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What are the most extreme diets for drastic weight loss?

7 Extreme Diets Evaluated By A NutritionistMaster CleanseWhat it is: An all-liquid diet in which you only consume a concoction of water, maple syrup, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper. (Also known as the Beyoncé diet since the singer followed it to lose weight for her role in Dreamgirls.) You drink six to 12 glasses of the mixture every day for 10 days, explains Jessica Nelson, RDN, CPT. You’re also allowed to sip on salt water and an herbal laxative tea. (Editor’s note: Sounds like fun and as though it wouldn’t interfere with your job/life at all.)Why people try it: To drop lots of weight, fast.The reality: “This is honestly the worst fad diet. Not only is it devoid of all nutrients, but none of its health claims can be backed up,” says Alexandra Caspero, MA, RD, CLT, RYT. “After a few days (or day!) on the Master Cleanse, you can expect to be hangry, tired and grouchy.” That’s because the diet is so low in calories that your cells aren’t getting any energy.“Calories are thought of in such negative terms, but we need calories in the form of energy to survive,” adds Caspero. Yes, you’ll drastically lose weight—but it’s not the weight you want to lose. “Water weight is different than fat loss, which is different than muscle loss,” Caspero explains. “When you reduce calories to almost nothing, you will lose weight mostly in the form of water and muscle loss.”Her overall grade: “This diet plan gets a big fat F from me. You can expect most of the weight to return after you resume eating normal food.”This is one (and perhaps the only) instance in which you shouldn’t do as Beyoncé does.Juice CleanseWhat it is: An all-liquid diet in which you consume only fruit and vegetable juices. The majority of juice cleanses involve drinking six to eight juices per day for up to 10 days.Why people try it: To detox their bodies and lose weight quickly. Proponents of juice cleanses say that drinking juice gives your digestive tract a break and can help you lose weight, Nelson explains. “Other people may simply do it as a fast way to get in more fruits and vegetables.”The reality: “Sadly, the juice industry has convinced the American public that drinking a green juice will help them detox the body. It isn’t the whole truth,” Caspero says. “Yes, juice contains nutrients in the form of fruits and vegetables, but so do whole foods.” You’re better off eating whole fruits and vegetables, which contain fiber that helps you feel full.Plus, the high fructose content of most juices can make you feel bloated and can even cause diarrhea, adds Nelson.“Lastly, juicing produces a lot of food waste. Imagine how much pulp you throw away for one eight-ounce juice. Skip the juice, eat the produce instead (and save the $8),” says Caspero.Grapefruit DietWhat it is: You eat half a grapefruit before every meal. You eat your meals at normal times, but forego dessert, bread, and white vegetables while tripling your intake of meat and other vegetables. “Additional suggestions for the diet include going four hours between protein-based meals and starch-based meals,” Nelson says.Why people try it: “It’s believed that grapefruits can help reduce appetite and promote weight loss by providing fat-burning enzymes,” Nelson says. There’s also the promise of a 10-pound weight loss in only 12 days.The reality: “Eating the half grapefruit before a meal may help you eat less because of the fiber and water content found in the fruit. So, theoretically, it could help you lose weight overtime,” says Nelson.“However, the diet doesn’t help you change your eating habits. So although you’re eating a healthy fruit more often in your diet, the meals that follow can continue to be not so healthy for you,” she adds. Plus, grapefruits interfere with many medications, so you should check with your doctor before adding them to your diet.SoupingWhat it is: “Souping is basically juicing for the winter crowd,” says Caspero. “Instead of sucking down green elixirs, you’ll sip on ‘detox’ soups throughout the day.”Why people try it: They see it as a healthier, quicker weight-loss program than juicing.The reality: “While soup is a really great food and a healthy way to get nutrients in, soup cleanses tend to be quite low in calories,” Caspero says. Typically you’ll consume around 1,200 calories a day on a soup cleanse. But, Caspero says, most women need between 1,400 and 1,600 calories a day. “While you’ll lose weight with 1200 calories, it’s not very sustainable and you’re more likely to lose muscle mass,” she says.Cabbage Soup DietWhat it is: This extreme diet hearkens all the way back to the 1950s. The theory behind this diet is that including cabbage soup in your diet regularly—in place of 1-2 meals a day—can help you shed weight,” says Toby Amidor, MS, RD, nutrition expert, and author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.You eat cabbage soup every day for most—if not all—of your meals for seven days.Why people try it: Since cabbage is a diuretic, people think that increasing their cabbage intake can help get rid of water weight.The reality: “An updated version was released which is more in line with healthy eating patterns recommended by the dietary guidelines for Americans,” says Amidor. “Weight loss is about 1-2 pounds per week, which is in line with the NIH standards for a safe rate of weight loss,” she explains. But like most crash diets, it isn’t sustainable and you’ll likely