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Legal news from Thursday, October 26, 2006
by Gabriel Haboubi

A Moroccan believed to have ties to two figures connected to the September 11 attacks was sentenced to nine years in prison Thursday after a French criminal court found him guilty of "associating with wrongdoers in connection with a terrorist undertaking," an offense that encompasses a number of criminal activates. Karim Mehdi was arrested …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

US special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald spent approximately three hours Thursday cross-examining the first witness presented by lawyers representing former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. The witness, psychologist Elizabeth Loftus, was called to persuade US District Judge Reggie Walton to allow memory experts [JURIST …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

A US federal court in Atlanta Thursday rejected a government motion to seal unclassified files in the trial of two men with alleged terrorism ties. US citizens Syed Ahmed, 21, a Georgia Tech student, and Ehsanul Sadequee, 20, an employee of the Atlanta based non-profit South Asian advocacy group Raksha were arrested earlier this year, …

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by Holly Manges Jones

Nicaraguan lawmakers voted Thursday to prohibit abortions for any reason in the country, including procedures to save the life of a pregnant woman. The measure eliminates a long-standing medical necessity exception to the country's anti-abortion laws. Nicaragua [US State Dept. backgrounder] has a large Roman Catholic population and the church assisted in drafting the bill, which …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Alexander Milinkevich, the defeated opposition candidate in Belarus' presidential elections in March, was awarded the Sakharov Prize on Thursday by the European Parliament, for his fight for democracy. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko won over Milinkevich by a landslide 80 percent of the popular vote in an election …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Israel is breaching international humanitarian law and is violating the rights of Palestinians by placing severe restrictions on family visits with Palestinian prisoners, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories (B'Tselem) said in a new report released Thursday. The human rights group claims that Israel is breaching the Geneva Convention …

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by Katerina Ossenova

President Bush Thursday reiterated his belief that "marriage is a union between a man and a woman" a day after the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples in the state must be afforded the same rights as heterosexual couples. At a Republican fundraiser Bush spoke out against what he called the ruling …

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by Jaime Jansen

US Marine Corps Pfc. John J. Jodka pleaded guilty Thursday to assault and obstruction of justice charges in relation to the April 26 death of an Iraqi civilian in Hamdania. Jodka was one of eight military personnel originally charged with murder, kidnapping, conspiracy, assault and housebreaking for his role in …

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by Jaime Jansen

President George W. Bush Thursday signed the Secure Fence Act of 2006 authorizing 700 miles of fencing along the US-Mexico border. The legislation represents the second portion of a two-part plan to tackle illegal immigration in the US; the first half of the legislation creates a $34.8 billion …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Thailand Army Chief Gen. Sonthi Boonyaratglin, who seized power from former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in a bloodless military coup in September, admitted Thursday that investigators are struggling to find evidence of corruption, the ostensible reason for Thaksin's overthrow. The investigative commission is finding little evidence to implicate Thaksin, a billionaire telecommunications …

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by Katerina Ossenova

A Danish court dismissed a lawsuit Thursday filed by Muslim organizations against the two editors of the Danish newspaper who published caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad earlier this year. Worldwide protests among Muslims followed Jyllands-Posten publication of the cartoons, leading to multiple deaths, the burning …

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by Holly Manges Jones

The US Defense Department said Wednesday that it is considering plans to increase the number of courtrooms at the US prison facility in Guantanamo Bay in order to begin trying suspected terrorists, a proposal that could cost hundreds of millions of dollars. DOD Deputy Assistant Secretary for Detainee Affairs Charles "Cully" Stimson said the plans include …

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by Holly Manges Jones

Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica has urged Serbians to vote in favor of the country's new constitution in this weekend's referendum, saying a rejection of the charter would have "grave and unforeseeable" consequences for Serbia's future. If approved, the new constitution will make Serbia an independent state for the first time since 1918 …

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by Robert DeVries

A federal judge in Indiana ruled Wednesday that Indiana correctly enforced its statute governing prerecorded messages when it chose to prohibit the Republican-backed Economic Freedom Fund (EFF) from conducting automated attack push polls in the state during the lead-up to the November elections. The Indiana statute prohibits such automated calls unless …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

The International Academy of the Visual Arts (IAVA) in West Hollywood, California, has announced that JURIST has won a W3 Gold Award for website excellence in the Law and Legal Services category for 2006. The W3 Awards - evoking the triple "w" in many addresses on the World Wide Web - honor outstanding websites, …

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