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Legal news from Friday, May 26, 2006
by Joshua Pantesco

In the wake of public urging from President Bush, Congressional leaders Friday took steps to damp down a brewing constitutional conflict with the US Department of Justice over a weekend FBI search of the offices of Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA). House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) backed away from a Thursday statement co-signed by …

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by Joshua Pantesco

An ongoing investigation into the November 2005 deaths of two dozen Iraqi civilians in the city of Haditha has yielded evidence indicating that the US Marines may have committed murders, according to a senior military officer speaking to AP Friday on condition of anonymity. The investigation was launched in March after a TIME magazine report alleged …

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by Jaime Jansen

Martha Stewart has opted to deny allegations of insider trading brought in a civil lawsuit by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rather than settle the charges. Stewart's Thursday response to an SEC complaint claims she acted in good faith and rejects accusations that she used insider tips to …

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by Joshua Pantesco

AP is reporting that the federal judge in the CIA leak case against former Vice-Presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby has granted part of Libby's request to issue subpoenas to TIME magazine and the New York Times for correspondence and other journalistic materials related to the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity.1:33 PM …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A federal judge has ordered the US Department of Defense to expedite processing of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request submitted by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and several student groups regarding the alleged use of a terrorist database to spy on organizers of demonstrations against military recruiters on college campuses in April 2005. …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Following US Senate passage of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 on Thursday, observers suggested Friday that President Bush is likely to play an important role in reconciling the Senate plan with the more conservative Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act passed by the House last year. …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The Court of Appeal in London Friday refused to grant a stay of extradition to Farid Hilali, an alleged UK contact for the September 11 hijackers who is being deported to Spain to face terrorism charges for associating with convicted Al-Qaida member Imad Eddin Barakat Yarkas. Yarkas is suspected of leading an al-Qaida cell …

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by Jaime Jansen

A court in Moscow on Friday upheld a ban on an international gay pride parade scheduled to take place in the Russian capital on Saturday after gay activists appealed the decision [GayRussia.ru report] of Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov rejecting the application of parade organizers. The mayor's office last week stated that the parade marking the …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A Russian judge Friday found Nurpashi Kulayev guilty of all charges for his role in the September 2004 Beslan school siege, sentencing him to life in prison. Kulayev was charged with terrorism and murder, and earlier this month, the judge ruled that Kulayev committed an act of terrorism over …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

The UK Parliament Joint Committee on Human Rights took the government of Prime Minister Tony Blair to task Friday for urging the European Court of Human Rights to revisit its absolute prohibition against deporting people to states where they may be tortured and for entering into diplomatic agreements with those states purporting to …

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by Jaime Jansen

The Belarus Ministry of Justice has asked the Belarus Supreme Court to close down the Belarus Helsinki Committee, a leading human rights group that has consistently criticized the authoritarian government of President Alexander Lukashenko. A Ministry motion to the Supreme Court accused the local Helsinki Committee, chartered in 1995 to protect …

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by Joshua Pantesco

As the British Ministry of Defence continues investigating the deaths of several Iraqi detainees in British military custody, a military tribunal judge on Thursday found a British soldier not guilty of manslaughter for allegedly forcing a 15-year-old Iraqi to swim across a Basra canal where he drowned. Recently-appointed Vice Judge Advocate General Michael Hunter …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

The full US Senate has approved the nomination of Air Force General Michael Hayden to head the Central Intelligence Agency by a vote of 78-15. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) was notably one of the senators opposed. The nomination went to the Senate floor Thursday after the Senate Intelligence Committee approved …

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by Jaime Jansen

The US Senate on Friday confirmed the nomination of White House staffer Brett Kavanaugh to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia by a margin of 57-36 after a test vote Thursday cleared the way for his approval. Kavanaugh faced probing questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee …

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by Jaime Jansen

Mexican President Vicente Fox on Thursday applauded the US Senate's approval of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 that would tighten border security and allow illegal immigrants to follow a path to citizenship. Though Fox has criticized parts of the bill, including a 370 mile fence along the Mexican border …

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by Jaime Jansen

The US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on Thursday remanded an appeal from the Atlanta-based Cobb County School District asking the court to overturn a district court decision requiring the school district to remove stickers in their biology textbooks calling evolution "a theory, not a …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

In the wake of Thursday's release by UK Attorney General Lord Goldsmith of a disclosure statement outlining his actions in rendering advice on the legality of the Iraq war to the government of Prime Minister Tony Blair in the days before invasion, government critics and media have called for further action, describing the statement …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

A spokesman for the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission in Kandahar said Friday that some 34 Afghan civilians were killed in a US airstrike on a village in the south of the country earlier this week along with about 35 "unknown people" believed to be militants. The number of estimated civilian deaths is over twice that originally …

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