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WJTN News Headlines for Wed., Aug. 31, 2022

International Humanitarian Law Roundtable ends with resolution, and push to create "ad hoc" tribunal to try Russia for crimes in Ukraine...
Russia has committed numerous violations of the international rule of law during it's bloody, six-month invasion and war in Ukraine... but, the act of aggression is the worst of them.  That was part of the final statement of principles from the 14th International Humanitarian Law Roundtable that concluded Tuesday at Chautauqua Institution.  The Roundtable's Chairwoman... past Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, Fatu Bensuda... says the current situation in Ukraine led to a lively two-days.  Bensuda says "people really were very engaged" and bringing their expertise to bear.  However... it was telling when the international prosecutors on hand agreed that existing law and "mechanisms" are inadequate to prosecute the crime of aggression.  With that... the prosecutors are pushing for the creation of an "ad hoc" tribunal to handle the case against Russia.  Dean of the Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Michael Scharff, says that's because current tribunals don't have the power to do that.  Scharff says that tribunal would have the ability to go after people like Russian President Vladimir Putin... and, his Foreign Affairs Secretary Sergey Lavrov.  Another aspect of the final statement at the roundtable dealt with the use of mercenaries, and how they should be handed by the the International Criminal Court. 


Case Western Law Students get to take part in Humanitarian Roundtable...
A group of law school students at Case Western Reserve University got some "real life" lessons about how international law is developed and used during the roundtable at Chautauqua this week.  Law School Dean Michael Scharf says the "repratroiries" have been assisting the international prosecutors in researching ways to deal with crimes of "aggressive war."  Scharf says among the questions they were grappling with was whether to establish an "ad hoc" tribunal to deal with the crime of aggression.  One of the students... Kelsey Shannon... says the experience was "really cool" and fast paced.  But... she says it's been great meeting everyone at the event in a "retreat-like" setting.  There were about 50 people on hand.. so you could meet and talk with everyone.  The repratoiries got hands on experience in assembling the final documents.  Those were all put together... and, then boiled down to one, final document with principle statements the prosecutors signed off on to conclude the roundtable.  In addition to her experience at Chautauqua... Shannon says she also served an internship with Interpol in France earlier in the Summer.


Barge runs aground at Van Buren Point on Lake Erie...
A large barge ran aground near Van Buren Point on Lake Erie overnight after breaking loose from a tug boat that was towing it.  Petty Officer Faba of the Coast Guard's 9th District in Cleveland, Ohio says the incident happened about 1:30 this morning... when they were notified that a tug boat was towing a barge when it ran aground.  Faba says they're been trying to break the vessel free, and pollution control crews are on scene as "refloat efforts" are underway.  The 200-foot barge belongs to a Michigan company.


Times Square in NYC will become a "Gun Free Zone" Thursday...
New York City will begin posting signs proclaiming the iconic tourist destination Times Square as a ``Gun Free Zone.''  The 25-block business district in the center of Manhattan is arguably the busiest in the United States.  Under a sweeping new state gun law that goes into effect this Thursday... it would be one of scores of ``sensitive'' places, including parks, churches and theaters that would be off limits for guns.  The new rules are meant to address a U.S. Supreme Court decision that further expanded Second Amendment gun rights when it invalidated a century-old law that required gun owners to prove they had a compelling need to carry.


Investigators say garage fire in Busti caused by lighting strike...
A lighting strike during Monday's severe thunderstorms triggered a garage fire on the Big Tree-Sugar Grove Road in the town of Busti.  That from Chautauqua County Fire Investigators... who were called to the scene once the blaze was out.  Busti firefighters were initially called to the location... between Northrup and Kortwright Roads... about 3 p.m.  Several other New York and Pennsylvania companies were called in to assist.  The investigation determined the fire originated in the garage roof due to the lightning strike.  No injuries were reported.


Man injured when motorcycle strikes downed tree during storm in Jamestown...
A motorcyclist escaped serious injuries in Jamestown yesterday afternoon when his bike struck a tree that had been knocked down near Jamestown Community College.  City police say they were called to the scene at Buffalo Street and Prendergast Avenue about 2:45 p.m. on a report of a motocycle hitting a tree in the roadway.  Police arrived... and the rider was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.  No charges were filed.