Legal news from Thursday, December 9, 2004
15:12 EDT

[JURIST] Rights groups are warning that the sweeping intelligence reform package now awaiting signature by the President after Senate passage yesterday is better than earlier versions but still contains multiple provisions that threaten privacy and personal freedom. An ACLU spokesperson said in a statement late Wednesday that "While some extreme [read more]

15:12 EDT

[JURIST] The former president of Morris Brown College, an historically black institution in Atlanta, Georgia, has been charged with taking out some $5 million in unauthorized federal student loans in the names of students who did not want them and using the funds to pay college expenses. Delores Cross, 68, [read more]

14:12 EDT

[JURIST] Seif el-Islam Gaddafi, son of Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, has said that the Libyan government will not execute the five Bulgarian nurses and the Palestinian doctor who were found guilty by a Libyan court in May of knowingly infecting more than 400 children with HIV in 1998. They [read more]

14:12 EDT

[JURIST] French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin Thursday announced plans to reform the country's current 35-hour workweek. While letting that formal limit stand, Raffarin said companies will be allowed to negotiate their own deals with employees regarding overtime. The 35-hour workweek was introduced under a Socialist administration in 1998, and was [read more]

13:12 EDT

[JURIST] A jury has awarded the parents of 17-year old David Boim $52 million in damages in one of the first jury awards against US-based charities accused of supporting terrorism. Boim was killed by gunmen in Israel's West Bank in 1996. Before trial, US Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys found the [read more]

13:12 EDT

[JURIST] The United Iraqi Alliance, a coalition of 23 mainstream Shiite groups under the auspices of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, announced Thursday a list of 228 candidates running for office in the Iraq elections scheduled for January 30. Iraq's Sunni factions, who have indicated that they may boycott the election, [read more]

13:12 EDT

[JURIST] The Zimbabwe parliament Thursday passed a controversial bill banning foreign-funded human rights groups from operating in the country and requiring all other rights groups to register with the governmet. Pro-government legislators have accused outside rights groups of being tools of western governments opposed to the regime of President Robert [read more]

11:12 EDT

[JURIST] Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma signed a decree Thursday effectively firing the country's Prosecutor-General, according to Russia's Interfax news agency. Gennady Vasilyev had submitted his resignation Wednesday, which Kuchma had accepted as part of a parliamentary deal to pass a package of electoral law and constitutional reforms opening the way [read more]

11:12 EDT

[JURIST] Military planners are seeking $25 million to build a state-of-the-art 200-cell permanent detention facilty in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to be guarded by a special 324-member professional guard force, according to a story running Thursday in the Miami Herald. The permanent building, based on the layout of a medium-security prison [read more]

10:12 EDT

[JURIST] The UK House of Lords ruled Thursday that immigration controls set up by the British government had systematically discriminated against Roma Gypsies trying to enter Britain, largely from the Czech Republic where many faced prosecution. Roma, known for their nomadic lifetsyle, have traditionally been a suspect social group across [read more]

10:12 EDT

[JURIST] Acting at the instance of President Lucio Gutierrez, the Ecuadorian Congress has narrowly voted to dismiss all 31 members of the country's Supreme Court on grounds that the institution had become too politicized. The mass dismissal, approved by 52 of the Congress's 100 members, is being sharply criticized by [read more]

10:12 EDT

[JURIST] California Attorney General Bill Lockyer has announced that his state will sue the federal government to block enforcement of the so-called Weldon amendment, a provision in a massive federal appropriations bill awaiting signature by President Bush that could deny California federal funds if it is found to discriminate against [read more]

09:12 EDT

[JURIST] CTV News is reporting that the Supreme Court of Canada has approved a proposed federal law that would make same-sex marriage legal across Canada. Lower courts in six Canadian provinces and one territory have already ruled that the traditional legal definition of marriage as between a man and a [read more]

09:12 EDT

[JURIST] Judge Charles Pickering, named by President Bush to the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals through a "recess appointment" in January of this year after his regular nomination stalled in the Senate, has said he is retiring and will make a formal announcement to that effect Thursday. Pickering's nomination [read more]

08:12 EDT

[JURIST] A Pentagon spokeman has said that four members of an elite US military special operations team have received administrative punishment for using Tasers - electronic stun guns - on Iraqi prisoners. Taser devices subdue human targets by delivering a shock of up to 50,000 volts that disrupts muscle activity. [read more]

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