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We Robot: Conference on Legal and Policy Issues Relating to Robotics

We Robot: Conference on Legal and Policy Issues Relating to Robotics

Founded by University of Miami School of Law Professor A. Michael Froomkin, We Robot is the most exciting interdisciplinary conference on the legal and policy questions relating to robots.  The increasing sophistication of robots and their widespread deployment everywhere—from the home, to hospitals, to public spaces, and even to the battlefield—disrupts existing legal regimes and requires new thinking on policy issues. (See Miami Law Magazine article from the 2013 conference, “Robots at…
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Holland & Knight Real Estate Attorney Lives for the Deal

But the self-proclaimed deal junkie pushed on, making her mark in a male-dominated legal sector by helping developers etch their mark on Miami’s …
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‘Must black death be broadcast and consumed to be believed?’

I wasn’t going to write this. On this subject, I felt I had already spilled enough outrage onto enough pages to last a lifetime. I needed a break from the emotional carnage. Then I saw the dashcam video that was released last week. Granted, it told me nothing I didn’t already know. I knew how a black man named Philando Castile was pulled over last year in a Minneapolis suburb. I knew how he politely informed the police officer that he had a legal firearm in the car. I knew how the officer p…
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Governor: Opponents hope Mississippi is hurt by LGBT law

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant said Friday that opponents are “desperately hoping” Mississippi will be hurt by a law that would let business people and government workers cite religious beliefs to deny some services to same-sex couples. His comments came a day after a federal appeals court lifted an injunction that has blocked the state’s “religious objections” law from taking effect for nearly a year. Speaking of the law’s opponents, Bryant said: “They hope something bad will happen to the state …
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6-member panel named to negotiate on marijuana bill

A six-member House-Senate conference committee has been selected to try and come up with a compromise bill to revamp the voter-approved recreational marijuana law. Legislative leaders assigned the panel Friday after the House formally rejected the Senate version of the bill. The House conferees are Democrats Mark Cusack and Ron Mariano, the House Majority Leader, and Republican Hannah Kane. The Senate negotiators are Democrats Patricia Jehlen and William Brownsberger, and Republican Vinny deMac…
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A few summer thoughts about bugs, fish and quail

A few summer thoughts about bugs, fish and quail

A few summer thoughts about bugs, fish and quail By Beth Conner The Miami County Republic | 0 comments I had the most interesting thing happen the other evening while I was watering my garden (pre-storms on Friday evening). I was trying to adjust my sprinkler so that it would cover the flowered areas. The water was supposed to hit my new flowers and NOT the weeds. My watering device wasn’t working to my liking placed on the ground, so I stood outside holding the sprinkler in my hands. In…
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Department of Natural Resources cuts state fair presence

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will no longer have a large presence at the state fair, where it has previously promoted hunting, fishing and other recreational pursuits. A department spokesman told the Wisconsin State Journal (http://bit.ly/2rCAEed ) the department will no longer send between 100 to 200 staff members to the 11-day event. The decision is part of the department’s attempt to refocus its efforts after budget cuts and criticism from the Legislature. The department is …
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Big fish fry planned for Saturday in Louisburg

Photo courtesy of Larry Bond The four Louisburg men who caught the fish for Saturday’s Mason fish fry display just one morning’s catch, hauling in more than 150 pounds of catfish. The fishermen are (from left) William “Captain Buddy” Rogers, Mark Seely, Larry Bond and Colton Seely. William “Captain Buddy” Rogers battles a fish during the day to get bait for the night’s catfish lines. Rogers has helped catch fish for the annual Mason Peace Lodge 243 Fish Fry for the past eight yea…
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Miami-style luxury on Kinsale’s ‘Golden Mile’ for €2.75m

The Scilly peninsula in Kinsale takes its name from the Cornish fishermen who arrived in the area when the town was a major fishing port and decided to make the location their home. It is no wonder they remained in this wonderful spot – which is within minutes of the town yet away from the hustle and bustle. Known locally as the Golden Mile, it is the most sought after location in Kinsale. The current owners of Corafinne, one of whom is originally from Cork and based in the UK, sought a site …
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Lawmakers: Codfather’s permits should go to Northeast states

Maine’s congressional delegation says fishing permits forfeited by a fishing magnate dubbed “The Codfather” should be redistributed through the Northeastern states. Carlos Rafael was indicted on more than two dozen counts, including tax evasion and falsifying fishing quotas last year. He’s due for sentencing on June 27. Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and Reps. Chellie Pingree and Bruce Poliquin sent a letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross asking that 13 groundfish permits forfeited…
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Thousands of dead fish found floating in bays, washed ashore

