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Legal news from Friday, July 7, 2006
by Bernard Hibbitts

US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy ordered Friday that a temporary stay against the removal of a monumental cross on city property in San Diego be continued until the Ninth Circuit hears an appeal on the cross's removal this fall. Kennedy issued the original stay of a lower court's order that a 29-foot cross honoring Korean War …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, part of the US Department of Health and Human Services, issued a final rule Thursday clarifying proof of citizenship required to apply for Medicaid benefits. The new rule exempts mostly elderly and disabled applicants who have previously applied for Medicare or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits from the …

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by Joshua Pantesco

President Bush repeated earlier calls for a compromise immigration reform bill that would satisfy the demands of both House and Senate leaders during a press conference in Chicago Friday. After promoting the use of the voluntary Basic Pilot Employment Verification Program, an automated system employers may use to check the legal status …

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by Jaime Jansen

A court in the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg Friday threw out a ban on women teachers wearing religious headscarves. The case originated when Baden-Wuerttemberg passed a law in 2004 forbidding "outward expressions that undermine the neutrality of the government or peace between political and religious creeds in school," but which reportedly did …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Former East Timor Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri was again summoned on Friday for questioning on July 20 by the lead prosecutor of East Timor, this time as a suspect, to answer questions in an investigation into the distribution of illegal weapons to local militias. Alkatiri refused an earlier summons last month, claiming immunity from criminal …

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by Jaime Jansen

Japan circulated a new UN Security Council draft resolution on Friday, tougher than a previous draft resolution circulated earlier this week, that would direct states to take whatever steps necessary to prevent North Korea from obtaining materials that could be used in their missile program. The new draft, which has the …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Robert Petit [Globalpolicy.org profile], the Canadian international co-prosecutor for the Khmer Rouge genocide tribunal cautioned reporters Friday at a Phnom Penh news conference that the court's investigation process, set to begin Monday, could take months to return its indictments due the complexity of the cases and and the novel structure of the court. The …

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by Jaime Jansen

Rebels in Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rejected an offer of amnesty from Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Friday, calling the offer redundant. Museveni promised rebel leader Joseph Kony conditional amnesty if he denounces terrorism and if upcoming LRA negotiations at the end of July with the southern Sudanese …

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by Joshua Pantesco

An Italian judge ruled Friday that former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi should stand trial in November on alleged embezzlement, false accounting, tax fraud and money laundering charges in connection with a TV rights deals involving family company Mediaset. Preliminary hearings were held last October in the case following a …

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by Jaime Jansen

An appeals chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Friday increased the sentence for former Rwandan mayor Sylvestre Gacumbitsi to life in prison, revising his 30-year prison sentence, handed down in 2004. The ICTR convicted Gacumbitsi of genocide and crimes against humanity in 2004, in …

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by Jaime Jansen

The German Bundesrat, the upper house of parliament, approved a landmark package of constitutional reforms aimed at separating and clarifying the powers of the federal and state governments. The legislation passed the lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, last week by a margin of 428-162. The legislation marks the first major …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Russian radio regulators have enjoined 60 radio stations from broadcasting material produced by Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, citing violations of licensing laws. Re-broadcast licenses were stripped from the 60 stations because, according to regulators, the stations failed to indicate that they intended to re-broadcast segments produced by the two US-funded but independent …

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by Jaime Jansen

David Hicks, the Australian-born terror suspect held at Guantanamo Bay, told family members that conditions at the detention center have worsened in the wake of three detainee suicides in June, Hicks' lawyer David McLeod said Thursday. Hicks told family members that Guantanamo guards have become "very tough" and that he thinks …

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by Joshua Pantesco

France intends to grant residency papers to thousands of immigrant families with children in French schools, government officials said Thursday. Many children and their parents faced deportation at the end of the French school year after a deportation moratorium was to expire, but French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy last month told regional authorities to implement new citizenship …

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by Jaime Jansen

The new center-left government under Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi is considering granting citizenship to immigrants who have legally resided in Italy for five or more years, Italian Interior Minister Giuliano Amato said Thursday during a public debate in Rome. Amato rejected proposals to grant citizenship to immigrants after two years, stating that …

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by Jaime Jansen

Tariq Aziz, the Iraqi deputy prime minister under Saddam Hussein's regime, has gone on hunger strike to protest the refusal of prison authorities to grant him access to his lawyer, a member of his legal team said Thursday. Military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Keir-Kevin Curry, however, denied that Aziz began a hunger strike, saying that …

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by Jaime Jansen

US Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad and Gen. George Casey, commander of US forces in Iraq, have promised an open investigation into the rape and murder of a young woman and her family in Mahmudiya, saying the alleged acts were "absolutely inexcusable and unacceptable." The rare joint statement from the two leaders issued Thursday …

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by Jaime Jansen

The UN Human Rights Council on Thursday denounced recent Israeli military operations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and voted to approve a resolution calling on Israelis and Palestinians to refrain from violence against civilians, saying the Israeli offensive breaches international humanitarian law. In the resolution, the Council expressed deep concern at …

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