Alex Newman

George Zimmerman, accused of murder by state prosecutors in Trayvon Martin’s fatal shooting, will be seeking a hearing aimed at getting the charges dismissed by a judge before the case even goes to trial, his attorney announced on Thursday in a widely anticipated move. Legal analysts say that, based on Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” self-defense law and available evidence, Zimmerman has a good chance at success. An attorney for Martin’s family, however, vehemently disagreed.

Under state law, a defendant asserting self-defense may request a hearing with a judge to get the charges thrown out before the case actually makes it to a jury trial. Still, the burden is much steeper. In a regular trial, prosecutors must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. But in a “Stand Your Ground” hearing, Zimmerman and his defense team will have to convince the judge that the evidence in the case points to justified self-defense.

Opponents and liberty-minded activists are up in arms over the fact that the genocidal mass-murderer ruling over Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, is set to be elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council. Observers said the move will further discredit an institution that has already become a laughing stock around the world for appointing so many communist and Islamic dictatorships as supposed guardians of human rights.

Critics from across the political spectrum are already protesting the latest development. But analysts say that with the broad support of governments in the region and backing from the so-called “African Union,” the Sudanese war criminal’s appointment to the UN so-called “human rights” entity is now virtually assured without a massive wave of opposition.

As American lawmakers debate reining in, auditing, reforming, or even abolishing the controversial Federal Reserve System following a growing wave of bipartisan outrage over its bailouts and wild currency printing, discredited U.S. central bank boss Ben Bernanke is actually urging Europe to create a centralized fiscal authority to be more like the United States. But the process is actually already well underway. 

Apparently the Fed boss believes further concentration of power in the hands of the unelected European bureaucrats — largely responsible for the current crisis — would somehow help quell the region’s ongoing economic turmoil. Free market advocates, however, have argued that the exact opposite is true: For Europe to properly deal with the crisis, it should get governments — and especially the emerging European Union super-state — completely out of the way.

American lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are expressing serious concerns about a bid by the communist dictatorship ruling mainland China to purchase Canadian energy firm Nexen and its vast U.S. oil and natural gas holdings. The deal by the Chinese regime, acting through its state-owned front company China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), also represents a potential national security risk, warned Republican and Democrat members of Congress.

If approved by authorities in the United States and Canada, the Nexen takeover would mark the first time that the communist Chinese dictatorship would be operating U.S. leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

Former Syrian “Prime Minister” Riad Hijab has reportedly defected to the opposition, dealing what analysts said was a symbolic blow to the regime of dictator Bashar al-Assad in its ongoing battle against Western-backed rebels and Islamist forces. The dictatorship disputed those allegations, however, claiming that the ex-premier had actually been fired.

Initial media reports of Hijab’s defection were citing unnamed “opposition activists” who also, apparently inaccurately, claimed that three other government ministers had already fled the country as well. Later, a man claiming to be a spokesman for the former prime minister, whose whereabouts are currently unknown, appeared on Al Jazeera to read a statement supposedly on Hijab’s behalf.

As the international effort to deploy so-called “smart meters” to monitor electricity usage marches on, resistance to the controversial devices is increasing around the world as well. Proponents claim the schemes could save money and reduce energy use. Opponents from across the political spectrum, however, worry that the smart meters might not be just a stupid idea and a waste of money — they could actually be dangerous in more ways than one.

The Tennessee Democratic Party has officially rejected its own nominee, Mark Clayton, for the upcoming U.S. Senate race against incumbent Republican Sen. Bob Corker, citing the liberty-minded Democrat candidate’s affiliation with a pro-life group that defends the traditional definition of marriage. But despite a wave of vicious attacks by far-left ideologues, Clayton, who promised to strictly respect the Constitution, is already finding some tepid support for his candidacy among conservatives, Tea Party activists, and libertarians across the country — especially on social media.  

While most of the world refuses to acknowledge what is happening in largely communist-controlled South Africa, the non-profit group Genocide Watch declared last month that preparations for genocidal atrocities against white South African farmers were underway and that the early phases of genocide had possibly already begun. In the long run, Genocide Watch chief Dr. Gregory Stanton explained, powerful communist forces also hope to abolish private-property ownership and crush all potential resistance.

According to experts and official figures, at least 3,000 white farmers in South Africa, known as Boers, have been brutally massacred over the last decade. Many more, including children and even infants, have also been raped or tortured so savagely that mere words could not possibly convey the horror. And the problem is only growing worse, international human rights monitors and South African exiles say. 

About a year ago, a federal appeals court ordered the deeply unpopular Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to obey the law and hold public hearings on its widely loathed “naked body scanners.” The massive bureaucracy flouted the judicial order and has so far failed to comply. This week, however, the court demanded that the Department of Homeland Security explain itself by the end of the month.

A coalition of TSA critics including the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) originally sought to have the nude scanners removed from airports on constitutional grounds, alleging a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment’s protection from “unreasonable searches and seizures.” Other opponents also said the pornographic machines violate the right to privacy.

As concerns over the U.S. dollar and the Federal Reserve continue to grow, U.S. lawmakers explored sound money, competing currencies, and the route to monetary freedom during an August 2 hearing chaired by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). It was the final House Domestic Monetary Policy Subcommittee hearing led by the long-time champion of honest currency and reining in the controversial Fed, but analysts say the impact of Rep. Paul’s work is only just starting to be felt.