Thousands of dead fish found floating in bays, washed ashore

Police say the thousands of dead bait fish found floating in Maine bays over the weekend is due to a fishing vessel catching more than it could handle. The Brunswick Police Marine Resource & Harbor Management Division says it followed up on weekend complaints of “hundreds of thousands” of dead fish in the bays. They determined a fishing expedition on June 6 caused the kill of the bait-fish pogies. Police say the fishing vessel was not equipped to handle a large catch of pogies and left them…
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Budget cuts threaten forests’ roads, hunting, fishing

The roads to the national forests could get bumpier. Literally. Trails could get messier. Maintenance on bridges, dams and recreation sites could become tougher. That’s the potential fate of national forest projects, thanks to President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for fiscal 2018, which begins Oct. 1. While the overall federal budget has plenty of cuts in agency after agency, the forest service plan has more drama, because the White House is seeking about $100 million in funding for capital improvement and maintenance, down from $363 million this year. That’s a 73 percent cut, and could have a huge impact on recreation, according to Rebecca Turner, senior director of programs and policy for American Forests, a nonprofit conservation organization. Turner said roads are used to access the trails leading to “majestic overlooks,” as well as lakes and rivers inside the forests. She said the budget cuts would also lead to camp sites and facilities not being maintained. Turner said if the forest service is unable to maintain safe roads, boat launches and campgrounds, they’re likely to simply close. “When you can’t access the forests, then it’s much harder to enjoy them,” she said. John Haynes, a spokesperson for the Forest Service, said it would be “premature” to comment on the proposed budget before it is finalized by Congress. The Forest Service manages the 154 national forests around the country that cover more than 180 million acres. Millions of people visit the forests every year. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell said his agency will focus on maintaining “staff and expertise” in anticipation of President Trump’s infrastructure plan, few details of which were outlined in the 2018 budget. “When the infrastructure plan moves forward, then we’ll be well positioned to be able to implement projects,” Tidwell told Senators at a hearing on the forest service budget. But Tidwell told McClatchy that the administration has not made it clear when or if that money will come. “If additional funds are not made available through the infrastructure plan, or additional opportunities, then the budget request for roads and trails and infrastructure would make it very challenging, more challenging, for us to carry out our program of work,” Tidwell said. Coalter Baker, a spokesperson for the Office of Management and Budget, said there were no details on the infrastructure plan beyond the six-page fact sheet included in the budget which does not mention the forest service. “It’s nice to hope, but until we see a draft let alone a bill … we’re hoping for something that we don’t know would exist,” Turner said. Both Republicans and Democrats have raised concerns. “How do we sustain the $10 billion generated by visitors to our national forests and the 143,000 jobs they create if we don’t have roads to access the forest, or safe and accessible facilities or hiking trails for visitors to use once they are there,” Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M. said at a Senate hearing recently on the forest service budget. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, also raised concerns about the cut’s impact on roads, noting cuts could make it tougher for timber purchasers to access the forests. H. Sterling Burnett, a research fellow on environmental policy at the Heartland Institute, a conservative think tank in Illinois, said the budget cuts are necessary to control spending. He said since cuts to politically popular programs such as defense or entitlements like Medicare are unlikely, agencies like the forest service will have to see their budgets squeezed. “[Budget cuts] have to come and they have to be steep,” he said. “You can’t fiddle around the edges.” Burnett said the government should consider selling some of its land to private companies both to raise money and to reduce the amount of forest it has to manage. “There is no reason the federal government needs to own 100 million acres of forest,” he said.
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The Rossdale Group, LLC v. Walton

The Rossdale Group, LLC v. Walton

Miami Legal, filing under the Rossdale name, opposed the motion, supported by a declaration from Susan Lunden (Lunden), who identified herself as …
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Excommunicating mobsters? Vatican eyes new legal doctrine

The Vatican is looking to develop a new doctrine that calls for excommunicating Catholics for mafia association and corruption. That’s the decision reached this week after the Vatican hosted its first-ever conference on fighting corruption and organized crime. The meeting gathered 50 prosecutors, bishops, victims and U.N. officials for a day of talks. In a statement Saturday, the Vatican said the need had come to develop a new legal doctrine for the Catholic Church about “excommunication for co…
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Laws would make aspiring Australians pledge to share values

