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Legal news from Thursday, September 14, 2006
by Natalie Hrubos

A Missouri judge ruled Thursday that a state law requiring voters to show a Missouri-issued photo identification at the polls [Missouri Dept. of Revenue backgrounder] violates the state constitution because it is "an impermissible additional qualification to vote." Those who support the law say it would prevent voter fraud; opponents say …

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by Natalie Hrubos

The Rwandan government Thursday threatened to stop working with the UN-sponsored International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) because it believes the ICTR employs genocide suspects. Rwanda pointed to the ICTR's pressure on Tanzania to free Callixte Gakwaya, a lawyer accused of participating in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, …

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by Natalie Hrubos

The US Senate unanimously approved a port security bill Thursday that would require the government to install radiation-detection devices at US ports and to test the feasibility of scanning US-bound cargo overseas. Senators nonetheless voted 61-37 against setting a four-year deadline for all US-bound cargo to be scanned for nuclear weapons at …

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by Katerina Ossenova

A New York appeals court Thursday granted the request of former New York Stock Exchange chairman Richard Grasso to delay the trial in a civil lawsuit filed by the state over the $187.5 million compensation package he received in 2003. The trial was set to begin October 16, but Grasso requested a delay in order …

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by Holly Manges Jones

US officials Thursday released two Kuwaiti men who had been held for four years at the US prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after the military announced their intended transfer over the weekend. It is currently unclear whether Omar Rajab Amin and Abdullah Kamel al-Kandari will face charges …

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by Holly Manges Jones

The Bush administration said Thursday that the US Senate was "trying to play politics" by putting off a vote on the status of John Bolton as US ambassador to the United Nations. Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) moved to table a committee vote on Bolton last week and the White House says …

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by Jaime Jansen

An Indian court in Mumbai convicted a fifth man Thursday in connection with the 1993 Mumbai bombings, a series of attacks which killed 257 people and injured over 700 others in India's financial center. The court found that Mohammed Ghanser planted explosives near the Zaveri Bazaar market which caused a blast that killed 17 people, opening Ghanser …

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by Holly Manges Jones

A UN report released Thursday urges countries to develop a common understanding of the "precautionary principle," a term freely used by nations that do not want to allow certain trade products to enter their borders on health or environmental grounds. The study, conducted by the UN University's Institute of Advanced Studies, found that countries use …

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by Jaime Jansen

The paper ballots from Mexico's disputed July 2 presidential election will be destroyed under the order of the Federal Electoral Tribunal, despite objections from President-elect Felipe Calderon who wanted the ballots preserved in an effort to strengthen public confidence in his controversial victory. In a letter …

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by Holly Manges Jones

The government of Pakistan has delayed introducing legislation that would change Islamic rape and adultery laws after a deal with Islamist parties over a watered-down version of the 2006 Protection of Women Bill fell through, according to Pakistani officials Thursday. Earlier this month, members of an Islamist alliance threatened to quit the Pakistan parliament …

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by Holly Manges Jones

The US House of Representatives Wednesday passed the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, legislation that provides for the creation of a website to allow the public access to information regarding companies which receive government contracts and grants. The new measure, which was approved by a voice vote, calls for the Internet …

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by Katerina Ossenova

The investigating officer presiding over preliminary hearings for a US Marine accused of kidnapping and murdering an unarmed Iraqi civilian has recommended that the Marine face court-martial on murder charges, the Marine's lawyer said Wednesday. US Marine Corps Pfc. John Jodka III is accused of firing the deadly shots in the April 26 death of …

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by Jaime Jansen

The Australian Senate on Thursday debated a proposed bill to remove power from the federal executive to overturn laws passed by the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) federal district. The new bill was proposed after Australia Governor-General Michael Jeffrey allowed the federal government to effectively veto the controversial Civil Unions …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Abdullah al-Amiri, the Shiite judge presiding over the second Saddam Hussein trial, said in court Thursday that he did not believe Hussein should be called a dictator, just one day after the prosecution requested that al-Amiri remove himself from the case for reasons of bias. In an exchange with Hussein during the questioning of …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Migrants, asylum seekers and refugees face deportation and human rights abuses in Libya, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a new report released Wednesday. The monitoring group found that Libya has repatriated 145,000 foreigners between 2003 and 2005, despite the possibility that they will face persecution or torture in their home countries. Migrants, mostly …

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by Holly Manges Jones

A court in Indonesia Thursday convicted a fourth man of being involved in the October 2005 bombings of three restaurants in Bali which killed 26 civilians and injured over 100 people. The Denpasar district court sentenced Anif Solchanudin to 15 years in prison for his role in helping to plan the attacks. The former …

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by Holly Manges Jones

Netherlands Minister of Justice Piet Hein Donner Wednesday defended controversial comments he made during an interview suggesting that if a large majority of the Dutch people wanted to be ruled by Islamic law, then that couldn't be legally prevented. The comments drew intense criticism from opposition politicians who have opposed the potential implementation of what …

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by Holly Manges Jones

Amnesty International Thursday released a report accusing Hezbollah of violating international law by deliberately and indiscriminately killing Israeli civilians through its firing of rockets into Israel during the 34-day Middle East conflict. The rights group said Hezbollah militants committed war crimes when they failed to distinguish between civilian and military areas when launching …

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