[JURIST] Brazil (official government site in Portuguese) has announced that it has received full approval from the International Atomic Energy Agency to begin producing enriched uranium. The IAEA and Brazil had been ironing out a deal to allow the country to produce its own nuclear material so long as there was no weapon's grade material produced. The IAEA was required to inspect Brazil's facilities prior to approval for production according to the IAEA statute. Brazil had originally balked at allowing IAEA inspectors access to the facility, claiming a fear of industrial espionage. Read the official press release from the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology here (Portuguese). JURIST's Paper Chase has background. Bloomberg has more.... Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi announced Thursday that he has accepted "in principle" the ruling of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission set up by the International Court of Justice. Zenawi said he would submit the ruling to the Ministers of Parliament for approval. UN Peacekeepers from the UN Mission on Ethiopia and Eritrea in the area have been unable to set up protection in the area because of a lack of a defined boundary. BBC News has more.... Venezuela (official government site in Spanish) passed a new media law Thursday which has come under fire from human rights groups as too restrictive. The Social Responsibility in TV and Radio Act (Spanish text here) encourages higher standards in broadcasting, protects children from inappropriate sex and violence and democratises access to the airways. The legislation has been the subject of fierce debate in the Venezualan National Assembly (official site in Spanish), but finally received a majority. Opposition members to President Hugo Chavez (official site in Spanish) claim that the law is aimed at silencing them, as they control most of the private media in Venezuala. BBC News has more.
[JURIST] BBC News is reporting that Ukraine's Supreme Court has barred official publication of the country's presidential election results until it has considered the opposition's appeal.
11:56 AM ET - The BBC now has a full story here. The English-language website of Opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko, which is being continually updated as events in the Ukrainian electoral crisis unfold, also reports these related late developments:
the Ukrainian National Bank executive has declared its support for Yushchenko
the Ukrainian Ministry of Education has announced that it will not prosecute students for participating in political actions and demonstrations.
Visit the Yushchenko website here (connections may be very slow due to high traffic).
6:23 PM ET - Yushenko's website has published a translation of his open address to the court:
You have witnessed gross violations of the constitutional right of the people to express their free will. You have witnessed that the Central Electoral Commission had refused even to examine those violations and announced the results of elections falsified by the government. You can see millions of people throughout Ukraine coming to the defense of the Constitution and the rights it guarantees.
The future of Ukraine, without exaggeration, depends on your decision today. With an honest decision you can bring the social processes back onto the constitutional course. Otherwise you will provoke the escalation of the public conflict in Ukraine.
I appeal to you to realize the level of responsibility laid upon you while examining the decision concerning the results of the presidential election. I appeal to you to act in good conscience and in accordance with the demands of the Constitution of Ukraine, to be governed by the interests of the people and not of the current government.
Read the full address here. After the announcement of the Supreme Court stay on announcement of the election results Yushchenko congratulated supporters at a rally in Kyiv's Independence Square. A Yushchenko spokesman later accused a leading Ukrainian newspaper of commiting a crime by publishing the election results contrary to the Supreme Court's order.
[JURIST] Federal prosecutors filed a 220-page brief on Wednesday evening with the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals asking the court to uphold the conviction of Martha Stewart. Earlier this month, Stewart's attorneys argued that federal prosecutors improperly suggested that Stewart was charged with insider trading at her trial. The appeals court will not hear oral arguments until early next year and most likely will not rule until after Stewart is released from prison. Stewart has said she nonetheless wants to continue with the appeal to clear her name. AP has more. The brief came one day after Stewart posted a Thanksgiving message on her website.
[JURIST] Marwan Barghouti, currently in an Israeli jail for involvement in terrorism, will seek the presidency of the Palestinian Authority, according to a top official in the ruling Fatah movement speaking Thursday. Barghouti is widely considered to be the most electable Palestinian candidate for the January 9th election. His candidacy would deepen an internal power struggle within the Fatah movement between the old guard that returned from exile with Arafat and a younger generation of activists who grew up in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Fatahs old guard nominated interim leader Mahmoud Abbas earlier this week. AP has more.
[JURIST] US District Judge Paul L. Friedman Wednesday denied a request by John Hinckley Jr. to spend more time away from St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington DC to visit his parents in Williamsburg, VA. Hinckley shot President Reagan and three others in 1981 and was acquitted after trial in 1982 by reason of insanity. Lawyers for Hinckley argued that his mental illness has been in remission for over ten years, therefore he is seeking more freedom. Government attorneys have opposed this and all of Hinckley's requests for unsupervised visits, but Hinckley has gradually won permission to leave hospital grounds, most recently for short, unsupervised visits with his parents which are monitored by Secret Service agents. AP has more.
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