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A federal appeals court panel on Friday upheld the criminal conviction of Donald Trump’s longtime ally Steve Bannon for defying a subpoena from the House committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rejected Bannon’s challenges to his contempt of Congress conviction. Bannon had been sentenced to four months in prison, but the judge overseeing the case had allowed him to stay free pending appeal.

Bannon’s attorneys didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment. His lawyers could ask the full D.C. appeals court to hear the matter.

The congressional committee sought Bannon’s testimony over his involvement in Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Bannon had initially argued that his testimony was protected by Trump’s claim of executive privilege. But the House panel and the Justice Department contend such a claim is dubious because Trump had fired Bannon from the White House in 2017 and Bannon was thus a private citizen when he was consulting with the then-president in the run-up to the riot .

A second Trump aide, trade advisor Peter Navarro, was also convicted of contempt of Congress and reported to prison in March to serve his four-month sentence.


Thailand’s Constitutional Court is set to decide Wednesday whether popular politician Pita Limjaroenrat, who was blocked from becoming prime minister, should now lose his seat in Parliament.

The election victory last year by Pita’s progressive Move Forward party reflected a surprisingly strong mandate for change among Thai voters after nearly a decade of military-controlled government. But the party was denied power by members of the unelected and more conservative Senate.

Pita was suspended from his lawmaking duties pending the court ruling Wednesday on whether he violated election law due to his ownership of shares in ITV, a company that is the inactive operator of a defunct independent television station. By law, candidates are prohibited from owning shares in any media company when they are registered to contest an election.

The Senate, whose members are appointed by the military, cast votes to choose a prime minister, under a constitution that was adopted in 2017 under a military government. The Move Forward party now heads the opposition in Parliament.


In a historic ruling, Panama’s Supreme Court this week declared that legislation granting a Canadian copper mine a 20-year concession was unconstitutional, a decision celebrated by thousands of Panamanians activists who had argued the project would damage a forested coastal area and threaten water supplies.

The mine, which will now close, has been an important economic engine for the country. But it also triggered massive protests that paralyzed the Central American nation for over a month, mobilizing a broad swath of Panamanian society, including Indigenous communities, who said the mine was destroying key ecosystems they depend on.

In the unanimous decision Tuesday, the high court highlighted those environmental and human rights concerns, and ruled the contract violated 25 articles of Panama’s constitution. Those include the right to live in a pollution-free environment, the obligation of the state to protect the health of minors and its commitment to promote the economic and political engagement of Indigenous and rural communities.

The ruling would lead to the closure of Minera Panama, the local subsidiary of Canada’s First Quantum Minerals and the largest open-pit copper mine in Central America, according to jurists and environmental activists.

The court said the government should no longer recognize the existence of the mine’s concession and Panama’s President Laurentino Cortizo said “the transition process for an orderly and safe closure of the mine will begin.”

Analysts say it appears highly unlikely that Panama’s government and the mining company will pursue a new agreement based on the resounding rejection by Panamanians.

“There are sectors in the country that would like a new contract, but the population itself does not want more open-pit mining, the message was clear,” said Rolando Gordón, dean of the economics faculty at the state-run University of Panama. “What remains now is to reach an agreement to close the mine.”

Analysts say the mining company is free to pursue international arbitration to seek compensation for the closure based on commercial treaties signed between Panama and Canada. Before the ruling, the company said it had the right to take steps to protect its investment.

With the ruling, the Panamanian government and the mining company are headed for arbitration at the World Bank’s international center for arbitration of investment disputes, in Washington, said Rodrigo Noriega, a Panamanian jurist.

Marta Cornejo, one of the plaintiffs, said “we are not afraid of any arbitration claim” and that they are “capable of proving that the corrupt tried to sell our nation and that a transnational company went ahead, knowing that it violated all constitutional norms.”

In a statement after the verdict, the mining company said it had “operated consistently with transparency and strict adherence to Panamanian legislation.” It emphasized that the contract was the result of “a long and transparent negotiation process, with the objective of promoting mutual economic benefits, guaranteeing the protection of the environment.”

Cortizo, who had defended the contract arguing it would keep 9,387 direct jobs, more than what the mine reports, said that the closing of the mine must take place in a “responsible and participative” manner due to the impact it would have.

The company has said the mine generates 40,000 jobs, including 7,000 direct jobs, and that it contributes the equivalent of 5% of Panama’s GDP.

The court verdict and the eventual closure of the mine prompted more protests, this time by mine workers.


The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the procedural vote that allowed Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ education overhaul to take effect immediately, rejecting a judge’s ruling that threw into question the way state laws have been fast-tracked into enforcement over the years.

The state Supreme Court’s 6-1 decision has no effect on the education law that the Republican governor signed in March and is already in effect. The law created a new school voucher program, raised minimum teacher salaries and placed restrictions on classroom instruction pertaining to sexual orientation and gender identity before the fifth grade.

But the ruling rejects the argument that the Legislature violated the state constitution with its votes for the measure to take effect immediately. Opponents of the law argued that the emergency clause for the law, which requires a two-thirds vote, should have been taken up separately from the legislation. Lawmakers commonly vote on a bill and its emergency clause at the same time.

Justices ruled that this approach for the education law was constitutional, noting that the votes are recorded separately in House and Senate journals.

“The House Journal indicates a separate roll call and vote for the emergency clause. Likewise, the Senate Journal indicates a separate roll call and vote for the emergency clause,” Justice Barbara Webb wrote in the ruling. “Thus, according to the official record, the emergency clause was passed in compliance with article 5, section 1 of the Arkansas Constitution.”

Sanders, who took office in January, hailed the ruling.

“Today’s Supreme Court ruling in favor of the LEARNS Act is a historic victory for Arkansas parents, teachers, and students,” she posted on X, formerly Twitter, calling the ruling a “crushing defeat” for opponents of the law.

Ali Noland, an attorney for the plaintiffs who challenged the law, criticized the court’s decision and said the lawsuit was moot for two months since the overhaul was already in effect.

“Today’s Arkansas Supreme Court ruling makes it much harder for Arkansans to hold their government accountable for willfully violating the Arkansas Constitution,” Noland said in a statement.

Justices in June lifted the Pulaski County judge’s order that blocked enforcement of the law. Without the emergency clause, the law wouldn’t have taken effect until August.

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