Legal news from Tuesday, February 7, 2006
21:02 EDT

[JURIST] US senators voted 98-1 [Senate roll call] late Tuesday in favor of allowing debate to proceed on a controversial asbestos bill that would supplant asbestos-related litigation with claims against a $140 billion compensation fund. Asbestos-injured workers and their families would be eligible to receive anywhere from $25,000 to $1.1 [read more]

20:02 EDT

[JURIST] Three people were killed Tuesday in election-related violence in Haiti [JURIST news archive] as citizens waited for hours at voting stations to participate in the first national poll since former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] was forced from office in 2004 and involuntarily taken out of [read more]

19:02 EDT

[JURIST] A report [PDF text; press release] released Tuesday by the non-partisan electionline.org [official website] monitoring group says that over half of US states have failed to meet the January 1, 2006 deadline set by the 2002 Help America Vote Act [text] for implementing its requirements, which include updating voting [read more]

18:02 EDT

[JURIST] US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld [official profile] acknowledged in testimony [PDF] before the US Senate Armed Services Committee [official website] Tuesday that corruption is a serious problem in Iraq, saying that "it's critically important that [corruption] be attacked and that the new leadership in that country be measured [read more]

17:02 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Tuesday's environmental law news, the European Commission (EC) [official website] has announced that it will not be appealing the 2005 European Court of First Instance ruling [PDF text; press release] that held the UK could revise its 2005-07 carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions trading plan without first getting EU [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] A French court on Tuesday refused to hear a lawsuit launched to prevent a French newspaper from publishing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad [JURIST news archive] that have caused protests and violence [JURIST report] across the globe. The suit, brought by five Muslim organizations including the moderate Paris Mosque [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] A document released to an Australian commission [Cole Commission official website] set up [JURIST report] to investigate alleged Australian connections to the oil-for-food scandal [JURIST news archive] Tuesday shows that Saddam Hussein personally assisted the Australian Wheat Board (AWB) [corporate website] in grain distribution in Iraq while it was [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] Germany's Federal Constitutional Court [official website, in German] on Tuesday ordered the release of Moroccan-born Mounir al-Motassadeq [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], who was convicted [JURIST report] last year in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks [JURIST news archive], while appeals of the conviction [JURIST report] are pending. Motassadeq [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] Officials from over 100 countries are meeting in Geneva this week to discuss strengthening a United Nations treaty which controls the use of tobacco products worldwide. The two-week conference is underway to determine further provisions for the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control [official website; PDF text], [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] Slovak Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda [official website, English version] has decided to abandon an agreement [draft text in Slovak, DOC] with the Vatican [official website], prompting a major breakdown in the Slovak government with the Christian Democrat Movement (KDH) [official website, in Slovak] announcing it would leave the government [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni [BBC profile] on Monday criticized a Constitutional Court ruling [JURIST report] that halted the court-martial of opposition leader Kizza Besigye [BBC profile] on charges of possessing illegal firearms. Museveni vowed to fight the court ruling politically, even suggesting that a referendum may be used. The [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz [official profile] has promised to target corruption in governments that deal with the bank and in the organization itself during a worldwide staff meeting. As an example, Wolfowitz cited Kenya, from which the World Bank [official website] was withholding $250 million in loans due [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy [official profile, in French; BBC profile] on Tuesday announced proposed new immigration laws [Le Monde summary, in French] that would enable the government to be more selective in allowing newcomers into the country and deciding who can stay, even giving it the right to [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] Following angry protests over the Muhammad cartoons [JURIST news archive] by British Muslims in London late last week, UK Home Secretary Charles Clarke [official profile] Tuesday renewed calls for the inclusion of a "glorifying terrorism" offense in the proposed Terrorism Bill [text; Home Office backgrounder] still under consideration by [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] A Canadian judge Monday banned foreign media from the courtroom for a long-awaited criminal trial over the use of HIV-infected blood-clotting medicine by the Canadian Red Cross [CBC backgrounder] in the 1980s that led to more than 1000 Canadians testing positive for the AIDS-related virus. Madam Justice Mary Lou [read more]

09:02 EDT

[JURIST] Several hundred Afghan protestors demonstrating against the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad [JURIST news archive] in Danish, Norwegian and other European papers [JURIST report] stormed a NATO ISAF [official website] peacekeeping base near Maymana [alternatively "Meymaneh"; Wikipedia backgrounder] in northwest Afghanistan manned by Norwegian troops Tuesday. Four [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] Five Turkish journalists went on trial Monday on charges of "insulting state judicial organs" and "trying to influence the judicial process." Prosecutors filed these charges in December for comments regarding the government's attempts to ban a conference [JURIST report] on the alleged genocide of 1.5 million Armenians [Armenian National [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] Rival black and Hispanic gangs took part in another racially motivated brawl late Monday evening at a Los Angeles County jail dorm, in a repeat of a similar brawl [JURIST report] last weekend which killed one inmate and injured more than 100 others. Sheriff Lee Baca [official profile] segregated [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] CNN is reporting that British-based Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri [BBC profile] has been found guilty in the UK of inciting murder. Hamza faced several charges [BBC summary; BBC trial timeline] for urging his followers to kill Jews and other non-Muslims and using "threatening, abusive or insulting words or [read more]

07:02 EDT

[JURIST] Former US President Jimmy Carter [official profile] said Monday that President Bush [official website] overstepped his constitutional powers by authorizing the NSA's domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive]. The former president was also critical of Monday's testimony [JURIST report] from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in hearings before the Senate [read more]

07:02 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Tuesday's international brief, Sudanese Minister for Foreign Affairs al-Samani al-Wasiylah has said that Sudan [government website] has backed off its initial refusal to allow a UN peacekeeping force into the Darfur region [JURIST news archive], but would still require consultation by UN officials before they would agree to [read more]

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