The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday against an earlier ruling allowing doctors to provide suicide drugs, by throwing out a case against the Swiss government. The woman at the center of the lawsuit was discovered to have committed suicide more than years ago.
"Because the government has an obligation to protect life, not assist in promoting death, we are pleased to see this bad decision thrown out despite the extraordinary circumstances," said Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Paul Coleman. "The lawsuit's claim that a person should be able to do whatever he or she pleases does not override national laws rightfully designed to protect the weak and vulnerable."
The law group, which had filed a brief with the Grand Chamber in 2013, noted that an earlier ECHR ruling against the Swiss government was nullified after the cbhamber discovered that Alda Gross, who had wanted to be provided with suicide drugs, had committed suicide in November 2011. The court was not notified of that fact, however, nor was it made known that the woman used the same poison to take her own life as the type she was attempting to secure legal rights to through the lawsuit. more >>
At least 12 people were killed in eastern Ukraine on Monday, including three civilians, despite a ceasefire in the region. Officials noted that the conflict has cost over 3,500 lives in total since it began in April.
Col. Andriy Lysenko said that nine soldiers were killed and 27 were wounded by tank fire at the government-held airport in the city of Donetsk. Three civilians were killed and five were injured in a separate incident during an overnight shelling of a residential area, where rebels have been trying to capture the airport, The Associated Press reported.
A mother of five and Birmingham, U.K., resident recently claimed to have seen the face of Jesus in a photo of her newly laid bathroom floor.
Freda Murphy, 52, snapped a picture of the new floor for insurance purposes and discovered an outline of what she believes to be the face of Jesus with a tear falling from his right eye, according to a Birmingham Mail report.
"We'd just had the floor laid down and I was taking a picture for my solicitor," Murphy told Birmingham Mail. "When I Iooked at the image it sent a shiver down my spine. I could make out eyes, a nose, mouth, long hair and beard. A lot of people have said it looks like Jesus." more >>
Nearly three dozen towns around the world, including in the U.S. and France, launched their first "Sunday Assembly," also known as the atheist church, on Sunday.
According to the Sunday Assembly website, 35 towns launched new Sunday Assemblies, adding to the more than two dozen Sunday Assemblies that were already established. The group says its mission is to tackle loneliness and social isolation.
"And the world certainly needs more community: social isolation and loneliness are on the rise with 40% of US adults say they are lonely compared to 20% in the 80s and 1 in 10 UK adults say they have no close friends," the website states. "This has massive effects on society, and on the health of society with studies showing that loneliness has comparable impacts on your health as smoking and obesity, it impairs immune function and boosts inflammation and can contribute to arthritis, type II diabetes and heart disease." more >>
Paraguayan Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano, who has been accused of protecting a priest suspected of sexually abusing minors, has been officially removed from his post by the Roman Catholic Church. In a subsequent letter to the Vatican, Plano hit back against the decision and said that Pope Francis "will have to answer before God."
The Vatican explained in a statement on Thursday that Francis has decided to replace Plato following an investigation, and named Ricardo Jorge Valenzuela Ríos, Bishop of Villarrica del Espíritu Santo, to fill his vacancy.
"The grave decision taken by the Holy See, under the weight of serious pastoral concerns, is for the greater good and unity of the Church of Ciudad del Este and episcopal communion in Paraguay," the statement read. more >>
Kate Middleton, Britain's Duchess of Cambridge, is pregnant with Prince William's second child and she has already reportedly decided on a name. Middleton believes the child is a girl and has allegedly decided to name it after the current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.
According to palace sources, the ultrasound has detected more than one heartbeat and it is likely that Kate is going to have twins. There is currently no guarantee one of them will be a girl but if that does happen, naming the other twin will be something that the royal couple will have to think about.
Prince William and Kate reportedly want to name one of their daughters Diana in honor of the late Princess Diana. However, it was reported by Celebrity Dirty Laundry that Queen Elizabeth has requested that the twin girls be named "Elizabeth" and "Margaret" -- one wold be named after her and the other for her sister, who died more than a decade ago. more >>