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Legal news from Wednesday, November 29, 2006
by Alexis Unkovic

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) decided Wednesday to move Serb nationalist war crimes suspect Vojislav Seselj to a hospital unit adjoining its detention center at Scheveningen near The Hague to monitor his medical condition. Seselj has been on hunger strike for over two weeks, …

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by Robert DeVries

The Canadian Parliament will revisit the issue of same-sex marriage next week, with debate on a federal law permitting same-sex marriage scheduled to begin in the House of Commons Wednesday. The ruling Conservative Party in June promised to reconsider the law, which was passed in 2005 under …

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by Alexis Unkovic

US District Judge Richard J. Leon ruled in Washington, DC, Wednesday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) must reinstate certain housing payments for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Leon granted the plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction against the payments stoppage, maintaining that FEMA had failed to provide …

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by James M Yoch Jr

The US government agreed to pay $2 million Wednesday in a settlement agreement with Brandon Mayfield, the attorney arrested and detained for two weeks in May 2004 after the FBI mistakenly established that his fingerprints matched those found on a bag containing detonators used in the 2004 Madrid terrorist train bombings. …

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by Brett Murphy

Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR) has settled fraud allegations under the False Claims Act, the US Justice Department said Wednesday, and has agreed to pay the US $8 million for allegedly overcharging the Army for logistical support it provided between 1999 and 2000. The DOJ alleged that KBR double-billed the military …

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by James M Yoch Jr

Significant racial and ethnic discrimination and violence persist in European Union countries, according to a report released by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) Tuesday. According to the report, victimized groups include asylum seekers, refugees, undocumented migrants, Roma gypsies, Jews and Muslims. Despite identification of the problem, the …

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by Brett Murphy

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour told the UN Human Rights Council Wednesday in the aftermath of a controversial trip to the Middle East that "the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory is grave and worsening, within a general climate of impunity." She called on Israel to properly …

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by James M Yoch Jr

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in Massachusetts v. EPA, 05-1120, a case where 12 states and several environmental groups are challenging an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determination that it does not have the authority under the Clean Air Act (CAA) …

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by Holly Manges Jones

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan Wednesday urged the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) to avoid the "political maneuvering" that plagued the rights body's predecessor, the UN Human Rights Commission, telling the 47 member states that their role was to combat human rights violations even if regional allies were opposed to those efforts. In a …

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by Holly Manges Jones

The South African National Council of Provinces has approved the Civil Unions Bill, legislation that would make South Africa the first African nation to recognize same-sex unions if President Thabo Mbeki approves the measure. The lower house of the nation's parliament approved the bill earlier …

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by Holly Manges Jones

Bolivian President Evo Morales signed a land redistribution bill Tuesday that he hopes will allow his government to give 77,000 square miles of unproductive land to the country's poor. The president signed the bill amidst shouts of approval from more than 3,000 Indian supporters who may gain land from the new measure, which …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A Serbian war crimes suspect will continue boycotting his war crimes trial, despite the urgings of his court-appointed lawyers, who have not had contact with him since Monday. Lawyers for Serbian war crimes suspect Vojislav Seselj told the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) that their client has refused to …

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by Holly Manges Jones

The trial of six German defendants accused of breaching their fiduciary duties during the takeover of telecom giant Mannesmann came to an end Wednesday, with the defendants agreeing to pay substantial financial settlements in exchange for no criminal charges on their records. The defendants, including Deutsche Bank chief executive Josef Ackermann, former Mannesmann …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Lawyers for German national Khalid el-Masri argued Wednesday before the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that his civil case against the CIA for his alleged 2003 extraordinary rendition from Macedonia and his subsequent detention in Afghanistan should be reinstated. A federal …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A judge in the Saddam Hussein trial ejected a defense lawyer from the courtroom Wednesday and ordered a day-long detention after the lawyer repeatedly addressed a prosecutor as "brother." Judge Mohammed Oreibi al-Khalifa had previously warned Badih Aref, lawyer for former intelligence director Farhan al-Jubouri, to respect courtroom formalities, and found Aref guilty of …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Flood damage caused by Hurricane Katrina may be covered under those insurance policies that do not specifically exclude from coverage damage caused by negligence, according to a federal court opinion handed down Monday. Judge Stanwood R. Duval Jr. of the US Eastern District of New Orleans rejected a bid by insurers to dismiss plantiffs' …

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by Joshua Pantesco

An Italian judge held a hearing Wednesday to determine whether Mario Lozano, a US Army Specialist, should stand trial in connection with the death of Italian intelligence agent Nicola Calipari at an Iraqi checkpoint in March 2005. Italian prosecutors requested an indictment in June after investigators concluded their probe into Calipari's death, finding Lozano responsible …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A US district judge has declared unconstitutional portions of a 2001 presidential executive order that allowed President Bush "unfettered discretion" to designate organizations as terrorist organizations. In a decision released Tuesday, Judge Audrey Collins ruled that Executive Order 13224, signed twelve days after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, was unconstitutionally …

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