gain back all the weight you lost and more. (Plus, all that cabbage soup has gotta make you… ahem… rather flatulent.)Tapeworm DietWhat it is: You eat a tapeworm (or the larvae of a tapeworm), so it can grow inside you. (Anyone’s gag reflex kicking in yet?)Why people try it: The tapeworm will reduce the calories that your body absorbs, so you can still eat the same amount and lose weight. “Many dieters think they will magically lose weight without any side effects and that it’s ‘no big deal,’” says Amidor.The reality: There’s a literal parasite living in your gastrointestinal system. The tapeworm eats gobbled-up food and nutrients that you need. “You lose weight due to lack of nourishment, and develop symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, and abdominal pain,” she adds. Since the tapeworm is ingesting the nutrients you need, it can cause serious vitamin and mineral deficiencies with unpleasant side effects (like bone pain and anxiety, for example).Decide you want that tapeworm out of you? You’ve got to give your doctor a stool sample, so they can determine the type of tapeworm you ingested. Then they’ll prescribe an anti-parasitic along with an antibiotic because, fun fact, tapeworms can cause bleeding in your intestines, and that can lead to infection.Baby Food DietWhat it is: You eat 14 jars of baby food throughout the day. You can add in one meal of lean protein and veggies if you want.Why people try it: It requires virtually no prep, is convenient on-the-go, and controls your portions. People try it for—what else—weight loss.The reality: “Jars of baby food typically range from 30 to 100 calories each,” says Amidor. “If you choose to eat baby food all day for every meal, you may start feeling deprived of the variety of textures from a full meal,” Amidor explains. The flavor is also super bland and could lead to binge eating. As for weight loss? “It depends on the calories in versus calories out and also activity/exercise you do. You will, however, be able to find organic baby food and many are gluten-free.” So, you know, there’s that.A Healthier Way to Lose WeightOur consensus? Ditch the extreme diets and opt for long-lasting, sustainable weight loss instead.“When you lose weight, you want to focus mainly on fat loss and preserving muscle mass,” says Caspero. The above extreme diets mainly result in the loss of water weight, and you’ll likely regain it when you stop the diet.Her recommendation instead? Stick to a whole foods-based diet with lots of fruits and veggies, lean protein, healthy fats, and some whole grains. Be sure to eat enough, as well. Caspero says most women need between 1,400 and 1,600 calories a day. Throw in some moderate exercise, and you’ll see sustainable results.

How can someone with intermediate tech skills start an online business quickly this year?

Online Business Ideas You Can Start TomorrowSocial media consultantLarger enterprises can hire an agency or full-time staff member to run their social media accounts, but small businesses often have to handle their own social media marketing. With so many responsibilities, business owners are often too busy, overwhelmed or undereducated about the importance of a social media presence to spend time developing and implementing a great social media strategy. As a social media consultant, you can help small businesses determine the best tactics, posting schedules and content for their target audience. As their follower count grows, so will your business.Facebook and Twitter are still the top business networks, but businesses often tend to struggle with more visual platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and Snapchat. All of these platforms have huge consumer audiences, but many businesses don't realize how big they are, how effective they can be and how to make them work for their brand. If you have a background in social media marketing and a passion for photography, focusing your consulting business on one specific platform, like Instagram, can be a great way to make money while helping other businesses improve their content and achieve their business goals.BloggerBlogging may seem like an outdated business strategy, since nearly everybody already has one, but the competition should not deter you from starting this online business journey. If you love writing or have important information to share, blogging may be a profitable business for you.Starting a blog as a business is very simple with website builders like Weebly and WordPress, but the key to success is consistency and quality. To gain a steady following, you must continually write and produce high-quality content that provides value to your readers. Content that educates, informs or entertains your readers gives them a reason to follow you.Once you've mastered the creation of consistent content, you can make money through your blog by selling products like online courses, digital coaching, e-books or webinars. You can also sell ad space or sponsored posts. This business strategy may take a little more time and effort to monetize, but it can be very profitable in the end.Virtual assistantDo you have impeccable organizational skills and task management abilities? Maybe it's time to put those skills to good use by becoming a virtual assistant. VA services typically consist of basic administrative tasks like entering data, making travel arrangements and answering phone calls. Previous experience in this field is ideal but not required.Platforms like TaskRabbit and Zirtual make it easy