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Legal news from Saturday, August 5, 2006
by Bernard Hibbitts

Israeli security forces late Saturday detained the speaker of the Palestinian parliament after surrounding his home in the West Bank town of Ramallah. Aziz Dweik is a senior member of Hamas, the movement now in control of the Palestinian government, and an Israeli army spokesman told Reuters …

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by Holly Manges Jones

The Interior Ministry of Iran has prohibited a human rights group led by 2003 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi from operating in the country, saying the group has neglected to obtain an appropriate permit, according to Iranian media reports Saturday. The Defenders of Human Rights Center was created four …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

Mexico's Federal Electoral Tribunal on Saturday rejected a request by leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador for a full ballot-by-ballot recount of all votes cast in the July 2 presidential election, which Obrador lost by less than a percentage point to conservative Felipe Calderon, instead authorizing a …

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by Holly Manges Jones

Inaccurate statements presented to the 9/11 Commission by senior Pentagon officials regarding the Sept. 11 attacks were not provided intentionally, but rather were the result of poor record-keeping, according to a newly-disclosed report by the US Defense Department Office of the Inspector General. The report was made in May 2005, …

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by Holly Manges Jones

US-based monitoring group Human Rights Watch (HRW) Saturday called on Hezbollah to immediately stop launching rockets into civilian areas within Israel, saying their actions constitute "war crimes." The rights watchdog said Hezbollah's assertions that it is targeting military bases within Israel are offset by the fact that most attacks have been aimed at …

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by Holly Manges Jones

A controversial new clemency law in Italy reducing some prison sentences by three years to cut down on jail overcrowding is facing criticism after some released prisoners returned to lives of crime this week. One man, who had been convicted of domestic abuse, allegedly attempted to murder his ex-wife after his release, while another …

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by Holly Manges Jones

The Minsk Central Court in Belarus Friday sentenced four independent election monitors for their affiliation with an "unregistered" organization which infringed on citizens' rights. The four were members of the Partnership monitoring group, which had received monetary assistance from the US-based National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. The group had been planning to observe …

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by Holly Manges Jones

Two days before the 61st anniversary of the first US atomic bombing of Japan, the Hiroshima District Court in Japan ruled Friday that 41 survivors of the 1945 atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were incorrectly denied benefits as sufferers of radiation sickness, but their demands for damages was not approved. The Japan …

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by Holly Manges Jones

The Vermont Supreme Court ruled Friday that Vermont civil union laws govern a child custody battle between a now-separated lesbian couple who were legally joined in a civil union in Vermont, despite conflicting decisions by Virginia courts. Lisa and Janet Miller-Jenkins lived in Virginia but traveled to Vermont to be joined …

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by Holly Manges Jones

A US military prosecutor said in closing arguments at an Article 32 hearing Friday that four US soldiers should face court-martial for violating the laws of war by setting several Iraqi detainees free after a May 9 raid on a suspected insurgent camp near Samarra in Salahaddin province and then shooting them as they ran …

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