Laws would make aspiring Australians pledge to share values

Aspiring Australian citizens will have to make a pledge to share Australian values under proposed new laws introduced to Parliament on Thursday. The law would give Immigration and Border Protection Minister Peter Dutton power to write and revise an Australian Values Statement and it would reduce avenues to appeal his decisions on citizenship cases. The bill does not spell out what Australian values are and critics argue that getting Australians to agree on what values they share is difficult. D…
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Judge faces legal quagmire in teen texting suicide trial

Michelle Carter and Conrad Roy III are both sad figures in a teenage tragedy that ended with Roy killing himself and Carter charged with manslaughter. A juvenile court judge now finds himself at the center of a legal quagmire: Should he set a legal precedent in Massachusetts by convicting Carter of manslaughter for encouraging Roy to take his own life through dozens of text messages? Or should he acquit her and risk sending a message that Carter’s behavior was less than criminal? Judge Lawrence…
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Czechs to take legal action against EU weapon directive

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka says his country is taking legal action against a new European Union directive on holding weapons. Sobotka says his government agreed on the move on Wednesday because it considered the directive, approved as a reaction to a recent wave of terrorism, too restrictive. The government is set to file the complaint at the European Court of Justice by Aug 17. The EU directive bans some kinds of semiautomatic weapons that are popular among the 300,000 holders of a …
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California firms up marijuana rules, will allow deliveries

California would set standards for organic marijuana, allow pot samples at county fairs and permit home deliveries under legislation set to be considered by lawmakers Thursday as the state prepares for next year’s start of legal marijuana sales. Lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration are working to merge California’s new voter-approved recreational pot law with the state’s longstanding medical marijuana program. They have settled on an array of regulations to protect consumers and publ…
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State court filing: Law on meaning of words does nothing new

A new law that’s been criticized as discriminatory against same-sex couples actually does “nothing new at all,” Tennessee’s attorney general contends in a legal filing. Attorney General Herbert Slatery made that argument last week in a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by four married lesbian couples expecting children through artificial insemination. The law requires using the “natural and ordinary meaning” of words in state law. Gay rights groups have contended that the requirement offers a s…
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Indiana domestic violence law addresses phone plans, pets

Indiana domestic violence law addresses phone plans, pets

A new Indiana law hopes to help those affected by domestic violence leave abusive relationships. The Evansville Courier and Press (http://bit.ly/2rmZgXo ) reported that the law, taking effect next month, allows judges to approve the transfer of phone plans over to domestic violence victims without the account holder’s consent. It also allows pets to be included in protective orders for domestic violence. That portion of the bill hopes to prevent abusers from using pets as leverage against their…
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Montana Fish Technology Center to celebrate 125 years

Montana Fish Technology Center to celebrate 125 years

Montana’s Bozeman Fish Technology Center is set to celebrate 125 years of operation. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports (http://bit.ly/2sLeIi4 ) the center will celebrate the milestone Saturday with a day of special events held in conjunction with the center’s annual Watershed Festival. Established in 1892, the center was opened as the first national fish hatchery in the northern Rocky Mountains and was responsible for keeping lakes and rivers stocked with enough fish to sustain the ecosystem….
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Greek anti-austerity protesters pelt police with fish

Protesters outside Greece’s parliament threw boxes of fish at police on Friday ahead of a vote that approved new austerity measures. Members of a communist-backed labor union hurled the crates of sardines at police as lawmakers debated the cuts, which were added to draft legislation on fishing regulations in an attempt to speed up their passage through parliament. Greece’s left-wing government is trying to reach a deal on reforms with international bailout lenders that would unfreeze the flow o…
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Breast cancer survivors go fly-fishing for solace, healing

Breast cancer survivors go fly-fishing for solace, healing

Spaced out up and down a stretch of the Little River, more than a dozen women stand in the moving water in overall waders casting fly rods, some for the first time. The women — all breast cancer survivors in different stages of treatment and recovery — are taking part in a free weekend fly-fishing retreat that offers them more than fishing. The event, held each spring by the nonprofit Casting for Recovery, covers the basics of fly-fishing while offering the women support, counseling, medica…
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Indian fishermen try new nets for healthier oceans

