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Legal news from Friday, September 15, 2006
by Alexis Unkovic

At a press conference in the Rose Garden Friday, President Bush urged members of Congress to approve his proposed legislation authorizing the use of military commissions for terror detainees and enemy combatants, currently competing for passage with another bill approved Thursday by the Senate Armed …

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by Alexis Unkovic

US Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez said in a speech Friday that Cuba should hold a referendum on democracy as a countervailing force to the ongoing dictatorship of Cuban President Fidel Castro. Gutierrez, a Cuban-American, suggested that the Organization of American States could sponsor the referendum in a manner …

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by Alexis Unkovic

One week after US President Bush confirmed the existence of secret prisons for high-value terror suspects run by the US Central Intelligence Agency abroad, top-level members of the Council of the European Union publicly criticized the program Friday. According to an EU press …

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by Joe Shaulis

While noting that "many of our nations are making progress on human rights," UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged nations belonging to the Non-Aligned Movement Friday to "fulfill their obligations to their people at home" by ending the suppression of opposition groups, guaranteeing a free press and fighting corruption. Speaking …

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by Joe Shaulis

A former lawyer for the Federal Communications Commission has said the agency ordered the destruction of a 2004 draft working paper that examined the effect of corporate group ownership on local television news coverage. Adam Candeub, who was an attorney-advisor in the FCC's Media Bureau before joining the Michigan State …

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by James M Yoch Jr

An Italian military tribunal in Rome has indicted three Italian soldiers for a 2004 attack on an ambulance in the town of Nasiriyah in Iraq that resulted in the deaths of four civilians, Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported Thursday. The three soldiers fired on an ambulance they say they mistook for a …

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by James M Yoch Jr

The US Supreme Court will provide copies of oral argument transcripts on the Court's website the same day that cases are heard when the Court begins its new term on October 2, the court announced Thursday. In the past, the Court has offered same-day transcripts only in the rarest of cases with overwhelming public interest, …

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by James M Yoch Jr

Nine former federal judges sent a letter to Congress on Thursday raising concerns about a provision in the proposed Military Commissions Act of 2006 that, according to the judges, would "strip the federal courts of jurisdiction to test the lawfulness of Executive detention at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Station and elsewhere outside the United States." …

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by Lisl Brunner

The Supreme Court of the Netherlands on Friday refused to extradite the leader of the Kurdistan Worker's Party to Turkey, citing the possibility that she could be tortured after returning to the country. Nuriye Kesbir is accused of participating in 25 attacks in eastern Turkey between 1993 …

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by Lisl Brunner

Three former employees of the Election Commission of Thailand received their second conviction on Friday for dereliction of duty in the April 2 election. The officials, who are appealing a July four-year sentence for abuse of power, were found to have aided the ruling Thai Rak Thai party in …

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by Lisl Brunner

The US House of Representatives Thursday adopted a new rule requiring lawmakers to disclose their sponsorship of so-called "earmarks" inserted into bills to fund special spending projects. H.Res. 1000 requires that bills coming out of committee, bills containing tax measures, and conference reports list all earmarks and the names of the congressperson who requested them. Earmarks …

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by Lisl Brunner

Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos acknowledged Thursday that US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) planes transporting detainees to secret prisons in Europe may have stopped over on its soil. Moratinos told a European Parliament committee that although the US had assured Spain that no suspects were aboard the …

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by Kate Heneroty

The Supreme Court of Japan rejected a death penalty appeal Friday by former cult leader Shoko Asahara, who was convicted of masterminding the 1995 nerve gas attacks on the Tokyo subway system. Asahara, the former head of Aum Shinrikyo, was convicted of murder and attempted murder in 2004 for …

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by Kate Heneroty

The US House of Representatives voted 283-138 Thursday for a bill providing for the construction of a 700-mile fence along the US-Mexico border designed to curb illegal immigration. The Secure Fence Act of 2006 also provides that the Department of Homeland Security take control of the border …

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by Kate Heneroty

The Colorado Division of Civil Rights (CCRD) has ruled that an employer violated the state's anti-discrimination laws when it fired an employee who was preparing to undergo gender reassignment surgery. Intermountain Testing claimed David Cornwell, now known as Danielle Cornwell, was let go because of a decline in business and a low performance …

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by Kate Heneroty

US Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) is expected to plead guilty to at least one criminal charge stemming from his involvement with lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Republican officials announced Thursday. Ney is expected to admit to filing a false House disclosure report, where he claimed to visit members of the Scottish Parliament in 2002 when in …

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by Holly Manges Jones

The US Senate Armed Services Committee voted 15-9 Thursday to send a bill authorizing military commissions drafted by Republican Senators John Warner, Lindsey Graham and John McCain to the full Senate for consideration despite objections from the White House, which has offered its own proposal. The stricter …

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