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International brief ~ Three police officers charged with negligence in Russian school hostage crisis

[JURIST] Russian prosecutors have charged three deputy police chiefs with criminal negligence for their actions during the Beslan school hostage crisis. Russian deputy prosecutor general Nikolai Shepel announced the charges Wednesday, but would not detail what the specific charges were. Shepel also announced that the direct superiors of the three men, currently being treated in a hospital for health issues unrelated to the siege, will be arrested upon their release. MosNews.com has more.... The Federation Council, Russia's upper legislative body, voted Tuesday to approve ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. The body voted nearly unanimously with one opposed and one abstaining. The only step left in Russia's adoption of the treaty is President Vladimir Putin's signature and the submission of the ratified treaty to the UN. Both are considered a mere formality at this point. In related news, Putin announced during a Ukranian television interview late Tuesday night that he will not run for a third term as president. Putin said he believed the Russian Federation Constitution envisioned only two consecutive terms for the head of state and that the country needed the stability of following law and order more than it needed him for a third term. Read the transcript of Putin's interview here. JURIST's Paper Chase has background on the Russian consideration of the Kyoto Protocol here and here. Itar-Tass has the Kyoto Protocol story here and Putin's announcement here.... The Sudanese National Assembly met Tuesday and approved the expansion of the African Union peacekeeping force into the troubled Darfur region. The proposal was offered by the AU as a method to monitor the cease-fire in the area and to protect the flood of refugees that has been generated by the ongoing violence from the conflict between the rebel militias and the Sudanese government. Nigerian Colonel Mohammed Yusuf announced Wednesday that almost 400 troops will be leaving for the Darfur region on Thursday, bolstering the current presence of mixed AU troops. Ultimately the AU plans to have over 4000 troops in place to monitor the cease-fire. JURIST's Paper Chase has background on the situation in Sudan. The Sudan Tribune has more.... The Pakistani National Assembly passed a law Tuesday that tightened criminal sanctions on the practice of honor killings, raising the ultimate penalty available to capital punishment. The law also creates a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years for anyone convicted of an honor killing. Previously the law had allowed the judge to issue a 'soft' sentence. Honor killings occur when a family murders a female relative for dishonoring the family through adultery, premarital sex, marrying without the family's permission, or even being raped. Rural areas of Pakistan suffer large numbers of honor killings, with many cases turning out to be based on untrue rumors. Human rights groups are critical of the law since it still retains the option for offenders to pay a sum to the victim's family and thus be exempted from the law. Dawn has more.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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