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Legal news from Friday, December 1, 2006
by Alexis Unkovic

Mexican President-elect Felipe Calderon was formally sworn in as President of Mexico in a hasty ceremony before the Mexican Congress Friday after a midnight swearing in by outgoing President Vicente Fox several hours earlier. Officials previously declared Calderon the winner of Mexico's July 2 …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The Iraqi Interior Ministry has announced that it is forming a specialized unit to monitor news coverage. A ministry spokesman told AP the unit was designed to correct “fabricated and false news” that he claims gives the Iraqi people the wrong idea that the situation is worse than it actually is. The Ministry further threatened to …

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by Alexis Unkovic

The US Supreme Court granted certiorari in three cases Friday, most notably Morse v. Frederick (06-278) [docket; cert. petition, PDF], which addresses whether a school board had the right to suspend a then-high school senior for holding a banner that read "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" away from school property while the Olympic torch made …

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by Michael Sung

Four of six Dutch terror suspects on trial for planning attacks against Dutch politicians and government facilities were found guilty in Amsterdam Friday. The convicted include 20-year-old Samir Azzouz, who was sentenced to a prison term of eight years for his central role in the plot and the making of a suicide-bomber video. Defendants Nouredine …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The US Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles announced Friday that it has settled 45 lawsuits concerning 22 priests accused of clergy sexual abuse for $60 million. Ray Boucher, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs, told AP that the archdiocese would pay more than $50 million, while …

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by Michael Sung

Serb nationalist war crimes suspect Vojislav Seselj, who has been on hunger strike for since Nov. 11, agreed Friday to medical examination by an "independent" team of doctors composed of a Serb, a French and a Russian national. Seselj had previously refused medical attention by the International Criminal Tribunal for …

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by Michael Sung

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf signed new legislation Friday allows rape cases to be tried in either secular or Islamic courts, reduces the evidentiary burden necessary for conviction, and substitutes a fine and five-year prison term for persons found guilty of having sex outside of marriage. The Protection of Women Bill, approved by Pakistan's Senate [JURIST …

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by Stefanie Presley

Maryland's solicitor general urged the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit Thursday to overturn a district court decision striking down Maryland's Fair Share Health Care Fund Act. The law would have required companies with more than 10,000 employees to spend at least eight percent of their payroll on employee …

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by Lisl Brunner

A California appeals court has ruled that a 2005 referendum authorizing the transfer of land, on which a 29-foot cross commemorating veterans sits, to the federal government did not violate the California constitution. The land, owned by the city of San Diego, has been the subject of a legal battle since 1989. A …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Lebanese President Emile Lahoud Friday reiterated his rejection of the Lebanese cabinet's approval of a measure that would establish a UN-supported international tribunal to try suspects accused of assassinating former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, telling JURIST that he "considered the cabinet of Siniora's vote on the second …

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by James M Yoch Jr

A Japanese court on Friday ordered the government of Japan to pay 468 million yen to 61 Japanese plaintiffs who were displaced as children in China after World War II. The plaintiffs - known as "war orphans" - alleged that the government failed to promptly remove them from China after the war, causing them to face …

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by James M Yoch Jr

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has abandoned plans to decrease the frequency of reporting requirements for the release of toxic chemicals by polluting companies, it was announced Thursday. The changes would have required polluters to report every other year rather than the current mandate of annual submissions. The EPA also asserted, however, that it will push next …

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by James M Yoch Jr

Protestors demonstrated Thursday outside the Dutch Parliament building against the Netherlands' plan to completely ban the wearing of the full-length Muslim burqa and the niqab, the Muslim headscarf for women that leaves only the eyes visible. Twenty-seven of the approximately 80 demonstrators wore one of the garments targeted for prohibition in the proposed …

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by Lisl Brunner

In two separate rulings on Friday, Chinese courts rejected the appeals of a journalist and rights activist who challenged the government. In a five-minute session, the Beijing High Court rejected an appeal by Zhao Yan, a New York Times researcher who was sentenced to three years in prison for fraud in August. Zhao was …

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by Lisl Brunner

The Central African Republic (CAR) has violated international law by arbitrarily detaining people, holding detainees for extended periods without charges and trials, and maintaining prisons in degrading conditions, according to a study released Thursday by Amnesty International. The study documents the cases of over 40 people who have been arrested in …

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by Ryan Olden

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Justice Judith Cowin ruled Thursday that all seven of the court's justices will hear a request to put a measure effectively banning same-sex marriage on the 2008 Massachusetts ballot if legislators fail to vote on the issue before the end of their term on January 2. Massachusetts Governor …

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by Ryan Olden

The US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Thursday on whether unintroduced non-sensitive evidence from the criminal trial of Zacarias Moussaoui should be turned over to families of 9/11 victims as requested by and promised to them for use in a civil …

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