for VA professionals to find jobs. They allow you to create an online profile and sign up for tasks you want to complete – such as data research, virtual assistance or basic errands – and begin building clientele.Affiliate marketerIf you love leaving customer reviews on sites like Amazon, you may want to look into affiliate marketing as a source of income. Word-of-mouth advertising is still a huge lead generator for many companies, and many businesses are willing to share a portion of their profits with persuasive individuals who will promote their products to the public.Affiliate programs break down into different levels of involvement: unattached, related and involved. Unattached affiliate marketing is a basic pay-per-click campaign that requires little to no involvement with the product you are promoting. Related affiliate marketing requires you to have some authority and content on the product you are marketing, but you don't personally use the product. Involved affiliate marketing is perhaps the most effective, as you'll be marketing a product that you actually use and enjoy.If you have a personal website or social media presence with a large following, affiliate programs may be a profitable approach for you. PR reps are always seeking out brand advocates and influencers they can send free samples to.Handmade craft sellerAs merchants switch their sales to e-commerce, online marketplaces for handmade goods, like Etsy and ArtFire, make it extremely easy for artisans who can produce a steady supply of quality handmade products, such as crocheted blankets or unique painted glassware. If you have a unique craft, selling your products on an e-commerce site is a good way to earn income while you're at home, doing what you love.Startup costs for this business idea are extremely low if you purchase your creative materials in bulk from a craft supplier. If you can create and sell your artwork quickly on an online store, you'll be making a profit in no time at all. Local artisans find higher success when they promote their businesses on social media.Search engineGoogle and Bing are ubiquitous, but they don't necessarily address all users' needs. If you're an expert in a certain field, build your own search engine that helps people with less knowledge find what they're looking for. Your chances of success might be higher if your search engine gives users opportunities to insert parameters, such as subtopics and source type, rather than just conducting a general search.dropshippingIf you want to run an e-commerce site, you might be worried about storing inventory. With dropshipping, you can take customer orders on an online store and send them directly to a third-party retailer for fulfillment. As long as your business model involves selling items at a price higher than what you'll pay to the third-party retailer, your dropshipping business will be set for success.Tutoring businessJust because somebody is taking classes in a subject doesn't mean they understand the material well. If you're great at explaining things to somebody in a one-on-one setting and have ample experience and knowledge in a subject, consider starting an online tutoring business in that field. You can use video chat tools such as Skype to conduct tutoring sessions remotely and offer your knowledge to anybody, anytime, anywhere. Consider incorporating a budget for ads on Craigslist and Fiverr into your business model.Digital coursesSimilarly to tutoring, people all over the world might benefit from you sharing your expertise with them. Starting an online business that offers digital courses to anybody interested in the topic can easily earn you money – you can sell prepared written materials or other downloadable content for a fee.YouTube channelYouTube makes starting an online education business especially easy. Upload videos of yourself educating viewers on any subject, whether beginner or advanced, and use social media to spread word of your channel. As your number of viewers grows, you'll be able to monetize your videos and make a profit from them.TelecoachingSome people looking for one-on-one help might want something more than lessons. People who want help advancing their careers, improving their nutrition or finding more meaning in their lives could benefit from your coaching through video chat software like Zoom or Skype. Rather than giving exercises and grades, as a telecoach, your goal is to offer advice, guidelines and support for your clients. If you run a blog for your business or regularly post to LinkedIn about the topics in which you're coaching, you'll appear more trustworthy and knowledgeable.Technical writerThe internet is full of copywriters for hire, but only a few of these copywriters have the technical background to properly write an instruction manual for a large machine or properly convey scientific results. If you have a background in science and can write about it, start an online business through which people can hire your technical writing services. Advertise yourself on LinkedIn, Fiverr and other platforms to draw in customers.Resume and cover letter writerAlmost everyone has sought help from other people when writing resumes or cover letters. Offer your expertise in crafting compelling resumes and cover letters to anybody willing to hire you. Provide examples of not just other people's resumes and cover letters with which you've helped, but successful resumes and cover letters of your own to increase your chances of successfully starting an online business.

