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Legal news from Tuesday, November 7, 2006
by Bernard Hibbitts

Officials in several US states asked judges to extend polling hours in a number of areas Tuesday after problems with new electronic voting machines caused delays and left some voters unable to cast ballots in nationwide mid-term elections. By mid-afternoon, requests had been made in Denver, Colorado, Muncie, Indiana, and Davidson County, Tennessee. Voting machine-related problems were …

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by Robert DeVries

Milan prosecutor Armando Spataro said Tuesday that his office is once again pressing for the extradition of 26 Americans for their role in the alleged 2003 CIA kidnapping of Egyptian cleric Moustafa Hassan Nasr from Italy. Spataro was previously stonewalled by the conservative and strongly pro-US government …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Kyrgyzstan opposition party members and pro-government supporters announced Tuesday that they had reached a compromise in an effort to reform the country's constitution. Members of the country's parliament [People's Assembly website] are expected to vote Wednesday on a new draft charter, which places limits on the powers of Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev. The …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Iraq's Interior Ministry announced Tuesday that 57 members of its Shiite-led police force have been charged with torturing hundreds of detainees at a prison in eastern Baghdad. This is the first time the Iraqi government has filed charges against members of the police amidst ongoing accusations of corruption and human rights violations. Besides the police torture chamber …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Lawyers in Jordan held a one-hour strike Tuesday to protest the death sentences [JURIST report; BBC Q/A] imposed over the weekend against Saddam Hussein and two co-defendants in the Dujail crimes against humanity case. The Jordan Bar Association led the brief work stoppage for its 10,000 members; about 250 lawyers staged a demonstration …

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by Brett Murphy

The Australian Senate voted Tuesday to lift restrictions on stem cell research and permit the therapeutic cloning of human embryos. By a 34-32 vote, lawmakers approved the Prohibition of Human Cloning for Reproduction and the Regulation of Human Embryo Research Amendment Bill 2006, which also includes stricter penalties of up to 15 years in prison …

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by Brett Murphy

Thai Prime Minister Chulanont Surayud Tuesday proposed a plan to the country's new military-led Council for National Security for lifting martial law in peaceful areas of the country. He also asked for a report on when martial law could be lifted in the rest of the nation. Surayud said …

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by Brett Murphy

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has failed to treat violence against women as criminal conduct, according to a report released by Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Tuesday. The 101-page report entitled "A Question of Security: Violence Against Palestinian Women and Girls" says "little action has been taken to seriously address these abuses. Indeed, there …

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by Brett Murphy

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has dropped charges previously filed against ABC's "NYPD Blue" and CBS's "The Early Show," holding Monday that the shows were not indecent based on language content. The FCC also renewed charges against "The 2003 Billboard Music Awards" and "The 2002 Billboard Music Awards." According to the FCC order …

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by Holly Manges Jones

Saddam Hussein was back in court Tuesday as the genocide trial against him resumed for the alleged killing of 100,000 Kurds in the late 1980s during the so-called "Anfal" campaign. Hussein entered the court calmly, two days after being sentenced to death JURIST report] in a separate case for crimes against humanity [charging instrument, …

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by Holly Manges Jones

Dhiren Barot, a British man who pleaded guilty to planning a series of bombs on US and British targets, was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday. Barot was accused of planning several attacks, including the "Gas Limo Project" to blow up three limousines filled with explosives in underground parking garages in Britain. …

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by Holly Manges Jones

The Iraqi government's DeBaathification Commission plans to submit a proposal to Iraq's parliament that would allow most members of Saddam Hussein's now-defunct Baath Party to be reinstated to public life, the commission's executive director said Tuesday. The commission was set up with the approval of the US-run Coalition Provisional Authority in 2003 and …

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by Melissa Bancroft

UN Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland called Tuesday for a freeze on the use of controversial cluster munitions at the outset of the Third Review Conference in Geneva on the 1983 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, which already bans or limits the use of …

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by Jaime Jansen

Former Fijian Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka was ordered Tuesday to stand trial for allegedly attempting to incite a military mutiny in November 2000 after rebel Counter Revolutionary Warfare soldiers attempted to remove military leader Commodore Frank Bainimarama, leading to a gun battle that resulted in the deaths of eight servicemen. Bainimarama had taken …

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by Holly Manges Jones

US District Judge Nancy Edmunds Monday dismissed a lawsuit brought by US House Democrats challenging the validity of a $39 billion deficit-reduction bill. The plaintiffs argued that the measure was invalid since the Senate and House approved two different versions. The version approved by the Senate indicated that Medicare …

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by Holly Manges Jones

US Marine Lance Cpl. Tyler Jackson on Monday pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and conspiracy to obstruct justice in connection with the April 26 death of Iraqi civilian Hashim Ibrahim Awad in Hamdania. In accordance with his plea agreement, Jackson testified Monday that Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins …

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