Legal news from Wednesday, July 19, 2006
20:07 EDT

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour [official profile; JURIST news archive] Wednesday threatened perpetrators of wanton violence against civilians in the current Middle East conflict with liability for war crimes. In a pointed statement [press release] directed equally at Israel and Hezbollah and warning both combatants and [read more]

18:07 EDT

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives [official website] voted Wednesday to block federal judges from ruling [AJS backgrounder] on the constitutionality of the Pledge of Allegiance [JURIST news archive; Washington Post backgrounder], which contains the controversial phrase "under God." The Pledge Protection Act [HR 2389 text, PDF; summary] provides that [read more]

15:07 EDT

[JURIST] A federal district court judge in Maryland on Wednesday struck down Maryland's Fair Share Health Care Fund Act [PDF text], aimed at forcing Wal-Mart to adequately support the health care needs of its employees. The law would have required companies with more than 10,000 employees to spend at least [read more]

15:07 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge on Wednesday denied a request by US Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) [official website] to stay a previous order [PDF text] authorizing the FBI to review documents seized from Jefferson's congressional offices [JURIST report]. Jefferson argued that the documents should remain untouched pending the appeal of last [read more]

14:07 EDT

[JURIST] President Bush on Wednesday vetoed a bill to increase federal funding for embryonic stem cell research [JURIST news archive] in what is the first presidential veto during his time in office. The US Senate passed [JURIST report] the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act [PDF text; HR 810 summary] Tuesday [read more]

13:07 EDT

[JURIST] Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez [BBC profile] is silencing dissent by prosecuting journalists under questionable circumstances, a US media watchdog group said Tuesday. The Inter American Press Association [advocacy website] is sending an international mission to Venezuela [press release] next week to investigate press freedom, where they will discuss recent [read more]

13:07 EDT

[JURIST] Enough evidence existed to support the prosecution of three Chicago police officers accused of torturing black suspects between 1971 and 1992, according to a report released Wednesday by special prosecutors Robert D. Boyle and Edward J. Egan. The report found that in at least three cases enough evidence existed [read more]

12:07 EDT

[JURIST] A draft report [PDF text] by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) [official website] released by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee [official website] Wednesday has found that the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) [official website] lost hundreds of thousands of dollars last year through fraud [read more]

11:07 EDT

[JURIST] A British judge has ruled that the parts of the upcoming UK state secrets trial relating to an alleged memo detailing a conversation between US President George Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair [official profile] describing plans to bomb satellite news channel Aljazeera [media website] cannot be disclosed [read more]

10:07 EDT

[JURIST] Prosecutors in Mauritania [JURIST news archive; CIA backgrounder] have charged five people, including a Defense Ministry advisor with close ties to ousted autocratic ruler Maaouiya Ould Taya [Wikipedia profile], with "plotting to reverse the constitutional order" by overthrowing the military junta. The suspects, charged Tuesday, were arrested June 19 [read more]

10:07 EDT

[JURIST] Colorado Gov. Bill Owens [official website] signed a bill [SB 06S-006 text, PDF] Tuesday that sets the minimum age for a common-law marriage [press release] at 18, or at 16 with judicial approval. The new law is a response to a Colorado Court of Appeals [official website] decision [text] [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] An Israeli military tribunal has released one of the eight Palestinian Cabinet ministers detained by Israeli forces [JURIST report] last month, though the Israel Defense Forces [official website] have not explained why planning minister Samir Abu Eisheh was released. Three other Hamas ministers were held for further questioning for [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] Adel al-Lami, the director general of the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq, and 10 other employees have been arrested after al-Lami surrendered to an arrest warrant, Judge Radhi al-Radhi [US DOD OIG profile], chairman of the Iraqi High Commission on Public Integrity [US State Dept. backgrounder], said Tuesday. The [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] The Internet video site YouTube [corporate website] was sued in federal district court Tuesday for alleged copyright infringement related to video of the beating of trucker Reginald Denny [Wikipedia backgrounder] during the 1992 Los Angeles riots. The suit was filed by the Los Angeles News Service, a company founded [read more]

08:07 EDT

[JURIST] Kyrgyz security forces have arrested six men who reportedly confessed to organizing last year's unrest in Uzbekistan [JURIST news archive] that resulted in the massacre of unarmed Uzbek civilians [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] by government troops in Andijan. Uzbek officials said the men confessed to Kyrgystan's SNB security [read more]

08:07 EDT

[JURIST] Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] on Tuesday, US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile] urged Congress to authorize military commissions [JURIST news archive] to try terror detainees following the US Supreme Court's decision last month in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld [opinion text], where the Court held that [read more]

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