What is the longest criminal court case in history?

The longest running civil court case has been led by James Martin (USA) since 14 December 1972, when the issue in the Martin v. Sample case was filed; it was then appealed to the US Supreme Court, Washington, DC, USA in October 1981, and docketed as case number 81-6884, on 14 June 1982. Following a summons by the Selective Service System (Pennsylvania, USA), Mr Martin attended a three-day pre-induction physical exam to assess his fitness for military service in the Vietnam War; he was subsequently classified as disabled. The original filed case (which remains active today), regards the subsequent academic and professional discrimination and interference experienced by Mr Martin following this detainment (11-13 December 1972) for medical testing - an issue that Mr Martin, the Office for Civil Rights and the US Department of Education, argues violates the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which forbids discrimination on the basis of alleged or of actual medical history. The original case, (Martin v Sample, 459 US 850, 74 L ed 2s 98, 103 S Ct 111) -where Mr Sample was the president of the college that Mr Martin was enrolled in at the time - remains active as of 11 December 2006 (when this record was approved).The above date (14 December 1972) is the date of the decision from the Selective Service, following their issuance of the summons to me, directing Mr Martin to appear at the pre-induction examination. (The case was filed with the issuance of the summons, which occurred before 14 December 1972).Landmarks in law: McLibel and the longest trial in British legal historyHelen Steel and David Morris took on the US fast food giant in a lengthy David v Goliath battle in courtHelen Steel and David Morris, after winning their case in the European Court of Human Rights. Photograph: Martin Argles/The GuardianPublic concern over the ethical practices of large corporates is growing: protestors have recently found themselves at the sharp end of the law, with Extinction Rebellion protestors arrested and other campaigners slapped with injunctions. But in the 1990s, the actions of a small group of environmentalists gave rise to what became the longest-running trial in British legal history.McDonald’s Corporation v Steel & Morris [1997], dubbed “McLibel”, followed a libel action brought by US fast food giant McDonald’s against Helen Steel, David Morris and three others over a leaflet they had distributed criticising the company’s practices. The three others apologised and were not sued, but Steel and Morris fought the case in a David v Goliath battle.In a 762-page judgment, Mr Justice Bell, who sat without a jury, rejected the claims in the leaflet that McDonald’s was to blame for starvation in developing countries or had used lethal poisons to destroy vast areas of rainforest. But he found that the company had “pretended to a positive nutritional benefit which their food did not match”, exploited children in its advertising, and helped to “depress wages in the catering trade”.Landmarks in law: Sally Bercow and the first major 'Twibel' caseThe judge ruled that the pair had libelled the corporation and ordered them to pay £60,000 damages, reduced on appeal to £40,000. They refused to pay, and McDonald’s has not pursued them for the money.The case was branded a PR disaster for McDonald’s, and became the subject of a documentary by Franny Armstrong and Ken Loach.Steele was a part-time bar-worker earning a maximum of £65 a week, and Morris was an unemployed postman who was responsible for the day-to-day care of his son, then aged four. At the time, McDonald’s had worldwide sales of about $30bn.Despite the huge economic disparity, Steel and Morris were denied legal aid and forced to fight the case by themselves with occasional unpaid help from lawyers. A fighting fund of around £40,000 from public donations paid for witness airfares, court costs and other expenses.In contrast, McDonald’s was represented by a huge team of leading lawyers and racked up legal bills estimated at £10m.The trial ran for two-and-a-half years. The transcripts ran to approximately 20,000 pages and there were about 40,000 pages of documentary evidence, while some 130 witnesses gave oral evidence – 59 for the defendants, 71 for McDonald’s.The pair sought to appeal to the Court of Appeal and to the House of Lords, which was then the country’s highest court. In September 2004, meanwhile, they launched an action against the UK government at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, claiming that the lack of legal aid breached their rights to a fair trial as guaranteed under article 6 of the Human Rights Convention.In Steel & Morris v United Kingdom, the court ruled unanimously that the pair had been denied a fair trial and awarded a judgement of £57,000 against the UK government.Steel remembers that at the start of the initial case they were given some basic legal advice. “That advice was ‘don’t do it – you’re on a hiding to nothing’, because even if we had plenty of resources, it was up to us to prove the truth of everything that was said in the leaflet,” she says.That was a huge task for Steel, who did not write any of the pamphlet and was not even in the group when it was written. “When all you are doing is handing out leaflets it’s a tall order to then have to become experts,” she says. “The case dominated our lives from 1993 until the verdict in 1996. It was a full-time job around the clock. When we got home from court we had to prepare for the next day.Landmarks in law: the case that shone a