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Legal news from Wednesday, July 5, 2006
by Joe Shaulis

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg testified at the outset of congressional field hearings on federal immigration reform Wednesday that competing bills passed by the US House and Senate are both unrealistic. Speaking before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Philadelphia, Bloomberg described the House bill [HR …

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by Joe Shaulis

Thirty-eight people were convicted of corruption Wednesday for rigging public works contracts to finance political parties while now-French President Jacques Chirac was mayor of Paris in the late 1980s and early '90s. Prosecutors alleged that companies kicked back money spent by the regional Ile-de-France Council for secondary school construction to political parties including Chirac's Rally …

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by Joshua Pantesco

UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories John Dugard told an emergency session of the UN Human Rights Council Wednesday that Israel's military offensive in the Palestinian-populated Gaza Strip launched Tuesday in response to the seizure of an Israeli soldier by militants, violates "fundamental norms" …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting Wednesday to consider a draft resolution to impose sanctions on North Korea following Tuesday's missile launches. The five permanent members agreed that the Council should respond to the missile launches, but disagreed on how severe that response should be. The draft resolution, circulated by Japan and …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Finland's prime minister began the country's six-month presidency of the European Union on Wednesday by promising not to push for the ratification of the stalled European Constitution without building consensus among all member nations. During a speech before the European Parliament, Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen said:Finland wants to …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The supposed abductors of Sunni Iraqi legislator Tayseer al-Mashhadani have offered to release her in exchange for the release of all Shiite detainees, a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops, and an end to all attacks on Shiite mosques, Iraqi co-Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi told reporters Wednesday. Al-Hashimi did not say whether the group making the demands offered …

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by Joshua Pantesco

European countries need to improve extradition and criminal cooperation procedures in order to face the growing threat of international crime, Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chaika told the seventh session of the Conference of Prosecutors General of Europe in Moscow on Wednesday. Chaika, who was installed as prosecutor general by the Russian parliament last month, took …

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by Jaime Jansen

Six former Guantanamo Bay detainees now on trial in Paris were interviewed by French authorities while they were still being held at the US prison, according to a French newspaper. A French diplomatic telegram published in the Liberation daily Wednesday referred to intelligence agents who conducted interviews with the suspects at least twice while …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The editors of seven independent newspapers in Egypt plan to go on strike Sunday to protest the lack of legal protection afforded to journalists, the independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm reported Tuesday. The strike is scheduled for the same day the Egyptian parliament is expected to discuss a draft publications law touted by …

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by Joe Shaulis

Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has said in a television broadcast that his Thai Rak Thai party is innocent of election fraud allegedly committed in an abortive general election this spring. Prosecutors, acting on a unanimous recommendation by an investigative committee, are expected to ask Thailand's Constitutional Court [official …

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by Jeannie Shawl

CNN is reporting that former Enron founder Kenneth Lay is dead. According to a spokesman for Lay's family, Lay suffered a massive heart attack in Aspen, Colorado on Tuesday evening. Lay, along with former Enron executive Jeffrey Skilling, was convicted in May on fraud and conspiracy …

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by Jaime Jansen

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Wednesday called for an independent Iraqi inquiry into allegations that US soldiers raped an Iraqi woman and murdered her and her family near the town of Mahmudiya in March. Al-Maliki said during a visit to Kuwait that he believes "immunity granted to international forces has emboldened them to commit such crimes" …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Joseph Kony, leader of the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda, will be granted amnesty if upcoming LRA negotiations with the southern Sudanese government proceed smoothly and if he renounces terrorist activity, according a statement released Tuesday by the press secretary for Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. Kony …

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by Jaime Jansen

The retrial [BBC Q/A] of five Bulgarian nurses and one Palestinian doctor accused of infecting more than 400 Libyan patients, primarily children, with HIV resumed Tuesday in Tripoli. The court heard testimony from three prosecution witnesses - parents of infected children - who identified the defendants as the medical workers who infected their children. Judge Mahmoud al-Huweissa …

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by Joe Shaulis

Claiming that some ballots were counted twice and others not at all because of fraud, Mexico's Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) is demanding a full recount of votes in last weekend's presidential election. Preliminary results showed the PRD's candidate, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, trailing Felipe Calderon [campaign website, …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Police arrested two Italian intelligence officers Wednesday, including a senior official, in connection with the alleged extraordinary rendition of Egyptian cleric Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, also known as Abu Omar. Judicial sources said that Marco Mancini, a division director of Italy's Military Intelligence and Security Service (SISMI), the Italian intelligence …

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by Jaime Jansen

Microsoft has said that it will comply with sanctions imposed by the South Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) after the Seoul High Court rejected a request by Microsoft to stay the penalties while Microsoft appeals the KFTC ruling in the Seoul High Court. Tuesday's rejection of Microsoft's …

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by Jaime Jansen

Republicans from the US House of Representatives begin a series of immigration hearings Wednesday in order to assess the threats at the country's borders and the labor needs to combat those threats in preparation for final negotiations on comprehensive immigration reform. The House International Relations Committee Subcommittee on International Terrorism and Nonproliferation …

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