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Legal news from Thursday, July 27, 2006

[JURIST] The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) [official website] said Thursday that it had reached settlements with former WorldCom CFO Scott Sullivan and six others for their roles in fraudulent adjustments and entries in WorldCom's books and records. Mark Abide, former WorldCom director of property accounting, also agreed to … [read more]

[JURIST] Attorneys for the US government and for plaintiffs asked the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation [official website] Thursday to consolidate more than 20 cases involving telephone companies' roles in the National Security Agency's warrantless domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive]. The government requested that the cases be consolidated into … [read more]

[JURIST] The current Mideast conflict [JURIST news archive] has halted the UN International Independent Investigation Commission [UN materials] probe into the February 2005 assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive], Beirut's Daily Star newspaper reports Friday. A source told the paper that Belgian Serge Brammertz [official profile], … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeal for the DC Circuit [official website] will allow the Bush administration to file briefs in yet another round of legal arguments challenging hundreds of lawsuits filed by detainees held at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. A court panel has outlined a schedule for US … [read more]

[JURIST] A judge in Arkansas Thursday approved a $90 million settlement [JURIST report] by Google [corporate website] to resolve a class action lawsuit [PDF complaint] filed by advertisers alleging that Google and other online search engine companies overcharged for pay-per-click advertising, in which advertisers pay a fee every time an … [read more]

[JURIST] Republican leaders in the US House of Representatives [official website] are planning to hold an additional 19 hearings [press release] on immigration [JURIST news archive] in 12 states across the country to garner support for strict border controls they say will help stop illegal immigration. House Speaker Dennis Hastert … [read more]

[JURIST] Senior managers in the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians (OST) [official website] allegedly violated ethics rules by maintaining an improper relationship with an accounting firm that won more than $6.5 million in contract work related to Indian trust funds [JURIST news archive] held by the government, … [read more]

[JURIST] US officials Thursday denied that the US had violated British air transport safety regulations in routing "smart bombs" to Israel [JURIST news archive] through the UK, despite concerns expressed by UK Foreign Minister Margaret Beckett [official profile] earlier this week that procedures for handling the dangerous cargo were not … [read more]

[JURIST] Former President of Malawi Bakili Muluzi [Wikipedia profile] was released Thursday following a brief arrest, during which he was charged with 42 counts of corruption, fraud and theft, according to Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) [official website] Director Gustave Kaliwo. Kaliwo said the charges arose from allegations that Muluzi directed campaign … [read more]

[JURIST] Turkish author and journalist Perihan Magden [profile] was acquitted Thursday for defending an objector who was sentenced to four years in prison for refusing to wear his military uniform. The law in Turkey [JURIST news archive] requires any man over 20 years old to serve in the military for … [read more]

[JURIST] The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] on Thursday ruled in favor of the mother of a Chechen man who claimed that Russia failed to investigate the death of her son as required by Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights [PDF text]. Fatima Bazorkina … [read more]

[JURIST] At a US Senate Foreign Relations Committee [official website] confirmation hearing Thursday, Democrats renewed their fight against the nomination of John Bolton [official profile] as the permanent US ambassador to the United Nations [official website]. To avoid initial opposition in the Senate [JURIST report], President Bush gave Bolton the … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Marshals Service [official website] has released statistics showing that the number of threats on judicial employees, including judges, increased 63 percent from 2003 to 2005, from 584 threats to 953. So far this year, marshals have investigated 822 threat reports. The Marshals Service, part of the US … [read more]

[JURIST] President Bush signed a bill [HR 9 text, PDF; White House backgrounder] Thursday to reauthorize expiring provisions of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) [text; DOJ backgrounder]. The provisions would have lapsed in 2007, but the reauthorization extends them through 2032. "Today, we renew a bill that helped bring a … [read more]

[JURIST] The entertainment industry and Sharman Networks [corporate website] announced Thursday that they had reached a settlement [press release] regarding Sharman's Kazaa software, which allowed illegal Internet downloads of music and movies [JURIST news archive]. The company agreed to pay "substantial" penalties - $115 million, according to a Los Angeles … [read more]

[JURIST] The United Nations [official website] may sanction the Philippines [JURIST news archive] if its government continues to refuse to submit reports on human rights abuses in the country, the chairwoman of the Commission on Human Rights Philippines (CHRP) [official website] said Thursday. Purificacion Valera Quisumbing [official profile] said that … [read more]

[JURIST] Chief Judge Raouf Abdel Rahman [BBC profile] on Thursday ordered proceedings in the Saddam Hussein trial [JURIST news archive] adjourned until October 16, when a verdict against the ousted Iraqi president is expected to be announced. Hussein was not in court Thursday, but his former Vice President Taha Yassin … [read more]

[JURIST] US Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) [official website] Wednesday introduced legislation [S 3731] that would give Congress the power to bring lawsuits in federal court [JURIST report] to challenge presidential bill signing statements [1993 DOJ backgrounder] the constitutionality of which is in question. President Bush has used … [read more]

[JURIST] Both houses of the US Congress passed bills Wednesday that impose investigation guidelines on the Treasury Department's Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) [official website; Wikipedia backgrounder], the panel that approved a Dubai-owned company to manage US ports earlier this year. The Bush administration was criticized … [read more]

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