The fishermen were dubious when ocean experts suggested they could save their dwindling marine stocks just by switching to new nets. It took years for the U.N. Development Program to convince the fishing communities along India’s tropical western coast that the diamond-mesh nets they were using were trapping baby fish, while a square-shaped mesh could allow small fish to escape to maintain a breeding population. But two years after the new nets were fully adopted, fishermen insist they’re making a difference. “This square net is a blessing for us,” said John Gabriel Naronha, who runs six trawlers in the area. “When the small fish grows up, the fishermen can really benefit … we can get good prices for big fish. And the small fish gets a chance to grow.” The project, launched in 2011, is one of many being showcased at a major conference on oceans beginning Monday, where the United Nations will plead with nations to help halt a global assault on marine life and ecosystems that is threatening jobs, economies and even human lives. “The oceans of the planet are in dire need of urgent action,” said Marina Walter, deputy director for UNDP in India. That action is even more urgent now that climate change is causing ocean temperatures to rise while waters also become more acidic, causing widespread destruction of coral reefs that sustain a quarter of all marine species. But conservation efforts work best when they’re linked with local livelihoods, Walter said. “You cannot work on biodiversity or life underwater in isolation, without looking at the livelihoods of people, the bread and butter.” No one in 80 or so fishing villages of Sindhudurg district expected to have problems fishing, after centuries of their families relying on the sea. Located in one of India’s 11 ecologically critical coastline habitats, the area is teeming with life from more than 350 marine species including Indian Ocean dolphins and Olive Ridley turtles. Colorful corals span the shallows, while tangles of mangrove forests protect the land from water erosion. But that bounty has suffered against the twin assaults of overfishing and pollution, which caused a steady decline local fish stocks and forced fishermen to push further out to sea. Since switching to new nets, fishermen say fish stocks are recovering, though there is no data collected yet to prove it. Surveys of fish population may be conducted at the end of this year, when the UNDP finishes its six-year project in the area. The struggles of India’s fishermen are hardly unique. About one out of every 10 people in the world relies directly on the ocean to survive. Most of those are among the world’s poorest and most vulnerable, meaning they have few substitutes when marine life declines. And it is declining rapidly, thanks to increased fishing for an expanding global population and unchecked runoff of industrial chemicals, sewage and other pollutants. Already, about 90 percent of wild fisheries around the world are over-exploited or collapsed. Meanwhile, the UNDP has also helped set up a crab farming project in the Sindudurg area to encourage local preservation of the mangroves and resistance to land developers and those gathering firewood from chopping the saltwater-tolerant trees down. Now, nurseries for crab seedlings line up along a 2-acre (8,000-square-meter) stretch of backwater pools filled with the mud that crabs like to dig into. It takes up to nine months for the crabs to grow to full size, at which point they are harvested and sold for about $15 per kilogram ($6.80 a pound). Recently, the group of nine women and one man earned nearly $1,000 in profits from a single harvest. Local officials are delighted with the low-fuss process and positive results. “With very little manipulation of the environment, you can grow crabs wherever you have mangroves,” said N. Vasudevan, who heads a special unit dedicated to mangrove conservation for the government of India’s western state of Maharashtra.
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Serbia adopts Remembrance Day for domestic violence victims

Serbia adopts Remembrance Day for domestic violence victims

Serbia has introduced a Remembrance Day for women killed by their husbands or partners as part of efforts to curb domestic violence in the conservative Balkan country. The government decided on Monday that May 18th will be dedicated each year to the victims of violence against women. The date was chosen because seven women were killed in just three days in May 2015. Deputy Prime Minister Zorana Mihajlovic says “it will be a day when we will say out loud that violence against women must stop.” M…
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Protest sparks Texas lawmaker threats of gun violence

Hundreds of protesters opposing Texas’ tough new anti-“sanctuary cities” law launched a raucous demonstration from the public gallery in the Texas House on Monday, briefly halting work and prompting lawmakers on the floor below to scuffle — and even threaten gun violence — as tense divides over hardline immigration policies boiled over. Activists wearing red T-shirts reading “Lucha,” or “Fight,” quietly filled hundreds of gallery seats as proceedings began. After about 40 minutes, they bega…
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Managing senseless violence with technology

Managing senseless violence with technology

Two seconds. That’s all it took to turn a lovely summer evening into a scene of mass hysteria. Such was the singer Ariana Grande concert in Manchester last week. Teens and young adults were simply out to enjoy an evening of music when their world forever became scared. In this case, a suicide bomber decided to impose the agenda of the Islamic State. In the face of this tragedy, parents everywhere are looking to law enforcement officers to enhance their procedures, keeping their loved ones saf…
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