spotlight on domestic violence“It was exhausting, but there was an important principle at stake: wealthy companies should not be able to silence people and control what they say about their practices, which are then not subject to scrutiny.”Before their case, she says, McDonald’s had threatened to sue other organisations for libel, which had then all backed down and apologised. “The company created a climate of fear of a libel writ so its business practices went unchallenged, which is not healthy in a democratic society,” she says.But she adds: “If I’d have known then what was involved, I’m not sure that I’d have gone ahead.”Mark Stephens, now a partner at law firm Howard Kennedy, was one of the band of lawyers who helped the pair without charge throughout the case. He says the lack of legal aid resulted in a gross inequality of arms and was also a total false economy. A case that should have lasted three weeks went on for months, preventing other cases from being heard.The case, he says, was “an abject lesson in how not to do it” from the point of view of McDonald’s. “Bringing the case in the early days of the internet meant that many more people came to know what was in the leaflets. The whole thing was madness.”The case became the longest trial in English legal history, but according to Stephens it would not even be heard today. Instead, it would be struck for not meeting the “serious harm” threshold introduced in the Defamation Act 2013.The company would have to show that the statements complained about had caused or were likely to cause serious harm in the form of serious financial loss. And as Stephens says: “In the modern era, handing out around 60 leaflets outside one store wouldn’t serious cause harm.”Since you're here ...... we have a small favour to ask. Millions have turned to the Guardian for vital, independent, quality journalism throughout a turbulent, challenging and historic 2020. Readers in 180 countries around the world, including India, now support us financially. Will you join them?We believe everyone deserves access to information that’s grounded in science and truth, and analysis rooted in authority and integrity. That’s why we made a different choice: to keep our reporting open for all readers, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay. This means more people can be better informed, united, and inspired to take meaningful action.In these perilous times, a truth-seeking global news organisation like the Guardian is essential. We have no shareholders or billionaire owner, meaning our journalism is free from commercial and political influence – this makes us different. When it’s never been more important, our independence allows us to fearlessly investigate, challenge and expose those in power.Amid the various intersecting crises of 2020 – from Covid-19 to police brutality – the Guardian has not, and will never, sideline the climate emergency. We are determined to uphold our reputation for producing urgent, powerful, high-impact reporting on the environment that’s read by millions around the world.We’ve made institutional progress too, working hard to live up to the climate promises we made in 2019. We no longer take advertising from fossil fuel companies, and we’re on course to achieve net zero emissions by 2030.If there were ever a time to join us, it is now. Your funding powers our journalism, it protects our independence, and ensures we can remain open for all. You can support us through these challenging economic times and enable real-world impact.The Longest Trial in History: Court Refuses to Impose CounselBy Coalition for International Justice (CIJ)In a written decision dated April 4, 2003, the Trial Chamber in the Milosevic case held, '[I]n the present circumstances, the accused has the right to defend himself in person.' It then denied the prosecution's motion to impose counsel on Milosevic.With this ruling, the Court assured the trial will continue in the manner it has proceeded for the last 14 months. That includes an abbreviated schedule (half days and four-day weekends every two weeks) to reduce stress on the accused; unanticipated, extended adjournments for Milosevic's illnesses; often irrelevant and tendentious cross examination, necessarily requiring additional cross examination by the amici; cross examination of witnesses for the maximum time allowed by the Court, including cross examination of nearly all 92 bis witnesses (whose direct evidence is submitted in writing); lack of agreement on even the most noncontroversial facts, requiring the prosecution to prove everything. In other words, the longest trial in history.In making its ruling, the Trial Court found that the plain meaning of the ICTY statute gives the accused the right to defend himself. Article 21 (4) provides in pertinent part, 'The accused shall be entitled to the following minimum guarantees . . . . (d) to be tried in his presence, and to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing. . . .'The Court recognized that civil law (inquisitorial) systems often require that criminal accused facing serious charges be represented by counsel, whether or not the accused agrees. The court, however, adopted the rule prevalent in common law (adversarial) systems, stating that the ICTY is 'essentially adversarial.' In doing so, the Court quoted extensively from a decision of the United States Supreme Court, which held that imposition of counsel without an accused's consent violates the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Faretta v. California, 422 US 806 (1975)). Even without a Sixth Amendment governing ICTY