Legal news from Friday, July 15, 2005
15:07 EDT

[JURIST] A new report by the American Progress Fund [advocacy website] has savaged US television news networks for covering trivial legal stories such as the "runaway bride" [CNN.com report; interview on coverage with CNN president Jonathan Klein; Columbia Journalism Review blog post] and the Michael Jackson trial [CNN.com special report] [read more]

15:07 EDT

[JURIST] UK Home Office minister Hazel Blears [official website] announced in a letter to opposition leaders released late Friday that the British government plans to create new criminal offenses covering incitement and the teaching or receiving of terrorist training in an effort to prosecute criminals before they commit terrorist acts. [read more]

15:07 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Friday's states brief, the Wisconsin Supreme Court today extended [decision text] the "risk contribution theory" to lead paint manufacturers and allowed the suit of a 15-year old boy who can't prove which manufacturer produced the paint that may have injured him to continue. Risk contribution theory allows those [read more]

14:07 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official website] Friday upheld [PDF opinion] US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly's ruling [JURIST report] that regulations imposed by the Federal Election Commission [official website] undercut the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law [PDF text]. In September 2004 the FEC was [read more]

14:07 EDT

[JURIST] A strong majority in Jordan’s House of Deputies [backgrounder], the country's lower house of parliament [official website], voted Thursday to reject an extradition agreement between Jordan and the US. The vote followed several lawmakers' speeches blasting the United States for the occupation of Iraq by US forces and American [read more]

13:07 EDT

[JURIST] Former Qwest Communications [official website] CFO Robin Szeliga pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of insider trading. Szeliga, initially charged last month [JURIST report; DOJ press release], will likely face a term of 15 to 21 months in prison after admitting to improperly selling 10,000 shares of Qwest stock [read more]

13:07 EDT

[JURIST] Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney [official website] has told the joint House and Senate Judiciary Committee that his proposal to reinstate the death penalty [JURIST report; press release] would ensure that no innocent people were executed by including multiple levels of review and a unique "no doubt" standard of guilt. [read more]

13:07 EDT

[JURIST] Bankrupt energy company Enron Corporation [JURIST news archive] has agreed to pay over $1.5 billion to settle claims that it gouged California, Oregon and Washington and companies such as Pacific Gas & Electric Co., Southern California Edison Co., and San Diego Gas & Electric, during the 2000-2001 energy crisis. [read more]

13:07 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Friday's international brief, Zimbabwe Local Government and National Housing Minister Ignatius Chombo admitted to reporters today that reconstruction plans announced by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe [Wikipedia profile] would be incapable of meeting the housing needs of individuals made homeless by "Operation Murambatsvina" (the African term sometimes translated "Operation [read more]

12:07 EDT

[JURIST] A memo dated Thurday obtained by Associated Press and prepared by the general counsel's office of the independent commission reviewing the base closings could disrupt US Department of Defense [official website] efforts to consolidate or dissolve up to 30 Air National Guard [official website] flying units in various states. [read more]

12:07 EDT

[JURIST] Australian Prime Minister John Howard [official website] told a news conference [transcript] Friday in the wake of the London bombings that Australia should reconsider introducing a national identity card, an idea the country debated but shelved back in 1987. Howard, who opposed the 1987 plan for an Australia Card [read more]

11:07 EDT

[JURIST] Spokesmen for several of Iraq's religious minorites, including Chaldo/Assyrian Catholics [Wikipedia backgrounder], Iraqi Turkmen Muslims [UNOP backgrounder], and Mandaeans [WIkipedia backgrounder] have expressed concern that new Iraqi constitution due out in a month may leave out any meaningful provisions guaranteeing religious freedom. Panel members at a National Press Club [read more]

11:07 EDT

[JURIST] Negotiations over a global anti-terrorism treaty get under way again the week of July 25, according to Mohamed Bennouna, chairman of the UN General Assemby's treaty-writing (Sixth) legal committee. Earlier this month G8 leaders called for early agreement [JURIST report] on a draft of the Comprehensive Convention on International [read more]

11:07 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that a US federal appeals court has ruled that Guantanamo detainees may be tried by military commissions. Read the US DC Circuit Court of Appeals opinion [PDF] in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. JURIST's Paper Chase provides background coverage of the Hamdan case. AP has more.12:35 PM ET [read more]

10:07 EDT

[JURIST] The Pakistan government Friday asked the Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] to rule on a controversial Islamic law [JURIST report] passed Thursday by the conservative Islamist legislature of the country's North West Frontier Province [Wikipedia backgrounder]. President General Pervez Musharraf [Wikipedia profile] is seeking the Court’s ruling on [read more]

10:07 EDT

[JURIST] At a Senate Armed Services subcommittee hearing [witness list, statements; JURIST report] Thursday, three top military lawyers said they had lodged complaints about the definition of torture [text] put forth by the US Department of Justice [official website] and its application to the interrogations of enemy combatants held by [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] US Army Gen. Geoffrey Miller [Wikipedia profile] has made contradictory statements regarding his interactions with high-level Pentagon officials on the Abu Ghraib scandal, according to Friday's Chicago Tribune. In May 2004 Miller, a former Guantamao commander later transferred to Abu Ghraib, told the US Senate Committee on Armed Services [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] Britain's most senior military figures in the House of Lords Thursday assailed the UK Ministry of Defense [official website] for subjecting soldiers to litigation arising out of their conduct in Iraq. The English Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, is shortly expected to announce charges against soldiers arising from the murder [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] Moazamm Begg [Wikipedia profile; JURIST news archive], a UK national formerly detained at Guantanamo Bay, has told the Associated Press that rampant racism in Britain, a lack of assimilation in certain communities, anger over US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, and conditions in Guantanamo may have contributed to the [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] US District Court judge Jeffrey Miller has thrown out a lawsuit filed in March 2005 [JURIST report] against the Associated Press [media website] and reporter Seth Hettena claiming that the news group violated privacy and copyright laws by publishing photos of Navy SEALs with Iraqi prisoners. All four counts [read more]

08:07 EDT

[JURIST] Brandon Mayfield [Wikipedia profile; JURIST news archive], a Portland lawyer and Muslim convert, returns to a federal courthouse in Portland Friday for a pretrial hearing in his civil lawsuit against the US government. A little over a year ago Mayfield was arrested as a suspect in the Madrid train [read more]

08:07 EDT

[JURIST] A legal professional speaking on condition of anonymity has told the Associated Press that chief presidential adviser Karl Rove [Wikipedia profile] testified to a grand jury that he learned the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame [Wikipedia profile] from the media. Rove allegedly testified that columnist Robert Novak [Wikipedia [read more]

08:07 EDT

[JURIST] A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] ruled [PDF text] Thursday that that US meatpackers can resume Canadian cattle importation, ending a two-year ban put in place after Canada discovered its first domestic case of mad cow disease [Wikipedia backgrounder]. The [read more]

07:07 EDT

[JURIST] BBC News is reporting that chemistry student Magdi al-Nashar has been arrested in Cairo in connection with the London bombings. BBC News has more.11:36 AM ET - Magdi al-Nashar has denied any role in the London attacks during interrogations by Egyptian authorities, the Interior Ministry said in a statement. [read more]

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