the governments of those countries and suppressed all noncommunist political activity. What became known as the Iron Curtain, a term popularized by Winston Churchill, had descended over central and eastern Europe. Further, wartime cooperation between the western Allies and the Soviets had completely broken down. Each side was organizing its own sector of occupied Germany, so that two German states would emerge, a democratic one in the west and a communist one in the east.

In 1948 the United States launched the Marshall Plan, which infused massive amounts of economic aid to the countries of western and southern Europe on the condition that they cooperate with each other and engage in joint planning to hasten their mutual recovery. As for military recovery, under the Brussels Treaty of 1948, the United Kingdom, France, and the Low CountriesBelgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourgconcluded a collective-defense agreement called the Western European Union. It was soon recognized, however, that a more formidable alliance would be required to provide an adequate military counterweight to the Soviets.

By this time Britain, Canada, and the United States had already engaged in secret exploratory talks on security arrangements that would serve as an alternative to the United Nations (UN), which was becoming paralyzed by the rapidly emerging Cold War. In March 1948, following a virtual communist coup dtat in Czechoslovakia in February, the three governments began discussions on a multilateral collective-defense scheme that would enhance Western security and promote democratic values. These discussions were eventually joined by France, the Low Countries, and Norway and in April 1949 resulted in the North Atlantic Treaty.

Spurred by the North Korean invasion of South Korea in June 1950, the United States took steps to demonstrate that it would resist any Soviet military expansion or pressures in Europe. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the leader of the Allied forces in western Europe in World War II, was named Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) by the North Atlantic Council (NATOs governing body) in December 1950. He was followed as SACEUR by a succession of American generals.

The North Atlantic Council, which was established soon after the treaty came into effect, is composed of ministerial representatives of the member states, who meet at least twice a year. At other times the council, chaired by the NATO secretary-general, remains in permanent session at the ambassadorial level. Just as the position of SACEUR has always been held by an American, the secretary-generalship has always been held by a European.

Read more here:
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) — Encyclopedia …

Exclusive: The Sept. 18 referendum on Scottish independence pits the ancient lure of freedom from English dominance against practical economic issues of the future. Continued union seemed to be winning but a late surge for separation has made the outcome a toss-up, as Don North reports.

By Don North

Anyone who has seen the movie Braveheart with Mel Gibson playing the Scottish hero William Wallace can understand the historic animosities between Scotland and its powerful neighbor to the south, England. Set mostly in the late Thirteenth Century, the movie tells the story of an early fight for Scottish freedom, albeit with many Hollywood fictional flourishes.

But the substance was true. Wallace led a Scottish uprising against Englands tyrannical Edward I and despite some stunning victories including the Battle of Stirling Wallaces army was ultimately defeated. After his capture and treason trial in 1305, Wallace was dragged naked through the streets of London and then tortured to death on the execution grounds of Smithfield. In the movie version, his last word was: Freedom!

A statue of William Wallace at the entrance of Edinburgh Castle. (Photo credit: Don North)

Wallaces severed body parts were sent north to be displayed as a warning to other Scottish rebels. But as the movie notes this grisly message had a different impact, helping to inspire more resistance led by Robert the Bruce, the other great warrior for Scottish freedom who defeated Edward II at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.

The union of the two countries in 1707, after centuries of hostilities and bloodshed, was regarded by many Scots as a shotgun marriage that more than300 years later has not diluted the differences in outlook and attitude between the ill-matched partners.

Beyond their stubborn desire forfreedom and their deep-seated pride, the Scots are not known to forgive ancient quarrels easily and their history of hatred toward the English is part of the back story in the referendum for Scottish independence on Sept. 18.

In some ways, the vote will hinge on whether the Scots side with their ancient heritage of resisting English domination or accept that their economic future is brighter as part of the United Kingdom.

Theres also the issue of anti-Scottish bigotry in English literature and society. For instance, Dr. Samuel Johnson In 1773 wrote a much quoted maxim, The noblest prospect that a Scotchman ever sees is the high road that leads him to England. An unease towards the English, a suspicion that they are social superiors, has for centuries troubled the Scottish psyche.

Originally posted here:
Will Scots Heed Ancient Call for Freedom?

Sep 102014

Nato Hell March
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) also called the North Atlantic Alliance is an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty which was signed on 4 April…

By: Darri Chan

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Nato Hell March – Video

Clip 2 002 Freedom advances the ball
Saturday September 6,2014 – Brutal heat. 90+ humid. JT's of Springfield MA vs Freedom Rugby at 33 Hobbs Road, North Hampton, New Hampshire.

By: nsybert

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Clip 2 002 Freedom advances the ball – Video

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