Legal news from Friday, April 15, 2005
20:04 EDT

Housekeepers, elevator operators, workmen and others who might come in contact with Roman Catholic cardinals as they meet in secret conclave at the Vatican next week to choose a new pope took an oath of secrecy and signed written secrecy pledges Friday. Pursuant to section 46 of Pope John Paul [read more]

19:04 EDT

Egyptian judges [UNDP-POGAR judiciary backgrounder] have threatened not to supervise presidential and parliamentary elections due later this year unless the government amends laws which limit judicial power and prevent the convening of free and fair elections. The judges say that close relations between the executive and the judiciary undermine their [read more]

16:04 EDT

[JURIST] In an urgent appeal at a press conference in Santiago Friday, a coalition of leading human rights groups urged the Chilean Supreme Court to reconsider its January 25 decision to shut down unconcluded investigations of human rights violations [JURIST report] that occurred under former Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet [read more]

15:04 EDT

[JURIST] French commentators suggested Friday that a televised appeal [JURIST report] by French President Jacques Chirac [BBC profile] in a "town hall"-style meeting with young people broadcast Thursday evening and seen by over 9,000,000 viewers [Le Monde report in French] has failed to persuade skeptical French citizens to vote in [read more]

15:04 EDT

[JURIST] New US Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings [official bio] castigated senior departmental officials Friday over the controversial hiring of conservative commentator Armstrong Williams [Wikipedia profile] to plug the No Child Left Behind Act [official website]. Williams was investigated by the FCC in January [JURIST report] for his failure to [read more]

15:04 EDT

[JURIST] Sheik Ahmed Abdul Ghafour al-Samarrai, a prominent Sunni cleric of the Association of Muslim Scholars [backgrounder], urged President Jalal Talabani [BBC profile] on Friday to fulfill an earlier promise to pardon some 10,500 insurgents imprisoned by US forces. His remarks, stating that Talabani should not "obey and kneel to [read more]

14:04 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Friday's corporations and securities law news, defense contractor Raytheon Company [corporate website] has announced that it's placed chief financial officer Edward S. Pliner and another employee on administrative leave and also offered to settle a SEC inquiry into accounting practices of its commuter aircraft business. Raytheon offered to [read more]

14:04 EDT

[JURIST] Dutch Minister for European Affairs Atzo Nicolai [official profile] said Friday that the scheduled June 1 Netherlands referendum [Dutch government press release] on the European constitution [official website; treaty text; JURIST news archive] will not be delayed in the event of a French rejection of the pact. France's referendum [read more]

13:04 EDT

[JURIST] Member states of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) [official website] are urging the United States to drop its opposition to a third term for current Director General Mohamed ElBaradei [official bio]. The US has become increasingly displeased with ElBaradei due to what the US sees as a lack [read more]

13:04 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate [official website] unanimously approved a measure Thursday evening that would bar government agencies from using taxpayer funds to produce video press releases disguised as real news. The amendment [THOMAS amendment summary], whose purpose is to "prohibit the use of funds by any Federal agency to produce [read more]

13:04 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Friday's international brief, Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque [official profile in Spanish] announced Friday that Cuba rejected the UN Human Rights Commission [official website] resolution calling on Cuba [government website] to allow a special envoy to visit the island nation to investigate abuses. Cuba has been subject [read more]

12:04 EDT

[JURIST] The hopes of Mexico City Mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador [World Mayor profile] for a presidential run in the 2006 national election remained uncertain Friday after a strange turn of events Thursday that saw current Mexican president Vicente Fox [official website] do an apparent about-face on the possibility of [read more]

12:04 EDT

[JURIST] In Friday's environmental law news, a number of environmental groups have filed a complaint [not yet online] in federal court in San Francisco that alleges 14 government agencies have violated the US Energy Policy Act [DoE factpage], which requires that 75 percent of the new cars and light trucks [read more]

11:04 EDT

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch [official website] said in a new report [text] Friday that governments in both North America and Europe have negligently relied upon promises of humane treatment in order to transfer terror suspects to states with well-established records of torture. The 91-page report entitled Stiil at Risk claims [read more]

11:04 EDT

[JURIST] Florida circuit judge George Greer ordered the Florida Department of Children and Families [official website] on Thursday to release the records of its investigation into allegations [JURIST report] that Terri Schiavo [JURIST news archive] was abused prior to her death. Greer ruled that DCF must release the records to [read more]

10:04 EDT

[JURIST] Twelve detainees were injured Thursday night when a fight broke out at the US Camp Bucca prison camp [Wikipedia entry; JURIST news archive] in southern Iraq triggered by the murder of an inmate. The US military confirmed the fight among detainees in a statement [US Central Command news release] [read more]

10:04 EDT

[JURIST] Prosecutors have dropped objections to the release of four high ranking Serbian officials ahead of their trial for war crimes, allowing them to return to Belgrade as early as today. The four include Milan Milutinovic, a former Serbian president under Slobodan Milosevic, along with Nikola Sainovic, Dragoljub Ojdanic and [read more]

09:04 EDT

[JURIST] Two high-ranking but unidentified United Nations officials have been cited in the criminal complaint [PDF] released Thursday against South Korean businessman Tongsun Park for his involvement in the Iraq oil-for-food scandal [JURIST news archive]. Park is accused of accepting millions of dollars from the Iraqi government while operating in [read more]

00:04 EDT

[JURIST] Here's a run-down of law-related events, expected developments and live webcasts on JURIST's docket for Friday, April 15.The US Senate [official website] convenes at 9:30 AM ET today, when it will consider H.R. 1268 [bill summary], the Iraq/Afghanistan Supplemental Appropriations bill. Watch a live webcast of the session.The US [read more]

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