procedure, the Trial Court found Faretta's reasoning persuasive.In Faretta, Justice Stewart wrote for a divided Supreme Court: 'We confront here a nearly universal conviction, on the part of our people as well as our courts, that forcing a lawyer upon an unwilling defendant is contrary to his basic right to defend himself if he truly wants to do so.' The Supreme Court found that '[t]he language and spirit of the Sixth Amendment contemplate that counsel, like the other defence tools guaranteed by the Amendment, shall be an aid to a willing defendant -- not an organ of the State interposed between an unwilling defendant and his right to defend himself personally. To thrust counsel upon the accused, against his considered wish, thus violates the logic of the Amendment. In such a case, counsel is not an assistant, but a master . . . .' 'To force a lawyer on a defendant can only lead him to believe that the law contrives against him.'In adopting this reasoning, the Trial Chamber did not analyze whether and to what extent the U.S. Constitutional guarantee anticipates and is based on an accused's right to trial by jury, and whether this undermines the reasoning when applied to non-jury proceedings, such as trials before the ICTY. Nor did the Trial Chamber address the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court based its holding on 'the inestimable worth of free choice' recognized in the U.S. Constitution and by the Court as higher than the defendant's right to a fair trial (which, arguably in most cases, requires the assistance of professional counsel). Given the extremity of the U.S. valuation of independence and free choice, the Trial Chamber might have considered whether that should be adopted by a system of international justice, particularly one concerned with criminal conduct under a formerly socialist and civil legal system.The Trial Chamber went on to mention a 'further, practical reason for the right to self-representation in common law.' In the adversarial system, the prosecution and defense present the case to the judge as opponents. This clash of opposites is supposed to reveal the truth to the decision-maker (most often a jury, though the Trial Chamber solely concerned itself with professional judges). In the inquisitorial system, the judge serves more of an investigative function, questioning the parties and witnesses in an attempt to find the truth.According to the Milosevic Trial Chamber, '[I]n an adversarial system, the imposition of defence counsel on an unwilling accused would effectively deprive that accused of the possibility of putting forward a defense.' The Court does not explain how this occurs, but goes on to discuss an accused's 'obligation of 'putting a case,' i.e. putting forward the defence version of events if it differs from that put forward by a witness . . . .' The Court said that 'obligation' could not be fulfilled where the accused doesn't tell counsel what defence to put forward.The Court's characterization of an adversarial system where the accused tells his counsel what defense to put forward does not reflect all adversarial systems. In the U.S., e.g., decisions involving strategy, including what witnesses to call, are generally considereed matters for counsel. S/he need not consult with their client and may make decisions the client disagrees with. Decisions which are solely the province of the accused including whether or not to plead guilty, to waive a jury trial and to testify on his own behalf. Moreover, in the U.S. the accused has no 'obligation' to defend himself. The obligation of putting forward a case is solely that of the prosecution.A reading of ICTY rules indicates an accused before the Tribunal has a similar right not to bring a defense, as well as to bring a bad one. Rules 84-86, describing the conduct of the trial including the accused's role, are permissive. For example, 'Each party is entitled to call witnesses and present evidence.' 'Each party may make an opening statement.' 'The accused shall not be compelled to make a solemn declaration. . . .' '[T]he defense may make a closing argument.' [emphases added]The Trial Chamber also rested its decision on guarantees provided to criminal defendants by certain international and regional conventions. For example, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), adopted by 146 nations, provides that a criminal defendant has the right 'to be tried in his presence, and to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing; . . .' The new International Criminal Court statute uses similar language: the accused has the right 'to be present at the trial, to conduct the defence in person or through legal assistance of the accused's choosing, [. . .],' subject, however, to limitations if the accused is disruptive in the courtroom.The Trial Chamber noted that the European Commission on Human Rights (ECHR) has held that the right to defend oneself is not absolute. 'The ECHR said that 'it is for the courts to decide whether the interests of justice require that the accused be defended by counsel appointed by them. When appointing defence counsel the national courts must certainly have regard to the defendant's wishes [. . .]. However, they can override those wishes when there are relevant and sufficient grounds for holding that this is necessary in the interests of justice.''The Milosevic Court nevertheless found the case in which the ECHR so held to be different on the facts (distinguishable) from the Milosevic case and, therefore, not controlling.