In a precedential ruling, Britain's Court of Appeal ruled on Thursday that mothers who excessively drink while pregnant are not criminally responsible for causing life-long disabilities to their unborn babies and children born permanently harmed by their mother's alcohol abuse are not eligible to receive criminal injury compensation from the government.
Attorneys representing a 7-year-old girl, who is known only as CP and was born with severe brain damage because her mother consumed either half a bottle of vodka or eight cans of lager per day, petitioned the court to grant her compensation funds from Britain's Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.
However, the three-judge panel ruled that a fetus cannot be considered a person under British law because they do not have a "legal personality" and are just an "organism" in the mother's womb. The court also deemed that since pregnant alcohol abuse has not been criminalized by Parliament, the mother had not committed a crime. more >>
Sony's European Playstation division has launched its "12 Deals to Christmas" annual sales campaign and will take place every two days until Christmas Eve. Select games will be getting discounts for the Playstation 4, Playstation 3, and PS Vita. The sale starts today until 11:59 am GMT on Dec. 3.
The sale starts off with "The Last of Us Remastered" for the Playstation 4. The title is originally sold at £39.99 but is being offered at half price at £19.99. For PS Plus members, the discount further extends by 10 percent.
For the Playstation 3, Sony is offering "F1 2014" at less than half price. Originally, the title is £39.99 and is now only priced at £15.99. For the PS Vita "Dynasty Warriors Next" is being offered also at less than half price. From £29.99 to £11.99 with an additional 20-percent discount for PS Plus members. more >>
The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland has warned that allowing gay and lesbian couples the same rights to marry as straight couple would be "a grave injustice," ahead of the country's upcoming referendum on marriage in 2015.
"To put any other view of unions on the same level as Christian marriage would be disservice to society rather than a service," Bishop Liam MacDaid said at a news conference, according to Reuters.
"In a same sex union, children would be deprived of what a man and woman can give to children in a stable marriage." more >>
Greek Justice Minister Haralambos Athanasiou has said that he will never back legalizing same-sex marriage in the country, arguing that it harms society and poses a danger to traditions.
"I won't discuss it, I can't conceive of it," the conservative politician told Greece's Mega TV. "Besides, the convention of human rights forbids it. When it speaks about marriage it speaks [of marriage] between a man and woman. We are a country that respects traditions, respects human nature, and it's not possible at least with this government and this ministry, to permit marriage."
While Greece has faced sanctions by the European court of human rights for not extending rights to gay couples, in July, the court refused to judicially impose same-sex marriage on countries, stating that gay marriage is not a human right. more >>
Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has warned that the rapid rise of artificial intelligence could bring about the end of humankind.
"The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race," the atheist professor told BBC News, while discussing the technology that allows him to verbally communicate.
The physicist added that artificial intelligence programs have proved useful for people so far, but claimed that the next steps in their evolution could prove dangerous. more >>
Pope Francis and several of the world's leading religious leaders joined together in a pledge to end human slavery by 2020, focusing on the tens of millions of people "in chains" due to human trafficking and forced labor.
"The physical, economic, sexual and psychological exploitation of men and women, boys and girls, is chaining tens of millions of persons to inhumanity and humiliation," the pope said and signed the pledge to do "all in our power, within our faith communities and beyond" to end modern slavery by 2020.
The signatories of the declaration included Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury; Rabbi David Rosen, international director of interreligious affairs for the American Jewish Committee; Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi al-Modarresi, an influential Shiite scholar; Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, as well as representatives for Ahmad el-Tayeb, a grand imam from Egypt. more >>