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Legal news from Wednesday, November 1, 2006
by Robert DeVries

The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) for its alleged harassment of five US citizens of Mexican descent during an illegal immigration shakedown in Georgia over Labor Day weekend. The civil rights group claims ICE violated …

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by Robert DeVries

In the first US case of its kind, a Georgia state court Wednesday found Ethiopian immigrant Khalid Adem guilty of sexually mutilating his then-two-year-old daughter and sentenced him to 10 years in prison. Adem was tried on charges of cruelty to children and aggravated battery after a doctor discovered Adem's daughter had her clitoris removed, …

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by Brett Murphy

The Sierra Legal Defence Fund petitioned the US Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday on behalf of thirteen Canadian cities - including Toronto, Windsor and Halifax - to mandate the reduction of air pollution from 150 coal-fired power plants in the US. The petition asks the EPA to direct a reduction of carbon …

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by James M Yoch Jr

A Turkish trial court on Wednesday ruled that retired archaeologist Muazzez Ilmiye Cig violated no criminal law by writing historical accounts [IW &A Blog post] of headscarves that offended some Muslims. Cig faced up to 1 1/2 years' imprisonment for insulting religion by postulating in her book that headscarves were originally worn before the founding of Islam by …

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by James M Yoch Jr

US Assistant Attorney General Wan J. Kim said Tuesday that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) is working with states missing deadlines to update voting databases and equipment under the Help America Vote Act of 2002 before mid-term elections on November 7. The DOJ has already sued 17 jurisdictions, including the states of …

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by James M Yoch Jr

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in Environmental Defense v. Duke Energy Corp., 05-848, where the justices are considering a challenge to modifications to coal-fired power plants made by Duke Energy that allow the plants to run longer each day, increasing the amount of …

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by Brett Murphy

Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez has signed an order allowing Guatemala to extradite former Guatemalan president Alfonso Portillo so that he can face charges of embezzlement for alleged misuse of defense department funds during his presidency, Mexican officials said Tuesday. The charges allege that officials tied to Portillo pocketed …

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by Holly Manges Jones

A British court Wednesday ordered the release of two brothers charged in connection with an alleged plot to blow up commercial planes flying from Great Britain to the US in August. In a hearing at the City of Westminster Magistrates Court, District Judge Quentin Purdy freed Umair Hussain and Mehran Hussain, saying there …

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by Kiran Chapagain

A UN human rights body has called the Communist Party of Nepal – Maoists (CPN-M) to stop its parallel law enforcement activities, which has resulted into "serious" human rights abuses in Nepal recently. "OHCHR-Nepal calls again on the CPN-M leadership to stop all parallel 'law enforcement' activities, and especially incidents of torture and ill-treatment," Sandra Beidas, Officer-in-Charge …

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by Holly Manges Jones

The National People's Congress of China Tuesday approved an amendment to the country's banking laws which was written to combat corruption as global competition with the Chinese banking sector continues to increase. The amendment will make it easier for banking supervisory organizations to uncover illegalities in the banking sector by opening up investigations to …

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by Holly Manges Jones

A senior judge in Iraq has been kidnapped at gunpoint, a Salahudin provincial police colonel said Wednesday. Judge Sa'adoun Hassan al-Azzawi was kidnapped Tuesday night by gunmen while traveling in his car. Azzawi is the deputy head of the Tikrit court of appeal, and his abduction marks the third recent attack on judges by militants.Kidnappings of …

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by Holly Manges Jones

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has again said that he plans to revise the country's constitution to allow the country to better defend itself and to assist in international security efforts. In an interview published Tuesday by the Financial Times, Abe said that provisions in the current constitution, which was written in 1947 …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Turkey's bid for European Union membership could be further damaged by an unreleased report on the country's human rights record, a draft version of which was obtained by the Independent. The report condemns Turkey's refusal to compromise on free speech issues or to allow ships from Cyprus to dock in Turkish ports. An emergency negotiation session has been scheduled …

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by Holly Manges Jones

Serbian war crimes suspect and former nationalist politician Vojislav Seselj, was removed from a court hearing at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Wednesday after he disrupted proceedings on several occasions. An ICTY appeals panel last month ruled that Seselj could represent himself during his trial, but …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A UN human rights expert expressed concern Tuesday about human rights violations allegedly committed by a Mexican paramilitary group in the Mexican province of Oaxaca during clashes between protesters and the police. Rodolfo Stavenhagen, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous peoples, cited "the killing and wounding by gunfire …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A Chinese intermediate appellate court has overturned and remanded back to the trial court the case of Chen Guangcheng, a blind Chinese human rights legal activist who was sentenced in August to four years and three months in prison for damaging property and "organizing a mob to disturb traffic." Chen's lawyers argued that the …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The government of Vietnam will repeal or abolish administrative Decree 31/CP, which authorizes restrictions on citizens who commit security violations not rising to the level of criminality, in advance of US President George W. Bush's scheduled November trip to the country, according to a US official speaking to AFP. AFP's State Department source said Vietnam intends to …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A federal appeals court on Tuesday stayed an August district court ruling finding tobacco companies liable for civil racketeering charges, thus delaying enforcement of the accompanying remedial order that required the tobacco companies to publish "corrective statements" about the health impacts of their products and pay DOJ case costs. The temporary stay …

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by Ned Mulcahy

US District Judge James Munley granted a temporary restraining order late Tuesday prohibiting the city of Hazleton, Pennsylvania from enforcing the city's Illegal Immigration Relief Act and Landlord Tenant Ordinance. The local laws, designed to make it more difficult for illegal immigrants to reside or work in the town, were set …

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