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Legal news from Thursday, October 5, 2006
by Gabriel Haboubi

The US House Ethics Committee Thursday opened its investigation into allegations of misconduct related to the House Page program, issuing nearly four dozen subpoenas for witnesses and documents, according to statements issued by the Committee leadership. A special bipartisan subcommittee, set up under HR 1065, is being led by …

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by Ryan Olden

California’s First District State Court of Appeal upheld a state ban on gay marriage Thursday. In a 2-1 decision, the court held that the ban was not unconstitutional because it did not violate any "vested fundamental right" of gays and lesbians. The move overturns a March 2005 ruling by San Francisco Superior Court …

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by Natalie Hrubos

US President George W. Bush attached a signing statement to the 2007 spending bill for the Homeland Security Department Thursday, giving himself the authority to make changes to the agency's annual Privacy Office reports. Congress stated that only the Department's Privacy Officer could edit the reports, designed to ensure that the …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The Federal Trade Commission announced Thursday that it has reached an agreement for the settlement of pretexting charges against Virginia-based Integrity Security & Investigation Services. Current federal law allows the government to only collect $2,700 in damages, the entire sum of profit that the company made from selling confidential phone …

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by Natalie Hrubos

Israel's High Court Thursday gave the state five days to explain why it appointed government officials to investigate its handling of the recent Hezbollah conflict rather than establish an independent inquiry committee. The Movement for Quality Government in Israel last week called on the High Court to intervene as part of its …

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by Katerina Ossenova

A UN Human Rights Council envoy on Thursday called for an investigation by the International Criminal Court into whether Israel committed war crimes during the 34-day Middle East conflict. In a report, UN special rapporteur on food rights Jean Ziegler wrote that Israel's bombing campaign against Lebanon …

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by Katerina Ossenova

The European Court of Human Rights on Thursday ruled that Germany violated the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights by allowing a lawsuit to continue for 30 years. Jurgen Grasser filed a lawsuit against the city of Saarbrucken in 1974 after the city refused to grant him a building permit for a …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Britain's High Court Thursday quashed the four-week suspension of London Mayor Ken Livingstone, originally handed down by the Adjudication Panel for England in February. The suspension was ordered after Livingstone made controversial comments to a Jewish journalist. A High Court judge overturned the suspension, but did not make an immediate …

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by Katerina Ossenova

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issued an emergency proclamation Wednesday to relieve prison overcrowding by allowing inmates to be transferred to other states. Citing severe overcrowding as a threat to the health and safety in 29 of the state's 33 prisons, Schwarzenegger said: "Our prisons are now beyond maximum capacity, and we must act immediately …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Another Turkish author went on trial Thursday on charges that he "insulted the Turkish identity" in violation of Article 301 of the country's penal code. Ipek Calislar wrote that the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, once left his palace disguised as a woman to evade an assassination attempt. Calislar faces 4.5 years in …

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by Katerina Ossenova

A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit sharply questioned federal officials Wednesday during oral arguments in the case of a Pakistani man who says he was detained because of his race, religion or national origin soon after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and tortured while in custody. Javaid …

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by Holly Manges Jones

US District Judge Christopher Boyko ruled Wednesday that an Ohio voting rule requiring naturalized citizens to provide proof of citizenship if challenged by poll workers was unconstitutional. The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio assisted a group of citizens in filing a lawsuit to challenge the law in August. Ohio Secretary …

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by Holly Manges Jones

Australian Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said Thursday that the Australian government plans to appeal a court decision giving Aborigines native title to land in the city of Perth, saying the ruling could prevent non-indigenous people from having access to public parks and beaches in the area. Ruddock said the decision could have implications for …

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by Holly Manges Jones

Two US Marines charged with the death of an Iraqi civilian in Hamdania pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of murder and kidnapping. Pfc. John Jodka and Cpl. Marshall Magincalda are the first of eight soldiers from the Camp Pendleton military base to be arraigned in the April death of Hashim Ibrahim …

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by Holly Manges Jones

Two US Marines charged with the death of an Iraqi civilian in Hamdania pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of murder and kidnapping. Pfc. John Jodka and Cpl. Marshall Magincalda are the first of eight soldiers from the Camp Pendleton military base to be arraigned in the April death of Hashim Ibrahim …

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