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Legal news from Wednesday, August 2, 2006
by Joe Shaulis

US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales confirmed before a Senate panel Wednesday that the Bush administration is drafting legislation authorizing military commissions for terror detainees that will allow hearsay evidence and coerced testimony to be admitted against terrorism suspects, limit their rights against pretrial self-incrimination and withhold classified evidence from them. Those provisions …

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by Joe Shaulis

Lebanese Justice Minister Charles Rizk told Lebanese media Wednesday that Lebanon plans to send UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan a report outlining alleged war crimes committed by Israel in its conflict with Hezbollah that could be the basis for prosecuting it in a special international court. The first part of the document, prepared by …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A federal appeals court Wednesday ordered the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to consider refund petitions filed by California state agencies and California businesses that claim refunds arising from the California energy crisis of 2000-2001 before the October 2, 2000 date set by the FERC. The refunds compensate the state for alleged energy price-fixing schemes, …

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by Joshua Pantesco

PC hardware manufacturer Rambus unlawfully monopolized four markets for dynamic random access memory (DRAM) computer chips and deliberately withheld information about forthcoming patents on the technology from a technology-standards-setting group, according to an opinion released Wednesday by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In the unanimous commission opinion, Commissioner Pamela Jones Harbour wrote:Rambus's conduct …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Two Hamas officials - the Palestinian Minister for Prisoners' Affairs and a deputy speaker in the Palestinian Legislative Council - who were released from Israeli custody this week told reporters Wednesday that they had been abused while detained. Wasfi Kabha and Hasan Khurayshah said that they had were interrogated for hours, were not provided with …

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by Jaime Jansen

The European Union has rejected a call by Polish President Lech Kaczynski to review the EU ban on capital punishment, European Commission spokesman Steffan de Rynck said Wednesday. Kaczynski urged the EU to reconsider the death penalty last Friday, even though the EU requires abolition of capital punishment …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Attorneys for a US soldier under investigation for civilian killings in Iraq filed a defamation and invasion of privacy lawsuit Wednesday against Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) in a Washington DC federal court. The suit alleges that Murtha falsely accused US Marine Corps sergeant Frank Wuterich of war crimes during press conferences where Murtha discussed [JURIST …

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by Jaime Jansen

A federal judge in Georgia has certified a class of more than 10,000 registered sex offenders living in Georgia that would be subject to a new state law barring them from living or working within 1,000 feet of a child care facility, church, school or "area where minors congregate," including school bus stops. US District Judge Clarence …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The UK Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) on Wednesday cleared the way for the UK to resume deportations of Zimbabwe citizens seeking asylum in Britain, overturning a previous decision that all Zimbabwe citizens face a "real risk of serious harm" if deported. The AIT determination holds that " failed asylum seeker returned involuntarily …

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by Jaime Jansen

Eagle Global Logistics (EGL), a Houston based company hired by Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR) to ship military cargo to Iraq, has paid the government $4 million to settle potential claims under the False Claims Act that it inflated invoices for Iraq military cargo shipments, the US Justice Department said Wednesday. EGL …

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by Jaime Jansen

Hardline Republicans in Kansas lost control of the Kansas Board of Education during a Tuesday primary vote that brought in more moderate conservatives who support the theory of evolution. The School Board garnered international attention last year when it upheld anti-evolution standards in schools across the state, using its two-person conservative majority. After Tuesday's election, …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The US Senate on Tuesday approved a measure to seize land on Mount Soledad in San Diego, thus permitting the First Amendment, rather than the California constitution, to control the issue of whether a cross, erected on the land as a tribute to Vietnam War veterans, is an impermissible government endorsement of …

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by Jaime Jansen

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) has completed its probe into the deaths of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha last November, and a Pentagon official indicated Wednesday that evidence supports accusations that US Marines from the Third Battalion, First Marine Regiment murdered the unarmed Iraqis. NCIS may be called on again to further …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Members of the 9/11 Commission considered asking the US Justice Department to investigate suspected deception by government officials intended to hide mistakes in the Pentagon's response to the Sept. 11 attacks, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday. The commissioners contemplated possible criminal charges under 18 U.S.C. 1001, which prohibits making false statements before …

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by Jaime Jansen

Mexican Interior Secretary Carlos Abascal criticized presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and supporters staging protests in Mexico City, saying Tuesday that the protestors have set up an "illegal blockade" by effectively bringing Reforma Avenue and the nearby Zocalo square to a standstill. The protest are causing …

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by Joshua Pantesco

US Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told reporters on Tuesday that the White House has changed its position on military commissions, and now favors an approach that would try suspected terrorist detainees under a system modeled more on the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Graham, the chairman of the Senate Armed …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Ten permanent resident immigrants sued the federal government on Tuesday, arguing that their naturalization applications have been unnecessarily delayed by "the bureaucratic failings and callous inaction" of the FBI and US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in delaying "name checks" required before applications can be granted. The lawsuit, filed by the Council for American-Islamic Relations …

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by Jaime Jansen

The US military has banned the media and public from observing witness testimony of Iraqis in upcoming Article 32 hearings for five US Army soldiers charged in connection with the rape of an Iraqi teenager and the murder of her and her family in Mahmudiya. The trial counsel moved for the …

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by Jaime Jansen

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Tuesday reversed the convictions of four former Merrill Lynch executives found guilty in connection with an Enron Nigerian barge scam. The Fifth Circuit overturned conspiracy and wire fraud convictions for James Brown, William Fuhs, Daniel …

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