November 9, 2012 in Nation/World

In brief: Whistleblowers can’t sue Rumsfeld

From Wire Reports
 

Chicago – Two American whistleblowers alleging U.S. forces tortured them in Iraq can’t sue former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, according to a federal appeals court in Chicago that found those along the military command chain enjoy broad immunity from such torture claims.

Donald Vance and Nathan Ertel filed a lawsuit claiming they were detained in 2006 and tortured after they accused an Iraqi-owned company they worked for of illegally running guns. They argued Rumsfeld personally approved interrogation methods for use by the U.S. military in Iraq, making him responsible for what happened to them during several weeks they were held in military camps.

The 8-3 ruling by the full 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, posted Wednesday on the court’s website, found there’s no law granting the men rights to sue Rumsfeld or others in the line of military command.

San Francisco to cover sex surgeries

San Francisco – San Francisco is preparing to become the first U.S. city to provide and cover the cost of sex reassignment surgeries for uninsured transgender residents.

The city’s Health Commission voted Tuesday to create a comprehensive program for treating transgender people experiencing mental distress because of the mismatch between their bodies and their gender identities. San Francisco already provides transgender residents with hormones, counseling and routine health services, but has stopped short of offering surgical interventions, Public Health Director Barbara Garcia said Thursday after the vote was announced.

Yale names provost new president

New Haven, Conn. – Yale University on Thursday named Provost Peter Salovey, a renowned scholar in the field of psychology, as its new president.

He replaces Richard Levin, who announced in August he would step down at the end of the academic year after 20 years leading the Ivy League university.

Salovey, 54, was instrumental in academic innovation and reform at Yale, officials said. He was credited with providing more international opportunities for undergraduates, launching freshman seminars, enhancing writing intensive courses, and instituting rigorous courses that introduced science topics to non-science majors.

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