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Legal news from Thursday, August 24, 2006
by Natalie Hrubos

The US Second Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday upheld the constitutional authority of the US president to regulate financial transactions with foreign countries involving the United States. The court rejected a claim by a Jordanian man, Osameh Al Wahaidy, that former President George H.W. Bush improperly invoked the International Emergency Economic …

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by Natalie Hrubos

British police charged 24-year-old Umair Hussain Thursday with failing to disclose information that could have prevented a terrorist attack, specifically an alleged plan to blow up US-bound planes over the Atlantic. Hussain is the 12th suspect charged in connection with the reportedly-thwarted plot. Crown prosecutors charged eight …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A Burundi politician whose statements about an alleged coup plot to overthrow the African nation's government led to a security crackdown told radio stations on Thursday that he was tortured by the Burundi police and intelligence bureau Documentation Nationale and threatened with death if he did not tell the intelligence service that a coup plot existed. Alain …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A judge in Kentucky Thursday dismissed with prejudice charges against Gov. Ernie Fletcher in the wake of a settlement agreement, meaning that prosecutors are barred from continuing the criminal case against Fletcher in connection with alleged corrupt hiring practices. Fletcher pleaded not guilty in June to charges of criminal …

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by Joshua Pantesco

South Africa's cabinet on Thursday sent a civil unions bill to the parliament that would place same-sex partnerships on equal footing with traditional marriages. The parliament is expected to approve the bill, which was mandated by a December 2005 ruling of the South African Constitutional Court holding that the 1961 Marriage Act [1997 extension text, …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Negotiators for Maoist rebels in the Nepal constitutional talks expressed reservations Thursday that the draft interim constitution, to be presented Friday, does not address the key issue of whether the new government should retain elements of the former monarchical system. The six-person Interim Constitution Drafting Committee (ICDC) was formed in July in an historic contract between …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The UK Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) ruled Thursday to uphold the deportation order of an Algerian citizen known to the court as "Y," finding that Algeria has improved their human rights record so that the deportee's human rights would not be put in jeopardy, and that "Y" is a danger to national security and should be …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Government-sponsored mortgage dealer Fannie Mae announced Thursday that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) has discontinued its two-year investigation into alleged accounting violations, though criminal prosecutions could still be brought against individual employees. Fannie Mae was notified by the US Attorney for the District of Columbia that "it does not …

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by Kate Heneroty

Members of the Philippines House of Representatives on Thursday voted 173-32 to uphold a decision last week by the House Committee on Justice, defeating impeachment proceedings against Philippines President Gloria Macapagal and preventing a trial in the Senate. Macapagal has been accused of vote rigging, bribery, graft, …

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by Kate Heneroty

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour Wednesday urged the adoption of an increasingly-problematic draft of the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a proposed treaty to protect the rights of the disabled. Arbour said the agreement would "address the stereotypes and prejudices that deny persons with disabilities enjoyment …

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by Kate Heneroty

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday approved the over-the-counter sale of the "morning after" or Plan B emergency contraceptive pill, to women 18 and over. A controversial provision of the FDA's approval requires a doctor's prescription for women under 18 years old. The drug's manufacturer, Barr Laboratories, will …

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by Kate Heneroty

Chen Guangcheng, a blind Chinese human rights legal activist, was sentenced Thursday to four years and three months in prison for damaging property and "organizing a mob to disturb traffic." Chen supporters have said, however, that the charges were fabricated and he was actually arrested for reporting complaints of government mandated abortions and forced sterilizations [TIME …

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by Kate Heneroty

A federal judge has ordered the Justice Department to conduct an investigation into how CBS News and other media outlets learned of a criminal investigation into the activities of two pro-Israel lobbyists before they were formally charged. In an opinion released Tuesday, US District Judge T.S. Ellis III declined to throw out the evidence against Steven Rosen and Keith …

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by Kate Heneroty

A lawsuit filed by the United Mine Workers of America, seeking to compel the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to perform periodic checks of "self-contained self-rescuers" oxygen units and lead mandatory emergency training for all mine workers, was dismissed Wednesday. The claim was filed in June in response to Congressional changes to mine …

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by Kate Heneroty

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania ruled Tuesday that former presidential candidate Ralph Nader and his running mate Peter Miguel Camejo must pay more than $80,000 in expenses for a lawsuit challenging Nader's petition drive and nominating papers to appear on the 2004 Pennsylvania ballot. A group of voters filed …

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