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NYT, Guardian: Pardon Snowden

NSA whistleblower 'has done country a great service'

(Newser) - Apparently it's Edward Snowden appreciation day. The New York Times and the Guardian both published editorials today calling on authorities to pardon or grant amnesty to the NSA leaker. "Considering the enormous value of the information he has revealed, and the abuses he has exposed, Mr. Snowden deserves... More »

Pussy Riot Members Freed —Much to Their Displeasure

Maria Alyokhina says she wishes she was still in prison

(Newser) - The high-profile prisoner exodus continues in Russia: The last two jailed members of Pussy Riot were today freed, after being in prison since August 2012. Their sentences were scheduled to end in March. The release came under an amnesty declared by Vladimir Putin , which Maria Alyokhina—the first band member... More »

Amnesty for Snowden? NSA Bosses Split

They fear he could reveal 'road map' of US know-how

(Newser) - 60 Minutes last night offered a window into the NSA's thinking on how to handle Edward Snowden and his cache of information. In an interview, Rick Ledgett, head of the task force investigating Snowden's impact, didn't rule out the possibility of amnesty, per CNET : It's... More »

Boehner: Senate's Immigration Bill Is Toast

House speaker rules out conference compromise

(Newser) - John Boehner threw a massive bucket of cold water on hopes for comprehensive immigration reform today, saying that the Senate bill was a complete non-starter for the House. "We have no intention of ever going to conference on the Senate bill," Boehner said, NBC News reports. Reform advocates... More »

Some House Democrats Could Bail on Immigration

Especially those from moderate or conservative districts

(Newser) - Don't expect House Democrats to rally unanimously behind immigration reform the way their Senate counterparts did. A whole lot of them sound like anything but a firm "yes" vote, the Wall Street Journal observes. Many hail from swing districts, and are waiting to stake out a hard stance... More »

GOP Doesn't Need Change

Charles Krauthammer thinks the world is overreacting to Mitt Romney's defeat

(Newser) - All week pundits have been burying the GOP, insisting it must change to meet America's changing demographics or die. But not Charles Krauthammer. "The answer to Romney's failure is not retreat," he writes in the Washington Post . It is to "do conservatism, but do it... More »

President Morsi Pardons Egypt's Protesters

Those in prison or awaiting trail will be set free

(Newser) - Good news for Egypt's revolutionaries: President Mohamed Morsi today pardoned the ones who are awaiting trial or serving time in prison, the BBC reports. Only those accused of murder are excluded. On his Facebook page, Morsi announced the pardon for acts "committed with the aim of supporting the... More »

N. Korea to Free Prisoners for Kim Jong Il's Birthday

Likely another move to shore up support for Kim Jong Un

(Newser) - North Korea has announced a round of special pardons for some of its prisoners in honor of what would have been Kim Jong Il's 70th birthday next month, in what the Telegraph sees as an attempt to boost the popularity of Dear Leader's heir, Kim Jong Un. The... More »

California May Consider Amnesty Program

Democratic lawmaker hopes to get measure on the ballot

(Newser) - The debate over offering amnesty to illegal immigrants might soon be a ballot issue in California. Democratic lawmaker Felipe Fuentes formally introduced a measure yesterday that would allow about 1 million undocumented immigrants in California to live and work there without worrying about getting deported, reports McClatchy Newspapers . Fuentes filed... More »

Burma's Thaw Now Extends to Media

Journalists can criticize gov't, but still many limits

(Newser) - The political thawing of tropical Burma seems to be continuing, as the second-least-free country in the world for journalism (after North Korea) has begun to relax its tight controls over the media. As the Wall Street Journal reports, pictures of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi have appeared in newspapers... More »

Burma Releases 155 Political Prisoners

Prominent activist Zarganar among them

(Newser) - Burma today began releasing the 6,300 prisoners who will be granted amnesty, but so far the number of political detainees released does not come close to the estimated 2,000 who are in jail. The Telegraph puts the number of political prisoners released at 120, while the AP reports... More »

Burma Grants Amnesty to 6,300

Democracy advocates hope the group includes political prisoners

(Newser) - The ice might be breaking in Burma: The nation's rulers today announced that they will grant amnesty to 6,359 prisoners beginning tomorrow, sparking hopes among democracy advocates that the 2,000-some political prisoners being held will be among them. The government didn't explicitly say political prisoners would... More »

Silent Majority Backs Immigration Crackdown

Only 36% say Arizona law too harsh

(Newser) - Arizona may be under heavy fire for its strident new immigration law, but it appears a slim majority of Americans actually support it—and want more action taken. In the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, 51% said the Arizona law “is about right,” while another 9% said... More »

San Francisco Druggies Unionize

Drug-Users Union aims to give marginalized a political voice

(Newser) - San Francisco is a union town, so why not a union for…drug users? The San Francisco Drug-Users Union has been formed with $35,000 from the Drug Policy Alliance to give the addled a say in local government, a move that has also been taken in other big cities... More »

Obama Gives Illegal Haitians Temp Amnesty

Iowa rep objects: Deported, they could help with relief

(Newser) - President Obama today gave Haitians in the US illegally the OK to stay for 18 months under “temporary protective status” while the quake-devastated nation rebuilds. And while critics don’t see much daylight between that and a blanket amnesty, one Republican says if the illegal immigrants were sent home,... More »

Dobbs to Latino Voters: Let's Be Amigos!

Once rabidly anti-illegal anchor now warms to 'amnesty'

(Newser) - If Lou Dobbs does indeed run against the only Hispanic in the Senate, New Jersey’s Robert Menendez, he may have to mend some fences with Latino voters—and here he goes. The former CNN anchor, notorious for his views against illegal immigration, gave an interview to Telemundo last week... More »

US Shifts Strategy, Seeks Amnesty for Jailed Reporters

New tactic implies some offense committed against N. Korea

(Newser) - The US is switching its strategy to get two American journalists freed from North Korea, dropping its demand for release on humanitarian grounds in favor of appealing for forgiveness, CNN reports. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday asked for “amnesty” for Laura Ling and Euna Lee, saying “everyone... More »

SF Library Offers Amnesty to Tardy Book Borrowers

But each has to cough up an excuse

(Newser) - A book amnesty program in San Francisco has inspired many guilty returns and a few entertaining excuses, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The city's public library offered tardy borrowers the chance to return items, fine-free, as long as they came with an excuse. Returning a record 29,228 items worth... More »

Mugabe Aides Use Violence in Bid for Amnesty

Associates fear retribution from newly powerful opposition

(Newser) - Aides to Robert Mugabe, fearing that the end is near and they will be prosecuted for their misdeeds, are trying to gain leverage through familiar means—abduction and torture, the New York Times reports. The strategy seems to boil down to this: Jail as many opposition figures as possible on... More »

Texas Illegals Promised 'Hurricane Amnesty'

Officials don't want immigration enforcement to impede evacuations

(Newser) - The federal government has declared a “hurricane amnesty” in an attempt to get Texas’ illegal immigrants out of Hurricane Ike’s way, the Christian Science Monitor reports. Immigration officials will not attempt to arrest illegals in shelters or along common evacuation routes. The Red Cross has begun outreach programs... More »

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