* Instead, the Trial Chamber turned to a decision of the Human Rights Commission (HRC) of the United Nations, interpreting the ICCPR. Despite the brevity of its reasoning, the Trial Chamber found it 'highly relevant to the correct interpretation of Article 21 (4) (a) of the [ICTY] Statute, especially since this provision is identical to Article 14 (3) (d) of the ICCPR.' The Milosevic Court found that the HRC decision 'confirms the right to self-defence and rejects the imposition of defence counsel on an unwilling accused.'Again, the Court buttressed its finding on practical considerations. If counsel were imposed on Milosevic, the Court speculated, the accused could refuse to instruct the counsel as to the defence to adopt, thereby rendering counsel impotent, in the court's view. In the alternative, Judge May wrote for the Court, the Trial Chamber could allow Milosevic to 'make submissions and question witnesses, in which case, the defence counsel could do no more than the Amici Curiae.' As noted above, however, the degree to which counsel can decide what defense to adopt over the accused's objections or without his input has not been established by the Tribunal.Noting that Milosevic is competent to defend himself and that he had rejected the Court's advice that it was in his best interest to be assisted by counsel, the Court concluded he was 'entitled to defend himself in person.' Perhaps considering the practicalities once more, i.e. how Milosevic might react to its ruling, the Court added that the right to defend oneself is not absolute. It pointed to ICTY Rule 80 (B) which provides that a persistently disruptive accused can be removed from the courtroom, following a warning, and the proceedings can be continued without him. The Trial Chamber stressed, 'Clearly, an accused whose behaviour has resulted in his removal from the courtroom pursuant to Rule 80 (B) of the Rules, has also relinquished his right to defend himself in person.'While distinguishing the case on its facts, the Chamber also referred to a decision (Barayagwiza) in its sister institution, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), where a Trial Chamber held there may be circumstances 'where it is in the interests of justice to appoint counsel [against the accused's will].' Having left itself this 'out,' the Chamber declared, 'No such circumstances have, as yet, arisen in this trial.' The opinion continues, 'However, as the Trial Chamber has said, it will keep the position under review.'The Chamber did not discuss other limitations on the right of self-representation, including those regularly imposed at the ICTY. Perhaps the idea that rights are conditioned by wealth has become so second-nature that the lack of choice for those who cannot afford counsel remains invisible. It is true in common law jurisdictions, such as the United States, as well. While extending the right of counsel to the poor and recognizing the state has to pay for it if it is to be meaningful, the United States Supreme Court and the U.S. Congress nevertheless concluded that if the state is paying, the state gets to choose. The ICTY adheres to that distinction, despite its guarantee that accused shall be entitled to specified rights 'in full equality.' Article 21 (4).The Milosevic Trial Chamber's decision to deny the prosecution's request that it impose counsel on the accused is not entirely clear. It appears to follow the U.S. rule, despite the fact that rule is derived from the U.S. Constitution. On the other hand, in seeking to preserve its options with an obstreperous accused, the Chamber holds out the possibility that the interests of justice might trump the rights of the accused under the right circumstances (which have yet to occur). Given that another accused awaiting trial insists on his right to defend himself (Vojislav Seselj), and that the prosecution in that case has applied to another Trial Chamber for counsel to be imposed on the accused, the issue is likely to end up before the Appeals Chamber at some point. In the meantime, the Milosevic case will proceed as it has for the last 14 months -- with the likelihood of having the distinction of being the longest trial in history.*Decisions of other international bodies are not controlling as such, but act as a guide for the ICTY in deciding questions of law.'Longest trial in history': Palestinian NGO worker's case resumes for 129th timeOver the past four years, Muhammed al-Halabi's family says Israeli authorities interrogated and tortured the father of five accused of funnelling money to HamasHalabi (C), was returning from a meeting in Jerusalem in June 2016 when he was arrested at the Erez border checkpoint (AFP)The former director of a charity in the Gaza Strip, accused of funnelling donations to Hamas and its military wing, attended his 129th hearing in Be’er Sheva District Court on Wednesday.Muhammed al-Halabi, 41, was working for the US-based organisation World Vision in Gaza when he was detained by Israeli intelligence and security in June 2016 at the Erez border checkpoint on his way home after a routine meeting in Jerusalem.'All the eyewitnesses and even the officials at World Vision gave proof that he was innocent. But this is not what the prosecution is looking for'- Hamed, Muhammed al-Halibi's brotherAccording to Halabi’s father, Khalil, Muhammed was picked up in a joint operation carried out by the Shin Bet security service, the Israeli army and Israeli police.Over the past four years, he has experienced interrogations and court hearings and according to the Palestinian Authority’s agency for detainees, has been subjected to the “longest trial in the history" of Palestinian detainees held in Israeli prisons.On Wednesday, his long-running case resumed again but ended quickly, Halabi's family told Middle East Eye.