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Legal news from Friday, August 11, 2006
by Jeannie Shawl

The UN Security Council late Friday unanimously approved a resolution to end the current Middle East conflict, calling for Hezbollah to stop all attacks immediately and for Israel to cease “all offensive military operations.” The resolution additionally authorized the deployment of an expanded UNIFIL peacekeeping force of up to …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A former vice chair of Wal-Mart was sentenced on Friday to 27 months of house arrest after he pleaded guilty in January to fraud and tax charges for stealing money, merchandise and gift cards from the store and filing a false tax report. Tom Coughlin was referred to federal prosecutors …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The Italian Interior Ministry said Friday that Italian police arrested 40 people on Thursday and Friday after the ministry decided to conduct security sweeps in cities across Italy following Thursday's news that UK police arrested over 20 terror suspects in a foiled terrorist plot to bomb commercial airliners destined for the United States.The …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A Maryland intermediate appellate court on Friday ruled that the state exceeded its state constitutional authority by enacting statutes permitting early voting. In the opinion, a judge for the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court found that the question of when Maryland residents must vote is controlled by Section 1 of the Maryland Constitution, which …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A federal appeals court Friday upheld New York City's program of random, suspicionless baggage searches on subways as constitutional. The US Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the search program "satisfies the special needs exception to the Fourth Amendment's usual requirement of individualized suspicion." The New York Civil Liberties Union brought the …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The UN Human Rights Council in an emergency special session in Geneva Friday adopted by majority vote a resolution condemning Israel for violating international human rights laws in the ongoing Middle East conflict involving Lebanon. Twenty-seven of the 47 states with Council seats supported a slightly-amended final version …

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by Joshua Pantesco

France has consented to the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in a dispute with the East African country of Djibouti over an investigation into the alleged assassination of a French judge in 1995. The case is now on the ICJ case list.In January, Djibouti asked the ICJ to take the …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The CIA reported in documents filed Thursday in the leak case involving former vice-presidential chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby that it has turned over to Libby's defense team redacted summaries of originally-classified daily presidential briefings. The defense sought the summaries to support Libby's contention that he was so busy …

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by Jaime Jansen

Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have arrested six election officials in Kinshasa for electoral fraud after an opposition group alleged widespread irregularities in July's presidential election. Authorities allege that the officials were "caught red handed" tampering with ballots. Apollinaire Malu Malu, president of the Independent Electoral Commission …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Turkish lawyer Alpaslan Aslan, on trial for the murder of a Turkish judge, caused a courtroom commotion Friday when, during the opening of his trial, his request to leave court to pray was denied, and he was forcibly restrained by courtroom guards when he attempted to leave. The prosecution has requested four consecutive life sentences for Aslan, …

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by Jaime Jansen

A judge in Kentucky ruled Friday that executive immunity protects Gov. Ernie Fletcher from prosecution for alleged corrupt hiring practices while he is in office. Fletcher pleaded not guilty in June to charges of criminal conspiracy, official misconduct and political discrimination stemming from an investigation into the governor's hiring …

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by Jaime Jansen

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has restricted the authority of the state Commission on Judicial Conduct by limiting the penalties that the commission can impose to discipline judges without the court's approval. Under state law, the Commission is made up of nine members: three judges appointed by the Supreme Judicial Court, three members of …

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by Jaime Jansen

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other rights organizations have called for a "full and immediate investigation into abuses at Louisiana correctional facilities" during and after Hurricane Katrina last year. In a scathing report released Wednesday, the ACLU described foul conditions for prisoners held at Orleans Parish …

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by Jeannie Shawl

British banking officials froze the assets Friday of 19 suspects believed to be involved in a terrorist plot to blow up multiple planes traveling from UK airports to various destinations in the United States, while also making those suspects' identities publicly available. UK police officials initially announced the arrests of …

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by Jaime Jansen

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour on Thursday said that the Kyrgyzstan decision to extradite four Uzbekistan refugees and one asylum seeker back to Uzbekistan earlier this week was a breach of Kyrgyzstan's obligations under the Convention Against Torture and warned that the five face a grave risk of torture [press …

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by Jaime Jansen

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour on Thursday said that the Kyrgyzstan decision to extradite four Uzbekistan refugees and one asylum seeker back to Uzbekistan earlier this week was a breach of Kyrgyzstan's obligations under the Convention Against Torture and warned that the five face a grave risk of torture [press …

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