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Legal news from Tuesday, August 1, 2006
20:08 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate voted 71-25 [roll call] Tuesday to approve the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 [S 3711 text; bill summary], which would allow oil and gas drilling in about 8.3 million acres of federal waters in the central Gulf. The bill garnered broad support in [read more]

20:08 EDT

[JURIST] Authorities in Burundi [CIA backgrounder] on Tuesday arrested five former government officials, including Vice President Alphonse Kadege, as well as a rebel leader and two others suspected of plotting a coup to overthrow the African nation's government, according to intelligence chief Brig. Gen. Adolphe Manirakiza. Police were also searching [read more]

19:08 EDT

[JURIST] Amnesty International [advocacy website] urged Haiti's government Tuesday to release political prisoners being held indefinitely pending trial. According to the human rights group, about 2,000 people are under "prolonged detention," and close to 100 of them could be political prisoners. Amnesty called on Haiti to initiate trial proceedings under [read more]

16:08 EDT

[JURIST] Federal prosecutors may review two New York Times reporters' phone records while trying to determine who leaked information about a terrorism investigation, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled Tuesday. A three-judge panel held [opinion text, PDF] that "on the present facts," neither common-law privilege nor [read more]

15:08 EDT

[JURIST] A US magistrate in Houston agreed Tuesday to delay the trial of three former British bankers facing fraud charges related to the Enron scandal [JURIST news archive] so that two of the defendants can hire American lawyers. A trial had been scheduled for Sept. 11, but Magistrate Stephen Smith [read more]

14:08 EDT

[JURIST] A US military court on Tuesday began Article 32 [JAG backgrounder; USMJ text] hearings, similar to civil grand jury proceedings, to determine whether four Army soldiers charged [JURIST report] with premeditated murder of Iraqi detainees will face courts-martial. The four men from the Third Brigade Combat Team of the [read more]

14:08 EDT

[JURIST] Democratic senators criticized the acting director of the US Food and Drug Administration [official website] Tuesday for the timing of the agency's announcement that it would reconsider allowing some over-the-counter sales of emergency contraception. Monday's surprise announcement [FDA press release] came on the eve of a confirmation hearing [committee [read more]

13:08 EDT

[JURIST] A Russian arbitration court judge declared oil company Yukos [corporate website; JURIST news archive; corporate website; Wikipedia backgrounder] bankrupt Tuesday and said the company may be liquidated to pay creditors. The decision, which had been expected, confirms a vote taken by Yukos' creditors last week. A Yukos lawyer described [read more]

13:08 EDT

[JURIST] The UK Court of Appeal ruled [text] Tuesday that six terror suspects cannot be detained without charge under so-called control orders [BBC backgrounder], which are used when there is not enough evidence to prosecute. UK Home Secretary John Reid [official profile] had appealed a High Court ruling [JURIST reports], [read more]

13:08 EDT

[JURIST] Iran [JURIST news archive] will not abide by a UN Security Council resolution [JURIST report] ordering it to stop enriching uranium, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [official profile, English version; BBC profile] said Tuesday in an address on state television. Ahmadinejad said "the peaceful use of nuclear fuel production technology" [read more]

12:08 EDT

[JURIST] Eliza Manningham-Buller [BBC profile], the head of Britain's domestic spy agency MI5 [official website], has refused to testify before a joint parliamentary human rights committee [official website] investigating terror practices, saying she can appear before only the Intelligence and Security Committee [official website] because it safeguards sensitive information. The [read more]

11:08 EDT

[JURIST] The Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD) [party website, in French; Wikipedia backgrounder], an opposition group and former rebel group, on Tuesday alleged widespread election fraud in Sunday's election [AP report], and threatened to challenge the election in court if the results are not fixed. The RCD noted cases of [read more]

11:08 EDT

[JURIST] US Army Major General Geoffrey Miller [Wikipedia profile], the former commander of Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], retired [press release] from the Army Monday with honors. Miller ran Guantanamo from 2002 to 2004, and served as a consultant at the Abu Ghraib prison [JURIST news archive] in Iraq during [read more]

10:08 EDT

[JURIST] Attorneys representing I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby [defense profile; JURIST news archive], the former chief of staff for Vice President Cheney, on Monday asked US District Judge Reggie Walton to allow expert testimony from a memory specialist at Libby's upcoming trial relating to his role in the CIA leak case [read more]

09:08 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers from the US Department of Justice on Monday appealed [petition, PDF] a federal court decision [JURIST report] that allowed a challenge to the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive] to go forward, arguing to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] [read more]

09:08 EDT

[JURIST] Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet [JURIST news archive] was questioned Monday by Judge Alejandro Solis about the assassination of General Carlos Prats [official profile, in Spanish; Wikipedia profile] shortly after Pinochet came to power following a 1973 coup [BBC backgrounder]. Prats, the army chief before Pinochet, opposed the coup. [read more]

08:08 EDT

[JURIST] Detainees at the US detention center at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] have used items found in their cells to attack military guards hundreds of times, according to Pentagon memos [DOD materials] released through a Freedom of Information Act request by conservative legal group Landmark Legal Foundation [advocacy website]. [read more]

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