“Today’s hearing was cancelled shortly after it started because the witnesses were not present,” his brother, Hamed, said. “The prosecution then threatened that any witnesses who come from Gaza to give their testimony will be detained.”“They do not want anyone to prove them wrong. All the eyewitnesses and even the officials at World Vision gave proof that he was innocent. But this is not what the prosecution is looking for,” he said.His father said that in one of the court hearings, the judge threatened Halabi, saying that if he would not confess that he collaborated with Hamas, she would sentence him to “long-term imprisonment”.“She threatened him and tried to force him to confirm the accusations in front of everyone,” he said.Since his detention, Halabi, a father of five from the Jabalya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, has refused to sign confessions that he used his position at World Vision to fund Hamas, according to his family.World Vision is the largest evangelical Christian charity in the world and has provided support to Palestinians in Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with local operations for more than 40 years.Following Halabi’s detention, the US-based charity denied the accusations, arguing that it had “no reason to believe” Israel’s claims that he had diverted funds.Ongoing torture, says familyDuring his detention, Halabi’s family said that he has undergone several interrogations and been subjected to “horrific torture” in which Israeli intelligence officers slapped him, hung him from the ceiling for prolonged periods of time, kicked him in his genitals, stripped him naked, and denied him sleep.“We can never call or contact him. None of us is allowed to see him except his mother who gets to meet him once in several months,” his father told MEE.Palestinian children hold posters of al-Halabi during a protest to support him in Rafah in August 2016 (AFP)“What do you expect his condition would be? He has been criminalised and subjected to humiliation and ill-treatment for years.”According to his father, the interrogation and torture of his son have never stopped since his detention in 2016.“The last time his mother saw him was last August. She said he had lost much of his weight and was in pain due to the torture,” his father said.“After several demands to be transferred to the hospital for having severe pain in the head and ears, Muhammed was moved in a vehicle for three days, only to meet the doctor who tore up his medical report and told him he was lying.”‘Delegitimising’ humanitarian workThe Israeli authorities have strictly tightened restrictions on human rights and aid organisations operating in the occupied Palestinian territories during the past five years, including by applying restrictive measures on financial transactions and deporting workers of international organisations.In a report published in January, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that attempts to “delegitimise” humanitarian and human rights organisations have been increasing significantly with the apparent support of the Israeli government during the past few years.OCHA added that “targeted defamation and smear campaigns allege violations of counter-terrorism legislation and international law, or political action against Israel”.The Israeli authorities have also been trying to deport US citizen Omar Shakir, Israel-Palestine director at Human Rights Watch (HRW).The Israeli Ministry of Interior revoked Shakir’s work permit in May 2018, accusing him of supporting the Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement before he joined HRW.Will western governments push back against Israel's assault on civil society?Ben WhiteAccording to Shakir, the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, which said he shared BDS content on social media, also cited his work at HRW to make their case.The attempt to deport Shakir is one of several cases in which Israeli authorities have deported human rights workers.In August 2016, Pam Bailey, director of We Are Not Numbers and former international secretary of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, was detained and interrogated by the Israeli Border Police at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport on her way to the Gaza Strip before being deported back to the United States.The American human rights activist was then given a 10-year ban, joining a growing number of international NGO workers who are denied permits to visit Israel and the Palestinian territory.A former employee at World Vision, who preferred to remain anonymous, told MEE that the accusations against Halabi were part of attempts to halt the organisation’s work in the Palestinian territory, including the Gaza Strip.“Following the detention of Halabi, an external audit was conducted by one of the Big Four auditors,” she said, referring to the nickname for the world’s largest accounting firms. “The firm’s report concluded that there was no diversion of funds.”“There was a political attack on the organisation given that one of its main offices is in the United States,” she continued. “The Israeli lobby in the US must have played a major role in impeding the work of the organisation.”Halabi’s family concurs. “They know very well that he is innocent, but they cannot release him after four years of interrogation and torture and prove themselves wrong,” his father concluded.

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