Legal news from Friday, September 23, 2005
16:09 EDT

[JURIST] The Bush administration may again decide to temporarily suspend the Jones Act [text] in order to facilitate petroleum shipments between US ports if Hurricane Rita [Wikipedia backgrounder] hinders supplies from reaching refineries, according to a government source Friday. The law says that only vessels built and owned by citizens [read more]

15:09 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that Lester Crawford [official profile], commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration [official website], has resigned.4:08 PM ET - Crawford's resignation comes just two months after his Senate confirmation as FDA chief [JURIST report]. During the confirmation process, Crawford was criticized for dragging his feet while [read more]

15:09 EDT

[JURIST] The European Union Friday presented a motion to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) [official website] in Vienna that would condemn Iran's nuclear program as a violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty [PDF text; JURIST news archive], but would not refer Iran to the UN Security Council [official website] [read more]

15:09 EDT

[JURIST] In Friday's environmental law news, Alameda County California supervisors [official website] have approved a plan that would mandate the shutdown of windmills during the winter migratory bird season. The Altamont Pass has over 5,000 windmills and is located along the Pacific Flyway [advocacy website], the main route for the [read more]

14:09 EDT

[JURIST] Diplomats said Friday that a French-led working group of the UN Human Rights Committee has completed drafting a treaty [UN statement] that would bind signing countries to prevent enforced or involuntary disappearances [Wikipedia backgrounder], calling them "crimes against humanity". The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from [read more]

14:09 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Friday's states brief, an Alabama Circuit Court [official website] judge has overridden a jury's recommendation of life imprisonment, and sentenced Kerry Spencer to death for the murders of three police officers. Under Alabama law, a judge may override the sentencing recommendation of the jury, and in this case [read more]

14:09 EDT

[JURIST] A federal district court sided with two national gun rights groups Friday by issuing a restraining order [NRA press release] to stop Louisiana law enforcement officials from taking weapons away from individual gun-owners in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive], according to the National Rifle Association (NRA) [read more]

13:09 EDT

[JURIST] A North Korean official said Friday that his country has "fully resolved" all issues regarding North Korean abductions of Japanese citizens [Wikipedia backgrounder; Japanese government backgrounder, PDF], and would not cooperate in any further investigations regarding missing Japanese nationals taken to the Communist state to teach Japanese language and [read more]

12:09 EDT

[JURIST] The European Commission [official website] Friday strongly condemned a Turkish court's decision to cancel an academic conference to discuss and question the accuracy of Turkey's version of events between 1915 and 1917 leading to 1.5 million deaths in what has been called the Armenian genocide [Wikipedia backgrounder]. Turkey is [read more]

12:09 EDT

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] has accused prison officials at the New Orleans Templeman III prison facility of leaving hundreds of inmates to fend for themselves [HRW press release] during Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive], calling the prisoners' experience a "nightmare." The human rights group interviewed prison staff and [read more]

12:09 EDT

[JURIST] A British Muslim man was found guilty in London Friday for "possessing articles useful for terrorists" including a hand-written instruction manual explaining how to fire mortars and secret codes that British police linked to al Qaeda. Andrew Rowe [BBC profile] had been under surveillance by British police prior to [read more]

11:09 EDT

[JURIST] Judges, lawyers, and even prisoners are on the move across Texas as residents prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Rita [Wikipedia backgrounder]. The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [official website], already bounced from its usual home in New Orleans [JURIST report], has announced closures [press release] [read more]

11:09 EDT

[JURIST] Federal prosecutors said Thursday that new charges [PDF indictment] have been filed against one of the men arrested in California earlier this year [JURIST report] on terrorism charges. Hamid Hayat, 23, now faces charges of providing material support to terrorists in addition to accusations that he lied to the [read more]

10:09 EDT

[JURIST] The Federal Election Commission [official website] on Thursday dismissed complaints [official press release] that Republican and conservative groups acted improperly to get third-party candidate Ralph Nader [JURIST news archive] on the ballot during the 2004 presidential campaign. Nader said the complaints were "frivolous". The FEC said they had no [read more]

10:09 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for jailed Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky [JURIST news archive; defense website] said Friday that they will appeal his conviction [JURIST report] on tax and fraud evasion charges to the European Court of Human Rights [official website]. A Moscow court Thursday denied Khodorkovsky's appeal [JURIST report] and an [read more]

10:09 EDT

[JURIST] Former HealthSouth [corporate website; JURIST news archive] finance chief Weston Smith was sentenced to 27 months in prison followed by one year of probation and ordered to forfeit $1.5 million in assets Thursday for his role in the company's accounting scandal [Wikipedia backgrounder]. In June, the company's former CEO [read more]

09:09 EDT

[JURIST] Army Spc. Charles Graner [Wikipedia profile; JURIST news archive] took the stand Thursday in court-martial proceedings against Pfc. Lynndie England [Wikipedia profile; JURIST news archive], who is facing conspiracy, maltreatment of subordinates and indecent acts charges stemming from the Abu Ghraib [JURIST news archive] prisoner abuse scandal. Graner, who [read more]

09:09 EDT

[JURIST] Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH), chairman of the US House Subcommittee on the Constitution [official website], said Thursday that legislation restricting state and local government's ability to take private property for private development could be presented to the full House Judiciary Committee in the next few weeks and could be [read more]

08:09 EDT

[JURIST] The US House Resources Committee [official website] Thursday approved [press release] the Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act [PDF text; committee backgrounder], legislation that would overhaul the Endangered Species Act [PDF text] by limiting the government's ability to protect plant and animal habitat while giving new development rights to [read more]

08:09 EDT

[JURIST] Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani [official website], Iraq's most powerful Shiite cleric, said Thursday that he endorsed the draft Iraqi constitution [English translation; JURIST news archive] and called for officials in the Shiite Muslim hierarchy to promote a "yes" vote in the upcoming national referendum. Al-Sistani's endorsement comes as Sunni [read more]

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